Starting in the domain industry is tough. You see a lot of people claiming to be making great money. You hear of all the sales and see the great returns on DNJournal each week and want the same. But the reality is most people don’t make money. Most don’t buy names that will sell and feel that outside sources rather than the lack of quality of the portfolio is the cause.
Mike Mann isn’t helping anything with his frequent posts of “look what I sold and I only paid $XX. What is never made public is costs of all the other names that don’t sell and acquisition costs. Because that would reveal too much about the real business of domain investing. Showing that you are losing money isn’t good for business. And he may be killing it but I’m going with he’s losing money until proven otherwise.
What drove this post is our recent auction. We have taken submissions for the past couple weeks and boy did we get some. Will probably end up being over 1000 names submitted. The submissions tell us a lot about domain investing. It tells us the expectations of people. It tells us that many people don’t understand what an auction is. Many people put end user pricing and even had some people put in a million dollar reserve. Which is fine if its a million dollar name. But it was not. Not even close. Other people are hoping for a hand reg and a flip but then put reserves of $300 and above.
This was our description of names we were looking for
The names we choose will not be on quality but on their ability to sell at a Namejet auction. You and we only get paid if they sell. If we reject a name don’t take it personal, we are going on our own personal experience to choose the names.
I am often wrong. I have often thought a name had no value and yet it got a great price. There are so many niches I don’t understand. But I also have Google. After my first visual check its pretty easy to plug everything in for searches and CPC. So while I miss a few, for the most part I know the value of a domain. And even more than knowing the value of a domain I now what a domain ISN’T worth. Opinion only but I’ve been doing this 10 years now every single day so I’ve way surpassed the 10,000 hour mark that many think is required to become good at something.
Many people were disappointed in not getting a domain in to our auction and I get it. I remember submitting names to Rick Latona and was so excited when I got a name in and disappointed when I didn’t. We received a few emails saying they weren’t happy but I one that said this and the last line got to me a little bit
Your request for domains should be more specific.
Seems the domain industry is very closed to new domainers?
As I said earlier, I understand the first line about being disappointed. And we certainly make mistakes and miss a few good names that probably should have been in. And yes, some of the names that we turned down are probably better than some of the names that the team members of DSAD.com turned in. But the auction costs exactly the same as you would pay at NameJet so anyone who doesn’t get in is more than welcome to go to Namejet if they truly feel they have enough quality names to sell there. We have to handle the logistics of transfers and payouts of our auction so we can only handle so many. We put our own names on there but the logistics of those are easy since they are ours.
To me, the above statement shows that people think that the key to success in domain investing is “the boys club”. I disagree. I think quality names are the driver to success. And quality is relative to the cost of the domain. A great name can be effected by paying too high of a price. And a $12 name can be high quality for that price given its ability to sell for much more. After that it is exposure. You need to get your name in front as many people as you can. If you don’t have your name at Godaddy listings so that when people type it in it becomes part of the search results, you are doing it wrong. Lack of quality domains is nobody’s fault but the buyer. Whether its lack of knowledge, a support group to bounce names off of, an addiction or lust to buy every day, or lack of funds, it all has nothing to do with people not letting you participate because you are new or unknown.
The names submitted were below. And I am not putting these out there to shame but merely to see if you think they would sell at Namejet or if you would buy them. Heck you can buy them. Reach out if you do. I’d love to put a buyer to them. Keep in mind they reserves on these were $99 but most were higher up to $399. I didn’t see anything that we thought would sell at auction. And the point of this auction was to find names that would sell. Selling is how we make money. This isn’t a car show. We’re not trying to show the best or most valuable domain. We do it to sell. Do you think any of these would sell? If not then evidently you too are closing the door to new domain investors.