My Latest Domain Flip: How I Turned $60 Into $3,177 And Why Afternic Rocks!

It’s one of the best feelings in the world, you wake-up in the morning, make yourself a cup of coffee (or tea in my case) and sit down at your computer to find-out you made $3,000 while you were sleeping. That was my Tuesday morning and I wanted to take the time to go through the process I followed step-by-step as I know this is a topic that is always of interest to my readers.

Over the last few months I’ve had some great flips, many of these involved reaching-out to end users, negotiating on the phone and via email, and really making the sale happen. These have been more active flips, which are still great, but there’s nothing like a passive flip, a flip that just happens while you’re sleeping. I can’t say there is a formula for these, as we all know it comes down to having a domain name that a buyer wants.

So please don’t take this post as me saying that I’ve become a Domain Flipping Guru, I still have a lot to learn. As you all should know by now, I love sharing my experiences on my blog, not to make myself an expert, but instead to share what’s working, and what isn’t working in my business. Okay, so there’s my disclaimer, now let me walk you through my latest flip!

First things first. 90% of the domains I’ve sold this year have been .COM domains most of which were registered in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. No, I wasn’t Domaining back then, but that’s been the focus of my purchases this year. I can’t emphasize this enough – it’s never too late to get-into Domain Investing, there are still lots of great domains expiring every day, the challenge is picking the right names and finding the right buyers, or being on a platform that can make it easier for buyers to find you.

In July of this year I purchased InkGenie(dot)com for $60 through Go Daddy auctions. The domain name was originally registered back in 2000 and this was one of those names that I thought would be a great fit for an end-user. I did not think this was a great flip candidate though since this is a brand able domain. About 10% of my portfolio is brandables and I am a very unmotivated seller with these. With brandables I’m waiting for a company to come-around that has come-up with a great name for their new business and that name happens to be a domain that I own. I thought a domain like this could sell anywhere from one year to ten years from now, but for $60 it was an investment that made sense to me.

When I buy a domain name that I want to sell my first step is to list it on Afternic. I have been using Afternic since 2008 and really like the personal attention they give to their customers. In this case I actually let one of the folks at Afternic set the price of the domain based on what they thought could catch a buyers attention. This is one of the things that really makes Afternic stand-out from the crowd and I like the fact that I can have a real person come-up with a price suggestion. I know there are endless debates in the Domaining community about whether to list names with a fixed price or not. I can’t say I lean one way or the other, some of my names are set at fixed prices, others at “Make Offer” it all depends on the name and I could write a whole post about this topic alone!

I believe I listed the domain for sale in August of this year and I had all but forgotten about it until this week. Then Tuesday morning I received an email from Afternic indicating that the domain had sold. The first thing I did when I saw this was to call my account manager, Eric Hammond. This is another nice feature of Afternic, with a dedicated account manager you always have someone you can pick up the phone and talk to. Eric has always been easy to get in touch with and goes above-and-beyond to make sure his clients are taken care of.

The transaction took place through Afternic’s escrow service which made the entire process completely seamless. While this flip was not quite as exciting as some of the others this year that have involved strategically finding a buyer and negotiating the sale directly, it’s still my favorite kind of flip since it took no work on my part outside of picking the right name and acquiring it at the right price. Of course, as with many domain sales (and especially brandable sales) there was a lot of luck involved with a flip like this however having the fundamentals right makes a big difference.

For me this year has been all about changing the dynamics of my portfolio. Now, instead of having a portfolio spanning 20+ TLDs with most domains only a few years old I now have a .COM-heavy portfolio with most of my domains being 10+ years old. My average purchase price has gone up, but with it my average sales price and the number of sales I’m making has gone up dramatically.

If you’d like to read about some of the other flips I’ve done this year, feel free to read the articles below:

From $8 to $3,500: My First Trend-Domain Flip

My First 150x Domain Flip and How I Did It

Thanks for reading and happy flipping!

 

{ 27 comments… add one }

  • don December 16, 2011, 8:47 am

    congrats, does afternic still restrict where domains are registered to access their platform?

    Reply
  • domainggg December 16, 2011, 8:59 am

    Congrats Morgan, that was a nice flip, we should always consider brandable domains in our portfolio, who knows it can be flip for higher prices,
    “when we stand together” as strong domainers, nobody can beat us….

    Reply
  • Spike December 16, 2011, 9:06 am

    My Afternic rep never offered this service. Did he suggest prices on certain domains or all of them?

    Reply
  • John December 16, 2011, 9:08 am

    What does Afternic charge nowadays?
    Was it restricted to their platform only or spread across their partners sites?
    Do you know where the sale originated from (via one of their partner sites)?
    Congrats

    Reply
  • Lev Pershin December 16, 2011, 9:14 am

    Congrats Morgan, that was a nice flip!

    Reply
    • Morgan December 16, 2011, 9:16 am

      Thanks @Lev!

      Reply
  • Morgan December 16, 2011, 9:15 am

    Thanks for all the positive feedback everyone!

    @don – no, Afternic does not restrict by registrar, you can list any of your domains for sale through Afternic.

    @Spike – if you call your rep and ask them I’m sure they’d be happy to help you price your names!

    @John – Afternic pricing depends on if you park with them or not but typically their commissions are lower than just about anywhere else. In this case the domain was in their standard DLS network. I am not sure where the sale originated, but that’s a good question!

    Reply
  • Spike December 16, 2011, 9:37 am

    My Afternic comission is 10% but I list my names with them. It’s more if you don’t.

    Reply
  • jj December 16, 2011, 9:43 am

    Ok so you waited for someone who wanted your domain? unscalable. I liek the feeling of waking up to 3K in the morning too, but not once on a blue moon… more like every day 🙂

    Reply
  • Morgan December 16, 2011, 9:49 am

    @jj – definitely not scalable. As you probably know my focus is developing and monetizing domains, very scalable and represents 80% of my income. Selling domains is a small part of our business and I definitely don’t think it’s very scalable or passive. Still nice when a flip like this works-out with little to no effort on my part!

    Reply
  • Ryan December 16, 2011, 10:06 am

    Afternic is ok, they try to push their in house domains more so, obviously your brand is what they wanted, and their commissions range from 10-20%, 20% not being the lowest in the industry by any means possible.

    Afternic did not sell your name, if that person was wanting your brand, what difference would a parked lander with contact page make?

    Reply
    • Morgan December 16, 2011, 10:12 am

      @Ryan – Appreciate the comment! I don’t think the name would have sold if it wasn’t listed on Afternic, it’s their huge distribution network that makes a big difference. This was not brokered by Afternic so they did not reach-out to someone and try to sell this name for me. Instead it was because of the reach their network has that the buyer found this name.

      I used parked landers with a contact page for years and got about one tenth the number of offers vs. when I list names at Afternic, Sedo, Snapnames, etc. I’d definitely recommend you listen to Adam Dicker’s interview with DomainSherpa, he has great coverage of this topic and I’ve learned a lot from Adam!

      Reply
  • Jason Thompson December 16, 2011, 10:52 am

    Making money while you seep is addicting. 🙂 Congrats on the sale Morgan and I am sure many more will be in line in the future. I’ve sold a few domains through Sedo, but have recently decided to move my entire portfolio to Afternic. I will try them out for a few months and see what the cat can drag in.

    I’ve decided to price each one of my domain names with a fixed price as a test. I think I am going to mix it up a bit in the next few months. There’s nothing wrong with selling a few domain names passively while you are developing sites. It makes complete sense!

    Reply
  • PPC Ian December 16, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Morgan,
    That is awesome! Congratulations. I really appreciate these posts as they are quite motivating and insightful. What a great way to wake up and start your day.
    All the best,
    Ian

    Reply
    • Morgan December 16, 2011, 2:32 pm

      Thanks @Ian!

      Reply
  • Domain Report December 16, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Congrats on the sale, those kind of sales are nice to get once in a while. They help float the boat for everything else. It is a nice brandable name, I’m surprised there wasn’t already a company using it. Ink cartridge refills seems to be a big business.

    Reply
  • Rich December 16, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Congrats Morgan,
    I was in the same situation a few months ago, as a result i register EarnSnoring.com
    It’s a great feeling

    Reply
  • Rich December 16, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Wow, it’s been a year already,how time flies

    Reply
  • Morgan December 16, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Thanks @Rich – it’s been a few months in a row now with really nice flips, feeling good!

    Reply
  • partnercash December 17, 2011, 6:51 am

    Morgan , congrats on the flip! I surely love this feeling too. I’m not with Afternic, so from time to time I’m excited to get godaddy premium listing sold messages

    Since I’m now more into more expensive domains, I have made simple landing pages with my email to contact if anyone is interested. I too would hate to leave money on the table but of course i understand that by doing so I’m limiting the volume of passive sales I would have by setting a fixed price tag on the names

    good luck
    Bogdan

    Reply
  • AndyO December 17, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Congratulations Morgan – That’s a really nice ROI!

    Reply
  • jones aji December 24, 2011, 3:36 am

    Pls I want to learn about this domin flipping pls teach me I live in nigeria sir pls help me

    Reply
  • Elite Domains February 23, 2012, 1:14 am

    New to your website Morgan, so still catching up. What a motherlode of great information and very generous insight-sharing! Thank you.
    This is a great story and I will be checking out Afternic in a moment. One quick question: how do you manage the process when you are selling directly (for security of fund transfer etc.)?
    Have a great day.
    Paul.

    Reply
    • Morgan Linton February 24, 2012, 1:29 pm

      Thanks Paul – really glad you liked it! I use Escrow.com for any sales made directly to end-users.

      Reply
      • Aladdin Domains February 25, 2012, 2:06 am

         Thank you very much for your speedy response Morgan. Have a great weekend. Paul.

        Reply
  • Expired Domains June 30, 2013, 6:54 pm

    Great sale! I really can’t believe more people do not get in the domain flipping business. There is good money to be made.

    Reply
  • Steve June 28, 2017, 3:35 pm

    This is really a wonderful way of making money online that so many people have not tapped into. I made some research and found out that sex.com and insurance.com sold for millions of US dollars. Nigerians should tap into this. Thanks for the insight

    Reply

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