Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Correction: NOT Sold

Last week after reading in the newsletter:


Game is over. Next week I will announce the new owner of



Myself and many others assumed the deal was done and started speculating how much it sold for and who the buyer was. The poll I posted had almost 100 votes – lots of varying opinions on the value!  Yesterday, Francois did a guest post on TheDomains  in which he explained after receiving an offer meeting his reserve (but deal not closed) he prematurely made the above announcement…in hopes of getting the other buyers to jump and come back to the table with higher offers.  It seems now there is no buyer yet for at the price level Francois seeks to sell, which he has stated is seven figures+.

I agree with some of the sentiment from the commenters on TheDomains article yesterday, that it was a mistake to announce the sale early and bad negotiation tactic.  I disagree with all the folks who think is something that can be easily replicated.  There is no replicating – it is the one website that if you ask anyone in the domain industry where to find the best daily domain news and opinion columns they will send you.  Surely, wouldn’t be where it is today without bloggers like Alleman, Silver, Schwartz, Berkens, Cultra, etc…however, it’s a two way street.   Those blogs, this one and many others wouldn’t have the readership, traffic and advertisers without, the man behind it and the passion he has for domaining.

T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Live Auction Unofficial Report: Sales Exceed Six Figures

There’s been a lot of chatter on blogs and forums about the live auction that took place at the  T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Conference yesterday in Fort Lauderdale.  I put together a list of names that did sell (thanks to for live blogging the auction results).  Keep in mind the sales below are unconfirmed and some still subject to approval by the sellers.

So much of the commentary I’m seeing about the auction results are calling it a failure and disappointment.  I watched about half of the live feed and participated in the phone bidding, which was run professionally with no problems.  I thought that overall the auction was run quite efficiently.  The results were interesting, there were definitely some good deals, some disappointing max bids and even some surprising sales.

As I mentioned in my last post about the live auction – it was a domainers auction!  I’ve seen folks who had domains in the auction complaining about not getting bids as high as past offers on their names.  Well, did you expect a domain investor to offer more than an end user would for your domain?  So, was this auction a failure?  Let’s look at the numbers… almost 50% of the lots sold and over $100k in domain sales in less than two hours.  Many of the passed lots (not published here) did receive decent bids, some of which were close to the reserve prices.

My biggest problem with yesterday’s auction is that some of the no reserve lots (particularly a couple I was bidding on) were marked as ‘passed’ on the DNN report.  Of course, these are unofficial results so these may have in fact sold.  I’m sure we’ll hear more from the organizers once the conference has ended.

Sold Lots From the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Live Auction 9/8/2012 $1250 $2000 $400 $20000 $1500 $600 $2500 $2250 $3000 $1500 $22000  $1000 $500 $5000 $200 $200 $500 $100 $900  $875 $700 $10000 $1500 $500  $500 $500 $2250 $500 $500 $500 $2000 $1100 $750 $1100 $100 $900 $3000 $200 $300 $400 $300  $2500 $2000 $300 $2000 $300 $1000 $7000


Total lots sold: 48
Total $ sold: $102,400

*Unofficial sales data courtesy of

SoFla SoFly

By: Mike Awada. With the one year anniversary of my first domain purchase last week, it’s only fitting that I’d make it down to South Florida for my first ever domainer meetup.

Before getting to the March Madness meet-up, I had the privilege of meeting up with always impressive Abdu Tarabichi. Abdu and I took a thirty minute drive up I-95 to the Domain Holdings HQ and got the meet the staff. After illegally parking in our 2010 Altima rental, we made our way into the office located in the heart of the beautiful city of Delray Beach.

CEO Jason Boshoff greeted us and introduced us to “The Pit”, where all of their operational magic goes down. It was a state of the art arena built for blue sky sessions. It immediately made me want to host a fantasy football draft there. Boshoff noted that it would be perfect for a 12 team league.

Senior Vice President Ryan Colby was incredible, sharing ideas and insight as if we had been friends for years. I also had the great chance to talk football with DH Co-Founder Chad Folkening, despite him balancing work on five different computer screens and his phone blowing up.

Peter Brooks was hilarious and shared some photos and stories about his old Moniker ties, while Chris talked about his future after the sale of WebCast 1 a few weeks prior. It’s difficult to put into words the level of ‘chillness’ and professionalism exuded by everyone at the DHHQ.

Abdu and I had an amazing seafood Jumbalaya just blocks up the street from DH before making the gorgeous drive down the Florida coastline for the meetup. We got there a few minutes late, found another nice illegal parking spot and headed on in.

Rick Waters, Mike Ward, and Stu Maloff put on a great show and I couldn’t be happier that I got to make it down there. Karen Bernstein gave a great speech and announced that she had successfully brokered the sale of

Victor Pitts made for a great auctioneer, and afterwords enlightened me on the state of the .XXX union. I was impressed to learn that around 40K sites are live on .XXX, which is promising a few months after launch.

It seemed like everyone there brought something huge to the table. The first two gentlemen I had the privlege of speaking to were Mark Halpern of and DH COO Jeremy Kayne. They were incredibly cool, and helped to break the ice for me in a foreign location.

I had the amazing opportunity to speak to Rick Schwartz for almost 10 minutes, absorbing everything I could. One huge piece of applicable advice I took away from Rick was that “If you’re in a hurry, don’t rush things,” and he tied this point into the old mantra of doing things right the first time; he hit the nail on the head with me.

I talked to Rick about my new future technology website, and he told me that he had just recently registered a name based on an article I had written. It was cool to learn that the great Rick Schwartz was still buying names, and buying names in similar fields that I am.

I never expected to see Mike Berkens there in a million years, and was a little star-struck. Aside from Mike Law of, Berkens has the most informative and thorough domaining website out there. He was super laid back, I just wish I would’ve realized he was an alum of my favorite school (Florida)!

It was really cool to meet some of the younger guys there. Ray Neu and his stories, Jason Greenwald and his awesome .TV portfolio (Pornstar.TV, CreditCard.TV, and Weed.TV), 22 year old Evan Ross and his savvy, and Brett Napoli with his hilarious takes on the industry and veteran insight.

Finally, I was lucky to run into John Vicino and his buddy Lance Zeidman. Their strategy of acquiring future trend domains fit right into my article strategy an of covering interesting future topics that are inevitably hitting the world soon.

After an amazing four hour session, only Abdu and I, along with Rick Waters and Adam Maysonet remained. We walked across the street for a night cap at Flanigan’s. Despite the massive pole supporting the entire building in the middle of our table, we had a fantastic time. Rick shared his musical ambitions and Adam discussed his impressive one word domain collection. We had some good laughs and talked about our worst domains, including how I for some reason own MagicLamp.Me.

Abdu and I had flights leaving at 5 AM, so we pulled an all-nighter. Visiting South Florida was honestly one of the best 36 hour periods of my life. I learned an incredible amount from some incredibly smart people. We also didn’t get towed which was a bonus. It was an enlightening trip, and I can’t wait to go back again soon. Thanks for the memories South Florida! Becomes

By: Mike Awada. India is one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most promising economies in the world. With a population of 1.17 billion people, global businesses have been shifting their time, focus and resources to this one time British colony for years. The Indian population is known for being focused, hard-working and intelligent; leading to large contributions to the global economy. It should come as no surprise that within the last week, global retail giant has sought a new way to get in on the action. was originally started by four Stanford students in 1996. They were providing online database technology helping consumers to find millions of assorted products shortly after Amazon went live doing the same thing in 1995. Amazon must’ve seen quite a bit of promise in the company early on, as they acquired in 1998 for a whopping $200 million.

India already sports the worlds third largest e-commerce market behind the U.S. and China. Indian online sales in 2009 totaled $4 billion USD. The encore to that year was an eye-opening $10 billion in sales in 2010. The move is expected to rival current Indian e-superpower for the battle of online goods. The sites look very similar, featuring a conservative layout emphasizing the special product offerings. This can be directly attributed to the fact that was started by two former Amazon employees and IIT Delhi students in 2007.

But why ‘rebrand’ to target a particular population when the Amazon brand is already recognizable worldwide? Is this really a risk worth taking? I think the term ‘Amazon’ strikes a particular chord here in the U.S. because it’s something that as children, we had embedded in our mind. The Amazon was a larger-than-life river and rainforest with exotic creatures and overflowing with mystery. While many Indians are familiar with the Amazon, the term ‘Amazon’ just doesn’t have the same effect there.

‘Junglee’ is term with similar connotations to the Indian people. The term ‘Junglee’ translates to wild or ill-mannered in Hindi, so the message is similar to what Amazon invokes in Americans. Hindi is the most popular of the 100+ languages in India, the primary language of approximately 45% of the population. Junglee was a musical mega-blockbuster movie in India back in 1961. Having been a classic movie and familiar term, Junglee is something, like the word Amazon, that is inherently embedded in the minds of the masses, which is good for brand recognition.

Some might argue that this new brand is a blown opportunity to expand their Amazon brand on a global scale. I actually think this is a brilliant move, one that will simultaneously boost the original brand by including the Amazon logo throughout the site. will not only offer local specialized goods, but access to Amazon’s global database of products that essentially includes anything one could ever want.

I believe this move has huge implications for the ongoing ‘globalization of the internet’, and we could continue to see many new brands emerge from mega-companies for various regions in the world. This is a big reason why I like to take fliers on 5-8 letter’s, especially ones with interesting meanings outside of the United States. Technology has torn down many barriers to entry for multinational corporations, and the constantly evolving nature of the internet and it’s increasingly amazing capabilities will have fascinating implications on a global scale.

What are you feelings on this move for Amazon? Have you noticed companies taking similar risks, or even stretching this idea a step further? What are the implications for global business, and the rapidly expanding world of domains?

Surprising Domain Sales

By Mike Awada. It’s been an interesting month in the industry, with some big sales reported, and nice names some slipping under the radar. Although this edition will focus on .com sales, it’s great to see the influx of ccTLD’s that are showing up in the weekly top sales. I think this is a result of the imminent reality of the new TLD wave setting in. If you’ve got the buzzword, many extensions are both usable to end users and profitable to middle-men.

With 2012 on the horizon, speculation has run rampant that we could be nearing the end of days. With some of the sales reported this week, that claim may not be too farfetched. Let’s take a look at a couple of sales from the month and figure out what these people were thinking. $7,300- Amazing. You don’t have to speak spanish to realize the value of this name. Spanish for “I see”, this three letter gem was able to slip through the cracks on How did it go for so low? The seller only had a 5 rating on Ebay, so this lack of continuity may have scared some big buyers away. $20,000- Purchased by as part of their recent rebranding effort. While it is certainly much more memorable than their original name, for this name to bring $20k the buyer must’ve been really atted to the ‘land’ suffix. I think this is the type of name that could have been easily interchanged for ville, city, world etc. and purchased for a quarter of the cost. $10,000- A three word .com bringing in five figures? This domain showcases the value in finding the right buyer for a name you own. The seller obviously found the one guy who needed this exact name for what he wanted to do (despite the fact that ChristianDrugRehab.Co is currently available for under $20). $10,000- A nice two word .com with relatable words that I think it is pretty brandable. But is this worth six ounces of gold? You be the judge. €2,500- With DVDs on the decline and the emergence of .XXX, this hyphennated name makes me question the seller’s use of their cash reserves. $45,000- All I need is a three word name like this that I can sell in the mid 5-figures. What a great holiday sale for the buyer. Sedo has been doing some big business as of late.

This month has just confirmed what many of us already knew about the Domain industry, and the aftermarket sales industry as a whole: “An item is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.” Many individuals and companies put their money where their mouth was and invested some huge cheddar in some online real estate. These decisions can make or break an organization, some will grow, some will fall, and we get a front row seat.

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