Website Sales Growth Overtook Domains in 2011

Earlier this week we came across a great piece of analysis by Ron Jackson over at DNJournal. Ron took a deep dive into reported domain sales for 2011 and made interesting comparisons with 2010.

It led us to wonder about how Flippa website sales performed for the same period.

To make it comparable, we followed DNJournal’s lead and categorized websites into .coms, ccTLDs (eg .uk, .ca, .au), and non-.com gTLDs (eg .net, .org), and also excluded .com sales below $2,000 and other TLD sales below $1,000.

While this led to website transaction volumes clocking in at around 10% of the same volume in the domains data set, it uncovered some fascinating results.

Website dollar sales grew by over 50% while domains declined by 5%

The DNJournal records showed a 2% increase in total dollar volume in .com domain sales to reach $67.2 million for 2011 – unless we include the $13 million sale of Sex.com in 2010, which would mean domain sales volume dropped by 15%. Our records from the Flippa marketplace showed a staggering 57% increase in website sales volume to reach $15.5 million in .com websites sold for over $2,000.

While non-.com TLD domains suffered a decrease of 11% to sell just $10.2 million in 2011, their website equivalents increased by 63% to reach almost $3 million in sales volume. Websites with ccTLDs were again arguably too low in volume to provide much insight but did increased in total dollar volume by over 150%.

All of this goes some way to explain why Flippa’s total dollar transaction volume just shot past $70 million.

Websites held their value more than domains from 2010 to 2011

Median Sale prices declined marginally across the board. However, for .com domains, median prices declined by 14% to $3,000 while .com website median prices went down by just 3% to $4,350. For non-.com TLDs, stand-alone domains declined by 10% to $1,800 while their websites peers were selling only 5% lower at $2,000.

Websites with cc TLDs broke trend and were selling for a median price of $1,750 (down 8% on previous year) compared to just domains that clocked in at $2,000 (down 3% on previous year) – possibly due to the very low transaction volume for this category of websites.

Note that both the DNJournal figures as well as our own are but a subset of total transactions in the respective domain and website marketplaces – but ultimately enough to give you an idea on overall market trends.

Any views on what drove these shifts from 2010 to 2011? What does it mean for 2012? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: polarjez

  • https://flippa.com/users/412604 fena3000

    Thank you for the interesting facts!

  • https://flippa.com/users/382958 bangzenk

    2012 for me it’s a new began to build more commercial website, since now I fulltime online!

  • https://flippa.com/users/363983 acroplex

    Andrew, you mean sales of tm violations such as this one? https://flippa.com/2682018-money-making-with-yahooitforme-com

    Sedo just announced weekly sales of domains totaling $1.6 million – how does this volume compare with sales of web sites? Not to mention that MLM schemes and sites that sell tutorials are really not web sites.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      Hi acroplex.
      We don’t consider auctions that end unsold to be sales as no sale takes place.

      Outside of that, we excluded sales that did not meet the over $2,000 criteria for .coms and over $1,000 for the others to make it a like-for-like comparison with DNJournal’s analysis as outlined in the third paragraph. I’d suggest the $1.6 million you quote would not be quote so high had this criteria been applied here too.

  • https://flippa.com/users/427152 zamantech

    Nice to see you flying,Andrew.Just kiddin.. thanks for the info.

  • https://flippa.com/users/155069 zuneone

    I sold a couple sites and made some easy cash. You guys raised your prices but I like the new cap of $2000.

  • https://flippa.com/users/363983 acroplex

    Andrew, apples and oranges. How many i.e absolute number web sites that meet this criteria are being sold on Flippa, versus the volume of domains that – for the sake of argument – meet the same specifications? When you have a volume of 100 domains being sold for every 1 web site, means and averages tell a different story. Volume – as in, the number of domains – show no slowing down of domain sales.

    • http://flippa.com/ Andrew Knibbe

      I’m afraid DNJournal’s stats don’t support your argument.

      Based on the criteria set here, website volumes in 2010 were over 8% of domain sales in 2010 and this increased to over 11% in 2011. Sure they’re not identical volumes but this is statistically sufficient to be drawing strong conclusion on relative measures such as median price and sales volume growth.

      Agree that domain transaction volumes are still growing – its just that these data sets indicate domains grew just 5% last year compared to websites which grew by 44%.

      This is less rosy for domains when looking at the sales values of these transactions year-on-year with domains slipping by 5% compared to websites increasing by 56%.

  • http://realtoras.com victorantos

    nothing about the .co domains… I bought a few…

  • http://www.smartscriptsolutions.com/ buy and sell domains

    This is nice information about domain auction selling and buying domain name .we don’t consider auctions that end unsold to be sales as no sale takes place. it is a domain name sell and website you know website worth.