Are You A Diversified Domainer?

I know a lot of Domainers who are proud to be .com-only investors. I get it, .com is the king of TLDs, there is no doubt in my mind about that…however sometimes diversification can yield strong results and provide a way to grow your business.

Take a look at some of the top domain sales this month and while .com is certainly king, there are some interesting sales that I think highlight how some of the other gTLD and ccTLD markets still have a bright future.

Here’s a few examples of recent sales that caught my eye:

Diapers.co.in – $20,000

LTD.de – $18,900

DNB.net – $18,388

Liberia.net – $13,083

AsbestosLawyer.net – $$12,500

Okay – so I already know what you’re thinking, if any of the above domains were .com’s they would have sold for a lot more. Very true, no argument there…but what would the acquisition cost have been for the seller?

What I’m trying to say here is that with so much focus on .com – picking-up a good deal on a drop or buying from another investor will oftentiems require top-dollar. Yes – it’s worth it but could you be missing opportunities that allow for greater profit potential?

Here’s an example. Suppose you know someone that wants to buy a geo-targeted law name for a city in Texas. The budget is set at somewhere between 5K – 10K. You find that the keywords they want is registered in .com, .net, and .org. So you contact the .com, .net, and .org owners. The .com owner wants 20K minimum for their name and tells you about all the emails they’ve had from interested buyers.

The .net and .org owners will most likely not have the same grandious expectations as the .com owner and probably haven’t had nearly as many emails from interested buyers. At the end of the day you might be able to talk the .com owner down to 9K after a bunch of emails back and forth and after all that you profit $1,000.

On the other hand, you might be able to get the .net or .org owners down to $1K or 2K, sell the name to your client at only 5K and walk-away with a 3k-4K profit.

Yes – this is just a hypothetical situation and ever domain is different but the idea here is simple – if you’re .com-only you could be missing-out on some great opportunities.

So here’s what it all comes down to. If you’re a .com guy (or gal) and you’re bringing-in the bucks and completely satisfied with your revenue, don’t change a thing, you have a winner model.

If on the other hand, you’re in the same situation as hundreds of people who have email me this year, large .com-only portfolios with nobody willing to pay the prices you want for your names. You aren’t making the money you want because you aren’t making sales…if you hit this point you HAVE to change your strategy.

Looking at some of the other TLDs could actually allow you to make more money even though you aren’t dealing with the king of TLDs. Since the acquisition costs are lower and there aren’t as many eyes (especially if you go-into .org) there are more opportunities.

So for all you .com guys out there kicking ass and takign names, congratulations – don’t change a thing, you have a winning model. Now for all you .com guys who are not kicking ass and taking names but instead are struggling to turn a profit, maybe it’s time to diversify.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • TeenDomainer November 23, 2010, 8:25 pm

    Great point Morgan, also in some cases it makes sense to build out a .net or .org into a little site. I have seen some really solid product .net and .org sales lately too.

    I sent you an email

    Reply
  • Leonard Britt November 23, 2010, 8:29 pm

    The risk in alt TLDs is that many domain buyers won’t consider anything other than .COM. Of course with ~91 million .COM domains already registered, forget about acquiring a decent .COM for reg fee. Most .COM holders have lofty price expectations for even so-so keyword domains. So perhaps there is some opportunity for great keyword domains in other extensions. Thus far most of my sales have been .COM domains but I have sold two .TV domains in November at an ROI better than a typical .COM sale.

    Reply
  • Nadia November 23, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Great point, Morgan (I still need to email you about the wine from MorganLinton.tv). A little over 58% of my portfolio is .com, followed by .CO and .de. I’ve been picking up decent keywords in .net when I see them. I like not putting all of my eggs into one basket, although in terms of pure value, .com is the clear winner.

    Reply
  • Will November 23, 2010, 8:45 pm

    Morgan, you’re probably not going to get many new converts to agree with you, but you certainly encourage domainers like me to take risk with non-dot coms. I hope that, in a few years, there will be a critical mass of domainers and end users who succeeded with .co names, but it’s up to the mavericks to make it work!

    Reply
  • Chip Meade November 24, 2010, 8:24 am

    No Doubt that Com is king. Other tlds have potential but will always be pretenders. I do work with .us and .org as I believe they have a little more credibility with users because they stand for something a little different than .com (Domainers know that is not true) but I don’t kid myself. We all also know that .net, .info, and most of the other pretend cctlds (That’s right .tv and .co defenders) are simply bad imitations with a lot of brand damage attached. True ccTLDs have some legs as well as long as you focus efforts/expectations on those countries–or work your ass off with SEO tricks–see below.

    There can be money to be made with alternate TLDs for sure. The best way to do that is via development. If your plans are to hold, park and flip–that is a long shot–even for very strong keywords. Remember many end-users might settle for a .net, but no one goes out looking for one. Do you really believe a true end-user lawyer would pay $9K (or even $5K) for AustinLawyer.net, even though development and SEO could make this worthwhile. It would require the perfect storm of: marketing & internet savvy, long term vision, and patience by the buyer. Possible but that .net branding looms awfully large.

    Reply
  • Mircea November 24, 2010, 12:01 pm

    That reminds me that I got a COM domain for $8 at drop and sold it 3 months later with $2500 to an end user…without doing anything else in between.
    But I also got some nice .CO domains…hopefully, the CO market will take off.

    Reply

Leave a Comment