We constantly hear news about this ‘company’ or that ‘person’ selling X number of domains for large amounts of money for any given month. It certainly adds more wood to the fire under the rest of domainers to stay in the game, keep investing and selling. But what is it that makes the so-called ‘big players’ be able to sell domains consistently at end-user pricing? We asked ourselves this question and here are our observations:
The Numbers Game
This is certainly a factor, but only one of the factors. Logically, the more domains you own, the more you should be able to sell. The ‘big players’ own or are selling at any given time thousands of domains. One of the well-known domain investors became famous for registering 14,962 in 24 hours and pays over 2 million in annual fees for his entire portfolio. This requires a minimum of $200,000 in monthly sales in order to break even. So even though the monthly sales data may seem impressive, in reality it may not break even when you take renewal fees into consideration. So the numbers game is just one factor in the sales numbers.
To be a successful domainer, you must become a naming expert to some extent. At this time, .com is the safest extension to trade in. Learning what names have the potential of being used for business and in what industry, whether as a company name, product or service name, or a catchy marketing phrase, will significantly increase opportunities for end-user sales. Be aware of meaning of words and their impressions from a marketing perspective. Also make sure that the order of words is correct in the language the domain is in, otherwise it will sound awkward when spoken. That is not good for business use. If in doubt, ask for opinion from someone you trust that knows.
If you venture into other extensions, such as country-code or new gTLD’s, make sure you do due diligence and learn about the market. Otherwise, you may need to sit on the domains until the market catches up, and hopefully it will. But this article is about selling more domains now, like the pros do.
This is one of the key areas where the ‘big players’ differ from the ‘average players’. Remember that there are very few million dollar domains. There are few more hundred thousand dollar domain names. There are still more domains worth tens of thousands. There are many more domains worth under ten thousand. And way more domains in the few thousand dollar range. You can see where this is going.
If your domains are in the highest grade (million or hundred thousand range) then marketing is not really necessary since you are probably getting more offers than you know what to do with. But when it comes to domains in the thousand dollar range or below then you are competing with many portfolios with similar quality domains. In this case domain marketing takes on much more importance.
First, you need to get your portfolio out in front of the eyes of potential buyers. You can do this through social media, organic search, paid search, and other forms of advertising.
Second, when the potential buyer arrives at your portfolio, you must convince them that the domain they are considering is the one they should buy. This may be easier if they are only considering the domain or harder if they are considering a number of domains of similar quality. In any case, they may or may not purchase depending on the level of confidence and trust they have in the seller and the ease of the purchase process.
Create your own domain sales brand, a domain shop or a professional domain portfolio site, with a sharp logo and domain name. Create business cards and share them with people in the industries that your domains would be a perfect fit for.
Some professional domain sellers also use logos to enhance the domains. At the very least, a logo makes a domain stand out and helps to establish the business potential in the minds of prospective buyers.
Here is an important point: if you solely use mainstream marketplaces to market and sell your domains, you are likely losing a lot of potential buyers as they browse away from your domain(s) and look at other similar domains listed on the same marketplace.
Selling to end-users or flipping their domains is not the only way successful domain sellers make income. They diversify their revenue sources to include services such as domain (or naming) consulting, brokering other domains, developing domains into money sites or businesses, selling advertising, etc.
Diversifying revenue sources allows you to be able to wait for the right buyer to come along and not having to be forced to sell low to other domainers.