What you can learn about domain trends by looking at expired domain auctions

One thing I’ve gotten in the habit of doing over the years is looking at the top 20 expired .COM names on Go Daddy auctions, NameJet, and other domain auctions sites. Without reserve pricing and all buyers knowing that the domain will sell to the highest bidder, auctions like this give incredible insight into the market, and what the market value is for names in popular categories. Here’s a glimpse into the domain market in December, 2015:

Go Daddy Auctions

Notice anything? Well there’s 5N .com’s going for over $9,000 and lots of activity on four character names like FYGC.com and PBXC.com, domains that would often get far less attention and command much lower prices. There are only three two-word .COMs in the top twenty which shows how this market has softened with investors. Notice that I said investors because if you’re bidding on an expired domain auction site you’re probably bidding against other Domainers. Sure, there are definitely some business owners that look at expired domains for their business but most of the time that’s not the case.

While this is boring review for experience domain investors (you can skip this post!) – to those starting-out this is a nugget I think you can’t live without. What you should appreciate about this is that you’re seeing real data showing what investors will pay for specific types of domain names, and what types of domain names are hot with investors right now. These prices can also help you determine the fully liquid value of your portfolio if you have names like you see in the list above.

You have no excuse though when it comes to missing a trend, or over-inflating the value of your domains, the data is there. Just remember, these are investor prices, selling to an end-user is a whole different ballgame. It’s a change, and these changes aren’t slowing down. Rewind a year or two and this list was filled with keyword rich domains like FlashCloud.com. Fast-forward five years from now and I think you’re going to see incredible activity in the domain aftermarket as consumers around the world get comfortable with new gTLDs. 

Next time you look at your portfolio and say, “that name is definitely worth $10,000” – just ask yourself if you’re really looking at liquid, “sell it today” prices, or dreamy end-user prices? Data like what I have listed above will keep you realistic with your expectations and hopefully in the end, help you make better investments in domain names that have real liquidity and generate meaningful returns.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Rober MacGuffie December 8, 2015, 10:43 pm

    To each his own. Take a look at today’s Sedo sales report for a different perspective.

    • Morgan December 10, 2015, 11:31 pm

      @Rober – agreed, Sedo definitely shows a different perspective should see higher sales prices since they are set by the seller. I see expired domains as a window into wholesale value. I can just about guarantee you that there are more end-users buying domains on Sedo than are buying expired domains on Go Daddy Auctions or Namejet.

  • todd December 9, 2015, 10:36 am

    “There are only three two-word .COMs in the top twenty which shows how this market has softened with investors.”

    That’s not true. it’s because the other spots that would normally be filled with this type of name are taken by the more popular numbers and 4 letters right now until the market shifts.

  • Robert MacGuffie December 9, 2015, 4:40 pm

    I guess it depends on which resource you’re looking at. This week’s Sedo sales report gives another view of market trends. You can also take a look at what’s hot at Flippa or Namejet.

  • brenda December 9, 2015, 11:29 pm

    Thanks – good post, it’s something we often forget. That’s a Namejet top 20 .com of current auctions, sorted by number of bids? Any other criteria in the filter?

  • Will December 11, 2015, 4:01 am

    Looking at how the market is right now makes me think if you have the 5n.coms and the 4L.coms you should be liquidating them now since you are probably making great profit based on the price you purchased them at.

    As for the keyword rich domains the time to buy is not because people will probably be going away from them and you can collect them left an right. Once the market shifts then you can cash in. Also when it comes to a company the keyword rich domains makes the most sense. The only way a 4L.com makes sense to me is if stands for something, some type of acronym.

    – Will

  • Oluwole December 18, 2015, 3:33 am

    Nice post. Eye opener for we newbies, thanks.

    • Morgan December 18, 2015, 8:26 pm

      @Oluwole – thanks, appreciate the positive feedback!


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