I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, I am here at the helm, Mike and Judi are in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Michael might be better at college and pro football picks than domaining.
He has been hot for the last month. He and Judi also got to see the playoff game between Clemson and Ohio State live.
This blog is 12 years old now, I have been here for 6, and it does seem like a longer time than that. This starts year 24 of buying domains for me, I wish I was more focused back in 1997 on domaining.
It’s 2020 now and some things that were once new are no longer new, finding the right opportunities and making your money on the buy side of the transaction will be important. Smaller domainers should make sure they have a safety net and a budget. If you own 100 names and haven’t had an offer on one, stop buying. Figure out what you own and why you own it? 2019 showed me a lot of people are lost in this business, some I believe it has brought about mental health issues.
This is an easy business to start into, it’s not an easy business to make money in on a consistent basis. Anyone can make a sale, can you make sales year in and year out that make the domaining juice worth the squeeze?
I want to say from all the emails and all the comments and posts, some people while I am never telling anyone what to do, they need to take some time to assess whether or not this business is good for their wallet and their mental health.
This can be a very lonely and depressing business, if you own a portfolio of average names, you are not getting offers every day. You might go months without an offer, I spoke to people who received no offers all year. That’s a problem. Outliers trap people, I have always believed that while we want the sales data and it’s not to blame, it does however trap a lot of people into throwing money out the door through renewals.
People see names sell that are an obscure name that meant something to one entity on this planet, it was a misclick, it was someone playing games, or it was a name they thought wasn’t good but meant something in another language.
The common response is to say, “I have names better than that so I am just going to keep doing what I am doing.” or “This industry is such bullshit, I can’t believe that name sold, crooked, rigged, **(^^&** business.” Those are common emails sent here every week via email. Outliers are not a business model.
The other problem is many don’t know who they are, they can’t define what they are in this business. Part time, hobbyist, troll. On polls on Namepros when you looked at the voting most were really hobbyists or the money from domaining did not affect their standard of living in any way.
That makes competing in this business hard, because these people will still participate in auctions and list their names but think the industry is rigged against them. When I was a stockbroker none of my peers were hobbyists, the money mattered, every day at work mattered.
There are people in this business who do it full time and are well financed, it’s going to be hard to compete, that along with the HD bot and other goings on, it makes you wonder if people who love the domain business so much, but can’t or won’t commit to it, should just own GoDaddy and Verisign stock. (That’s not a recommendation). Michael has said to me for years he believes if you love .com you have had to own some Verisign right? Especially big players as a hedge to price increases.
There are people who are stuck in names that have premium prices in new gtlds, while the attraction to owning that perfect one word. one word is there, you are going to have to think about how you become an active seller, you can’t pay $130 or $250 a name x 20 or x 100 and make no sales.
I am not telling anyone to drop their names, but just waiting for someone to come along might be too costly, you finally get an offer but the renewals have added up to make it not so exciting. Of course you see Chad Wright sold Free.games for $335,000 but Chad has invested serious money and you don’t know his total costs, New.Life has had some nice sales this year but as he stated on Namepros his renewals are $28,000 a year, he needs to have this success each year. One of the things Michael dealt with was each new year he was looking at $800,000 in renewal fees, last year might have been great, but got to go cover that nut again.
So work on your plan, be smart, get help from those willing to help and change things up if you are not making sales.
I want to thank all our readers for coming here in 2019, thank you to our advertisers for their support.
So from Michael, Judi and myself may you have a happy and healthy 2020 and may you have the life that you desire.
Thanks for reading.
Page Howe says
I prefer Pre-Development Website Investor, or PDWI to domainer……
Or Brand Name Investor. Sometimes I liked a name so much I’d get matching Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram handle as well.
Happy new year to you guys. Thx for all the posts. This post was very telling on how so many are not right for the biz.
Thanks for the deep thoughts Raymond, you have set yourself apart from the rest of the blogs in this arena. I am lost at what some consider value. The greatest value is namebio for my money, followed by thedomains and Ricksblog.
Still think of myself as new to all of this! (3 years in now). I find your words to be from the heart and appreciate all I have learned here this past year. Does Judi ever write here, as another woman would love to hear her perspective on things.
Happy Happy New Year!!!
Started domaining in 2009. Picked up some great names at godaddy drop auctions on the cheap in depths of recession. At top, had around 250 names. Today, have 8 names offered for sale. Over last 10 years, have sales of $80K, expenses of $60K. Not sad though. About one year ago, bought EMD for my profession from estate of prev owner…contacted family directly…bought at less than 10% of estibot value. Development has started, talking with a couple serious VC firms. Great idea. Will earn millions over next 20 years. Would never have had this opportunity or vision had I not started “domaining” a decade ago, so thankful for that. The 8 names I have remaining “for sale” are worth $50K+ wholesale today, so patiently waiting for right retail buyers. All in all, this has been a great learning experience / journey.
Love this blog. All the best in 2020 and beyond to all of you.
Really nice post Ray. Keep on rocking! Happy New Year to you, and Mike and Judi.
This is a really great, useful and helpful post, Ray – not to mention sobering. This is also why I’m an end user first, domainer second, at least as far as I’m concerned, though I started as the latter in 2001. As I mentioned recently, my biggest deal in 2019 was to buy a domain for end use, not the other way around.
There is certainly no wholesale “rigging” of the entire industry but there are definitely some bad issues and some elements of that or which amount to that. You even touched upon a little of it in some of what you just mentioned there. Sadly, the frontier days are also over, the deepest pockets have the advantage as you also touched upon, and the risk of “investing” in anything good is generally much greater.
Mark Thorpe says
Being a domainer is fun and challenging at the same time. But it’s not for everyone.
Absolutely agree with you as domaining is great & active fun for my retirement. Full research or real purpose is the only solution to best or successful domain sales for unforeseen future especially .COMs! Happy New Year to you all!!
Vinod Reghunathan says
Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for the good read.
Bob Hawkes says
A heartfelt post with a lot of good insights. Thank you for sharing this and all the great writing you do all year long.
I think the most important thing is as you say to be clear on who you are, and what your expectations are and how you plan to try to achieve that.
As you mention, the solitary nature of so much of domain investing increases the stress level and can work against a logical approach. Organizations like NamePros, conferences, and the various blogs and podcasts, help, but it is still not the same as working in a regular “job” with others and within a work structure.
Thanks for the post, and Happy New Year.
Happy new year to you Raymond,Mike and Judi. This is the best post i have read this year in domaining.I hope this gets read by anyone who wants to know the truth about sales,acquistions and renewals and how it can make or break a domainer.Most are truly broken with no sales.
I have learned and realized a lot and 2020 will be a different approach in my purchases in relation to sales.
Most domainers start hand registering every names without research because they see a name sell and think they can do better with no research.
Hope this gets poster to namepros so some people learn and read and come to their senses and limit on their buying spree.
I made errors when I started and then went back to reading and understanding why i was not making a sales with crappy names and then it was clear to me ,after getting the right advice ,from those who made mistakes like me also when they were newbies.Now i make sales and receive weekly offers.If you are a newbie domainer,read,research before buying and dont overpay.Dont blame others for your loss.
God Bless you for this write up.
Wishing everyone a better 2020 in domain sales.
Doron Vermaat says
Such a terrific post Ray. Thanks for all your contributions over the years. Here’s to another year.
This was a great read and should be required reading for anyone trying to be a “domain investor”
Most people have no plan what soever, just wasting money on lottery tickets that never pay off. Then they get bitter about it and take it out on everyone else. You hate to see it.