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 Investors and the Coronavirus

How is the Corona virus going to impact your business?

Every time I turn on the television or check online news feeds, I get a sense the world is gripped in a palatable fear of the Corona virus pandemic. The virus is almost the ultimate incarnation of fear. It’s something that you can’t see and yet has clearly devastated families and loved ones around the world.

Escrow.com

An irrationality seems to have gripped many people as they clean out the supermarket shelves of toilet paper, tissues, face masks and tinned staple food. The fact that the Coronavirus does not cause a person to have diarrhea has clearly been ignored.

Recently, the terror seems to be flowing through corporates as they are now asking their staff to work from home and have enforced strict hygiene guidelines for those that journey to work. This seemingly continuous diet of fear has spread like a contagion into the financial markets as they collapse around the world.

How is all this carnage going to impact the domain industry or is it business as usual?

I remember in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis reading a blog article by a notable domain investor declared that it was great to be in an industry that was immune to the world’s financial woes. I must admit that at the time I scratched my head and wrote my own article stating that if we think we are immune to a global shock then we are kidding ourselves. Shortly afterwards, the PPC rates tanked and amounts paid for domains dropped through the floor.

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mgilmour
If everyone didn't panic then all would be good....it's the classic case of FOMO. My point on toilet paper is because it has nothi... Read More
14 March 2020
mgilmour
If no one panicked then there would still be supplies on the shelves and we'd all be able to buy the products. Since there is pani... Read More
14 March 2020
vanclute
Actually diarrhea has been reported as a symptom in some cases. But in general there's just not enough data yet to have a complet... Read More
14 March 2020
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NamesCon 2020 - The Future of Domaining

The future is bright for the domain industry.

This is the final video in the three part series that comprised my keynote address at NamesCon 2020 in Austin, Texas. The first two parts can be viewed by clicking on the below links:

Domain Sales

Domain Traffic Monetization

Escrow.com

In this video I share some of my thoughts on where the future of the domain industry is headed in the three areas of domain sales, traffic monetization and development. One of the great things about domains is they are so incredibly flexible in their capacity to be at the center of real economic value.

The final message of the video can be summed up by saying, "Through innovation the future is bright and it's only a matter of dreaming big enough that will bring real growth to the industry."

I hope you have enjoyed this series of videos. I would love to receive your comments and thoughts as it's these that inspire me to keep on writing my own thoughts down about our great industry.

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Why I Struggle with Domain Sales

The problem with domain sales

Let me say right up front that domain sales as a business model is really difficult way to try to make a living. There are some exceptions to this statement, but they are few and far between.

Escrow.com

The problem with most domain sales is they are more a function of luck than of a carefully planned strategic decision. They happen so infrequently that for the majority of investors they don’t know when and what quantum of size the next sale will be. This makes planning in your business next to impossible.

For instance, let’s imagine you have a portfolio of 5,000 domains and during the last 12 months you sold a domain for $5,000 in January, one for $20,000 in June and finally one for $5,000 in September. This brings the total of your sales to $30,000.

This sounds great and everyone trumpets the $20,000 sale when you get together at NamesCon in January. What most people don’t tell you is the fact their renewals are $50,000 and during the last 12 months they went backwards by $20,000. Sure, this is a contrived example but I think you can get my meaning.

The dream is that one day you’ll sell a domain for $1,000,000 and all the waiting and constant reinvestment will be worth it. I hate to rain on your parade but given that only a handful of domains are sold for these sums of money each year then your aspiration will likely remain a pipedream.

The question I want to ask sales investors is actually quite simple, “What domains do you drop to reduce your costs so you're profitable?”

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Wolftalker
..words of wisdom.
06 November 2019
mgilmour
Thanks for that!
06 November 2019
ideafarmer
As I sit on a 1000 domains portfolio dependent on occasional sales and hoping for a big sale... you make me reconsider my strategy... Read More
06 November 2019
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Why I was Wrong About Domain Sales

I need to apologise to readers….I just received some data from Escrow.com that proves that I was completely wrong about the size of the domain sales market. Back in August 2017 I estimated the market to be around $250m and what the latest Escrow data proves is that I was wrong…..by a long shot.

Escrow.com

According to the report, Escrow.com alone sold around $340m (all quoted values are in $USD) in domains in the last 12 months. By far the biggest market was the USA which did just over $60m in the first quarter of 2019 with Canada coming up a distant second with around $8m in sales.

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mgilmour
I completely agree with you on this point. What is also important is what is the profitability of building a site.....even it is s... Read More
20 May 2019
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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.

Escrow.com

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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