Blogs about how you can best sell your domains or stories about how you may have sold or bought a domain in the past.

Domain Sales is Overdue for a Shake-up – Part 2

The brokerage model needs to change.

In the previous article in this serious I took aim at the two major marketplaces of Sedo and Godaddy/Afternic. I then proposed a business model that solved the problem of the marketplaces being full of bad domains that must reduce the likelihood of sales transactions for potential buyers. You can read more about this hear: Part 1

I now want to propose a business model to help unclog the domain brokerage arm of the aftermarket.

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From a high-level perspective, the state of the domain aftermarket is as follows:
1.    Massive over-supply of domains – courtesy of the new gTLDs.
2.    Same demand.
3.    Anyone can put a shingle out and say they are a broker.

The vast majority of “brokers” aren’t brokers at all but are really “order takers”. What they do is take on lots of domains and then respond to inbound queries. These “order takers” just do what every serious domain investor does, with one exception, they didn’t pay for the domain they’re selling. So who do you think is more likely to sell the domain? The investor or the “order taker”? I’ll leave this up to you to work out.

On the flip-side of the coin there are the REALLY good brokers that know how to sell and pitch domains to prospective sellers and these people get the job done. They are worth their weight in gold and on the whole do an outstanding job for their clients.

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Domain Sales is Overdue for a Shake-up – Part 1

Marketplaces need an overhaul.

In this article I’m going to propose an idea that could be very unpopular amongst domain speculators but wildly popular amongst domain investors. Yes, there is a difference between those two camps and it’s this difference that needs to be highlighted.

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If we are to look at the domain aftermarket, there are really two major and a host of second tier (not second rate) marketplaces. If I was running either Afternic/Godaddy or Sedo I would look at two things:
1.    How I could remove the garbage domains from my marketplace.
2.    How I could make more money from brokerage.

The garbage domain problem is a real issue. When a person searches for a domain they are often presented a host a trash that covers the real gems that should be highlighted. How would I solve this problem? Easy, tax the domains.

I would charge some nominal fee per month per domain (eg. $0.10 per domain) with a minimum subscription of say, $50/month, to have your domains in the marketplace. All those with good domains will happily pay the fee and the speculated trash gets washed out. There could be a sliding scale depending upon volume, but I don’t think this is even necessary.

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How to Turn a Profit with Domains

Planning for profit

Over the last few years I’ve watched many domain investors throw money at some pretty crazy ideas and invest in nonsensical domains. Some of these investors have already completely burnt their cash and have exited the industry.

I’ve also watched the quite diligent investors that have methodically planned how they are going to get a return on their investment….and they’re making money hand over fist!

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The secret to any business really isn’t a secret at all but it does require a sustained level of tenacity and diligence. Everything in business starts with a plan and the end point of the plan should ultimately be how the business is going to be sustainable and turn a profit.

When I look at investing in domains it’s exactly the same thing. You need a plan. If you don’t have a plan, then you are very likely about to burn through some of your kids’ inheritance.

Let’s get down to the basics. If you have a reasonable sized domain portfolio, I can almost guarantee that 20% of the domains should be monetised for their traffic. This will provide an immediate cashflow that will at the very least help out with renewals or you may find yourself in the enviable situation of turning over an immediate profit.

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Domain Sales Needs a Revolution

Out of all of the different domain investment business models I find myself still a little stumped by some of the actions who invest for domain sales. I understand traffic monetisation and development makes sense but sales is one where I scratch my head…..

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I know there are people that make money from domain sales, but it almost seems like a lottery where a domain name is the ticket. The only way to win is to keep on increasing the number of tickets you have in the draw. Inevitably the law of diminishing returns comes into play and a pile of domains are dropped as they were obviously the wrong tickets…..sigh.

Being a numbers guy, I wanted to dig into what was going on in this part of the industry so the first thing I did was make some back of the envelope calculations in Excel. I’ve often commented that Excel is the best computer game on the market….it allows you to model just about anything and then time travel into what would happen in the future. Awesome!

I should say at the outset that I’m looking at the domains that fall into the stock-turn category. So those of you that have the premium top of the line domains should block their eyes at about now….actually, keep them open them for the next couple of paragraphs.

Premium domains….are an interesting concept. You speak to most domain investors and they’ll tell you about their awesome list of domains and like a guy selling you watches down a dark alley they’ll ask you if you want to buy one.

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mgilmour
My apologies.....forgot that figure! Since they are stock item domains they sales prices is between $1600-$2000. BTW - love to hav... Read More
22 August 2018
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10 Ways to Sell More Domains

Selling domains is close to the heart of most domain investors. They hear about the big sales being made and look at their own portfolio and wonder why many of the domains don’t get any offers let alone an offer to get them excited about paying off the mortgage. Here’s a list of ten ways that can help you increase your sales.

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1.  List your domains on all the marketplaces.
I know this seems a little obvious but so many investors forget to keep their domain listings up to date. Think of it like fishing, you can have one line in the water or ten lines. Each line will increase the chance of catching a fish. Whatever you do, list your domains in the two major marketplaces, Sedo and Afternic.

By listing your domains in the marketplaces you’re hoping to catch the eye of people that may be browsing for a domain in the aftermarket. With any luck an offer will be made, and a sale will result.

2.  Build Your Own Sales Page
A person that clicks on the typical “for sale” link will be directed into an existing marketplace for information about your domain. In the process, they may see someone else’s domain and end up putting an offer in on that one. Even though your domain delivered the traffic, you don’t get anything for the sale of the other domain.

The link at the top of a parked page that says “This domain may be for sale” should point to your own landing page. This page should say something about your domain plus links to related domains that are in your portfolio. This will encourage potential buyers to look at your domains rather than someone else’s.

3. Contact dn.biz
Dn.biz run a newsletter that goes out to thousands of buyers. They regularly look for good domains to feature, so you may as well reach out to them and see if any of yours can be listed.

4. Real Whois Information
Make sure you put real information in for your domain whois data. A lot of potential buyers do look up the whois for a domain and if it is privacy protected or has fake details then it will be impossible for them to contact you to make an offer. Think of the whois as just another line in the water.

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mgilmour
One of the most difficult things we can do as investors is to look at reality and then make sound decisions. If there aren't any o... Read More
16 April 2018
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