Archive | April, 2019

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.TV reported sales vs development

Posted on 12 April 2019 by NamePros Daily

Today: Historica.org sold for $16,794 / Top keyword list / Domain Battle Round # 7 – Thunderdome Contest / And more!

Here are the new discussions that caught my eye in the domain community today!

Should domain investors have their own portfolio marketplace? – Yes or no? Good or bad idea? Would it help or hurt? There are a few different opinions so far with great explanations. Take a look.

What end-users do – Have you ever stopped to think about what an end-user would do from start to finish that didn’t know about the domain industry behind the scenes? Check out what’s been said so far.

Investing in domains starting with the prefix a and an – Are you investing in domain name assets with “A” or “An” in them? How are they doing for you? Take a peek at what some domain investors have shared about it so far.

Historica.org sold for $16,794 – That’s not a bad domain name sales report for a nine-letter word .org domain for five-figures. Do you think it should have sold for more or less than what it sold for?

Domain Battle Round # 7 – Thunderdome Contest – If you haven’t been following the domain battle rounds, you might want to take a minute to check it out. Which one would you vote for?

Top keyword list – Do you invest in domain names based on popular keyword searches? If not, check out what domain investors are saying. If so, share a tip or too and compare notes.

.TV reported sales vs development – Are you following the .tv usage trends? How many do you think are developed, parked, or redirected after purchase? Check out what some domain investors are saying about it.

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Financial Calamities: Blessing or Curse for Domainers?

Posted on 11 April 2019 by Andrei

I don’t particularly enjoy sharing personal experiences… but I’ll do it in this case. The Great Recession was a life-altering phenomenon in my case, first in a traumatically awful way but ultimately in a game-changing good one.

I was (very) young and sitting on a decent pile of profits that I earned online through various small businesses. Nothing Earth-shattering but decent profits that added up and since I was a cheap bastard who almost never spent anything, it was a pretty impressive nest egg, especially for someone my age.

Unfortunately… life happened and the proverbial you-know-what hit the fan in two ways:

  1. My mom got sick and since the medical system was anything but stellar in my country, I took her to get very good treatment abroad… on the one hand, it was awesome that I could afford it but on the other hand, this made my entire net worth evaporate
  2. To make matters worse, the Great Recession was unfolding as all of this was happening… which took its toll on my client/service-oriented businesses (development-related services)

As you’ve probably realized, this was the “curse” part.

Many excruciatingly painful months later, I got back on my feet and noticed the silver lining in all of this: everything was on sale. EVERYTHING.

Including… yes, domains.

From the ashes of the Great Recession, I built a pretty darn impressive portfolio. A combination between living like a hermit, working like a maniac and investing *everything* in domains enabled me to not only re-build my nest egg but take things to the next level.

While I currently don’t own ten mansions and a dozen luxury cars, I’m financially secure enough to live the proverbial dream by working on stuff I love… from running One Minute Economics to writing books, I had the luxury of doing all this without caring whether or not the projects would turn into something insanely profitable.

I really don’t want this post to turn into a novel.

The only thing I want to do is make it clear just how life and career-defining financial calamities may be.

Can fortunes be lost? Yes.

Can fortunes be made? Yes.

In my case, both things happened… fortunately, in the right order 🙂

Even a random dude from Eastern Europe like myself who lost everything was able to turn things around thanks to the abundance of opportunities that comes with the territory after a financial calamity. Of course, there’s no way to make that happen without hustling, without putting in the work and making tons of sacrifices.

You might end up working and living like a hermit.

You won’t be able to brag to your friends on Instagram about your kick-ass lifestyle, because… remember, you live like a hermit.

But if you do things right, the sacrifices you make when things get tough can enable you to exit the proverbial rat race. To realize that this Internet thing truly can make dreams come true.

From taking a break from college because I was too broke to going after my PhD.

From accepting the most excruciatingly frustrating low-paying client work to organizing my time as I see fit and finding more and more of it to work on stuff that gives my (professional) life meaning.

I kind of hate motivational stuff and this post is beginning to sound like just that, so I’ll put an end to it here by trying to make it clear there’s absolutely nothing glamorous about the entire experience. The smell of success is the smell of sweat and the journey can be lonely as fuck, depressingly hard and with zero guarantees that your work will ultimately pay off. Which is why most people don’t try and I don’t judge them for that.

I’m just grateful that with the right combination between hustle and luck, what started out as a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy ultimately had a happy ending… and with that awkward, sexually-charged as well as anticlimactic reference, I’m hitting the “Publish” button and wishing you the best of luck!

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Afternic’s description field of domains listed for sale

Posted on 10 April 2019 by NamePros Daily

Today: Domainers are Domain Developers by default / NetConnect.com sold for $6,650 / GoDaddy Introduces Bidder IDs in Auctions / And more!

Here are the new discussions that caught my eye in the domain community today!

Impact of the URS and Unlimited Fee Increases for Registrants in .ORG/BIZ/INFO/ASIA – Are you investing into any of the extensions this is going to effect? What are your thoughts about it and how will it effect you in the long-run game?

Domain Battle Round # 5 – Thunderdome Contest – Did you vote in the last domain battle round? Be sure to check out the line-up in this round. They get harder and harder to choose from.

A tool to check if a domain is premium – Does such a unicorn exist out their in the cyber wilderness? Do you think it’s possible for an automated tool to actually do that?

GoDaddy Introduces Bidder IDs in Auctions – If you’re using this platform to sell or acquire domain assets, what do you think about about this new change? Take a look at what some domain investors are saying.

NetConnect.com sold for $6,650 – That’s not a bad domain name sales report for a ten-letter, two-word, .com domain for a mid-four-figures. Do you think it should have sold for more or less than what it sold for?

Domainers are Domain Developers by default – Does this sound logical to you? It seems like an interesting and creative way to relabel the word “Domainer” to something that sounds more respectable, possibly.

Afternic’s description field of domains listed for sale – Have you ever used the description field of domains listed for sale at Afternic? What are your thoughts about it? Take a look at what some investors have said so far.

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The Greater Fool Theory – Domaining Implications

Posted on 09 April 2019 by Andrei

Sometimes, assets reach valuations that just don’t make sense. For example, companies that don’t make any money and probably never will but are the cool kid in town. Or Dentacoin (a cryptocurrency for dentists, I kid you not!)… or x,xxx other cryptos that have zero practical use and will never amount to anything beyond pump and dump assets. Or real estate in awful locations, junk bonds issues by countries I wouldn’t trust with lunch money and so on.

Yet many people still invest.

Why?

Well, some do it because they’re delusional. Plain and simple. They drank the kool aid and that’s just what it is.

Others, however, are rational actors. They know they’re buying overpriced junk but don’t care. Why don’t they care? In many cases, because they believe the greater fool theory will work in their favor. To put it differently, they tell themselves that yes, they’re being fools by purchasing low-quality and/or grossly overpriced assets but at the same time, they’re convinced a greater fool will come along and take those assets off their hands… at a good price!

Many people ask me if this theory is actually “true” and, frankly, the best answer I can give them is that… well, it depends.

It primarily depends on how exactly they measure whether or not a theory works. If the only metric they care about is whether or not you can make money, then the answer is a resounding YES. You can most definitely make a ton of money as a result of the greater fool theory if timing and/or luck are in your favor.

If you care about sustainability, however, things get quite a bit tricky and I’d say that if you live by the greater fool theory, you might just die by the greater food theory. Think of it as one of those situations in which you might think you’re being a predator but are actually on the opposite end of the food chain. Or you can consider it a game of musical chairs with a distinct possibility of it being you that ends up standing while everyone else found a seat.

Few things are set in stone in the world of investing.

Fortunes have been made *thanks to* the greater fool theory, fortunes have been lost *because of* it. I guess one could consider it a matter of perspective. If you ask someone who has done well, survivorship bias kicks in and everything might seem peachy. If you ask someone who lost, you’ll probably get a strikingly different answer.

A “Wild West” speculator will tell you the only thing that matters is whether or not you’re in the green in the long run. If you are, continue doing what you’re doing. If you’re not, it’s back to the drawing board.

Someone who prefers erring on the side of sustainability, however, will be more skeptical. Perhaps that person will recommend an approach that’s more value-oriented (Warren Buffett-ish, for lack of a better term), maybe he or she will also refer to potential moral implications of the greater fool theory.

The bottom line is this: I’m not here to judge. While I love the idea of sustainability personally, I’m certainly not here to cast judgement on this or that. The only thing I’ll tell you is this: whichever business model you do end up choosing, make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

As long as you keep things rational and realistic, then even if you make bad decisions every now and then, you’ll be able to adjust course and move toward a better path… even if you do it the hard way every once in a while. This much is certain: there’s no room in the investing world for people who cannot measure risk properly.

The same principle is valid when it comes to domaining.

Whether you seek the comfort of stellar one-word dot coms or choose to dabble in more speculative “high risk – high reward” areas of domaining, it’s all good as long as your money/risk management game is strong. People have built fortunes in this industry with a wide range of business models: type-in traffic (especially back in the day), quality vs. quantity, quantity vs. quality, (specific) niche domination, outreach and so on.

The one thing they tend to have in common is that they’re good at risk assessment. Analyze successful investors across many other asset class and you cannot help but identify this common denominator. As such, let that be the theme of this blog post: risk assessment, risk assessment, risk assessment!

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Hand registering a million dollar domain

Posted on 08 April 2019 by NamePros Daily

Today: The best time-day to outbound / Domain Battle Round #2 – Thunderdome Contest / Heighten.com sold for $6,250 / And more!

Here are the new discussions that caught my eye in the domain community today!

CBD + Key Word dot com or co.uk – Paying up to £500 – Be sure to check your portfolio for a CBD + Keyword .com or .co.uk domain name asset. This buyer is ready for a smooth transaction if you want to liquidate.

Making Money Online Related Domain(s) – Budget: Up to $500.00 – Double check your portfolio for one of these making money online related domain assets. This buyer is ready for a quick transaction if you have what they want.

Buying in bulk, $1 per domain – up to 100 domains in bulk – Do you have any domain names you would sell for $1 in bulk to trim down your portfolio a bit more? Check out this buyers guideline to see if they qualify.

Heighten.com sold for $6,250 – That’s not a bad domain name sales report for a eight-letter, single-dictionary-word, .com domain for a mid-four-figures. Do you think it should have sold for more or less than what it sold for?

Domain Battle Round #2 – Thunderdome Contest – Did you participate in the domain battle round #1? Take a look at some of the domains in this round and place your vote.

The best time-day to outbound – In your experience with outbound marketing of a domain name asset, what would you say the best responsive day(s) and time(s) would be to focus on? Take a peak at what some domain investors say it is.

Hand registering a million dollar domain – How easy do you think it is to register a $1,000,000.00 (One-Million Dollars) domain name asset in today’s saturated markets? Take a look at what some domain investors think.

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Wonderful Domain at Fair Price vs. Fair Domain at Wonderful Price?

Posted on 07 April 2019 by Andrei

Some of you probably recognized rather quickly that this title is a play on a Warren Buffet quote, who believes that “it’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price” 🙂

What about domains?

Would you rather:

A) Buy a wonderful domain such as a stellar one-word dot com at a fair/decent price but definitely not a “screaming bargain” one

or

B) Buy a fair domain at a wonderful price, for example buying an average LLLL dot com at 25% below the current reseller market value

While there’s more than one way to skin a cat and I’m sure there are people doing well with business models across both dimensions, I think it’s an interesting exercise to analyze the pros and cons associated with each approach… when it comes to domaining, of course.

Here are what I consider to be the pros associated with buying a wonderful domain at a fair price:

  • such domains are more likely to go up in value in the long run, or at least enable you to preserve your purchasing power… let’s face it, there are definitely “hot” domain categories which ended up cooling off quite a bit as time passed, whereas wonderful domains such as solid one-worders have always been considered to be the “best of the best”
  • the piece of mind which comes with knowing that you bought quality, that you didn’t take a chance with unproven or at least less proven sectors of the domain world

The cons, however, are:

  • you didn’t secure a screaming bargain and the instant gratification of knowing you got something for less than that asset is actually worth
  • not everyone can afford wonderful domains and even if you can, you probably can’t afford many of them… as such, you’re kind of putting your eggs in the same basket, unless of course you have a huge budget at your disposal, in which case this con doesn’t apply to you

What about buying a fair domain at a wonderful price?

Well, here are the pros:

  • you don’t necessarily have to keep those assets for a huge amount of time, you can flip them and use those profits to climb up the proverbial domain latter, maybe even all the way to the “wonderful domain” zone 🙂
  • you probably afford quite a bit more “fair domains” than “wonderful domains” and, as such, will be reasonably diversified

… but here are the cons:

  • yes, you can afford more domains but the lower you go on the domain ladder, the closer you get to buying assets which aren’t actually investment grade… don’t know about other domainers but I for one don’t consider owning a portfolio of 1,000 hand reg territory domains proper/sustainable diversification
  • fair domains most likely have less end user potential, whereas some domain categories (domains that currently do have some domainer to domainer value) have pretty much no end user potential… so while you might have just under-paid when it comes to reseller market value metrics, you might have just bought a domain end users will probably never ever care about
  • perhaps a more specific manifestation of the previous con would be that those who have exposure primarily to fair domains are more susceptible to losses caused by exogenous shocks such as a deflationary economic crisis… should such scenarios occur, the less valuable your domain category is, the more you’re at risk of not just losing a high % of your net worth but even of finding yourself in a situation where you realize there’s no longer *any* liquidity for your domain type

… so, what’s the verdict?

Again, while I don’t believe in “one size fits all” approaches when it comes to domaining, I do think your long-term goals should revolve around trying to climb your way to “wonderful” domains.

To get there, however, you might need to hustle with “fair” domains a little bit by (for example) flipping your way to better and better assets!

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Potential legal pitfalls for a US resident using a Canadian based domain name registrar

Posted on 06 April 2019 by NamePros Daily

Today: Share your green .com or .org domains / SportsBettingApps.com sold for $12,500 / For anyone thinking about hosting your own landing pages / And more!

Here are the new discussions that caught my eye in the domain community today!

The best months for selling domains – Have you been selling domain names for a while and think you have a grasp on when the busy inquiry months are? Share your thoughts and check out what other domain investors are saying the best months are.

Single letter .win sells for $22,500 – There’s an interesting single-letter .win new gTLD sales report. Did you think that a single-letter .win would be worth that much?

.horse SHOWCASE and DISCUSSION – Are you investing in any .horse domain names? Which ones are your favorite? Take a look at what some .horse investors own and compare notes.

SportsBettingApps.com sold for $12,500 – That’s not a bad domain name sales report for a seventeen-letter, three-word, .com domain for five-figures. Do you think it should have sold for more or less than what it sold for?

Share your green .com or .org domains – Are you investing into any green related domain names? If so, which ones? Share some of your best green domain name assets and check out what other domain investors own.

For anyone thinking about hosting your own landing pages – Are you currently or thinking about building out your own domain name landing/sales pages? If so, this might be interesting to you.

Potential legal pitfalls for a US resident using a Canadian based domain name registrar – Are there any U.S. resident domain name investors reading this with experience using a Canadian registrar before? What was your experience? Take a look at what some domain investors are saying.

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(When) Should You Give Up Domaining?

Posted on 05 April 2019 by Andrei

The Internet is full of “anyone can do it” messages… but in a lot of cases, reality is more let’s just say complex than the guy who wants to sell you a $99 book on success makes it out to be 🙂

We’re different.

Some of us have a special gift when it comes to X, some of us are better at Y, others excel at Z and so on… perhaps you try and try when it comes to X, to the point of not realizing that perhaps you were “meant” to do Z instead. Time and time again, people fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy and end up believing that because they invested so much time trying to get better at X, they have to continue doing that because otherwise, all that time/energy goes to waste and that would be a shame.

Huge, huge mistake.

If you’ve been a domainer for an extended period of time but just didn’t manage to find a business model that represents a good fit for your personality and skill set, I believe it’s only rational to consider the possibility of trying other occupations (or asset classes) on for size.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’re somehow a “failure” if you don’t manage to make something work. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with failING (which does not make you a failURE) as long as you learn from your mistakes and don’t keep repeating them. On the contrary, the only people who never fail are the ones who were never brave enough to put themselves out there and actually try something.

Alright… but when should you consider giving up?

Honestly, there’s no “set in stone” strategy here, don’t over-think it. If you feel you’ve given domaining (or any other occupation for that matter) a fair try, did your best for a reasonably long period of time but it just doesn’t seem that you’re going anywhere, it might be time to move on.

How?

Well, by cutting your losses and not adding to them, first and foremost. If you have let’s say 500 domains left and renewal season is 8 months away, you’ll try to extract as much value as you can out of them. “Leaving the industry” basically represents a combination between:

A) Reaching out to those who made offers for your domains in the past and trying to close the deal… now, of course, those leads are pretty cold, so don’t have extremely high expectations

B) Trying to sell the other domains (the ones for which A is not applicable) on the reseller market

C) If A and B doesn’t work, there’s no shame in dropping domains that have absolutely no potential

… one small variation, however, is that you might decide to hang on to a few of your best domains. It’s not like doing so puts a huge dent in your budget, so as long as you don’t over-do it, that should be fine.

But… what if you get the “itch” again?

That definitely tends to happen to some people and, if so, ask yourself if you truly have valid reasons to return. Has anything meaningfully changed? For example, have new and potentially lucrative niches within domaining appeared? Or has something happened in your life that now gives you an edge when it comes to one domaining strategy or another?

If so, feel free to give domaining another go. As we’ve already established, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with failing as long as you have a proper experimentation framework, risk/reward assessment system and mentality with respect to learning from mistakes.

Finally, please understand it was not my intention of turning this into a demotivational post. Not at all. I’m simply trying to be realistic because, in the end, it’s not just the money you lose as a domainer that affects you. The so-called opportunity cost is also a huge issue… in other words, you’re not just losing money through your investments, you’re also losing the opportunity to use your time/money/energy in a more effective to the point of being potentially life-changing manner!

If you’re in good shape in the worth ethic department and wise enough to know when something has or doesn’t have the potential of working, you’ll be just fine in the long run. Yes, life is short… but not that short. Again, it’s all about establishing a proper framework and sticking with it.

Will painful mistakes need to be made every once in a while?

Yes.

Will it be a humbling experience when that happens?

Yes.

But these are all pieces of a puzzle, a puzzle that I hope will ultimately result in you being very happy down the road!

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How to contact potential buyers and create a client list

Posted on 04 April 2019 by NamePros Daily

Today: How to make an end-user buy, no matter what / Leasing websites may be a great business! / FIKU.com sold for $19,995 / And more!

Here are the new discussions that caught my eye in the domain community today!

Buying ONE & TWO word .COM ONLY – Budget: Up t $100,000.00 – If you have any single or two-word .com’s in your portfolio you would sell for up to $100,000.00, be sure to check out this buyers specified guidelines to see if you have what they need.

Everything About Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) – If you are thinking about investing in any ccTLD’s, but have questions, this might be a great read for you.

Leasing websites may be a great business! – Have you ever leased a website before. successfully? Share your experience or check out what other domain investors have accomplished in leasing.

Monetizing a website with royalties-residuals – Are you developing any of your domain assets? Have you tried monetizing with royalties and residuals yet? If so, share some of your experience and compare notes with others. If not, check out what’s been said so far.

FIKU.com sold for $19,995 – That’s not a bad four-letter, pronounceable, brandable, .com sales report for five-figures. Do you think it should have sold for more or less than what it sold for?

How to make an end-user buy. no matter what – Do you think you are a good negotiator and closer? Can you sell any type of domain name without any problems? What advice would you offer others? Take a look at what some investors are saying.

How to contact potential buyers and create a client list – This is an interesting discussion about different ways to contact potential buyers and build a client list for re-targeting purposes later. What kind of tips can you add?

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The Handheld Fan Effect in Domaining

Posted on 03 April 2019 by Andrei

As I was reading one of Michio Kaku’s futurology books (for some strange reason, I’ve been thinking more and more about the relationship between astrophysics and economics over the past months), I couldn’t help but have a bit of an “aha!” moment with respect to domaining when he chose to make a point using the “handheld fan” metaphor.

You know how you’re sometimes hot and feel better by using one of those handheld fans? Well, scientifically speaking, due to the muscle use in such situations and all that, there’s actually a NET GAIN when it comes to heat. But because you feel cooler in the area you’re targeting, there’s a nice psychological effect there that makes you feel better despite… you know, despite you actually doing the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

Time and time again, I notice something similar in the domaining world.

For example, let’s say Joe spends $9,000 hand-registering 1,000 domains based on just some random data mining… usually not the best idea in 2019 and beyond. So, anyway, he buys all of them today, April 3 2019 and has zero sales for several months. However, let’s say on the 10th of October, he manages to close one deal at $2,000 and is feeling awesome… after all, he just turned $9 into $2,000, right?

Well, no, not really.

The problem with this equation is that he’s still $7,000 in the red and on the 3rd of April 2020, so in about half a year, he has to pony up another $9,000 for renewals. In other words, if he has no other sales and wants to keep all his domains, he will be $16,000 in the red by spring.

Unfortunately, it sometimes gets worse.

Blinded by the handheld fan effect, the proverbial Joe frequently chooses to double down on his strategy and invests another $9,000 this way. That $2,000 sale made him feel good about a bad strategy, so he ends up doing more of the exact opposite he should be doing.

Then 6 more months pass, zero sales.

Toward the end of March, he will be $7,000 + $9,000 in the red (since he bought another 1,000 domains).

At the beginning of April, he will be $7,000 + $9,000 + $9,000 in the red (renewal season for his first 1,000 domains).

Later in 2020, he will be $7,000 + $9,000 + $9,000 + $9,000 in the red (renewal season for his second batch of 1,000 domains)… a grand total of $34,000 down the drain.

In the absence of the fan effect, he could have just maybe cut his losses by not renewing any domains. $7,000 down the drain… but what can you do, just consider it a learning experience and move on. But through a deadly combination between a statistical fluke (the $2,000 sale) and the over-confidence it brought about, a $7,000 loss can turn into a $34,000 one and then some just like that.

Of course, all of this seems silly to you.

And it might even seem silly to Joe in hindsight.

But when you’re in the middle of it all, these things creep up on you and lead to mistakes that could have been avoided but haven’t been. Emotional responses may be great in other areas of life, but they’re career-ending when it comes to business or investing.

Food for thought…

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