Categorized | Domain Name Auctions

Rick Latona’s T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Las Vegas Auction – The Results

Posted on 23 January 2010 by Andrei

The grand total: $456,402. It may not seem like an impressive amount, but let’s not make the foolish mistake of jumping on the “oh noes, what will happen to our poor industry?” bandwagon. Today’s grand total has a simple explanation, it’s really not rocket science:

There Were No “Blockbuster Sales”

There was no sale, no sale for over $1,000,000, I’m sure you get the point. One blockbuster sale would have been enough to push this auction from 6 to 7 figures.

Let’s assume that I’m auctioning 100 domains, including and that only ends up selling (let’s say that it ended up being sold for $3,000,000). So out of 100 domains, 1 has been sold and the auction “generated” $3,000,000. Should we call this auction a success?

That’s the thing with numbers, they can sometimes paint a picture which has nothing to do with reality if you don’t know how to interpret them. It’s a buyer’s market, nobody can deny that and yes, there have been problems with the platform but errors can occur even if you test absolutely everything like a maniac, it’s a lot more complicated than installing wordpress if you know what I mean.

The list of domains which have been sold can be found on, analyze the domains one by one and then draw conclusions, don’t let today’s grand total cloud your judgment.

16 Comments For This Post

  1. Xdreamer Says:

    If the great domains like would have been priced to sell, we would have had one 7 figsale for sure I think.

  2. Andrei Says:

    The starting bid was $5,000,000 if I’m not mistaken, that just doesn’t make any sense. Most of the bidders are resellers, how much would they have had to resell this one for to make money? It could have fetched mid 6 figs IMO.

  3. grumpyg Says:

    Domains with unreasonable reserves shouldn’t be allowed from now on,what good does it do if they just appear at the auction even though it’s obvious to anyone that they won’t sell.It’s not hard to determine a reasonable reserve which satisfies both the seller and the buyer,auctions are not lotteries.I agree with you,the fact that the total isn’t as high as usual doesn’t mean a lot.The highest sale was 65k

  4. grumpyg Says:

    Only one more argument and I’m out.Maybe right now what some owners should do is rethink their strategy and lower their expectations.The buyers are there and they have money to spend,now is the time to lower the prices and sell some more inventory.

  5. Rick Latona Says:

    I agree with all of this. Here’s the good news. I have more leads than I ever have had after an auction. I should be able to double the number by the end of the extended, if not more. I just need a few key sellers to drop their reserves by a little bit and we’ll be there.

  6. nmwando Says:

    That’s the best solution Rick, some of them will just be auctioned over and over again without lower reserves. I agree with grumpyg, the buyers are there and their wallets are full 🙂

  7. phonenumber Says:

    Is there a number I can call to speak to somebody now for an offer I want to make on a domain? I’m not in vegas

  8. Ms Domainer Says:


    At non-domain auctions, the most successful venues seem to be the specifically targeted ones; for example, I once attended an auction that featured antique clocks and watches. Those items went through the stratosphere! The auction had been advertised heavily to clock collectors, and they came out in droves, flush with cash and ready to buy.

    For Las Vegas, gambling and entertainment domains would have seemed appropriate.

    Auction attendees know that the best deals will be found at estate auctions (not high end estates, but ordinary homes) where anything and everything can be found. At one home auction, I bought a lot of three posters, including a rather gruesome bull fighting poster, for $10.00. Not five minutes later, a man offered me $50.00 for the bullfighting poster (I took it and ran–my first “instant flip”). For some reason, he had missed the bidding for that lot.

    I have often wondered why domain auctions aren’t more targeted and then pitched heavily to potential end users, instead of concentrating domainer to domainer.

    Also, when the technology doesn’t work, many bidders will lose confidence and wonder about the validity of the whole venue. Old fashioned auctions depended on online catalogues (or before the net, print) and a bank of lowly telephones for off-site bidders. For domains, you don’t even need a full color catalogue, for the words sell themselves.

    I’m not saying this auction was a flop: obviously, those who sold their inventory don’t think so, but I think with a little more focus and salesmanship by both seller and auction house, these kinds of auctions could be a lot more successful.

    Also, I must admit that it’s a bit disheartening to see so many category-killer domains sold at auctions just parked and not developed. While the returns may be good for the owner, parking can hurt the industry as a whole.

    Still, I’m not advocating that domains MUST be developed–that’s just too restrictive–just that I would like to see more of them developed into end user websites.


  9. Rick Latona Says:

    phonenumber, if you email me your number at rick AT I will call you back immediately.

  10. Nick Says:

    Andrei, I like your WordPress example. To the people who are complaining about the website problems, please answer this. What is the most complex website you have ever owned? Andrei is right with his example, almost everyone thinks that coding applications is as easy as installing WordPress. Boy are they wrong, I don’t even know where to start.

  11. Turtle2 Says:

    Too bad we didn’t see at least a couple $$$,$$$ sales. Maybe in the extended we’ll see some, that would drive earnings for this auction up to the level they deserve to.

  12. Nick Says:

    Speaking of which, when does the extended auction start? Monday? And Rick, will you use LAtonas or Proxibid?

  13. Andrei Says:

    @Nick: he will let us know shortly, I’ll comment here as soon as I find out.

  14. jmu Says:

    South African domains seem to sell pretty well, I’ve come across them a lot at auctions. I don’t know how the numbers are but all in all a pretty successful cctld!

  15. Rick Latona Says:

    @Nick: It’ll be on While I’m quite sure the Latona’s flat online bidding only platform is stable as a rock, it would be irresponsible of me to use the site at all for our industry until I’ve hired a company to stress test it and recommend solutions.

    The announcement of it going live will come shortly.

  16. Andrei Says:

    A quick update: the auction will start tomorrow at 9 AM EST. Click on the link below and you’ll be taken to the main auction page: