To buy, or not to buy, that is the question. So the headline here comes from an email a reader sent me about an exchange they had with an end user.
The reader sent a targeted email to just one person, asking them if they would be interested in the domain name they had for sale.
The prospect replied, “Sorry Robert, I don’t buy from domainers on principle.” David.
When they asked me what I thought? I said it’s something I have seen many a time, and not just with end users. Many a domainer has this mantra as well.
Way back in the day, circa 2007, when Frank Schilling was blogging regularly at SevenMile.com, many a reader would ask why Frank would not buy names from them, or on a forum?
Frank actually answered the question in a post where he posted 5 questions asked by Domainer’s Magazine that was apparently never published.
4: For those of you that still buy names on “The Drop”, what services do you use and have the most success with. (Perhaps include a success story as well?)
***FS*** I like Snapnames because they run an honest block. The prices are higher at Snap because they are honest and because they have done a good job securing high quality invetory (they run all their names across the block and don’t hold back the good ones for themselves). People ask me why I would spend so much money (millions a year) at Snapnames but not buy lower priced names more aggresively on chatboards and privately. The answer is: Snapnames is more than an auction block… they are a clearing house. They provide certainty of title so I know the name isn’t stolen, they facilitate the authcodes and assist in transfering names to my prefered consolidation registrar. If I buy a name privately I might not get the authcode. I didn’t pay 15k to buy your name so I could chase you around the world to unlock the name and provide an authcode. I paid you 15k because I am hoping to develop the name at one point in the future, that assumes I’ll be able to renew it.. Snap hands the name off safe and secure. Lastly, Snapnames provides a “daily show”. There is almost always something good crossing the block. I think there is a HUGE opportunity to create a vibrant secondary market based on their model. Maybe they will be the ones to do it.
Another case of note was someone who I know well in the business, that focuses on a few niches. So one day I text him a link to a GoDaddy auction that had one $12 bid in one particular niche. He replied thanks! I personally had watched auction wins by him where he was paying $400 to $500 a name.
Later that day he texted me back and asked why did you send me that link? I said what are you talking about? Isn’t that one of the niches you have been buying up?
He replied “Oh yeah, but this was a public auction, I don’t buy from domainers.” I said well idiot you could have gotten this name for $30.
While talking about the email from the reader with a good friend in the business, he laughed and said when he was at NamesCon a very prominent domainer told him he did not buy from domainers while they were having a drink. Yet later on in that conversation as it had shifted, he brought up this domainer again, mentioning that the domainer emailed him some names he had for sale. I said you schmuck you had the perfect reply, “Sorry I don’t buy domain names from domainers.” He laughed and said, “Oh crap, that would have been the perfect reply.”
Many a time we see similar names at GoDaddy public auction don’t go for near the same price as a similar expired name. Namebio doesn’t even track most public auctions, I was doing this manually and sent them to Michael. Later we decided that so many names got reauctioned, etc.. that the data might be very inaccurate. I remember years back during the chip craze, I kept telling someone who forgot about some domains that they were expiring, these 4L.coms had $1,000 high bids with 3 days left. He renewed them and immediately put them up as public auctions and the bids never got higher than half the high bid when showing as expired.
Now I think Frank made a good point for why some don’t participate. He mentioned, They provide certainty of title so I know the name isn’t stolen, they facilitate the authcodes and assist in transfering names to my prefered consolidation registrar. If I buy a name privately I might not get the authcode. I didn’t pay 15k to buy your name so I could chase you around the world to unlock the name and provide an authcode.
Others simply don’t want to put money in their competitor’s pocket. A few people have said that to me over the years. Yet they don’t mind putting money in GoDaddy’s pocket, who is a competitor through their NameFind division.
So do you avoid buying domains from domainers?
Thanks for the trip down memory lane with Frank. He makes a solid point, but I don’t think most domainers would have screwed him over. Especially not back then, when people thought he was better and smarter than Schwartz.
I bet a lot of companies have that principle to not buy from us.
what are you talking about better or smarter than Swartz.Swartz was smart because he was early. When frank S was picking up premium domains and a lot of them ,Rick Swartz had a bunch of million dollar domains and at that time he was hand registering pigeon shit.
if shilling got in when The so called king did he would have cornered the market on one word premium domains ,so don’t confuse luck with brains, It was like being early to bitcoin
Ah yes the elitist who won’t buy from the scrubs. A deal is a deal, for a company or a big wig like Schilling.
Shame on them.
okay so what the heck is fs then if not a domainer? and what was he called when he started? a domain guru? what a spoiled rotten self entitled git!
i think schilling would buy from and sell to the devil’all that talk is BS even as a seller he takes no prisonerers. Case and point michael cyger paid full retail fir bainbridgeIslandRealEstate.com Frank would not even give his mother a goid deal, so dont believe all the angel talk this guy would charge people that accidentally dropped domains more than a new sale
it’s not domainers that they will not buy from…its individuals and domainers…
i will buy from anyone giving me a bargain because i have plenty of time… but you can understand why Frank or HugeDomains will not buy from individuals or domainers…
buying from individuals or domainers is time consuming and u have to keep emailing them back and forth while buying from an auction, you know you are going to get the name directly into your account
Mark Thorpe says
Domainers need to get over not buying domains from other domainers.
At this point you would probably get a better wholesale price from another domainer privately, than waiting for the domain to expire and go into auction. It’s not 2009 anymore, it’s 2019.
LOL, that’s funny because I won’t sell to domainers on principle. I guess by now it can be called the Rick Scwartz principle.
Aron Meystedt says
I gladly buy from domainers.
Buy a name, flip it to me for a little profit.
Not all of us have time to chase down 100s of leads to find a deal.
I don’t mind paying a markup to a domainer who landed a good buy
and wants a quick flip.
Likewise, I occasionally sell to domainers too… liquidity is good for our market.
Who cares the seller? The better the deal the better the investment.
Who the seller is (all things equal) is the least of considerations.
If a domain investor does not buy from another domain investor he misses out on
some great opportunities no matter how good is other ones are.
Expiring names are simply worth more. When a domainer puts a name up for auction the reason is because there is low enduser interest. An expired name owned previously by a non domainer is fresh and was probably dropped by accident rather than a deliberate sale.
Raymond Hackney says
Interesting point Paul, there is some logic there, now what if it’s a domainer who let a domain expire? I would say they still fare better than if it were a public auction. And should a valuable name like a LLL.com be an exception to the rule in a public auction in your opinion?
If it is a domainer who let it expire then it is worth less also, eg name registered at uniregistry.
LLL.com yes I think not much different, most people would know they typically don’t have much enduser interest anyway so a dropped one may not be seen much differently to one owned by a domainer.
Wrong, wrong on some many points. But that’s what you do right? I mean you are a professional troll, thankfully namepros got rid of you. Oh here is another worthless three letter .com.
PFF .com Acquired for $270,000 by Pro Football Focus
Wow, namepros got rid of this guy? Negative Nancy here never gives an interesting perspective. This guy never has anything interesting to say and is a perpetual irritant. I hope others block him so that there can be some discussion. For all the .com proselytizing he does, I doubt he’s ever made a sale. Even if you own a one word .com he’ll rear his ugly head up and say “your domain is parked so clearly nobody is interested”.
He is one of those people that’s not out to learn. In domaining, it’s about learning, spotting trends etc. Negative Nancy has no attributes of this nor does he seem interested in learning. I have never read a comment where he asked anyone a question. Questions indicate curiosity and a want to learn from others. He should be listed under irritant.com as he is genuinely a noxious irritant.
Frank Mueller says
what a bunch of BS
I buy domain names when they are good
what is the difference who owned it before?
James Rayers says
I’m with Snoopy on this. If a domainer puts a domain up for sale then your first thought should be “why couldn’t they find an end user?”. If you want to scale and systemise your domaining business it’s easier to have a blanket ban on buying from domainers. You already have to sort through dozens of worthy expiring domains each drop.
No logic to what you wrote. Plenty of domain owners don’t do any outbound or look to sell for years. If someone is putting up a 3L.com and the price is right I am buying from a domainer.
A name that relies on outbound to sell is worthless. A name of value will have people knocking.
Regarding 3 letter .com, they mostly only have appeal to domainers (I’d say 2/3 or more have little or no enduser appeal) so it is given anyone who wants to buy a random one would buy from a domainer.
Ronald Smith says
@snoopy you must be joking, not everyone sits on their ass and waits for the world to come to them. You sound like the typical lazy citizen who does very little in life.