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Liquid Domain Name Market Report 1st Quarter 2018

Liquid domain names are the types of domains that are actively traded in the domain name industry.

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  • Or, are you looking for the vocabulary and empirical data to explain domain names as an asset class?
  • Are you interested in hearing the ONLY statistics available about private domain name sales (that will NEVER otherwise be made public)?

Every quarter Ivan Rasskazov and Giuseppe Graziano compile a “State of the Market” industry report. Get the insights directly from those who wrote the report. Download the written report.

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This Show’s Sherpas

Ivan Rasskazov
Ivan Rasskazov
Ivan Rasskazov is part of the Intelium team, makers of Estibot.com, DomainIQ.com and NamePulse.com.

Prior to Intelium, Ivan spent a number of years in the financial industry providing wealth management investment analysis and operations support.

More shows with Ivan Rasskazov »

Giuseppe Graziano
Giuseppe Graziano
Giuseppe Graziano is the founder and CEO of GGRG.com, a domain name brokerage firm specializing in liquid domain names.

Giuseppe has a Master Degree from the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and has just been named "Master of Domains" by Escrow.com as one of the top 10 highest grossing brokers in 2016.

More shows with Giuseppe Graziano »

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Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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Tess: Liquid domain names are the types of domains that are actively traded in the domain name industry because the market value is known. Which categories are up, which are down, and what are the opportunities you should be considering? Stay tuned for the latest research and market analysis.

First, serious about online trading? Secure your funds, keep your merchandise safe, and use a company that keeps the buyer and seller protected the whole way through. That’s Escrow.com, payments you can trust.

Finally, if you’re a domain name investor, don’t you have unique legal needs that require domain name technical know-how and industry experience? That’s why you need Stephen Lieberman of Greenberg & Lieberman, or Jason Schaeffer of Escrow.com. Go search for Jason Shaeffer or Stephen Lieberman on DomainSherpa, watch their interviews and you can see for yourself that they can clearly explain issues, can help you with buy-sell agreements, deal with website content issues and UDRP actions, and even help you write your website terms and conditions. Stephen Lieberman and Jason Schaeffer are the lawyers to call for internet legal issues. See for yourself at Escrow.com or APLegal.com.

Hey, Sherpa network, thank you so much for joining us today. I’m Tess Diaz, Executive Producer of DomainSherpa.com, the website where you can learn how to become a successful domain name investor or entrepreneur directly from the Sherpas. Today, I’m joined by two experts in the domain name industry who will walk us through their latest industry report entitled, “Liquid Domains Market Overview.” I’m pleased to welcome Ivan Rasskazov, part of the Intelium team, makers of EstiBot.com, domainIQ.com, and NamePulse.com.

Prior to Intelium, Ivan spent a number of years in the finance industry providing wealth management, investment analysis, and operations support. Also joining us, Giuseppe Graziano, founder and CEO of GGRG.com, the domain brokerage firm specializing in liquid domain names. Giuseppe was named one of the top 10 highest grossing brokers in 2016 by Escrow.com. Welcome, gentlemen.

Giuseppe: Hi, Tess.

Ivan: Hi, Tess, how are you?

Tess: I’d like to start this show with a disclaimer. This interview is not and should not be regarded as investment advice, or as a recommendation regarding any particular domain asset class or investing course of action, all right? I know I put that on the page on DomainSherpa, but if you’re listening or downloading, just wanna make that clear. Before we start with the sales data, gentlemen, let’s take a look here at the purpose of this report. This report has value not only for people who are actually purchasing a, you know, two-letter .com, but also really for any investor in this space.

To understand this space, we need to have empirical sales data. This particular report combines public and private sales data, which we’ll talk about a little more later, but this gives our Sherpa network tools both to understand the industry, to understand domains as an asset class, but also empirical sales data to share when they’re discussing a potential transaction, even if you are not buying a two-letter .com, you understand, you know, that trickle down that there are empirical sales data here, there also are on whatever domain you are looking to buy or sell.

So, without further ado, let’s jump in. Giuseppe, let’s start with you. If we look at the aggregate value of all sales for the first quarter of 2018, did sales go up, down, or were they flat as compared to the prior order?

Giuseppe: Yeah, sure. Actually, like, this quarter, like, the Q1 of 2018 was one of the best quarter ever recorded. So, actually, there was, like, a very, very good result.

Tess: That’s fantastic. And you don’t mean since you began your report, you mean since domain names were around?

Giuseppe: I mean, since we started our report because before that we didn’t have the data from Escrow.com. But, yeah, it was very interesting to see, like, how much, like, the sales have grown. And it’s also very nice to see some patterns that we kind of, like, notice over the years.

Tess: Yeah, that’s a big deal. I actually apologize. I skipped my first question. So, you know, I just think that developing reporting for industry and understanding their market fluctuations it’s vital for the maturation of the domain industry, and no one else develops a report like you do, and really it’s a gold mine. So, you’ve mentioned in the past that 2, 5, and 10-year reporting will start to give a bigger picture. You’re almost at the two-year mark. Are you starting to see bigger trends more clearly, or is it too soon? Are you anticipating a special two-year report or you’ll continue with the quarterly? Ivan, will…?

Ivan: Uh, well…Sure, and first of all let me thank our team here at Intelium for helping us put it together. Certainly, without the engineers and graphic design work, I’m not here speaking to domain investors. So, I do wanna thank our team for doing that. In regard to the two-year report, I think it’s definitely important to measure trends, and it’s almost hard to believe it’s been two years. To be honest, time flew by very quickly. So, it is important, It’s a little difficult. At the same time the industry is facing a few challenges.

You know, GDPR is coming online. We’re not entirely sure how this will affect, so timing still plays a very important role in the sense that when is the right time to come up with a summary report? And I think Giuseppe agrees, we do want to measure progress and give that information out to investment markets. We have to be careful about kind of falling into big events based on what’s happening in the industry as well.

Tess: Good point. And you guys are very cautious. I appreciate and respect that. Let’s talk real quick about the fluctuation you’ve seen this quarter, Ivan. Was there a single or a multiple categories that were impacted the most?

Ivan: Well, in terms of…if we look at 50% of our values, the three Ls have seen more in downside volatility. So, there’s definitely been some on the categories impact a little more than others.

Tess: Yeah, you know, and I really appreciate in your report. My background is not in investing, and I think so many people come to domain names with a variety of backgrounds. But I love right smack at the beginning of the report you have your glossary of terms. You wanna give us a quick definition here on 5th percentile for those who aren’t familiar with it?

Giuseppe: Sure, I mean, if Ivan you wanna go with that or I can do it?

Ivan: I think, Giuseppe, you can go ahead.

Giuseppe: All right. So, basically, like, if we take…I just give you, like, a specific example, so it’s easier for people to understand. Let’s say, for example, for three-letter .coms there are entry [SP] transaction. If we rank them, like, from the first one to, you know, like, the last one and, like, the [inaudible 00:07:47], then we look from the bottom and we pick the fifth in terms of transactions. That’s pretty much or like the 5th percentile value is. So, in other words, it’s kind of a way to see what is the bottom of the market by excluding also the outliers, the transaction that might be too long. So, that is why we use the 5th percentile to understand what is really, like, an amount that you can sell a domain for without considering any of the really bottom up cases.

Tess: So, the fifth from lowest sale is called the 5th percentile and that kinda sets the floor, basically, sets some floor pricing?

Giuseppe: Yeah, correct. We will look at the 5th or the 10th. Those are mostly like, you know, the two indicators that define, like, the floor price, as we call it. So, yeah, and for the report, for the sake of the report we only use 5th percentile.

Tess: Got it. Okay. So, Ivan, you just said the three L, that would be, you know, domain names with three letters in them, three-L .com, this whole report is exclusively .com because that really does set the trends for the market. three-L .com has seen the most fluctuation there. What do you see happening there, Ivan?

Ivan: Well, it’s a little bit difficult to get to the exact reason because if we look at the data we have both Escrow.com sales and public sales. You never know how much of that truly intersects. Having said that, I think that we see some people willing to liquidate at lower prices and, again, that depends on the actually domains that they’re selling. What has affected? I realize that Bitcoin has been an issue in the past. Some investors have moved to invest more in Bitcoin. It’s difficult to say that, and me and Giuseppe disagree a little bit on this point.

I would argue that once we’re in the first quarter, once you have more familiarity with Bitcoin features introduced, it doesn’t have the same kind of novelty effect necessarily, unless you’re dealing with investors who have incurred some losses because we know that Bitcoin prices have, like, sort of collapsed a little bit in the first quarter and they have to liquidate. But which is definitely going to be some overlap between various intangible assets.

Tess: Interesting. And Bitcoin not only has not taken some investors out of the domain space or some of their finances out of the domain space, but I really noticed in the three L, which seems to be the most active market right now, that 9 out of the 18 publicly reported sales have the letter X in them, which I know from, you know, my work with brokerage firms that X for exchange…I mean, Bitcoin companies love the letter X. So, how much do you think that is skewing? Do you think people should buy up that X…Three Ls with the X in them or…? Ivan, I see you laughing. Are you, like, “Don’t ask that question.”

Ivan: No, no, and I do wanna give Giuseppe a moment. But I just…It’s…I’ve always kind of relied my analysis on fundamentals and the long-term projections. And I know that in terms of trading and momentum, that doesn’t always capture the investment return fully because obviously you can make a whole lot of money in the short end of what’s going on, right, and then now. At the same time, I’d really, really want to be careful about just chasing a trend that developed because you may not have control over when that trend ends, and that could stick you with substantial losses.

Tess: That’s a very good point. Now, Giuseppe, you just got back from quite some time in Asia. Tell us more on that and what you’ve been seeing in brokerage whether, you know, I know just because you’re in Asia you’re doing brokerage everywhere. But tell us a little bit about the three Ls you’ve over there and the activity in the last few months?

Giuseppe: Yeah, actually, like, it’s…so, it’s very interesting. Like, one of the biggest trends that we’ve seen is that the market is really not, like, the end of 2015 where everybody was buying these very large portfolios and there was these very large deals. And, like, now Chinese investors are becoming very sophisticated, and they started to look a lot more like Western investors. So, they really are careful about buying domain names that have end user potential.

And so, for example, one of the things that we were not seeing before is that I have, like, Chinese investor asking for, like, one-word .com domain in English. That is something that before we were not seeing. They’re not as much active on the portfolio side, but on the other hand they’re very careful. Like, they’re really selective in let’s say, like, you know, two-letter .com or three-number .coms. And we see a lot of in those names. And I’ll just give you an example. The only-two letter .com transaction in the first quarter that was disclosed was fo.com. And so that was bought $510,000, which is basically very close to floor price by a Chinese investor. So, he’s a domain investor, but he’s also a cryptocurrency investor. And he’s the owner of ico.com, for example. And as soon as, like, he bought the domain fo.com, basically he turned it up into…the tag line is, like, financial offerings. So, it’s basically showing, like, ICOs and all, like, you know, the crypto currency offering.

So, yeah, that kind of tell us, like, the messages that they really starting to become interested in domains that you can develop, and domains that have a potential for end user, as opposed to seeing domains as a stock because the price is not going up anymore, like, especially like the lower value domains. And because of that they’re becoming a lot more selective.

Tess: That’s really, really interesting. Maybe they’re all watching DomainSharpa and learning [inaudible 00:13:43] from that.

Giuseppe: Maybe.

Tess: Yeah, maybe. But you’re right it is. It’s a real sign of sophistication within the market. Last quarter when Mike Sypher [SP] interviewed you guys, you were all saying that even though it’s a liquid domains market overview, and we’re talking about short numerics and acronyms, and there were brands like Fly.com, which is a three letter, right, but that would push the average values of three letters higher, and lots of one-words like you’re just talking about now. But the wholesale trading of those domains at market value, like, you know, the NNNNN or LLLL and was been pushed down slightly. Do you see that trend continuing?

Ivan: Well, I think that there is a little bit of evidence of that. I don’t know if we know fully to be honest, but obviously a big deal with the four-L space. And you have Orbs.com, for example, selling for $50,000 in January that will tend to push trends a little bit higher, but at the same time, to be honest, we’re not completely sure in this quarter.

Tess: Interesting. Yeah, this quarter the four letters, the four Ls seems seemed, you know, I only saw of the public ones 3 out of…whoop,s didn’t total it. Three out of maybe 11 that were one-word domains. Like, Edit.com was the highest probably because it’s a one word, right, at 140K, but then across the board all the others were pretty consistent in their price range and not one letters, I mean, one word. So, yeah, very interesting to see. Do you think, Giuseppe, there are other categories that went up or down that are notable that we should touch on?

Giuseppe: Yeah, for sure. I mean, like, I think the most notable one is definitely the two-letter .com it made this huge jump from basically no transaction recorded by Escrow.com. In the Q4 2017, it went up to over six million. So, that was, like, a huge jump. The other category that we saw it was the three-letter .com that basically went up 50% from 2.2 million to 3.6 million. And also the other ones you actually were mentioning, which is the four-letter .com. So, that one was very interesting as well because I’ve seen…I mean, we cannot see, like, the first three quarters, like, kind of a stable growth.

So, for example, in Q3 2017, it was 3.5 million, and then in, like, the last quarter, like, you know, in Q4 it was actually 4 million, and this quarter is 4.6 million. So, it’s very interesting. You see, like, off and on there is, like, you know, end user transaction, but the amount is slowly growing. So, it’s a cool trend to notice.

Tess: That is a cool trend. Do you have any comment on what you think is driving that?

Giuseppe: Sorry, the audio went off for a second.

Tess: Any comment on what you think is driving?

Giuseppe: It’s very hard to tell what is driving, and what I can say is that I’ve not seen, personally like from my experience, like big portfolio transaction. So, maybe it’s even, like, a lot of, like, small one word domains that are actually been sold. And one thing that could actually reinforce that is that the disclosed transaction for those actually went down. So, the volume went up, but this first transaction went down. So, whenever you see that, there’s probably indicator that there’s more, you know, end user transactions or, you know, one word as opposed to domains been auctioned or other portfolio deals.

Tess: Yes. So, really quickly, let’s tangent into that just to give our viewers a little background. So, I mean, most end users, especially if it’s a publicly-traded company, they prefer private transaction over a public one. But the data that you’re getting, you pull all the public data and Escrow.com partners with you to help with this report, where they don’t share things they’re not allowed to share, but they share data on private transactions just in terms of, like, some numbers, like, we had this much in two L transactions, right?

[Crosstalk 00:18:12]

Giuseppe: Right, so…Like, Escrow.com, like, it does, you know, it’s for…they keep the confidentiality as one of the priorities. So they never share any individual transaction with us, but what we do get is, like, the aggregate volume, which is basically something that which can tell us how many transaction…not how many transaction, but like the total volumes, total sales volume of a specific category.

Tess: I mean, that’s tremendous. That, like, quadruples the value of your report because I don’t believe that there is anywhere else that the average domain investor can access any of this information. I mean, if you went to a…if you, meaning someone in the Sherpa network, right, one of our listeners, you could go to a conference, you could meet a broker like Giuseppe, you could, you know, learn of something that he’s allowed to privately disclose, but not something that he’s under NDA for, and that’s it. So, I mean, you could get this much more info, but because as for partners with you while maintain this confidentiality, you’re getting this picture that literally no one in the industry has, right, and then you share this with everyone?

Ivan: Right, and it’s important to do so because it allows investors to really know that there’s a lot more life to the domain markets than they see. You could obviously collect a lot of public data and see sales, but when you see, for example, $6 million in transactions in two Ls, something that you may not be aware of, but I think gives credence to domain names as an asset class all together because end users, companies are willing to spend that kind of money as opposed to just looking at public data, which is still very important, and I encourage for sales to be as public as possible to foster the industry as a whole to help the industry. But it definitely I think gives confidence and some credence through what everybody does.

Tess: I agree. Yeah, and just kudos to both of you. So, this download is available for any of our Sherpa viewers, I believe, directly through our website, and I’m…do you wanna say where you have it available?

Giuseppe: Sure. You can go on GGRG.com/industry-report.

Tess: Okay, fantastic. I mean, this is a huge service to the industry, and you are building up the ecosystem for investors. So, I thank you for doing this. Let’s jump here and look at…so the thing that I found most surprising in your report was that you analyze the development of domain names. I think, you know, most financial reports might not get into something like that, but the reason that we look at the development, I thought Mike Sycher said it really well in one of his prior interviews with you, “Development anchors the value of a category.”

Just, like, we had a show on DomainSherpa a few weeks ago about vacation.rentals, and what…how the buyer was building that site out, and that…I mean we’re not just doing it to be, like, “Oh, this is interesting,” which it is, but because it affects the entire GTLD class, the .rentals domain, to have something big that’s marketed, they get some mind share, consumers recognize and understand it. But more than that, the domain itself becomes more valuable in the process.

So, it looks like year over year or quarter over quarter, it goes two L, then three L, then two character, two C, they have the highest development. Seems kind of, like, usual suspects, steady buyers, steady development trends. Giuseppe, what more do we need to know here?

Giuseppe: Yeah, I mean, I actually missed the last part because the audio went off for second. Sorry, just like the last part, like, usual suspect and then that’s done.

Tess: Got you. No, that’s okay. Let’s see. I just said it seemed like the usual suspects it’s, you know, steady buyers, steady development trends. I’m just wondering is there anything more we need to know here besides, you know, development is steady, so value is growing steadily.

Giuseppe: Yeah. I mean, I think the development index, it’s probably, like, one of the most important indicators in the report. It’s so important because it affects both, like, demand and supply. And I’ll give you an example. Like, it affects supply because basically if a domain is developed, it’s much less likely that the company that is using it is gonna put it for sale. And so that basically affects supply by limiting the amount of domains that are for sale in a specific category.

And on the other hand, it also affects demand because while we cannot draw really a causality, a correlation between, like, you know, development and end user demand. If a lot of domains are actually developed by companies, it means that those companies actually like those domains. So, we cannot see a correlation between, like, the end user demand in the future. So, this is why it’s so important, and that’s why, like, the recommendation I always give, like, investors is to look at categories with strong development index because that like, Michael Sycher, says really anchors the value of a category.

Tess: Yeah, that’s very insightful. Very well put. Ivan, did you want to say something?

Ivan: Just a little bit to what Giuseppe said, and one thing that we’re always looking to do, obviously, is evolve and improve the report. Something we may consider doing in the future is maybe add in a little bit of color to the development data. So, for example, does the site have a store, has a sales certificate? You know, we collect quite a great deal of commercial data through the Intelium infrastructure partly for name [inaudible 00:24:02], but partly for customer engagements, and so we have a lot of this data.

And I think understanding perhaps some of the additional color changes over time, and also add some value to domain investors because, obviously, if you have let’s say a three L category and you know it’s well developed, but you know that maybe not commercially, for example, there are not a lot of stores or credit card processing done on those sites, then that can also give you some interesting information. So, that’s something we will look for feedback and see if we can perhaps add a little bit of color.

You’ll always have to worry about putting too much information, where you just, you put so many numbers and graphs and at some point people just tune out because it’s a lot to look at. But that’s…that part is…basically the report is a living work, so we will look to see if that makes sense.

Tess: That’s impressive. Well, my feedback, I vote, “Yes, color.” No, it sounds, you know, especially like the SSL with upcoming changes in Chrome and, you know, that is a real identifier what kind of information is being transacted? How serious is the company behind it? I kinda like…Ivan, you have, like, this boyish grin when you talk about it. I’m like, I could just see the numbers going around in your background. You know, and you see what’s relevant and not overwhelm I think the…On behalf of the common man, I appreciate the differentiation. So…

Ivan: Well, presentation matters a great deal I mean as you’re well aware. So, you can have the best data in the world, but if you present it in a way that people can’t really digest it well, it just may not be as effective as you like.

Tess: Yeah. Well, your report is super digestible. I printed it to make it a little easier to look through for me, and then I had two computer screens up and was pulling, you know, different, “Okay, he’s talking about or they’re talking about this, you know, this asset class. Okay, what sales have transacted here and there.” But it’s fantastic. Its super informative, and even for people who aren’t gonna buy a three L because of this report, they can speak more to the industry to what’s happening. If you want to buy or sell, you can make more informed decisions. And you also, in a way, know what to look for because this gives you a little education in that. So, it’s super cool.

Giuseppe, I know my next question if for Ivan, but I’ve been talking his ear off. Let me jump and ask you real quick. So, the stand out, in my opinion, summary point for the last quarter, Q4 of 2017, that report was that quantity is out and quality is in. And in particular, last time, you guys talked with Sycher about these Chinese investors becoming smarter, starting to look at domains specifically with end user potential in mind rather than buying portfolios just, like, as a whole before kind of somewhat blindly before.

So, you’ve said you continue to see the market sophistication there. I’m wondering when, now, so many sellers who are trying to sell in the Chinese market, how does that make your sales approach different as a, you know, you frequently broker to the Chinese market, well, how does that make it different for you, you’re approach?

Giuseppe: Right, actually this is, like, a great question. And this has actually has changed…yeah, it has changed so much because basically it’s slowly transition from what it used to be like a sellers’ market where, you know, like, if your domain, like, it was quite easy to actually find buyers. It’s become more like to buyers’ market where there’s only few active people, and they can be more selective, what kind of domains. They have like a little, you know, a little more leverage on what they can buy, and there’s, you know, still a lot of people that are looking to sell. So, yeah, I mean, that’s basically how we change the markets. So, aligning to buyers, it’s becoming, like, you know, better, you know, could be, like I said, a better strategy.

Tess: Very cool. Now, when you’re saying, you know, the market is a little smaller, just fewer investors, just qualify that, I mean, like, four L .com you have almost 30% of the market is owned by a Chinese company or two N .com, 41% are Chinese owners. So, even though it’s fewer that’s, you know, relatively speaking.

Giuseppe: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And also, like, it’s also interesting to note that, you know, whenever you see those numbers, like, let’s say you see 30% ownership by China, we’re also not considering the privacy one because there may be a lot of private domains owned by Chinese investor you just don’t see it. But, yeah, overall I mean, like, you know, if we had to look at the country breakdown, we always see that the Chinese are, you know, predominant in all, like, the numeric domains, you know, like, two numbers, three numbers, four numbers, five numbers, etc. And instead, like, the U.S. is still predominant on all the domains that are actually very developed. So, like, the two letter .com or the three letter .com, so for that one U.S. is still first.

Tess: Interesting. Yeah, that’s an important differentiation. Now, that brings us right into on the last report. I’m sure if we talked a little bit about some registry data not been available for the report and it can be, you know, increasingly technically difficult to gather this data. I think last time when you said that GDPR wasn’t even really on people’s radar, at least it wasn’t on mine, and then at the same time looking at your report it seems, like, privacy is trending upwards I believe here. Can you tell us? Not sure which one of you. Maybe Ivan wants to speak to this? Can you tell us about changes in consumer behavior with privacy, and do you see GDPR affecting both private registration trends and availability of data for I think very important reports like this one?

Ivan: That is probably a very hard topic the [inaudible 00:30:41] right now?

Tess: Yes, right now.

Ivan: So, I would say there’s a lot of opinions and various points that are being hopefully discussed and not yelled across rooms. I think that in terms of consumer behavior, we just have to look at the headlines. You know, we saw some technology companies get into some hot water in terms of the data they were collecting and selling, and so consumers will be very motivated by those types of headlines, and I think there will be greater awareness in the short run of the importance not just of data privacy, but also control over your own data.

And so in terms of kind of the general ways how will that impact, well, it’s a little more difficult to say because in the short run it should impact very negatively. We don’t really have guidance from IPM yet. Some registries and registrars are pulling data. I’m sure you’re familiar with some of the bigger registrars protecting all these data, others disagreeing and what…who’s data is private. I think that IS doesn’t consider, for example, email address as personal information from what I recall and the headlines.

So, there’s a lot of confusion as to what actually will still be available. We also know the Unites States and the United Sates government probably does not like excessive amounts of privacy for domain names because it’s difficult to research security risks, it’s difficult to research certain transactions, thinks like that. And at the same time, I don’t know if the public at large is aware of monetization possibilities for domain names.

For example, if I became aware that my domain name was valuable and I could sell it, I may be more willing to share some of the data behind who owns the domain because I benefit directly from that aspect as opposed to me worrying about a technology company that could use my data to profit themselves, but not necessarily me, if you will. So, I think the long run is still somewhat unclear, but I think in the short run the difficulties will probably increase.

Tess: Interesting. Yeah, that makes sense. It does and I’m very curious to see what’s gonna come out of the current IPM meeting see what, I mean…Are you worried, Giuseppe, as a broker about who is being affected and how that’s gonna affect your sales and due diligence?

Giuseppe: Yeah, of course, I mean, like, we actually don’t know what’s going to happen so, like, it’s still very fuzzy what’s going to happen next and, of course, that that’s through the uncertainty of what’s gonna happen. But, I mean, as in any of these events there’s both, you know, a negative side and there’s also opportunity. So, I will not then be quick to judge and see if, you know, if it’s a negative change or not.

Tess: That clip right there that seems to sum up your personality, Giuseppe, I think that is a great reason to work with you, right? You’re very balanced. And then, Ivan, I can’t help but ask, and you can say whatever you like out like, “Don’t ask.” But Intelium, I think the entire domain industry is wondering what about, you know, what’s gonna…I don’t even know how to frame this question for you. What can you say about GDPR? Is it ruin your life? Is it…are you…do you have, like, 10 contingency plans? Are you just waiting to find out? Because, I mean, you have the best [inaudible 00:34:14] history of anyone.

Ivan: Sure, and we have a process by which that we keep our data. So, certainly as long as we operate under U.S. law within full legal status and that our jurisdiction covers and we don’t necessarily plan to change the way that we operate. Again, we do have a process that we’ll be compliant if necessary, but to be honest with you, I don’t know if it’s truly kind of given us too much uncertainty or it’s given a lot of our customers uncertainty because we do serve a lot of industry operators that include registries and registrars.

And so when our customers are nervous, we’re also nervous for them because our job is to provide them with solutions. So, in terms of Intelium as a company, it’s really too early to say. I can’t say that it’s really I’ve been losing too much sleep over. You know, we have thought about this. This is kind of, like, a two year question actually if we go back to when GDPR was first been discussed and implemented. But, of course, I mean we worry about there being less domain sales. We worry about kind of fragmentation in the industry.

Our biggest concern, honestly, is fragmentation of data. So, if the U.S. decides to do one thing by itself, Europe decides to do another thing by itself, and everybody gets caught in the crossfire, we hope that there is dialogue certainly between governments and institutions and parties that they can arrive at an equitable solution that respects both the rights to monetize certain aspects, but also the rights of people to control on their personal data.
Tess: Here, here. You should run for government.

Ivan: I don’t know about that.

Tess: No. It’s really good to hear that you’re steady and stable, you’ve been planning for this for two years and, you know, and things are gonna be okay. That’s what really what I heard.

Ivan: Right. And, again, our biggest worry is more what’s gonna happen in the global world of trade. You know, there’s a lot of rhetoric going on right now. Talk of tariffs left and right, you know, unfair competition and things like that and it’s very global. That’s a global picture. That’s not just GDPR. That’s where the world is today, and so we’re just a part of that really. So, however governments and nations come together to resolve, I think of it and also flow from that, I think domain investors are resilient in general because their nature tends to be very resilient. And I also think that once there is a clear way forward, everybody will find a way to adapt.

Tess: Agreed, yeah. Good point. Cool. So, in summary, as we’re looking into the future for domain name investors who are looking for the greatest upside potential and liquid domain names and, I know, again, this isn’t an investment show, what would you each like to add that we haven’t discussed thus far. Giuseppe, you wanna go first?

Giuseppe: Yeah, I mean, like, you know, if we have two, you know, if I would like to give an advice or just a recommendation to investor and, of course, this is not investment advice, but I would go back to what we were discussing before, and I would be very, very careful with my investment and look specifically at development index. Whenever domains high development index, that’s where the biggest opportunities are because, as of now, we’ve seen these stupid trends of one, like, 5th percentiles continue to go down, at the same time the amounts, you know, the sales volume being the same or sometimes growing. And so that means that transaction is still happening, people are still buying domains, and sometimes for very large amounts, but it’s only for the best ones. So, that’s why I, like, look more at quality, look at more domains with the high development index. That will be my recommendation.

Tess: Very cool, very cool. Thank you and I hope on the other end you guys put even more into the report about that to help people educate in that area. It’s a great idea. Ivan, how about you, anything we didn’t cover from the report that you’d like to touch on?

Ivan: I mean, it’s all difficult to me to focus simply because of how complete the information in the domain markets is, but I agree with Giuseppe in terms of uncertainty in terms of the quality over quantity, that’s just the general kind of rule of thumb, and just look for signs the uncertainty reversing. So, look at specific data points. I can tell you that perhaps some of the risk in a category could be profitable, but generally uncertainty means quality over quantity.

Tess: Very, very good, simple methodology to look at it. Thank you. Thank you both. I think this report is phenomenal. On a more personal level, you know, when we do, like, the Sherpa Review and we have a panel on, we checked in at the end to…with each person to hear what’s going on in their own, you know, specific companies or personal life, and I feel like our Sherpa network has become so accustomed to hearing from each of you each quarter, and, Giuseppe, I want you on the Sherpa Review, you know, now that you’re back in Portugal, I think it’s time.

So, let’s do it. What do you wanna share? New activities with domainIQ, or EstiBot or GGRG brokerage or personal level, travel plans, etc.? Giuseppe, you’re up first. What’s going on? What’s new?

Giuseppe: You know, it’s like, it’s funny because that you were saying, “Oh, yeah, [inaudible 00:39:51],” and I would love to join. I’m travelling again soon. So, yeah, I’m gonna go to [inaudible 00:39:59] Europe in Valencia. It is gonna be, like, in June. So, yeah, then afterwards I will go to, you know, Italy just, like, home for a while, and then again to Asia. I would love to come to NameSummit in New York, but I have to say that I cannot always open and close the case. I’m packing all the time. So, I might not do that.

Yeah, in terms of, like, work, we actually…we’re launching a new tool, which is…I mean, I think this is amazing. It’s a tool for, like, we give domain investors at this time with, like, only the soft launch level. It’s called LXME. But if anybody wants to know more and learn more, they can simply drop a line to GGRG.com and go to the contact form, or just send me an email g@ggrg.com and, you know, we’ll be ready to launch probably later on this year. So, that is all on our end.

Tess: That sounds supper cool. Sign me up. Do I have to send you an email?

Giuseppe: I can send you back.

Tess: I’ll send you an email. So, send it to g@ggrg.com.

Giuseppe: Rg.com. Yeah.

Tess: Very good. All right. That sounds really interesting. Ivan, your turn. What’s going on?

Ivan: In terms of work, in the first quarter we finally managed to put the switch on the new EstibBot. We’ve been working for a long time on that, too. We added a portfolio, too, which, you know, is a fantastic utility for a lot of investors not just because it organizes things because it generates leads on a daily basis. We overhauled that lead generator to add developed domains. So, really added quite a bit more power to the EstiBot, so we’re excited to see kinda how that plays out and how that develops. Hopefully it leads to many, many sales for our customers.

It’s kinda hard to separate my life from my work right now. Just a lot going on. So, travel plans are, you know, every Christmas or so, I tend to head to the South of France. So I’m sort of looking forward to that, but that feels like two years from now at the moment. So, I haven’t had a chance to…I wanted to explore Eastern [SP] Europe and Paris as well. Just haven’t had the chance to break away. We have a small and very busy team. I’d have to see about the NameSummit. I do recall last year it looked very solid. I know [inaudible 00:42:29] some quite a bit of work, and I heard a lot of good things about it. It’s just time. Free time is such a premium right now.

Tess: Ivan, that’s okay. No pressure. Yeah, we’re all heading in various directions. So, EstiBot, yeah, you guys have this incredible make over so to speak with…Just I feel like you added so much muscle, things that, like, I already felt, like, the lead generator in particular was great and is literally beyond my dreams. So, talk to me for a minute about, you said, now the lead generator looks at…so, give me an example? Like, there’s a domain and then within that vertical instead of just pulling every lead from the who is, you pull developed leads because they’re more likely to buy? Is that what you’re saying?

Ivan: And some information collected from those sites because let’s say if who is worst case scenario, right? So, let’s go from dreams to nightmares [inaudible 00:43:34]? How do you contact lead or a website? Well, they have a publicly disclosed email let’s say in the website that’s [inaudible 00:43:43]. That could be of interest. So, that’s one area which we added we hope really kind of leads to more volume, more liquidity for domains as an investment class. So, that’s what the [inaudible 00:43:53] are there for. It’s for everybody to help commoditize the domain market and lead to more sales.

Tess: Very smart, really. That’s cool. All right, we’ll check it out. On my end, I was telling Giuseppe at the beginning, it’s starting to heat up in Phoenix. I have, like, 8th grade graduation, 12th grade graduation, pre-school graduation tonight, so that’s pretty much my world for the next two weeks. A lot of graduation parties. So, and then I will head to NameSummit. If you have the time, Ivan, I hope to see you there, and I would love an excuse to go to Valencia again someday. So, I hope NameSummit has a few more out there. So, I mean…

Giuseppe: Or to Lisbon.

Tess:…NamesCom. What?

Giuseppe: Or to Lisbon.

Tess: Yeah, or to Lisbon. And Drew just arrived there today and, Giuseppe, when are you going out to dinner with him?

Giuseppe: Friday.

Tess: All right, all right. Well, start taking vitamin B12 now. Thank you, guys, I’m so grateful that you came on. I want to say our Sherpa network, if you’ve found educational benefit from this show, please take a few moments, post up your comment to thank our Sherpas. And also click on the Twitter to share it. As we see this industry grow, this ecosystem grow, we also have our part in sharing that with others, and this report is so empirical. It really can help people who think that domain values are just anything but.

So, I will include a link below this video to downloading the report for yourself, and if any of our Sherpa network has questions about the report or anything we discussed today, feel free to post them in the comments. I know and I thank you, Ivan and Giuseppe, you’ve always been so great about coming back and answering so many of the questions and comments from our viewers. So, thank you. Thank you, Ivan…Well, I gotta say it again, Ivan Rasskazov, and Giuseppe Graziano for coming on the DomainSherpa show, sharing your knowledge of domain name liquid market, and for being DomainSherpas for others. Thank you.

Ivan: Thank you, Tess.

Giuseppe: Thank you for having us, Tess.

Tess: Yeah, what a treat. So, thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.

Watch the full video at:
https://www.domainsherpa.com/liquid-domain-name-market-report-1st-quarter-2018/

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4 Responses to “Liquid Domain Name Market Report 1st Quarter 2018”

  1. Great show Tess! Ivan and Giuseppe are great sherpas :)

    1. Ivan Rasskazov says:

      Thank you for the kind words.

  2. Hi Tess ..Always good to watch a DS show .
    I dont know if it was on my side but halfway thru the show Giuseppe Graziano’s volume went down ,was impossible to hear him speak.
    Also ,Tess ,you are a beautiful woman ,no need for any makeup [your right eye was more darker then the left eye ]
    Im sure that every domainer loves you and admires you ,just the way you are .
    Regards

    1. Rajesh Duggal says:

      Frank, makeup isn’t only for women that need beautifying. Beautiful women are free to enjoy makeup or what ever else they please. Ironically, you then go on to critic her makeup in your comment. Gosh… a compliment immediately followed by a negative critique. Both un-called for, unnecessary and not related to domaining. Please keep the subject focused on the point of the show, domaining and domain related business. It’s unfortunate that many men feel the urge to comment on women’s appearance, either negative or positive, when they would look passed the appearance of men on the same stage. (I would guess Tess has probably already had more comments (positive or negative) on her appearance than the total comments of the years of the previous male host of the show)
      When making a comment about a women’s appearance (such as makeup application) always consider if you would also have pointed out if you didn’t like a male host’s mis-match tie/short combo, or a stained shirt, or disheveled hair, etc.
      When ever I feel an urge to make a comment or give some constructive criticism to a women, I always try to pause for a second and think if I would say a similar type of a comment to a man in the same context?
      Best!

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