The Brandable Insider: How to Find Good Domains for Hand Registration

“Want to be successful in the domain business? Don’t piss your money away”Michael Berkens

Every year it becomes increasingly more difficult and time consuming to find saleable brandable domains that are available for hand registration. It’s now so laborious, that its value for domainers that have good paying jobs and/or enough funds to purchase quality domains in the aftermarket, is questionable. However, as I mentioned in last week’s blog, if you have the time (maybe you’re unemployed) and enjoy spending hour after hour “panning for brandable gold” here are some tips on how to find good brandables.
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The Brandable Insider: Hand Reg Is Dead. Or Is It?

The big $$ is with the end user. You have to be patient and position yourself with a commercial location to be in THEIR PATH.Rick Schwartz, the Domain King

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say hand reg is dead. I don’t think it’s true. I’ve sold a few dozen hand registered brandable domains over the past two years for prices between $2k and $3k. Was it easy? No. Did it require hundreds of hours of hard work? Yes. Was it worth it? Well…..maybe.

Domainers can still hand reg saleable brandable domains but it’s becoming increasingly difficult and very, very time consuming. To make matters worse, only a tiny percentage of what we reg and renew will sell to an end user in any given year.
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The Brandable Insider: From $19 Purchase to $4k Sale in 6 Months

When I BUY a domain I put a value on it and I stick with that value. PERIOD! Offers much lower than my value MEAN NOTHING!!Rick Schwartz

In October 2016 I acquired a strong brandable in the Go Daddy closeouts. I was very surprised that no one had bid on it and I bought it immediately. About 6 months later, I got an email from someone who was interested in buying it.

Now……….. whenever I get an inquiry on a domain, the very first thing I do, is research the person making the inquiry. I don’t respond to their email until I have some intel on the ID of the potential buyer. Why? Because my sale price and negotiation strategy may vary greatly depending on the identity of the person wanting to buy the domain.
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The Brandable Insider: Lower Commissions and New Programs at BrandBucket

Good news for owners of premium brandables who are looking for boutique, enduser sale prices on their domains. BrandBucket, announced today that it’s reducing commissions for high end sales. According to Managing Director, Michael Krell:

“Over the last year we have received many requests from buyers for premium names over $50K, but haven’t had the inventory to fulfill this demand. In an effort to attract the best names to our marketplace, we will be reducing the commission rate for names priced above $50K. Effective immediately, our commission rate for names priced $50K-$99K will be 20% and names priced $100K and over will be 15%. This change will apply to both current and future names on the marketplace.”

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The Brandable Insider: A Look at Y Combinator’s 2017 Demo Day

“Step back and think about the difference in how end users use domains, the capital they have to invest in their name, [instead of] like a pure domain collector, and you can easily start to determine what areas make the most sense.” — Bruce Marler of Vegas Condo

In this week’s brandable entry I’m taking a look at some of the hits and misses at Y Combinator’s annual Demo Day. The event was held last week and featured pitches by more than 100 startups. Sitting in the audience were scores of investors and venture capitalists looking for their next, startup-to-acquisition, payday. The event included businesses from all over the globe and went on for two days.

Here’s a sampling of brands from the event, examined purely from a brandable domaining point of view. In my subjective evaluation I gave no consideration for the quality of business models or how well the brands corresponded to a given product or service. My approach was purely, would I be interested in buying this domain if I saw it available at a reasonable price. I also limited my list to companies who were already hosting their business at the exact match, dot-com for their brand.
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The Brandable Insider: Some of Mike Mann’s 2017 Sales

“In the future, fortune could well favor those who didn’t sell their good domain names too cheaply, or too boldly.”Frank Schilling

Mike Mann is the outspoken founder of BuyDomains.com and the non-profit, Grassroots.org. He’s also the author of the free, eBook Make Millions and Make Change. Mike is no stranger to self-promotion and often posts his sales on Twitter listing both the sale price and the date/amount of purchase. His return on investment ratio often turns a lot of heads, especially among new domainers.

What’s missing in those snapshots of recent sales are the millions of dollars in renewal fees that Mike and his partners pay each year. When you consider that most of Mike’s (published) sales are for domains he’s held for 4-5 years, the cost of renewals for his entire portfolio of 250,000 domains looms ominously overhead.

But my purpose today is not to speculate on Mike’s profitability levels. My reason for mentioning him is so we can dig into the brandable portion of his recent transactions and maybe gain some insight into what end users are currently buying.
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The Brandable Insider: Analyzing One Hundred Info-Tech Brands

Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your businessSteve Forbes

Each year, Wealthfront, the automated investment service, releases a list of the most desirable, mid-sized tech companies. Wealthfront believes that the most important financial decision any young person can make is where they choose to work and launch their career. With this in mind, they publish an annual list of the info-tech companies most likely to turn into big business. In other words, the best of the best.
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The Brandable Insider: Bonjoy.com, MindRover.com and BabyBreath.com

Circumstance always plays a key role on price when buying or selling anything. Circumstance + Need + Want + Desire = price.Rick Schwartz

There were continued discussions this past week regarding the perceived rise in prices for brandable domains in the aftermarket. Some industry observers say that prices for brandable domains in the expired auctions have risen markedly over the past year while end user sales and pricing remain relatively flat. This pricing dynamic may or may not be accurate. But if it’s true, it’s not sustainable over time. Market inefficiencies can and do exist. However, the principle of supply and demand always triumphs in the end and buying and selling prices will have to re-balance eventually.

To get a feeling for how this might be impacting brandable sales and pricing in real time here’s my take on some names that were sold on March 11th.
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The Brandable Insider: Grubs Are Gross and Keywords Are Trendy

“[In 2017] brandable domain names will continue to be a popular form of investment for many domainers.”James Iles

Some brandable domains are classic. I’m talking about names like NatureLab ($22K), FoodFuture ($25K), MarketingToday ($1.5 mill), and Altavista ($3.2 mill). But if you’re like me and you’re focused on brands for startup companies with relatively shallow pockets, then brandable names and keywords can be a bit more temporal, jumpy and trending.
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The Brandable Insider: The Secret Path to Profits (Part II)

“Don’t be romantic about your domains. Don’t fall in love with them. You’re not a collector of domain names, you’re an investor.”Michael Cyger at DNAcademy

Last week we talked about money management and its crucial impact on our success as domainers. Small changes in money management can make or break our business. One of the biggest mistakes we make as domainers is renewing domains that have little chance of selling in the next one or two years.

If you had zero end user sales last year then renewals will likely take you further into the hole. If you had a few sales then renewals can still significantly erode your profits. So it’s a fine line to walk.
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