Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Short Domains by Market Cap

Given the hunt for stores of value these days that are unaffected by currency debasement, I thought it would be interesting to look at what the "market cap" is for various short domains?

Here are the results (in $ millions) when market cap is determined by median sale price. $10 million $67 million $15 million $95 million $160 million $275 million

N refers to a number and L refers to a letter, so NNN.coms are 3-digit .com domains, and's are four letter .com domains.

The market cap for's is the smallest, around $8 million, because there are only 100 of these domains, and median sale prices are around $80,000.  The median sale prices for's (676 in existence) are around $125,000.

Interestingly, there is a huge drop-off in market cap for's versus's, because median sale prices for's is approximately $20, and even with the huge size of the market (456,976 domains), the market cap is dragged down by the vast quantity of "bad letter" sales.

Of course, if you determine market cap by reference to average sale price, a completely different result occurs. $10 million $67 million $15 million $95 million $160 million $150 million

The total market cap for all short domains two letters's and's?  About $500 million.  This figure may seem large, but it is actually mind-numbingly small.  A hedge fund or large institutional investor could easily buy up a huge chunk of the market.

Compare this to the market for gold.  I know there are some gold bugs out there, but come on, things are a little bit nuts over there, the market cap for the gold market is approximately $9 trillion!

I would personally rather have a decent or a random than an ounce of gold right now, that's for sure.  At least short domains have a variety of real uses and generate income.  Plus the available supply is fixed.  People hoarding gold and silver right now apparently do not seem to notice or care that the stuff is just sitting there in the ground, and can be retrieved for a fraction of current prices.  Basic logic suggests there will eventually be a huge price correction.

In short domain land on the other hand, awareness among the general population of domains as an alternative investment vehicle is still very low.  As we are approaching 100 million registered .com domains, with no end in sight to the growth of the domain market as China comes online en masse, it is inevitable that the shortest and most versatile domains will become more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 Auction Results Keep Coming

More nice numerics sales on    RMB¥200    $30    RMB¥200    $30    RMB¥220    $33    RMB¥4,301    $645    RMB¥200    $30    RMB¥9,999    $1,500    RMB¥66,000    $9,900    RMB¥200    $30

Monday, August 29, 2011

99 Million .com domains registered by the end of the year.

As of today, there were 96,853,495 .com domains registered.

In the last month and a half, the registration rate has averaged 17,648 domains per day.  At the current rate, more than 99,000,000 domains will be registered by year end.

So we probably won't hit 100,000,000 by year end, but registration rates remain strong. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Registration Data for Domains

This post looks at registration data for 250 random domains to gain insight into the landscape.

The first item we will look at is how long domains have been continuously registered.

Online Graphing

As the results show,  about 30% of domains have been registered continuously for one year (meaning their expiration date is less than one year away from when they were initially registered).  The second largest result was for domains registered for 7 years, which is when Marchex registered nearly all the US zip code domains.  Domains that have been registered for longer are more likely to continue to be registered, and to be used for developed sites or cash-generating parked pages.

The average expiration date for domains registered for one year is February 8, 2012, which is close to six months away from today, suggesting that expiration dates are evenly spread throughout the year.

The big open question is how many of the most recent registrants will hold their domains for longer than a year.   If nearly all of them let their domains expire, there may not be a buyout this year of NNNNN.coms that sticks.  On the other hand, if  only 1/4 of recent registrants renew their domains, it is likely that the buyout will stick at some point in the near future, given the strong continued buying/registering interest in's and the increasingly tightening supply (over 99.9% are currently registered). And the data from past years suggests that this is not unreasonable to expect.

I have been looking at drops over the past month or so and approximately 58 domains drop per day.  This shows that approximately 1/3 of new registrants (registered in the past year) are renewing their domains, and 2/3 are letting them drop.  While this might suggest weakness in the market, it actually shows that supply is tightening very rapidly, and that last year's 10,000 domains renewed by first-time registrants will likely be repeated this year.  This is an incredibly bullish projection for domains at this point, and suggests the buyout will likely stick at some point in the next year as continued interest from new registrants and tightening supply make it virtually inevitable.   In two or three years it is likely that drops will be as rare as drops (about 10-20/day) or possibly even rarer.

The next item looks at who owns domains.

Online Graphing

Of the 250 randomly selected domains, nearly half were owned by Asians, mainly Chinese, although some Japanese and Hong Kong owners appeared as well.  The next biggest category of owners was Marchex, which I listed separately even though it is a US company. Interestingly, the next biggest owner of domains is Italy, and these domains have been registered for several years.  Although these domains are not currently developed it appears, perhaps they are being planned for use as Italian zip code domains, as Italian postal codes are also 5 digits.

The predominance of Asian owners suggests why supply has been tightening over the past couple years and registration periods increasing.  Simply put, internet use is expanding rapidly in China and will continue to do so over the next few decades.  We are likely in the early stages of an incredible bull market in numeric domains.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Auction Results from

Here are more auction results from the last week at

Monday, August 22, 2011

48 available to register

After touching all-bought-out status a couple times in the last month, a week of heavy drops has left us with 48 domains available to register as of this morning.

That is still very few, as 100,000 of these domains exist in total. 

It is quite possible that in a year's time or less, these domains will be 100% registered and all drops will be picked up, similar to what exists with domains.   Unlike with the previous buyout of's where 20,000 domains were bought in a frenzy in a couple weeks, this one has been years in the making, with a steady registration pace of around 13/day.  Therefore it makes sense that the buyout doesn't "stick" immediately, because it is not a buyout like the last one.

The buyers nowadays are not looking to cash in on the next domain buyout bubble like's in early 2008, when bad letters were going for $50-$60 a pop.  We all know how that ended, both's and's crashed,'s back to being around $10-$15 for bad letters and's back to reg fee.

Long term, the fundamentals for's are likely as good or even better than's, and the sneaking steady registration is a sign of that.  A significant portion of these domains are actually used by end-users for traffic, redirect, or real developed sites (mainly Chinese but other foreign and English-language sites as well).  Plus, whereas there are 450,000+'s, there are only 100,000's, and a random is likely to get significantly more google hits (and therefore possible uses) than a random

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ebay Auctions

22 rare Palindromic (6 digit .com domains) with "88" in the middle are currently up for auction at Ebay.  Will be interesting to see how they do, lots of nice six digit sales have been coming through recently.

Another Ebay sale of note recently. sold for $49.99.  Here is the link for that one.  Other recent sales for numeric domains have also been good: sold for $78 on sold for $42 on

More Auction Results

Some more five and six digit domains, as well as a bunch of and domains.  Interesting to see that 78333 fetches almost as much as 73337, three repeating digits add significant value to a numeric domain.  Even two repeating digits adds value, as you can see from 7151 going for $4,500, significantly more than the baseline value for a that has no "4" and doesn't start with a "0".    RMB¥220    $33    RMB¥260    $39    RMB¥4,600    $690    RMB¥30,000    $4,500    RMB¥840    $126    RMB¥5,800    $870    RMB¥430    $65    RMB¥340    $51    RMB¥480    $72    RMB¥600    $90    RMB¥560    $84    RMB¥4,600    $690    RMB¥4,600    $690    RMB¥1,001    $150    RMB¥520    $78    RMB¥55,000    $8,250    RMB¥4,600    $690    RMB¥4,600    $690

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why aren't domains all registered?

As we noted previously,'s are about 92% registered, whereas NNNN.nets have all been registered for years. 

For letter domains, .org domains may be slightly less popular than .nets, but not much more so.  There are approximately 14 million .net domains currently registered, and more than 9.3 million .org currently registered.  Again, this reflects that while .net domains are more popular, the difference in popularity is not extreme.

But when it comes to numeric domains, the difference is often stark.  In looking at sales of two-digit domains, the median sale price by extension reflects a significant discount for .org compared to .net (and of course, compared to .com).

Online Graphing

The .net/.com disparity is not that shocking, just looking at registration statistics shows that the total number of .net domains is around 15% of the total number of .com domains registered.  This is similar to the ratio of median sale prices of to domains (12.5%).   The significant discount for .org domains, however (median sale prices for domains is 20% of domains) is not reflected in the registration statistics for these domains, which reflects that .org domains are approximately 66% as popular as .net domains.  This suggests that numeric domains that end in .org are significantly less valuable than numeric domains that end in .net, and the likely explanation for this disparity is that Chinese domainers and internet users are more familiar with .net domains than .org.

Looking at median sale prices for,, and domains, it is pretty clear that the .org discount only applies to numerics.

Online Graphing
Graphing domains actually have a higher median sale price than domains. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Development of Domains

Previously we looked at development of 300 random five digit domains that start with zero.

Here is a graph of the results for "'s"

And here is a graph of results for "'s"

A couple of things here are interesting to note.  One is that there are more domains not being used among the "'s", and fewer being parked, than with the domains starting with a "1".  This perhaps reflects that domains starting with a "0" are less likely to receive traffic.

Another thing that was unexpected was that there were more developed Asian sites among the "'s" than among the "'s."  I would have expected the numbers to be reversed.  Perhaps its just a fluke in the random numbers selected, and it will be interesting to see if it holds up with a new random sample.

One thing that was not surprising was that Marchex (MCHX) was the biggest holder in both the "" and "" space.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 Auction Results (Lots of NNNNN's)

The past couple days we have seen many more's selling in auctions at  Not all of these are premium domains, so it's interesting to see these going in auctions.  With the near-buyout of's going back and forth between zero available to register (as of this morning there were 67 after several days of heavy drops), it is much harder to find nice to hand-register or even backorder.  So it's interesting to see some sales of domains that have just 2 or 3 repeating numbers. sold for $12 and had seven months left on registration, and sold for $9 and also had seven months left on registration.  So while not a huge buying price, it shows there is support in the market for paying above-registration fee on's that have less than a year remaining.    RMB¥7,500    $1,125    RMB¥80    $12    RMB¥60    $9    RMB¥70    $11    RMB¥900    $135    RMB¥2,700    $405    RMB¥500    $75    RMB¥320    $48    RMB¥325    $49    RMB¥6,000    $900

Monday, August 8, 2011

Survey of 300 Random "'s"

To gain a better sense of the landscape of's, we surveyed 300 random 5-digit domains that start with a "0". 

Here's the results:

#1: Marchex US Zip Code Site: 90 (30%)
#2: Nothing/Doesn't Resolve: 89 (29.67%).
#3: Parked: 59 (19.67%).
#4: Chinese Developed Sites: 41 (13.67%)
#5: Redirect: 16 (5.33%)
#6: Developed Non-Chinese Site: 5 (1.67%)

It is quite possible that some of the sites listed as "Chinese Developed" were actually parked sites, but there's really no way for me to tell.  Several of them were without question used by businesses as actual sites, though.

For example, is a Chinese fashion/shopping site, and is a site for ANDI Technologies Software Company.

The non-Chinese Developed Sites, two sites were zip code/information sites: and, two were real estate sites and, and one was a movie reviews site,

In coming weeks, we will survey the landscape of's beginning with different numbers, to see if the results are significantly different. 

Stock Markets Tank: Numeric Domain Sales Strong

If you're watching your portfolio today, it's bad.  $SPY, $QQQ, all indices and stocks are down hard.

Numeric domain sales today, though, were strong.    RMB¥522    $78    RMB¥220    $33    RMB¥481    $72

These were auction results from, and some more good auction numbers are in the pipeline for tomorrow. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Additional Auction Results

As usual, I do not check if reserve is met, only what the bidding got up to.  Here are the numbers for today: RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥520 $78 RMB¥482 $72 RMB¥561 $84

Another nice sale for a Perhaps the buyout of these domains is starting to exert upward pressure on prices. sold over a month ago for practically half of what just sold for ($42 v. $78).  Maybe it's much better to have the first two digits be identical rather than the last two, or maybe it's something else entirely.  Either way, a nice sale for a nice domain.

Numbers versus Letters Series (Volume I)

In our first post looking at the relative value of numeric domains as compared to letter domains, we look at median google search results for random NNNNN combinations (5 digits) versus LLLL combinations (4 letter). 

Here is the result of our investigation.

Online Graphing

Clearly, 5 digit combinations have many more google search results than 4 letter combinations.  Although google search results are only one element of the indicators of a domain name's potential value, the huge disparity is significant, and may suggest that the current market either over-values's or (more likely) significantly undervalues's.

To reach this result, we tested 40 random combinations (20 numbers, 20 letters), and here are the results we received.

Random Numbers

13055 9,030,000
56182 8,080,000
92256 4,040,000
59005 10,800,000
22095 10,900,000
23896 4,510,000
90537 921,000
54881 9,050,000
74849 4,390,000
61094 6,570,000
69459 4,560,000
91895 2,730,000
67373 992,000
05753 5,080,000
53690 8,910,000
97215 25,800,000
79836 5,450,000
99662 476,000
60130 3,700,000
81103 4,410,000
Median 4,820,000

Random Letters:

IGLK 283,000
VYUL 214,000
GRXA 237,000
JWNS 82,500
LAIE 13,500,000
QWHE 276,000
OWKE 236,000
DIJI 2,430,000
BZFO 235,000
BNSG 110,000
QTNJ 225,000
HEUR 5,270,000
AOXM 172,000
AHIO 786,000
UKOZ 1,170,000
YEGF 842,000
UKKQ 861,000
VDOY 929,000
GJQQ 205,000
HBFV 184,000
Median 256,500

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Domain Registration and the Stock Market

So today the market completely fell apart into the close, the general indices $SPY and $QQQ are way down, while bonds $TLT are way up.  Even $SLV (silver) started to fall apart.  Is this the start of a major stock market collapse?  Well, could be.  But in case anybody wants some optimism, we're going to try to provide it.  As we have noted previously on this blog, it appears that .com registration trends may have signaled the market collapse in late '08/early '09. 

Now, we here at nnnnndomains have been tracking .com registration trends, as we count down to 100 million .com domains registered, a huge milestone.  It had originally seemed we were going to hit this milestone by the end of 2011, but then registration slowed a bit, and it looked like we might have to wait until early 2012.  Now, having looked at the last month of registration data, it seems that .com registration has picked up, and we actually might get very close to the 100,000,000 mark by year's end.  Since we last checked, .com domains have been registered at a rate of 19,309 per day, a slight increase over the previous average of 18,201 per day.  If this trend sticks, we will have 99,325,879 registered .com domains by year end. 

What does this have to do with the stock market?  Maybe nothing.  But as we noted before, there were three months in 2007 where there was actually a decrease in the total number of domains registered, a very rare occurrence.  This coincided with what was in hindsight the top of the market.  And then in 2008 when the market began to completely fall apart, there were several months of very weak .com domain registration numbers.  It would be easy to come up with theories connecting the two things (slowdown in capital spending by businesses, etc.), but I don't know if anyone has looked into this hypothesis in greater depth than we have here (which isn't that deep, obviously).  Anyways, we are keeping our eyes on the .com registration statistics as a possible harbinger of stock market doom, and as of now, it's not signalling doom.  In fact, it's showing that .com registration remains strong, even though 96+ million domains are already registered.

So are there any gems remaining to be registered out there?  Well, obviousy we believe that domains (5 digit .com domains) are the best investment right now.  There are only 100,000 of these domains, and they are currently hovering around 99.99%/100% registered, with a few dozen drops every day being picked up.  Unlike precious metals ($GLD, $SLV), they aren't making any more of these, there are only 100,000 domains, and there will always only be 100,000 domains.  And every number has a huge number of possible uses as Chinese lucky numbers, US and foreign postal codes, product numbers, and more.  Even rare earth metals I would argue are a worse investment, because even though these are highly priced now, eventually they will find a way to get more production in various parts of the world ($MCP, $REE, $AVL, $SHZ).  Domain names are a good way to invest in the internet's "real estate" and hedge against currency devaluation as well as profit from increased internet use worldwide, which is going to continue to grow substantially over the next decade.

5 digit numeric domains are used as US zip code domains primarily, and more recently as Chinese domains, as Chinese internet presence keeps increasing (and will continue to do so), and numerics are incredibly popular in China.  Prices for domains are topping $1,000, and random are starting to fetch higher prices as well, now that these domains are getting impossible to hand-register.  So, if anybody is looking for somewhere other than the market to invest, this is a way to play the China growth story without worrying about possibly fraudulent companies stealing all your money ($CCME, $LFT, $RINO).  Consider some numeric domain names, and be a part of history in the making as we go towards 100 million registered .com domains!

5数字域 5数字com 5位数域名 5位数COM Any Chinese Domainers Out There?

I am interested in getting a Chinese domainer's perspective on the recent buyout of domains, and in particular links to any forums/translations of Chinese forum posts discussing the buyout.

I can offer free 5数字com domains for anyone that can spend some time with me discussing the Chinese market for numeric domains and 5数字com domains in particular.  Please contact me if you are interested. 

So far this is the only discussion I have found, and it does not appear particularly in-depth.


This particular discussion does not seem that interesting, the original poster did not get much on-topic follow-up and the post appears to be written a few weeks ago, before there was actually a complete buyout.  Is there more recent discussion out there in the Chinese blogosphere or domainer forums?  I would also be interested in discussion from the last year of prospects for a buyout.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Historical Availability


Data is gathered from DomainMagnate, Namepros Countdown Thread, and this blog's checks of available's.  

Pretty interesting when you look at the picture.  The 2008 buyout certainly looks like an anomaly in historical perspective, and the current buyout seems much more reasonable. 

More Auction Results

Starting to see a lot more 5 digit .com domains/'s (and even 6n's) show up in these auctions lately, and not all are palindromes or have 3 or more repeating digits. Note sold for $33.  Also a few weeks ago sold for $30.  Plus the ones with repeating digits are starting to go for very nice sums in recent sales. went for $435, went for $1,410, went for $1,200, went for $390, and many more. 

Here are the auction results from the last two days: RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥590 $89 RMB¥8,100 $1,215

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

List of Available After Today's Drop

There are 19 domains available for register after today's drop.  These often disappear overnight as Chinese domainers (operating in a different time zone picture) take them.

Short Domain Registration/Buyout Data

It is clear from these numbers that .org is much more popular for letter domains as compared to numeric domains.  The approximate numbers result from running some random bulk searches, the standard deviation should be within a few percentage points at a high confidence level. 10 domains.
* All registered. 100 domains.
* All registered. 1,000 domains.
* All registered. 10,000 domains.
* All registered.
* All registered.
* 92.3% registered. 100,000 domains.
* 99.99% registered.
* Approximately 51.89% registered.
* Approximately 2.52% registered. 1,000,000 domains.
* Approximately 8.42% registered.
* Approximately 0.96% registered.
* Approximately 0.1% registered. 26 domains.
* All registered. 676 domains.
* All registered. 17,576 domains.
* All registered. 456,976 domains.
* All registered.
* Approximately 51.5% registered.
* Approximately 38.8% registered.  11,881,376 domains.
* Approximately 14% registered.
* Approximately 3% registered.
* Approximately 3.65% registered.

Recent Auction Results from

Lots of good auction results here (I don't check if reserve price is met, but this is what the bidding got up to).

I don't think any's without a "4" and not starting with a "0" are selling for under $1,000 now on RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥3,801 $570 RMB¥240 $36 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥2,600 $390 RMB¥520 $78 RMB¥1,200 $180 RMB¥8,000 $1,200 RMB¥4,500 $675 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥1,250 $188 RMB¥480 $72 RMB¥4,500 $675 RMB¥7,100 $1,065 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥12,805 $1,921 RMB¥400 $60 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥220 $33 RMB¥4,310 $647 RMB¥240 $36 RMB¥540 $81 RMB¥360 $54 RMB¥5,988 $898 RMB¥6,900 $1,035 RMB¥14,200 $2,130 RMB¥7,400 $1,110 RMB¥4,100 $615 RMB¥6,800 $1,020 RMB¥151,000 $22,650 RMB¥4,609 $691 RMB¥7,800 $1,170 RMB¥13,000 $1,950 RMB¥7,600 $1,140 RMB¥7,400 $1,110 RMB¥4,300 $645 RMB¥4,400 $660 RMB¥8,800 $1,320 RMB¥9,057 $1,359 RMB¥7,400 $1,110 RMB¥8,500 $1,275 RMB¥16,600 $2,490 RMB¥9,005 $1,351 RMB¥20,600 $3,090 RMB¥6,800 $1,020 RMB¥7,500 $1,125 RMB¥7,209 $1,081 RMB¥4,359 $654 RMB¥4,400 $660 RMB¥7,008 $1,051 RMB¥2,300 $345 RMB¥59,400 $8,910 RMB¥7,600 $1,140 RMB¥7,500 $1,125 RMB¥452,000 $67,800 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥620 $93 RMB¥240 $36 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥200 $30 RMB¥240 $36 RMB¥4,500 $675 RMB¥6,000 $900 RMB¥10,200 $1,530 RMB¥9,100 $1,365 RMB¥10,200 $1,530 RMB¥9,100 $1,365 RMB¥5,800 $870 RMB¥65,000 $9,750 RMB¥2,100 $315 RMB¥6,300 $945 RMB¥6,100 $915 RMB¥4,600 $690 RMB¥4,600 $690 RMB¥8,306 $1,246 RMB¥90 $14 RMB¥80 $12 RMB¥7,100 $1,065 RMB¥8,400 $1,260 RMB¥4,400 $660 RMB¥9,000 $1,350 2100 $315 RMB¥7,100 $1,065 RMB¥7,160 $1,074 RMB¥7,305 $1,096 RMB¥7,100 $1,065 RMB¥50 $8 RMB¥70 $11 RMB¥441,000 $66,150 RMB¥5,600 $840 RMB¥360 $54 RMB¥7,100 $1,065 RMB¥8,400 $1,260 RMB¥4,400 $660 RMB¥4,500 $675 RMB¥10,400 $1,560 RMB¥240 $36 RMB¥7,000 $1,050 RMB¥441,000 $66,150 RMB¥5,600 $840 RMB¥360 $54 RMB¥8,901 $1,335 RMB¥4,400 $660 RMB¥5,100 $765 RMB¥340 $51 RMB¥389 $58 RMB¥380 $57 RMB¥340 $51 RMB¥380 $57 RMB¥8,101 $1,215 RMB¥26,000 $3,900 RMB¥8,100 $1,215 RMB¥70 $11 RMB¥60 $9 RMB¥30,500 $4,575 RMB¥9,000 $1,350 RMB¥8,000 $1,200 RMB¥4,700 $705 RMB¥7,900 $1,185 RMB¥4,900 $735 RMB¥520 $78