What Kind of Domainer Are You? Part Three: Buy and Hold

A great domain name has to ripen. Like planting a fruit tree. In TIME it may bear fruit. I don’t think about selling. Never do.  For some Domainers business is a sprint and always running.  For others it’s a marathon. I am on the marathon side. Turtle always wins.
– Rick Schwartz, The Domain King

My final entry for this three part series is an exploration of the Buy and Hold style of domaining.  Traditionally it’s a long term, passive style of domain investment wherein domains are held for years despite regular, albeit sub-par, offers. Trends and fluctuations in the domain markets don’t affect the Buy and Hold domainer who possesses a deep sense of conviction and unwavering faith in his/her asset’s value and their strong potential for very lucrative paydays.

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What Kind of Domainer Are You? Part One: Domain Flipping

After being shot down numerous times, I humbled myself and came to the stark realization that this is a much more intricate process.

Ali Zandi

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.

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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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Tech Startup Brands: What’s Hot and What’s Not

“We now live in a world where one-word domains with massively broad use cases and brandable one and two-word domain names have won [the race against product-related domains]. – Morgan Linton, July 2018

In a prior post I talked about 349 recent sales from three brandable marketplaces. I assessed them as a group and analyzed them in terms of length, style and keywords. This week I’m looking for trends in the brand names of 200 tech startups that were recently covered in news reports on TechCrunch.

Let’s see what we can discern from the trends, tendencies and nuances of this random list of 200 names.
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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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The Brandable Insider: Slinq.com, Zunky.com, TheLearningSpace.com

I haven’t done a recently-sold review in a while so I thought now would be a good time. I’ve picked an array of names, in different styles and genres. All of them sold for under $600. For each one I’ve given my thoughts on why I think the name works and what industries it might be used for.

In most cases, I think these names sold at higher than “normal” prices which is great for the sellers, not so good for the buyers. What’s interesting about that though, is that people like Rick Schwartz and Drew Rosener say that while the low end of the aftermarket is currently way overpriced, many high end domains, particularly 3Ls, are going at bargain prices. Go figure. Here’s the names.
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The Brandable Domainer: Hand Reg to Sale in Two Weeks

The way most people want to negotiate in an email. They want to lay out their whole game plan and their chain of logic. What happens in that static communication is the reader gets a chance to look at where the email starts and where the email ends and they get to sit there and stare at it. Then if they don’t like where it ends they just move back, four or five moves, and take off in a different direction. So my first recommendation is to make one move at a time in an email.Chris Voss, Author of Never Split The Difference

A couple of years ago I hand regged a domain and sold it two weeks later. Doron says our readers really like to hear the details of successful domain sales. Even the small ones. So I’m gonna give the details of this one for you. As I’ve done before I’m going to publish the exact content of the emails so you can read and analyze them for yourself.

Domaining like everything else in life is a learning experience. Looking back at the emails I see some things I did well and some areas where I made mistakes or could have done better. Hopefully you can learn from them too.  (more…)

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The Brandable Insider: How to Negotiate as If Your Life Depended on It

I just read a book called: Never Split The Difference. It’s written by an International, FBI hostage negotiator. The author, Chris Voss, tells how he successfully negotiated with Islamic radicals and American bank robbers when people’s lives were at stake. From those gripping stories he draws simple, yet profound, lessons for negotiating everything from a pay raise to a million dollar contract with a multinational corporation.

Voss now works in the private sector teaching college courses and running a business consultancy called The Black Swan Group. He teaches easy steps for enhanced negotiation outcomes. The place where many fail, according to Voss, is when they allow their emotions to take over and sabotage their plans. To avoid this he teaches his students how to develop focused listening skills and measured responses that gain the trust and cooperation of the person on the other side of the deal.

One main principle comes from the book’s title. According to Voss, splitting the difference is for losers because it leaves too much money on the table.
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