NamesCon Domain Auction

One of the many highlights for me at NamesCon in Las Vegas was the live domain name auction.

This was very efficiently run by NameJet and Right Of The Dot.

Couple of firsts for me – first time I had ever been to one in my life; and first time I had ever registered and bid for domains by holding up a paddle!

It was a long process though. From “go to whoa” it went for about 4 hours. I sat through the whole auction – but I did manage to do some work on my laptop in between bidding on the few domains that were of interest to me!

Key Points

  • Signing up to bid was made easy by NameJet. They had a desk at the entry to the auction hall. I simply filled in a form and was given a paddle with my number on it. Took less than 2 minutes to do.
  • The auction was both live and online. The technology seemed to work well – I could see on the big screen if there was an internet bid.
  • The auctioneer (Wayne Wheat) and the whole team were superb. Whilst the auction went on for too long in my opinion, if it hadn’t of been for the efficiency and experience of these guys, we would have been there until midnight!
  • I know the organizers had heaps of submissions, so they did well in pruning the names on offer in the live format down to about 130. However, in my opinion, they would be better served if they made it shorter next year – perhaps just 100 domains on offer? Interest does tend to wane after a few hours.
  • Domains that didn’t sell on the day are still available to be bid on. This EXTENDED AUCTION will include ALL domains names not selected for live auction, and for those in the live auction that do not hit reserve. This will close on January 21, 2016 (USA time zone). There is just under a day left – so if you’re interested in bidding and don’t have an account, make sure you sign up. Michael Berkens from The Domains has just published a summary of what’s happening.

As of publication there are over 125 domain names that have hit reserve (or had no reserve) and have 1 or more bids that will sell tomorrow.


Rather than relying on my own notes, I emailed Scott Pruitt (Director of Marketing at NameJet), and he provided me with the following info:

The final sales tally came out to $1,495,400. Of the 131 names offered in the live auction, 92 of those resulted in a sale, for a sell-through rate of  70%! The remaining 39 names have been moved to the NameJet auction platform where they will continue to be offered in an online public auction until the auctions close on January 21, 2016.

The biggest surprise was the success of the names offered in the auction. 36 names were sold for a total of $354,600, with an average sale price of $9,850! Some of those included @ $70,000, @ $52,500, @ $16,000, and @ $14,500. If this is any indication of things to come, 2016 may turn out be the year of the names.

The top three .coms to sell in the live auction were which included the corresponding trademark @ $240,000, @ $157,500, and at $110,000.

So out of the 92 domains sold, 31 of these were nTLD’s! Total sales amount $US314,200.

Here’s a list of them, and whether they were sold on the floor or via online bid. The ones in blue are those that I actually had a bid on. I kicked myself afterwards that I was a bit timid in my bidding. I really would have liked to acquire some of them – particularly;; and It’s easy in hindsight, but I think these were bargains.

What do you think?

Domain Price Type $70,000 Floor $52,500 Floor $16,000 Internet $14,500 Floor $12,000 Internet $12,000 Floor $10,000 Floor $10,000 Floor $9,500 Floor $9,000 Floor $9,000 Floor $8,500 Floor $8,250 Floor $8,000 Floor $8,000 Floor $7,000 Internet $5,000 Floor $4,750 Floor $4,750 Floor $4,500 Floor $3,750 Floor $3,500 Internet $3,500 Floor $3,250 Floor $3,000 Floor $2,750 Floor $2,750 Floor $2,500 Floor $2,250 Floor $2,000 Floor $1,700 Internet

12 thoughts on “NamesCon Domain Auction

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for sharing @Ned 🙂 sold September last year on for $1,000,000 USD sold December 2013 via DomainNameSales for $245,000 USD sold August 2008 (amid GFC) via Marchex for $188,889 USD sold sold February last year via DomainHoldings for $106,000 USD sold October 2012 on Sedo for $500,000 USD sold 2013 on Flippa for $250,000 USD sold September 2011 via Netfleet for approx $127,500 USD sold July 2009 via Namejet (‘drops’) for $42,801 USD sold 2003 privately for $1,000,000 USD sold September 2009 on Sedo for $42,700 USD

    I know where I’d rather park my money 😉

    Of course new TLD sales will dominate, people are keen to get rid of them.

    The real news story from the Namescon auction via Namejet is the unprecedented number of high bids placed on .com names. The ROTD Live Auction has 22 hours to go, and the following names have received the following bids: $1,503,000 USD $1,053,000 USD $950,000 USD $550,000 USD $510,000 USD $500,000 USD $500,000 USD $500,000 USD $450,000 USD $375,000 USD $300,000 USD $250,000 USD $150,000 USD $125,000 USD $125,000 USD $110,000 USD $106,000 USD $101,000 USD $100,002 USD $100,000 USD $100,000 USD

    Context is everything. The absence of any five figure new TLD sales would’ve led to a few billion dollars worth of investment evaporating overnight. A few paltry sales like the ones you’ve cited, however, will mean the new TLD collapse won’t come so suddenly (probably best for the poor suckers that have bought into them).

    • Avatar
      January 21, 2016 at 8:38 am

      All sales results taken from

      For the ROTD Live Auction visit and sort by “High Bid” in descending order

      • Avatar
        January 21, 2016 at 8:46 am

        Also, was sold at NO RESERVE auction via Namejet overnight (AEST). Eleven hours prior to close it was up at $417,000 USD. I didn’t stay with the auction, but predict it will have sold for between $1 million USD and $1.3 million USD. This was part of Namescon.

    • Ned O'Meara
      January 21, 2016 at 8:49 am

      @”Paul” 😉

      You can get off your bandwagon. 😉 All I’m doing is reporting what I saw live with my own eyes.

      No question in my mind that .com is king (and that in Australia it is But as Banjo Paterson famously said, “There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around”.

      And as respected commentator Andrew Allemann said on Domain Name Wire:

      I think this was a huge moment for new top level domain names on the aftermarket.

      I know a lot of people will point out that some of the domains sold were among the very best for each top level domain. This is true. But to watch domains created on namespaces that didn’t exist a couple years ago sell for $5,000 or $10,000 in an auction environment is a very good sign.


      • Avatar
        January 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

        Only EIGHT five figure sales at the world’s biggest domain name convention! (Chuckles emoji)

        I also notice that all but 5 out of 31 new TLD names auctioned were sold on the “Floor” – who spiked the punch?!

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Ned, thanks for the insights. Must of been fun to be there.

    Will you be bidding on any of the domains in the online auction?

    • Ned O'Meara
      January 21, 2016 at 9:37 am

      @Dave – it was truly great fun. More than that it was mind blowing.

      Yes, I think I will have a dabble. Just so that I can stir “Paul” up. 😉

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2016 at 11:03 am

    The best part of new tlds is that while people are too busy buying them and spening there money on them it leaves more dot coms for the rest of us to pick up via domain drop have picked quite a few up over the time namescon was on so i say to the masses keep buying new tlds and keep the faith , they are also the same people who chase rainbows to find that pot of gold aswell lol

  • Avatar
    January 21, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Plus ça change…

    Forgive me if I am a little cynical.

    Ten years (or more) ago new TLD’s were being introduced to the market. .biz .info .eu .mobi etc sold in 2006 at a TRAFFIC domain action for $200,000. Six figures for a new TLD!

    In 2007 sold at a Sedo auction for $616,000!

    Respected commentator Andrew Allemann said on Domain Name Wire:

    “With prices this high, major investors clearly took part in the auction.  But these prices were unexpected by even many of the biggest .mobi promoters. Earlier this week I predicted that might break the record, but these numbers are simply astonishing.”

    Worth reading the article for the comments from the vindicated mobi investors…


    In 2010 sold at TRAFFIC for $6,500. currently doesn’t resolve.

    .biz .info .eu?

    Enough said.

    • Ned O'Meara
      January 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      @Andrew – I do forgive you. 🙂

      You’ve been in the industry longer than me, so I do appreciate the extra knowledge you bring to the table. And that was an interesting quote by Andrew Allemann – hadn’t seen that.

      .mobi was definitely a prime example of hype followed by disaster.

      Up until a month ago, I had never been an advocate of the new gTLD’s. NamesCon changed my opinion somewhat – and it wasn’t just the influence of Frank Schilling (I know he has a barrow to push). It was more the discussions I had with people like Drew Rosener and other well know domain investors / brokers.

      I believe some of the extensions will prosper – but I also think that the majority will perish. I’m not an expert or a fortune teller – all I know is that some of the extensions have a lot of marketing grunt and budget behind them.

      So time will tell.

      However, I’m still sorry that I didn’t pick up and!


      • Avatar
        January 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm

        So this is the best that the new TLDs can do with all that “marketing grunt” behind them??! ?

        Right now, 2 years in, at the crescendo, this is it??! ?

        There are over 2.1 million actively trading businesses in Australia according to the ABS (June 2014). More than 47% have an online presence (2013) source

        That means more than 987,000 actively trading businesses with an online presence.

        Yet fewer than 15,000 have taken up .melbourne or .sydney *combined*. That’s 1.5% !! PITIFUL  ..(Remove clueless newbie domain investors/speculators from the equation and it’s actually less than 1% !)

        Plus tells us that .melbourne and .sydney are the MOST successful of the new TLDs in Australia (ie. the best of the worst) !

        excuse the lazy syntax but I’m poolside right now, laughing my head off ?

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