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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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.