Perfect numbers revisited Part Deux: 360 and 100

I’ve followed the seemingly cryptic obsession of the Chinese for Arabic numerals for years.

Around 2002, at a time that I was investing in short LLN and LNN .com domains that were available to register en masse, a very smart domainer lady shared with me the information that seems to be less of a secret nowadays: the sound of numbers in Chinese converts into words that can be combined into short, meaningful phrases.

Of course, that’s not the only reason why the Chinese are currently buying numeric domains.

Numbers require only the top row of the keyboard to be utilized, unlike the alphabets of the Latin or Chinese language. And for the really lazy, three or more keystrokes of the same number is an added bonus.

Having sold both 360.org and 100.org to end-users for record amounts as far as the TLD is concerned, it’s time to revisit these perfect numbers as defined through the respective .com sales.

Last year, 100.com was sold for $950,000 dollars to YY Inc. – a figure that was dwarfed by the apparent sale of 360.com for $17 million dollars to Chinese giant Qihoo.

What makes one number seemingly better than the other, resulting in a bigger sale?

The truth is that the number “100” produces 10x times the results for “360” in Google, so that fact alone explains the paradox of the domain market: it’s very fluid.

Unlike the real estate market where such extreme fluctuations in value do not occur, the domain market’s conditions are more or less dictated by a combination of factors that include:

  • The domain seller’s capability to price a domain according to its potential
  • The seller’s negotiation skills
  • The domain buyer’s financial strength
  • The buyer’s willingness to disclose or hide their identity during the negotiation
  • The involvement, or not, of professional service companies – brokers or negotiators – during the exchange

The #1 reason domain A sells less than domain B is the asking price: if the seller does not set their price high, they will only get what’s offered, which most of the time is less than what desired.

When I negotiated the sale of 360.org and 100.org, I was well aware of their qualities; regardless of the TLD, these two numbers are the top two three-digit numerics to pursue in any TLD or gTLD. Both 360 and 100 signify a wholeness or roundness, as displayed by the use of 360 to define a circle and its degrees, and the definition of a full percentage by the number 100.

The amounts involved in the sales of 100.com and 360.com differ so dramatically for the reasons I explained above; circumstance, like everything in life, drives a large portion of the domain market.

Comments

  1. Justin Herfield says:

    I m so stupid sometimes. I laughed at the ones buying 5 digit .coms couple years back. I realize how important numerical .coms are to the world particularly the Chinese.

  2. Justin – As long as you don’t expect 5N’s to fetch millions.

  3. I am trying to grab as many numbers as possible. Just traded a product .ca for 72 dot ca
    The shorter the better it seems.

  4. ৪৪.com is for sale … (it´s a IDN) WHAT CAN BE THE VALUE ?

  5. Mariano – As these are not numbers but letters in an IDN character set, I would say very, very low. As in, zero.

  6. I too scoffed at 5N’s being sold on forums for reg fee to $50 (if my memory serves right). Most of those are now at about an average price of $200, solely examining the expiring aftermarket. If I had scooped up all the reg fee to even $50 names that I could, even with renewals, it would still be approximately a 200% ROI or more on a portfolio sale to this day.

    So yes, we all make mistakes overlooking the small things. Though, I wasn’t going to speculate on 5N’s for that type of return then, and I don’t regret not purchasing them. It was a hit or miss at that point, and I missed that bus.

    I’m sure the value will still climb, but to enter would have such a low ROI at this point that it wouldn’t be worth it. As Acro said, don’t expect them to hit the million dollar mark, but there is still money to be made. Just don’t expect a lot.

  7. Remember Jake Ackerman and his attempt to buy all the ZIP codes for directory sites? Too bad he couldn’t have held on for a few more years. http://www.domainsherpa.com/jake-ackerman-zipsmart-interview/

    I have a lot of respect for guys like him that are willing to take on risk. Also a good testament to how tough domaining can be, and timing is so important.

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