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Top .AU Domain Sales

It’s particularly hard trying to get a handle on .AU domain sales over the years, primarily because the ban on trading domains was only lifted in June this year. Prior to this deregulation, deals were generally completed in shady ‘under the table’ type negotiations so a fair amount of conjecture goes into establishing prices paid. However there is no question that they are viewed by many as valuable assets mainly due to the fact that .AU’s completely dominate all other extensions in Australia. For 1.2 million .AU domains to be registered within a country of just over 20 million inhabitants is testament to the strength of this particular cc-TLD.

Sales Prior to June 2008 (deregulation) that have been reported in the media include: – $300,000 – $XX,000 (“hefty fee, less than 6-figures”)

What can be firmly established and is public knowledge are some of the prices paid during the 2002 generic release of domain names which resulted in an auction for many of the premium 1,612 domain names up for grabs including for: – $153,000 – $141,000

Then there are the sales since deregulation. Ironically, the fact that the rules have been relaxed by auDA to allow aftermarket sales has actually reduced the frequency of transactions according to some industry analysts. Many professional investors have viewed the derogation as a turning point of the industry and are expecting strong appreciation in domain values over the next few years. This has led to many adopting a stronger acquisition and/or hold policy with their .AU domains.

However there have been thousands of sales since June, several of which have been publicly reported. These include: – $18,700 – $14,767 – $14,300 – $13,644

However there is one sale that seems to have slipped under the radar. I guess it could be argued that it was more so a business purchase or a website purchase rather than a domain purchase but a couple of interesting considerations suggest that the price paid was primarily for the domain name itself.

In 2004, the REA Group (which owns purchased for $9 million. At the time the CEO Simon Baker reportedly stated that they were interested first and foremost in tying up the only possible competitor to their generic industry domain name rather than acquiring agents or listings (which would for the large part be duplicated anyway). The website at since then appears to have been left in a perpetual state of ‘beta’ suggesting again that it was the domain that was the target rather than the business behind it at the time of purchase. Of course the main objective could have been just to knock off a competitor but I guess we’ll probably never know for sure….

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