Where Are They Now? A Look At The Top Five Domain Sales of 2011

I always enjoy following what a new buyer does with a domain name. For me I always think there is something you can learn from one someone decides to do with a great domain name. I’ve been following the top five sales this year, checking-back periodically to see what’s going on and when a developed site/business is put on the name.

I’ve also found it interesting to see how long after purchase a name gets developed, and if the buyer takes any interim steps. Some buyers put-up mini-sites, others landing pages, and others are ready to go with a full-fledged business. It’s always painful to see a great domain with absolutely nothing on it, I think that at the bare minimum buyers should put a simple landing page with a text box for email addresses should people want to know more. Heck, even if the brand doesn’t exist yet, why would you not want to at the very least capture leads of potential customers?

Many SEO Pro’s that I’ve seen buy higher value names tend to immediately switch to a platform like WordPress and start pumping-out articles. They know that getting lots of good solid content on the domain is a great first step, and they’re usually building backlinks in the background to enforce the effort.

So today I thought it would be fun to look back at the top five domain sales (from DNJournal YTD Sales Chart) so far this year and see what’s going on. Let’s get started with a monster – Social.com.

1. Social.com (Sale Price: $2.6 million)

Social.com was sold on July 7th so the new owners haven’t had much time but I’m still surprised there isn’t just a basic landing page with an email capture form. That being said I am sure that big things are happening behind-the-scenes given the incredible potential of a name like this. Still – there has to be a nice amount of traffic coming to the site, why not just capture an email address, allow people to like you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter? This seems like a no-brainer to me!

2. DomainName.com (Sale Price: $1 million)

domain_name_comThis is a domain that I think is near and dear to all of our hearts, DomainName.com. The domain was purchased in May of this year and right now there is a basic registrar site on the name. I would imagine this is just up there right now to get some initial clients while they build-up the full site. Of course a registrar is a perfect fit for this name and it will be great to see where they go from here.

Unlike Social.com the owner here created a path to build customers and collect leads even while they’re building the final site. Still I think a Facebook fan page and Twitter button couldn’t hurt. There is definitely some nice type-in traffic coming to the domain and if someone doesn’t decide to register domains through the site they could at least become a fan or follow DomainName.com on Twitter.

3. Aktien.de (Sale Price: $725,000)

aktien_dot_deAktien.de, which means “Stocks” in German currently has an info product on it. This is actually a great way to monetize traffic and definitely a huge step up from having a basic parking page on the site. This also takes care of lead capturing as well since you can make a sale and capture the email address during the same transaction. As for the long-term plan for the site I’d imagine they’ll be putting something more substantial on this, but since the name was bought at the end of July this isn’t a bad way to start.

4. RunningShoes.com (Sale Price: $700,000)

running_shoesThis was a great purchase and is now a hot online business. The purchasers did a great job putting together a solid business and exactly what a consumer would want to find on this domain name. Really great call-to-action for the newsletter and social media buttons front and center. This is one of those deals where you absolutely know that $700,000 was a great deal for the buyer as I’d imagine they’ll do much more than that this year alone.

5. Puzzle.com (Sale Price: $500,000)

puzzle_dot_comPuzzle.com was purchased in May of this year and right now it’s just a blank white page with this tiny info box from Hensel Hosting. This is a great name with a ton of potential so I’m sure there are some very cool things going on behind-the-scenes here. My guess would be that they’ll launch this closer to Christmas to get some buzz and maybe take-place in the holiday shopping madness.

And there you have it – a quick look at what’s happening with the top five domain sales of this year. Stay-tuned and as always feel free to share your feedback. Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Leonard Britt September 27, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Quite often I check back months later to find a domain I sold with a SEDO parking page on it 🙂

  • Poor Uncle September 27, 2011, 12:32 pm

    Nothing beats porno.com. I love that story so much. Great domains suppose to make you money. Plug and play. Nothing to it. Can anyone of these names be able to plug and play, and make the domain owner anywhere close to $1 million a year?

  • Gnanes September 27, 2011, 12:34 pm

    these guys domains for million dollars and got no money for development.
    Ex: beer.com

  • Rick Latona September 27, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I had posted a similar article years ago and everyone gave me hell for it. If I look back at every name I’ve ever sold, I’d have to have a microscope to find the ones that had something meaningful done with them since.

  • Logan September 27, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Hey, 3 out of 5 ain’t bad.

  • James September 27, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Great post Morgan, thanks for the info. Always interesting to see what the big sales are doing.

    I would rank them, in terms of usable:

    1. RunningShoes.com – Fully functioning developed brand
    2. DomainName.com – Services Functioning, lack of branding
    3. Aktien.de – Revenue generation
    4. Social.com – I’d rather see nothing than a hosting advert.
    5. Puzzle.com

  • James September 27, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Usable should read usage.

  • Sport forum September 28, 2011, 6:01 am

    can we go back one more year and look at ten ( more time for development to take place)

  • Ty September 28, 2011, 6:02 am

    Morgan, RunningShoes.com was a well developed site that was already in the top 10 for terms when it was sold. According to the buyer that was the main reason they bought it – they saw it “mixing” with the big brands on the front page of Google – it was previously owned by a small real world running shoe retailer as I recall it.

  • Morgan September 28, 2011, 9:44 am

    Thanks for the great comments everyone!

    @Leonard – so true, definitely happens a lot!

    @Logan – agreed, 3 out of 5 is not back at all!

    @James – I like your list and agree with the order you have these in.

    @Ty – thanks for sharing this information. Really shows how much a domain name can mean to a brand, especially the exact-match name describing their niche.

  • Guy September 28, 2011, 9:53 am

    My favorite, by far, is Aktien.de. I especially enjoy his German hand gesture version of hang loose or the shaka sign. I’d totally take stock advice from that hip dude.

    Great thought for a post, as you know we all do it.

  • Jesús September 28, 2011, 12:05 pm

    it looks like the best investment was for RunningShoes.com, great name and a great new website developed

  • Morgan October 4, 2011, 6:02 pm

    I’m sure a lot of time, the high value buyers are only buying the domain for investment and possible flipping potential. After all, how many domainers with 100+ domains in their portfolio have even more than 10% developed?

  • Bitdefender Support Number March 22, 2018, 2:33 pm

    Great article for the guys who are looking for domains to buy. This article will really help them.


  • Adam Smith October 6, 2019, 11:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great content.


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