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Domain name auction to net millions

Bidders covet Iran.com and hell.com

Come hell.com or hi.net water, more than 250 high-profile internet domain names will be up for auction today at the third annual live auction held by domain-name registrar and reseller Moniker.com.

For businesses with an online presence, having just the right catchy domain name can make the difference between being successful or joining the list of failed dotcom ventures.

The Moniker.com auction, to be held at the World Association of Domain Name Developers' conference in Hollywood, Florida, will offer a wide variety of intriguing domain names. In addition to hell.com and hi.net, bidders will get a crack at buying appliances.net, Breathalyzer.com, CD.net, DigitalCameras.com, Iran.com, MonaLisa.com, prohibited.com, reunite.com, transplant.com and vocalist.com.

Pre-auction price estimates figure that auction.com could go for $8m to $10m; hell.com might fetch $3m to $5m and DSL.com could net $5m or more. Some 500 to 700 bidders are expected to attend.

Of the 250 domain names to be auctioned, more than 100 are expected to sell, said Monte Cahn, chief executive of Moniker.com. "It's validating what's going on in our domain industry," Cahn said. "It's giving true value to domain names."

Part of what’s fuelling the reselling marketplace for domain names are the crashed dotcoms of recent years, which often left behind domain names as one of their last remaining and most lucrative assets, Cahn said. An easy-to-remember domain name can help buyers find websites from which to make purchases, he said.

Moniker.com calls itself a domain asset management business. It also buys and sells names and runs a domain registrar operation for customers who want to register their own domain names.


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