Why We Love to Hate those Domain Appraisal Tools

In order to profit we need to buy low and sell high. Sounds simple. But it’s not. Especially in the domain industry.  Why? Because there’s no standardized and regulated repository for valuations, acquisitions and sales. In other words, no measuring stick.  This leads to a lot of frustration for domainers, especially those that are new.  One of the main scapegoats for our buy/sell pricing conundrum are the estimated pricing tools.   Oh how we love to trash talk Estibot and their ilk! 

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How to Make Money If the Domain Market Crashes

Opportunity is invisible to most. THAT is why it’s an opportunity to begin with. You have to look for voids and holes in the fabric of society – for the customer – and if you fill that gap, voila!  Rick Schwartz, The Domain King

Like any industry or asset class, booms and busts come and go. I think we are nearing the end of another cycle and while there will be pain for many there will be opportunity for others.  The purpose of this article is to let you know that a) there is likely a bust coming b) how it might happen and c) how you could profit from it.

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Are You Pricing Yourself Out of the Market?

“Arriving at the real value of a domain is like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black dog – that just might not be there…” — Unknown

The most common mistake new domainers make is overvaluing their domains and listing them at ridiculous prices that no one will pay. After a while they feel frustrated and start asking: How much is my domain worth? The often heard answer to that question is: It’s worth what someone will pay for it. An answer that, while completely accurate, is simultaneously useless.

I think pricing is one of the most underrated variables in our industry. It can make or break our business model. Price too low and we risk leaving big money on the table. Price too high and we decrease the chance of a sale or possibly even price ourselves right out of the market.

I don’t have the magic solution to the pricing conundrum. But I can do what I usually do. Provide some sales data, give you my two cents and let you make up your own mind 🙂
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Let’s Get Rich – Investing in the Next Big Thing

Ninety nine percent of finding the next big thing is discounting all the noise of those that want to convince you that what they have is the next big thing.
Rick Swartz, The Domain King®

We all wish we could have registered the 1997 gems that are selling now for 6 or 7 figures. So why didn’t we? The reality is that most us were online in 1997. I know I was. And yet we didn’t buy. Since then other opportunities have come and gone. But often we haven’t seen or responded to them in real time.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these 2018 sales.
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The Top 25 Cryptocurrency Domain Name Sales

Financial technology is slowly but steadily disrupting the traditional finance and banking industry with cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology behind it leading the wave of innovation and change.  Naturally, savvy domain name investors with an eye for spotting trends early on registered the best domain names related to these new digital currencies and technologies years ago and we’ve been seeing a steady flow of impressive end-user sales for domain names related to cryptocurrency with the $2 million sales of ETH.com (which is the acronym for popular cryptocurrency Ethereum) being the most recent reported sale.

In the light of that blockbuster sale, I thought it would be nice to compel a list with the help of the Namebio database of the 25 highest reported domain sales related to cryptocurrency and the blockchain.

Update on July 10, 2018: crypto related domain names continue to sell like hotcakes so I’ve updated the list below so it includes all the most recent reported sales. The sale of Crypto.com for a rumored $12 million is not included until the sales price is verified by a reliable source.

Here’s the list: (more…)

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Pricing and Profits; Threading the Eye of the Needle

Everybody knows that if we price our domains too high, they won’t sell and we’ll go bankrupt, right? Well not everybody. As newbies we think we’ve struck gold with hand-regged domains like SandpaperSusan.com and we list them for sale at 5 figures. After a year when it hasn’t sold we feel foolish and change it to a bargain price of $50. After a month, when it still hasn’t sold, we’re at our wits end.

The art and science of domain pricing is a crucial factor in the management of our portfolio. It can make or break our business. I feel it’s one of the most under-recognized factors in the, domain profitability, equation.
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Domain Renewals: The Silent Killer

If you are buying domains and you say to yourself that you will hold it for a year and then decide to renew, you are buying the WRONG ones.
Rick Schwartz

One of the great joys of domaining is waking up and seeing the words, Your Domain Has Sold!, in your inbox. There’s nothing better than earning several hundred, or even several thousand, dollars while we’re sleeping. But there’s another, more insidious, process that also occurs while we sleep. It’s the silent cancer that eats away at the money in our pocket and it’s called, domain renewals.

Every day the clock is ticking on the hundreds (or thousands) of domains we own. Renewal fees come due night after night. For every thousand domains in our portfolio the annual renewal cost is about $8,000 per year. That’s $666 per month or about $22 a day. Yikes!

With numbers like that we’ve gotta be careful and make sure our portfolio is a clean, lean selling machine with no dead weight. Otherwise renewal costs will eat our profits faster than an African tapeworm. So how do we avoid that?
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What’s Selling at the Brandable Marketplaces?

Do you like data? I do. In fact, I think I’m an information pack rat.

Because every time someone reports a brandable domain sale in a conversation, at a forum, in an email or even on a brandable platform itself, I write it down. I’m keepin’ a list. Checkin’ it twice. And trying to find out what’s hot and what’s not.

Over the past several months I’ve accumulated a log of 349 recently reported sales from three different brandable marketplaces. I’ve looked them over and here’s what I’ve learned. (more…)

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Brandable domain name sales week 22: KeepCalm.com, Xuper.com, BaseCoin.com

It was another strong week for the brandables with seven sales breaking into the five-figure range.  Auction prices continue to climb with the difference between some end-user sales and a wholesale/reseller sale becoming increasingly less.  The top grossing sale was LawLeader which was almost certainly an end-user sale since the domain name was sold by Mike Mann. But number 2,3 and 4 on the list all seem to be purchases from domain name investors.

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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10 companies that paid up for a premium .Co domain name

It’s no secret that my money is on .com domains. It’s the only generic top-level domain that has consistently been dominating the sales charts and even with the many new TLDs that launched during the last couple of years, I do not see this changing anytime soon. There is, however, one other extension in which I have been successfully making a moderate profit (low five-figures) during the last years and that is .Co

Before .io came around, .Co easily was the most popular alternative for .com for startups and the extension has seen huge end-user adoption since it became publicly available in 2010 thanks to a very well executed and aggressive marketing push by the registry at the time.  As a result, many premium, one-word .Co domains were snapped up for big bucks during the landrush auction in 2010 and despite competition from some new, cool kids on the block such as .io and .ai, .Co continues to report impressive sales in the aftermarket.

The most important driver for its success is the large number of startups that embraced the extension over the years and build large and successful businesses on the domains with some of them forking out a significant amount of money to acquire their .Co domain. Here are 10 of them. (more…)

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