There’s an interesting debate going on between Andrew and Theo on Twitter

Last week, domain investor Mike Mann announced that he sold two domains, each for around $20k, and both purchased for under $10. The two domains that Mike sold were – which went for $18,000 and which went for $19,888.

Theo, publisher of the popular domain name blog DomainGang wrote an article about the sales and shared it on Twitter. Andrew Rosner from Media Options quickly jumped on Twitter to share his thoughts on the sales:

And this started a debate between Theo and Andrew, here it is if you want to play catch up.

I actually agree with both Theo and Andrew in different ways in this debate. When it comes to Theo’s point – I do agree, this shows the power of two-word .COMs and the resale potential some two-word .COMs have if you wait for the right buyer to come around.

At the same time, I agree with Andrew that these sales are very special and probably only happens with any level of frequency if you have a huge portfolio like Mike does. If you go out and buy 100 two-word .COMs (or even 1,000) incredibly similar to the ones Mike sold, you could wait ten years and sell none for even $1,000.

This is always the challenge with sharing sales data, in a vacuum it can make buying and selling domains looks easy, when in reality there are a lot of other factors to look at.

Well that’s my two cents at least. Now I’d like to hear from you, what do you think think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Acro April 22, 2019, 12:24 pm

    Those that know how to achieve such sales, do so consistently, myself included. I’ve shared turning domains acquired for $10-$100 in the thousands of dollars, for more than 15 years.

    What Mike does isn’t the result of having a large random portfolio of domains – it’s the selective registration and acquisition of domains with potential that matters. Now, if Mike has gone “loco” and registered/acquired a large number of domains, that’s a choice that does not dilute the achieved ROI.

    Mike Mann is simply good at replicating the process, and he’s known to be very frugal with his spending.

  • Mark Thorpe April 22, 2019, 3:22 pm

    Andrew is right IMO, it is a numbers game. Although Mike is a great salesman and can sell certain domains that others cannot.

  • Brad Mugford April 22, 2019, 3:42 pm

    Mike Mann certainly makes some impressive sales. However, if you own a few hundred thousand domains and ask high prices, you will make a handful of outlier sales.

    In that sense, it is a numbers game. I would not discount it as just a numbers game though, as you still need quality domains for it to work.

    However, you have to account for all the domains that don’t sell as well; not just the ones that do sell.


  • John April 22, 2019, 3:50 pm

    Mann seems to be made of Teflon when it comes to some of these sales that have appeared to be almost begging for a TM claim at times. But that’s not my main point…

    My main point is that I suspect all these sales announcements are a bamboozling smokescreen, and I’d be pretty surprised if DomainMarket does not operate in the red. I’d be surprised if it has ever not been in the red, in fact, and I’ll bet he’s just banking on selling it to a whale for a big killing. I’d be surprised if the only thing keeping it afloat is not cash flow from one or more other profitable sources like the business or something I don’t even know about.

    • Mark Thorpe April 22, 2019, 5:42 pm

      DomainMarket is probably not as profitable as it used to be.

      • John April 22, 2019, 5:48 pm

        Used to be? I’m suggesting it probably never has been, and am not aware of any claim or knowledge to the contrary.

  • Bobby April 22, 2019, 9:32 pm

    I love the argument but I side with baby Andrew here.
    Bottom line it IS a numbers game.
    And you have to acknowledge M. Mann’s overwhelming carry costs.
    I do not agree with everything that Andrew says but he is right on the money here.

  • Snoopy April 22, 2019, 10:57 pm

    “this shows the power of two-word .COMs”

    C’mon, that is nonsense, most two word domains are worthless, it is not like one word names where every known term is valuable. Need to be extremely selective with 2 words names because finding valuable ones is digging in haystack.

    Most names in use/registered are two words and that is why most sales are two words. 98% will never sell.

  • John April 23, 2019, 12:03 am

    I registered a short two word .com not long ago and discovered only later it is also a totally unrelated single dictionary word. Not a very valuable one, though.

    Morgan is right about two word .coms. Many are extremely valuable and far more valuable than many single words, even well known single words. And certainly many also are not. Can’t believe this still even needs to be discussed.

  • FX April 23, 2019, 3:14 am

    We know from Mike’s post that he makes a very small profit at the end of the year.
    He’s not running it like a biz, but more like a job.
    For his 300k domains he annual run rate of just reg cost is around $2.5m, add OpEx and he’s around $3-4m a year. He needs to sell at least $250k worth of names every month just to stay above water. It’s great to see random 2 word domains selling for $20k each, but its a tough gig running a 300k name portfolio.

  • Frank Schilling April 23, 2019, 3:51 am

    both make good comments but i agree with Theo on this one.


Leave a Comment