Taking DAN.com for a spin – first impressions

Over the years I’ve used just about every solution out there for generating landing pages on a domain name. As I’ve said many times before – if you want to sell a domain name, having a landing page on that name that let’s a prospective buyer know it’s for sale is critical.

Yes, most of us in the domain name world know all about WHOIS and even how to contact people using WHOIS privacy (just email the darn email address!) but that’s not true for everyone.

My go-to over the last few years for domain sales landing pages is Efty.com, I’m a huge fan of theirs and have been really impressed with all the features and functionality they’ve added over time. That being said, I’ve never tried DAN.com and do know a number of people who use it so thought I would take it for a spin.

One thing I really liked about DAN.com from the get-go is their UX, it’s super clean and very polished. When I first logged-into DAN.com a message on Intercom showed up on the right-hand side that recommended an article to me about some new features they added. I clicked on the link but ended up on a “404 not found” page.


As a software guy myself I know these things happen so I sent them a quick note to let them know, no big deal. Next I went to add my domains, this is pretty darn simple – you can either just write a list of domain in a text entry box or upload a CSV, here’s what the experience looks like:

I added my domains and then updated my NameServers to point to the following four NameServers:

NS1.undeveloped.com
NS2.undeveloped.com
NS1.DAN.com
NS2.DAN.com

The reason I’m writing all of them in this post is just to highlight that when you’re using a service like this, you should always use as many NameServers as you can, that way if something goes screwy on their side, you have something to fall back on.

After that, poof – landing pages were rocking. Here’s an example of what one looks like:

Two small things I noticed that aren’t a big deal but just caught my eye. One is a small grammar error under my profile. It says “Member since over four years” rather than “member for over four years.” I was surprised to see that I was a member for that long but remembered that I did create an Undeveloped account probably four years ago so that’s where I think that’s coming from.

The other stylistic thing that really isn’t a deal-breaker but just bugs me a little is that the icons on the bottom aren’t centered. My eyes feel like they should be centered but they’re squished over to the left. Once again, no big deal.

What did confuse the heck out of me is the options for the seller box. DAN.com allows you to pick what you want it to show in that little box with my face in it…and well, two of the options sound like something I certainly don’t want to show up there:

  • Delivers within about 50 years
  • Responds within about 50 years

Also since I’m new to DAN.com, the “offers received section” shows zero. So my current concern is that anyone who ends up at my landing page either sees that it takes me 50 years to deliver a domain, 50 years to respond to an offer, or that I haven’t had any offers. I definitely wish there was a way to disable this as I’m thinking this is probably going to be a detractor to anyone thinking of making an offer.

Of course, like I said above, as a fellow software guy, I know that bugs like this happen so I let them know and I’m guessing they’ll have this fixed soon.

I like the look-and-feel of the landing pages, the design is incredibly clean and polished and like Efty, DAN.com has some good features behind-the-scenes to validate people so that I’m not getting a bunch of SPAM.

At the end of the day, I still think Efty is going to remain my go-to but I’m looking forward to seeing how DAN.com does over the next month to compare results. Either way, I think it’s awesome that there are companies offering a service like this to Domainers and really putting the time and energy into building a solid solution.

Rewind ten years ago and there really was nothing that comes close to what either of these companies offer so hats off to both of them for putting in the time, money, and work, all so we can have beautiful for sale landers on our domain names 🙏

If anyone has experiences with Efty or DAN.com they want to share, feel free to do so in the comment section below!

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Domain Investing News

Well it’s safe to say I’m still on cloud nine after NamesCon this year, I think everyone who went recognizes how darn special it was. Heck, it’s been special every year but I think what changes is us, we all get closer and that means even better conversations, experiences, etc. I’m already getting excited for Budapest ✈️

I ended up selling two domain names that more than covered the entire cost of my flights, hotels, food, drinks, etc. so the conference has been paid for. Also, one of the deals I started working on at the conference looks like it will close this week, and with a few more in the works, I think this could turn out to be my best NamesCon yet 🙌

Like I’ve said over and over again, it’s all about the people. While I think video chat has been a game-changer, there’s really nothing like being in-person with someone. I’ve already put some of the tips people shared with me to work and I’ve had a ton of follow-ups with people that is really setting up 2020 to be one heck of a year. Can you tell I’m excited? Talk to anyone that was at NamesCon…you’ll find they have the same energy.

Okay – enough gushing from me. A lot happened in the Domain Investing world last week and I’ve hand-picked some of the article that I think are an absolute must-read. Enjoy!

Results from the 2020 NamesCon Live Auction
(read more on DomainInvesting.com)

New York times covers the .Ai extension
(read more on TheDomains)

5 Immediate Actions to Execute Following NamesCon Global
(read more on Kickstart Commerce)

Spanish fashion company tries to scalp Scalpers.com
(read more on DomainNameWire)

Two startups building their brands on .IO domains raised $53M combined today
(read more on my blog)

ADD.com and Mercury.com go live
(read more on OnlineDomain)

Two New Six-Figure Sales Top This Week’s Domain Sales Chart and Neither Are .Coms
(read more on DNJournal)

Domain price increases : Gave ICANN a piece of my mind, and so should you
(read more on ACRO.net)

Voices Rising Against Proposed ICANN Agreement With Verisign That Would Push .Com Prices Up 31% in 4 Years
(read more on DNJournal)

Countries consider their country code a natural resource
(read more on TLDInvestors)

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Hello, happy Sunday, and welcome to my weekend musings. This is a series that I used to do on my blog but haven’t kept up with over the years. Last week at NamesCon enough people told me I should start this back up again that I decided to do it, so welcome back, let’s do this.

One of the things I really love about living in San Francisco is how easy it is to go from being in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle and out into nature. As you probably know, I’m a big fan of hiking, camping, and backpacking and one of my favorite hiking spots close to the city is Mount Tamalpais.

Daina and I had a great hike on Mt Tam on Saturday, which is where the photo above was taken. You never know if you’re going to be able to see the city or not from the peak, it really depends on what Carl (yes, the fog in SF has a name) decides to do. It was pretty clear yesterday so you can see the rolling hills of the Marin Headlands, the ocean, and the city in the distance.

We had a picnic lunch on top of Mt Tam and watched the sun set…once the sun goes down it starts to get mighty cold so we headed back to the car and onto Stinson Beach for dinner. Here’s a shot of the sunset:

If you haven’t heard of Stinson Beach, you’re not alone, and in some ways it’s by design. Nestled along the California Coast, Stinson Beach is a small beach community that wants to stay that way. Main Street is tiny and with no main highway taking you in and out you’ll have to wind along the coastline to get here.

That being said, if you’re already on top of Mt Tam, it’s only about a 15 minute drive and well worth it. My favorite restaurant in Stinson Beach is The Sand Dollar, and since it’s Dungeness Crab season, our timing was perfect.

That was Saturday. As for today, I got up, went to the gym and then spent most of the afternoon Domaining (i.e. doing things related to my domain investment portfolio). Given how busy my weekdays are, Sunday tends to be the only day I can give my Domain Investments some love.

Tonight we’re making salmon and broccoli which has become a regular Sunday night go-to for us. While I know a lot of people are probably watching the Oscars, we aren’t big movie buffs, and we’re currently really into a Korean Drama called Crash Landing On You (available on Netflix) which I highly recommend.

On that note, it’s time for dinner. I hope you all had a great weekend, it was so awesome seeing everyone at NamesCon, thanks for the encouragement to bring this weekly series back!

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In 2020 there are a ton of options when it comes to buying a domain name. While .COM is and probably always will be king, niche-specific domain name extensions are becoming increasingly popular. From .TECH to .AI, more and more companies are looking at what comes after the dot to give context to what it is that they do.

Enter .VC, while this is technically the domain name extension for St. Vincent and Grenadines, doesn’t ring a bell? Here it is on a map:

as for what it looks like, you guessed it – island paradise.

Of course VCs aren’t flocking to this domain name because it’s a beautiful vacation spot, to them, and most people that see a .VC domain extension they’re thinking one thing – Venture Capital.

The increased popularity of this domain extension in recent years has led to some decent sales but most end up in the four-figure range making this a massive discount off of what you’d normally pay for a one-word .COM. Here are some examples of some notable .VC sales:

  • VS.vc – $10,000
  • Bond.vc – $6,120
  • EOS.vc – $5,500
  • Feitopra.vc – $5,000
  • Apollo.vc – $4,789
  • Scale.vc – $4,240

As for the Venture Capital firms that brand on .VC, the list is getting longer every month. Most VCs I’ve talked to about the extension like it because when someone sees it they know exactly what they do. Take 2048 Ventures started by Alex Iskold, former MD of Techstars NYC and a well-known Angel Investor – if they branded on 2048.com, you’d have to visit the site to know what they do, 2048.vc makes it clear they’re a VC firm.

Here’s some examples of other VCs branding on .VC domains:

Cowboy Ventures (Cowboy.vc)

Cowboy Ventures

Primary Ventures (Primary.vc)

Primary Ventures

2048 Ventures (2048.vc)

2048 Ventures

Hustle Fund (HustleFund.vc)

Hustle Fund

Chapter One (ChapterOne.vc)

Chapter One Ventures

Decibel (Decibel.vc)

Decibel Ventures

Like most domain extensions, most of the best domains were taken a long time ago which means if you’re trying to buy a .VC domain for your fund, you’ll probably have to buy it from someone who already owns it. The good news is, unlike .COM where even two-word .COMs like MyWorld.com can sell for over a million dollars, there’s a good chance you can get the .VC domain you want for less than $5,000.

Unlike the startups VCs invest in that pay six-figures and seven figures to get the domain name they want, VCs are getting lucky, for now. My guess is over time .VC domain names will increase in price and we’ll start to see more five-figure sales like we’re seeing in the .IO space right now.

Until then, it seems like now is a great time to be a VC looking for a domain because the opportunity to get your first choice .VC domain probably costs less than what you spend attending a single conference. At the same time, I’d also recommend buying the two other variants in .COM, i.e. CompanyNameVC.com and CompanyNameVentures.com, IMO those two with the .VC name is the trifecta you’re looking for if you really want to own your brand online.

It will be interesting to watch the market for .VC names continue to grow over time, I’ll be watching and reporting more on my blog. On that note if you know of any notable .VC sales that haven’t yet been reported, feel free to send them my way. Like so many higher-value domain sales, some of the top sales in any domain extension don’t get reported so you can bet there are deals happening all the time that nobody knows about.

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I’m a big fan of .COM. A majority of the domain name investments I make are in .COM, my blog is on a .COM domain, and my company is also on a .COM domain. So safe to say I’m a .COM guy.

At the same time, I have found myself investing in other TLDs from time to time with extensions like .IO, .CO and .GG being the ones that have been the most interesting to me lately. I also can’t help but notice some of the amazing non .COM sales that have been happening lately and this week was no exception as .CHAT, .ES, and .FR ended up taking the top three spots this week in DNJournal’s weekly sales report. Here’s the top five:

No surprisingly, two-word .COMs made it in the top spots, these are my personal favorite and I actually spent close to $1,000 over the last week buying new two-word .COM domains to add to my own portfolio.

While Live.chat took the #1 spot this week I do think it’s important to point out that .CHAT does not have a strong sales history so I hope nobody looks at this and thinks they should dump a bunch of money into .CHAT domains because I think that would be a waste of money.

As for the .ES and .FR, these are two very popular ccTLDs and if you happen to know French or Spanish, there are always opportunities in this space. For me, .IO is my primary investment focus outside of .COM but I still always see .COM representing the vast majority of what I invest in, it’s the only truly proven investment grade domain extension IMO.

Still, it’s hard to ignore what’s happening in the non .COM space and as we all know, there are a lot of great opportunities out there in the domain name world. For anyone who thinks they missed the boat, you didn’t.

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Unsubscribe.com domain auction

Great domain names expire all the time for one reason or another. In most cases, the owner stopped using it and has no idea what domain names typically sell for in the open market.

Today that seems to be the case for Unsubscribe.com which has expired and is in auction at Go Daddy.

The bidding is currently at $26,000 and like most auctions you can expect a big jump towards the end. In my opinion this is a six-figure domain and I’m pretty sure most of the people bidding on it feel the same so even at $40k+ it has the chance to provide a nice ROI to the buyer.

I always like to guess what a name like this will sell for, I think we’ll see a nice jump towards the end so I’m going to guess $38,000. What do you think the final sale price will be?

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I’ve been talking quite a bit about how extensions like .CO, .IO, .AI and others are seeing strong growth in the startup world and investors don’t seem to be phased by these non .COM innovators.

Today was a pretty special day for companies branding on .IO as Clearx.io announced a $13M raise and Aiven.io announced a $40M raise. So what are these companies doing to get investors so excited? I’ll start with Clear.

First I have to say, I’m pretty surprised that Clear is branding on Clearx.io rather than Clear.io…this is pretty rare IMO that a company brands on a .IO domain but can’t get their first choice name. I wouldn’t be surprised if they upgrade to Clear.io in the near-future, but let’s get to the good stuff – what do they do?

As usual, a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a lot more than that, here’s a quick ~1 min video running through what Clear does at a high-level:

As for the one liner, I’ll give it a shot. Clear is a Blockchain technology company that has created a system to allow smart contracts to be created and executed automatically. Don’t understand that…well watch the darn video then!

Now onto Aiven.io which raised a monster $40M round that just got announced today. In this case, they are branding on their exact-match .IO which makes a whole lot more sense to me.

Given that Aiven.com is an existing company in China there is probably little-to-no chance Aiven will move to the .COM so if they do decided to move away from the .IO someday that will likely mean changing their name.

Looking at their Crunchbase profile the company has raised $50M so far and they are growing fast. So what do they do? Once again, I think a video does it a lot more justice if you really want to understand the nitty gritty:

As for the one-liner, I’ll give it a shot. Aiven allows you to quickly and easily build data pipelines so you can focus on software rather than infastructure.

Huge congrats to both Aiven and Clear, big day for both of them! 🙌

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2020 Domain Investing Trends

Hello from 32,000 feet 👋✈️ I am currently on my flight back from Austin to SF, and as usual after a conference, I have a lot running through my head. While I still have some great videos to share, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on three domain investing trends I saw front and center at NamesCon this year.

Since I’ve found the Internet on airplanes can be a bit spotty, okay – really spotty, I’m going to make this short and sweet so I can actually get this post out.

  1. Outbound, outbound, outbound – I heard more domain investors talk about doing outbound sales than ever before. On top of that, I found most people seem to be having better luck on LinkedIn than email.
  2. .CO, .IO, .AI, they’re a thing now – from investors like Nikul making a majority of their six-figure domain investing income from .CO to other investors making a killing with TLDs like .IO it’s clear opportunities beyond .COM are paying off for lots of investors.
  3. Payment plans are in – I heard more people talk about selling domains at higher prices and bridging the gap using payment plans than ever before. I also heard of other escrow services like Epik becoming a bigger player in the domain escrow space, especially when it comes to payment plans.

Okay, time to put on a movie and try to drift off to sleep as I make my way back to SF. More to come, just after I’m a bit more rested! 😴

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NamesCon Day Three In One Video

NamesCon 2020 may be over but I still have plenty of video content to share. I’m still in Austin spending time with some of the Bold Metrics team we have here in town along with some other friends that run startups here. It has been a blast but I’m definitely looking forward to heading back to SF tomorrow.

I’ll be honest, my day three video is pretty boring since I had non-stop meetings and felt it would be too weird to just video my meetings…so if you want to skip this video, go for it. That being said, since I recorded a video every day I felt it was important to still post this one, so here you go.

Enjoy and hello again from Austin, one more day to go!

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.IO domains
(Image source – 101Domain)

I received inbound interest in one of the .IO domains I owned and came across a question I actually haven’t seen before. The person who reached out was trying to convince their boss that they should use a .IO domain, but their boss had never heard of .IO and didn’t know of any companies that used it.

While I know a ton of successful startups branding on .IO I realized that the .IO registry hasn’t really done much to get the word out. The person who reached out to me said they tried searching around the web but couldn’t find a good article highlighting a few solid startups branding on .IO.

So I put together a little list for them of companies that were top-of-mind and I thought I’d share it with all of you as well. If you invest in .IO domains or you’re a startup that’s trying to convince the powers that be that a .IO domain would be a good move, here’s some example you can share, enjoy!

Branch.io – raised $367M, valued at over $1B (read more)

Apiary.io – raised $14.6M, acquired by Oracle

Keen.io – raised $29M, exited to Scaleworks

Card.io – acquired by PayPal (read more)

Castle.io – SF-based security company that has raised $11.6M to-date

As for .IO sales, the prices typically range from low four figures to mid five-figures. A few notable .IO sales are:

Cook.io – sold for $39,750 in November of 2019

Swipe.io – sold in mid-2019 for $68,000

Fluent.io – sold for $8,888 a few weeks ago

And the list goes on. I hope this article is helpful to anyone considering either buying a .IO domain for their brand or selling a .IO domain to a startup. At the end of the day, the data is there, startups are raising tens and in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars and branding on a .IO domain.

If you want to learn more about the meaning behind .IO, 101Domain has a great blog post that does a deeper dive.

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