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Dudu buys dudu.com for $1 million

Kevin Murphy, January 5, 2012, Domain Sales

The first big-figure domain name sale announcement of the year has me cackling.

A Dubai-based social networking site, Dudu, has paid $1 million for dudu.com, making one Chinese domainer a very happy man indeed.

Sedo brokered the deal over three months and announced the sale today.

Dudu was previously located at godudu.com.

The lesson to be learned here is so painfully obvious it’s barely worth mentioning: if you’re going to launch a brand and try to make it successful, first make sure you have a domain to match.

Before Dudu built up the brand, dudu.com was probably a five-figure sale.

To Dudu’s credit, it does not appear to have ever attempted a reverse domain name hijacking using the UDRP.

Alibek Issaev, chairman of Dudu, said in Sedo’s press release:

With the purchase of dudu.com, we will be able to match our platform’s brand with the exact domain name we need, and migrate from using godudu.com to this shorter version. This purchase means we don’t lose important traffic, and at the same time we ensure that visitors from around the globe will remember our brand’s name.

No dudu, Sherlock.

Telepathy sells Republic.com for $200,000

Kevin Murphy, September 23, 2011, Domain Sales

Sedo has brokered the sale of the domain name republic.com for $200,000.

It appears to be an end-user sale – Whois reveals the buyer is the UK clothing retailer Republic, which already owns republic.co.uk.

Republic.com already redirects surfers to the .co.uk site.

The seller appears to be Telepathy Inc, the company owned by well-known domainer Nat Cohen.

It’s the third six-figure deal Sedo has announced this week, following the $100,000 sales of silvercoins.com and siteweb.com.

Space.travel – the awesomest .travel domain – sells

Kevin Murphy, September 2, 2011, Domain Sales

It’s fairly rare for a .travel domain name to change hands on the aftermarket – on my database of 60,000 sales I have only two.

Today I can add space.travel, easily the best .travel name I’ve ever come across, to that list. It seems to have been sold via Sedo for $1,600 in late August.

The newly listed registrant is Planet Space Inc, which appears to have previously been involved in a social network for space enthusiasts at planetspace.com.

That fact, coupled with the fact that the .travel gTLD is restricted to travel-related companies, makes me extremely curious how the domain will be developed.

Space tourism is an emergent growth market, so it’s not too crazy to imagine the domain being used as a travel agency for suborbital flights before too many years.

Sedo launches domain pricing index

Kevin Murphy, July 13, 2011, Domain Sales

Sedo has launched Internet Domain Name Index, a research project that shows long-term domain pricing trends and compares the data to larger economic trends.

Using January 2006 prices as a baseline, the IDNX index will be updated monthly showing how much, relatively, domains are selling for on the secondary market.

Currently, domains are valued at 183% of January 2006 prices, for example.

The index uses something called a “hedonic repeat sales methodology” to come up with its numbers. No, I don’t know what that means either.

However the numbers are arrived at, the conclusions are quite interesting, showing that domain prices rise and fall in lockstep with the financial markets.

In this graph, the green line is the IDNX number and the blue one represents the value of the Nasdaq 100.

Sedo Domain Index

“The strong correlation shows that domain name buyers and sellers make economically motivated price decisions,” researcher Thies Lindenthal concludes. “Domain markets are not a cloud-cuckoo-land where dreamers trade esoteric goods at imaginary prices.”

Sedo expects domainers to use the index to adjust their portfolios’ changing values over time.

dotMusic buys music.co

Kevin Murphy, March 9, 2011, Domain Sales

Constantine Roussos of dotMusic, which plans to apply for the .music top-level domain, has added to his collection of musical domain names with the purchase of music.co.

Roussos, who already owns music.us and music.biz, seems to have been the winning bidder, paying $30,000, when it was auctioned by Sedo late last month, but Whois records did not change until this Monday.

Remarkably, Music.co is already developed. It lets you play from a selection of godawful* music from an artist calling himself “Constantine”, including one track called “.music”.

The domain was previously owned by domainer Mike Mann, who snapped up dozens of premium generic terms in the .com.co namespace a few years ago in order to be grandfathered in when .co relaunched.

Roussos’ dotMusic initiative is currently the only applicant for the .music TLD to have gone public.

Of the other big sales from the Sedo auction, shop.co is now owned by a German search engine, Websuche, and pizza.co was sold to a California-based developer of discount codes web sites.

The domain download.co, which sold for $10,099, now redirects to what appears to be an affiliate marketing site for software called “Driver Detective”, which I was too scared to install.

Many of the other sales appear to have been made to other domainers.

(* I’m kidding. Probably.)

New TLDs conference calls for speakers

The newdomains.org conference on new top-level domains, scheduled for September 26 and 27 in Munich, has put out a call for speakers.

Here’s the catch: if you’re interested, you might need an audition tape. The organizers want to see a short YouTube clip of your presenting skills in action before they consider your pitch.

Ram Mohan, CTO of Afilias, and Tim Schumacher, CEO of Sedo, are both already named on the draft agenda, but there are still plenty of open spots, including the first-day keynote.

Franz Josef Pschierer, IT commissioner of the Bavarian state government, will keynote day two.

The conference is being organized by the registrar United Domains, part of the same family of domain name companies as Sedo and 1&1 Internet.

While newdomains.org will take place in Germany, possibly the biggest market for new TLDs outside of the US, all the sessions will be conducted exclusively in English.

The conference currently looks like it’s shaping up along the same lines as the .nxt conference last month, with sessions on brand protection, community building, marketing and so on.

One notable difference is the addition of coached “workshops” as well as panel discussions.

Extracurricular activities include a tram ride around the city and a visit to the Hippodrom tent at Oktoberfest, the world-famous beer-drinking festival.

Needless to say, I shall be in attendance. For the trams, obviously.

ICM buys dotxxx.com for $25,000 and unveils new slogan

Kevin Murphy, November 4, 2010, Domain Sales

ICM Registry, the would-be .xxx registry operator, has acquired the domain name dotxxx.com from a Korean domainer for $25,000, to support an upcoming marketing campaign.

The company is also expected to unveil a punny new slogan, “Let’s be adult about it”, following its recent hiring of international ad agency M&C Saatchi.

The dotxxx.com domain currently redirects to icmregistry.com, the company’s main site. The private sale used Sedo for escrow.

Given the amount of cash ICM has spent attempting to get .xxx approved over the last ten years, $25,000 is a drop in the ocean.

ICANN recently decided to refer its application to the Governmental Advisory Committee for a consultation, before it makes a final call on whether to approve it or not.

Sex.com sale gets September 28 deadline

Kevin Murphy, September 9, 2010, Domain Sales

The private sale of sex.com will close by September 28, Sedo announced today.

I believe this is the first time the company has put a hard deadline for a deal to be made. It’s been handling the sale since May.

The company is still soliciting buyers, which makes me wonder whether it’s struggling to find a buyer with sufficiently deep pockets.

Sedo director of sales Kathy Nielsen said in a press release:

Sex.com has a proven revenue model that will enable its next owner to quickly build on past success. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a domain that will instantly expand the visibility of a brand, position a company as a leader in its market, and generate tremendous natural traffic.

The company has previously told buyers that they need to stump up a $1 million deposit in order to enter negotiations.

The last time the storied domain changed hands, the price tag was a cool $14 million.

Sedo handles domain sales worth $22 million in Q2

Kevin Murphy, August 2, 2010, Domain Sales

Sedo oversaw almost $22 million in domain name aftermarket sales in the second quarter, predominantly in the .com namespace.

The company’s Domain Market Study, published today, also shows that .co.uk, .de and .eu continue to be the most popular domains in the ccTLD market.

Sedo said that 11,146 domains were sold for a total of $21.6 million in the three months to June 30. That’s down from 11,942 names totalling $23.2 million in the first quarter.

The Q1 results included the $1 million sale of Poker.org.

Sedo had no public seven-figure sales in Q2. The most expensive domain to change hands was cgm.com, which went for $365,000.

The other two of the top three sales were German – kredit.com and software.de. Domains under .de accounted for almost half of all ccTLD sales: 49%.

Of course, .com continued to dominate overall, representing 46% of all sales and 74% of all gTLD sales.

But .net continues to be, on average, the most pricey TLD, with a median sales price of $581 versus .com’s $510. The .biz TLD has the lowest median, at $380.

Q3 is likely to see a sharp spike in sales data by dollar value. Sedo is currently trying to broker the sale of Sex.com, which will certainly fetch seven figures, if it sells.

Cybersquatters already hitting .co

Kevin Murphy, July 21, 2010, Domain Sales

Just over 24 hours after the general availability launch of the .co top-level domain, the secondary market is already beginning to fill up with dodgy domains.

Aftermarkets including Go Daddy and Sedo are currently listing some names that are unarguably typosquats of famous brands, and plenty more that very probably wouldn’t beat a UDRP complaint.

Go Daddy Auctions currently has almost 200 .co domains listed, Sedo over 500. Of those, I managed to find a few dozen dubious registrations, mostly on Go Daddy.

It beggars belief that, with millions of decent greenfield domains available, somebody had the failure of imagination to register wwwgoole.co. But they did. It’s currently listed on Sedo.

Other probable typosquats found on Sedo this evening include yahhoo.co, listed with a £10,000 price tag, as well as yayoo.co, geogle.co and barclys.co.

Go Daddy has listed some more obvious brands: poptarts.co and tostitos.co for the foodies, sanfranciscogiants.co, washingtonnationals.co and seattlemariners.co for the American football baseball fans.

Somebody who pays way too much attention to Rick Schwartz registered bpoilspill.co for the quick flip.

Cartoon characters for sale include mariobros.co and goofy.co. Celebrities duncanbannatyne.co and mikeposner.co both get squatted.

Yahoo, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft all get targeted, with yahoomaps.co, iphonedeals.co, facebookme.co and bingsearch.co all receiving price tags between $5,000 and $50,000.

For the Brits, centerparcs.co, virginuk.co and bbciplayer.co are also all up for auction.

Bear in mind that these are just the domains that have been registered and listed for auction in the first 24 hours. There’ll be plenty more not yet on the market.

I’d estimate about 5% to 10% of Go Daddy’s .co auctions are currently UDRP fodder.

This is why trademark holders hate new TLDs.