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Over 100 Expired Domain Sales in this week’s report

July 31, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Joseph Peterson’s weekly roundup of expire domain name sales.

Last time, I looked at whether a sharp downturn in the Chinese stock market has inhibited Chinese domain sales. So far, all evidence I’ve evaluated suggests that it’s business as usual for the wholesale Chinese domain market: high peak prices and churning liquidity. Expired auctions at NameJet from the past week bolster that impression. Aggressive bidding placed Chinese-style domains in the #1, #3, #8, and #12 slots.

Those top 4 China-focused sales run the gamut: Pinyin, symmetrical 6-digit numerics, “HG”-prefixed numerics, and LLLs – all categories domain investors ought to be familiar with by now. I’m treading o shaky ground if I attempt Pinyin translation. Still, my best guess for ($5.6k) would be that it means “Top Luxury”. Chinese speakers are welcome to disabuse me of that hypothesis. ($2.0k) is a reminder that domains have emerged from their price slump. (If you’re interested, ask about monthly average prices for the past year.) Meanwhile, although seems strange, at $2.2k it ranks below other “HG” numerics NameJet has sold.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 5620 3766 3588 2623 2600 2578 2342 2220 2200 2188 2100 2017 1900 1700 1643 1620 1608 1600 1500 1405 1398 1250 1212 1114 1018 1009 1009 1006

Prominent though China is within these charts, English domains are hardly absent. You’ll see 5 expired dictionary words that sold above $1k and several more below. Those include ($2.6k), which might serve writers or readers; ($1.9k); and ($2.2k), which is simultaneously a profession and a hobby. Quite the bargain, I’d say, since that domain can sell everything from puppets and puppetry lessons to event tickets and small private bookings. More of a surprise was ($1.6k), which is a relatively unfamiliar word for a certain kind of biochemical test. That’s not my field, but I suppose the term matters to the pharmaceutical industry. ($2.6k) is especially notable because of the TLD. Strangely, the second highest .ORG sale was a 2-word German domain: ($1.6k). Yet the reason isn’t far to seek. Gambling domains typically outsell other niches, and “Wetten” = “Bet”. Beyond single-word domains, there are category killers like ($3.8k); descriptive phrases such as ($2.1k) and ($1.7k); and brandable phrases as varied as ($2.6k), ($2.2k), ($1.6k); and ($1.0k). It was also interesting to see 2 refinance domains at auction during the same week – ($2.3k) and ($1.2k).

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 1002 840 771 754 740 710 710 692 679 670 651 630 613 610 599 580 573 556 522 510 can retail well above $710, but domainer uncertainty about .NET has depressed wholesale prices. Even so, reached $580. Graphic designers often get work creating ($679). (Worth noting, the singular sold for $112 on the same day.)$599) reminds me of a fellow I knew as a kid who kept a farm in the heart of L.A. where he lived past 90 raising miniature horses, growing kumquats, and tinkering with electric cars. Long live individuality!

Many of these LLLL domains and all of the mixed numeral / literal’s are, of course, bound for China. However, China pays far less attention to 6-letter domains than it does to 6-numeral .COMs. It seems must target the Camden County Historical Society of New Jersey. During the final minutes of the ($454) auction, I happened to be sitting next to a former gubernatorial candidate. Although I meant to ask his opinion of the domain, my phone rang; and he left. C’est la vie.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 490 462 462 462
454 454 444 439 422 410 401 Madeira
400 360 350 310 Directorio-

Both ($422) and ($79) sold last week – for widely different prices. The latter encompasses chewing tobacco as well as cigarettes. Many people probably think snuff is extinct; but I’ve known plenty of Navy sailors who’d “dip” while underway to stay alert. Despite its symmetry, only fetched $206 – perhaps because “4” sounds like “death” to Chinese ears and is considered unlucky. Another promising domain that went quite cheap would be at just $266. ($250) is a surname. Americans will recognize Daytona as a Florida city; and ($213) predictably mirrors an existing .EDU website. If you love a good tune, then you’re a melomaniac. ($233) seems to be related. Meanwhile, if you’re a developer interested in Steam who speaks Spanish, then used to be for you.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 279 266 260 Itanium [sic]
260 252 250 233 Daytona
213 210 210 210 209 209 209 206 Festival-
206 205 203
200 189
163 160 ($189) is far cheaper than, which renews at or around $600 per year. The ($163) is, of course, a pun on “genome”. Very deliberately, as it turns out: Fiction and poetry “inspired by genes and genomics [that] sometimes … relate to a single gene”.

Yes, I know ($100) has nothing to do with repeat spam. In fact, it’s a Texas moving company that specializes in hot tubs. Narutopedia tells me that Shikamaru is an animated manga character from the Naruto series. Perhaps so. ($89) is French for “Polish”. With a feminine “e”, it would be Chopin.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 151 149 149 Biotechnology
142 140 129 119 119 119 112 111 110 109 101 100 100 100 91 90 89 89 Georgiou
80 80 80 ($109) and ($80) illustrate how budget-conscious adult webmasters are with domain purchases. ($71) sits on the border of Belgium and France – apparently one of the bloodiest battle fields of WWI. ($69) is Spanish for “chronological”, which is scarcely a surprise … but is a good deal. So is ($69) – perfect for a GPS-sensitive app that draws in local wanderers to shop.

Domain Name End $ Domain Name End $ 79 79 79 79 79 79 79 79
79 MarketResearch
79 74 71 70 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 Coupons
69 69 69

Whether you regard ($754) as a word or not depends on whether you speak fluent Monte Python. Anyone who wonders why corporate domain strategy tends to be so ineffectual ought to be aware of the board room’s “splunge” philosophy.

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Neustar acquires Bombora and ARI

July 30, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Neustar continues to grow its top level domain name services business with acquisition.

Neustar has acquired Australia-based Bombora Technologies Pty Ltd, the registry services provider of the .au top-level domain and numerous other top-level domains, for approximately AUD $118.5 million, or approximately USD $86.9 million in cash.

This includes its subsidiary ARI Registry Services, which provides registry services to a number of new top level domain names.

Bombora had revenue of USD $20.6 million last year, and Nuestar expects it to contribute USD $8 million of revenue and approximately USD $1.1 million of operating income in 2015.

“Neustar has had a long history of successfully launching, managing and administering top-level domains and today, we are excited to have the Bombora Technologies’ team join Neustar,” said Sean Kaine, Vice President of Registry Services, Neustar, Inc. “The combination of our two teams will enable us to expand Neustar’s Security Services business, of which Registry Services is a part, in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.”

Neustar previously purchased the .co registry for over $100 million.

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Sedo adds automated ownership verification

July 30, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Feature lets you add domains for sale without delay.

SedoThere’s a delay between the time you submit a domain name for sale on Sedo and when it shows up on the site. This delay is due to Sedo verifying that the person who submitted the domain name is actually the owner.

Now Sedo has released a feature that lets you instantly add domain names for sale. It’s probably a tool more suited to power users than the typical client, and it has the added bonus of making life easier for Sedo.

Essentially, you can self verify by adding a record to your domain name registration record. You can add a unique key as a TXT record or CNAME.

You can get your unique verification key and learn how to add it to your domains by viewing this news article on Sedo.

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Minds + Machines: layoffs, plan for cash and more

July 30, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Big updates from one of the biggest new top level domain name companies.

Publicly traded Minds + Machines (London AIM: MMX) released a corporate update today, and it’s big.

The company has close to $50 million in cash in the bank, which gives it plenty of time to wait out the hoped-for surge in acceptance of new top level domain names. But it’s not going to sit back and watch its cash position dwindle each quarter. Instead, it’s taking action to become profitable soon and find a way to return the cash to shareholders. I think these are smart moves that should please shareholders.

Here are key items from the update.

1. Minds + Machines had layoffs last month, for the right reasons. The company says this will save the company $1.3 million per year and it is hunting for more ways to save money. It’s also moving from technical expertise to a sales organization.

Most importantly, it targets becoming profitable next year.

2. It’s going to find a way to return some of its cash to shareholders. About half of M+M’s market cap is in cash. That’s not a good thing if it doesn’t have a way to invest it. Its cash position strengthened significantly thanks to getting paid to give up new TLD applications.

The company is considering two ways to return some of this cash to shareholders. It can either do a special dividend, which puts cash directly in shareholders’ pockets but lowers the share price, or it can do buybacks, which increase the value of the stock. Tucows’ Elliot Noss is on the board of M+M, and Tucows has done significant buybacks over the years.

3. It continues to transition the purpose of its registrar. Registries can now own registrars, and Minds + Machines set up its own registrar (which uses the same name of the company). Its original hope was to create a solid direct-to-consumer sales channel that would bypass registrars.

This is hard, and the company has backpedaled from this plan. Instead, it’s using the registrar as a direct channel for vertical markets. It’s also using it for promotions, such as the free .casa and .work domains it gave away recently.

The registrar also dumped Mozart, the site creation system created by co-founder Fred Krueger, who was pushed out of the company last quarter. Instead, it’s offering standard site building and email tools.

4. The company is hitting some KPIs at the expense of others. The company hit its goals for domains under management (217,200 at the end of June) and standard name sales growth, but this came at the expense of revenue per domain, since it gave away free and heavily discounted domains to reach these registration numbers. It’s hitting its goal for premium names.

5. It’s registering its owns premium names to enhance their sales distribution. Minds + Machines has created a new wholly-owned company, Emerald Names, to register up to 30,000 names across its TLDs. It will set up “for sale” pages for these domains and add them to sales inventory through third-party marketplaces, so they show up in distributed premium search results. Although the press release doesn’t state this, I assume they are working with Afternic or Sedo (or both) and their distributed listing services.

6. Early Access is coming. For the first time, Minds + Machines will run an early access phase for some of its TLDs when it launches .law and .abogado in October. Early Access has become a popular way to launch a TLD instead of a traditional landrush. Early Access is a sort of dutch auction for domain names.

Overall, I think this is a big step in the right direction for Minds + Machines. I’ve watched stock chat boards discussing Minds + Machines for a long time. Between there and comments posted on Domain Name Wire, there have been legitimate questions about what the company will do with its cash. Would it just milk it for salaries as the bank account dwindled? It’s now clear that’s not the case.

I also think de-emphasizing its registrar business is a good idea. The cost of acquiring customers just doesn’ make sense. I think owning a registrar is a good idea, but only to create a direct onboarding channel for niche vertical promotions.

Minds + Machines and Rightside are the two public companies focused on new TLDs, and both companies are providing good intel into the success of new top level domain names to date. I’ll continue monitoring them.

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60 End User Domain Name Sales

July 30, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Here are 60+ domain names that sold on Sedo this past week.

Sedo sales from the past week totaled more than $1 million with some 495 reported transactions, the highest of which was at $50k. Of these, I’ve tracked down about 60 end-user buyers. (€3900) – Sold to Selling Simplified, a lead-gen / marketing firm that already owns its exact-match .COM. We can’t see yet who acquired, which Sedo sold during the same week. ($9800) – This marketing technology company has expanded beyond 300 employees. Time to home in on the UK branch, apparently, by adding this ccTLD to their .COM. ($4000) – will simplify matters for the in North Carolina. ($3950) – is a “team of designers, programmers, marketing experts and lead providers”. Their home page repeats the phrase “visibility online” 3 times; so running a blog network suits them. (€1390) – Bausola Nardini Operti & Partners are an Italian accounting firm. ($1500) – I must say, for a company “serving all of South Florida” only, Hulett Environmental Services certainly owns a disproportionately great domain name: Why are they buying this additional domain? Getting ready to rebrand after a domain sale, I wonder? ($2595) – The California Aeronautical University is “preparing for takeoff October 2015″. ($2500) – Even a Finnish-language website offering “100% domestic debt collection … since 1985″ saw fit to add .COM to its exiting .FI domain. Why? The fact that their services encompass Swedish and English affords a clue. ($1800) – is a country musician signed (I’m guessing) to Universal Music, who bought his name as a domain. (€1450) – was purchased by Micrylium, a “professional disinfection” company.

Cumulus.Global ($1000) – This cloud computing site now forwards an nTLD to their preexisting .COM. ($700) – rents out personal names for use in custom email addresses. Here’s another for their collection. ($2800) – forwards to, which means “tank cleaning” in German. No idea why. The parent company seems to be, which covers fields as disparate as brand management, business consulting, real estate, and tank technology. Why not Medicine too? (€1200) – This German company’s focus is “digital direct printing”. They began with a hyphenated .DE and have apparently decided to go global. Meanwhile, the non-hyphenated .COM belongs to an unrelated IT company. That shouldn’t be the least bit confusing. (€850) – has been launched as an e-commerce site for furniture and decorating accessories.

EnelInt.Global ($2750) – You can see why Enel, “a multi-national power company and a leading integrated player in the world’s power and gas markets [that] operates in more than 30 countries across 4 continents”, would care about being global. You can also see that they forward this domain to (€800) – was purchased by Fullcover Investments Ltd, which operates such european escort websites as and (€1250) – adds German clientele to the existing Romanian website: ($3000) – is being developed by Starwood Hotels, whose “Preferred Guest” program boasts “1,200 of the world’s best hotels in 100 countries”. (€1500) – offers home or hotel-room delivery of pizza, sushi, Chinese food, etc. in a dozen Italian cities. Most likely, they bought this domain to supplement their Chinese food delivery. ($977) – is the surname of buyer Michel Furter.

Gallery.Furniture ($2600) – Yep, you guessed it. bought this nTLD variant and are forwarding it to their preexisting site. ($7800) – GO1 software lets you create or select courses to train staff or customers. ($1000) – upgrades, which is an app for “consignment pick up and delivery”. In American slang, a gopher is both a rodent and any lackey you can send off on tedious errands (i.e., to “go for” something). ($2395) – Hello is a brand of breath sprays, including among its flavors (surprise, surprise) mint. The buyer appears to be, which looks like a searchable database for pharmaceuticals. ($1716) – has been purchased by, “the most supportive community of moms on planet earth”. ($13,000) – enables to reach a worldwide audience convincingly, while protecting their brand. What’s more, they’ve positioned this calling card as a separate website with a jazzy remixed intro video. Thus they’re able to maintain a recognized site for British clients while simultaneously introducing themselves to a new demographic. (€1000) –, which already picked up the hyphen-free version of their corporate domain, seems to be following suit with their product line. is their mosquito repellent. ($800) – now forwards to, a Brazilian flight booking website. (Their name translates as “Fly Goal”.) Since operates in precisely the same niche, these brands must be partners or share a parent company. (£1000) – adds an “M” to a .CO website, but it also introduces a hyphen that wasn’t there before. No, not Krav Maga. Kamagra is effectively cheap Viagra, and this company promises “next day … delivery in the UK”. (€800) – was purchased by the law firm of “Dr. Renner Beiter & Partner”. Kündigung means termination or dismissal in German – as in being fired. ($995) – Labelor added this domain to their toolkit. At the moment, even redirects to, which says “powered by Labelor”. ($1400) – is a “food and travel show” with episodes already airing for L.A. and Las Vegas. ($1772) – is a step up from for the “Marine Corps League National Headquarters”. This isn’t where you’d go to enlist. They sell jewelry and apparel at ($1495) – now belongs to the Mole Removal Clinic in San Antonio, Texas. (£1988) – was purchased by a Denis Moriarty in Ireland. (€950) – Already up and running as a German automotive site. (€1500) – Contrary to what some domainers suppose, tech companies frequently view .IO as a temporary stepping stone or else eventually find it to be inadequate for communicating with a mainstream audience. Witness this German company, which now forwards its .IO to a newly acquired .CO. ($3000) – seems to be earmarked for sports betting, since it was purchased by the owners of, a fantasy NHL pool. ($1444) – is a metro Atlanta real estate agency. ($5000) – now belongs to the Manhattan Review, which offers “test prep & admissions consulting” with headquarters in New Zealand. ($4870) – I’m not quite sure what this will be; but clearly the buyer saw it as an upgrade for, which he owned already. Neither domain resolves currently. ($1000) + ($1000) – Looks like Speciality Drinks Ltd. purchased this pair for New Zealand and the UAE. Incidentally, Michael Berkens owns, which differs by one “i” and must receive a fair bit of accidental traffic. (€750) – Büchmann/Seminare KG is a German company focused on senior citizens, with services ranging from outpatient care to career training and support. Their website has been located at (€1500) –, a German real estate company, bought this somewhat similar domain. ($2795) – was acquired by, which builds and monetizes websites for the “developing markets in Africa and Asia”. Indeed, they have offices + websites in Nigeria, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Russia. ($1400) – The folks at picked up “tennis results” in German. ($877) – went to Manhattan Time Service, whose principal website seems to be ($780) – is a perfume line named after its creator, Diletta Tonatto. ($1330) – For a company specializing in “radiant cooling and heating systems“, this brand name is very much outside the box – especially since they’re Italian and began with Shade might be the operative idea. (€1750) – Schmalz makes vacuum lifters. This is an exact-match product term for the German company, which already owns ($1000) – went to PGI Print Graphics. In addition to, they also operate; and it isn’t hard to see how business cards might fit their business model. (€1500) – Already in use, offering video conferencing, call centers, and the like. ($2666) + ($2666) + ($2666) + ($2670) + ($2666) + ($2666) – I’m less interested in what XQ will be than I am in this peculiar purchase pattern. Altogether, $16,000 went toward these half dozen “XQ” domains, 4 of which are .ORG rather than .COM. Moreover, they were all registered under privacy on June 24, 2015 – apart from the baby of the family,, which seems to have been an afterthought on July 8. The 4 corresponding .COMs (i.e. those not listed above) were registered on matching dates (July 8) or even a day later (June 25) by, “experts in … corporate domain portfolio management”. To me, that expertise seems inordinately expensive when 1-month-old domains cost this much. The buyer seems to be a client of, which is a partner or subsidiary of the global ad agency TBWA. So we’re talking about a client of a client of a client. With so many people in between action and responsibility…

zä (€1000) – This IDN not only permits the umlauted “A” for direct type-in; it also drops “24” from Now if only this electrical parts website resolved without the necessity of typing “www.”, they’d be sitting pretty!

To view last week’s article in this series, click here. And in case you’d like to try selling domains via Sedo, check out this handy report by Andrew Allemann.

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GoDaddy loses first UDRP from Marchex portfolio acquisition

July 29, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

No one responded to the dispute.

GoDaddy has lost its first UDRP from the portfolio it acquired from Marchex in April.

The company didn’t respond to a UDRP filed by Dairyland Midwest, Inc. d/b/a AgVision for the domain name

When the UDRP was filed last month, World Intellectual Property Organization sent a notice of the dispute to all contacts on the domain name. That included an email address as well as Although the latter email address appears to be a typo, it’s also owned by the NameFind subsidiary.

The name was listed for sale for $5,199.

GoDaddy is no stranger to being on the receiving end of UDRPs, but it’s been a while. It lost a bunch of cases when it was running its Standard Tactics company to pick up expiring domains.

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Verisign gets patent for predicting domain name renewal rates

July 28, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

A crystal ball for estimating domain name renewal rates.

VerisignThe U.S. Patent and Trademark office has granted patent number 9,094,467 to Verisign for “Method and system for predicting domain name registration renewal probability”.

Simply: take a number of factors about the domain name and its history to calculate the chances of it being renewed.

Verisign has to run these calculations frequently, and not just for its own forecasting. Because of the renewal grace period, it can’t give final renewal rates until 45 days after a domain expires. As a public company, it gives some guidance to analysts on each quarterly investor call even though it’s not 45 days after the end of the quarter.

Some of the factors the patent embodiments consider:

  • registration information
  • hosting details that can include nameserver data, webserver data, and/or mail server data for the domain name
  • domain lookup statistics for the domain
  • information about a website hosted at the domain
  • length of time the domain name has been registered
  • number of continuous times the domain name registration has been renewed
  • the length of time the domain has been registered without becoming unregistered
  • status of the website hosted at the domain
  • purpose of the website hosted at the domain

You can view the patent here (pdf).

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Afternic domain selling Hangout is today

July 28, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

Learn how to sell your domain names with Afternic in a Hangout today.

GoDaddy is hosting a Hangout today to explain how Afternic works with GoDaddy. The hangout takes places at 11 am PDT (2 PM EDT).

GoDaddy will discuss how Afternic works and integrates with GoDaddy. Representatives will also explain domain listing best practices.

If you are willing to sell domain names with fixed prices, Afternic is one of the best ways to get exposure for your domain names. If someone searches for your domain name (and sometimes when they search for a similar one), they can instantly add your domain name to their cart and buy it. You don’t have to bother with transferring the domain name; it’s all handled for you.

I like to use Afternic in combination with domain name parking pages with “for sale” messages. If someone finds the domain name for sale through a registrar, they can buy it directly. If they find it through a parked page, I can negotiate and close the sale myself.

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Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire. saved in UDRP but no RDNH

July 27, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

UDRP panel is unbiased, finds in favor of domain name owner.

The owner of has failed to win rights to the domain name in a UDRP. helps people find financial advisers, mortgage brokers, solicitors and accountants. The company filed its cybersquatting claim on the basis of a trademark for

While panelists Neil Brown, Henrik af Ursin and Paul M. DeCicco found against in the case, they declined to find the company to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.

The big strike against the domain name owner was that links on the parked domain name relate to finding financial advisers. The panel determined that, despite these links, it is mostly likely that the domain name was acquired because of the domain’s value as a generic domain name.

If it weren’t for the financial links, it wouldn’t surprise me if the panel agreed that this was a case of reverse domain name hijacking.

Ari Goldberger of ESQwire represented the respondent.

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A Crazy Cybersquatting Lawsuit with Jason Kneen – DNW Podcast #43

July 27, 2015Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off

The inside story of a baseless cybersquatting lawsuit.

Domain Name Wire podcastImagine that you’re an app developer who has registered a handful of domain names over the years. One day your twitter feed and phone lights up with people discussing how you’re being sued over one of the domain names you own. That’s exactly what happened to Jason Kneen. A new business starting up in 2014 filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against the domain name, which he registered way back in 1999. Jason is on the show today to talk about the experience, and you’ll learn what you can go through if this happens to you.

Also: $50,000 settlement after frivolous UDRP, Stolen domain recovered, Google on new TLDs and Happy Birthday .Co.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

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Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.