Do you pay attention to what seasoned Domainers are buying and selling?

learn domain investing

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!

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Mike Sallese October 30, 2017, 7:41 pm

    Yes- I think it is a smart strategy to look at what successful people have done and what they continue to do. You should be able to learn from everyone but paying attention to those with experience and expertise gives all of us investors more data points to refine our own strategies. Toward that end- the posts from Namepros are invaluable and also very happy to see Sherpa returning!

    Cheers,

    Mike

    Reply
  • Tony October 31, 2017, 5:29 am

    Observe what others do but think for yourself also. Like when Rick Schwartz paid $200K for flowers.mobi and thought it was a great investment. Or when Braden Pollock spent 6-figures on .ws domains and thought it was going to be a great flip opportunity.

    Reply
  • John October 31, 2017, 6:11 am

    Besides the .com there are 8 other registrations taken for Urban Studio
    There are Trademarks around the term for certain industries.
    A risk he takes into account based on his experience I imagine vs leaning against one of the 8 other owners or someone else coming and paying what he asks for.
    Do a future post analyzing (lay it out in a metrics grid of some sort) a seasoned domainers portfolio or large owner of names on how many names they own that have other extensions taken and trademarks around them
    I imagine you’ll see a trend that most of the names they own have other extensions taken as well as trademarks or popular search around the term/name

    Reply
  • Eric Lyon October 31, 2017, 9:15 am

    Coat-tailing other investors is helpful, however, just keep in mind that what works for one person doesn’t always work for others. While I have read success stories from coat-tailing, I have also read horror stories of people breaking the bank in niches they knew nothing about, making it 10x harder to pitch end-users and getting stuck with domains in a never-ending loop of renewal fees.

    To avoid some coat-tailing pitfalls, be sure to tailor what you learn to fit your own business model, do lots of research and don’t forget about market testing.

    Reply
  • Joe November 1, 2017, 6:53 pm

    I like the post that you write lately, about your principles I think it has all happened the same although I step on pigeon shit since the registrars and beginner domains I believe that I step on bad and skate for a long time.

    I considered myself a masochist to hit myself to be able to react and do it right once and for all

    In the end with the years one changes and I am better with my records and small sales.

    Until today I would like to ask you a question if you had this premium domain name byethereum (.com) what to do, auction which is better Namejet or Flippa ..

    If there was an investor, domainer, broker and interested in making me a very good purchase offer, see the Whois. to contact me.

    Reply

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