Guest Post – Inside The Mind Of A Flippa Super Seller

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.

Flippa Super Seller

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!

Morgan

Co-Founder at Fashion Metric
Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Fashion Metric, a startup building technologies that make it easy for online shoppers to buy clothes that fit and arming retailers with more data than ever before.

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Kevin Fink August 27, 2014, 2:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Ali — It’s been really great getting to know you and seeing your success skyrocket!

  • Vincent Jacques August 27, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Good for you Morgan for letting Ali do a guest post. Ali, couldn’t agree more! Thanks for sharing!

  • Joe August 27, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Best Ali impossible, I congratulate you work 20 hours a day do you sleep only four hours day this must have something else to jog as bestial that coffee does not just hold a person without sleep, at least 6 hours sleep is normal.

    I asl ler his post to do before you get to buy the domain name and sell this at auction so successfully in all the time to learn to be inverter domain in a DomainMba course I imparted Morgan never go to this extreme to become like you, or to not sleep or rather not so many day hours x 365 days.

    I remember commenting intermediate 10 hours during the day were more than enough.

    Now to come a question of how you make the sale: And my respusetas is that you must have a VR software to upload to your client in a domain name and can drive with a ride to actually try same as it feels and how much consumed in road, highway and everything is automatic ie the customer who wants to buy the domain name you previously purchased this insurance a museum piece at auction or to be taken as a trip to hallucinatory so you get to pay for a premium domain name and be in the top 100 of the best domains you sell for more than $ 500,000. I mean in one domain name, not entirely.

    If so, I congratulate you, is a star come from another planet so you are a machine and not a normal person, I expose my opinion about what you write in this port that Morgan posted on his blog.

  • Ali Zandi August 27, 2014, 6:09 pm

    Thank you guys for your nice comments!

    @Kevin Fink: It’s been quite the ride getting to this point and I’m sure it’ll be an even better one getting to the goals i’ve set! Flippa has been a wonderful marketplace for me! It’s the only marketplace that I know of that allows me to write up sales letters, add logos and truly SELL the domain name! Kevin, you have been a great help in my success and I look forward to doing more work with you and Flippa!

    @Vincent: Thank you very much! I am honored to have been asked to guest post on Morgans site!

    @Joe: For me, if you want something bad enough, sleep isn’t an option. I will sleep when i’m dead. This is my dream, to become one of the most successful domain investors in the business and I will do anything and everything it takes to get there. Will Smith said once, “if we both get on the treadmill, one of two things will happen, you will get off first, or i’m gonna die.” To me, that means I will outwork, out hustle, out maneuver, out think, out sell until till the day I reach my goals. Then I will set new goals. 4 hours of sleep is plenty. It allows me 80-100 hours of hard work per week and the ability to live in Hawaii, play golf on the most beautiful courses in the world, snorkel with dolphins and relax on exquisite beaches on my “days off”. Even when i’m golfing my phone is on so I can tend to my auctions and reply to my emails. It never ends. I don’t want it to :) I’m still new to the industry (about a year in) and have been going full throttle for about 2-3 months now and I tell you, it works. My madness…it just works :) To answer your question, the Virtual Reality software is essential Flippa’s platform. I get to take you for a ride through words and statistics, recent sales and any and all other information I can provide for you to help you make the right choice in your next domain acquisition!

  • Steve R August 28, 2014, 6:39 pm

    Guys, Thank you for sharing such a great story and info. Very informative.

  • Joe August 29, 2014, 3:14 am

    Ali Thank you for your comment: Now I’ll ask a question and would like to answer me honestly.

    If you had these four domain name that is prepended to the beginning or end of the word the preposition “of” before I’ll give you the sales prices of each of them with a single word:

    Deals.com $ 403,000 please now give you a purchase price per dealsof.com.

    Brand.com $ 525,000 now please give you a price to buy ofbrand.com.

    Service.com $ 1860000 now you please give a purchase price for serviceof.com.

    Discount.com $ 750,000 now give you the price please purchase price discountof.com

    For more details for you dealsof.com have a 2 year old with no traffic web template but is very difficult to discuss one went to register inconvenient, ofbrand.com have a 6 years old, as above but with web template no traffic on the same registrar. serviceof.com be 6 years old and template web traffic without being in one of the great record also very difficult to review, not having the latest web template, nor traffic but with a web project with Business Angels interested for my start in USA next year

    Best regards.

    Jose Sabater

  • Ali Zandi August 30, 2014, 8:27 pm

    Joe,

    Comparing a prepended/appended version of a 1 word .com doesn’t give a very good valuation of the appended/prepended domains. 1 words are in a whole different galaxy than a prepended/appended word.

    “Of” to me isn’t that great of a prepend/append word. The best prepends in my opinion are “i” or “e” or “the”.

    That being said(again all my personal opinion), those domains have potential, if developed, highly monetized then sold. Otherwise as domains alone they just don’t really have much market value. Assuming you hand registered those, or even paid less that $50(I hope) for them at a dropped auction you still could have found more brandable, higher search volume, eCommerce ready, product affiliated domains for that price.

    Best,
    Ali

  • joe September 1, 2014, 10:42 am

    Hi Ali Zande

    Thanks for your comment.

    As you will know in Flippa.com domain names are auctioned. com three, two words that never have traffic and pay for them over $ 25,000.

    The keyword is worth to Adwords that the other day you send serviceof..com seek more than 55 million customers in the USA each year, the problem is that secruestar the domain name TLDs you write this by the ICANN-Accredited registrar is very easy and to have my attorney in the USA for solucioonar this serious problem of which I lost over $ 5000K in just two years and it took six years ie hope nor desire this to happen to none of you.

    Now I’m writing ebook system domain names usurped this market kidnapped fly apart so qiue Ali sells everything you can because after all are worth only $ 50 or without prefixing a preposition

    Best
    Joe

  • Ali Zandi September 7, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Joe,

    I agree that two word domains can sell for a lot. That doesn’t necessarily make all two word domains valuable. For instance, would you rather pay $25k for ServiceOf.com CarService.com as an enduser? It’s all about which two words in what order in my opinion.

    Best,
    Ali Zandi

  • Joe September 13, 2014, 3:25 am

    Ali,

    Thank you but the right one Eye View Serviceof.com do business association with broker and give each month to sell $ 5,000 when selling I do not have to return anything because the broker make more money than give my. This is new ask? It is an old business adapted to digital for all markets, thanks for everything.

    Best,
    Joe

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