I have an idea for a new newsletter but I need your feedback…

So spending time with ~80 domain investors in Asheville last week sparked an idea, and I thought I’d give it a shot. Here’s what I’m thinking.

A lot of domain investors have to pick some names from their portfolio every year that they’re going to drop. It’s a fact of life, we can’t all pick names that end up being winners, or so we think. At the same time, one person’s trash could be another person’s treasure and I know many people have had the experience of watching a name they drop sell for hundreds of dollars on a drop.

This got me thinking, what if there was an easy way to broadcast out names you’re planning on dropping that you would sell for say $25 or $50? The reality is, you’re planning on making $0 on the name so why not make something on it?

Of course the first thing that came into my mind is that this could easily be abused. People could list names that they actually do plan on renewing just to see if someone else will buy them for $25 or $50 but I feel as long as the price stays low, the abuse will also stay low…but I could be too trusting, who knows.

I also know if I let people list as many names as they want this will become a huge junk newsletter which I also don’t want. So here’s my idea and the way that I’ll keep people from spamming junk names.

  • First – there’s a cost, $5 to have you names included in the weekly newsletter. I’m not going to do something like this for free and I think having “some” cost will limit this to people who are actually serious about selling names.
  • Second – you can list a maximum of five domains
  • Third – I can tell you that a name sucks too much to be included and you have to be okay with that
  • Fourth – one strike and you’re out. If you refuse to sell a name or end up renewing a name you submitted, you’re out for good. Same goes for buyers, if you decide not to buy a name after committing to it, you’re out.
  • Fifth – it felt like there should be five rules but I can’t think of a fifth, can you think of something I’m missing?

So here’s some things I’d like your feedback on:

  1. Is this a good idea at all? Be brutally honest, I can take it.
  2. Is $5 the right price to charge?
  3. Should there be one fixed price for names or should sellers be allowed to pick a price within a range? If you think they should be able to pick a range, what should that range be?

Thanks in advance for your feedback. If everyone thinks this is a bad idea, I won’t do it, but if enough people are in, I’ll give it a shot. The reality is, we’re all dropping names every year, if you made an extra few hundred dollars a year selling names you’d normally drop that wouldn’t be too bad would it?

{ 29 comments… add one }

  • Adam August 8, 2019, 3:20 pm

    This idea has been batted around before.
    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this tried on private (and public too I think) forums over the years.

  • Matthew August 8, 2019, 3:20 pm

    This is a good idea that would enable domain owners to generate incremental revenue from their portfolio. Curating the list would help ensure that listed domains are up to investment standards. It would also keep a little inventory out of the prominent platforms which reap outsize profits from investors’ holdings. Although, the benefit of purchasing from an expiring auction platform is that payment and transfer are handled automatically, which can be a headache in a manual process.

    The concept sounds a bit like what Mike Cohen from Wanna Develop used to do – $49 per domain payable by Paypal. Immediate push to a Godaddy account. Decent inventory, priced to sell.

  • Brad Mugford August 8, 2019, 3:21 pm

    I think it is a good idea, if executed properly. I have bought many domains that people are planning to drop.

    Is the $5 price per domain, or to list (5) total domains?
    I will say that $5 per domain to list a domain you hope to sell for $25 or $50 is steep.

    The type of domains people are willing to sell for that range generally are not good, so the expectations can not be very high. Asking someone to add more expense to something they are likely drop anyway doesn’t really make sense.

    There is certainly a balance between getting listings and a load of crap. I don’t think paying a fee is necessarily a bad thing, but it should probably be tiered based on an asking price.


    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:39 pm

      I was thinking $5 for 5 domains so a buck a domain.

  • Jose August 8, 2019, 4:00 pm

    I learned from Rick Schwartz that the junk domain names are the Pigeon Shit and that before renewing try to sell cheap as all domain investors do for many years.

  • Matthew August 8, 2019, 4:23 pm

    Sometimes there’s treasure among the trash as Morgan notes. $5 is too cheap for this service as you will be overwhelmed with the work with little compensation resulting from it. If you can sell a domainer’s expiring domain for $25 or $50 a pop, you should get at least 25% of the proceeds. From a domain investor’s perspective, taking the cut as a commission only if the domain sells is the best scenario as interests are aligned. Paying $5 per expiring name and then watching your domain not sell would just add insult to injury.

  • David August 8, 2019, 4:46 pm

    I wouldn’t do that Morgan. Here might be a better idea though….

    You could create a broadcast list of fixed price domains (Maybe $50 bucks each). No commissions. Only a $5 inclusion fee (10%). No guarantees on selling. You could be friendly to upcoming expiring names by allowing them to be listed, so long as you have a few rules that would protect the integrity of your list and keep buyers from wasting time. Who knows, you personally might decide to buy some.

    With your reach, it could be well worth the $5.

    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:40 pm

      Interesting idea…

  • Daniel M August 8, 2019, 5:01 pm

    Sounds like a good idea – How many subscribers would get this email?

    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:41 pm

      As many as sign up!

  • Don August 8, 2019, 5:41 pm

    I would look at something the requires people to spend $100 for each name they put on the list.
    Keep it to 5 names a week. Price at 5k or have second area for 10k. So they would have to be pretty certain it would sell or have a high chance of doing so. I Would rather look at quality over quantity.

    At the same time you would need the subscriber base to support it. I would also have a public and private subscriber base. Private subscriber base gets first crack at these names for 24 hours then it becomes public. Charge private subscriber base $25 a month. I just would not mix up lower cost names that are under 50 bucks with higher priced names. You could do both. Just my thoughts
    Don Murray

  • Mika August 8, 2019, 7:29 pm

    Overall it’s a great idea. The $5 pre-paid listing price will limit the amount of work you have to do chasing sales commissions, and stop people from listing names they know have absolutely no chance of selling. You have also made good implementation of checks and balances to make sure this runs smoothly.

    I’m in!

  • Snoopy August 8, 2019, 7:35 pm

    You want to be a pigeon shit broker? Let’s just till these names back into the ground instead of spending time trying to sell for peanuts.

    Secondly I don’t people are going to pay to list names they plan on dropping. Think about the type of client you’ll be attracting.

    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:42 pm

      I can always trust you to give your honest opinion Snoopy – love you for that!

  • Steven August 8, 2019, 9:46 pm

    I don’t think many people will pay $5 to list a name for $25-$50 that they planned on dropping. Otherwise they’d just pay $3 more and renew the domain to keep it… the economics don’t make sense. A more viable model might be simply offering a domains for sale newsletter with a $5 fee for each listing and lower than industry standard commission (because of that upfront flat fee).

    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:42 pm

      Fair point

  • BullS August 8, 2019, 10:38 pm

    You want to be a pigeon shit broker?
    Pretty funny.

    Snoopy–you need to have your own blog , I like the way you express ..no remorse/ no hold bar-take no hostages and no Mercy type of commentaries.

  • Deepak Kumar August 8, 2019, 10:40 pm

    Hi Morgan,

    I have messaged you in your FB profile with my thoughts.
    looking forward to hearing back from you…

    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:43 pm

      Thanks Deepak, I’ll take a look!

  • Ravi August 8, 2019, 11:09 pm

    Hi Morgan,

    That is good idea…but needs lot of time (yours) and prompt execution.

    what is the frequency of the newsletter… weekly/monthly ? will names be included in your regular newsletter or separate newsletter will be dedicated for this project?

    like already mentioned by some members if it is priced / name… not useful for anyone… if it is like a package and included in more frequent newsletter then it might be productive for all sides…

    And of course you have to spend lot of time to pick names and filter out unnecessary junk…

    I am thinking some 20 names / month / $5 …. you can rotate the names according to frequency of newsletter and number of names submitted (pending to go on newsletter).. and if it is dedicated specially for this purpose…i think more opening rate will reached.

    I wish you good luck with this and be watching for more updates.


    • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:43 pm

      Good, point – I don’t have much time, this would have to be an hour or two on the weekends…

  • Bob August 8, 2019, 11:38 pm

    I sell my non-renews on eBay starting with $9 bids.
    If the market does not buy them, I continue with the Drop.
    Its up to the Market.

  • alan dodd August 9, 2019, 8:41 am


    While there is indeed great domains amongst expiries, this just sounds like a lot of work.

    You’d almost be policing the whole time and it could be a time drain.

    However I think going for premium domains could be a great newsletter, you’d be doing more brokering but that could definitely work imo.

    At least if there was a sale there would be a nice payday.

  • Mustafa Kuruscu August 9, 2019, 9:50 am

    Hi Morgan,

    As AlanAdlari.com , we are a domain name marketplace in Turkey and have been also organising “Expiring Domain Name Auctions”.

    Domain investors apply us with their expiring domain names and the auctions of these domain names start 30 days before the expiring date.

    We demand no money in application. If the domain name is sold, a fixed fee is taken.


  • Leonard Britt August 9, 2019, 10:17 am

    Charging a listing fee will help considerably to filter out junk domains. However, I believe it is a bit harsh to charge for listing and not allow renewals but limit the sales price to max $50. I can list for much higher on numerous platforms with no listing fee. Perhaps charging 1% of the list price would be a happy medium and allow higher-priced listings if the seller is willing to pay a higher listing fee. Scratch the no renewals allowed rule. Perhaps since you charge for listing, there would be no sales commission. Limit the number of weekly submissions but allow individuals to continue submitting reasonably priced inventory.

  • Morgan August 9, 2019, 1:45 pm

    Great feedback everyone – this has given me a lot to think about. I’m going camping on Mt Tam this weekend, will give it some thought while I’m hiking around and circle back on Monday. Thanks again!

  • elevator August 13, 2019, 11:27 pm

    I would rather suggest that the newsletter should be a marketing type for selling premium names for investors like other does instead of selling about to expire names.
    Selling premium names are worth working upon so that domain investors can send you their names and help with your status.
    You know some names are good but may not sell without ideal exposure.

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