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Bob Hawkes

Domain Sales Strong in First Half of 2019

By Bob Hawkes, Jul 17, 2019
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    The first half of 2019 has been great for domain sales with the rate of NameBio-reported sales up 28% and the average price up almost 17% compared to full year 2018. The sales rate is up in all three major legacy extensions .com, .net, and .org, although average prices are down in .net and almost unchanged in .org.

    The rate of sales in .ai is strongly up. Several other country code extensions (such as .co and .de) continue to have high average sales prices. The .me extension is up in both sales rate and average price.

    Sales in new domain extensions taken as a whole are down just over 30%, although the average price is up slightly to about $4000.

    Sales Numbers

    I used the NameBio database to look at how the rate of domain sales in the first half of 2019 compares with 2018. There are possible seasonal variations so we would not expect the full year to necessarily follow the trend of the first 6 months.
    • In the first 6 months of 2019, there were about 53,200 NameBio-recorded sales across all extensions, compared to 82,900 in all of 2018. If that rate continues for the rest of 2019, we will see a year-over-year increase of 28%.
    • Since .com dominates the aftermarket, the .com-only numbers are also very healthy: about 46,000 sales in the first half of 2019 compared to 70,000 in all of 2018, or an increase of just over 31%.
    • The number of sales in .net is up almost 22% with 1,482 sales in the first 6 months of 2019 compared to 2,432 for the full year 2018.
    • Sales in .org are up by almost 23% to 2,651 sales in the first half of 2019.
    • Sales in the .info extension are down 5% with just 123 sales in the first 6 months compared to 259 in 2018.
    • Sales across all new domain extensions combined are down 31% in the first half of 2019 with 507 sales in the six month period compared to 1,474 in all of 2018.
    • If we look at all country code extensions, the number of sales is up almost 12%, but that hides some huge differences across individual country codes.
    • The sales rate is down in the .cc, .co, .de, and .io domain extensions, but it's up in .ai, .me, and .tv.
    • While there were 340 sales in the .io extension in the first half of 2019, the rate is down over 26% compared to the 921 sales in the extension in all of 2018.
    • While .ai reporting changes may partially account for the difference, the rate of sales in the .ai extension is substantially up (more than 375%) with 745 sales in just the first 6 months of 2019 compared to 311 in all of 2018.

    Average Prices

    I also took a look at how average prices during the first six months of 2019 compared to 2018.
    • Across all extensions, the average NameBio-reported domain sales price was about $1545 in the first six months of 2019, up almost 17% from the 2018 average of $1323.
    • If we look at .com alone, the increase is even more significant with a 26% increase from $1582 compared to $1256 in 2018.
    • Average .net prices are down almost 22% from $722 compared to $924 in 2018.
    • There is almost no change in average .org prices at $844 during the first six months of 2019.
    • Perhaps surprisingly, average .info extension sales prices are up by 21% to $787, although the number of sales is limited.
    • The new domain extensions saw the average sales price up slightly to $4020 from $3878 in 2018. Notably, many of the higher-priced sales were sold directly from the registry that owns the domain extension ("registry sales").
    • If we look at country-code extensions in total, the average price is down almost 17%, although the average is still strong at $1923, higher than the major legacy extensions.
    • While the number of sales in the .ai extension has increased substantially, the average price in .ai is down 62% to $531 compared to $1416 in 2018.
    • While .co prices are down slightly in the first six months of 2019, the $2272 average price is still higher than most other extensions.
    • The .de extension remains strong, with an average price of $5170 in the first 6 months of 2019 compared to $4576 in 2018.
    • While it seems to have largely passed under the domain radar, the .me domain extension is having a good 2019. Not only is the rate of sales in the extension up more than 21%, but the average price is also up by almost 55% to $1504 in the first half of 2019 compared to $972 in 2018.

    Sales Data

    I used the NameBio database for these comparisons. It's worth noting that not all venues report to NameBio (e.g. Afternic, DAN/Undeveloped, Efty sites, and most private sales are not reported). Also, even though I used data for sales $100 and up, there will still be a mix of wholesale and retail transactions in the sample. Furthermore, some sales are reported well after the sale, and occasionally a sale may be removed, so the precise numbers will vary slightly depending on when you access the database. The lower-than-average prices and higher-than-usual sales numbers (rate) that we are seeing in .ai may reflect more domainers investing in domain names related to artificial intelligence.

    What Is Your Experience?

    Please share in the comments section your own experience on how good the first half of 2019 has been.

    Also, do you have plans to change your domain investing strategy as a result of the trends you are seeing? For example, are you encouraged by the strong sales and prices in the first half of 2019 and thinking about increasing your domain investments, or are you changing your weighting in different country-code extensions?

    Hat tip to Michael Sumner (@Michael), CEO of NameBio, for creating and maintaining the domain sales data 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 1st blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
  5. Comments (49)

  6. dande

    dande Premium Domain Auctions VIP

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    I think the first half ended strongly for many domain investors. I managed to pull few sales so far at x,xxx, unlike last year that I averaged xx,xxx around same time.

    Thanks @Bob Hawkes for the post
  7. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Excellent article, Bob!! Thanks for compiling this data for us to ponder :)
  8. MadAboutDomains

    MadAboutDomains Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  9. offthehandle

    offthehandle . VIP

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    Thanks Bob. Lots of work to compile this and share.

    Since there were so few (507), It would be nice to see a follow up with the entire list of which ones sold and for how much. Once that data is known, then see how many are speculator domainer sales versus end users which have websites on them. That would go a long way as to proving or disproving the constant arguing here and real market for them since there is so much promotion here on this forum by certain people.

    Curious about .best since we had that thread created here by its owner. Also if any Emoji’s sold or were on that list.

    Again, nice post.
  10. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    Thanks Bob!

    "Sales in new domain extensions taken as a whole are down just over 30%, although the average price is up slightly to about $4000."

  11. Bonsu

    Bonsu Top Contributor VIP

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  12. Embrand

    Embrand Top Contributor VIP ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great stuff, and very encouraging! Thanks.

    Very surprised by the .me extension doing so great as well. I thought this extension was more or less forgotten except as a ccTLD.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  13. Laguna

    Laguna Top Contributor VIP

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    Well coming up to month 17 and still never had a sale. Do my names suck ? Probably. I've looked at namebio daily for the past 17 months and can't fathom why most of those names sell and yet I can't sell just one. It's very hard to stay motivated. Of course I haven't got or but I'm sure I have some that hold a little value. How do I check that there isn't some kind of black mark against me or my IP address ?
    Btw, about 98% of my domains are .com
    So to summarize, no it's not been a good 17months for me but I hold out hope.
    I would love to be more constructive but until I have made my first sale I can't say anything positive about domain sales.
  14. NameAgency

    NameAgency Top Member PRO VIP

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    Thanks for the work to summarize data. Please, keep posting.
  15. wwwulff

    wwwulff Top Contributor VIP

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  16. ET76

    ET76 Top Contributor VIP

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  17. Dave

    Dave Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Please share your domains in appraisal section and I'll be happy to help point you in the right direction.

    Thanks a lot to @Bob Hawkes for a fantastic article here.
  18. Aryan B

    Aryan B Top Contributor VIP

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  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Thank you for all of the positive comments, everyone.
    Here are quick responses to a few points...
    I do hope to do such an analysis, looking at TLDs, prices, venues, registry/nonregistry, and type of domain (i.e. 1/2 word, number, acronym, etc.). Of course I hope to do more than I do do, so we will see :xf.wink:.

    Re .best there were none in the data set (although there were a few sold just under the $100 mark this term, also some more substantial sales have been mentioned but are not in NameBio which this is based on. I did not look at emoji, but I would think most would be in .ws and not in new extensions. I recall on Twitter that DNAcademy did a post on recent emoji sales.

    Yes, definitely not great news for new gTLD investors although should keep a couple of things in mind. 2018 was a strong year, so that is the comparison. There was a large number of $200 (approx) sales on Flippa in summer 2018 in several TLDs including mainly new and that made the 2018 number of sales large. This blip in sales only lasted a few weeks, and it is not clear what it was about. Finally, while I have not studied this carefully, I think a fair amount of the drop is due to a smaller number of .top sales (there still are a lot, but not the same rate as 2018).

    I'm sorry your sales have not yet started Gary. Re black mark, I believe you have them listed on marketplaces, right, so your IP would not come into it? If you do mean your own website, there are place to check I think if you Google search. Others may be able to give more specific advice.

    Thanks to everyone for reading and your comments and likes/thanks.

    I hope that you all have a very successful second half of 2019 in your domain investing!

  20. Laguna

    Laguna Top Contributor VIP

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    Hi Bob, yes I have them at market places including afternic, Sedo,, squadhelp, Twitter, Facebook,
    As an experiment because nothing was happening I even put
    NaturalHempExtract //com on one of the big market places @ 20 bucks for 3 months and not a single enquiry or offer which I found strange . Hence the question is something wrong. It's got to be worth that, right ?
    I've let 160 drop so far, just to clean up the portfolio but it's made no difference. Anyway enough ranting from me. Just getting it off my chest.
  21. MikeHawk

    MikeHawk Established Member

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    Very useful intel. Thanks a lot.
  22. Chic Trader

    Chic Trader New Member

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    I like it! Thanks Bob! perhaps you will like: :xf.wink:
  23. eurorealtor

    eurorealtor VIP

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    Thank you Bob! You saved us a lot of time by making the research.

    Yes, I won't probably renew my last remaining newTLDs with overpriced renewal I still hold since the early days.
  24. Domaining Ocean

    Domaining Ocean Top Contributor VIP

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  25. elevator

    elevator VIP

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    That was a great research. Thanks
  26. NameSellingcom

    NameSellingcom Established Member

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    NameBio not having Afternic/GoDaddy data is a big negative IMO. Majority of sales are through Afternic or GoDaddy Auctions (non-expiring). That's where most of my sales come from.
  27. Super-Annuation

    Super-Annuation Restricted (Market)

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    Just curious as to whether you place them on the 7 day public auction or feature them? I've not had a lot of success on GodadGo (probably due to my strategy to say politely) and wondering what the secret is.
  28. NameSellingcom

    NameSellingcom Established Member

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    Buy It Now with Make an Offer option.

  29. Super-Annuation

    Super-Annuation Restricted (Market)

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    This is what I've been afraid to do incase they're worth more. A price ceiling it is.

    Thanks mate
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