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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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.

Escrow.com

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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What’s New With Escrow.com?

As domain investors know, for many years Escrow.com has been providing a critical part of the domain industry ecosystem. The trusted independent link between buyers and sellers have enabled many investors to complete secure transactions for their domain sales. So what’s new with Escrow.com?

While I was traveling through Europe at the end of October I received an email from Escrow.com announcing that they have now released a completely updated API for public beta. I knew this major upgrade was clearly going to be the platform upon which other products and services could be built.

For example, the new API potentially means websites, marketplaces, classifieds sites, shopping carts, and mobile apps can have escrow services built directly into them. This opens up a huge range of potential new clients for Escrow.com that is much broader than their traditional business clients.

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The Big Issues in the Domain Industry - Part 2

In this series of articles, I’m endeavouring to identify some of the big issues the domain industry needs to tackle through innovation. For the last number of years, the industry has largely been stagnant in many of the business models being employed by investors and I believe it’s time for this to change.

Escrow.com

In the previous article I looked at a couple of innovations for selling “stock item domains” and in this article, I’ll trying and provide some thoughts around selling “high value domains”.

The new gTLD domain extensions have created a scenario where we have a massive supply of domains. Regardless of your feelings about new gTLDs, having the same overall demand and a massive supply will tend to depress prices by providing additional options.

Just think about this for a minute. If you are a marketing director of a big company and someone offers you a .com domain for $500K or a new gTLD for $10, which would you take? They could essentially spend an additional $500K in marketing efforts and be in a net neutral position. Many marketing directors would believe their marketing efforts (ie. their smarts) are making the domain popular and not the other way around.

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Domain Sales Don’t Add Up

I was crunching some numbers today on the domain sales market and a number of things just didn’t add up for me. It would appear that as an industry we are going backwards….which should be a little bit of a concern.

Escrow.com

The first thing I wanted to do was try and dimension the size of the domain sales market. I decided to start with the estimated size of the Sedo marketplace as they quite regularly published their numbers. I was more interested in the number of domains sold and also proportions of the size of each sale.

After some mathematical magic, I came to an estimated sales volume of just shy of $37m for 2016…..I think this is a little low as some of the larger outliers will push the number up to around $50m. If there’s anyone from Sedo that can confirm or deny this number that would be awesome!

The next question I asked was what proportion of the total market does Sedo have? Sedo actually sold around 99 of the top 304 domain sales for 2016….which suggests about 32% of the domain market. This seems a little on the high side to me.

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