On Wednesday ICM Registry the company that operates the .XXX registry put up for sale over 1,000 premium registry owned domains, with prices ranging from $330 to $220,000 and a total value of $7.7 Million.
For those who don’t know my company Worldwide Media, Inc, purchased a few .XXX domains in the Founders Program although with Frank Schilling’s Name Administration.
In addition to the Founders Domains, we got a couple of hundred more .XXX domains in Land Rush, Sunrise (matching domains in other extensions) and some in General Availability so we own around 250 in all.
In its announcement ICM said that they had already sold over $5 Million dollars in premium domains, that amount includes those purchased during the Founders Program including my purchases and Frank’s reported $1.6 Million in purchases.
The registry went live in early December 2011 and therefore is going to be coming up to its first anniversary.
I think the move is poorly timed.
For one, it will send a signal to many that the registry believes the domains have the highest value at this point they will ever have by attempting to sell that much inventory at one time.
Its not a message of confidence in my opinion and should not have been done before the 1st renewal period or even the second.
Nothing wrong with putting up a select number of reserved domains pre-priced 100 sounds like a reasonable number, but 1,000 domains is hugely excessive.
By putting up over 1,000 of the best possible reserved domains, at fixed pricing all to an accumulative total of $7.7 Million, this move caps the value of all .XXX domains.
If the registry values its own inventory of premium domains at a maximum of $7.7 million, then the handful of domains acquired previously for over 5 million, just got devalued.
Its my money that made up part of the $5 Million so its give me no joy to report in my view that my .XXX investment is devalued.
But I have to call it like I see it.
There is no doubt that I or any other domain investors will have a much harder time of selling our inventory of .XXX domain names, when the registry is completing against us by placing so many premium domains on the market, price fixed at one time.
Especially since there isn’t as far as I can tell any secondary market for .XXX domains.
I have yet to see a .XXX domain name resold in the secondary market.
Not on Sedo.com, not on Afternic.com and not in my portfolio.
Not only haven’t I seen sales in the secondary market, but speaking for my own portfolio I haven’t even gotten a significant amount of inquiries in the year period. I would call it less than 10 inquiries of any .XXX domain.
So basically ICM is selling into a dead market.
I believe no registry has ever made such a move putting up so many premium domains for sale priced fixed at one time.
The only thing that comes close to the move by ICM is when Verisign the operator of the .TV extension, which had been offering domains on a annual recurring premium fee, put up thousands of registry owned domains one night for a one time fixed purchase price.
However the .TV extension had at that point been in existence for many years and had already made a market for itself with a healthy resale market as well.
.XXX is brand new not even a year old, a whole different ball game.
Which brings me back to the .TV release.
Those who participated in that .TV release will tell you that a HUGE amount of inventory was snatched up in the first 24 hours.
As far as I can tell no domains have been sold so far since the .XXX release.
I could be wrong, but from what I can eye ball from the ICM’s site, I don’t see any inventory coming off the site.
In my opinion, like at the poker table, ICM is going all in with this move.
Unless ICM generates significant sales in terms of volume and dollars from their premium list, there move to put all these premium domains up for sale is going to be horrible for the domainer resale market, maybe for years to come.