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Bob Hawkes

Domain Name Sales Soar in First Half of 2021

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By Bob Hawkes, Jul 8, 2021
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Each July I take a look at domain name sales from the first six months of the year, comparing to the similar period from the preceding year. Taken across all extensions, 2021 is off to a roaring start, with the number of sales up 27.6% compared to the first-half of 2020. The sales dollar volume is up even more, 46.5%. The average sales price is also up, almost 14.8%.

    COM Remains King

    The .com extension accounted for 86.7% by number of all sales. By dollar volume, 76.8% of all sales were .com during early 2021, compared to 79.3% for the first six months of 2020.

    The average .com sales price for the 6-month period of 2021 was $973, up about 11.2% from 2020. That rather low average price reflects that the majority of .com sales in the NameBio database are wholesale acquisitions, rather than retail sales.

    There was a 45.2% increase in dollar volume for .com sales during the first part of 2021.

    Prices Strong in NET

    While there are far fewer sales reported in .net compared to .com, just 1673 versus 65,300, .net still accounted for more than $2.4 million in sales during the six-month period. The dollar volume for .net was up by 52.4%, driven by a surprisingly high average price of $1439. The number of sales in .net was down 6.3%.

    While it is surprising that the average price of .net was so much higher than .com, I think it mainly reflects that the ratio of wholesale to retail transactions is higher in .com. It is possible that there was some release of high quality .net names as investors concentrated on other extensions.

    Higher ORG Sales Volume than NET

    All of the metrics were up for 2021 compared to 2020 in the .org extension. The number of sales was up 9.6%, the average price up 15.9% and the sales dollar volume up 27.1%.

    The trend seen in previous years held, with significantly higher dollar volume in .org than .net. In the first six months of 2021 .org accounted for about $3.464 million in NameBio-recorded sales, compared to $2.407 million in .net sales.

    Little Change in INFO

    The .info extension sales don’t make up much of the aftermarket pie, just 162 sales during the 6-month period of 2021, a drop of 13.4%. The average price was up, but still just $528. That helped the dollar volume in the extension to edge up 7.6% when compared to 2020.

    Slow Sales but Higher Prices for BIZ

    The first six months of 2021 were slow in the .biz extension, with only 41 sales recorded in NameBio, compared to 64 during the same period of 2020. The average price was a surprisingly robust $1442 in 2021, compared to just $538 in the first half of 2020, and about the same in 2019. The dollar volume was up 71.7% in .biz compared to 2020.

    Country Code Domains Roar

    There was strong growth in country code extensions as a whole, with 16.9% increase in number sold, 48.2% increase in average price, and a 73.2% increase in dollar volume, when compared to 2020.

    The graph below shows the dramatic growth in country code dollar volume.

    Image_All_CC.png

    Average prices remain significantly higher in country code domain sales compared to legacy extensions, with the 2021 average price $2371. I look at data for specific country code extensions below.

    IO Prices and Volume Accelerate

    After staying relatively constant during the first six months of 2020 and 2019, in 2021 dollar volume in .io sales was up about 378%. The average price was up 219%, to $2471 in 2021.

    Image_IO.png

    CO Sales Skyrocket

    Not to be left out, the .co extension also had a stellar year. The average sales price of $2758 was up 87.5%, while the number of sales more than doubled compared to the first six months of 2020. As a result, the sales dollar volume in .co was up by a factor of about 4.4.

    Trends in Other Generic Country Code Extensions

    I tracked a number of other country codes, with results for some of the extensions considered largely generic presented below.
    • .ai sales grew slowly, with dollar volume almost constant.
    • The .cc average price was down to $859, compared to $1449 in 2020, so sales volume was also down. It should be pointed out, however, that the average price in 2021 was almost identical to 2019 in this extension.
    • The .gg extension finds use in gaming. If we compare the first 6 months of 2019, 2020 and 2021, the number of sales has grown from 6 to 76 to 138. As a result, sales volume was up 375% in .gg.
    • The number of sales in .ly was down compared to both 2019 and 2020, although the sales volume did manage to increase by 35%.
    • The number of sales in .me was down, but the average price per sale increased to $1476. As a result the sales volume was up 81% during the first six months of 2021 compared to the similar period of 2020.
    • A strong average sales price of $3012 in .tv helped propel the sales volume to a threefold increase.
    • The .vc extension, popular in the venture capital community, has grown from almost no aftermarket sales two years ago to more than $175,000 in volume during the first six months of 2021. The average sales price in .vc was a very healthy $2544 in 2021, compared to just $321 during the similar period of 2020.
    Trends in National Country Code Extensions

    While some of the following extensions find limited generic use, most are used primarily within the country.
    • While the number of NameBio-reported sales in .cn continues to be low, the average sales price in 2021 was a surprising $8134.
    • While the number of sales in .co.uk was almost constant, and the average price per sale was still very strong at $5524, that was down slightly from the similar period in 2020. The first level .uk extension just had 13 reported sales during the period, down from 2020.
    • Germany’s .de extension is always one of the top performers in the world, and it had a particularly strong first half of 2021. The number of reported sales was up 53% and the dollar volume up 42.7%. The average price per sale was down slightly, but still very strong at $4391.
    • The future seems bright for India’s .in, with a much stronger average sales price of $2403 in 2021. As a result dollar volume was up 18%.
    • The .us extension was up 43% in number of sales and 43.6% in average price. Dollar volume in the extension approximately doubled during the first six months of 2021 compared to the similar period in 2020. The 2021 average price in .us was $1245.
    Mixed Picture in New Extensions

    When we compare the first six months of 2021 to the similar period of 2020 for new domain extensions, the so called new gTLDs, the number of sales is up by 54.4%, but the sales dollar volume is up only 6.0%. That is because the average price per sale dropped to $1902 in the first six months of 2021. While that is still significantly higher than any of the legacy extensions, it is down from the $2772 average for the first-half of 2020.

    Here is a look at the picture for several individual new extensions.
    • Sales of .app dropped in both number and average price, so the reported sales volume of $143,174 is down 50% from similar period of 2020. It should be stated, though, that the average sales price of $4211 in .app was still one of the highest of any extension.
    • The .club extension had a good start to 2021, with the number of sales and the dollar volume both more than doubling the figures for the same period of 2020. There was little change in average price, at $2552 in 2021.
    • In terms of the new extensions, 2021 definitely appears to be the year of .xyz. The number of sales quadrupled compared to 2020, while the average price more than doubled, to $2990 in 2021. As a result, the total dollar volume during the first six months went from $31,400 in 2020 to $313,950 in 2021.
    ImageXYZ.png

    Great Period for Major Sales

    The first-half of 2021 saw significantly more major sales with 55 sales above $100,000, including 10 sales above $500,000. By comparison, during the same period in 2020 there were 30 sales above $100,000 but just one sale above $500,000. In 2020 6 of the 7 sales above $500,000 occurred in the second-half of the year.

    In the first-half of 2021, 42 of the 55 sales above $100,000 were in .com. The country codes accounted for 9 of the major sales, while .net and .org had 2 each.

    The Fine Print

    The data for this study came from the NameBio database, and does not include all domain name sales.The impact of which venues report to NameBio is important to keep in mind.

    The 2021 data were accessed July 1, 2021. It is likely that the actual numbers for the six month period will be slightly higher, due to reporting delay for some sales. I accessed on the same date for last year’s report, however, so the results across years are consistent.

    NameBio reported sales are a mix of wholesale and retail transactions. This mix is particularly troublesome for average prices, where one is computing an average based on two different populations. Also, some extensions have strong wholesale markets while in others almost all reported sales are retail.

    Apparent conclusions may not always be correct. For example, if the number of sales in an extension go up, it might mean that there is increasing interest in the extension. However, alternatively it could reflect lagging interest, resulting in liquidation of holdings.

    For some of the extensions covered, the actual number of sales is small and therefore changes may simply reflect statistical fluctuation rather than authentic trends.


    Here are links to the NamePros Blog articles for the similar report in previous years.
    So what changes are happening in the domain market in 2021 from your perspective? Please share in the comments section.


    Sincere thanks to NameBio for the amazing domain sales resource used for this analysis.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 99th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (30)

  6. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandableInsider.com PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Fantastic compilation of relevant data! Thanks Bob!
     
  7. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Top Contributor VIP

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  8. Maximinus

    Maximinus Established Member

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    Thak you, @Bob Hawkes !
    Says it all!
     
  9. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    Thanks for the data. Brilliant as usual.
     
  10. kandyan

    kandyan Top Contributor VIP

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  11. Maximinus

    Maximinus Established Member

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  12. stevo

    stevo Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great news for us all. I am sure that the pandemic hastened the inevitable transition to online for many businesses. The realization for those who hadn't taken the plunge into an online presence has forced them to obtain a domain/website and keep up with the competition.
     
  13. marijuanadomain

    marijuanadomain Established Member

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    COM Remains King

    really?? wow!! learn something new...
     
  14. redemo

    redemo Established Member

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    That's music to my ears @Bob Hawkes! Another robust column, sir. Cheers.
     
  15. Windoms

    Windoms Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks @Bob Hawkes
    What is the number of sales along with the dollar volume for .co?
     
  16. silentg

    silentg Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for the detailed post.
     
  17. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    For 2021 .co 561 sales, $2758 average price, $1.547 million volume
    In 2020 the comparable sales number for .co was 238 for the six month period. In 2019 it was 162.
    Thanks for comment and question!
    Bob
     
  18. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I just did a quick tally, 50.5% by number of sales (but I think it is really a bit higher, as a few under marketplaces are also hers if the marketplace reported them directly).

    The statistics are not mine but from NameBio who require verification for each sale that is not directly reported from a trusted source such as Sedo. The .xyz sales from this seller were all (I believe) from major well-known marketplaces Afternic, Sedo, DAN, SquadHelp. As a further proof, she provides verification of each sale through her social medial. How could these be more verified or trusted? On NameBio and in many cases DNJournal, from major trusted marketplaces, proof of sale provided.

    It is always true that those who are expert within a niche have much higher sell-through rates. From Dofo Advanced Search for number for sale in .xyz, and knowing the approximate size of her portfolio, she has perhaps 8% of the .xyz currently listed for sale on marketplaces. It is not surprising that the most accomplished domain investor in the niche sells at a higher rate than the 8% she holds. It simply is the fact that many domain names in the extension are registered by others at the deeply discounted first year rate, sometimes without adequate research because the money involved is not much, then let expire after one year. If you look with Dofo at names for sale this is obvious. This pulls down the overall sell-through rate. By contrast, she knows the .xyz market, researches better, holds for multiple years, asks strong prices, and gets results. The same is true for others who specialize in different niches. She also got into it several years ago, when better names were available. There is no mystery here.

    Other measures, such as web use as measured by Cisco Umbrella statistics or Alexa 1M sites have also indicated that .xyz use is growing. The aftermarket sales volume of .xyz, although much higher than 2 years ago, is, of course, still small compared to that of the big 3 legacy extensions, io, or .co.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Maybe keep reading past that section to learn something new in the later parts :xf.cool:.
    I knew .io was having a great 6 months, but did not actually realize how great until I ran the numbers.

    But yes, the numbers support that most of the market is still .com. I like to sometimes state the obvious! :xf.grin:

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
  20. Maximinus

    Maximinus Established Member

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    Thank you for the additional highlights, @Bob Hawkes !

    Over 50% of the number can mean anything from 50% to 90% of the volume of sales. What I meant is that .xyz is not every investor. I am not questioning any sale.
    As a domain collector I find your article very usefull and inspirational.
    Keep up your great work!

    Greetings
     
  21. Jason Baudendistel

    Jason Baudendistel CEO Wibbets Inc

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    Really great informative data, thanks Bob
     
  22. marijuanadomain

    marijuanadomain Established Member

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    COM Remains King

    no Sh*&^it Sherlock!!

    Give me something that we don't know.
     
  23. Ariff BD

    Ariff BD Restricted (15-30%)

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    I have decided i will renew my wrestling.gg & vaccine.vc
     
  24. DuDD

    DuDD Established Member

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  25. LeDomain

    LeDomain Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for the compilation

    "The future seems bright for India’s .in, with a much stronger average sales price of $2403 in 2021. As a result dollar volume was up 18%"

    Indeed, I think India is just scratching the surface in terms of domain name pricing.
     
  26. Grego85

    Grego85 Fire.Horse VIP

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    Exciting times in the mass domain universe!

    It seems there is no end to the potential and the opportunities out there with so many extensions and niches. The digital transformation of the world is very much upon us.

    I don't really care what extensions you invest in, just go out there and be a part of the domainiverse!
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2021
  27. The Durfer

    The Durfer Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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  28. jim h

    jim h Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Think you sir,always great!
     
  29. mobilespecialists

    mobilespecialists Upgraded Member Gold Account

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