Would you rather pay more but be guaranteed to get a domain, or pay next to nothing but have an unknown chance of getting it? I prefer the latter and I’ve gotten tons of domains by being smart. On GoDaddy auctions if an expired domain auction ends and there are no bidders it takes a few minutes but the domain goes to a fixed price buy it now format. At this point, whoever jumps on it first gets it for the fixed price of $11 (plus the renewal fee) so around $20 in total. When I am watching a domain auction and I see no bidders on the auction I wait for the auction to expire. I do not bid on the domain in the last few minutes because a bid on a domain draws attention to it. People filter the domains by bids and so by bidding on a domain that previously had no bidders you are putting that domain on the radar screen of tons of people just like you. I think it is the dumbest thing you can do but plenty of people do it. Here’s an example from an auction… Read more…
Domaining can be hard. It can be especially hard when you teach yourself. When you have to learn by trial and error, and when you waste money on domains that in hindsight you have no idea what you were thinking about when you bought them at the price you bought them at. Sometimes there are nuggets of valuable information you can pick up from the domain blogs, but that information is few and far between. Unless you are lucky enough to find a mentor that you 100% trust it really is all on you to learn how to be successful.
I purchased my first domain name maybe 9 years ago if memory serves me correct, and it was maybe 6 or 7 years ago that I purchased my first domain name as an investment. I do this part time so my learning curve took much longer than someone who does this full time, but I think finally I am at a place where I am confident that I know what I’m doing. That isn’t to say I still don’t make mistakes but my mistakes have become minimized. It really hit me when I was doing my usual routine of scanning the deleting/expiring lists each day and I found myself not liking 50 domains a day. I’ve become much more selective. It took a while to distinguish between domains that I thought would be a good buy, and domains that are a good buy. I figured I’d share some of my learnings from over the years because it may help someone that is starting out today and I really wish I had someone candidly share lessons they had learned when I was starting up. Read more…
I don’t see this done often if ever, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to open up some domains I own to allow anyone to refer a buyer and earn a commission on them. I don’t have a ton of contacts across all verticals and so finding the right person to market a name to can be a challenge. Even if you find the right company that is only 10% of the battle, the other 90% is finding the right person at that company to get in contact with.
I list my domains at the usual places but they sit there in the marketplace waiting for someone to find them. I can give them to a domain name broker but unless it is a six figure name or higher I doubt they proactively search for the right end users to contact and reach out to them. More likely they go into a newsletter and get mass distributed to whoever is already in the broker’s list. I’m going to try to harness the power of a group.
Maybe you know a contact in a field related to one of the domains I put up on my sidebar and you can speak with them and direct them my way. Maybe you have someone in your LinkedIn group that a domain would make sense for. Contact me, let me know who you are referring, and then have them reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to give you 15% of the sale price in commission. This also can give someone who is getting into domaining the opportunity to get some capital to invest without having to spend a dime. To be very clear, sending me someone’s email address is not a valid referral because I have no clue if you know the person or if you found the email randomly. You need to have your contact reach out to me so I know it is a true referral.
There may be some pitfalls of doing this, but the only one I can think of is if 100 people search Google and all send emails out to the same people. I’m asking you to only take advantage of this if you already have a specific contact. Please don’t send out spam emails for my domains.
Let’s see how this goes.
I spent the better part of the night last night troubleshooting the move to get TLD.org on a new server and changing the theme. There was a lot of customization that had gone into the old site for the functionality it had and while I wanted to keep the articles from the old database I did not want to keep the WordPress customizations so suffice to say I got a good self taught lesson last night in databases as I had a lot of manual editing to do. But it’s up and running now and hopefully it will be smooth sailing.
Sometimes we buy into the hype even though we should really know better. I myself made some gTLD purchases when they started rolling out but if I could rewind the clock I’d go back and save myself that money. There’s arguments on both sides of the coin on where everything will shake out. If you’re still on the fence I’ll give you an analogy I gave someone else that seemed to work pretty well. Let’s talk US geography. .Com is the New York City of extensions no doubt. Nothing will ever overtake NYC. You also have some other smaller places that are still popular like Boston (.net) or Los Angeles (.org), Chicago (.me) and Dallas (maybe .co). You get the point. The question is where do the gTLDS fit into this geography analogy? Well, I would stick them in North Dakota. I’ll make an oversimplified generalization and say that North Dakota may look pretty, but otherwise it’s mostly an empty space of nothing.
Domains like Car.Insurance and Back.Link and Visit.Berlin and many others where the left of the dot combined with the right of the dot makes great sense look pretty. They do, and this is why a lot of domainers have gotten excited. Because it looks pretty. But that’s where the upside ends. Here’s why: Read more…
I posted a short blurb yesterday about DomainNameSales and the platform sending my leads a link to buy the domain in other extensions. The wheels move fast as mentioned in a comment by a reader and confirmed by myself just now that no longer is this action checked by default. Now you need to implicitly check the box for your leads to get an email pushing other domains on them. This is the right way to do it and from being unhappy yesterday I am happy today with this change. It is the right way to do it and I appreciate the quick turnaround time to make this change.
I’m pissed DomainNameSales. I switched a few months ago from brokering my own domains to using the DNS brokers. I would expect the negotiation skills of people who do negotiating full time to be much better than my own. I’m switching back to self brokered because of what I just noticed in my account, and between what happened and the steep drop in parking revenue I’m considering if DNS is the right route for me to keep my domains on so I need to think more about what I want in the future.
On April 18th someone inquired about a domain I own and the DNS broker responded with my price on April 19th. On the same day the buyer replied with ‘no thanks’. I’ve had people in the past tell me “no” and then contact me a day or a week or a month later and start talks up on the domain. They are trying to play hardball or see if I get desperate on the domain. DNS is screwing my chances on that happening on this domain (and lord knows how many others). On April 21st the broker sent an email to the inquirer offering him a link to buy the domain name in the extensions that Frank owns. The email to the inquirer said, “I have given it some thought and I would like to propose a much more affordable option for you: an alternative domain. Click here to review several quality options.” Point blank, DNS is using my lead for their own use. I never opted in to give them the right to sell their products to my leads. And if they changed their terms of service I never received notice that I recall. If they sell one of their cheap extensions to MY LEAD I would get a $2 or $3 commission while missing out on the potential of $15k (which was my price on this domain). And this was not an old lead but rather a brand new fresh lead. If you want to screw me, at least leave some cash on the nightstand after each time guys.
The BuyDomains auction run through GoDaddy has ended. There were 150 domains listed and my unofficial count is 1 domain sold (MakeupArtists.com for around $4,500). The list of names was actually pretty decent, I bid on 8 domains myself. But I’m not going to overbid the market in order to try to hit a reserve price. I don’t see the point in setting up an auction where the majority of bidders is going to be domainers and then set the reserves above reseller pricing. To be fair, there was some domains whose bids were well below reseller pricing, but there were also domains whose bids were in the reseller price range but did not hit reserve. If you want to set reserves above the reseller range you need to market the auction to end users. I only knew about the auction because I visit the GoDaddy auction site daily so how is the average end user supposed to know about it?
And I thought there wouldn’t be any auction that performs worse then the typical Snapnames Spring/Fall/Special auctions… I was wrong.
There’s 8 minutes left in Sedo’s Great Domains auction for March. I did a quick filter to show only .com domains that had no numbers or hyphens. There’s 83 of them and as of right now only 26 of them have a bid. I expect this sort of number (or worse) for the Snapnames special auctions which usually have decent domains but high reserves which scares away any bidders. But in my experience Sedo doesn’t allow reserves that are too crazy. I think this is more of a quality (or lack thereof) thing. I stopped submitting domains to the GreatDomains auction a while ago because they either told me that my reserve was too high or that the name was not of ‘high enough quality’ but clearly their standards have become a little lax (or nobody is submitting because Sedo alienated them like they alienated me). At any rate if you’re interested you have 5 minutes left now (yes, this took me 3 minutes to type) to bid.
Auctioning off your domains can lead to some easy profit, cash flow, and help you understand how the niches you bought domains in are performing. You won’t hit that big end user price tag, but then again what percentage of domain sales really hit that anyhow. Anyone who has been reading the comments on domain related posts about the new gTLDs have seen a lot of the new gTLD domains that domainers have registered. From what I’ve seen 95% of them are garbage. Like a fish left out in the hot sun for a day garbage. They are domains I wouldn’t want to hand reg in .com. I think the majority of domainers are going to take a bath on their gTLD registrations. Have I registered gTLDs myself? Yes, I think to date I’ve registered 5 of them. They are all big keywords where the keyword makes sense with the extension.
I am not sending any of my domains to auction at this point in time. Not at Namejet, Snapnames, nor GoDaddy oh my. Who buys these domains at these auction places? Domainers of course, and with a lot of domainers throwing away money on crappy gTLD domains you know what that means? Less cash in their pocket to bid on auctions. Why send your domains to auction now when the size and purchasing power of the buying pool has decreased? Even if you send a domain to auction with a $5k reserve you might think you have no risk. That might be true, but you do risk having less potential upside. You may get that $5k today, or even above it, but it won’t go as far as it would of if the domainers still had all their gTLD cash in their hands. I personally am holding off until the end of the year at least before I start using the auction platforms to flip some domains. I think people will see it is not that easy to flip a garbage gTLD domain and the people who have been loose with their money in the beginning will start to tighten up later in the year.