That’s the motto for Michael Cyger’s, soon-to-be legendary, Domain Social event. On this week’s edition, of the best virtual-happy-hour on the planet, Michael reminded me of how long it’s been since I’ve written on DNGeek.
So here I am guilt writing, and sharing, a quick list of my recent domaining discoveries.
“In my years of scanning expiring domain name lists I’ve found that only 7% – 12% of all names, that expire, mean anything to more than one person”
– Frank Schilling , founder of Uniregistry
There are many resources for acquiring brandable domains such as hand registration, a fellow domainer, or “the drops”. But one of the most popular methods is trolling the vast pool of domains that expire daily.
Aside from the expiring domain auctions at places like GoDaddy and SnapNames many domainers look for gems in the GoDaddy Closeouts. This is a precarious task since all the domains that reach the Closeout marketplace have already been examined by dozens of other domain investors and been deemed unworthy of a bid at auction.
Therefore to be a successful Closeout domain buyer one needs an eye keen enough to see treasure where others saw trash.
Before we buy a domain we should have a concrete plan for selling it. For veteran domainers this is an almost instantaneous calculation when they consider a domain purchase. Beginners, on the other hand, may need to write down and think through their plan before hand. In either case a practical plan should include both a buy and sell price, a list of potential customers and preferred methods for transactions (sales venue, payment process, commission and escrow fees etc).
Without a plan we might acquire a domain with little to no marketability or overpay and lose potential profit.
This process will be different for different types of domainers including what I call flippers, trend riders and investors.
“[The] booming eSports space….. I think that is going to be the next ‘crypto wave’ for domains. I’m seeing so much action in that area.” – Drew Rosener on Domain Sherpa, Oct 2018
One of the fastest growing industries of our day is eSports. Startups in this space are spawning faster than Fortnite warriors and, more importantly, established corporations like Google, Sony, Microsoft, Doritos and Coca-Cola are investing at an increasingly rapid pace. Money is on the move. Just this week Epic Games announced it’s putting up $100 million dollars in prize money for competitions in 2019. The July, World Cup alone, will include $30 million in total prizes. But it gets better…..
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!
“[In 2017] brandable domain names will continue to be a popular form of investment for many domainers.” – James Iles
Some brandable domains are classic. I’m talking about names like NatureLab ($22K), FoodFuture ($25K), MarketingToday ($1.5 mill), and Altavista ($3.2 mill). But if you’re like me and you’re focused on brands for startup companies with relatively shallow pockets, then brandable names and keywords can be a bit more temporal, jumpy and trending. (more…)
There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the rising demand for brandable domains in the aftermarket. It seems more and more domainers are hopping on the brandable domain train and pushing up prices in the drops and auctions. I’ve noticed that, in some cases, domains that were hand registered less than a year ago are selling for as much as $200.
Here’s a few samples from January 2017, as reported by Namebio, listed by domain name, hand reg date (month & year), sale price in Jan 2017 and marketplace.
Right now Doron and I are attending NamesCon 2017 in sunny LasVegas and I’m posting this blog via telepathic artificial intelligence. Yea right! In case you’re not familiar with NamesCon, it’s one of the world’s largest domain name industry conferences and it features presentations by industry experts on a wide variety of relevant domaining topics. It’s also a unique opportunity to network, face-to-face, with the people we communicate with all year long via cyberspace. I’m sure we’ll both be writing about our respective NamesCon adventures next week.
In the meantime, let’s look at some interesting brandable sales, as reported by NameBio, recently:
Several people have messaged me asking where they can find a list of strong, trendy, brandable keywords. The answer is everywhere and nowhere. No such list exists, that I know of, except in the toolbox of successful brandable domainers. It’s a list that’s subjective and evolves over time. It’s a list that no two domainers will agree on. It’s a list that comes from analysis, observation and experience. It’s the summation of hours spent at sites like NameBio, TechCrunch, DomainSherpa, AngelList, CrunchBase, BrandBucket, Startups-list and BrandRoot. Looking, analyzing, evaluating and deciding the relative value of each word. After a while it becomes intuitive. But in the beginning you need a written list.
For those that don’t have such a list, I’ll get you started. The way I’m going to do that is by showing you sample brands for existing startups in some of the most relevant technology niches of today. Not every keyword listed is a tier one brandable word. But most of them are. So get out your keyboard and create and refine your keyword list!
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. (more…)