I’ll admit that since I’ve moved to Portland, I’ve basically used my domain portfolio as an atm machine, not considering long term investment potential. I’ve definitely left thousands of dollars on the table by selling off anything I could whenever I saw a financial expense coming up. And beyond selling myself short constantly, I wasn’t putting money back into buying more names.
Portfolio Rebuild – Can I get to 200 names?
This year, as summer was starting, I found myself down to only 37 domains left – way below the level where I have to stop considering domains a reliable source of income at all. I can maybe make $6k a year with only 37 names, if the wind is blowing right. I need 200 domains to scrape by, and 300-350+ to actually live off of a portfolio (supported by a lot of other things, obviously). This is partly a numbers game, and with 37, I just don’t have the numbers to have consistent sales.
My current goal is to get up to 200 names by the end of the year, but that seems difficult. I closed July with 55…so quick math – 5 months left in the year and i need ~150 names… 30 name a month, or about a name a day?! oof.
Anyway, here’s what I came up with. It’s very hard to get good domains right now. A lot of competition and a lot less stuff dropping as inventory keeps getting consolidated by top investors. And also, when you win domains, the old owner still often has time to renew them…which happens more than you can imagine sigh.
Got this at the end of June, when i was first exploring how backorders worked. Not recommending .vc to anyone as an investment. However, a short domain is a short domain. And they are sometimes desired. And if you check namebio, there have been “wow” sales in various extensions:
I had to have this one when I saw it. A great way to get a 4 figure cannabis name into my portfolio. I wrote another post about this name.
Like wow.vc, these were kind of test grabs. Pixonary was for sale on Namerific for ilke $3k and Pozivi on BrandRoot for like $4k.. Pozivi means phone call in Croatian.. I know…I was just getting my feet wet early in the month. (UPDATE – Sold Pozivi to another investor for only a little more than I paid for it.)
Twaffic.com, StaticHost.com, NootropicLife.com
I started following some expiring auctions for aged domains, and two that I ended up coming away with were Twaffic and StaticHost. Twaffic.com has actually been registered since 2005 – I think that’s even before twitter was called twttr. For a social media agency or seo company, this is a memorable / interesting name. Feels goofy to say it, but I like saying it! 🙂
StaticHost.com was attractive to me because I’ve been noticing all of this gatsby.js and graphql stuff around wordpress – not to mention everyone mentioning a host called Netlify. I’m ignorant to these things, but I will learn. I know static websites are faster and more secure and it seems they should continue to grow in popularity, and this name is a great branding opportunity for a host to get into marketing in this niche.
As for NootropicLife.com – I just like dabbling in weird little niches that I notice for cheap/minimum bid. Sold a “keto” domain earlier this year. There’s always buildout opportunities for someone passionate about the subject with domains like these, so I price it for that type of opportunity.
Nixli.com, Marijuana.solutions, UrbanFarm.co
A day later, I won 3 names. I actually won a 4th which was over $600…however, Dynadot has some sort of issue where they are auctioning off already renewed names from another registrar. I’m sure they will get it ironed out, but the name I spent $600 on was already renewed, and i realized I was shortly about to have a lot of account credit to spend…grrr…
I typed Nixli into a new document in Figma just to see how it looked.
When you center the X, it looks “clean as hell”. And there is a past “nixly” sale on namebio. This is clearly not the nicest 5 letter brandable I’ve ever owned, but when I’m trying to scrape together a portfolio, I’ll take it on my quest back to 200+ names. Names like these are often worth like $1800-$2800 on a brandable marketplace. If I want to go through listing it on one of the prominent ones, there is a possibility of those types of sales.
Marijuana.solutions is the kind of new gtld i’m looking to buy. Something at expiring auction that has a regular renewal fee, that is priced way higher in other extensions by the various resellers and registrars, and that actually makes sense as a combo. I’ve had 2 new gtld sales this year, and hopefully this one and sneaker.life will be my next two!
UrbanFarm.co used to actually be a thing! I can’t find all the details, but I googled “urbanfarm.co” and checked out the history on waybackmachine. There are even instagram posts and blog posts about their startup launch. But it seems the company changed their name within a year? I’d love to hear the story. Their instagram showed these really cool vertical growing planters which seemed amazing! Surprisingly, in the short time I’ve had this domain parked, it is getting the most traffic out of my whole little portfolio right now.
Nectarine.io and Madame.io
At this point, I was swinging and missing on a lot of one word .io domains, so I laid low looking for some sleepers that I could steal, and I dig these a lot.
CopyHouse.co and CannabisLounge.co
There was a .co registration sale at several registrars last month, and every time I tried to check any lists of available .co’s, they were all $120 – premium registrations. Super frustrating. So I just couldn’t find any way to take advantage of the sale, and kept moving on.
On the last day of the sale, I saw a banner for $1.38 .co at the top of whois.com/whois, while I was checking a whois, and I just made myself search one last time. After checking a bunch of names I may be interested in, I came up with these two. And I’m trilled! Copyhouse is used in several extensions and is an obviously awesome name for either an irl place where you go to make copies, or maybe even a copywrite house.
The other name is obvious.
But the lesson from this is that I really need to get better at building, keeping, and maintaining domain lists, because when there are registration sales, and I don’t have anything ready to handregister, I’m really hurting my chances at building up this portfolio. I read on NamePros that some people registered upwards of 1000 .co’s for $1 each. I would love my odds at that price and I need to work on my lists for sales like these. I know i would have an amazing roi. Ugh.
CircuitCreator.com is the “oldest” domain I picked up – registered since 2000. I love it both for a real world business and also a digital business. Back in the early 2000’s it was a custom circuit board fabrication company (or something – check waybackmachine). But imagine it being an educational ipad app for electro engineering students? A great name for the right product.
I’m always looking for “WP” names, however, it seems like I only flip them for like 2-3x on namepros. When I checked this one, according to waybackmachine it used to be an agency. There also seems to be a theme called this from several years ago in a theme store. But, when I went to check the twitter, It wasn’t registered! So I grabbed it.
I don’t have anything to build for this at the current time, so it’s on the market. But if I come up with the right project or product, I’m going to be happy to have this ready to go for my own use.
RethinkPower.com, Coinsurer.com, CrowdStudy.com
Again, I won some big names, and again, they slipped away from me. So I had some remaining account credit left to spend at auction, and went with these three names.
As I was scrolling through auction watch lists all week, I kept seeing RethinkPower.com and knew there was something special about the name. But I could never commit to “going after it”, until after like the 10th time seeing it, I went to namebio and looked up domains sold with “rethink” at the start… and literally the day before and the day before that, rethinkrecycling(dot)com went for $6223, and rethinkmoney(dot)com went for $1133 on Godaddy. I was like “holy cow, I can grab another “rethink[word]” on the low, possibly.”
Another name I kept seeing on the list was coinsurer.com. It works as insurance for crypto, right? But if you google it, it also means like secondary insurance. “co” – “insurance”. WHEN we get medicare for all, will you also get coinsurance for some things? And on top of all of that, I saw that it sold for 3 figures before at auction already. So yeah, the double reading of this might give me double sales opportunites. We shall see!
CrowdStudy.com actually had 3 sales already listed on namebio! Again, this seems usable for a lot businesses, products, agencies, etc.
Uviox.com, CMYKco.com, TransactionAds.com, AmyColeman.com
There was actually one more name on this list, but I already sold it for $19 lol. And it was a name I had already sold once before! These names were all hand-registrations that were just dropped that day. I just searched on expireddomains.net (make an account) and these are what I found. I think all of them had some domain history, and fresh drops can sometimes be names that really haven’t been on the marketplace much before.
Uviox is trademarked for usage when it comes to grapeskin in cosmetics – otherwise, this pronounceable 5L is usable for a lot of brands. You-vee-ox. Not the best 5L ever, I know, but very affordable price if you want a short name! 🙂
There are some brands or words that work so well for agencies and design companies that you will find every permutation of them being used. inc, labs, company, graphics, geographic location, etc. I put CMYKco.com in that class.
Google “Transactional Ads”. Dang, that’s a lot of results. And it describes something that will make a lot of money. Huge upside at the price I’m listing it at for someone that is building a checkout right in the advertisement product.
AmyColeman.com – I just want to say “i’m sorry” to all of the amy colemans out there, but I priced it reasonably! I feel like a lot of domainers would put up a crazy price and then just let it drop to the next domainer (me in this case). Just buy this for the $250 and be THE amy coleman. oi 🙁 sorry Amy.
Ayo! I got this on August 1st, but I’m including it. Hell yes. This is my favorite purchase of the month. There are so many people out there that can turn this into a huge business. OR can repackage their old content somehow and make some side money. So many ideas…I’m excited to hopefully see this one built out by someone!
Pricing Changes and NameVantage motivation
I can’t believe I just wrote about 24 names. Feels good, though. A step in the right direction. Hopefully I’m writing about at least 24 names every month going forward.
I’ve been studying sales lists on namepros and I realized my pricing is a bit too low. I moved a lot of domains to $3000 and $6000 pricing tiers, with 6 or 12 $500 monthly payment plans. I think these options still leave the names accessible to any businesses who want them, but also help me hopefully fund my own projects a bit more, rather than just scraping by. We’ll see how the new pricing does.
Off-topic/semi-irrelevant: In the past, the general wisdom about domain pricing (i know this is silly topic after making you read this many words), is to end prices in $88. For example, instead of $2500, $2488 or something…this was because 88 means good luck in Chinese, and for the past few years Chinese investors have been major players in the domain market. I think with this trade war, restrictions on investments in their own country, etc…this doesn’t have to be a general rule anymore. I’m just trying to use nice round numbers for companies and inviduals to see, and make an easy decision.
Psyched to making beautiful pages for these on namevantage.com now. WooCommerce development has been difficult for me, but I’ve been studying and learning a lot, and I’m ready to take a new crack at the marketplace now with this new inventory to sell. Hopefully launched in some form by September.
If you’re interested in any of these or have any questions / thoughts, email me!
Here’s the entire list, one more time if you don’t feel like scrolling: