From Morgan: This is a guest post by Ali Zandi, a Flippa Super Seller. Ali has built a solid business selling domains on Flippa and he has taken the time to share some of the tips and tricks that have helped him become successful with all of you. Huge thanks to Ali for putting this together – enjoy!
Selling domain names for a living is what we all dream about doing, is it not? To quit our day jobs and become professional domain name investors is the ultimate dream for a lot of us, if not all of us. I am here to tell you that it’s possible! I will tell you my story, my methods, my tactics, my ups and downs, and the failures that lead me to become a a profitable and successful domain name investor.
So who am I? My name is Ali Zandi, I am a Flippa Super Seller (KCGroup). Much like many domain name investors, my first domains were complete garbage. My first set of purchases were $2,000 worth of hand registered GoDaddy names. I was so excited to start selling these brilliant names(at least at the time I thought they were) that I didn’t even do any research. I made an auction account, paid the listing fees, wrote a couple words about how “premium”the freshly registered names were and waited around hoping someone would see the value. Well, no one did. Why? Because they had no value to anyone but myself.
So what makes a domain name valuable? That’s a question I hear all time and truthfully, its a loaded question. There are numerous indicators of domain name value. The answer you tend to hear most is “What someone is willing to pay for it”. I think thats a loaded answer too! To me, the age of the name plays a huge role. I find that more often than not, the older the name, the better the quality and the less gimmicky the name is. Following the age, I look at the keywords in the domain. Do they have search volume? A high CPC? Are they brandable? Pronounceable? I do the “radio test”on all of my domain names; If I were to advertise this domain on the radio, would my listeners get it? Could they spell it right? Do I need to spell it for them over the air? Is it memorable? How many ways are there to spell it? How many ways are there to pronounce it? That is just the first two things that go through my head.
The next thing I do is Google the keywords. What shows up? What kind of businesses are their utilizing these keywords in their content? Who is paying for ads for the keywords? How much are those ads costing them? I move from their to the “if this were my business”test. I ask myself, if this were my business, would I be proud to own the name? Would I place it on all my merchandise? Would I wear it like a badge of honor on my t-shirt? Business cards? Would I tell my grandmother about it? From there, I go to the ultimate test, would I spend $500 advertising this domain name? Better yet, if I were an enduser, would I spend at least $10,000 on this name? If there is even an ounce of hesitation when it comes to answering that question, I move on from that name and never look back. After all, selling a domain name is all about exposure and profitability.
Now that I’ve spoken bout what makes a domain name valuable to me, I’ll talk about the tactics and strategies I’ve learned, designed and utilize to make a living selling domain names. For me, I have found that Flippa is the ultimate platform to sell to other investors. To others it may be somet other platform but Flippa works for me and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. In my opinion selling domain names is like selling a car. If you sell cars, you can’t just sit behind your desk and tell the customer “this is a red car, its a premium car, buy it.”and expect to run a profitable dealership! You have to take the customer on a journey, give them a narrative, get their minds and hearts involved. You put them in the car, let them drive it. Show them how great it feels, how smooth it rides, all the features it has. “Smell that leather? You could wake up every morning to the scent of luxury.”You get involved, you bring them into the dream and let them live it through you. Before you know it, they see what you see, they want what you have. Not because you made it up, but because you made a believer out of them. That is the reason I sell domains, because I take you on the journey I took myself when I acquired the domain. I love all of my domains, I am proud to own them. I would wear every single one of them like a badge of honor and the best part, they keep getting better and better. My other strategy is to offer incentives, everyone likes incentives!
Right back to the car sales analogy, sometimes people are on the fence about the car and all it takes is a couple free oil changes and details to get them to buy. So what do I do? I offer more domain names. Recently, one of my auctions was at $3,000 with the reserve met, I added another 20+ names to the auction and sold it within a few hours for $7,500. Another example, one auction was at $999 with the reserve met, I added a few more names and sold it for $2,100. There is always room to extract by way of offering more. To make a living from domains, you have to do what others won’t, be better than the rest, offer more information, better descriptions, better domains, more incentives. Be better than the best. Make people WANT to buy from you. Make them excited that you have another auction up because they know “this guy always adds domains at the end of the auction!”or “His descriptions are always on point”, “He has the best domains”, so on. Make them a believer in you, make them trust you and there will be no limit to your success.
Now, I tend to acquire a lot of domains that my fellow domain investors didn’t know were on the market. So what does it take to find these names? Well, I tell myself this every morning when I wake up at 5am “If the billionaires work 19 hours a day, i’m working 20 hours a day”. I live by that. I have a frame of my goals up on my wall, I read them every morning. I get my coffee and I start my research. I spend countless hours everyday reading blogs, watching videos, getting updated on recent sales reports, sorting through hundreds of thousands of names, researching their stats, comparable sales, comparable unsold names, I speak to my buddies, get opinions and then I acquire my names. I have a 10:1 research to purchase ratio. That means for about every 10 hours of research I do, I acquire 1 domain name. Sometimes, I see a name and don’t even need to research it, I just know (but that comes over time). For now, research, research, research!
To get an idea of the types of names I am selling visit our Flippa profile KCGroup, read through our listings, check out the stats, see the amount of work that I put into delivering only the highest quality listings to the Flippa marketplace. My advice to you, spend some time researching, look at as many domains per day as you can, much like poker the more hands you look at the more likely it is you’ll see premium hands. Watch as many Sherpa videos as you can, read notable blogs like this one and pay attention to who you get advice from and most importantly, see what the successful people are doing and do the same thing…just a little better than them and before you know it, you’ll have your own full time domain name investment business!