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Search Engine Strategies Live Domain Auction: $19,950. Total Sales. What Went Wrong?
And now Rick Latona contracts for 2 page centerfold "domains for sale" ads in Internet Retailer Magazine

 10:02 pm on Aug 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

DomainNameNews.com is reporting [domainnamenews.com] that Moniker/SnapNames most recent live auction, at SES (Search Engine Strategies), yielded total sales of $19,950. The report doesn't clarify what percentage of sales were online bids placed by domainers.

That is a new low and, though I expected a low number, let's just say the lowness exceeded my expectations.

What went wrong? Ill advised reserve pricing? Poor domain selection? Inadequate pre-event promotion of the auction inventory? The market just gone straight to hell? Or, do people attending SES just not see the opportunity?

On the tail of the somewhat pathetic auction results, big time domain seller/broker Rick Latona, one of the many "interesting characters" (that's a compliment, Rick) is reporting [ricklatona.com] that he just signed an extended term contract with Internet Retailer magazine for a 2 page centerfold spread in their magazine. To quote Rick:

Many of us have talked about proactively putting something in place to go after end-users. Is this the golden ticket? Probably not. However, I do think that with this ad, and more to come in the future, Iíll have an even greater chance of reaching them.

So, what explains "the failure" of the SES live auction? Poor pre-event promotion? Poor selection? Ridiculous reserves? What?

Is Rick Latona putting his money in the right place?

[edited by: Webwork at 10:08 pm (utc) on Aug. 21, 2008]



 1:22 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

What went wrong? Ill advised reserve pricing? Poor domain selection? Inadequate pre-event promotion of the auction inventory? The market just gone straight to hell? Or, do people attending SES just not see the opportunity?


f) All of the above. I think much the reserve pricing was too high for that market. Auction performance at past affiliate and search oriented events hasn't been that great, as I recall (though this auction sets a new low).

Is he wasting his money? I can't say - haven't seen the ad yet.


 3:14 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I for one think the domainers have a serious cash flow issue right now and have backed off big time on pricey domains.

19.500 didn't come close to covering their expenses man someone took a huge hit on that one....


 3:19 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is SES really a conference with a large group of Domainers? I would think most of that audience are focused on "other things" like SEO and stuff. My gut instinct tells me it wasn't the right audience.

Plus, I didn't have any of my domains up for auction. ;)


 5:11 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults pubcon 2007 is about the same group I would suspect and it did 325k I think there is more to this than just the audience.


Just got the list of domains there were quite a number with really no reserve that were passed on.



 5:25 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

That was an auction? Looks like more of a garage sale to me. I don't see a whole lot of quality there. I saw a "few" good ones but the rest of them are flea market material. Now I know why I haven't put any of mine up for auction. $300? Pffft!

Nothing personal either but that list of domains doesn't do a whole lot for me.


 5:34 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I haven't really watched or attended one of these auctions.

Do they give you any history for the domains?


 5:36 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

That was an auction? Looks like more of a garage sale to me
I will agree with u on that for sure I took a look at the domain names myself and thought what aa joke....

 6:31 pm on Aug 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

pre-event promotion

I saw no promotion worth noting :¶

Stupid idea to hold in the middle of holiday season and do no promotion anyway.

The next Live Auction is in New York in late Sept looks a completely different kettle of fish quality-wise already...

Here's hoping there's some serious promotion to get some big guns in there with some proper money - the online auction format should be a winner but needs to attract global interest to make it a viable proposition IMO!

TRAFFIC New York [marketplacepro.moniker.com]

[edited by: TinkyWinky at 6:31 pm (utc) on Aug. 22, 2008]


 6:03 pm on Sep 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Trying to raise awareness of the importance of good domain names is something that will take lots of time and effort. Rick Latona was pulling the stones out of the field in that SES venue.

Some site developers who I know and respect would be just as happy putting sites up on IP addresses rather than domain names. Lots of SEM/SEO companies have little or no awareness of the importance of branding and domain names. They would rather shovel money at paid search every day than invest in good domains that attract traffic over the long term.

The SEM companies are like shoemakers whose children go barefoot.


 2:10 pm on Sep 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

SES is also much more "corporate" than Pubcon - people are there on their companies dime and aren't authorized to buy. Pubcon has a lot more one man shops who understand the value....


 12:34 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was there and what can I say? I don't want to offend anyone, but that auction was a joke. And those figures don't look right to me. I wrote down what things sold for but can't remember where I put it. Some of the big domain names did get offers for more than $19,950 in my memory but I don't think they reached the reserve. They banged the hammer as if it was sold but I guess the owners backed out.

All I can say is that isn't how you market a domain.


 3:55 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

The only domain auction I was present at didn't do too great. Aside from the fact the quality of the domains was low and reserves quite high, one of the biggest issues was detecting the strength of a name. The auction was part of a larger event so I hadn't pre-planned to be bidding but thought as I was there I would take a look.

The catalogue listed them all so I browsed through it at the event but all it really was was names...no info on age, rankings, content, search volumes, backlinks, earnings or anything like that. I have spent thousands on individual domain names before now but in the end I decided it was just too risky to bid on anything but strong 1/2 word keyword domains, of which there was a grand total of 2. With totally unrealistic 7 figure reserves. I sat for a bit, then went to the pub instead :)

I guess my point is: what may appear a low quality domain might actually have hidden value, but if they don't tell the audience chances are it's not going to get much interest.

[edited by: Simsi at 3:58 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2008]

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