Unexpectedly, the two biggest rivals of the domain aftermarket, Namejet and Snapnames decided to work together to sell a three letter, meaningful domain name, ltd.com. While the auction will take place at Namejet, it is also promoted at Snapnames. We are in the 30 days backorder period and the reserve is around $50,000, so the domain will be surely sold, maybe for six figures. It is an interesting move from the companies that they start promoting each other’s best auctions. I feel it is a bad news for domain resellers, since these domain auctions are so heavily promoted now that there is no gap for reselling these domains anymore, at least not in short term.
Buyers went crazy for three and four letter coms in the last months. The market bubble is catalyzed by Chinese buyers and they seem to buy the meaningless character combinations way overpriced. There are rumors that this is a technique in China to avoid paying taxes and hide money – so these domains are used there like a bitcoin or a virtual currency and not to develop anything. It means that this bubble can burst anytime if the Chinese government take auctions or the current buyers try to sell these domains at the same time. My expectation is that the price of these domains will go back as they were before and will be 5-10 times lower when Chinese buyers will become sellers.
Anyhow, this market is hottest than ever at the moment, so ltd.com is being sold in a perfect time. I am not sure how much Chinese buyers interested in the meaning of the domain, I think not much. This is another artificial consequence of this market bubble, namely that the price of a meaningful and a meaningless three character domain is not that different as should be. Ltd.com was only registered in 1998, and this shows that it is not as great as one might think for the first sight. As an end-user, it is not trivial what kind of content is a good fit for the domain name. The previous owner tried to build a subdomain registration service for LTDs, like “registering” mycompany.ltd.com but understandably this was not a huge success. First because LTD is not the important part of a company name, second because using a not owned subdomain for your company website that is simply crazy.
I am not a buyer for 6 figure names but even if I were, I would avoid this domain name. It is the best for a company registration business but these kind of businesses are mostly local, so they don’t need such a generic name but they would use their country code and city in the domain. Also, this is not that big business to afford such an expensive domain name. Still, of course it is great, just not that exceptional which is suggested by the joined forces of Namejet and Snapnames. My prediction for the auction is $150,000, we will see in a month how far it will go.