There was a huge sale announced this week on DN Journal. has been sold for US$140,000. sale

In the world of premium domain names, that isn’t actually that high a number. This year the after market has been flying and some incredible prices have been achieved.

However, for a local name like that, $140,000 is a massive amount of money. All serious domainers must be overjoyed to see it! I was, I have a handful of nice “local” names that relate to New York and this sale just made them all more valuable :-)

In many recent posts (such as this one) I have been explaining how and why the cost to perform SEO is rising and how small businesses are unprepared for it. This must be the most obvious display of the phenomenon to date. I work with a couple of local real estate agencies here in Malta. My guess is that they are both very profitable firms – I know how much agencies charge for commission on a sale and how much an average apartment sells for and find it hard to believe that they cannot be very profitable.

However, firms like this (and I work and have worked with many that have a similar mindset) tend to think that a budget for “the internet” of a few hundred each month is extravagant. I can recall meeting one small business owner that asked me how he could get the domain name he wanted for free because he couldn’t “justify” spending $10 on it!

And yet on the other side of the world, someone else thinks that a generic geographic real estate domain name is worth $140,000.

To quote George Soros in 1998 when he was asked how Kim Dae-jung of South Korea thought he was a statesman and genius and Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia thought he was a criminal and moron, “One of them must be wrong“.

As I hope I have proved in the recent posts (here, here and here), whichever opinion may be wrong, the direction of travel is very clear. The cost to market online, even city by city, if the business has a relatively high profit margin or average transaction value, is rising fast. Most small businesses are lagging well behind this curve.

Sure, if they are surviving and prospering without spending anything on marketing, good for them. But it is hard to imagine it can continue forever. At some point things will go wrong and they will be left without either the skills or budget to fix it. Don’t let this be your company. Let the huge sale price of be a wake-up call for you before it costs as much in your own marketplace just to buy one domain name. Get building and improving your online presence(s) today while you can.

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