Thursday, August 16, 2018

Are You Missing The TOP?

Every morning at 9 AM in the Eastern time zone Michael Sumner at NameBio releases the daily domain name sales report.  I, and probably most serious domain name investors and analysts, eagerly check the report each morning.  I find that Micheal puts just the right amount of detail into the report, making it an informative but quick read.  The purpose of this thread is to warn you to not base your perceptions of what is selling only on the daily report.  Let me explain.

The NameBio Daily Report

The structure of each daily report is the same.  It starts with a title giving the total sales volume for the day along with the name and price of the top domain name sale.  After that there is a brief summary that repeats that information and  also gives the number of sales, and the comparison of number and total dollar amount with the previous days. A bit later will be a summary of  those  domain names  that had sold perviously, giving  the year and amount of the previous sale for each, and the percentage increase or decrease.  Then the complete sales list, typically about 220 sales, is given in order of decreasing sales price. For each the domain name, price and sales venue are given.

The monetization of the NameBio daily report depends on promotion of some auctions and sales, so that information is usually embedded somewhere in the daily reports. That information can also be valuable for those expanding their domain portfolio with new acquisitions.  I also like that Michael provides archived reports in an easy to access fashion.  For example I recently used the last 100 daily reports in an  analysis looking at which domain extensions were in first place most often.

Where Are The .TOP Sales?

When I did a search using the NameBio database the other day, I was surprised that the database showed 17 sales of .TOP extension domain names during the previous week (Aug 5-12, 2018), even though I believe only one of them had been on any of the preceding seven NameBio daily domain sales reports. These sales were significant, ranging in price per domain from $638 to $51,187, with an  average sales price of $4549.  In total they accounted for over $77,000 sales in .TOP in just that week. The sales venues were predominantly Jiangsu Bangning, the .TOP registry, but also included sales during this one week period at Alibaba Cloud and NameSilo.

So why were the .TOP domain sales missing from the daily report? I believe the answer is that naturally each daily report can only include sales reports received by the time the report is assembled, so venues that report sporadically or from other time zones are often excluded. Although this bias is of course not deliberate, if you base your impressions only on the NameBio daily report they will be skewed. In particular there is bias against trades in the Asian domain markets, and extensions like TOP.  Of course everyone realizes there are other biases related to which venues report to NameBio, and the fact that domain name sales under $100 are not publicly reported.

So What Did I Miss?

I present the TOP sales in the NameBio database for the week of Aug 5–12 in the table on the right (click on the table if you need a higher resolution view).  Not only are the total number and value significant, but there are some noteworthy individual sales.

The two letter domain name bg sold for more than $51,000, and several 3 letter domain names sold as well. I was interested in the sales of a number of animal names: koala, frog, dolphin and zebra, which each sold for more than $1000.


While I urge you to read the NameBio daily report each morning, make sure you remember that sometimes sales do not make it into the NameBio database in time to make the daily report. This is particularly true for venues that only report sporadically to NameBio and those from venues located in the far east time zones.

Some may say 'I don't really care if I miss the odd ngTLD sale'.  This perception bias if you look only at the daily report can be very significant.  For example, in the period considered here the missing .TOP sales equalled the combined  number of sales in that period for .CO, .DE and .INFO (16 in total), almost equal to .IO sales in that period (19), and represented about 50% the number of .NET sales (32) during the period. 

I am not sure how much effort this would  entail, but one way around the issue is to include at the bottom of a daily report recent database additions that were not shown  in a previous daily report.  But all each user needs to do is to periodically do a NameBio search to make sure that they are not missing sales of interest to them.  The time frame setting for previous week and month make this easy to do.

This is a good time to acknowledge the amazing service offered to the domain name community by Michael and NameBio.  Their database currently has more than 614,000 sales representing over $1.6 billion.  The oldest sale recorded in the database is from 1997 (for you trivia fans, it is which sold for $150,000 in a 1997 private sale.)

Any sort of significant domain name analysis would be impossible without NameBio.  That Michael makes it freely available to us all, in such a powerful and user friendly format, is indeed wonderful.  Thank you! A day without NameBio is a day without domain name sales data!


Original post Aug 16, 2018.

Disclosure:  I am  not associated with NameBio, but would like to acknowledge their incredible database and their generosity to make it available to the domain community. My portfolio of domain names is mainly ngTLDs, as well as a number of .co, .com and .ca (and a few other country codes). I do invest in the .top domain extension, along with many others.

Fine Print

This post is offered for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be considered domain name investment advice. While an attempt has been made to be accurate, there is no implied or explicit warranty, and you are responsible for verifying any information of importance to you. You also accept full responsibility for any domain investing decisions you may make that use data from this post.

I try to be fair, balanced and objective in my analysis.  If you feel this post does not meet that standard, please express your concerns to me.  

In a very few cases there may be affiliate links on this blog. This means I receive a small amount if users visit or make purchases via the link. You do not pay any additional charge due to using an affiliate link, and in some cases your cost will be below the normal price. I receive no identifying information about who clicks, or does not click, any link. I never accept compensation to provide favourable review of any particular service or product.

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