The Brandable Insider: Double-Letter Domain Sales in 2016

Double-letter brandables were a popular topic this past week. DNgeek founder, Doron Vermaat, reported on the sale of Maill.com and BrandBucket Managing Director, Michael Krell discussed double-letter domains in his seller podcast. So I thought I’d go with the flow and give a 2016 sales update. Before I do that I’ll remind readers that in June I wrote two articles on this topic. In the first one I outlined my personal criteria for buying double-letter brandables. In the second, I analyzed the prior 10 years of sales.

A trend emerges
When searching NameBio for short, double-letter brandables I found only 10 sales for the period of 2005 to 2010. However, things picked up from 2011 and 2014 when 22 sold. Sales accelerated further in 2015 when 14 double-letter sales were reported. This was twice as many as any year in the prior decade according to my NameBio research.
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BrandBucket snaps up Keith deBoer as Brand Ambassador

Fellow blogger and part-time domain name investor Keith deBoer has accepted an invitation from BrandBucket to join their Ambassador partner program for domain sellers. He takes the position alongside Jeffery Emerick who became a brand ambassador for BrandBucket in February of this year. According to BrandBucket “Ambassadors are selected for their ability to craft great business names and to properly represent the BrandBucket messaging to future customers and partners. As part of the program, special perks, resources and budgets will be afforded to ambassadors to help them promote their portfolios and help represent BrandBucket’s ever-growing collection of available business names for entrepreneurs, startups, and new businesses.”

Former Ambassador and now BrandBucket’s managing director, Michael Krell, confirmed Keith’s new role via email this week and said that BrandBucket  plans to issue an official announcement in the next day or two.

Interestingly enough the news comes at the same time as I have personally started to move away from BrandBucket (and other similar marketplaces) to focus on selling my names via direct navigation which goes to show that different investment strategies can work for brandable domain name investors. I asked Keith to answer some questions on the news. (more…)

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BrandBucket introduces Seller Dashboard

Leading brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket has just pushed a new dashboard live for sellers that helps visualize some insights into their sales performance, activity and how their portfolio compares to other sellers on the platform. BrandBucket calls it “A visual guide to help you become the best seller you can be”. By hovering your mouse over the various circles you can quickly see how do you rank against other sellers for some key metrics such as sell-through, overall revenue, and average sale price.

The new dashboard is a nice attempt to help sellers better measure their success on the platform and give quick access to important metrics such as ones annual sell-through ratio.

The feature is currently in beta so I’m not sure if this is live on all seller accounts as of yet.

Here’s a screenshot of my dashboard: (more…)

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BrandBucket: $2.4 million in sales in 2015

BBLeading brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket sent me a press release in which they share they have sold $2.4 million in business names in 2015. The last time the marketplace shared any sales data was back in 2013 when the company announced it reached its goal of $1 million in sales for that year.  While the company shows growth for the eighth consecutive year since opening its marketplace in 2007, the increase in revenue from an annual $1M to $2.4M over a two year period is not exactly in line with the explosive growth of its inventory which went from just a few thousand domains in 2013 to more than 23,000 listings by the end of 2015.

Early sellers on the platform used to report sell through ratios as high as 50% sometimes while most sellers with large portfolios listed on the marketplace report sell through ratios of around 4% annually these days. If you take an average sales price of $2,400 per domain the annual sell through ratio over 2015 is 4.3%.

During 2015 I personally sold 9 domains on BrandBucket with another 110 domains listed. BrandBucket charges a 30% commission on sales and requires exclusivity for the period that domains are listed with a 30 days notice period.

Below is the full press-release.  (more…)

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Brandable domain name sales week 9: Bankster.com, Ventis.com, Cashly.com

It was a great week for brandable domain name sales with four domains selling in the five figure range. With Afternic and DomainNameSales.com not reporting any sales data Sedo keeps dominating the leader board.  Specialized brandable marketplace BrandBucket started sharing more detailed sales numbers in their monthly seller’s newsletter for the very first time.

The company says it sold 82 domains in January. Out of those sales 42% were invented names and the other 58% being keyword domains with the average sales price for a keyword brandable being $3325 and the average sales price of an invented brandable being $4944.

Some simple math tells us that they sold for $328,408 in domain names in January. The company behind BrandBucket, Boxador owns about 9% of the site’s inventory and the companies Managing Director Michael Krell own another 17% of the inventory.

The January sales numbers also give away something many sellers have been trying to figure out for a long time. The annual sell trough rate. Based on 82 monthly sales on a total of 250000 listed names the yearly sell trough rate is just under 4%. So, on average it takes a portfolio of 100 listed names on the site to expect one sale per quarter. BrandBucket sellers pay a 30% commission + a $100 fee for the logo design in the case of a sale. The site requires exclusivity for all domain names listed.

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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BrandBucket launches revamped website

Leading brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket has launched a redesigned version of their marketplace earlier today.  The new homepage design and improved search interface gives the site a bit of a face lift, and better guides potential customers to find the name they want. Ultimately, the point is to increase sales. The new site also is significantly faster, easier to navigate and shines the light on a larger variety of names on the homepage with categories for featured names, premium names (names with a price tag above $5,000) and recently added names.

I thought it would be fun to look at how to site has evolved over the years from the initial WordPress page with a handful of domains with logos that BrandBucket founder Margot Bushnaq and her husband used for picking domain names for their own ventures almost a decade ago to the popular marketplace it has grown into today with almost 25000 listed business names: (more…)

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Michael Krell joins BrandBucket as it’s Managing Director

Brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket just announced that one of their top sellers, domain name investor and former ambassador Michael Krell has been appointed as Managing Director of the rapidly growing company. Michael has been an active voice within the brandable domain seller community for BrandBucket since 2014 when he joined the BrandBucket ambassador program. He started selling domain names with BrandBucket in June 2013 and has been aggressively expanding his portfolio to the point that he currently owns more than 10% of the inventory offered on the marketplace. He did a great interview on DomainSherpa shortly after joining the company as ambassador and publishes HandReg.com, a blog about investing in brandable domain names.  (more…)

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Here are 1134 names that sold on BrandBucket

Brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket.com has seen phenomenal growth since the site gained instant popularity with domainers who suddenly started to discover the high ROI that can be achieved by offering catchy domain names with a logo and description as a “brand in a box” during the summer of 2014.

Around the same time Raymond Hackney from TLDinvestors published a incredible post in which he published and analyzed all the Brandbucket sales to that date: Brand Bucket Sales – Inside The Numbers

Since then the site’s inventory increased from a couple of thousands names to more than 10,000 handpicked names that are listed exclusively on BrandBucket and the company rolled out a completely revamped version of the marketplace last summer. One of the many changes, to the disappointment of many sellers, was that they stopped listing previously sold names.

Raymond his analysis acted as the perfect guideline for me when I started out investing in brandables and helped me make a lot of $$. I thought it would be incredibly helpful for anyone else  investing in (or interested in) brandables to have an updated list on what type of names sell on Brandbucket theses days so I decided to spend a few hours glued to my screen and have updated the original list with another 566 confirmed sales that I sourced from several NamePros threads and with a simple Google search hack.

Here’s the list:

Please note that this list is nowhere near complete, most likely it is just the tip of the iceberg.  (more…)

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Brandbucket to roll out custom for sale landing pages.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a very slick and good looking For Sale landing page while researching some domain names. The lander was powered by brandable domain name marketplace Brandbucket and helps a prospective buyer visualize the brand and domain name on a range of stationary such as business cards and letters as well as a tablet and smartphone.  When you scroll down there’s a explainer video about do-it-yourself business naming and detailed information about what you get with your domain purchase as well as the buying and transfer process explained. Only when you click the Buy Now button you are directed to the Brandbucket site where the domain name is automatically added to your shopping cart. The page itself currently doesn’t show the price of the domain which I suspect is left out on purpose to increase the click through rate.

launchguru
Landing page for www.launchguru.com

 

 

I reached out to Brandbucket founder Margot Bushnaq who told me the company has put quite a bit of work into them from a design and programming perspective.  When I asked about the effectiveness of these new landers she told me that they are still gathering data, so there’s nothing they can share quite yet, but they are keeping a close eye and may be making some small changes here and there.  Nonetheless Brandbucket is rolling out the option to all domains in a few days.

These pages are reached by a visitor typing in the domain — if the domain is found via browsing BrandBucket, the visitor still sees the standard (tried and tested to be effective) sales page. If you are a Brandbucket seller I assume you need to have your name servers point to ns1.brandbucket.com/ns2.brandbucket.com to have these landing pages active.

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BrandBucket adds premium one word .com domains to their stable

Brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket has showed several times it isn’t afraid to branch out from their original founding principles.  As the “first to market” domain name marketplace to exclusively sell invented names within the .com extension they surprised many domain name investors by diversifying their offering last year by partnering with Libyan Spider,  the technology company behind Register.ly, to add a large number of one-word .ly domains such as Social.ly, Free.ly and Perfect.ly to their portfolio as well as offering some domains outside of their own marketplace on Flippa.com.

Today I noticed another significant change as the marketplace is now offering several premium one-word .com domains such as Hotdog.com, Physical.com, Undergraduate.com and Responsive.com for sale.

This is interesting because BrandBucket has always been advocating the power of a short, memorable and easy to pronounce invented name to brand a company, product or service instead of a more generic name. In the explainer video on their site they even say: “generic names are more like categories and not actual brands” and  “a generic name may also get in the way of your growth if you decide to expand”.

It will be interesting to see how successful BrandBucket will be in reaching the right type of end-user for these high calibre generic domain names and if their seller terms (exclusivity and a 30% commission in case of a successful sale) will be the same for the owners of these domains as they are for all other sellers on the site.

Disclosure: I have sold 4 and currently have another 70 domains listed on BrandBucket. 

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