The Big Issues in the Domain Industry - Part 1

domainking131

Forum Leader
Staff member
When I think about the really big issues in the domain industry I find that I’m forced to reflect on the four primary business models associated with domains:

1. Selling domains like stock items
2. Selling high value domains
3. Traffic monetisation
4. Development

Selling domains as stock items is all about increasing the sales turnover of low value domains (sub $2K) in your portfolio. This is similar to a supermarket which operates on low margins wanting to increase the throughput of products being sold.

When you look at the incumbents in this market they have all been trying to increase the demand. This has largely been achieved through increasing the breadth of their distribution networks (ie. Registrars) so their inventory is exposed to a larger audience.

I see a number of innovations that centre on pricing that can be explored in this market and I will discuss two of them in this article. To date, the feedback from domain marketplaces has been that if a domain is priced it’s more likely to sell. This seems to make sense as buyers like to know what they are about to pay for domain rather than “make and enquiry”.

At the moment most markets encourage domain sellers to price their own domains…..which seems to be a little silly. Why is this? Domain sellers are typically at an informational disadvantage compared to the marketplaces….so why ask the “amateur” to price their domains?

Not only this, domain sellers often don’t have the resources to pull together a myriad of data points to more accurately price a domain name…..worse than this, the data points are often not available to the domain seller in the first place.

This means the domain prices are often more guesstimates than real and a LOT of money is potentially being left on the table due to either over pricing (reduced stock turn) or under-pricing (leaving money).

Currently, the pricing of a domain largely depends upon traffic levels, length, TLD and comparatives. In my opinion, using comparatives completely undermines the whole point of a domain being unique. Why buy a domain for $X when you can buy another one that’s cheaper. This is particularly true with the massive influx of supply from the new gTLDs.


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