Sedo sells $77 million worth of domains in 2008

SedoDomain aftermarket Sedo has finally published its secondary domain market study for the year 2008. I'm always looking forward to these reports because Sedo is a large marketplace and hence it has access to lots of data about recent domain sales and transactions. Although Sedo's statistics don't represent the entire domain industry, I think they're a good indicator of the overall situation and when compared to historical stats the numbers should give you an idea of the recent developments and trends in the market.

According to the report, .com remains the most popular generic TLD (gTLD) with a massive 76% share of gTLD sales. DotCom is followed by .net (9%), .info (7%), .org (5%) and .biz (3%). The German TLD .de has been the most frequently sold country-code TLD (ccTLD), it has a 61% ccTLD market share. I think this number doesn't apply to the domain industry as a whole, considering that Sedo is a German company and that it's likely Sedo has a lot more German domain buyers and sellers than the other domain marketplaces or auction houses. Still, .de remains the most popular ccTLD in front of (United Kingdom), .es (Spain), .fr (France) and .cn (China), for example. It is interesting, in my opinion, that Europe's domain extension .eu has made up as much as 13% of Sedo's ccTLD sales in 2008. Being based in Germany myself I can tell that DotEU is an increasingly popular and recognized top-level domain, but the sales volume of Europe's extension is still perceived to be low. At least I don't know of many DotEU sales.

But let's now look at Sedo's total sales revenues: In 2008 Sedo sold a total of more than $77.4 million worth of domain names, up from $72.1 million in 2007 and from roughly $11 million in 2004. This marks a 7% increase over 2007. When looking at the quarterly stats you can see that Sedo sold most domains in the second and third quarters. In the last quarter sales revenues dropped. Sedo says in the report that the financial crisis might be one reason for that development.

No doubt, these stats are interesting, but to me it's most important to know details about specific domain sales. As an investor and broker I'd like to know what types of domain names have been in highest demand recently and what the sales prices have been like.

Sedo reports that a total of 17,643 .com domains changed hands through its marketplace or brokerage service last year. That is 5,000 more than in 2007. But the average sale price of .com domains went down drastically: It sank to $2,512 (down from $5,016 in 2007). That is also why the total value of .com domain sales shrank to $44 million (down from $62.2 million in 2007). All of the other gTLDs' average prices went down, too. Personally, I would have liked Sedo to include the median sales prices in the report, because these are usually more meaningful, but the sales numbers nevertheless paint a gloomy picture for domain sellers - at least temporarily.

Fortunately, the sales revenues from country-code TLDs look a bit better. Again it is Germany's .de TLD that is on top of the list: The number of .de domain sales rose to almost 10.6 million (7.4 million in 2007) and the average sale price of .de domain names increased, too. It went up to $1,719 per domain (up from $1,493). Thus, the 2008 sales revenues from .de domain sales amount to a total of just under $10.6 million, which again marks a nice increase over the previous year.

Worthwhile to note that Sedo's highest-priced domain sale of 2008 has been, which found a new owner at $1,176,672. (I'm sure this has had a great influence on the .de domain stats, so again the median prices would be good to know.) At $1,015,000, has the number two spot on the list, and has been the third-highest sale of the year with a price of $650,000.

More information can be found on Sedo's website, the report can be downloaded as a PDF here.