My Latest Flip – From $3,500 to $17,500

I am excited to share my latest flip with all of you which I think does a great job of illustrating how much opportunity there still is in this space, even if you’re starting out this year. I’ve heard far too many people say, “all the good names are taken” or “the top guys bought all domains in the 90’s so there’s no opportunities for the rest of us.” This just isn’t true, in fact I think the opportunities are only growing as are the tools for finding them. Opportunity is everywhere, you just have to know where to look, and what to look for.

First let’s get the raw numbers and dates out in the open. I purchased Summon.com for $3,500 in February of this year from an end-user who had owned it for some time. The name didn’t expire, and wasn’t for sale on any major marketplaces, I sought it out myself because I liked the name and wanted to use it for a project.

This first step is one that’s important to highlight that I think many new Domain Investors miss. Yes, there are some great opportunities in the expired domain market, auctions, etc. but there are also plenty of great names, taken by normal people, who could sell them for a price far below what you’d buy them for on the open market. Finding these isn’t easy but tools like DomainTools can make it possible and honestly without DomainTools I don’t think this deal would have happened because I would have never emailed the owner in the first place.

DomainTools can save you a lot of time by showing you how many other domains a person owns. Someone that has hundreds or thousands of domains is most-likely an investor so expecting a rock-bottom or even fair price is usually out of the question. Couple this with the monitoring and research tools they offer and you should see why $50 is absolutely nothing for what they offer.

I was looking at a number of different domain options for this project, wanted a one-word .COM, and wanted something I could get for a fair price. I looked at ten names and Summon.com was the only one that wasn’t owned by someone with a zillion other domains, so I sent the owner an email. We discussed pricing and he said he’d be happy with $3,500, a few days later I was the proud owner of the name.

As my team started working on the project, offers started to come in on the domain at the rate of about 2-3/week. Most were low-ball offers but I always responded politely ince you never know who your buyer is. I’ve heard many stories of offers starting at $500 and ending in the six-figure range so I’ve learned never to be rude to anyone making an offer, plus I’m a nice guy so it’s really just not my style.

In April an offer came in for $2,000 and after a bit of negotiation I was able to get the buyer up to $20,000. He wasn’t able to pay it all right away but said he could put a down-payment in May 1st and pay the rest off over the next few months. I put together a contract, we both signed it and that was it, I was certain I had sold the domain for $20,000. May 1st came along and no first payment, so I emailed the buyer, no response. Send another email on May 2nd, still no response. By May 5th I realized this buyer, despite being great at the initial communication and signing a contract just dropped off the face of the planet.

By this point the team was working on other projects and I had the name listed on Sedo and Afternic so I decided to wait until the next offer came in. Then, two weeks ago I was contacted by Rich Green from Afternic, there was a buyer and after a bit of negotiation we settled on $17,500.

Afternic has been my favorite domain listing service for three reasons; they have a huge network so your domain gets in front of millions of eyeballs, their transfer process is always smooth, and most importantly they hire great people like Rich who go above and beyond. From the moment the offer came in Rich was on it with prompt communication and excellent follow-up. I was able to call him on the phone and immediately get him on the line, this kind of peace of mind is why Afternic is #1 in my book, they hire great people like Rich.

The payment and transfer process with incredibly smooth and I was excited to see Summon.com as the #1 reported sale from Afternic last week, a first for me! Posts like this is what my blog was created for, to share my experiences in the Domain Investing world with all of you. I hope this post shows many of the new investors out there that the opportunity in 2012 is still huge, you just have to take the time to do the research and buy quality names.

Thanks for reading and as always I welcome your comments, comment and let your voice be heard!

 

{ 37 comments… add one }

  • andy kelly May 23, 2012, 7:18 am

    Morgan congrats!!!! thats a great markup and much better then the FB IPO earlybirds can hope to dream of

    Reply
    • Morgan May 23, 2012, 7:32 am

      Thanks @Andy and @Ron!

      Reply
  • Ron Wells May 23, 2012, 7:24 am

    Congrats Morgan…awesome story! I hope that you continue to make good sales like this one!

    Reply
  • Bruce Diller May 23, 2012, 7:33 am

    Morgan

    First a BIG thank you for all the information you share and for all I a have learned from you… With big appreciation!

    Ref “As my team started working on the project, offers started to come in on the domain at the rate of about 2-3/week”

    Do you think the offers started because you were developing the name into a site?
    Many domainers say not to develop the name… As an example I own JewelryClassifieds.com after your post on classified software I keep a running debate in my mind a) leave it parked and hope for a buyer b) build a jewelry classified site and look to either earn enough revenue to keep it running or hope a buyer sees the built out site and makes me an offer…

    Thanks
    Bruce

    Reply
    • Morgan May 23, 2012, 9:57 am

      Thanks for all the kind words everyone!

      @Bruce – we did not make it public that we were working on the site and had it parked so these were just normal organic offers.

      Reply
  • rh2000 May 23, 2012, 7:40 am

    Congratulations.

    Reply
  • Todd May 23, 2012, 8:01 am

    Congrats Morgan.
    There definitely is opportunity as you have shown.

    Reply
  • Andrew Rosener May 23, 2012, 8:21 am

    Congrats Morgan. Good sale.

    Reply
  • Joey Starkey May 23, 2012, 8:37 am

    Congrats on your sale and a job well done on your blog.

    Reply
  • aaron@early retirement diary May 23, 2012, 8:44 am

    Congrats Morgan!

    I wish I have the balls to spend a few K on a domain. I am trying to get a domain below 1k but have failed so far so still waiting for my first purchase. I don’t want to rush into the purchase as you have pointed out that the common mistakes made by beginners is to buy tonnes of domains without knowing how the market works.

    Reply
  • jeff gabriel May 23, 2012, 9:02 am

    Great deal Morgan! Many more!

    Reply
  • Alan May 23, 2012, 9:25 am

    Great news for you Morgan, I hope the guy who sold it to you in Feb is not a reader of your blog!

    Reply
  • Tony May 23, 2012, 9:29 am

    Awesome! You’re a hard worker; you deserve it.

    Reply
  • gary May 23, 2012, 10:11 am

    Good for you Morgan. congrats!!!

    Reply
  • Rich May 23, 2012, 10:26 am

    Happy 4u :-)))

    Reply
  • Alexander May 23, 2012, 11:13 am

    Congratulations, Morgan, and thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • steve May 23, 2012, 11:34 am

    Congrats on another good sale.
    Summon at $3500 was a great buy

    Reply
  • John May 23, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Great post with details.
    Great for others to learn.
    Curious if the previous owner was receiving as many offers as you were and didn’t bother responding/negotiating with them or if it was just good timing.
    Either way nice sale – Congrats

    Reply
  • adrian keys May 23, 2012, 12:31 pm

    I think the smarts was on the buy side making it only a matter of time to reap the rewards. Congrats Morgan! Also, thanks for the details… the transparency is grt for the market.

    Reply
  • Troy May 23, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Congratulations! That is much more than I have ever sold a domain for.

    Reply
  • cc May 23, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Nice sale Morgan. And glad you shared the story.

    You do realize that it is possible that the guy you were negotiating with and the one that finally bought the name are the same person right? j/k šŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Anthony May 23, 2012, 1:32 pm

    When someone says “I can pay you over a period of time” and you said OK and put a contract together, how do you handle the ownership of the domain name? Do you retain 100% control and make whatever DNS changes to the domain so the buyer can get to use the name right away OR do you wait until all payments are completed before handing over the domain for them to use?

    Reply
    • Morgan May 24, 2012, 8:16 am

      Great question @Anthony! When someone pays me over time I always maintain control of the domain until the very last payment is made, the DNS is changed once the first payment has been made. This is all clearly stated in the contract so there is no confusion.

      Reply
  • jimmy May 23, 2012, 1:32 pm

    rich green rocks!!!

    Reply
  • Jenny May 23, 2012, 3:32 pm

    Congrats Morgan! Still curious to know whatever happened to WeddingFlorist.com?

    Reply
  • SunnyG May 24, 2012, 5:16 am

    Congrats Morgan! A great sale, thanks for sharing. Very inspiration story for a newbie who thinks there is no more room in the domain space.

    Reply
    • Morgan May 24, 2012, 8:12 am

      Thanks @Sunny!

      Reply
  • Wayne May 24, 2012, 8:19 am

    As a domaining newbie, this is very inspiring.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that domaining is like mining for gold – there’s something intangible, yet palpable that drives you toward the “payoff.”
    And, make no mistake – it is HARD WORK!
    Thanks, Morgan!
    And, congratulations on a real win-win!

    Reply
  • Steve May 24, 2012, 8:23 am

    Morgan, Congrats.

    How was the domain was listed on AfterNIC?
    – DLS Network or DLS Premium?
    – “Minimum” Price?
    – Parked at AfterNIC?

    Reply
  • Anthony May 24, 2012, 8:31 am

    Thanks Morgan! Sounds like good incentive for the buyer to keep making the payments… I’d like to be able to allow payments for domains I sell as well. I guess an attorney would provide a standard contract?

    Reply
  • Michael Conner May 24, 2012, 11:14 am

    Congrats on a fantastic sale Morgan! These are the stories I love to hear about. Thank you again for sharing your success and I wish you more!

    Reply
  • Quan Nguyen May 24, 2012, 1:34 pm

    following this blog, i saw that morgan’ the great domainer.the point is not how much the transaction is, it’s the experiemce with all share. Many people can get money from domains, even big money, but there is something not clearly. Maybe they feel not comfortable to share all. They keep many things for themselves. I mean sharing experience ‘s no problem. cause having methods not mean all people can get money. So many big domainer should learn from Morgan, i think so. Sharing all, you ‘ll get more than lost.

    Reply
  • Paul Goldstone May 24, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Fabulous sale, and true ‘Morgan’ style to share the story for others to learn and be inspired!

    Reply
  • David Harrison May 25, 2012, 9:27 am

    Let me add my congratulations and also my appreciation for sharing the details of your story.

    Morgan, I’m puzzled by one aspect this.

    The domain summon.com is still shown on the listings at ProTrada as being a NameJet prerelease name. As I’m writing, it says that summon.com will be available in 10 days and 10 hours, and that there are 7 bidders, all at $69.

    I’ve been watching this domain for about two weeks, waiting for it to come available. When I started watching it, it also showed in prerelease status on the NameJet website. Now on NameJet is shows as not available.

    Now we know the real story, that you’ve had it since February and have had it parked and non-public all that time.

    So how did it show up on NameJet and ProTrada? Just trying to understand how these things work.

    Thanks again for sharing the blow by blow, it’s fascinating.

    Reply
  • R.M. George May 26, 2012, 5:48 pm

    Hello Morgan
    Fascinating!! You must be an expert a what you do.
    I have a proposition and I’m sure you receive many considering
    your success.
    I have a few hundred domains I would like to sell, but haven’ t the
    knowledge of pricing or listing sites.
    My propostion, if you are interested , I can send you a short list of
    what I consider TLD’s. You pick & sell them for me at 50% profit to you.
    Considering your cost for the domain is minimal, not a bad days work.
    Take a look. What have you got to lose?
    If interested, please respond at my email.
    Thanks and Best Regards whatever your decision.
    Richard

    Reply
  • Mike May 28, 2012, 7:20 am

    Hi Morgan:

    I appreciate so much your sharing your outstanding knowledge about domaining. Lately, I was impressed by your new book on monetization (101). I’ve read many text on this subject; but, it is the first time I find such a clarity. Many thanks. By the way, I have a question: When dealing with the Google Adwords…., should one take into account just the MONTHLY SEARCH and the ESTIMATED AVERAGE CPC? I wonder how important are the ESTIMATED AD POSITION, the ESTIMATED DAILY CLICKS and the ESTIMATED DAILY COST.

    Thanks agin for your generosity.

    Best regards.

    Mike

    Reply
  • Rippln Hellas July 12, 2013, 6:01 am

    I am curious to find out what blog system you’re working with? I’m having some
    minor security problems with my latest site and I would
    like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?

    Reply

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