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Local domain portfolio for sale

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Many local domain name sales aren't publicised, as South Africans are often reluctant to reveal the high prices they paid, says Pushdigital.co.za CEO Stephen Gorman.
Many local domain name sales aren't publicised, as South Africans are often reluctant to reveal the high prices they paid, says Pushdigital.co.za CEO Stephen Gorman.

A South African domain portfolio is up for sale, including the domain names fly.co.za and music.co.za.

Owned by Stephen Gorman, CEO of Pushdigital.co.za, music.co.za and fly.co.za are expected to sell for around $200 000 each.

Other domain names in the portfolio include fly.co.ke, autoinsurance.co.za, carrental.co.za, medical-aid.co.za, rooms.co.za, currencyconverter.co.za, and germany.co.za.

Gorman says initially the portfolio was focused on travel. The first domain name purchased was fly.co.za. "A lot of airlines in Africa have the 'fly' brand," he says, such as flysaa.co.za and flymango.co.za.

"The logic was, even if it collapsed, we still had the brand value. 'Fly' is a huge brand."

He says fly.co.za is the highest broadcast domain in the portfolio. Initially purchased for $65 000, in February 2010, Gorman says it is now valued at around $200 000.

Gorman says the biggest lure to these domain names is the brand value. "People in SA haven't quite grasped domain value. 'Fly' is better than 'cheapflightsnowSA', for example.

"Music.co.za is on par, if not higher," he notes, estimating it is worth around $250 000. Currently, it is a music information portal, but Gorman says it has a great deal of potential.

When it was purchased, it started out as a parked site. "We could never really decide on [a] product, since we couldn't sell downloads," he says. But now, with iTunes' entrance into SA, he believes the online music industry will see a boom. Music.co.za has the most potential of the domain names in Gorman's portfolio, he adds.

Gorman has seen some interest from buyers in the portfolio. There have been some interested parties internationally, but most are South Africans wanting to buy individual domain names. Gorman says he is not opposed to selling the domain names one by one, and the offers will be judged case by case.

The domain name industry in SA is growing, says Gorman, but many sales aren't publicised, because people don't want to reveal the often high prices they paid for domain names. However, he says, domain brokerages are noticing a hike in sales for SA.

Gorman acquired the domain names over a period of two years, and is now selling the portfolio to help finance a new digital marketing strategy business venture, based mainly in the UK and United Arab Emirates.

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