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

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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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.

Escrow.com

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!

Escrow.com

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…..

Escrow.com

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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