The road to hell.com is still untraveled

But 113 other domain names were sold at auction this weekend for $4.75M

The hell.com domain name failed to sell in a live online auction this weekend and is still available, according to domain name registrar and reseller Moniker.com.

Although two bids -- one for $500,000 and one that was almost $1 million -- were received, the bidding never got close to the reserve price of $2.3 million being sought by hell.com's unnamed owner, said Monte Cahn, CEO of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Moniker.com.

"There is still lots of interest in hell.com," said Cahn, adding that he's received correspondence from several prospective buyers who were not at the live auction that began Friday. One reason the domain name didn't sell, he said, was that it was added to the pool of names being offered only in the last week, which didn't give Moniker.com much time to advertise its availability.

Hell.com was one of more than 250 high-profile Internet domain names that were for sale to the highest bidders this weekend at the third annual live auction, held at the World Association of Domain Name Developers' Traffic conference at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla.

Other names for sale included appliances.net, Breathalyzer.com, CD.net, digitalcameras.com, Iran.com, MonaLisa.com, prohibited.com, reunite.com, transplant.com and vocalist.com.

The auction did sell 113 domain names, or more than one-third of the names up for grabs, according to Moniker.com. Those names sold for more than $4.75 million.

The largest winning bid was $1.5 million for domain name cameras.com, while mortgage.net sold for $149,000 and creditcards.net sold for $120,000, according to the company. Sexeducation.com sold for $120,000, university.org went for $100,000, flowers.mobi sold for $200,000 and beachfrontproperty.com sold for $32,000.

An online silent auction continued through noon Eastern time today. All unsold names, including hell.com, will next be placed on Moniker.com's Web site, where anyone can bid on them, Cahn said.

Moniker.com determines market values for the domain names through a process similar to real estate and property appraisals, using a wide range of factors including Web traffic, revenue and comparable sales, he said.

The company's next live auction for domain names is set for Jan. 17 in Las Vegas. 

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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