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: 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.
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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.
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The Brandable Insider: The Emotional Roller Coaster of Domaining

Domaining is a speculative industry. A point that really hit home for me while watching an episode of Domain Sherpa last year. A panel guest and industry icon who appears frequently on the show said: “most of the domains we own will never sell [to an end user] in our lifetime.” That’s just the straight up, unflattering, reality of our industry.

Against all odds
The odds of any random domain being purchased by an end user this year are probably in the same neighborhood as the odds that we’ll be struck by lightning in our lifetime (1 in 12,000).

However, hard work and skill can lower those odds significantly. At least that’s what we think. And so it’s, under that gray veil of potential self-delusion, that we labor and search for those elusive, 50 times investment, end user deals.

Lightning strikes
It’s this kind of business dynamic which creates, for me and others, a roller coaster of emotions as we plunge from a post deal high to the depths of an unexpected dry spell, depression. I had one such experience this fall when I suffered my first dry month in more than a year. Fortunately, my pre-holiday domainer’s funk was obliterated by a recent string of three end user sales – all in one week. (more…)

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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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The Brandable Insider: How to Avoid Becoming a New Business Casualty

Several months ago I was surfing NamePros and I noticed a guy in live chat. He said he was looking for domains to buy. I quickly sent him a private message and asked what kind of domains he was looking for. He said he wanted a domain that he could flip and make some money on. I told him every person on NamePros wanted a domain for a profitable flip. Why would they sell you a domain that they could flip themselves? He had no answer for that and I warned him to be more careful and cautious. I told him that without knowing the market he was likely to get ripped off.

I think we all started out with that same kind of naiveté but we know now that, despite the hype, there’s no overnight success in domaining. I think everyone’s heard that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within the first 18 months. I know, I know, some say “my domaining’s not a business, it’s just a hobby.” I say bull. It may be a part-time endeavor but if you’re not approaching it like a business your chance of failure is likely even higher than 80%.

If you’re new to domaining or having trouble becoming profitable, here’s eight tips to increase your chances of success:
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