When I first got started in the Domaining world back in 2007 I was like most new investors. I saw a list of domains that had recently sold, got excited, and started hand-registering domains like crazy. So, yeah – that was the first time I lost a meaningful amount of money in the domain world. It was painful, as Rick Schwartz would have said himself if he saw my portfolio, I had bought a bunch of pigeon shit.
After going to my first domain conference and meeting other Domainers that actually knew what they were doing I learned something that has stuck with me. Pay attention to what the seasoned Domainers are doing, it’s the best way to learn. Also just to be clear, I don’t consider myself to be a seasoned Domainer, I’m a startup founder who invests in domains rather than stocks or real estate. Don’t take the fact that I have a blog where I write about domains, eSports, venture capital, etc. to mean I’m an expert in any of these things – I just write about what I’m interested in.
I have never been a full time Domainer, never will be, for me I see domains as a better investment vehicle than real estate or the stock market. For me domain names has always been about investing, not about developing a career. Of course, domain names can be a lot more than an investment strategy, I know many people that have become millionaires by buying, selling, and brokering domain names full time.
Doing anything full time means you’ll have the time to excel more than just about anyone that just does it part time. But you better love it…because that’s your full time job. For me, I’ll be honest, I’ve never loved it that much, I see domains as an investment vehicle that has without a doubt changed my life, but isn’t something I want to devote all day, every day to. My interests are in technology, and building innovative software that changes the way people do things. I helped to do it once at Sonos, and we’re doing it now at Bold Metrics, and it feel amazing.
So back to the title of this post. Do you pay attention to what seasoned Domainers are buying and selling? If not, you should be. Honestly I think I’ve learned the most about investing in domains just to talking to and watching full time Domainers, the people who put in WAY more time than I do. Here are two examples from this week that caught my eye thanks to this blog post by NamePros.
Garry Chernoff purchased UrbanStudio.com for $1,966 via NameJet
Braden Pollock purchased the four-letter domain Spew.com via NameJet. According to NameBio, the price was $4,204.
Let’s look at just these two purchases in a vacuum. First, if you don’t know Garry, he’s sold a lot of monster names (like Drink.com for $500,000) and he’s been doing it for a long time. What’s interesting about UrbanStudio.com is that I think most new Domainers wouldn’t blink an eye at a name like that, and once it got over a few hundred dollars, many people would drop out.
That’s what makes a long-standing veteran so different. I can tell you that Garry sees ~$2,000 as a pretty solid wholesale price for the name, and if he flips it my guess is we’ll see it selling the $35k+ range. It’s safe to say that Garry is planning on making more than a 10x ROI on the purchase. Yet so many people would think, oh well I could probably buy that for a few hundred bucks and flip it for $3,500. You can think that way (and I do a lot of the time) and still make good money, but people like Garry are thinking bigger.
The same is true with Braden and Spew.com at $4,204. Just like Garry is looking at his purchase as a wholesale buy, so is Braden…and given that four character .COMs like Lola.com sold for $550,000 this year, I’d say that’s a pretty good bet.
While we all of course should develop our own strategies and methodologies, looking at what other Domainer who are ahead of us is one of the best ways to learn in my opinion. The challenge is breaking away from the habit we all have as humans – buying things that we like, and changing your perspective to buying something that you think someone like Garry, Braden, Frank, Rick would buy.
What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!