The Brandable Insider: The Domains That Got Away

I bid in a lot of auctions but most of the time I don’t win em. Why? Well in a word, it’s because I’m cheap. At least that’s one way to look at it. I prefer to think that it’s because I’m a careful investor. I’m dedicated to acquiring domains at under market value. So I’m always looking for deals. The downside to this is that it requires a larger amount of my time. I recognize that at some point that is going to become an issue and I’ll need to adjust my business strategy. However, at the present time, I’m still operating under the lean-startup business model after seeing some examples of how the lean model can eliminate waste, and it’s normal to work long hours to bring a new venture to a stable level of profitability. Profits and sales are up big this year for me so 2017 is likely to be a year of reevaluation and adjustments.

The average domainer sells about 2% to 5% of their total inventory each year. This means acquisition and renewal costs must be carefully controlled lest they eat up all the potential profits. My present business model is to create a small to medium return on my investment (ROI) by catering to an end user demographic that buys moderately priced brandables in the $500 to $3,000 range.

With that in mind here are some some examples of domains that I was interested in acquiring but bailed out on when the bidding went beyond what I felt was a price that fit with my lean business model. ($720) – Work is a powerful keyword and has a multitude of applications. An ‘io’ or ‘ia’ suffix would be the preferred version of this keyword hack. However, alternate versions are also in demand when dealing with high profile keywords like tech, media, web, net etc. Work is not quite in the same elite group but it’s just one level down in my opinion. ($569) — I love the keyword urban and own several brandables that start with it. I don’t feel the word ‘spin’ is a very strong pairing here and I’d venture to say that the bidding when too high on this one. UrbanHeat sold recently in the aftermarket for $609 and I do like that one a little better. ($37) – Dictionary word hacks with the ‘ly’ suffix are in high demand and I would venture to say its the most desirable hack of a keyword. Buffer, however, is not the strongest base word and hence the low price. Despite the keyword weakness, I think the buyer got a very good deal and that they will make a nice profit if/when an end user offer comes along. ($225) – A very nice invented name that I bid on but didn’t win. The double ‘o’ ending remains desirable even today thanks to the staying power of brands like Ski-Doo, Daewoo, Igloo, Sea-Doo and Yahoo. The new owner of this domain also has a potential buyer in the owners of the company at ($85) – Another nice invented name, this time in a 5L. ($155) — Ever has become a popular modifier for strong keywords like ‘pad.’ I like this name and wish I’d prevailed at this auction.

What domains have you bid on lately? Did you win em or lose em? Let us know in the comment section below.

Here’s a list of brandables ripe for the taking at NameJet this week:

6 thoughts on “The Brandable Insider: The Domains That Got Away”

  1. Keith, I think, you’ve an edge over other careful investors because of the volume of brandables you own and its a good sign of your business model.
    It’s always a challenge to add new domains as it rises the overall cost. Striking a balance between sales and purchases in domaining for many is still in an unlearned skill. Well, a nice post. I’ve some ly ending names with words such as marine and scheme.

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