Brandable domain name sales week 41: Bons.com, TheSite.com, PizzaPortal.com

Only one reported sale closed in the five-figure range last week. That was Bons.com which sold for $14,000 at Sedo. Based on current Whois data the buyer seems to be an online-casino operator but the domain name isn’t in use as of yet. 

TheSite.com was an expired domain name at auction at GoDaddy I was watching. It closed at $8,800. 

Here’s this weeks list:

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Brandable domain name sales week 40: DollarCity.com, LuxuryBox.com, BitWhale.com

October is off to a strong start for brandable domain names sales with six reported sales in the five-figure range. DollarCity.com which sold at DomainMarket.com tops the chart with a cool $90,000. It currently forwards to DollarCity.net which is the site of a South American retailer. 

Here’s this weeks list:

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Brandable domain name sales week 38: TheGroundwork.com, ButterflyLabs.com, SkyMind.com

There are two domains on this weeks list that jumped out because of the unusual high wholesale price they fetched at GoDaddy’s expired auctions. The first one is TheGroundwork.com, a two-word domain name that was bid up into the five-figure range. Why would any investor pay $10+k for a domain name of this caliber? A Google search shows that the domain belonged to an under-the-radar startup funded by former Google CEO and billionaire Eric Schmidt. The company was a major technology vendor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and was supposed to help put Hillary in the White House. This obviously didn’t happen and the domain name recently lapsed.

Then there’s a very similar sale. An investor paid more than $9,000 for the expired ButterflyLabs.com domain name. Why? It was once owned by a Bitcoin mining equipment company that was shut down by the FTC and according to this article on The Verge was named “the second-most hated company in Bitcoinland“.

The question I am asking myself is why an investor would pay such a significant amount for these type of expired domains? Do they hope the backlinks and any remaining traffic on the domain will end up making them a steady parking income? Do they like to own a piece of internet history or they think an end-user that is willing to pay five-figures will come knocking for the domain and doesn’t care about the past usage of the domain?

Here’s this weeks list:

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Brandable domain name sales week 37: NewHorizon.com, BaristaPro.com, Zwan.com

NewHorizon.com tops the chart of last weeks brandable domain name sales. The expired domain name sold for $14,002 on GoDaddy Auctions. There is a large number of potential end-users for the domain although many companies also brand under the plural, New Horizons. The plural .com domain is a developed website from a global company offering computer training. 

Here’s this weeks list:

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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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Hot Companies with Horrible Brands

Not too long ago, dictionary word domains were considered as exact match, category killers for various products and industries.  For this reason you’ll find fiber optic products at Fiber.com and air travel services at Fly.com.  But things have changed. The rules have been disrupted. Now dictionary words have become a premium vehicle for branding in a wide variety of industries. Sometimes this creative application of a single word domain has been a hit. Other times it’s been a disaster.

Let’s take a look at some examples of companies who have succeeded despite what I consider to be questionable, single word, branding choices.

  • Lime – A bike sharing company  at LI.me
  • Igloo – Domain advisors at Igloo.com
  • Sumo – Web marketing solutions at Sumo.com
  • Amazon – Global eCommerce platform at Amazon.com
  • Lemonade – Insurance app at Lemonade.com
  • Uber – Ride sharing app at Uber.com
  • Gusto – Payroll services at Gusto.com
  • League – Health benefits management at League.com
  • Bird – Scooter rentals at Bird.co
  • Apple – Global tech company at Apple.com
  • Toast – Business operations software at Toast.com
  • Purple – High tech mattresses at Purple.com

On the flip side there’s a bunch of one word brands that I really like.

  • Agenda – A scheduling app at Agenda.com
  • Advance – Global media at Advance.com
  • Great – A Swedish charity to help the impoverished at Great.com
  • Slack – Team collaboration tools at Slack.com
  • Ledger – Crypto asset management at Ledger.com
  • Casper – High tech mattresses at Casper.com
  • Pax – Vape and cannabis devices at Pax.com
  • Ring – Home security systems at Ring.com
  • Timeline – Modern history at Timeline.com
  • Freedom – Mortgage company at Freedom.com

What’s on your list of heroes and zeroes for startup branding?  Let us know in the comments below.

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Brandable domain name sales week 30: IvyPay.com, Domaino.com, FantasyIsland.com

Despite the slow summer months, it was a solid week for brandable domain name sales with 3 sales reaching the five-figure range. The most interesting sale last week was that of FantasyLand.com – an expired domain name from 1997 that was dropped by Sony Pictures and auctioned at DropCatch with a winning bid of $3,251 as shared by TheDomains.com in this post. Only to be followed by the news that Sony Pictures will be turning the popular TV series from the 80’s into a feature film. It will be interesting to see if Sony Pictures will be making an effort to get the domain name they let expire back.

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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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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Brandable domain name sales week 29: Okdo.com, Birdly.com, Qista.com

The big news last week was the sale of the ice.com domain name for $3.5 million dollars to the Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. Considering the company did a whopping $5.83 billion in revenues last year and immediately agreed to the asking price some might argue the domain name could have been sold for more.  The top grossing sale in brandable land was a tad more modest. It was the 4-letter okdo.com domain name which sold for $45,850 on marketplace Sedo. The domain name leads to a parked page and the Whois is private so it’s unclear who the buyer is.

Here’s this weeks list: (more…)

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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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