3 Myths People Commonly Tell You (And Often Believe) About Their Domain Names

Everyone loves their own domain names. As Tim Ash would say, “It’s hard to admit that your baby is ugly” but sometimes you just have to do it. Now Tim is talking about websites when he says this because, like domains, people also love their own websites, even if they are incredibly ugly, they’ve grown attached.

I get a fairly high volume of emails from people trying to sell me their domain names, or their domain portfolios. While most of these people are very humble about their situation, some like to come up with wild and crazy stories about why their domain, or domain portfolio, is worth a small fortune.

What this means is that I’ve heard just about every justification for why a particular domain name or portfolio is the best thing since sliced bread. If you’re a fellow domain investor, you’ve probably heard all of these yourself. However, if you’re new to the domain world you might get an email and think, “hey, maybe this is a list of premium domain names!” without knowing that what you’re really looking at is a list of ugly babies.

If you want to improve your portfolio as a domain owner, you may have to admit that you identify with one (or all) of the items on the list below. If you are a startup or small business owner looking to buy a domain, you may want to watch-out for these…if it sounds too good to be true, it often is.

  1. This domain name would make a fortune if it was developed – this is the most common myth I hear and most people do honestly believe it. They bought a domain, have done nothing with it, but are sure that it would make thousands of dollars a month if it was developed. Typically they’ll say things like, “I don’t have the time to build it out” when the reality is it would probably take a fortune to build a business on it and eventually turn a profit. If a domain would make a fortune developed, and all it would take is a few weekends here and there, someone would already be doing it themselves, not trying to sell it to you for a few thousand dollars. Yes, I know, we all think our portfolios could generate millions of dollars if we developed each and every name, but the reality is that development takes a huge upfront investment in time and money to build a real business on the name, the days of mini-site riches are long gone.
  2. This domain gets tons of offers from interested buyers – I usually like to call this bluff the moment I hear it. Ask someone what the average offer price is, if they tell you it’s typically under $100 then they might be telling the truth. If they tell you they’re turning down six-figures offers all month long, and what you’re looking at clearly isn’t a six-figure domain, something doesn’t add up. It’s easy to say, “I just turned down an offer for $50,000 last week” it’s much harder for that to actually be true. Oh, and if that is true, why would you be spamming people telling them your domain is for sale?
  3. This is a premium domain name – last but certainly not least is the old “premium domain name” pitch. You will know a premium domain name when you see it, car.com, insurance.com, buy.com, these are all premium domain names. Car1.com, 155Insurance.com, and BuyMyCar123.com are no premium domains, see the difference? Everyone likes to think they have a premium domain but this really has become the most over-used word in the domain investing world. Just like most startups cringe when they hear “pivot” domain investors cringe when they hear “premium”.

I know that many of my readers probably have some good myths they’ve heard over the years. Feel free to share some of these below or comment on any of mine.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • HowieCrosby May 24, 2013, 8:28 am

    Hi Morgan, thank you. I’m just about to send my portfolio over to you, with a 2500 word critical reflection and rationale behind my domain name philosophy…….LOL!!!

  • Alan Dodd May 24, 2013, 4:00 pm

    It’s very true. It’s good to ask tough questions of your portfolio. The first one is very salient. It’s tempting to say it’s easy to develop a few names I have but the reality is harder.

    Having said that, I think some websites – and of course domain names – should be easy to develop.

    The best example would be hotels, hostels, textbooks.

    It is possible to develop a website that’s sort of an app really. Flights I am finding harder because basically the flight search engines don’t seem to be paying!

    I’m also working on an arcade, not a bad start, the visitors are coming back but the bounce rate is a little high. That one is funarcade.com.

    Cheers, thanks for the post.

  • Morgan May 24, 2013, 5:10 pm

    @Alan – good point and very true, some niches are easier to make money in than others. That being said Hotels and Hostels is a notoriously hard area to make money in. It’s easy to develop the site, but getting it ranked and bringing in real traffic and revenue is next-to-impossible without a rather large marketing budget.

    FunArcade.com sounds like fun! What is your user acquisition strategy?

  • Domain Manager May 27, 2013, 10:16 am

    Do you or would you consider giving opinions, for a fee, on domain portfolios if someone submitted them to you? Would love to hear an opinion from a respected domain name pro in terms of the entire portfolio’s value, individual standouts, parking suggestions…

    • Morgan May 27, 2013, 12:36 pm

      @DomainManager – I am always happy to take a look for free! I respond to every single email I get from my blog readers, sometimes it might take a week or two due to the volume of emails I receive but you’ll hear back no matter what 🙂

  • Domain Manager May 27, 2013, 5:04 pm

    Thanks @Morgan! No problem on your timing, I understand that you’re busy! I shall shoot over the domains later on today or tomorrow. Thanks again!

  • Igor Mironyuk September 16, 2013, 3:57 am

    Someone tell me, my domain floridaflat.net is premium or non-premium domain?


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