My year in numbers: 154 domains sold, $53,660 in gross sales, 21 end-user sales

As we wrap up 2016 and most of us are looking forward to a new year and make new year resolutions I thought it would be a good exercise to analyze my portfolio it’s performance during this year instead. To get a good picture of any progress made I also compiled all data for the year before.

In 2015 I sold a total of 45 domains for $49,325 of which 23 domains sold to end-users. I only paid $3,920 (try that in today’s market!) to acquire the 45 domains that sold that year but I also paid a whopping $11,102 in commissions and escrow fees on those deals which left me with a profit of $34,302

The average end user sale in 2015 was $1,933 and the annual sell-through ratio of my brandable portfolio that year (based only on end-user sales) was ~4.6%

Okay, now let’s dive into 2016. I sold a total of 154 domains for $53,660 during the year and paid $6,873 to acquire these domains. The number of end-user sales was almost the same as the year before with 21 domains selling to end-users. Overall I sold a lot more domains in 2016 because I started working on my plan to trim down my portfolio to around 500 higher quality, brandable domains and liquidated more than 130 domains on NameJet and NamePros to other investors. I also dropped around 400 LLNN domains that I registered late 2015 with the Chinese market in mind.

One of the major changes in 2016 for me was that I stopped listing domains on BrandBucket and Brandroot and started using my own For-Sale landing pages which resulted in a significant drop in the amount I paid in commissions during the year: $6,616 compared to $11,102 the year before.

My top five sales in 2016 were all directly to end-users via my own For-Sale landing pages except for Productly.com which I sold directly to another investor with the escrow.com fees split.

The average end user sale in 2016 was $1,675 and the annual sell-through ratio of my brandable portfolio for the year (based only on end-user sales) was ~4.2%

One thing I take away from comparing 2015 to 2016 is that sticking a BIN price on domains does significantly increase your sales percentage. I still advise against doing so on your higher-value names but since a lot of domains sell around $2,000 anyway I will start experiencing this year with pricing 200 to 300 of my lower value names to see what the results will be.

Below are all the nitty gritty details for both years.

Important disclaimer: the calculated profit is purely based on the domains that I sold. I re-invest the majority of my profits in new domain names for my portfolio and some of those names might never sell. I have also had to pay renewal fees on my domains (around $5.5k/year) and made a loss on some investment such as the 400 LLNN domain names I bought last year.

Here are all my 2015 sales including purchase price, sold price and commission/escrow fees paid:

DomainPurchase priceSold priceSales Cost
launchmonster.com8.3737951240
jobsindrones.com450350040
onephonecall.com703500525
ambeo.com16134991249
homeworkhero.com169255040
ixnu.com802519856
colibo.com6.192095730
novarta.com13.472015707
hongkongshopping.com35020000
honeybase.com8.291995698
startfaster.com8.371995700
startfox.com18.951795640
citrolo.com501723615
resignal.com1501695610
vitah.com18.951657587
gli.co69.441250188
insurancecat.com8.37117540
09265.com1901026205
cloudcaptain.com8.3710000
zencurity.com3.231000400
chooseo.com8.37995400
coltos.com3.22995400
catlandia.com13.4798066.14
irengo.com1.6775040
vko.co69.44405.7833.19
nud.co69.44405.7833.19
wmjv.com104183.330
fovz.com83.33183.330
vfgw.com83.33183.330
nhvz.com108.47183.330
znfv.com109.47183.330
xaoj.com123.47183.330
xbhv.com84.47183.330
xbgv.com89.47183.330
mpvz.com100183.330
mzhv.com100183.330
omzv.com142.47183.330
yxuo.com60183.330
bzva.com155.47183.330
vnka.com145183.330
dhvu.com188.47183.330
jirso.com8.371300
tarqet.com69.477540
ulwu.com99355
vpk.co592015
Total$3,920.87$49,325.51$11,102.52
Total profit$34,302.12

And here are all my 2016 sales including purchase price, sold price and commission/escrow fees paid:

DomainPurchase PriceSold PriceSales Cost
productly.com7265000202.5
gozer.com262.95425040
stagr.com102375040
sneakerhero.com19.47345040
beercocktails.com18.95335040
schoolpanda.com18.9529901014
revgrow.com1662395837
noteninja.com42227540
jetse.com18.951910692
madninja.com18.951345505
zokura.com9.611250475
darvo.com1891250475
acetheinterview.com210120040
09981.com558.47930186
vipe.co59888177.6
nio.co7088840
gb23.com21.99888177.6
yz77.net8.188888
uprox.com11078540
87354.com453.47705141
886838.com59630126
serialdata.com7959098.5
scalify.com233.4750040
talentbite.com18.9550040
newyorkrenting.com43.9540170.15
dpqa.com83.333100
dtpv.com1152910
vmse.com211.472900
833773.com4929058
azlj.com83.332850
careergod.com18.9527512.4
ndlu.com83.332700
338884.com4925551
822772.com18.9525150.2
tpf.co14.752500
slh.co14.752500
rln.co14.752500
lgb.co692500
mrf.co692500
tsl.co69.442500
trb.co592500
gnp.co352500
822662.com18.9522545
822332.com4922545
822552.com4922244.4
xbku.com79.472100
822112.com18.9520641.2
999497.com5920541
masterdomains.com1652000
988854.com5918036
startupnamer.com171490
javageeks.com7013329.95
999641.com5913022.8
oml.co14.751200
999704.com5911422.8
startupmetric.com2.171000
mobilehackers.com10990
talkdutch.com20.47990
kingsizer.com18.95990
zolsa.com10.17990
techroar.com64.47990
socialshelf.com18.95990
903339.com497114.2
801208.com18.957015
beeraholic.com21.996920.35
zj71.com326920.35
hn72.com256920.35
mj63.com13.956920.35
xj55.net8.16920.35
xh77.net8.16920.35
xh55.net8.16920.35
wn77.net8.16920.35
wn55.net8.16920.35
wb75.com13.996920.35
jt37.com13.996920.35
lz96.com21.996920.35
totalbounty.com193.476920.35
jamcy.com8.376920.35
jibl.net326920.35
techtuna.com8.676920.35
cybervegan.com8.676920.35
bj11.net8.16920.35
yw54.com8.676920.35
educatepro.com2.176920.35
consalo.com4490
cromu.com8.6722.530
vandato.com1.6722.530
launchmania.com5922.530
trackfaster.com18.9522.530
onlysunny.com18.9522.530
moveboy.com18.9522.530
metarush.com18.9522.530
stealthsy.com19.4722.530
anesy.com17.4722.530
onlycoders.com8.6722.530
launchkarma.com8.6722.530
educora.com8.3722.530
yoleso.com1.1722.530
teachingninja.com18.9522.530
vasedo.com8.6722.530
vincata.com8.6722.530
nalifa.com20.4722.530
dogily.com15.4722.530
launchpanda.com18.9522.530
naryto.com6922.530
vemado.com8.3722.530
hipchap.com8.3722.530
vencata.com8.3722.530
domiyo.com1.1722.530
vokuro.com18.9522.530
suniyo.com8.3722.530
socialmondo.com2.1722.530
pimpsa.com6.3522.530
sundivo.com8.3722.530
bionar.com8.3722.530
evermeta.com8.3722.530
heromatic.com8.3722.530
vamedo.com1.6722.530
vireli.com1.6522.530
tunate.com18.9522.530
ocozy.com3.222.530
afeso.com6.522.530
sojoa.com322.530
lusivo.com3.3222.530
pumero.com222.530
sorfo.com3.3222.530
wefia.com522.530
tresda.com3.3222.530
fenvo.com3.3222.530
acamy.com3.2322.530
groovehero.com3.3222.530
maami.com6922.530
eulana.com3.3222.530
vecala.com3.3222.530
sinivo.com3.3222.530
neroto.com3.2322.530
davoto.com3.2322.530
vareba.com3.2222.530
coyero.com3.2222.530
vakina.com3.2222.530
escamo.com3.2222.530
lerasa.com2.522.530
cebura.com2.2522.530
coroba.com3.2222.530
omeki.com3.2222.530
anfio.com3.2222.530
biocata.com2.2522.530
americata.com2.2522.530
edsin.com6922.530
weezly.com12.8422.530
mobifolio.com6.1722.530
knorb.com6522.530
devoke.com62.522.530
822007.com492015
Total$6,873.32$53,660.04$6,616.3
Total Profit$40,170.42
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Doron Vermaat

Doron has over a decade of professional experience in marketing and business development for technology startups in both Europe and Asia. He is the product guy behind domain name management software, Efty and the founder of High West a specialized recruiter for tech and digital talent. In his spare time, he moonlights as a domain name investor. He lives in bustling Hong Kong with his wife Fay, daughter Isla and their rescue dog Pepper.

30 thoughts on “My year in numbers: 154 domains sold, $53,660 in gross sales, 21 end-user sales

  1. That is an extremely helpful and generous analysis doron. Did you sell any of them via sedo, flippa, afternic, or similar platforms or just via your direct landers with efty.com plus them namejet.com sales mentioned?

      1. 154 !! You rock man !!
        SchoolPanda has given me great hopes for my name AdPanda.com 🙂
        Regarding your big sales, you make an Efty page for your domains?
        How does the end user or buyer contacts you ?
        Or do you reach out to them ?
        Plus I hope I get to assist you 🙂

        1. AdPanda.com is a cool name.

          I use Efty For-Sale landing pages on almost all my domain names. This makes it easy for end-users to reach me or submit an offer.

          I should add that SchoolPanda.com sold trough Brandbucket.com where I still had some names listed until summer last year.

  2. To be fair taking out $5.5K in renewals you are at about $34.5K net

    Then you have to factor in the hours you put in, and what your time is worth, opportunity cost, to get the true value

    1. Well said and I can’t agree more. The way I look at it is you need 3 hobbies in life, 1 to make you money, 1 to keep you in shape, and 1 that let’s you be creative. Domaining is that first hobby for me. If I would see it as a job my hourly wage was pretty poor over 2016. A lot of the value (and future profits) is of course in the portfolio that one holds.

  3. Appreciate you sharing Doron. Even with these types of profits you do need to factor in your time. Could you have made more money building a business? Typically yes.

    Whoever bought StartFox let it drop. Odd, but buyer’s choice. Nice brand imo.

    What are your other hobbies?

    1. Currently, I spend anywhere from 10 to 15 hours/week on domaining. This used to be much more but I can now enjoy the fruits of labor a bit more after putting in a lot of hours during 2014/15. As I mentioned in my reply to Rev the way I see domaining is like a hobby that makes me money but in all honesty, the way I look at work and employment, in general, is that you should always do a job you love so that it doesn’t feel like work. Some people spend their evenings watching TV or playing computer games and then you have guys like us who like to scroll trough drop lists instead.

      As for other hobbies, I spend a lot of hours (probably more than spend on domaining) hiking and trail running in Hong Kong’s mountains. I also travel a lot and enjoy a good beer or two 🙂

  4. Thanks for your share.
    How can you buy domain $0 to $20 and where can you buy and how can you sell the whole process, please describe it?

    1. The short answer is:
      1) locate and buy a quality domain via hand registration or in a GoDaddy expired domain auction
      2) List the domain for sale using an Efty landing page or a marketplace like Afternic, NameJet or Sedo.
      3) Wait, wait and wait for an offer or purchase via a BuyItNow price.
      4) Negotiate the sale, process payment via escrow service (if its a negotiated price/sale)
      5) Transfer the domain to the new owner
      6) Use the profit to buy more domains 🙂

  5. Good sales, thank you for sharing. The 2016 individual sales volume is really around 26 since 130 of these domains were liquidated. Which is good to dump whatever you see not moving instead of letting them drop. Another great thing is that you are no longer paying for useless platforms that charge you an arm and a leg for merely listing your domains and directing your domain’s traffic to their sales page. The smart thing to do is make your own landing pages (or use efty) and keep all your profits.

  6. Thanks a lot for sharing Doron. How did you manage to buy so many .coms for less than $8.37 each? Like those for $3.22; $2.25 and so on.

    1. Anything <$8.67 has been hand registered with the help of GoDaddy discount codes. Most of those I bought in 2014 when I was still quite active hand registering domains for my portfolio.

      1. Thanks for your reply. That what I thought as well, that all those <$8.67 domains were purchased few years back, when GD allowed to purchase a new domain for a couple bucks. No more unfortunately.

  7. Thank you for sharing this information. This is amazing and a great source of both learning and inspiration.
    Hats off to you for sharing all this information in so transparent manner.

  8. I think the trend is to get away from places like brandbucket, and dns which have access to your data, and some of which charge large commissions, I don’t want to pay 30% to someone because they typed into a lander parked elsewhere.

  9. Congrats! Excellent year, I wish you an ever more successful 2017! 🙂
    I saw LLNN.net domains in your list, sold for $69. Did you sell it on a marketplace, or you used Efty?

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