One year ago I was on a massive buying spree and was closing in on a portfolio size of 1000 domains. Well, what a difference a year makes. Thanks to dropping a large number of speculative investments that I acquired with the Chinese market in mind, my portfolio has now been trimmed down to 575 domains with an almost 100% focus on brandable .com domains. Instead of the hundreds of domains I bought back in November 2015, I only acquired five domain names during November 2016 and had two end-user sales. The main reason I only managed to add a handful of names to my portfolio is because competition for good (and even half decent) brandables has been heating up and reseller prices have been skyrocketing during the past couple of months. My auction platform of choice this year has been GoDaddy Auctions but it has been become increasingly more difficult to win an auction and still make money on the buy. This well-researched thread by NamePros user Arca might explain what is going on.
Here’s a snapshot of my Efty cockpit giving you some insight into my performance as a domain name investor each month.
My Efty cockpit as of October 1st
Since we’re nearing the end of the year I have been looking more closely into my performance and doing some number crunching to calculate my portfolio’s sell-through rate and other important metrics. I’m planning to publish a standalone post with an extensive breakdown of all my sales and the overall performance for 2016 later this month but I can already share my sell-through rate for just my brandable domains is around 5% when I look at end-user sales only. Something else I noticed is that quite a high percentage of those sales came from BIN listings while I only have a small percentage of my domains listed with a BIN price. I still believe that you should never stick a price on higher value domain names so that you can maximize the deal size in an “offer, counter offer” type of negotiation but I did decide to run an experiment for the rest of the year with exactly 200 of my lower value (acquired for $25 or less) domain names by pricing them with a $888 BIN on both the For-Sale landing page plus the Afternic network and see what will happen. This experiment has been off to a bad start as it cost me $689 in profits (read on for the details) but I am curious to see what the results will be in the longer term.
As always I will be sharing some of this month’s sales and acquisitions with you guys and I hope some of you will do the same in the comments!
AdRaptor.com – The only name for which I wasn’t facing steep competition this month on GoDaddy Auctions. I guess it’s because a raptor isn’t as popular an animal as a panda or monkey is. Received a $300 offer for the domain via it’s landing page several days after the domain was in my possession which I rejected.
GigaTalent.com – Since I sold one of my Talent suffix names this month I was on the lookout for a replacement. This one showed up on the drop and I caught it with the help of DropCatch.com
SauceMonster.com – I wasn’t entirely sure how this domain could be used when I placed my proxy bid for it but my gut feel was that this would make for a fun brand for someone somehow. To my surprise, I received the first offer on it within the first week of having the domain in my possession. Won at GoDaddy Auctions.
JobsInFintech.com – Fintech is booming and there are hundreds of established and startup companies that are competing for talent in this niche. There already are a couple of specialized job boards out there for jobs in fintech and I expect this number to increase soon. I sold a similar domain, JobsInDrones.com for $3,500 last year. Caught with DropCatch.com
Vipe.co – Okay, so here’s the story of how I missed out on $689 in profit. I received a $100 openings offer for this domain via it’s landing page on the 1st of September and more than 20 emails and 10 weeks later I settled with the buyer on a $1400 price. A couple of days after agreeing on the sales price the buyer informs me they purchased the domain via GoDaddy.com instead since it was listed there for $888. What happened obviously is that in the meantime, since the negotiation for this domain took so long, I had added a BIN price for this domain on Afternic as part of the experience I mentioned earlier. I bought the domain for $59 back in 2014 at NameJet.
TalentBite.com – Sold for $500 to a good friend of mine in the talent acquisition space who was looking for a domain name for his new Vlog. He had his eyes on TalentMagic.com which is being offered for sale for $2195 via HugeDomains.com but thought that was a lot of money for a domain name. After explaining to him that $2k for a good .com domain isn’t a bad investment at all I offered him some similar names out of my portfolio for a heavily discounted price of which he chose TalentBite.com. I caught the domain in 2015 at Pheenix for under $20.