It isn’t when you started in domains, it’s what domains you buy

I can’t take credit for the title of this post but I made this the title because it rings true now and has for many years. The title of this post is a tweet from Rick Schwartz and it rings true today, it rang through ten years ago when I started in this industry (note I’m still no expert – I think it takes more than 10 years to get there), and it will ring true ten years from now.


So many times I’ve heard people say that it’s too late to get into Domaining and people like Rick got in early so get to reap all the benefits. That’s just not true. Yes – Rick played his cards right, still plays his cards right, and continues to make solid investments and sales in the domain world…but so have many other people and the door is still open. The door isn’t open for people who get excited and start hand-registering domains out of the blue like it’s going out of style. At the same time, that’s the best way to learn, just make sure to do it with play money.

Rick has been tweeting up a storm and any time I can get a conduit into Rick, I’m listening. This tweet really resonated with me because I think it dispels one of the biggest myths in the domain world that needs to be put to rest. It’s not just the investors from the 90’s that have made money, yes those who played their cards right made money but there are plenty investors from the 90’s who lost it all, it’s why you know Rick Schwartz but not a lot of other names…but there were other people buying domains at the same time as him.

While I’m still in “wait and see” mode with some of the new gTLDs, I do think most of them will crash and burn. At the same time, I think a handful will hit it out of the park and I’m looking forward to watching that happen. It’s just important to remember that no matter how you slice it, there are still plenty of opportunities, but it’s the path you take from here on out that will define where you end up.

What do you think? Did guys like Rick have it easy and it’s nothing but uphill battles for the rest of us, or are there still plenty of opportunities today? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Joseph Peterson June 7, 2017, 12:11 am

    Although it’s possible to make money today, it’s was much easier years ago.

    Although it was possible to lose money years ago, it’s much easier to lose it now.

    In the 2000s, good domains were more abundant. And if domainers were doing things right, then the PPC earnings would often cover not only their renewal fees but their living expenses along the way. Large portfolios could be accumulated with less risk, since costs were offset by parking revenue.

    Even after the decline in parking, guys who played their cards right during that period have been able to make money by selling quality domains from the domain portfolios they amassed back in the day. Often they’ve leveraged that early financial advantage to buy up more domains from less well funded latecomers.

    A lot of big portfolio owners today have been, more or less, coasting off of an early high 6 or 7-figure sale or two. Or a few years of massive parking income. It’s incredibly unlikely that a new domainer will show up with such a big wad of cash to spend. His chance of earning money is hampered by lack of quality domains as well as competition from the guys who made millions a decade earlier.

    It is by no means impossible to succeed today. But let’s not pretend the situation is at all comparable to what it was.

    • Alvin Brown June 7, 2017, 9:08 am

      Well said! 😉

    • Eric Lyon June 7, 2017, 1:25 pm

      Exactly! The game has changed. Change is inevitable. 😉

  • Don M June 7, 2017, 3:04 am

    I don’t Rick had it easy by no means. Sounds like the guy worked his A off most of his life and took a big risk when buying names back then. Think about it, no one hardly knew what the web was in the early 90s yet he knew something that many failed to see. It’s so easy for people to look back with the knowledge they have now and forum an opinion on how easy it was and that it was luck. Luck is winning the lotto! not buying domains.

    IMO more $$$ will be made in the next 5 years with .com names that the in the last 30
    years. Walmart just bought, Tesla motors ponied up big for These companies are starting to wake up it is just the start. Short generic one and two-word names will continue to rise. Tons of names for 2k -10k that are great deals that will end up 6 figures in 5 years. After the fallout of new Gtld’s people will gravitate towards .com.

    Not sure how people did not see this coming that experiment was already tried with .travel.
    And you can’t say that extension did well because a tech company bought for $2.8 million which was the bargain of the year from a company called Travelzoo. That name is worth more than all of the .travel (s) together

    They undersold that asset by at least 5-7 MILLION. Imagine changing names from travelzoo to which would do better dahh. They sold the best ASSET they will ever have. If they would of just changed names to they would of increased business by 10% or more. What is value of that over 10 years. $$$$

    Don Murray

  • Sanwal Memon June 7, 2017, 4:15 am

    Opportunities are everywhere and come all the time, just go with the trend.
    Yes i believe every sensible domainer kind of knows that only a handful of right keyword GTLD’s will work whilst the others are going to fail. As for recent opportunities take a look at the Chinese market rise, it was just recently and is still going strong but very hard to invest now as the rise is already there and the opportunity is not as it was before. .Com’s have been set in the consumers minds and it would take billions of dollar if not more to re-educate them to make another tld, or a gtld as the go to, for all things on the internet.

    People are stuck up on proving why they are right, rather than looking at the bigger picture and seeing it from a corporate or a business’s perspective. IMO they look at how much more would it cost them to educate their customers to switch over from the traditional .com that needs not much money to advertise against educating them on something that they are not used to.

    As for us domainers, it’s not always about investing in the right name. Yes that is the main part, but a close second is how much hard work you put into it and that’s how you will make money. Buying anything other than a generic one word .com or popular words that the customers/people already know, need to be educated about that brand and that’s where most of us fall behind in investing. Look at it from the company’s perspective and you’ll be good to go.

  • Morgan June 7, 2017, 9:10 am

    @Joseph – I’ll second Alvin, very well said!

  • Joe June 7, 2017, 3:21 pm

    If my comment is not in moderation return it to me, please or publish it please.

    Thank you

  • Jon Haver June 26, 2017, 10:21 pm

    I definitely agree that a lot of domains out there are garbage and filled with spam. You really have to do a quality check before you buy any domain.


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