GoDaddy’s $28M Marchex Purchase Has a Minimum $110M Offer Price

The minimum offer price on the domains that Godaddy purchased from Marchex has come out and 99.99% of the domains are priced with minimum offers and the sum of those is a little over $110,000,000. Read more…

Numeric Domains Flying High at GoDaddy

Numeric domains are very hot nowadays and looking at GoDaddy auctions it looks like the market for NNNNN.com domains is up significantly even though there’s one hundred thousand of them.  Here’s some of the top numeric auctions, middle of the road, and ones at the bottom (all these domains will sell, nothing here that is sitting below a reserve):

88777.com  $15,250

2167.com  $13,250

32518.com $672

23690.com $481

38590.com  $453

71355.com $265

25874.com $12

64565.com $12

67011.com $12

84173.com $12

Even NNNN.net domains are pulling in respectable figures with a lot of time left to go:

6667.net $560

1498.net $391

If you got into NNNNN.com domains not even two years ago you could have been buying a lot of them for sub $100 when they were expiring.  I’m sure someone out there made a killing on these.

 

Sedo’s “Handpicked Generic dotCom Domains” Auction – So Bad I Was Making Sure Today Wasn’t April 1st

Sedo has a running auction they are calling “Handpicked Generic dotCom Domains”.  See the screenshot:

sedo

Excited to check it out?  Handpicked says that Sedo created an auction and someone handpicked the domains in it.  It also refers to them as generic which probably won’t mean the same thing to you or I when we think of a ‘generic’ domain once you see them.  I got suckered into clicking the link to check out these domains because surely if Sedo is marketing something as a hand picked auction it would have to have some quality domains and I actually am in the market to buy.  But what did I find?  First I laughed.  Then I checked if it was April Fool’s Day and this was a joke.  Then I shook my head, and then I bowed my head in memory of the few seconds that Sedo got me to throw away.  I’m not going to link to the auction because I’d be doing you a disservice by taking you there.  How would you like that handpicked generic domain PriceSearchings.com?  Or happy-office.com?  Like the hyphens, they handpicked pretty-child.com. Read more…

10 Random Domain Thoughts

Here’s 10 random domain thoughts I’ve had over the past week:

1.  The prices on Namejet have been rising.  Domains that would have sold for $2k a year ago seem to be selling for double that or more today.  Two word .com prices have really skyrocketed as well.  There’s a couple guys really driving up the prices and I honestly have no clue what they are doing.  I went back through 25 domains that sold in the past three months to a few of these guys that are driving up the prices, more than half of them are not being used in any sensible form:  a good number of them do not resolve, and some still forward to their Namejet page (what?).  If you spent $10k on a domain a few months ago why in the world is it still forwarding to its Namejet page?  I don’t get it at all.  So after some digging I landed on Cheese.com (was not a Namejet auction).  Great domain, the site that is up is pretty decent, but I don’t see any monetization at all.  No ads, no email capture box, nothing.  Color me confused.

2.  Marijuana domains are on the rise.  I have close to 400 marijuana/weed/cannabis related domain names.  A lot of geographic ones and to a lesser extent brandable ones.  The amount of inquiries has really started to grow and in the past 2 months I’ve sold 5 of them compared to selling 5 in the past 2 years prior to that.  I could have sold more recently but my minimum is four figures for 99% of them.

3.  I find myself reading significantly less of the domain blogs.  Part of it is because you learn more over time so a lot of the articles are less valuable to me today then they would have been years ago.  Also I get annoyed with the fluff posts out there (and there’s a lot) that people write because they have advertisers paying a flat rate for banners and they need to get those pageviews to justify the banner prices.  On the bright side, this gives me some extra time to spend in finding more domains to buy.

4.  Numeric domains are on fire as are LLL.com’s.  Unfortunately I sold my NNNN.com domains about a year and a half to two years ago.  Would have been an extra $35-45k today.  Live and learn.

5.  I bought the domain Clickbait.com (direct from owner) in the past year because I wanted to start a site on it.  I leaped before I looked though because once I started researching the competitors and how much time/effort goes into the type of site I wanted to start there was no way I could do it (time constraints) so I parked the domain.  Lesson learned.  It does get a ton of purchase inquiries so ideally it will sell at some point this year.

6.  Can I see a raise of hands for how many people have profited after 1 year with the gTLDs?  There’s a plethora of extensions in the market, significantly more to come, and I don’t see any rising demand.  Remember all those people spending big bucks on the early access purchases for thousands a pop?  I am actually one of those people, but just for one domain.  I picked up Reputation.Management for around $3k.  No offers on it after one full year even though I think it is a pretty solid name in a highly competitive market.  I renewed it because at this point why not, but I’m glad after I picked up around 10-15 gTLDs I decided I was wasting my money and stopped.  .Com is 98% of my purchases today.

7.  Speaking of gTLDs what the heck was all the hoopla about Credit.Club?  Does anyone really believe that is a six figure domain (not unless you’re bringing it out to 4 decimal places)?  Does anyone believe that there is any competition for that term (which there’s not)?  Here’s a screenshot of how many searches the term gets a month.

credit_club

The real search term here is “credit”.  Where does credit.club rank for this term?  I went ten pages deep and didn’t see it but I have a feeling you could go 100 pages deep and still won’t find it.

8.  Does anyone else have to jump through hoops to transfer a domain away from Register.com?  It is ridiculous (and sad) how hard it is.  I only have a domain there when I win a Namejet auction for a domain that is through them, but when I see the domain is at Register.com I know I’m in for a hassle.

9.  I like Expire.com.  I haven’t bought anything there, but I check it out every few days.  It is a very clear and simple site, and I think going from $500 to $100 is a smart approach to moving some domains.  If I had a huge inventory of domains I’d set up something similar, but I have around 1,000 and I’m not willing to part with them for this range of prices so it won’t work for me today.

10.  I bought the domain 2-2.com in the past year through an Afternic broker because I saw how hot numerics are, the price was much lower than I was expecting it to be, and it is repeating numbers.  There’s only 10 N-N.com domains with repeating numbers.  In the past week I just listed it at 4.cn and I submitted it to their reserve auction platform so I need to hear back on if it gets accepted or not, but it will be interesting to see how big that dash is in a very short numeric domain in the Asian market.

Why I Am Done Wasting Time with Sedo’s GreatDomains Auction

I decided to submit two domains to the Great Domains auction.  I’m no longer a fan of these auctions but what the hell, if you put a reserve on them then where’s the harm and its been a while since I submitted any domains to one.  I submitted a N-N.com domain (number dash number domain for a repeating number, only 10 of these in the world) and a one word .com domain that has become very popular in the past two years and I get weekly offers on.  After a few days I get a notice saying they were rejected for the auction because the domains were not quality enough.  So I said to myself “Man, they must have a ton of great domains submitted by people if these got rejected for quality”.  I went over to GreatDomains.com to check out the upcoming auction inventory and needless to say as usual there is a lot of crap in there at reserves that Roseann Barr couldn’t eat her way out of.  I don’t know who oversees this program and who approves the domains but lesson learned, I won’t waste anymore of my time on Sedo’s GreatDomains.

CEO of Namecheap Does “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit

The founder of Namecheap does an AMA on Reddit and while I only scanned the comments (because I don’t do any business with Namecheap so I don’t have a huge interest in them) I did find it interesting that Reddit was giving a lot of good and solid feedback.  This is definitely a tool that more companies should use to get some valuable (and free) feedback from their customers.  You can find the AMA here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2tuiuk/im_richard_kirkendall_founder_ceo_of_namecheap/

Just Like Poker You Need to Know When to Hold’em and When to Fold’em

I listed a few domains for sale (with reserve prices) on GoDaddy recently through their 7 day auction format. My reserve prices on these domains were about what I paid for the domains so I was willing to take a little loss on them (after commission). A few ended up selling and a few didn’t. One of the things I hate the most about domaining is selling a domain for a loss. Even if I sell a domain for a small profit but I’ve held it for a year(s) I feel like I took a loss on it because of opportunity cost. But sometimes selling a domain for a loss is a smart move as counter intuitive as that sounds.

Here’s my reasoning:

1.  While when I buy a domain I believe I am getting a good price on the buy, but you can’t always be right so what I thought was a good price maybe wasn’t a good price.  And if I keep sitting on a domain thinking I’m right I may be holding it for 20 years and never sell it for a profit.  This is the equivalent of putting cash under your mattress which you probably know isn’t a wise financial move.

2.  It is OK to swing and miss on a domain as long as your hit to strikeout ratio keeps you in the black.  So you get a few buys wrong, sitting on them forever will only compound your issue.  I’m going to take the funds from these GoDaddy sales and put it towards new purchases (at bats).

3.  I didn’t just sit on these domains and sell them after no offer came in.  I reached out to many different places that I thought may have a use for the domains but was not able to sell any.  This doesn’t mean there is not a buyer out there, it just means I wasn’t able to find one.  But you should always make the effort before you’re willing to accept a break even or loss on a domain, otherwise you’re just being lazy.

4.  When I sell a domain my ROI is usually a healthy percentage or price gain.  This allows me to afford to sell domains I can’t move for break even or a small loss.  If you are only scratching out small profits on your sales you aren’t leaving yourself room to sell the ones you can’t move for a small loss unless you are doing this for the fun of it and are happy to break even in total.

5.  I have turned breakeven/unprofitable sales like this into second sales.  If I have 20 domains in the finance niche, and I sell one at breakeven or a small loss, I now will be able to contact the person who bought this domain and see if I can move any of my 19 other domains in this niche for a profit.  Now I have a small loser sale and a decent size winner sale if I’m able to get that second sale.

I’ve reached out to many people over the years to inquire about their domain.  A fair chunk of them (after exchanging emails) wanted to sell their domain but they were stuck on the point that they paid a certain amount for the domain however long ago and so they will not go below that price.  Things change, or maybe they paid $20 for a $10 bill, or whatever but if you realize you can’t win them all and you’re able to accept breakeven or a small loss every now and again it will only help your profitability in the long run.

What is the Domain Market Telling Us?

There’s been two sales of domain names that have happened recently and both of them had me trying to read between the lines and see if there is more to them then meets the eye. I think it is a smart move for anyone to do this instead of solely relying on articles that are written because reading the articles puts you on par with everyone else who is literate and you always want to be one step ahead when possible.

The first sale was the sale of Media Options domains through Namejet. This was publicized on the Namejet site with one of their big rotating banners so without evening needing to do a Whois lookup you could tell Media Options was unloading domains. There’s two questions that instantly came to mind when I first saw this:

1. Why is a successful brokerage selling domains in a venue that is filled with resellers and not end users?

2. Why are they selling these specific domains and what does it say about these domains?

One group of people who have a very good pulse on the domain market are the large brokers. They are dealing with a steady stream of high quality domains and they are in constant communication with end users so they understand the end user sentiment better than any other group IMO. The domains that Media Options were selling through Namejet had a lot of high quality domains (good LLL.com’s in particular). So why sell them now at Namejet? My guess is that they believe the LLL.com market is at a peak. That’s not too hard to believe given that I’ve seen crappy letter LLL.com’s selling for high four figures consistently now. A year ago they would have been getting $3,000-$4,500. What can I take away from this? If I have any LLL.com’s that now is the time to sell them, and if I’m buying LLL.com’s then I may want to hold off a bit because I may be buying at the top if I buy today.

Secondly, why these specific domains? Do I think an established brokerage would auction off high quality domains without first attempting to sell them directly to end users. My guess is no. For myself, before I send a high quality domain to any auction I have exhausted my attempts of finding an end user for it. That doesn’t mean that an end user doesn’t exist out there, it just means I don’t have a high confidence level of finding one. If a brokerage is selling a quality LLL.com domain through Namejet I would assume they have done the reaching out and couldn’t find an end user. Because this is their 9 to 5 full time job they already have a solid contact list and more experience finding end users, so if they couldn’t find an end user for a domain then what does that say about my chances of finding one for that domain? Even though there were some nice domains being sold I personally stayed away from buying any because of both reasonings I came up with.

The second sale is this BuyDomains sale of 950k+ domains for a price of under $50 a domain. Unless BuyDomains needed cash quick, or unless the portfolio was filled with complete trash, this sale is pretty troubling if you’re a domain investor. Having a million domain portfolio gives you a look at lots of useful information and a gives you a good beat on the aftermarket. What is the average selling price now compared to the past, what is the number of inquiries coming in now compared to the past, what is the close rate now compared to the past, etc… I would assume that a lot of these statistics came into play when BuyDomains was calculating how much they’d let their portfolio go for and if they were happy with less than $50/domain on average that is not a good sign. When I think about this in the macro sense of the domain market I may now be more inclined to accept a $2k offer on a domain instead of holding out for $4k as an example. There’s quite a few levels of thinking I’ve done about this sale and I’m not going to share them all here, but if you see something like this and you’re not questioning what it means in the market and what it means for you then you’re going to fall behind.

Whenever I see a solid domain on Namejet with a reserve price I do a Whois lookup and I have seen quite a few well known names selling their domains on Namejet. I personally think the gTLDs have a lot of people spooked. I think domain investors are questioning now what impact on .com prices will the gTLDs have. And what impact on demand they will have. I personally think very few gTLDs will find long term success. I think that people won’t be able to remember if that new site was Car.deals or Car.NYC or Car.directory or Car.online or Car.web. Too much fragmentation in an already fragmented internet. There may be some short term pressure on .com domains until it all shakes out and the market can begin to see a clear direction but now may be the time to start placing all your chips down on one direction or the other if you want to try to cash out big in the next five years.

What Kind of Broker Does This?

If you use DomainNameSales you know that even if you don’t use their internal brokerage team, after a lead has sat there for a while it gets forwarded to one of their team members to try to rekindle the lead and see if they can turn it into something. I don’t know if you can opt out of this but after today I’m going to find out. One of their brokers reached out to a lead of mine (very important to note, this is my lead that came in on my domain, this is not a DNS lead for them to use as they please) and the DNS broker talked to the lead on the phone. You can not track what happens on the phone but you can see the followup correspondence through the internal DNS system. The broker writes to my lead and says:

“Looks like we got disconnected — just let me know if you want me to extend an offer to acquire the .com; alternatively, I am happy to look at derivative names that also would fit your needs…”

Apparently this broker at DNS thinks this is his lead and he can offer to show the lead domain names not owned by me. Ummmm, I don’t think buddy.

1. It is not professional in any way, shape or form to do this.
2. It is my lead generated by my domain. If you want to use that lead for any other purpose you better have my approval and be paying me for it. My domains should not be generating commissions for you on domains not owned by me.

I would think this is common sense but it looks like a training course may be needed for at least one member of the DNS internal brokerage team. #NotCool

Had My Best Sales Month Ever & Where Offers Come in From On My Domains

Normally the summer is slow for domain sales but July was my best month ever in terms of volume of sales and total sales dollars. Every sale was either 4 or 5 figures which is the typical price range I ask for the majority of my domains. The only time I’m willing to take sub $1,000 on a domain is if I plan to not renew the domain when renewal comes up. I sold multiple domains through each of the following avenues: DomainNameSales, GoDaddy, and reaching out to companies/people. I’ve been focusing on expanding how I search to find potential leads. At first it was solely using Google and searching for keywords but as time has gone on I’ve kept expanding to use different methods and it really broadens my potential reach.

One place where I have not sold a domain this year, in fact I don’t even know if I’ve received an offer there this year is Sedo. I used to get a fair amount of offers at Sedo in previous years (pre DNS when I was parking my domains with them) but now it appears like the Sedo marketplace gets no bids for me on its own. Read more…