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Observations from Moniker’s Live Auction

February 8, 2011domain name auction, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, live domain auction, MonikerComments Off on Observations from Moniker’s Live Auction

Why sales were low and what it says about the current state of domain name auctions.

Moniker‘s live auctions (low & no reserve and premium) last week sold just over $400,000 of domain names. The top seller was at $115,000.

This is obviously a low number. I have two observations from the results:

1. A lot of these domains would have sold for much more back in 2007. Check these out: $11,500 $6,000 $2,000

All three of these would have sold for a few times more back in that fateful 2007 NYC auction.

But alas, it’s now 2011.

2. High prices = few bidders = marketing event

There were some good domains in this auction, but none of the biggies looked like deals. I didn’t see a single one that I thought would prompt a bidding war.

During a breakfast with the media on Wednesday, CEO Jeff Kupietzky said that auctions are becoming more like marketing events. They get exposure for big names that then sell after the auction.

For the auction house this is fine, but it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. If you’re interested in a domain name it doesn’t make sense to bid for it at the auction unless someone else is also bidding. You’re better off waiting until after the auction to negotiate a better deal. Unless you have to have the domain name — in which case you should buy it ahead of time.

The extended silent auction runs through February 17.

© 2010.

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Moniker Auction Bulks Up By Slimming Down

January 25, 2011Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, live domain auction, MonikerComments Off on Moniker Auction Bulks Up By Slimming Down

Fewer domains, better quality on tap for next live domain auction.

This headline may seem contradictory. But it aptly describes the change Moniker has made with its live auctions of late, and it’s very apparent with February’s DOMAINfest Auction.

What’s the change? Fewer domains. Better quality.

The Premium Live auction on February 3 will have no more than 100 domains and should take less than two hours to complete. (Only 90 minutes is scheduled, but you know how these things go.) Even better, the extended auction will include fewer than 500 domains and last two weeks. A couple years ago the extended auction had over 5,000 domain names, which made it an all day chore to find the winners.

Of course with fewer domains in the premium auction you won’t see as many inexpensive ones, either. Domains under $10,000 will be hard to come by in the premium auction (you’ll find them in the low and no reserve auction on February 1 auction instead).

Here’s a look at some of my favorite (and least favorite) domains from the auction, but live and extended:

Favorites $50k-$100k – solid three letter word with many uses, including for rowing and – $500-$1000 – not great letters, but a great price. $2500-$5000 – you could build an entire candy delivery business around this inexpensive domain $2500-$5000 – plural would be better but great for an online directory $500k-$750k – probably won’t sell to a domain investor at this price, but is one of the top names for 4G wireless.


These are good names just at the wrong price. $100k-$250k – what would you do with this? Have a site that just sells pepperoni pizzas? $750k-$1M – I recall being surprised when this domain name sold for only $75k back in a 2008 Moniker auction. It seemed cheap. Yet it appears the domain name never transferred hands, so maybe it didn’t sell. It’s worth more than $75k, but I don’t think it’s worth 10x that much. $250k-$500k – I only add this to the list because I’ve seen it for sale in a domain newsletter about a dozen times over the past couple years.

© 2010.

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  1. Handicapping Today’s Moniker Live Domain Auction
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Moniker Trims Silent Auction List for TRAFFIC Auction

October 14, 2009Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, live domain auction, Moniker, SnapNamesComments Off on Moniker Trims Silent Auction List for TRAFFIC Auction

Moniker shrinks silent auction, online finance auction ends tomorrow.

Responding to complaints about the unwieldy number of domains in its last major silent (extended) domain auction, Moniker has cut the list from about 5,000 to 1,800 for this month’s auction. I’m not sure if the list is small enough even at 1,800, but it’s definitely a move in the right direction.

The live auction will feature 187 domains and will take place on Wednesday, October 28. Top domains include,, and

But before turning your attention to the big show, Moniker’s sister company Snapnames is holding an online auction featuring 300 domain names related to finance. That auction ends tomorrow. So far only four domains have received bids and three have met their reserves: at $11,770, at $761, and at $300. With so many domains in this auction, it’s possible a few steals will slip through the cracks.

© 2009.

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