Who is buying these ccTLDs? 30.cc, Hall-Of-Fame.de, E-Bikes.at?!?!

So I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t had much success myself selling ccTLDs. While I do sell usually a domain or two a month these are mostly in other extensions (usually .us). Most of my ccTLD domains I’ve been holding onto for development or resale at a time when I think the market has appreciated more.

I’ve always bought domain names with development in mind but seeing some of these ccTLD sales lately makes me think there might be some potential right now, in places we are all less than likely to look. At this point you’re probably saying, “What the heck is Morgan talking about?”
Here’s what I’m talking about – below are a few recent ccTLD sales…tell me if these sales amounts are even close to what you’d expect. I’m being completely honest when I say I wouldn’t have bought any of the names below for more than $10…yet someone out there was willing to pay four-figures!

30.cc – $1,935
Hall-Of-Fame.de – $1,935
FragranceForYou.co.uk – $1,000
GreenCars.ch – $1,742
e-bikes.at – $1,134

I was fairly certain that .CC had completely died and have long-since dropped all but one of my .CC names. What the heck is 30.cc doing selling for almost $2,000? Also – I know that dashes are popular in the .de space, but Hall-Of-Fame! My personal favorite is e-bikes.at. I think I’d have a hard time selling e-bikes.us or e-bikes.ca, but to see it sell for over $1,000 in .AT was pretty amazing!

So who is buying these? Where is that Domainer that saw 30.cc and thought that $2,000 seemed reasonable, or the guy that bought e-bikes.at. I have some great premium ccTLDs in my weekly newsletters yet it’s been challenging to find buyers. Everyone wants .COM – and I get it, but I’m trying to carve my own niche here in the ccTLD world…doing something a bit different!

As myself and many people have said, know what you know, and know what you don’t know. Domain development and monetization is my specialty, selling domains, especially ccTLDs is still a learning process for me. Still when I see sales like this I’m just dying to know the story behind each purchase. Just think of all the .cc or .mobi domains you dropped…what if there was a buyer out there that would have paid thousands of dollars for each one? Maybe there was and you just didn’t know about it!

I’m a proud ccTLD investor and believe in the market(s). I still think it’s early for liquidity to really kick-in but still I think I have potential to sell more domains in this space, I just have to keep learning! So if you currently sell ccTLDs or actively buy ccTLDs share some of your knowledge with me! Where do you go to sell your names? How do you find buyers? For the ccTLD buyers out there – what extensions are you looking at and what price ranges are most appealing?

If you are looking for ccTLDs make sure to sign-up for my weekly email. The email is packed with ccTLD deals almost always below $500!

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • perchboy July 27, 2010, 8:48 pm

    Interesting post, Morgan.

    Could it be the ‘greater fool’ theory in action with newbies are entering the space for those names?

    If not, perhaps these domain buyers are tech savvy and expect to increase what may be already healthy numbers via SEO.

    What would be interesting is to find out what things look like for each domain in six or twelve months.

    Reply
  • Martin July 28, 2010, 5:23 am

    Country domain names in Europe are very appreciated. : .ch and .de are selling all the time but the .at (Austria) and specially the .cc!! That’s pretty amazing for the price!

    Thank you for the post,

    Martin

    Reply
  • Ed from htmlpress.net July 28, 2010, 6:00 am

    you might need to look for some brokers in each of the country domains you have. they are the one who know the local landscape.

    Reply
  • Chuck July 28, 2010, 7:28 am

    I can see the 30.cc as a hack name for the 30 cc gas powered engines. That is the only one that makes sense to me, if the buyer is a going to develop the name for sales or service of those engines.

    Reply
  • Jay Lohmann July 28, 2010, 7:46 am

    Morgan,

    Dude…every week I read the DNJ sales and shake me head in disbelief. Some of that crap looks like it came of ebay – and still they get $XXXX for it. Baffled. Maybe some one at Sedo or Moniker could enlighten us. ???

    Speaking of development, Owen Frager is devoting is last DomainSuccess.com interview today to domain development. Here’s the link he sent me. http://ow.ly/2hFWU

    Keep Developing!
    http://www.facebook.com/jaylohmann

    Reply
  • Andrew Rosener July 28, 2010, 7:48 am

    Morgan,

    When you consider the number of domains such as these which are dropping every day for lack of a liquid market, to see a few exceptions should be no surprise.

    I give credit to the owner for the simple fact they probably had the balls to turn down the first offer for $100 (or less). Because personally, I would have taken the $100 and said good riddens to bad rubbish…

    HOWEVER, .at, .de & .ch are all ccTLD’s which not only accept commonly a hyphen, but in most cases, buyers and the general public PREFER the hyphen for readability.

    I have always been a fan of hyphenated domains in .com as well. When you see it, it is quite obviously easier to read and despite public opinion from domainers, I do not think they bleed much traffic to the unhyphenated name.

    Anyhow, don’t waste your time, nerves or energy on .ws & .cc – they are as you said, dead – as a door nail.

    Reply
  • Mike - DomainAnimal July 28, 2010, 7:51 am

    i’d have to guess FragranceForYou was a company by the same name. looks like it was registered from 2000, maybe it was formerly a company domain w/ backlinks and PR ..?

    it looks like it is now an ecommerce site but under the banner of a CheapSmells.com. so my final analysis is the buyer is an e-com company in the same niche and bought the domain as a traffic domain of a former fragrance business and are capitalizing on sending this traffic to their store.

    Reply
  • Sam Stevens July 28, 2010, 8:11 am

    Interesting, thank you Morgan! I’ve always had a philosophical problem with ccTLDs. To me, one of the best things about the Internet is that it’s borderless in many regards. I can see where they make sense sometimes, but ccTLDs erect those territorial divisions. It just rubs me the wrong way. That hyphens in domains are actually preferred in some markets is news to me! No fan of hyphens here.

    Reply
  • Jeremy July 28, 2010, 8:14 am

    It’s not just ccTLDs either, although that factor makes the numbers even more striking, we’ve all seen plenty of .com sales in DnJournal or NameBio that make us wonder “WTF?”.

    I doubt it can be contributed to any one factor. Certainly there are plenty of “greater fools” out there but that can’t possibly account for every puzzling domain sale.

    SEO layering is a more likely suspect, but when the terms aren’t popular that balloon is deflated as well.

    I think often domainers suffer from a “looking glass” effect of their own rationale. I’m often chided about my asking price for domains in my portfolio as unrealistic when compared to other (more or less) comparable sales. Many wish all domainers would “mark to the market” and try to devise complicated pricing schemes that make a lot of sense (to them).

    My answer is invariably “domains are worth what the buyer and seller can both agree on”, not a penny less and not a penny more. I’m not going to sell a domain I see potential in just because someone else flipped a similar name for a smaller margin than I would be happy with.

    The reverse is also true. I see domains sell for what I think are ridiculous prices but somewhere out there is a happy buyer and a happy seller. It takes two to tango.

    Reply
  • Dietmar July 28, 2010, 8:26 am

    Moin Moin (as we say in Hamburg/Germany)

    you asked: “Where do you go to sell your names? How do you find buyers?”
    Which buyers are you looking for? End user or domain trader?
    If you want to reach the end user, park them at Namedrive or SEDO and then
    sit and wait, what will hopefully happen. It depends on the quality of your domain.
    The more generic it is, the more people will come and bid.
    If you want to target domain dealer, you may join the local major domain forum to
    promote your domains. But here you have to be an active member to do so, not just
    sign in, post and leave.
    Another way to find a buyer for your domain is to develop them, so that they will
    be recognized by search engines and potential buyers.
    And using a broker is a good way for domains starting in the five figure range.
    Or you place an ad in a domain magazine called Domainvermarkter-Magazin.
    And a hall-of-fame.de looks much better then a halloffame.de!

    Ahoi!
    Dietmar

    Reply
    • Morgan July 28, 2010, 10:17 am

      Hi @Dietmar, thanks or your comment!

      I don’t think that the best way to reach end-users is by parking your names and waiting. I tried this back in 2007 when I started in Domaining and never had any success with it. I’ve found that to sell domains you have to actively reach-out to end users. I use the same tools that most professional brokerage firms use to find leads. I reach-out to end-users via email and telephone and try to actively sell my domains. This is how I sell the 1-2 names/month I sell now. If I didn’t do this it would be none!

      As for selling to Domainers through forums I’ve also found this to not be the most effective way to reach an audience. Once again I did this a lot in 2007 and 2008 and have found that a lot of names sell for a fraction of what they’re worth on forums because buyers expect bargains. That being said I do buy domains on forums because I think there are some amazing prices sometimes!

      I’m an Exclusive Lifetime Member of DNForum with over 500 posts so have some experience on there.

      As for brokerage, I’m a domain broker myself. We’ve been doing Domain Brokerage for about two years now. We broker to end-users and focus almost exclusively on .COM – you can find-out more at http://www.lintoninvestments.com

      What I am talking about in this post is how to reach ccTLD buyers specifically. They aren’t in the forums because almost NO ccTLD sales happen in forums. I’ve also found that it can be harder to reach-out to end-users in the same way I do with my .US names. So my question was – why methods have worked for people selling ccTLDs specifically. I’m really looking for someone with a few 5 figure ccTLD sales under their belt that can help give me some guidance here.

      Once again thanks for your comment @Dietmar – I will tell you that if you want to sell to end-users you’ll have to be much more active than just parking your names and waiting. Doing this could mean a lifetime of renewal fees and no revenue!!

      Reply
  • randomo July 28, 2010, 9:43 am

    I was in Germany recently and noticed three interesting things about all the service vehicles that bore company names and web addresses:

    1. Almost all the URLs were hyphenated .de domains.

    2. Almost all the URLs were displayed in purely lowercase letters (unlike in the US, where each word in a domain is typically capitalized – e.g., FishTacoKing.com).

    3. Almost all the writing (including domain names) was in sans serif fonts.

    There’s something to be said for standardization … but this really showed how different cultures have different aesthetic sensibilities.

    Reply
  • Jason July 28, 2010, 9:44 am

    @Morgan,

    You must have some great .us domains. I own some popular .us domains, but haven’t been able to sell one. My only sales seem to fall within the mighty .com. Another was a .info. Too bad .mobi domains are not as possible as they once were.

    I own a handful of nice .mobi domains. some which I think would definitely benefit a few .com owners. Any pointers on which end-users are looking to acquire .us domains? Thanks in advance. Cool article.

    Reply
  • Jason July 28, 2010, 9:45 am

    @Morgan,

    You must have some great .us domains. I own some popular .us domains, but haven’t been able to sell one. My only sales seem to fall within the mighty .com. Another was a .info. Too bad .mobi domains are not as popular as they once were.

    I own a handful of nice .mobi domains. some which I think would definitely benefit a few .com owners. Any pointers on which end-users are looking to acquire .us domains? Thanks in advance. Cool article.

    Reply
    • Morgan July 28, 2010, 10:09 am

      Hi @Jason!

      I do have some good .US names, but the ones I buy for resale are really geared towards small businesses. A good example is AutoLiquidators.us – this is a domain I’m trying to sell now and I am actively approaching auto liquidation companies. If you have a domain like Peanuts.us or Sky.us I think there is a much smaller market for end-user sales and you’d really have to want to develop the name.

      Most of what I buy in .US is either related to credit/debt or a geo-targeted law name (I love those!)

      As for .MOBI I honestly think the extension is dead…but I’m still hanging onto the first .MOBI I ever bought just like I am my favorite .CC 🙂

      Reply
  • Jason July 28, 2010, 11:01 am

    @Morgan,

    I’ve called and sent a ton of emails. I find that emails generate more interest than cold calling. Every time I make a call, it never results in a sale. I’m a really good sales person. I can close deals that appear as dead deals.

    As long as the end-user leaves the door open, I can build interest into why they domain will improve their business. I support the emails with data.

    I was looking to find out your technique to moving .us domains. Should I host them first to build traffic, or push them in the notion they’ll help a company generate website traffic?

    I sold Pier39.info to a company, but they ignored me on Pier39.us. I spoke with the marketing department a few times. They advised me to send an email with all my San Francisco domains. In short, the company never returned my emails or any of my phone calks. This company purchased my .info for a good price. I struck out 20 times on pushing the .us on various companies in SF.

    I have a few dozen good .us domains. Most companies only want to acquire .com domains. I have yet to sell a .net, .us, or a .org domain. My .org collection is good.

    Would you invest time into hosting a domain such as Pier39.us? It seems that the .com brand owns every website in the city. Every time I contact a website, I’m rerouted to the same operator which asks me the reason of my call. Then, I’m
    sent to the same voice mail.

    Thanks in advance for the pointers.

    Reply
  • Paul July 28, 2010, 3:36 pm

    I agree that 30.cc could definitely be worth much more than $2,000 to the right band or ecobike maker.

    Reply
    • Morgan July 28, 2010, 5:28 pm

      Thanks for the comment @Paul and excellent point!

      Reply
  • Spencer April 6, 2014, 11:11 am

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    Reply

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