Domain Sales Invoice

I was going through some threads on NamePros tonight and came across a topic that I imagine a number of new domain investors run into from time to time. While most of your domain sales likely will happen without any kind of paperwork required from your side, sometimes a buyer will want an invoice – before you panic, know that this is a simple request and won’t be too hard for you to put together.

Before I go any further – here’s the NamePros thread that inspired this post:

I have a general invoice template in Excel that’s always ready to go, and if you have Excel on your computer you can whip one up in two minutes. Raymond from TLDInvestors.com also made a good suggestion using a service called aynax.com which looks pretty streamlined and easy to use, here’s a link to the template Raymond shared.

While it might seem like an extra step, making an invoice is so easy there’s no need to hesitate or push back, you just made some money, take the 1-2 minutes to send an invoice if that’s what the buyer wants. I always try to remind people that if you do everything you can to make buying domains from you a positive experience, maybe that same buyer will continue to buy more names from you. If you’re a pain in the ass, you can be sure they won’t.

Case in point, I recently bought a domain from someone that was super hard to deal with, refused to do anything to make the deal go smoothly. While I got the deal done, I can tell you I’ll be avoiding them in the future, no reason to give money to someone that’s going to create a negative, high-friction process. Advice for you, don’t be that guy.

Hopefully this post helps other domain investors with the same question. Boom, that’s it, nothing more to say.

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When it comes to Domain Development Peter Askew is one of the people I look up to the most. It’s safe to say he has the magic touch, from picking great domains, to finding niches with good income potential, and of course building a real meaningful business and revenue stream.

If you want to see some of Peter’s Domain Development adventures live, feel free to check out BirthdayParties.com, VidaliaOnions.com, Onions.com, or RanchWork.com. And if you think Peter builds mini sites, think again, he builds real businesses, here’s a look behind-the-scenes at Vidalia Onions:

Now back to the title of this post. Today on Twitter Peter shared his Domain Development cheatsheet and in short, I think it’s awesome and wanted to share it with all of you. First we’ll start with the tweet:

Now for the rundown with links you can click directly from this post:

Peter Askew’s Domain Development Cheat Sheet

Education: DNAcademy

Auction: Dropcatch, Go Daddy Auctions, NameJet, Snapnames

Dev: Dorik.io, Carrd, WordPress, WebFlow

Sales: DAN, Efty, Afternic, Sedo, DNWE

Podcasts: Domain Name Wire, DomainSherpa, Alvin Brown, Josh Reason

Conferences: NamesCon

Huge thanks to Peter for sharing all these great resources, for anyone interested in domain development or just domain names in general this is one heck of a list. I wish something like this existed when I was getting started!

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I think it’s safe to say that all of my readers in the domain industry know Shane Cultra aka Domain Shane. For all the startup founders and VCs who read my blog, you might not have any idea since you don’t read Domaining.com (but you should!). So here’s a quick primer.

Shane runs Country Arbor Nursery in Illinois, he’s the fifth generation of his family to run the business, and yes, if I need any gardening tips, he’s who I go to. Additionally Shane has been writing a blog, originally on DomainShane.com, and as he expanded and added more writers moved onto DSAD.com.

But wait, there’s more! Shane has been a regular part of the Domain Sherpa show since the very early days and he has a pretty awesome domain portfolio. While I don’t know all the details on Shane’s portfolio I think it’s safe to say he’s .COM-focused and he has a really good eye for domains, picking up some strong one and two-word .COMs over the years.

Oh, and I’d be missing a big piece of the puzzle if I didn’t mention that Shane is one heck of a runner, follow him on Strava and well, you’ll feel like a lazy bum. And, to top it off, Shane travels to Africa to help communities in need. In short, Shane’s a pretty amazing guy so when something good happens to him, I’m happy and so are a lot of other people. Which is why I wanted to highlight both Shane and some good news he shared on Twitter:

I knew Shane owned Runner.com so as I started reading this tweet I thought, ah – he sold Runner! However he proved me wrong there, and he also didn’t sell Botany.com which is another really solid name. Now we’re all in suspense but it’s safe to say that Shane is celebrating this weekend. Two six-figure sales in 24-hours is absolutely amazing and this is a case where it’s also so well deserved.

Of course I’ll be doing everything I can to get Shane to answer some questions so I can share an interview with him about the deals next week. Congrats Shane, super happy for you and can’t wait to hear more! 🎉

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Back in February I wrote an article about how popular the .VC domain extension is becoming in the venture capital world. At that time .VC names were dropping and sold all the time through Park.io but the prices rarely went over a few hundred dollars.

Fast forward to today and the bidding activity on .VC is through the roof, today alone there are two .VC domains with bids over $1,000. One of those domains is Pegasus.vc which is at $1,007 with nine bids.

Pegasus.vc

The second name currently over $1,000 is First.vc which is at $1,012 with sixteen bids.

First.vc domain auction

What’s interesting is if you sort the top auctions by price on Park.io, those two .VC names have the highest bids, and the auction for First.vc doesn’t even end until July 14th.

Here’s a look at the top five domains in auction right now on Park.io:

So the question is, what’s causing this spike in .VC prices? Are more domain investors started to get interested in this extension or have VC firms figured out they can buy .VC names on Park.io and is it legitimate end-users bidding on the names now? Either way, these prices are starting to eclipse .io names in auction which seem pretty strange given the strong sales history one-word .IOs have seen and the very limited sales history .VC has seen.

Any idea what’s causing .VC to get so hot so quickly? 🔥

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Selling Domains

Yesterday I wrote an article about the absolutely stellar results that Abdul Basit is seeing at Afternic and I’ve been reading through some of his earlier articles to dive deeper into the data. One stat that I always find interesting is the number of inquiries someone gets as a percentage of their portfolio.

I often have people who email me with a long list of domains asking me to tell them which are valuable. I usually respond by saying, “put a landing page on them and see how many inbounds you get in a 3-6 month time period.”

The reality is, the number of inbounds your domains get does tell you something about how good you are at picking domains that are resonating with people. Of course this metric isn’t everything, there are plenty of people who sell domains for $10,000+ who haven’t seen an offer on that name in years and then poof, in comes a five-figure buyer. That being said, over a several hundred or several thousand name portfolio, inbounds can tell you something.

In January of this year Abdul wrote a post announcing his move to Afternic landers, and in it, he shared the number of inquiries he gets a month:

Another positive side is that I used to receive around 500 inquiries every month with the domain portfolio of little over 3,400 and of course most of those inquiries never convert. And from that too, many of them are not genuine domain inquiries. This way I’ll save enough time to spend other place which is more productive.

(Source – AbdulBasit.com)

If you run the numbers that’s around a 15% inquiry rate which in my book is pretty darn good. One important thing to note here is that Abdul isn’t saying that he gets inquiries on 500 domains, it’s 500 inquiries, so there could be one name that gets 100 inquiries/month that’s bringing that number up.

Still, that being said, I think anything in the 10% – 20% range is pretty freaking awesome no matter how you slice it. I recently talked to a new investor and asked him how many inbounds he’s getting, the answer – 0% in the last six months. I looked at his portfolio and told him he probably has to start over. It was a tough pill to swallow but also the right move to make.

When you’re just getting started it’s hard to know if you’re buying names people actually want, or names that you just think people want. Actions speak louder than words so paying attention to the names that get the most inquiries can help drive future acquisitions.

I’m a data guy, so while gut is great, I always like to let the data lead the way. What do you think is the good inquiry % number for a portfolio?

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Here’s something I’ve been going back-and-forth on for years – should I be writing my blog posts in the morning before my work day kicks off, or in the evening? While I find I’m generally more mentally “on” in the morning, I also have a lot more distractions as these are particularly busy times for Bold Metrics and our mornings tend to be jam-packed.

At the same time, I find that after an insanely busy day, it usually takes me longer to do the research and put together what I need to in order to get a post out there. The advantage to writing posts in the evening is that I don’t have any distractions, so while I might be mentally drained, I don’t have to worry about a lot of interruptions.

I’ve tried to look at my analytics data to see if posts perform better in the morning or in the evening but it’s really hard to know since I generally see that the topic of the post reins supreme when it comes to reads. On that note, I’ve found this year that people seem to be enjoying articles about what other domain investors are doing to sell domains, like my article yesterday.

All that being said, I’m writing this blog for you – my reader, so I’m interested to know when you generally read blogs. Do you wake up and dive into domain blogs or is it something you enjoy after work, maybe with your favorite tasty beverage?

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I have to say that I think we’re at a peak time in the domain industry when it comes to people sharing data about what’s working and what isn’t. One of the people I’ve been the most impressed with is Abdul Basit who regularly shares his sales data and his June numbers were impressive to say the least.

If you haven’t been following along with Abdul’s adventures with Afternic, you can play catch-up, here’s details on his sales this year so far:

In total Abdul sold $76,540 in domain names in June and his acquisition cost was under $5,000. The highlight of June was without a doubt the sale of AutoFun.com for $50,000 which sold at BIN. His other sales were names like ToothBar.com for $6,888, TinaChen.com for $1,988, GMTransport.com for $4,888, 40HZ.com for $2,888 and a .BIZ sale, ww.biz for $4,888.

One easy observation here that always makes me happy is the absolute dominance of two-word .COMs when it comes to good investments. As I’ve said many times, two-word .COMs are my personal favorite when it comes to low buy prices and high (relative) sale prices.

Congrats to Abdul, especially on AutoFun.com and thanks again for sharing your journey with all of us! 🙌 If you want to read more about Abdul’s June sales you can check out the full thread here on NamePros.

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Today I found an interesting article when searching around for domain news – someone listing a bunch of scuba-related domain for sale. Okay, so nothing too interesting there yet, but give me a minute here.

Domains in a related category are listed for sale, or more frequently auction, all the times on sites like Sedo but in this case, the domains were listed on a popular scuba diving blog, DeeperBlue.com.

Scuba Domain Names

It looks like a company called eScuba Pty Ltd. bought the domains in the 90’s (according to the blog post) and has recently reduced their prices and listed all their scuba-related domains for sale here.

What I thought was interesting about this blog post is that is showed up when I did a search on Google News for domain names. That means this particular scuba blog is an approved news source on Google News and judging by the fact that they have 286, 879 fans on Facebook and over 25,000 Twitter followers, it’s safe to say it’s a relatively popular site.

While I’m not sure if eScuba Pty paid to get this blog post on DeeperBlue.com or if they’re buddies with the blog owner, I think it’s a pretty solid idea. If you think about it, you’re likely to find more people interested in buying domains related to scuba diving on a scuba diving website vs. a domain marketplace.

If I was someone in the scuba diving world, looking for a domain for a new product or service I was offering, I’d probably be pretty interested in the domains eScuba listed for sale. I thought this was an interesting idea and one that would work either for a portfolio or for one or two high-value names in a particular niche.

I’ve never tried this myself but thought it was a clever idea and worth sharing. Anyone else tried anything like this before?

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I saw this tweet today and it made me think a lot about my first few years as a domain name investor.

While we all buy domains names and think at the time they would make good investments, a year or two later, it’s okay to realize that some aren’t. Most of the domains I’ve dropped over the years are domains I either hand-registered or bought off the drop for $50 or less.

It can be easy to develop a bit of sentimental attachment to a domain. I’ve seen this happen with a domains that follow a certain theme, like maybe you find out there’s a new trend and register a bunch of domains like: <trend>now.com, <trend>online.com, <trend>blog.com, etc. While you might have stumbled on a new trend, you’ll know soon enough if offers and sales start coming in, if not, then dropping the 20 names you hand-registered doesn’t just save you money, it can actually be leveraged to make better investments.

Here’s what I do when I drop domains. Over a given quarter, I look at the total dollar amount I’m saving from domains I dropped, then I usually put that into one or two names. My logic here has always been, if I drop 20 domains that I probably would never sell, and buy one domain for $200 that I could sell for $2,000 – that’s a better move.

Don’t be afraid of looking back a year later and thinking, why the heck did I buy that name? It happens to everyone, the key is, over time, learning which names in your portfolio are real assets that will sell for a good ROI over time, and which are actually liabilities that will cost you $10/year just to sit in your portfolio.

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I was talking to a friend today who is looking at buying a portfolio of .IO domain names. We’ve all seen .IO domains command higher and higher prices over time with domains like Jackpot.io selling for close to $50,000 this year and one-word .IO’s going for over $1,000 at Park.io every day.

While a premium one-word .IO domain can sell in the $10,000+ range, once you have a bunch of them together in a portfolio, the price goes down. Of course this is true for any domain extension not just .IO. I know many investors that have bought and sold .COM portfolios and on a per-domain basis, names sell for a lot less than they would individually.

I’ve heard some people say that when you sell domains as a portfolio you essentially take a 1/10 haircut, i.e. you’ll sell the domains individually for a tenth of what you normally would at retail. That being said I’ve seen ranges from 1/5 up to 1/20th so it’s hard to know if there is really one magic number.

Assuming a portfolio has mostly premium one-word names, what do you think a per-domain price would be in .IO? Since it’s not fair for me to ask the question without answering myself, I’d say somewhere in the $750 – $1,500 range per domain, so a 100 domain portfolio would sell for $75,000 – $150,000. This is just a guess, and no there really is no right answer here, it depends so much on the specific names in the portfolio.

Portfolio sales can be a great win for a domain investor, but it all depends on what they pay per domain and what their expectations are around both price and timing. Most people I know who buy portfolios usually find a handful of names in the portfolio they really like and buy the whole portfolio expecting to turn a profit on those specifically, the rest are gravy.

Okay – that’s my two cents. What do you think? What is the wholesale per-domain price on a .IO portfolio?

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