analysis State of the Domain Name Business : A Typical Day

Spaceship Spaceship

Bob Hawkes

Top Member
I wonder if we could discuss whether these numbers are concerning.

  • The number of aftermarket domain name sales publicly recorded in NameBIo database varies a bit from day to day, but averaged over the past year is about 220 domain name sales per day on .
  • Clearly there are sales that never get reported on NameBio, either because of privacy agreements or because the sale happened on a venue that do not report, or they are below the $100 price cutoff for sales reported by NameBio. Some estimate that 20% of all sales over $100 are NameBio reported, suggesting perhaps 1100 domain name sales (over $100) per day in total over all marketplaces.
  • The total number of domain names for sale is order of magnitude 13 million on Afternic, just over 19 million on Sedo and several million on Undeveloped. Now clearly there are other marketplaces and sales privately, but not all of the above are unique listings, so probably the total number of domain names actively for sale is about 30 million. I accept that really more than that are in some sense for sale, but I think this number reflects those actively listed somewhere.
  • The number of domain names newly hand registered in a typical day is about 8800 (across all extensions).
  • The global number of new businesses that start each day averages roughly 50,000. I obtained this figure from a figure for China, and then scaled by the fraction of the world's population that China represents. Clearly it is just a rough number - maybe it is really 25,000 or maybe 70,00 but it is of the order.
I accept that all of these numbers are uncertain to some degree. Most of these businesses are probably just one or a few people. So what does this mean for us in the industry?
  1. Most businesses seem to be going some other route rather than purchasing or registering a second level domain (maybe Wix or a free domain name or use a Facebook page or blog or no web presence)
  2. There are many more new hand registrations than resales. Maybe indicator of domain investor speculation on names or many businesses choosing the best available name that can be hand registered. Why is that? I think as an industry we need to do better.
  3. If you accept my factor of 5 multiplier NameBio to real total sales over $100, it seems like in any one year 1 domain name in 75 will sell for $100 or more. That is similar but a bit better than the 1% many of us use, however maybe the 30 million for sale is too low.
This is already long so won't add more here, but I do have some opinions on what it means for us as an industry, and also links and notes for all the estimates used, in my blog post on it from this morning.


Thanks for reading (or not) :xf.smile:

Bob the Analyst (Bob the Builder was already taken :xf.wink: )

ps One more useful number (not yet in blog post): Wix passed 100 million active users in June of this year.
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
There has always been very little user demand for domains. Most domains have been sold between domainers. Now, you have an overcrowded marketplace with tons of overpriced names that domainers are finding it hard to pass off onto end-users.

I think you might be right about most names. I think the brandables have a better chance.

Since joining here I have been throwing out domains on my many facebook groups which is getting them noticed. I also advertised in one of our biggest advertising sites and got tonnes of replies. Unfortunately became lots of meetings.
Tons of Afternic and Sedo listings are obsolete... the domains which were dropped and are available but listed there.

I own one domain that I developed this year and is not for sale but listed on Sedo for €19,999 EUR by someone else.
I own one domain that I developed this year and is not for sale but listed on Sedo for €19,999 EUR by someone else.

Wow. That is really crazy!
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