information Reporting Domain Name Sales

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Without reported domain name sales, we would all be operating in a blind fashion. This article covers the arguments for and against reporting domain name sales, as well as how to report domain name sales at the main venues.

Why Report Domain Name Sales?

Over the years there have been many discussions on the reasons to report sales, or not to report (see the list later in this article). Here are some arguments derived from those discussions, and elsewhere, in favour of reporting domain name sales.
  1. Investors need sales data to guide pricing and to provide comparators to use in negotiations.
  2. Seeing what has sold can help inform which domain names are worth acquiring.
  3. Sales, especially high-value sales, alert the business community that quality domain names are valuable assets.
  4. Reported sales help domainers in deciding what is a reasonable wholesale price.
  5. Analyses of reported sales data helps inform domain investing.
  6. Reported sales illustrate changing trends, sectors or extensions that are gaining or falling in value.
  7. As a broker or major seller, reporting your sales may help to establish your credentials and assist with future business.
  8. Seeing sales data can encourage domain investors, particularly when markets are down.
  9. It might help the buyer, drawing attention to a rebranding or new service.
@LoveCatchyDomains expanded on the last point:
There are benefits potentially to the buyer, especially if they are an end-user trying to launch a business or professional site. In effect, that creates additional advertising for their product or service launched on that website. Also, this may help stir up business for that particular web developer and web hosting service.

Reasons Not to Report Domain Name Sales

However, good arguments can be made to not report your domain name sales:
  1. Even if you are not prohibited from reporting a sale, some buyers may prefer if the price is not publicly reported. Potentially, reporting sales could hurt repeat business.
  2. Even if the buyer approves the sale being released, they may want it delayed, so their rebranding or startup is ready.
  3. On social media, and on NamePros, critics may seize on what they perceive as questionable sales, and try to unfairly tarnish reputations.
  4. If you are profiting from a niche, sharing sales data may increase competition.
  5. Some unethical sellers may chase the companies who have been recent buyers, spamming them.
  6. After a sale, you may also find that you, the seller, receives unsolicited spam about names.
  7. It may simply be the case that you don’t like attention drawn to you and your sales.
  8. Some view reporting of sales as ‘showing off.’
NamePros Discussions On The Topic

You will find additional reasons, pro and con, in the many NamePros discussions on the topic, such as the following:
Where To Report A Sale

The most important place to report a sale is NameBio. That is because your sale will be placed within a huge database, currently including 4.1 million sales totalling $2.4 billion. The sales reported at NameBio can be readily searched via a powerful and user-friendly interface. Also, @Michael takes the business of curation of domain name sales seriously and professionally.

If you sell names in the range they cover, $2000 and up, it is also important to report the sale to DNJournal, edited by @Ron Jackson. Since 2003, DNJournal has been the must-read set of reports on domain name sales, and listing there will get your sale viewed by many. Note that DNJournal do not automatically pull sales from NameBio, so it is important to list both places.

It can help the community if you report sales here on NamePros. By reporting here, you can add details that are not part of the more concise NameBio or DnJournal record, such as where and when you acquired the name, whether it was an inbound or outbound sale, whether the price was buy-it-now or negotiated, etc.

If you wish, you can also report the sale at DNPric.es. Here is the link to the DNPric.es reporting form.

Some domain sales are also reported social media, mainly Twitter.

@TauseefKhan has a detailed list of where sales reports can be found.

Reporting Sales at NameBio

While NameBio automatically pulls results from a number of sites, including the Sedo and BuyDomains sales feeds, various domain auction sites, and many other sources, anyone can easily report their own domain names sales to NameBio.

Go to Report A Sale, fill in the form giving the domain name, price, date of sale, and the seller or venue, as well as your email for contact purposes. You must upload documentation showing proof of the sale.

It is important to make sure there is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or other restriction on reporting the sale.

Note that you can report the sale venue / seller as either the marketplace where the sale took place, or your own name or domain sales company or site.

The price should be reported as the gross price, prior to any commission deductions.

In terms of date of sale, don’t report a sale until it is clear the sale is complete and final. If the sale occurred within one week of the date you report it, use the reporting date. That will get the sale eligible for mention in the Daily Market Report. If you are reporting an older sale, use the actual date of the sale.

Note that lease-to-own sales are only reported after all payments complete, and the date should be given as the date of the final payment.

Of course, don’t report other people’s sales.

Although they pull sales under $100 from auction and a few other sites, privately reported sales must be $100 and up.

If you have other questions, read FAQs at the NameBio Report A Sale.

Reporting a Sale on NamePros

Unless there is something exceptional, such as a very large sale or name with special significance, you should not start a NamePros discussion thread just to report a single sale.

Rather, sales should be reported on the Report Completed Domain Name Sales Here. Here are a few guidelines:
  • Report only your own sales, not sales you read or heard about.
  • As title notes, these should be completed sales. Wait until the name has transferred and you have been paid.
  • You may wish to mask the name, for example by showing it in an image or by adding slashes, if you do not want the information to appear in searches.
  • As a minimum, include the domain name, price, and approximate date of the sale. Normally the venue is listed.
  • It is optional, but those reporting sales are encouraged to include other information, such as the hold time, whether inbound or outbound, etc.
  • You are permitted to report sales individually, one per post, or to include several sales in a single post. Make sure required information is included, however.
When reading the Report Completed Domain Name Sales thread, note that it is considered bad form to post things that are not sales in the discussion thread. Therefore, if you have questions, ask them in other discussion threads or through a direct message.

I realize domain name investors may find it interesting to know that a name sold for $5000 and was acquired for $15, but, when buyers see such information, surely it can be a negative for our industry. What do others think about including acquisition price when it is very low?

The Report Completed Domain Name Sales Here thread has almost 25,000 reports, with considerably more than that total domain name sales. It has been viewed more than 5 million times!

Reporting a Sale to DNJournal

The DNJournal has been reporting a selection of significant domain name sales since 2003. You can read about the DNJournal sales verification process, and report the sale using DNJournal contact information here.

DNJournal normally report sales $2000 and up, and only report straight sales for currency, not business+name sales, or sales involving another form of compensation such as shares, dividends or other assets.

Finding Social Media Reported Sales

There is a service, UnreportedSales.com that consolidates domain name sales reported on social media, or in other ways, including NamePros, but are not listed on NameBio. Access to UnreportedSales is free, under a donation model.

UnreportedSales has a clean search interface that allows search on the basis of name, venue, price, extension, length, etc. You can also sort the list according to various parameters, like price. A few days ago they added the ability to find names that had sold more than once.

Sales are reported right down to $9, although the majority of sales are in the $$$ and up range. A few of the sales are in the million dollar range.

Not all sales have complete information, for example venue does not appear for some sales. While there is, in most, but not all, cases, a hyperlinked source that allows you to assess the trustworthiness of the report, note that these sales have not gone through the verification process of sales that appear on NameBio or DNJournal.

Also, UnreportedSales list lease-to-own sales they find, whereas NameBio will not list them until payments are complete.

Some will, justifiably, complain about a service that takes sales, such as those in the NamePros thread, that were deliberately masked, and now makes them publicly viewable. Nevertheless, if trying to track down some additional comparator sales, you may well find this service a valuable tool.

You don’t report directly to them, but if you report your sales on Twitter, adding a tag to UnreportedSales will make sure they note the sale.

Even though UnreportedSales may provide some of the same benefits, I urge you to report sales to NameBio and/or DNJournal for reasons noted elsewhere.

Braden Pollock on Domain Name Sale Reporting

Braden Pollock is a successful seller at the high end of the domain market who regularly reports sales to NameBio and DNJournal. For example, in the DNJournal Top 100 sales of 2022, 7 of the listed sales are by his company, LegalBrandMarketing.

I reached out to @Braden Pollock to get his view on the question of reporting sales:
The value of reporting sales is to create a database of comparable sales. There's certainly an argument to be made that all domains are snowflakes so it's difficult to compare one to another. And I'll admit that the biggest issue is that reported wholesale deals skews the data - which has an opposite effect on the objective.
He went on to add regarding wholesale transaction information on NameBio:
As an investor, I want to see what prices names are wholesaling for. NameBio is an awesome tool for that, by they way. I just wish there was a way to limit access to expiry and wholesale sales data via a paid service. One that the general public won't be privy to.
But at the end of the day, I'd much rather have the DNJournal Top 100 to refer to a buyer than nothing at all.

Final Thoughts

There has been a recent troubling trend to report domain name sales only on social media, especially Twitter. In meany cases sales are reported without key information, such as the full domain name or price.

Even when a sale is completely reported on social media, it has not passed through third party authentication by NameBio or DNJournal.

Also, sales listed only on social media are not part of any database, and therefore can not be used in trend analysis, and not easily found when searching for comparators. Therefore, several key advantages of sales reporting are missing.

You may find the NamePros Blog article Tips to Expand Domain Name Comparator Sales Pool helpful.

I welcome comments on whether you report your sales, or not, and why.

For those who report, where do you typically report sales?

Where do you usually find information on domain name sales?

How important is a source of domain name sales data for your success as an investor?

Update, Feb 2, 2023:
For completeness, I added the section on UnreportedSales.

My sincere thanks for NameBio and DNJournal for the outstanding service they render as gatekeepers of trusted domain name sales data. I also thank all of those who report domain name sales, making my various data analyses over the years possible, and providing us all with information to guide our domain decisions. Special thanks to @Braden Pollock for promptly responding to my request for comment.
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Bob you stay coming with that great content and compelling topics.

I find what is the point of sharing the sale if the information is blurred out, it truly helps no one.
Also, reporting (by marketplaces) increases credibility of marketplaces (in more than one sense).
Sedo had a recent sales section on their homepage in the past, and it was useful.
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Without reported domain name sales, we would all be operating in a blind fashion.

there was a time, when sales were not being reported per se`,
and the operation and growth of the platform's future was bright.

though without them, one might not have much to analyze and write about
but it doesn't mean appealing domains, won't get offers anymore or that domains will stop selling.

as is, there are many names that sell which don't get reported,
and i haven't submitted any to a publisher in years.

if you think domainers will go blind without reporting sites, them imagine them without appraisal tools too!

I added an update mentioning UnreportedSales for those who may be unfamiliar with their service.
Thanks for your view @biggie, creatively expressed as always:xf.smile:. It is good to be reminded that there was a time, early on, when domain investors were successful without knowing much, if anything, about what others were selling.

That said, I would still hold that we are better off when we have information on the names that sell and their prices, even while recognizing that the majority of sales are probably not reported anywhere, and there are various biases and limitations in what we do know.

It is good to be reminded that there was a time, early on, when domain investors were successful without knowing much, if anything, about what others were selling.

i didn't say that we didn't know what others were selling or what they were buying.

if you were buying, there was a price point for certain categories, and the same for sellers.
so, there was information, growth, expansion and price increases, which all came as more people wanted to participate.
it's just that there was a period in time, before somebody like ron @Dnj decided to create a site to capture those sales and give some details.
after that door opened, then others walked thru and went deeper.

nowadays the information is so prevalent that you can't help but see price comparisons.
it's basically unavoidable if/when you're looking to backorder, buy from marketplace or browsing the forums.

the data is out there, and it's a convenient service when someone agg's it for you.

I generally don't report sales, but started to report a handful lately.

While there are reasons to report a sale, there are also reasons not to.

I will probably keep reporting a limited number in the future.

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Also, reporting (by marketplaces) increases credibility of marketplaces (in more than one sense).
Sedo had a recent sales section on their homepage in the past, and it was useful.
I agree entirely. I think marketplaces are missing out by not disclosing sales information. BuyDomains have a regularly scrolling list of names just sold, presume NameBio get their data from that, and if I was a buyer on their site I would be impressed that a dozen or more people today bought a domain name there.

In fact, if I was running a big marketplace, I would offer buyers a free service of promoting the new name in a rebrand or a startup through a short announcement on a part of the website, in a feed that was ideally sent out to the business news. Also, feeds on social media platforms like Twitter to accompany each announcement. Something like the following:

"Company EXAMPLE just acquired the domain name EXAMPLE.com at the NAME marketplace for a price of $$$$$. With the rebrand from their existing website at HiExample.biz, EXAMPLE plans to increase its global presence. The renaming also coincides with a major expansion of the company into additional product lines and markets.
EXAMPLE is a manufacturer of widgets, selling direct to consumer. Their entire supply chain is ethically sourced and environmentally responsible.
NAME marketplace has helped more than 20,000 businesses secure their name over the past 12 months. Reach out to see how we can help you."

AI could probably write it better :xf.wink: , but you get the idea!

What do you think?

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Marketplaces prefer not reporting , by default, because many/most sales seem to involve arbitrage (hidden commission). And I think most marketplaces are created for this reason: arbitrage, and selling their own names.
Making a marketplace popular among endusers, and among domainers, are different things. Both needed, but they don't need to be proportional. Connecting with endusers means connecting with registrars. Connecting with domainers means success stories, and reported sales would be the most important part of it. From enduser prespective, big sales don't mean success, but they would encourage spending more (toward a more fair price) on aftermarket domains.
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Really appreciate for this important contribution
It helps a lot understand prices.
I used to report sales, but then I got spammed by domainers wishing to sell their domains. They should contact the acquirers of these domains, rather than the sellers.

For example, if I sold casinobonus.net to a person or entity, and you own casinobonus.com or samekeywords.org/or .io./.de/.me/.co/co.uk/.us, then maybe contact the acquirer(s).
I'll be perfectly honest - the primary reason I share my sales is because I'm lonely. This is a solitary business and I rarely can share anything with anyone in meatspace - its either not interesting to them, or it feels like bragging. So I share a lot of my sales to help my virtual friends and to receive the dopamine hits from your kudos.

I'm also aware of how much value people like @twiki have given me by sharing theirs. Its invaluable for pricing domains to see real, end-user sales. So I want to return the favor.

Selfishly, there's nothing good about sharing them. I'm aware that once I share a sale that niche is going to be overfished immediately. But I do it anyway, because I feel a sense of community with you all.
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because I feel a sense of community with you all.
This is perhaps the very best reason to share sales. Thanks for explicitly saying it @okaydomains.

And I agree that we learn much from those who share a lot of sales, and I truly appreciate each of them.

Have a good day!

@Braden Pollock has a point in that expired auction sales should not be part of a general database. That information is not really useful for anyone - neither domainers nor end users. For me it's just noise at best, and at worst it can negatively affect negotiations if the potential buyer fixates on the fact that the domain had been acquired for $100 for example.
@Braden Pollock has a point in that expired auction sales should not be part of a general database. That information is not really useful for anyone - neither domainers nor end users. For me it's just noise at best, and at worst it can negatively affect negotiations if the potential buyer fixates on the fact that the domain had been acquired for $100 for example.
I have always had this thought for real. I wish Godaddy shares their end-user-sold domains instead of expired domain auction sales.
Any insight on how the domains that were sold (whether GoDaddy or elsewhere) were listed on that platform?Its unclear whether they are all auctioned as some appear on the drop list and some dont. How do we learn from their successful listing prcatice?
Thanks a lot, Bob. And also thanks to Namebio, DNJournal.
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Bob, thanks for info! Do you think me reporting sales at NameBio (you said it is most important place to report) of my hyphenated domains specifically will help me to get more sales? I do not see many hyphenated names on NameBio sold at my listing prices(stats screenshot below). Let's say I will report all those sales for last three-fours years {around between one and two hundred names I think, in $1k-$2k range, - is it not that many to make an impact}? I do post sales here on NP and Twitter though. Someone responded like I was creating competition in this niche by posting.
Good subject Bob. I report very few of my sales the last several years like 10% or less for many reasons one of which is predatory behavior of other domainers.

When I do report I delay the reporting by weeks or months. The Twitter reporting is a huge mess imo. Highly followed and liked domainers constantly report supposed sales with all info redacted. I don’t respect that on any level. If you have to or want to keep it to yourself then keep it to yourself. Easy.

This is called bragging and I personally don’t put any weight into unverified sales. Anyone can say they had a sale when no proof or details is required.

Others scrape and get partial unverified supposed sales and thats all they post. Other people’s supposed sales. You shouldn’t be reporting others sales without their permission if you were not party to it. Alot of unprofessional childish braggarts in our business.

The days of full details and decent amount of reporting seems to be over and I don’t particularly mind. It’s more helpful for newcomers than anyone else. I care about end use sales not wholesale which is easily gotten on NameBio.

After the rampant ugliness and battles regarding xyz sales I think alot of people decided to keep things to themselves and just got turned off by public engagement in this volatile niche.

If you know your names are good thats really all that matters in the long run.
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