Just a few days ago the auction for cats.net ended at Sedo with the highest bid at $7,000 (usd). Does this indicate a major fall in the current market for .net domains? Or was this a fair price for such a domain? Well I personally think not. $7,000 for such a premium domain name, despite being a .net is very cheap indeed. The buyer definitely got the better end of the deal.
So what did this domain name sell for so little? I think it had a lot to do with how the sale was promoted, or the lack of promotion for that matter. The name was auctioned off via Sedo and I didn’t even hear about it till after the auction had finished. Actually, I only found out about it after it had been posted on a forum.
We were able to hear from the current owner (the seller) and it turns out the name was put into auction without a reserve price and he made no efforts to contact potential end-users to let them know about the auction. This, together with the current financial situations has meant that a good name has gone for such a low price.
Another thing that surprised me and many others was that the domain name hadn’t been promoted to possible end-users. The seller hadn’t previously made any attempts at contacting people in order to try and get a sale. This wasn’t because he didn’t think to do it, but he chose not to. And I think this hurt his pockets somewhat.
A lot might argue that there isn’t much end-user potential for this domain, possible because its not a product but an animal/pet. Well, I’d disagree. The name it self can have many uses and would appeal to the “cat food” industry or “pet products” and could even be used a cat lovers community / forum. There might not be a huge number of advertisers for the keyword but there are definitely a lot of uses for it.
I think a fair price would have been around $10,000 minimum to about $14,000.
So, there could be some lessons to be learned from this sale. It’s good to be proactive with your domain names. Contact potential buyers, send out emails and promote your name. Sitting on them and hoping people will come and make offers isn’t always going to get you the biggest sales. If you’re not good at contacting or finding potential buyers, then hire a broker (if you have a premium name that is). Get your name evaluated as well to see what kind of price to expect. Do all of this before sending it to auction – and even then… alert potential buyers and let people know the name is in auction. Don’t let it go under the radar and miss out on getting some extra bids.