It was afternoon when I started writing. There has been a lot going on in the domain investing world, especially in the Chinese market. Everyone has their opinions on the matter and it should be taken as exactly that. None of this is new, the difference is the acceleration. I’ve been going back and reading old articles to see how certain domain investors felt back then vs now. I’ve spent a ton of hours looking over sales, analyzing patters, and occasionally trying to buy short one and two word dot coms on the cheap while everyone stares out the window at the “new” Chinese domain invasion. Of course its been going on for 5 years. I thought I’d take a little time to share some of my opinion on everything right now.
1. Giuseppe Graziano is all over numerics and shorts now. But he wasn’t real comfortable last year. Even thinking we were in a bubble. It shows that even the smartest people can change their mind. I wrote a piece last year saying that I thought he was wrong and talked about the same things I say now. That the Chinese want to move their money out. Unfortunately I also let the world know that I only was buying the top 5N.coms and none other. I stuck to my guns and did that….and sold them for a good profit. Leaving a Ferrari on the table. But the point of this is that the market has nothing to do with what we “feel”. It’s bigger than any one player. It’s also a market that turns brokers into buyers. It’s hard to be a broker and recommend to your customers to hold and not sell. But Guiseppe is one of the best and he is now one of the leaders of the market. Giuseppe is on tomorrow’s Domain Sherpa show and I think you’ll see he really knows what he’s doing.
2. The nice part about being one of the guys that understands “Team China” is that some of the biggest players in the industry have shared a lot of information with me about what they are doing. And they are buying big blocks just like a stock player would. “That’s crazy” you say. But they were doing the same exact thing with LLL.coms LLLL.coms NNNN.coms and 5N.coms. That was going on then just as it is now. They have made more than enough money to continue the trend. The difference is the buy outs require a few more players and a lot more money. But it’s still happening. Because so much money is coming in to our space. In my opinion we are just starting to see the rush of money.
3. Patterns. Letter Quality. Knowing these will help you money. I am fortunate in that I have gotten to know a couple large LLLL.coms portfolios that are nice enough to share some data about what patterns and letters get the most inquiries. In return I share what I’m learning to help them price their domains better. I have been buying based on those inquiries. It’s a win win. The patterns are public now but it was nice knowing them 6 months ago because now patters like AABB and ABAB are close to 5 figures if not over it.
4. You know those guys offering you cheap prices for your shorts and numerics? Buy from them. Where do you buy tickets at a football game? From the guy that has a sign that says ” I Need Tickets” . I figured the same. I tell the guys I’ll pay $800-900 for Chinese Premiums. They just offered me $400 for them. You know some people are falling for the offers so why not make some money off of their work? I’ve purchased three this way. I simply do Escrow.com to protect myself. Rather than get frustrated from the constant emails, I’ve made them part of my search team.
5. Fraud is prevalent in ALL things popular. Pickpockets go to the big crowds because of all the distractions. Use your head, do your homework, always use Escrow.com. To not be part of the buying and selling in this market because you’re afraid of fraud is like not going to the store because you could get in a car accident.
6. There are more cheerleaders than ever in this market. I’m sure there is money in LLNN.coms and LLLL.nets but I just can’t follow every single domain category. Studying sales data and trends takes a lot of time and at some point you have to pick a focus. But now I get emails all the time asking why I don’t talk about or mention this type or that type. Even scarier yet flattering is that people will take a quote I said to help promote a type of domain. There is a TON of different TLDs that are doing well .top, .co, even .mobi numerics are selling for $25 right now. I don’t now anything about those markets and so to recommend them or promote them without data is something I don’t feel comfortable with. But it has nothing to do with whether they are a good investment or not.
7. You HAVE to sell some domains. As I have said a million times. The end goal of domain investing is not to have the most domains. It is to make money. You have to sell at some point. I have made it a point to sell some things and take some off the table. Yes, most likely they will be worth more at some point. But selling a few LLLL.coms for $2K a piece when I bought them for under $100 is good enough. I have sold 10 for $15K the last few months but I am not going to lie. I bought more names with it 🙂
8. I am still buying keywords while I’m buying more LLLL.coms. Compared to last year its 1/3 as many names but I am still buying. As I said in the prelude. I think the focus is all on shorts right now. Which takes away some bidders on the good keywords. I know for a fact people are selling keyword domains to raise money to buy shorts
9. There are a lot of people that have not participated in the the Chinese domain rush. I didn’t make make as much as I would have liked but its pretty much what I built my portfolio and domain investing career on since 2010. Trunk.com was all purchased with numeric money (obviously wish I would have kept the numerics). Almost every penny I’ve made has been on shorts. I do sell a few keyword domains here and there but the liquid domains have been my thing. I remember someone telling me back in 2011 that my portfolio must suck if its comprised of short, non keyword domains. Ironically have since balanced it with short keywords. I used a 5N.com sale to buy SugarMaple.com for instance.
10. One thing that people don’t realize is that there a lot of Chinese websites that allow Chinese buyers to buy names at Goddady and Namejet using their platform. They can bid and buy the names on those platforms and do the whole transaction in Chinese. You probably know some of the handles on Namejet that represent and can watch it on Godaddy as well. So if it feels like you are bidding against a whole country….you are
11. Advice. Don’t chase. If you don’t understand this market don’t start buying things because everyone else is. Even more important, don’t criticize those that are. Jealousy is an ugly hat. Numerics and shorts have been discussed in the blogs and forums for 5 years. The same people that were criticizing them then are still saying they are irrational investments now. Hundreds of millions have been made while they spent all the time in the comment sections saying we are crazy. The funny thing is at some point in time things will go wrong and they will be the first “I told you so” comments. Yet they were wrong for years. Much like the stock market. If you say it will go down all the time, eventually you will be right. But in the long run it always goes up. As long as people want to buy domains, prices will go up. But again, blind spending is never wise.
12. Has anyone seen a public auction of a NNN.xyz? I know some that have changed hands for $1K or more each but haven’t seen an auction yet. I have some and think I may be the first.
13. You’ll laugh as you read all the above, but this year I quit sports gambling. I was pretty much down to Diet Coke and sports gambling as my last two vices. I realized that now that I have money there was no amount of money that made me happy when I won . When you get pissed when you lose and the amount you win doesn’t give you the “high”, you know its an addiction and its time to stop. I don’t really have time to watch games so I wasn’t even watching. It was all a data thing and money was the way to keep score. Yeah, pretty stupid. Obviously domain investing is enough gambling in some eyes. But I don’t see it as gambling. I think I know what I’m doing and my track record proves it. I haven’t made millions like others but my portfolio gain percentage is as high as anyone in this industry. Just didn’t have the bankroll of others.
14. Either I don’t know how to use it or Afternic is terrible for searching for numerics and shorts. They need to put in a better advanced search function
15. You don’t get better timing than Sedo and LLLL.domains. My buddy Vin was working on his LLLL.com domain sales site for a year and it was finally ready right as the market exploded. It might not seem like a lot of domains are selling over there but he has sold more domains that you think. Sedo also opened up their auction platform to everyone right before the market to off. It really has taken off with dozens of names selling every day when last year there was essentially nothing but crickets.
And finally where would I recommend someone invest their money in domain investing right now? 100% my opinion. I guess it depends how much money. If you have 10K I would say buy a non 4, non zero 5 number dot com. I think they double in the next year. I also think there is value in Western premium LLLL.coms. Everyone is concentrating on the Chinese letters but I like the security of having letters that will still have value to the English market. Those that appeal to both have the most value to me. I am also not afraid of As. I still buy LLLL.coms with As, now at a reduced price. And yes LLLL.net people. I do think now is a good time to buy. I think they will go up. But I am a seller on “nice profit”. And finally , I am not afraid to be the top. I don’t mind paying more than anyone else at this time. I will pay up to get the best name. At the Flippa auction of DXYZ.com there were a ton of bids at the $1000 mark. I hit the BIN button at $1400. This was just a few weeks ago. You are going to have to pay up to get the best. (This isn’t the best but worth the $1400 easily in my mind) Money is made on the buy. That refers to getting things early and cheap, getting a good deal, or just being able to own something that others want. Good luck and thanks for reading