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!(more…)
“[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.
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.
To be successful I need an edge over the mob of domainers that are scanning the drops at Go Daddy every day. For that reason I like to snoop around the non-mainstream marketplaces in hopes of finding an overlooked, brandable gem. One such marketplace is Pheenix.com.
Last year DNgeek reported on the drop catcher’s new policy of sending all domains with multiple backorders to public auction. But this week Pheenix released some better news. Tan Tran, the CEO at Pheenix, sent an email to account holders announcing that Pheenix had partnered with Escrow.com. He said that this alliance will now allow Pheenix to turbo charge it’s marketplace with new benefits like free escrow service, same day payments, and automatic domain transfers.