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NameSilo
The European Economic Area (EEA) includes the European Union (EU) plus countries from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EEA has a combined population of more than 540 million, and a GDP of more than $16 trillion. The .eu country code domain extension for the region would seem to have great potential. I take a look at the sales record and regulations around the extension.

History of Extension

The .eu extension was approved in 1999, and regulations to support it were enacted in 2002. The delegation process with ICANN was completed in 2005, with a sunrise period late that year followed by a launch during the first half of 2006.

The Domnomics book by @jmcc has a good section on the history, and challenges, of the .eu extension.

Who Can Register .EU?

To register a .eu domain name you must meet one of the following conditions:
  • You represent an organization established in one of the European Union Member States; or Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.
  • You are an individual residing in one of the European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway, or a citizen of one of the European Union Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway.
The three listed countries are part of the EFTA, but does not include Switzerland, also an EFTA country, that has not ratified the agreements.

The .eu extension is managed by EURid. See their site for additional information.

Registrations

The .eu is one of the more registered country code domain extensions.

The most recent EURid quarterly report indicates a slight dip to just below 3.685 million registrations. Over a longer period, growth in number of registrations has been just over 4% per year. Renewal rate for the extension is a very healthy 79%.

DomainNameStats data indicate .eu is the 12th most registered extension, and the 8th most registered country code, after .cn, .de, .uk, .nl, .ru, .br and .fr.

Annual Sales Trends

I first looked at all ($100+) sales of .eu from the NameBio database. The number of sales per year is shown below.

IMAGE-NumberYr.png


It can be seen that since 2012 the number of aftermarket sales in the extension has dropped significantly, although there is an indication of a slight upward tick in 2021.

The dollar volume may be a better indicator. The volume has also gone down since the early years of the extension, although edging up recently.

IMAGE-VolumeYr.png


The average sales price of an .eu aftermarket domain varies from a low of $1474 in 2008 to a high of $9260 in 2006. In all other years, the average price was from $1750 to $4250.

Keep in mind that NameBio data is only from certain sales venues, and probably represents about 20% of all retail sales. Also, there have been changes in what is reported at NameBio over the years, so it is risky to depend too much on apparent annual trends.

Sales Analysis Last Five Years

To see the type of domain names that sell, I used the NameBio database to look at sales of .eu domain names from the previous 5 years effective Aug 7, 2021. To isolate mainly retail sales, I only considered sales of $1000 or more.

This resulted in a set of 252 sales over the 5 year period. They ranged in price up to just over $43,000. Ten of the sales from the last 5 years were above $15,000, and 21 were at prices of $10,000 or more.

For each name, I placed it in one of the following categories.
  • single word name in any language
  • 2 word name in any language
  • 3 word name
  • alphanumeric
  • acronym – these were not strictly only acronyms, as I used the term for any 3L or shorter name that was not a word
  • names – I included first or last names, as well as place names
  • brandables – while many names could be a brand I reserved the designation for names that seemed made up or adapted
IMAGE-Type.png


Not surprisingly, 39.3% of the names were single word, with 23.8% 2-word names. Another 15.5% were very short, designated acronym in my classification. Only 2 names were alphanumeric, and none were numeric. About 8.3% were names. I was surprised that only 2 names contained hyphens.

For each of the single word domain names, I used Google Translate to determine language. I simply went with the language indicated in Detect Language. Clearly other language associations were possible in many cases.

IMAGE-Language.png


Given the many languages that exist in the European region, I was surprised by the dominance of English in the domain names. More than 61% of the single word names were English. German was the second most popular language.

The vast majority of the sales were at just three venues, Sedo, Dan and Golem.eu. However, keep in mind sales from many venues are not reported to NameBio.

IMAGE-Venue.png


I next looked at the lengths of domain names. The $1000 plus .eu sales over the last 5 years ranged from 2 to 17 characters, with the majority of sales for domain names 11 characters or less.

Image-Length.png


Overall Sell-Through Rate

Clearly the number of .eu sales is minuscule compared to .com or other legacy extensions, or popular country codes like .io and .co. That does not, necessarily, mean that the probability of sale is also low.

One can use Dofo Advanced Search to calculate the number of domain names actively for sale in any extension. Then combining that with NameBio sales data, calculate an industry-wide sell-through rate for the extension.

I did this using the annual average number of .eu extension sales of $1000 plus from the past 5 years. Note that this is an underestimate, since many retail sales are not reported in NameBio. I applied a correction of a factor of 5 for unreported retail sales, to obtain an estimated sell-through rate of 0.091% for .eu.

Keep in mind the various assumptions and estimates, but that would imply, if your portfolio was average in performance, and if you had a portfolio of 1000 .eu domain names, at the end of one year you would expect to sell just under 1 domain name at a price of $1000 or more.

The industry-wide sell-through rate does not necessarily apply to you, of course. You might have a fantastic name likely to sell this year, or names that are worse than the average held by domain investors, and are unlikely to ever sell.

For comparison, I did calculations using exactly the same procedure ($1000 plus sales from last 5 years) for several other extensions. The sell-through rate for .com was more than 4 times higher, at a corrected value of 0.396%. Similar calculations for the .co extension indicated a lower sell-through rate than .com, but at 0.174% still almost double the .eu rate. However, the .de and .co.uk extensions had sell-through rates only slightly better than .eu, at 0.116% and 0.142%. Of course it is possible that the fraction of unreported sales is different for different extensions.

Major All-Time .EU Sales

These are the highest-value .eu domain name sales all-time recorded in the NameBio database.
  1. hotels.eu $329,509 (2006)
  2. shopping.eu $196,803 (2006)
  3. games.eu $95,850 (2009)
  4. apotheke.eu $81,070 (2008)
  5. ITjobs.eu $62,168 (2016)
  6. fab.eu $46,900 (2011)
  7. OnlineCasino.eu $46,748 (2006)
  8. blackjack.eu $45,000 (2009)
  9. FBS.eu $43,023 (2017)
  10. forum.eu $42,500 (2018)
The NamePros .EU Discussion

There is a relatively short NamePros .EU Showcase and Discussion.

You can see all NamePros content tagged with .eu at this link.

Use of .EU

DomainNameStats report about 1280 .eu sites in the Alexa 1M.

When I looked at Cisco Umbrella measures of web use for different extensions, .eu placed 24th overall, and the 17th highest use for a country code extension.

EURid provide success stories of .eu domain names in use, along with an explanation of using characters from any European language in .eu domain names.

Brexit and a 2022 Opportunity

When the United Kingdom left the EU, their businesses and individuals lost the ability to hold .eu domain names, unless they also had EU resident status or were using a name for an organization with status in EU or EFTA.

There was a transition period, but effective in 2022 the names lost will be made available for registration. This may represent a buying opportunity for those eligible to hold .eu. This document gives the details, including dates, for the transition.

Costs

The .eu extension is relatively inexpensive to register, with first year hand registrations often discounted. You can track registration, renewal and transfer prices at TLD LIST.

I urge readers to share in the discussion their own experiences and opinions regarding the extension.



Special thanks to a reader for suggesting that I do an analysis of the .eu domain extension. Thanks to NameBio, DomainNameStats and Dofo for tools used in this analysis, and to EURid for various helpful resources related to the .eu extension.
 
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

redemo

Established Member
Impact
1,738
Good post Mr. Bob. There's only a handful of .eu domain names that I would consider buying. These include leave.eu, goodbye.eu, cheerio.eu, farewell.eu and notin.eu. Oh wait, as a U.K. resident I wouldn't be able to register a .eu domain name. Life really sucks. Oh wait again there are 340,000 .eu domain names registered to U.K. residents. Bet EUrID finds a loophole. https://medium.com/e-residency-blog...-anywhere-or-keep-it-after-brexit-b630d893f13
 

Dot.us

Restricted (15-30%)
Impact
3,033
Good post Mr. Bob. There's only a handful of .eu domain names that I would consider buying. These include leave.eu, goodbye.eu, cheerio.eu, farewell.eu and notin.eu. Oh wait, as a U.K. resident I wouldn't be able to register a .eu domain name. Life really sucks. Oh wait again there are 340,000 .eu domain names registered to U.K. residents. Bet EUrID finds a loophole. https://medium.com/e-residency-blog...-anywhere-or-keep-it-after-brexit-b630d893f13
True
I konw a bunch of premium .eu names that change hands from original owner to some one resident in EU
Of course the original owner own the names they probably just sign some documents or by trust if are closed friends
 
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Impact
2,505
It is a curious ccTLD, Bob,
It was intended to be an alternative to the .COM for European Union residents. The problem was that it launched in the middle of Domain Tasting bubble and the people who drafted the regulations hadn't a clue about what was happening in the industry. Many non-EU speculators(operations buying up tens of thousands of keyword domain names) and domainers used EU-based front companies to effectively get most of the English language keyword domain names the ccTLD. Eurid was a victim of the ccTLDs success and didn't have the enough staff to keep up with the problematic registrations.

The problem was that the level of non-EU speculation in the ccTLD effectively killed any natural growth and development. Small businesses effectively abandoned development plans and either concentrated on their original .COM or switched to their local ccTLD.

Where the .EU did well was in the Accession States (the Eastern European countries that joined the European Union after 2003.) The relatively low registration fee made it more attractive than .COM in these countries.

The Eurid press release about development levels in the ccTLD is rather optimistic and seems to include redirects to non-.EU websites as being native .EU websites. A 150K domain name web usage survey that I ran last month (August) had the following results.:

Content: 16.1%
Redirects: 24.43%
Templated content: 11.98% (PPC/Sales/Landers)
No content: 47.47% (No sites, no response, holding pages)

Approximately 7.68% of the domain names in the survey were on sale.

Many .EU registrants redirect their .EU to their primary brand ccTLD website in their local ccTLD or to their .COM site. It is a gateway ccTLD but it is very different from the .CO ccTLD. The high renewal rates are consistent with .EU being a trustworthy ccTLD.

The biggest mistake that novice domainers make with the .EU is in targeting English language keyword domain names. The UK left the European Union and the only other country primarily using the English language is Ireland. The UK market, even though it still has a share of the .EU registrations is overwhelmingly .UK focused (over 10M registrations). The Irish market is overwhelmingly .IE focused (over 300K registrations at prices up to $35 or so). There are only about 10K .EU registrations hosted on Irish web hosters.

The German market is the biggest player in .EU but most of those registations are historical (more than 1 year old). The EU has over 27 languages so domaining is not limited to a single language and as with any ccTLDs, .COM rules may not apply.

Regards...jmcc
 
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Good post Mr. Bob. There's only a handful of .eu domain names that I would consider buying. These include leave.eu, goodbye.eu, cheerio.eu, farewell.eu and notin.eu. Oh wait, as a U.K. resident I wouldn't be able to register a .eu domain name. Life really sucks. Oh wait again there are 340,000 .eu domain names registered to U.K. residents. Bet EUrID finds a loophole. https://medium.com/e-residency-blog...-anywhere-or-keep-it-after-brexit-b630d893f13
I agree. I owned a 2 character .EU and sold it a month after sunrise. That article... as always with things relating to the EU the propaganda machine is at play. Fanatics going to be fanatics:

Companies proudly use it (.EU) when conducting business (both across Europe and the world) because it indicates their pan-European presence and their adherence to the EU’s legal frameworks, which can provide greater trust to customers and partners.

Seriously cringe and laughable. No it doesn't provide greater trust to customers and partners... Instead the EU highly regulates every aspect of life (badly.. cookie banners anyone?) and prevents normal people from getting into a lot of markets because of their over bearing set of rules. Big corps love it and nobody else, because it means you can't start a business without a lot of capital and knowledge of their bs legal frameworks. It's protectionist, like their domain name extension.

and the people who drafted the regulations hadn't a clue about what was happening in the industry.
Or any industry for that matter, or their own affairs, peoples, cultures and care even less... They know more about other people's affairs than their own unless it's to the detriment of their own inhabitants.

I'll stick to .UK and other truly global/inclusive domain names extensions like .COM, .ME, .IO...

A search for .UK returns over 2 billions results on Google and .EU returns under 662 million results. We're a tiny island compared to what is supposed to be represented by .EU so it kinda gives you an idea about how it's going (search for site:.ext)...

Thanks for the great rundown/article Bob, this rant obviously isn't directed at you ☺️.
 
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zeff

Established Member
Impact
181
Many thanks Bob for another great article.

Dot coms and each country CC are still very trusted by consumers compared to .eu.

As european citizen (France) i'm more attracted by a .com or a .fr if i search for a website.

But i do trust the .eu for one thing: It is about the websites runned by the European Union administration.

My opinion is that .eu has a limited impact for business and i don't see any positive improvement in the future. But regarding the European administration, i think the .eu is and will be stronger, like a .gouv for a country.
 

td11

Established Member
Impact
657
My sales are most .eu. This extension contains about 80% of my portfolio. EU extension is growing.
This is why I invest in this extension.

Companies always want to grow. And if you are in the EU country, it is wise to expand in another EU country to grow. For example, if you are a company in Belgium and you want to expand to other European countries then the .eu is the best choice. Otherwise, you have to buy every extension from every country. You are already seeing companies starting to use .eu. EU rules are becoming easier so that you can easily trade in different EU countries. One of the examples is the mini One Stop Shop system (MOSS). This allows you to file a VAT return in your own country for another eu country.

More .eu domain names are sold than you see on Namebio because they are not listed there. This is because many .eu domain names are sold on Dan.com. Dan.com does not disclose its sales on Namebio. One of the major sellers of .eu domain names sells its portfolio through Dan.com. They have a large .eu portfolio. Before the privacy option came on Dan.com I followed through the site which names were sold and then I saw that they were selling .eu domain names almost every day (sometimes a few names per day). After the option came up not to share your sales I couldn't see it anymore because the seller chose this option.

In 2020 I sold 21 .eu domain names (18 of these were sold through Dan.com) for a total price of approximately € 26,000. The lowest was 92 euros and the highest 5200 euros. In November 2020 I had sold a .eu domain name through Dan.com with 60 installments for a price of mid XX.XXX but the buyer only paid the first installment. The 2nd installment had not been paid, so the transaction was canceled. The domain name is now for sale again.

What I see is that now more companies outside the EU are also make offer and buying the .eu domain names.

See my response about .eu extension in other thread.

The domain name
fab.eu
is for sale!
Listed by
D.B.V. GMBH
Get this domain
Pay the full €9,999 now, or select Lease to Own

Buy now
€9,999

The seller mentioned here is one of the major sellers of .eu extension. They operate under three different company names. They have really good .eu domain names in their portfolio. They sell the most via Dan.com, that's why we don't see that many sales of .eu domain names on namebio, while there are sold daily (sometimes a few pieces per day).

So far this year I have sold 14 .eu domain names for a total price of around €18,000. There were also many non-payers (legitimate buyers) this year, otherwise this number would be more.
 

Mr. Deleted

Slabaugh.com 800-266-2728
Impact
978
The seller mentioned here is one of the major sellers of .eu extension. They operate under three different company names. They have really good .eu domain names in their portfolio. They sell the most via Dan.com, that's why we don't see that many sales of .eu domain names on namebio, while there are sold daily (sometimes a few pieces per day).
You should realize that thats the name that is mentioned below as having sold for 46,900 in the past, so why sell it for 10K?
  • hotels.eu $329,509 (2006)
  • shopping.eu $196,803 (2006)
  • games.eu $95,850 (2009)
  • apotheke.eu $81,070 (2008)
  • ITjobs.eu $62,168 (2016)
  • fab.eu $46,900 (2011)
  • OnlineCasino.eu $46,748 (2006)
  • blackjack.eu $45,000 (2009)
  • FBS.eu $43,023 (2017)
  • forum.eu $42,500 (2018)

The domain name
fab.eu
is for sale!
Listed by
D.B.V. GMBH
Get this domain
Pay the full €9,999 now
 

td11

Established Member
Impact
657
You should realize that thats the name that is mentioned below as having sold for 46,900 in the past, so why sell it for 10K?
They have over 60.000 .eu domain names. I think they want to sell faster. And just because a domain name has already sold for 47k doesn't mean it can be sold again for the same price. Everyone prices their domain names differently.

Shopping.eu sold for $196,803 but the domain name status is "withdrawn" because of brexit. Owner has not changed the address to other eu country or used a trustee.
 
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Impact
2,505
Shopping.eu sold for $196,803 but the domain name status is "withdrawn" because of brexit. Owner has not changed the address to other eu country or used a trustee.
There were some very odd "sales" of .EU domain names in 2006 that may not have been sales but rather attempts to create the illusion of a vibrant market.

The .EU launched without a facility to transfer domain names so the usual landrush flurry of sales did not happen. The ccTLD was also plundered to the extent that it lost credibility as an "EU" ccTLD. Many of those who built portfolios in the sunrise and landrush phases ended up dumping them over the subsequent five years.

The .EU ccTLD is not really growing through natural means. There is a bubble in Portuguese registrations. They increased by 61.55% during the second quarter of 2021. The registration numbers in various EU countries have been remarkably stable for the last ten years or so and its lower than .COM price point hasn't changed much. The reason for the stability is that most registrations are brand protection registrations and are either redirected to the registrant's primary brand website in another TLD or are unused. Genuine sales are taking place but with the .EU generally representing less than 3% of the domain markets in each member country of the European Union, it is not a first choice or second choice TLD in these markets. Its web usage and development percentage (approximately 16%) is almost half that of genuine ccTLDs.

Regards...jmcc
 
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Mr. Deleted

Slabaugh.com 800-266-2728
Impact
978
There were some very odd "sales" of .EU domain names in 2006 that may not have been sales but rather attempts to create the illusion of a vibrant market.

The .EU launched without a facility to transfer domain names so the usual landrush flurry of sales did not hppen. The ccTLD was also plundered to the extent that it lost credibility as an "EU" ccTLD. Many of those who built portfolios in the sunrise and landrush phases ended up dumping then over the subsequent five years.

The .EU ccTLD is not really growing through natural means. There is a bubble in Portuguese registrations. They increased by 61.55% during the second quarter of 2021. The registration numbers in various EU countries have been remarkably stable for the last ten years or so and its lower than .COM price point hasn't changed much. The reason for the stability is that most registrations are brand protection registrations and are either redirected to the registrant's primary brand website in another TLD or are unused. Genuine sales are be taking place but with the .EU generally representing less than 3% of the domain markets in each member country of the European Union, it is not a first choice or second choice TLD in these markets. Its web usage and development percentage (approximately 16%) is almost half that of genuine ccTLDs.

Regards...jmcc
that reminds me, the only .eu i owned was the one I sold to Jay that used to own DomainTools. That name was foreigncurrencies.eu
 
Impact
2,505
that reminds me, the only .eu i owned was the one I sold to Jay that used to own DomainTools. That name was foreigncurrencies.eu
Jay was active with a front company in the landrush. Remember talking to him about it at the time. He just concentrated on the generics in the landrush.

Others had been using iffy Benelux "trademarks" to grab doms in the sunrise phases.

It would have been interesting what would have happened if an experienced registry (rather than the Belgian DNS.be) had been given the contract to run .EU ccTLD.

Regards...jmcc
 
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Kwikkie

Established Member
Impact
25
The .EU ccTLD is not really growing through natural means. There is a bubble in Portuguese registrations. They increased by 61.55% during the second quarter of 2021.

I don't know if this is an explanation, but I noticed a person/company from Portugal is buying a lot of dropped .eu names and selling them on Sedo.
 
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Impact
2,505
I don't know if this is an explanation, but I noticed a person/company from Portugal is buying a lot of dropped .eu names and selling them on Sedo.
This seems to be way beyond that. The .Portuguese .EU count grew by 61% in Q2. Eurid had been running discounting promotions in the Portuguese market. There has also been a .PT promotion where every newly registered business gets its own free .PT domain name allocated by the .PT registry for the first year. ( https://www.dns.pt/en/domain/3em1/ ) The problem with .EU is that it is not really a first choice or second choice TLD in most European Union companies as the local ccTLD and .COM generally represent of each over 80% of each country's market.

Regards...jmcc
 
Impact
2,505
Can a EU based company operate with only a .eu domain if .com is taken?
Yes (as long as there are no trademark issues) but the .EU is less than 5% of the domain name markets in most EU countries so it would be at a a significant disadvantage when it comes to branding and recognition.

Regards...jmcc
 
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