Domain Investing News

Hello, happy Saturday, and welcome to my weekly domain investing news roundup. Some of the top stories that made the news this week is a marketing refresh of .ORG, a two-word .COM topping the sales charts, and a must-watch interview with domain investor Braden Pollock who shares some pretty incredible sales data from this year. Below are the stories that caught my eye this week – enjoy!

Herb Waye, ICANN’s Ombudsman, called our 3,200 .org comments SPAM
(read more on OnlineDomain.com)

Brent Oxley buys NorthDakota.com for $33,000
(read more on Domain Name Wire)

Some registrars continue to markup your domains without your permission
(read more on TheDomains)

A Year of Profitable Flips without NDAs – with Braden Pollock
(watch it now on DomainSherpa)

LifeForce.com Lands at #1 on This Week’s Sales Chart – 2 ccTLDs Make Top 5 & a New gTLD Goes Top 10
(read more on DNJournal)

.bond domains could cost a grand each
(read more on DomainIncite)

Apple Arcade: Apple Chooses Apple.co/applearcade
(read more on DomainInvesting.com)

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Go Daddy’s NameFind just sold NH.com

Today on Twitter James Iles seems to have broken the news that Go Daddy’s NameFind looks to have sold a very premium 2L .COM domain – NH.com. Here’s the Tweet that broke the news (to me at least):

I looked on NameBio to see if there was a chance the sale price was listed there but no dice. The highest listed sale of a NH.something domain name is NH.net which sold for $7,500 back in 2004 which seems like a steal of a deal. Funny enough, the second-highest NH.something sale on NameBio is NH.gg which sold for $4,000 back in 2016. I was expecting to see a gaming/eSports-related site on NH.gg but it’s currently for sale with a DAN.com lander.

My guess is NH.com sold for a solid six-figure sum, probably north of $500k if my crystal ball is still working properly. NH.com was originally registered back in March of 1995, ah the days where you could hand register a 2L .COM.

My guess is the details of this sale will remain under NDA but if anyone knows more than I do please feel free to share below. I’ll be interested to see what happens with this domain. What do you think NH.com sold for? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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Unstoppable Domains

Have you heard of Unstoppable Domains? If not, here’s a quick primer. The San Francisco-based startup operates the .ZIL domain name extension, and their goal is to replace those long confusing cryptocurrency addresses with something more logical…that hopefully will end with .ZIL.

In case you were wondering, yes – you could use any new domain extension and forward it to a cryptocurrency address but companies like Unstoppable Domains are putting an emphasis on value-added services specific to their mission. Unstoppable Domains provides a Dashboard that you can use when you buy or register a .ZIL domain specifically geared towards allowing you to transact using cryptocurrency.

Here’s the general way this would work. Let’s say someone wants to send you money, rather than giving a long cryptocurrency address, you give them a .ZIL domain, lets say you own, Bongo.zil. That person can now enter Bongo.zil into a wallet and the wallet will look up that domain on the blockchain, find the correct address, and send.

To help spread the word Unstoppable Domains is providing $250,000 in grants to help accelerate the use of .ZIL domains, here’s the scoop:

The Tim Draper-backed company, which aims to build “uncensorable websites” for both individuals and businesses on the Zilliqa blockchain, recently unveiled the second wave of recipients for its $250,000 Blockchain Domain Grant Program. The grants aim to fund digital wallet companies who agree to integrate the firm’s .zil domains into their infrastructure.

(Source – Yahoo Finance)

Like most things in the crypto world, there’s a multi-step process to getting everything going, here’s where Unstoppable Domains is in the process.

Unstoppable Domains Timeline

I think this will be an interesting one to follow. It’s certainly a creative use of a new domain extension. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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.COM domains

Last week I wrote a post that analyzed the top ten domain sales from the previous day. I asked readers if they thought this was interesting and one of my readers suggested the following:

I thought this was an interesting suggestion so thought I would give it a try but with a little tweak. I personally don’t buy many domains in the $1,000 range, for me the sweet spot is $250 – $500 and I focus on two-word .COMs.

As all of you know, I’m not shy about trying new things on my blog. I love using my blog to test out new ideas, many of them don’t work out, and that’s why this is a great place to test and learn. I’ve been writing this blog for over 11 years now and I’m very consistent with writing daily posts, no changes there, but as for the content of the posts, I’m always looking for new ideas and trying things that my readers think could be interesting.

So let’s give this a shot, and of course, here’s a few ground rules to keep things organized.

  1. Please list one domain only
  2. The domain must be a two-word .COM
  3. The domain has to have been registered for over a year (i.e. you can’t just go register a domain now and list it for $250)

If you list more than one domain, list a one or three word .COM, or list a non .COM your comment will be removed. I might buy a name listed here or one of my readers might. It’s first come first served so if I’m too slow on the draw and one of my readers buys a name, so be it, I’m not going to tell you to hold onto it for me, whoever gets there first gets the name.

Last but not least, let me know if you like this idea. I have to give credit to Mike and Ray at TheDomains.com as they’ve been doing something similar to this for years. If you like this idea and want me to do it more often, let me know. If you hate this idea and hope I never do it again, let me know that too. Now let’s do it!

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Domain Investing News

Well we’re getting a bit of a heat wave here in SF and somehow it’s 92 degrees today. I told a friend in NY and he didn’t believe me, so I sent him some proof, in case you need it as well, here ya’ go:

San Francisco Heat Wave

Luckily we get back down the the 70’s for all of next week, anything above about 85 is too hot for me. As usual, this was another busy week in the domain investing world, here are the stories that caught my eye this week.

Escrow.com Parting Ways with Wells Fargo
(Read more on DomainInvesting.com)

GGRG Releases Their Latest Quarterly Report on Short .Com Domain Sales in an Impressive New Format
(Read more on DNJournal)

Botterman is new ICANN chair
(Read more on DomainIncite)

Court rules scraping a website without permission not illegal
(Read more on TheDomains)

12 end user domain name sales this week
(Read more on Domain Name Wire)

Vaping domains: a dying genre for domain name investors
(Read more on DomainGang)

Should you ever criticize the portfolio of another?
(Read more on TLDInvestors)

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One thing I realize that I don’t do often enough is analyze recent domain sales and share some of the trends in the market. I do this myself, pretty much daily, but typically keep it in my head or talk about it generally in blog posts. Today I was thinking it probably makes sense to do some of that analysis out in the open, so let’s do this thing.

The two places I visit constantly to stay on top of domain sales data are DNJournal and NameBio. Both have been providing a ton of data to domain investors for free for as long as I can remember so hat’s off to both for doing that.

So let’s take a look at the top ten domain sales from yesterday:

Top ten domain sales

It’s easy to spot three trends here.

  1. Nine of the ten sales are .COM domains, German’s .DE which has a long history of being the top performing ccTLD was the only non .COM in the top ten.
  2. BuyDomains takes the cake as the #1 marketplace representing 40% of the sales from yesterday followed by Go Daddy at 30%.
  3. Seven out of the top ten sales are two-word .COMs.

Let me know if you like quick analysis like this and I can do it more often, or if you think it’s boring and obvious, tell me that and I won’t bug you with it again!

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Yesterday I wrote a blog post about a new domain investor who has been tweeting about his investments in .CX domain names. I wrote the post, hit publish, and woke up this morning to a stream of comments. What I saw honestly didn’t feel great, it was either people really slamming this new Domainer or commenters calling me a jerk for picking on a new investor.

So I think I went too far and I feel bad about it.

I think what I was responding to is a somewhat protective feeling for new domain investors that I think can often read what other new investors are doing and mimic their strategy. I do think there is very little data around .CX being a good investment and I guess I felt that Johan was writing about it on Twitter as if it was a successful investment strategy.

I’ve seen new domain investors go down the wrong path and lose a lot of money doing it. For some, they have the play money, but it’s sad to see someone that invests money that is very meaningful to them and their family into domains just to lose it all. I do think .CX is a very risky investment and that’s really what I wanted to get across in my post. I have also talked about the dangers of investing in domains that violate known Trademarks so felt that was important to bring up as well.

Okay, now all that being said, after reading my post again I think I come off sounding like a jerk. I emailed an apology to Johan and he sent a nice and well-written email back, and yes – he felt singled out and I can understand why.

So I’d like to take a minute to apologize publicly to Jothan for my post yesterday and some of the wording that I used. Looking back on it, yeah – probably not the right way to share my opinion.

For new domain investors who read my blog, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re getting started in the Domaining world, I’d be very careful with putting too much money into things like .CX domains…but I probably just could have said that without dragging Jothan through the mud.

That being said, there are two kinds of people in this world, those who will never apologize for anything and think everything they do is right…and those who know when they screw up and apologize. I’m in category #2 so Johan – I’m sorry about that, it wasn’t the right way to share my thoughts, you seem like a good guy and you deserve a warm welcome to the Domaining world. I hope to buy you a beer someday and would welcome an interview with you on my blog so you can share your journey with us.

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Dosebuy Domains

Every once and awhile (okay more than that) someone jumps into the domain name world, ignore all the advice experienced investors give, and try to forge their own path. I’m all for trying new things but I’m not crazy about repeating other people’s mistakes.

One of the great things about the domain investing world is that there are resources like DomainSherpa and DNAcademy that can help new domain investors get started on the right foot.

For me and many other domain investors, hand registering a bunch of random domains that we “thought” would be worth a fortune was our first mistake. In any new market, just jumping in and spending money often ends in, well, losing money.

The people I’ve seen excel at domain investing are those who take the time to listen, read, and learn. In many cases they don’t repeat other’s mistakes and actually end up starting out with some pretty solid investments. Two great examples here are Josh Reason and Josh Schoen. Both Josh’s are buying really solid domains and they really took the time to learn the market before diving in.

Then there’s DoseBuy. Now before I go any further I want to say, the point of this post is not to be mean or make fun of Johan, the man behind DoseBuy. I think it’s great that he’s publicly sharing his journey in the domain world with all of us.

That being said, I see him repeating mistakes that so many new domain investors have made, and he doesn’t seem to care what people think, he’s just forging ahead on his own path. Johan’s focus has been hand-registering domains and he’s picking up some TM violations and some really long weird names like CanItBeConfirmed.com.

Lately he’s been tweeting quite a bit about the one word .CX domains he’s been registering. I’ll be honest…I’ve never heard of .CX, and there’s a good chance you haven’t either. Which is why I’m also not surprised that a bunch of one-word .CX domains were available.

As you can see from the image at the top of this post, today Johan tweeted some of his .CX domains to President Trump in an attempt to start a vote and retweet campaign on Twitter…so far no takers.

Like I said above, I appreciate Johan sharing what he’s doing, but I hope at some point he takes the time to go through Michael Cyger’s DNAcademy as I think it will save him a lot of money down the road. Buying 10 .CX names costs around $200 and I think it’s safe to say one expired two-word .COM for $200 would very likely produce a much higher ROI, but to each their own.

Of course maybe I’m missing the boat here. Maybe .CX is the next big thing and Johan is sitting on a goldmine…okay, I’m being sarcastic there. Still, since I think Johan will be reading this I want to tell him – keep on being yourself and doing what you want to do. Just know that registering Trademarks isn’t a great idea and hand registering domains tends to be a money loser unless you really know what you’re doing. I would be happy to pay for admission to DNAcademy if you’d like – in the end I think you probably could make good money in domains because you’re clearly interested in the space.

If you want to take a look at Johan’s portfolio it is available here – https://dosebuy.com/portfolio

Now it’s your turn. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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Domain Investing lessons learned

Ah regrets, I mean “lessons learned” – an important step in anyone’s journey to doing anything that actually works. While it would be great to say that every domain investor instantly knew the right domains to buy, the reality is, most of us didn’t, and so we learned the hard way.

While I said regrets above, that’s really too harsh since you shouldn’t regret things you learned that helped you get to where you are today. So let’s just call it “domain investing lessons learned at the school of hard knocks.”

For me, this lesson was pretty simple but very powerful. I’ll share it below so it doesn’t blend in with everything else. The one thing I wish I knew about domain investing before I started is:

Don’t waste time hand-registering a bunch of domains, buy two-word .COMs off the drops.

And if I had to share a second lesson it would be:

Go to domain conferences and talk with people way more successful than you are…you might learn a thing or two.

Okay, so I shared two things, now you only have to share one, but if you want to share two, be my guest. What are one (or two) things you wish you knew about domain investing before your started?

As usual – I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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Liquid domain value

I had an interesting conversation last week with another domain investor about what your portfolio would be worth if you needed to sell it right away. No surprisingly, you’re going to get a lot less per-domain when you sell in bulk than if you were to wait for the right buyer and sell individually.

While you might think you have a multi-million dollar portfolio, try to sell it all at once and you may be in for a rude awakening.

Now as for what the liquid value of your portfolio might be, that’s certainly up for debate. In general, with a strong portfolio full of .COM domains the going per-domain value is often in the $100 – $500 according to the person I spoke with. This means if you have an 1,000 name portfolio with a lot of solid .COMs you can expect to get maybe $250k for it if all goes well.

In many cases, a portfolio like this sold over time could net millions of dollars or even get into the $10M+ depending on the quality of the name. However, try to sell it fast, and all at once, and the leverage instantly goes to the buyer.

Now all this being said, I think most domain investors know that the key to making domain names an exceptionally profitable investment is not rushing to sell all your names but instead waiting until buyers come to you. At the same time, people get pretty darn emotional when it comes to their domain names and sometimes with emotion comes a bit of delusion.

So while you might make $1M+ by selling domains for the next 10+ years. What kind of a hit do you think you’d take if you tried to sell them all today? I think it’s a big hit, like take a tenth of a twentieth of what you would have made. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

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