My Latest Flip – DreamVodka.com

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In January of 2012 I hand-registered a few vodka-related domain names, one of them being DreamVodka.com. Like most people I like Vodka, can’t say I drink it every day, or even every week, but I do love a good vodka martini (medium dirty) from time to time. I also thought that someday if I were to start a vodka company Dream Vodka would be a great name for it.

Fast forward to this year and I noticed an influx of offers coming in for the domain with two separate people emailing last week both with a strong interest in the domain. I hopped on the phone with one of the interested buyers and after a few minutes had them at $10,000, they said they would think about it over the weekend and get back to me.

Then this morning I woke-up to find an email from Afternic, DreamVodka.com had sold. Normally I’m excited when I see this but this was a bit different…what price had I listed it for sale for? As it turns out I listed it for $2,500 last year – doh! Yes, anytime you make over 300x your investment, it’s a good thing, but it’s also a good reminder of why it’s important to update your pricing on listing services.

So while I really can’t complain about this sale, I can tell you it was a great reminder of a valuable lesson I’ve learned time and time again. While I could have written a post about how genius it was that I bought a domain for $8.19 and sold it for $2,500 – I thought it would be more important to share the full story so that others can learn from my mistake.

Here are a few lessons I hope anyone reading this can take-away from this experience:

  • Always hop on the phone with a potential buyer whenever possible
  • Always remember to update your listing prices across the domain marketplaces you are using
  • Never get too upset about making 300x your initial investment

Elliot did a great post this morning about why he doesn’t generally share his domain sales and I’m in a very similar situation to him. I only share about 10% of my sales and I felt it was important to share this sale because there’s a good lesson to be learned from it, even if I have learned it a few times before.

Photo Credit: rexboggs5 via Compfight cc

{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Mike March 22, 2013, 9:37 am

    I’ve been there and made that mistake before. You are not the only one.

    At least it was not $200! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Morgan March 22, 2013, 9:40 am

    @Mike – completely agreed πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Alan March 22, 2013, 9:42 am

    Morgan………Glad to see your happy about it but I would have been pissed with myself!

    Reply
  • John March 22, 2013, 9:49 am

    Would love to know if it was the people you were talking to in time.
    One reason I stopped listing names at auction sites.

    Reply
  • Ray March 22, 2013, 10:01 am

    For a guy who writes ebooks you sure messed up on that one, looks like the proof was in the pudding as someone a week ago, went and registered all the extensions. This is the issue with fixed pricing people, take note… you get burned 90% of the time.

    Reply
    • Morgan March 22, 2013, 10:16 am

      @Ray – just because I write a book doesn’t mean I never make mistakes. It is being honest when you make a mistake and not being afraid to share it that’s important to me.

      I started in this industry making a few hundred dollars a month. I now run a business that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and was able to quit my day job as a result.

      In my books I don’t just share my successes but also my failures. I think it is those who never share their failures who are probably more BS than reality.

      I hope to make many more mistakes and just like my successes I’ll share them with all of you.

      Reply
  • Jacek March 22, 2013, 10:56 am

    Morgan
    Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll try to do the same with DreamFur.com and DreamFurs.com -> stuff women dream about.
    But what do You do when, while trying to add new domain names to your Afternic account, suddenly it turns out that previous owners offer is still there?

    Reply
  • Lance March 22, 2013, 11:01 am

    @Morgan,
    Your candor and honesty is what makes you so credible. Everybody makes mistakes; very few share them publicly. Thanks for sharing the full story and teaching us all a lesson in the process. (and congratulations on a 300x ROI !! )

    Reply
  • Brian Douglas March 22, 2013, 11:05 am

    Good Article/Advice, thanks for this reminder.

    Reply
    • Morgan March 22, 2013, 11:45 am

      Thanks @Brian

      Reply
  • Morgan March 22, 2013, 11:43 am

    Thanks @Lance and it is so true, everyone makes mistakes, those who don’t admit it are probably also lying about their successes.

    Donald Trump has written tons of books about business, but he’s also declared bankruptcy more times than I can keep track of. Still I think most people still think he knows his stuff, and they also read his books.

    @Ray – you say people get burned 90% of the time with fixed pricing, do you have any experience buying/selling domains? Where did you get the 90% number from? I’d love hear more about your successes and failures…

    Reply
  • Adam Strong March 22, 2013, 12:03 pm

    It’s hard to gauge and price names like this but if you put a BIN price on it you should be happy with the outcome and have no sellers remorse. That doesn’t seem to be the case here though.
    You’ve talked a lot on your blog a lot about the putting up BIN prices and listing your names for sale everywhere. So do you have a change of heart now ?

    Reply
  • john harrison March 22, 2013, 12:04 pm

    I’m impressed to read this post. Not many would come out with this one so upfront and I totally agree that everybody makes mistakes so the only ones who get it right are the ones who learn and adapt. No one cruises through faultlessly and its totally upfront of you Morgan to leave us with insight into the whole deal. I hope you have a whole section dedicated to the mistakes you made in your ebook because it is all learning and you can learn from the successes and from the mistakes. Sometime the mistakes show more because the sting they hit you with kind of stays with you a while!

    That is a hell of a hand reg. Could you let us into the secret of what prompted that one? Why ‘dream’ vodka? Was it the sound of the whole name? Was it some insight you gained on prior research on vodka companies? Was there a company using dreamvodka.net for example? I wonder if you might let us readers dig a little deeper πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Meka March 22, 2013, 12:28 pm

    I feel good reading from your blog everyday,getting insights into the domain world as a newbie and I am glad I bookmarked you.I want to know if you will advise that when I hand register a new domain with a site like Godaddy,do I pay more to have other things added to my domain which may raise the price to almost $20 after i check out or do I just get it for the price that I hand registered which cost much cheaper?

    I will waiting for your response.

    Reply
  • Morgan March 22, 2013, 1:06 pm

    @Adam – really good point, a sale is a sale and when I set the BIN of $2,500 I set that knowing I would be more than happy to get that for a name I just hand registered.

    I don’t think I’ve had a change of heart about BIN’s, still think they are a good idea, however I do think think that I should have gone back and updated the BIN on this one to $10K after quoting this to the buyer, just completely forgot I had listed it for $2,500.

    Thanks @John – much appreciated. Happy to give you some more insights into this purchase as well! Not really any big secret to picking the name, just thought Dream Vodka sounded like a great name for a Vodka brand, was actually surprised when I looked and found nobody was using it yet. I always do a USPTO Trademark search before buying a domain and saw this was clean. I thought I’d be holding onto this domain for years so was pretty surprised to see so much interest. Now I just hope they send me a free bottle (or lifetime supply) once the brand goes live πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • todd March 22, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Like they say all the great names are taken or have been taken at some point. DreamVodka.com was originally registered in 2008 and then dropped and picked up by none other than HugeDomains.com and dropped again and picked up by you Morgan when you saw this great domain on the drop list and when nobody picked it up you hand registered it. I love the history of domains.

    Reply
  • Morgan March 22, 2013, 3:02 pm

    @todd – very interesting! I didn’t look back on the history of the name before I bought it, looks like it has had quite a journey.

    Reply
  • Morgan March 22, 2013, 3:19 pm

    @todd – actually never saw it on a drop list, I used Lean Domain Search to find a number of vodka domains and this was one of the names that jumped out at me. I’m a big fan of Lean Domain Search but lately it seems to be showing that everything under the sun is available when it’s not, still well worth the money and probably a tool I should talk about on here again soon!

    I have always thought it would be fun to have a wine and spirits company and still have some good names in both spaces. I’ll always keep one or two vodka names so if I ever decide to do it, the names will be ready! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • todd March 22, 2013, 3:25 pm

    You are right, Lean domain search is good but lots of names show up available when they are not and when he charges us 25 bucks a month to be a member he should fix the issue. Namestation.com is pretty good also at only 10 bucks and when you see a name there that is available 99 out of 100 it is available unlike LDS.

    Reply
  • Eric March 22, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Excellent post, and those definitely are worthwhile takeaways. Another blogger (I forget who) recently recommended having a phone conversation with people who make offers for your names. I thought it was a good idea then. After reading your post, I definitely will try that the next time I get an unsolicited offer or inquiry from an end user.

    I’ll also be more diligent about updating my pricing.

    Thanks for the post, and thanks for your honesty. This may be my new favorite Morgan Linton post ever.

    Reply
  • Morgan March 22, 2013, 6:34 pm

    Thanks @Eric – appreciate the kind words!

    Reply
  • Jason Thompson Blog March 22, 2013, 9:39 pm

    Keep the machine going Morgan, this is what keeps us all motivated. A sale is a sale and there will be plenty more in the future. Great work!

    Reply
  • Louise March 22, 2013, 10:52 pm

    The damage isn’t the loss of the difference in income. The damage is your reputation with whoever you might be negotiating with, who noticed the domain listed at that price, and snatched it! It may be hard, but domainers should go through a checklist of sites where the domain is listed, and delist them during phone negotiations, but – not just that! – delist them when they sell, as a courtesy to the next owner, who may have trouble or have his new intellectual property smeared as a result of a domainer’s laziness. You operated a business, you have people – can’t you implement a checklist?

    The reason I say is the one time I purchased a domain aftermarket, it was in escrow, and the owners wouldn’t delist them from a couple auction houses. I withheld permission to release the funds to the seller, even though the domain was in my possession, because they wouldn’t delist them first. It would seem easy enough, but, no. And it was only a couple major places: Afternic which includes BuyDomains, and Snap. Finally, I got the staff at each to cave in after I had them look up the Whosis. Snap refused, until I voiced a determination to report the seller for, “domain laundering,” and then it removed it, because the seller is a good customer of Snap’s.

    Reply
  • abe March 23, 2013, 10:42 am

    I don’t deny it is inspiring, yet you fail to say how many other domains, hand registered are still for sale. Don’t fool yourself about your profit.

    Reply
  • todd March 23, 2013, 12:56 pm

    I just registered DaVinciVodka.com which I believe can be an outstanding brand and it cost me a grand total of $1.17 with a coupon. LOL I love this business!!

    Reply
  • john harrison March 23, 2013, 3:14 pm

    It seems so simple when you put it like that Morgan πŸ™‚ I don’t think you should just hope for that bottle (or lifetime supply) you should demand it πŸ™‚ Also might come in handy if you put on any fashion events for FM. I’ve found a good contact in the wines and spirits industry goes a hell of a long way to reducing the cost on a fashion event!

    Reply
  • Raymond March 23, 2013, 5:29 pm

    Just enjoy collecting names and from your inspiration, I just bought ,

    CiderVodka.com for $1.17
    VodkaCider.com 1.29 pound

    I guess cider drinks are popular these days………

    Godaddy code is LKUVC129 – It is 1.29 british pound

    Also code CJCEB169 for $1.17

    Reply
    • Morgan March 23, 2013, 10:40 pm

      @Raymond – if you ever make Cider Vodka I want to try it!

      Reply
  • Adi Weitzman March 23, 2013, 10:26 pm

    Morgan,

    Can you say why you hand registered vodka related domain names?

    Reply
  • Raymond March 24, 2013, 4:36 pm

    Morgan, there is cider vodka recipes at http://www.yummly.com/recipes/vodka-cider

    I may try it out some of those……

    Reply
  • Barry G March 28, 2013, 4:50 am

    Hi Morgan, thanks for that, interesting reading and commendable honesty. I also read with interest the comments from readers. I am somewhat bemused that in this day and age when we are all so rapidly learning and evolving in our thinking, thanks to the internet, biographies, open honest sharing in business interviews, and media etc, that we still have this irrational human fear and programmed negative response and judgments to “making mistakes” and “failing” when all that we read and learn show us that most if not all of our development and progress came about through “making mistakes” and “failing forward”. In fact we should change our attitude towards “making mistakes” being seen and felt as a feared aspect, and instead seen it as normal parts of any process to learning an expertise or finding a solution. Or simply learning not to make that mistake or take that path again in your field or life.
    To restate a few examples and a few of the obvious – to learn to walk, as babies we had to fall down hundreds of times. If as babies we had this fear of mistakes, we seem to have as adults, we would all still be on all fours. For all our technology there likewise had to be people willing to fail, from the first contraptions to learn to fly, to medical cures, to Edison’s off quoted “failed a thousand times, before he learned how to make a lightbulb”. For cavemen and explorers setting foot in new lands, how do they know which is the right way to go? They send out men in 4 or 5 different directions and 3 or 4 comeback saying, it’s a mistake to go that way the terrain is bad, and one comes back saying ‘this way is good, follow me’ Then there is simple business truth that if all was known about every business area, and no areas with ‘mistakes’ left to make, then there would only be the long established businesses making money in all areas, … and no unknown areas for entrepreneurs willing to make mistakes in, and to take risks in, that lead to their success and building new businesses. Which ironically, is the area many of us work in, ..because of this opportunity, ..in order to facilitate our aims and dreams. Yet still we are programmed to fear and regard mistakes as a bad thing.
    The facts should tell us, our attitude should be more like Brian Tracy’s quote “Failure is a prerequisite for great success. If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure.” So we should not be worried about making mistakes; we always will make them ..and when we do, we should spread the word, so others can learn from them too. As you have, in this post Morgan. So thank you. –OK, Rant Over– sorry about the length–

    Reply

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