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Live Auction at TargetedTraffic Conference: Cameras.com sells for $1,500,000

$4.7 Million in Combined Sales at Live Domain Auction



6:21 pm on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Registrar Moniker.com is hosting what is being billed as the worlds first live domain auction, and domain #14 of a total 312 being auctioned right now just sold for $1,500,000 - cameras.com

The auction can be heard LIVE at another PubCon favorite webmasterradio.fm - if you hurry you can listen in, it is supposed to last until 5:00pm EST. I think they will be replaying it over the next couple of days.

WSJ coverage [online.wsj.com] (sorry, paid sub)


1:15 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A lot of people are going to assume that a site named Cameras.com is the big kahuna in its category.

Donít know who bought it but for a company like Canon it would be a steal at 1.5 million compared to there overall advertising budget. Type in cameras in Google and that domain is on the first page, Cannon is on the third, for a term with 30 million results.

They paid millions and millions of dollars to Andre Agassi to advertise their product and Iím sure it paid dividends but a .com like that is forever.

Thereís a lot of goofy looking stuff listed like hell.com for over 2 million, but a domain like cameras.com owned by big boys in that niche, that spend millions every year in advertising; you canít go wrong even if its just to keep your competitor from owning it.

If Canon didnít buy it, someone there was taking a nap and should be out of a job.


2:57 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I feel like we are headed for another web bubble burst...

People think they can buy a domain name and make millions. I do agree someone like Canon or Sony should have bought this domain name.


4:43 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

maybe BUT they are extremely conscious of their $100 billion brand name. Cameras.com is not cannon or sony so at most they could 301 the domain but still.

notice Flowers.com; we don't see 1800 flowers promoting that name.


5:29 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hi guys,

do you think ASXinvestor.com and travelerzone.net is a good domain?



5:45 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

nope...not good domains IMO


6:14 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I cannot list a couple of my very good domains for sale.

Any help?


6:22 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has anyone actually seen any studies that demonstrate these domains are actually worth this much?

Good question.
No, I think there are none and I'm very skeptical any of these prices are justified. There's a lot of hype in names and based on my experiences type-in traffic is far less than is usually implied at domain sales, so the value here is almost all in improving the ease of establishing a brand.

Perhaps these buyers should consider the names of the most famous internet brands, which were hardly common words:
Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Myspace, Facebook, etc, etc, etc.


6:31 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

From the Auction:
Revenue/Month Users Asking Price
$2,000 6,000 $1,000,001+

PT Barnum said it best "There's a sucker born ... every minute".


6:32 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Anyone listen to the auction when DSL.com was announced for sale? I heard they mentioned that the domain made $350-375k/year on type-ins. Pretty impressive, although I think the asking price was 10x that...


6:47 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"Has anyone actually seen any studies that demonstrate these domains are actually worth this much?"

Good Question but it's really a matter of ecconomics. I sell advertising space in over 600 Publishers worldwide... Magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, Road & Track, and Cigar Afficionado... let me tell you, Domains offer a much easier breakdown of value.

Better Homes & Gardens charges $365,000 USD for a single, full page ad, first 1/3 of the book... EVERY MONTH. If you've never glanced at a BH&G magazine, pick it up sometime and start counting how many full pages you have to flip through to get to the FIRST PAGE of content! Then do the math... MILLIONS of dollars every month in advertsing.

And I ask you, for what? Exactly how much traffic does your product, good or service actually get for the $365,000 Bucks? Moreover, WHO are you sharing that magazine with? How many 1000s of other ads are in that book?

In the business, we measure things in Cost Per Impression. The higher the cirulation, the more money you can charge for the ad (size, placement, etc) because the "odds" are better for a actionable reader to convert to a sale. BG&G has huge readership so they can demand those kinds of numbers.

Boil that down to a DOMAIN and you have quite a different oppotunity.

1st, most companies are buying PPC ads, Pay Per Click advertising that they only have to pay for when/if a viewer physically visits their website through an ad. This is good because the ads tend to be contextual so the traffic the advertiser sees is VERY focused on their product. It's also good because while many more people see the ad than actually click through to the webpage, you only pay for visits... so impressions are FREE.

2nd, These cpmpanies BID on those ads... The focus their ad budget on "key words" which is how the ads are contextually focused. The better your keyw word marketing, the more qualified, actionable traffic your website gets and the better the odds of a purchase.

Stay with me, I'm getting to the answer.... ;)

Now, these AdWords COST... per click. Parking sites (that pay the domain owners that host the ads) get their ad feeds from companies like google that sell the adwords. The Domain owner, after Google and the Parking Site get's their cut, will get as little as .03 cents per click, but may also see as much as $15 per click. What you get is dependant on alot of factors which I wont go into now, but suffice it to say, when the domain owner gets a $1 click, the advertiser probably paid nearly $3 for it.

So... $3 per click, 5,000 clicks per month, that advertiser is paying $15,000 per month for EACH KEYWORD he is advertising. That's a SMALL advertiser... Think bigger... like:

Cannon, Kodak, Olympus... Camera Manufacturers. These guys buy MULTIPLE keywords that charge perhaps $5 or more per click on sites that get potentiall MILLIONS of visitor and tens of thousands of clicks per month.

Another quick scenario might put Kanon's ad budget for PPC somewhere around $600K - $750K per year... or MORE?

If Kodak were to BUY the domain, Cameras.com for $1.5 Million Dollars, they would break even on the ad budget in only 2 years... but something more important happens... this is where we break away from the Magazine Ads and Googles Adwords and TV and Radio and print...

Once they own the domain, they get 100% of the traffic... ZERO competition for the sales conversion of literally Millions of new customers that come in year after year after year.

How much is a Standard or Digital Camera? Say it's $500 bucks. Say it only $100 bucks... Is it conceivable that with those millions of new, exclusive, highly targeted customers they now have, that they might... just might... sell 15,000 Cameras in say, the same 2 years?

If so (and you so know it is) that company just DOUBLED it's investment in buying that domain for $1.5 Million USDollars.

They've MADE MONEY by purchasing that crazy, overpriced digital roadsign to the virtual super highway.

And it's worth EVERY PENNY.

I wish that selling print ads were this easy.


<Moderator's Note: This post has been split off as it's own thread here: An Analysis of Factors Driving Domain Name Value [webmasterworld.com] >

[edited by: Webwork at 5:11 pm (utc) on Oct. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] Started New Thread on Topic of This Post [/edit]


9:28 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Any publicity like this is great for our corner of the global business market.

You can say "we're heading for another burst bubble" but so what if we are, anything that promotes people speculating BIG money on the internet will sow the seed and lure others into the market place.

This in turn allows internet entrepreneurs more time in front of the money men, and a greater chance of success if their idea is any good. This in turn filters down to designers, developers and so on, making the whole market stronger.

If you're worried the bubble will burst, don't base your business model on speculative future possibilities, as many .com's did.

I don't think it's going to burst this time around, it may overheat and cool off but when was the last time you picked up a magazine or watched a decent amount of TV without flicking between the Adverts?


10:05 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It seems that unadvertised type in traffic is what its about for these domains then?

Kinda makes sense, no really brand building but a lot of natural visibility



10:51 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

nice post gopc ..hope you'll stick around ..:)


11:26 am on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

yeah, considering some ridiculously wasted "pay per blink" old media advertising budgets, domain acquisition costs and targeted cpc look dead cheap..


12:06 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

many ridiculously overpriced domain names.

overpriced why? it's an open market - this auction is a perfect example of the rising values. you should really get to know the model a bit better, you might be down here next time.


12:39 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You know, I just donít understand most of the bidding at this auction.
I think I've got some great legal domain names and like every one else I overvalue my own stuff but no one has ever even approached me or anyone else that I know to sell any of them. You would think if good names were big business that the way to get them would be to approach direct and cut out the auctioneer. Has anyone here had some serious approaches for decent money for a good name?


2:04 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There are still some good type in domain names available , especially for ccTLDs. I registered a domain name and it immediately got some PR since it is a common phrase.


2:25 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There sure were a lot of domains that didn't sell.

For those with $$$ signs in their eyes after looking at cameras.com, take a look at the reserves placed on some of those domains.

It seems that a lot of the time beauty is in the eye of domain holder.


5:01 pm on Oct 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Gopc, very well said.

<Moderator's Note: GoPC's post has been split off as it's own thread here: An Analysis of Factors Driving Domain Name Value [webmasterworld.com] If you wish to discuss or analyse that post or its contents please visit the new thread. Thank you. Webwork. >

[edited by: Webwork at 5:13 pm (utc) on Oct. 28, 2006]
[edit reason] Reference New Thread [/edit]


1:00 am on Oct 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

$120,000. for CreditCards.net

wow thats amazing

i have <edited>
do you think that is worth anything


<edit reason: see Charter [webmasterworld.com]>

[edited by: tedster at 2:01 am (utc) on Oct. 31, 2006]

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