Domain Name Sales Trend: Are Live Auctions Here To Stay?

An established and successful New York auction house is paving the way for domain names to be the next big thing in live auctions.

Heritage Auctions is the first major auction house to sell domain names in-house, with its inaugural domain name and IP auction bringing in over US$1.5 million in November 2013.

The sales included notable domain names,, and – which all sold during the live auction – as well as anonymous and post live auction sales of, and

The Founder and Director of the Domain Names and Intellectual Property category at Heritage, Aron Meystedt, said at the time that the response to the event would lead to more domain name auction events in the future.

“All things considered, we thought the live event was a relative success,” he said, adding that “the enthusiasm we’ve seen post-sale, with the high-end transactions that have taken place, points to the emerging confidence that Domain veterans, new investors and end users are placing in the category and in the Heritage Auctions platform.”

The auction house has already followed through on Meystedt’s word, announcing an exclusive joint partnership between Heritage Auctions and RightOfTheDot, LLC in January 2014.

The plan is to provide live auctioneer and live online auction services for premium domains in new TLD extensions that are being launched over the next several years, such as Night.Club, Concert.Tickets and Hotels.NYC. The partnership will also continue to provide auctions of existing, established TLDs such as premium .com domains.

So will other auction houses catch on and offer people the chance to buy domain names at live events? At the moment, that probably depends on who they can get to oversee this kind of venture.

Heritage Auctions currently has an advantage thanks to Meystedt’s experience with the dot-com world. He has 10 years of experience in domain name valuations, sales and development and is credited with owning the first domain name registered on the internet (

But if other domain name pioneers were interested in working for or with auction houses, then the chances are good that more live domain name auctions would be held across the country (or even around the world).

Generally live auction events give people a chance to ask auction house experts questions about the item for sale, or the domain name in this case. The structure of live auctions means that you can also see who your main competition is and make bidding decisions informed by who they are and how they bid.

Online auctions, on the other hand, tend to have lower overhead costs and are more familiar when it comes to the domain name industry. The Heritage Auctions domain name sales, for example, have attracted a “Buyers Premium” that adds 15% to the sale price of each domain name.

But regardless of whether or not other auction houses start selling domain names at live events; Heritage Auctions is now providing people with a different way into the domain name industry. Ultimately, that should mean more options for everyone interested in domain names.

dtrade are domain name experts specialising in Sales, Acquisitions, IP Services and Consulting.


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