Money Down The Gurgler

Money down the drainRumours have been rife for months about the domain name portfolio controlled by Fairfax Media. Through their various subsidiaries like Fairfax Digital and Online Marketing Group, over the past decade they amassed a portfolio of over 30,000 Aussie domain names (mostly all .com.au).

The story that seems to have most “legs” this year is that Fairfax has sold / is selling its portfolio – and the purchaser is a major player. However, nothing has been confirmed. So all sorts of theories abound!

Over the past few months, regular domain investors have been offered lists of domains for sale. Unfortunately, these only comprise lesser names that haven’t really appealed to anyone. Their better ones have not been for sale – and believe you me when I say that they have been inundated with buying requests for these premium domains!

Some Background

This excerpt is from the Fairfax website:

Online Marketing Group & Fairfax Digital

Fairfax Digital is an investor and strategic partner of Online Marketing Group (OMG), Australia’s largest website publisher.

OMG and Fairfax Digital are working closely together to create the biggest and best direct response branded directory websites in Australia.

OMG’s network extends to over 30,000 websites including:

See OMG’s website for a list of more directory sites.

Apart from Lawyers.com.au, none of these sites are currently resolving. How bad is that?

Going back a few years now, I was a major purchaser of some premium domain names when pressure was on for the group to raise some money quite quickly. And I was not “Robinson Crusoe” – quite a number of other domain investors joined the bandwagon.

Then after a period of massive sales at bargain prices, suddenly the game plan changed. Overnight, prices went back to stratospheric levels. Speaking for myself, I haven’t purchased a domain from them for over three years.

Present Day

What led me to write this story is because Fairfax / OMG now suddenly seem to be letting some of their better domains expire.

Why they are not renewing at least some of these domains is totally beyond comprehension to me? Bear in mind it costs about $22 for a 2 year renewal.

These are just a couple of the domains that they let expire (which other people purchased at the expired auctions yesterday):

  • Great.com.au – won by Netfleet for $1870 +/+
  • Pim.com.au – won by Domain Shield for $400 inclusive – lost on Netfleet for $523 +/+

By the looks of it, there are many more Fairfax / OMG domains going to “drop” over the coming days and weeks. So if you’re after a bargain, fill your boots!

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts and opinions.

Ned O’Meara – 9th June 2016


Disclaimer

Disclaimer 2

 

16 thoughts on “Money Down The Gurgler

  • June 9, 2016 at 10:21 am
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    That link to OMG.com.au runs into this message:
    There is no website configured at this address.

    • Ned O'Meara
      June 9, 2016 at 10:35 am
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      Exactly Joseph.

      Given that Fairfax is a listed company on the ASX, they’re not exactly looking after shareholder interests imo.

    • June 9, 2016 at 10:36 am
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      Also, half of the domains in that list of 6 – Lawyers.com.au, Tiler.com.au, Painters.com.au – seem to have new owners.

      • Ned O'Meara
        June 9, 2016 at 10:51 am
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        Lawyers.com.au is still OMG – some of the others are simply registered to another entity of Fairfax Media (they have many).

        Ultimate Holding Company of DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED is:
        Name: FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED 1E3275120
        ACN: 008 663 161
        ABN: 15008663161

  • Scotty
    June 9, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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    30,000 underutilized domains? , it’s no wonder the cctld search engines are full of other extentions, I mean look at the domains ‘mining” and “wool” .com.au two premium domains that represent our biggest economic engines and neither of these are utilised.

    • Ned O'Meara
      June 10, 2016 at 7:34 am
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      Good points Scotty.

      I remember about 4 or 5 years ago going down to meet the powers that be at OMG. Went to the Fairfax building in Pyrmont, and was taken up to some flash offices. I was also given a quick tour of their “boiler room” – they had about 110 telesales people predominantly employed to sell listings on all their directory sites. That’s all gone now.

  • June 10, 2016 at 12:27 am
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    Well if they’re not monetised, time to report them to auDA for cancellation. 🙂

    • Ned O'Meara
      June 10, 2016 at 6:43 am
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      @Garth, funny you should say that. They have copped a few complaints over the years, and I seem to remember they lost one or two token domains. Then they apparently had “discussions” with auDA and came to some sort of understanding. That was a while back however. Given their current disorganised state, you would think that:

      “Everyone is equal before the law”

      🙂

      • Scotty
        June 10, 2016 at 10:36 am
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        It would be a good day for the drop catcher that snags it.

      • June 11, 2016 at 1:14 am
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        Perception too.  If an individual owned all these domains, they would be labelled a squatter.

        • Ned O'Meara
          June 11, 2016 at 9:06 am
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          I think a few online forums like Whirlpool have seen comments in the past describing them as squatters!

  • June 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm
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    Nuts.com.au was an OMG domain for quite a few years. 🙂

    They still have some amazing domains.  Aside from the ones mentioned, they still have CreditCards.com.au which would surely be one of the most valuable domains around.

  • tim connell
    June 10, 2016 at 10:49 pm
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    being a “directory” type person their concept for directories was poor, just like a newspaper there was no humanity behind them, just functioning information spilling portals, weddings.com.au is what i am talking about.

    it just gave NOTHING to the bride except listings, if you look at easyweddings its an engaging website and directory and thats why it keeps winning the race.

    creditcards is a different kettle, people just want rates and leave happy, lawyers ! no body is expecting any “story line there”, the point is they treated all domains equal and they just aren’t

    tim

  • June 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm
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    Many of these domains are currently for sale on Sedo – wedding, tilers, painters.com.au and I’m sure I saw lawyers.com.au for sale for US $400,000 recently.

  • June 14, 2016 at 10:59 pm
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    Most of the names have been renewed until 2017  and 2018,

    They certainly need help with who to monetise with now but as they sacked most of the staff very few people are left to do it.

    I know they have woken up finally and are moving away from the overpriced services of Melbourne IT. There is No use paying too much to register or renew .com.au domain names. The going rates are only $20 AUD for 2 years at some good registrars.

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