In 2012, .fr was the TLD with the best value on the secondary market for domains

March 2013



The median price for domain names with the .fr extension traded on the secondary market through the Sedo platform stood at € 761 in 2012, a slight increase over the year (1%). The median price for the European extension .eu increased sharply between 2011 and 2012 (almost 150%), without reaching the valuation level of the .fr TLD. The other extensions experienced limited price changes, in some cases increasing (+8% for .com, 7% for .org) or decreasing (12% for .info, 4% for the .uk TLD). As for the Spanish TLD .es, its rates were almost halved in 2012 (from € 600 to € 305), probably due to the severe economic difficulties faced by the country.


The median price for all the trades on Sedo in 2012, all extensions combined, stood at € 461. More than half of the transactions corresponded to prices lower than € 500 (54%), and nearly 90% of the names were traded for less than € 2,500. The most affordable names on the secondary market were often combinations of two terms, or a generic term with a national extension. Conversely, 5% of the domain names were traded for prices higher than € 5,000 and 1% of them even cost the buyer more than € 50,000. They often involved generic terms with a high intrinsic value, for example when they can be used to identify a web site of international significance. While the .com extension was frequently present in the top 10 of the most expensive sales (six domain names), national extensions were well represented in 2012, including the first two names of the ranking for trade prices: "" ($ 500,000) and "" (€ 275,000).


By studying the average sales price per extension it is possible to filter the information provided by the median price alone. In this case, the .com occupies first place for extensions in terms of average prices at € 1,668 and the .fr TLD is in sixth position at € 1,423. It would seem that, while the French extension remains the most expensive on the secondary market in terms of the median price of transactions, the extreme prices for the .fr are more measured than for the other extensions such as .com, leading to lower average prices.



With regard to the number of transactions in 2012 on the Sedo platform, the .com easily retains the lead with almost half the names traded (48%, up 4 percentage points compared with 2011). The German extension .de is still dynamic (representing 15% of transactions), but has slightly dropped over the year (3%). The other national and generic extensions each represent less than 6% of the trades. The .fr TLD, the registration conditions for which were relaxed later than the other extensions and therefore appeared more recently on the secondary market, represents less than 1% of the trades on Sedo in 2012.


In general, the secondary market experienced a downturn in 2012: -9% in terms of the number of transactions and -13% for the total volume of sales on the Sedo platform. The decline was also more pronounced during the last two quarters of the year. For comparison, it is worth recalling that the global market for domain names increased by 7% in 2012, for generic and national extensions alike, excluding China.


This decrease in secondary market in terms of trading volume may be related to the cautious attitude of industry professionals, impacted by the deteriorating economic situation and the declining profitability in the parking business of domain names for sale. It is also possible that a number of players in the secondary market are awaiting the opening of new gTLDs implemented by ICANN, which could take place in June 2013. This possible wait-and-see phase may have led to the erosion in transaction volumes, but may terminate when the new gTLDs are actually opened.


According to the information provided by the Domain Journal site, two domain names were exchanged in 2012 for seven-digit prices: "" ($ 2,450,000) and "" ($ 1,000,000) followed by "" ($ 875,000). The "" domain name sold for $ 500,000 in October 2012 ties in fourth place all extensions combined, and takes the first place for national extensions.  The market sectors of finance, online games and web technologies figure strongly in the highest prices in the rankings.


As for the number of transactions and sales volumes, the extreme prices also fell in 2012: the average price dropped 21% for the top 100 overall and 6% for the top 100 generic extensions. The .com extension continued to dominate the market for the most expensive domain names (83 domain names in the top 100). Finally a domain name with the .fr TLD ranked among the top 100 most expensive transactions for national extensions in 2012: "" was traded for € 20,000 in January 2012.



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