NamesCon auction sees domain name sold for US $900,000

Tracy JohnsonA blog post by Tracy Johnson, Channel Manager at InternetNZ.

I recently attended my third NamesCon Global - an annual domain industry conference which draws nearly 1,300 delegates from around the world.

The conference hosts informative panel sessions, workshops and keynote presentations from industry professionals. Being able to connect with people from all aspects of the domain industry makes this conference very insightful. It’s great to be able to engage with registrars, other registries, web hosting companies, and domain name investors.

I always find the structured business meetings with customers and the engaging social events a great opportunity to network, provide and hear industry updates, develop existing connections and make new ones!

A fascinating highlight of the conference is the domain auction. With open bar and snacks provided, attendees race to finish their meetings in time for the start of the live auction held in the keynote room.

It feels like a show as the room fills and attendees settle in to hear the rhythmic chant of the Auctioneer bid calling. I recall being almost hypnotised watching my first domain auction at NamesCon three years ago. The speed and urgency of the bid calling and the value of the bids being presented had me fascinated. The NamesCon Global 2019 live auction grossed over $1.5 million in sales. Not all domain names meet their reserves at the live auction and the extended auction on NameJet runs until February 13.

The top five sales at the live auction event were (as sourced from domain investing website): 

  • $900,000
  • $435,000
  • $370,000
  • $130,000
  • $110,000

(prices in $US).

NamesCon 2019 auction in action

According to recent research commissioned by InternetNZ, even businesses without an Internet presence recognise the benefits of a website, identifying that a website helps consumers connect with a business and is an effective tool to share information about their business.

The reasons most business owners in New Zealand purchase a domain a name is for the website address, the email address and to protect or preserve the name.

Having a domain name that can direct customers to an email and online presence matching the business name is a successful marketing tool. “Business name email addresses are perceived as more professional and credible than generic email addresses.” (InternetNZ's 2018 research).  It can also be important to register more than one version of your domain to ensure your business isn’t being directed to someone else’s page online.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise the amount that people are willing to pay to secure the domain name they are after!