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.
(more…)

Read More

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.
(more…)

Read More

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.
(more…)

Read More

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.
(more…)

Read More

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.
(more…)

Read More

The Brandable Insider: Sumo.com and Other Seemingly Mismatched Brands

There’s been a lot of press this week about the acquisition of the domain Sumo.com for a $1.5 million dollars. Noah Kagan, CEO of SumoMe has been making the rounds this week and you can find his interviews at Domain Sherpa, DomainNameWire and on his podcast blog, OKdork. You can also find articles at Entrepreneur Mag and NamePros. You can even find an opinion piece at Domain Gang which questions the wisdom of spending so much money on a brand that has no obvious correlation to its core product and service.

All this talk about Sumo.com got me to thinking. I started to reflect on all the business ventures, in a variety of industries, that have picked up dictionary word domains and are using them for brands even though there is no obvious connection between the brand and their product.

So here’s a few exact match domain-brands that could have you scratching your head.
(more…)

Read More

The Brandable Insider: Hand Regged Domains Doing Well in the Aftermarket

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the rising demand for brandable domains in the aftermarket. It seems more and more domainers are hopping on the brandable domain train and pushing up prices in the drops and auctions. I’ve noticed that, in some cases, domains that were hand registered less than a year ago are selling for as much as $200.

Here’s a few samples from January 2017, as reported by Namebio, listed by domain name, hand reg date (month & year), sale price in Jan 2017 and marketplace.

(more…)

Read More

The Brandable Insider: Money Making Ideas from NamesCon

Last week I had the good fortune of attending the NamesCon 2017 domain industry conference. The exhibition hall featured a kaleidoscope of branding, sales, escrow, registrar and Internet companies. There were booths, ping-pong and pool tables, live interviews, free t-shirts and gadgets. There were dozens and dozens of presentations, in five different halls, and evenings filled with private dinners, public parties and endless networking over snacks and drinks.

Being the quiet, nerdy type, I missed out on most of the disco and the bar talk but I did attend several presentations. I also spoke to a wide variety of people while manning the BrandBucket booth with Michael Krell. Some of the ideas and methods for making money in the domain industry had me wide eyed and amazed. I’ll list a few of them here for you to peruse and ponder.

(more…)

Read More

The Brandable Insider: Identifying Milestones and Trends from 2016

As 2017 rolls clearly into view I’m looking back at the events and forces that shaped the brandable domaining space this past year. From where I sit there were a number of notable changes and events that impacted the brandable domain niche and could have an influence on our domain strategies moving forward. They’re at least worth noting and considering as we look ahead, evaluate and visualize for the coming year.

Sales & inventory are up
Self-reported sales at leading brandable marketplaces continue to improve. Although they’ve yet to release their 2016 sales totals, BrandBucket reported in their May Sellers Newsletter, that “Q1 sales dramatically outpaced last year’s Q1 and early Q2 sales.” This indicates a potentially strong sales increase year over year. Simultaneously, brandable marketplace inventories increased dramatically with some marketplaces almost doubling their 2015 inventory levels.
(more…)

Read More

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% (more…)

Read More