James Iles

Expert Exchange: An Interview with Domain Broker James Booth

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By James Iles, Mar 9, 2016
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    It was once said that to be successful in the domain industry, you needed to register domain names very early on, circa 1990's.

    Our guest today is proof that this is a false statement. James Booth (@BoothDomains) has been a full-time broker for less than a year, and he has already amassed sales of over $3 million and is currently brokering seven-figure domains such as HH.com.

    Brother of British investor Andy Booth, who currently owns domains such as GSS.com and XXP.com, James is quickly building a reputation as one of top brokers in the domain industry.

    In this interview, James shares his views on a number of subjects.


    NP: How did you get started in the world of domain investing?

    James: I have my brother to thank for this one. My background is Wealth Management and Finance, and after seeing my brother doing well, I decided to get involved and made a few good buys when I first started such as JNA.com and MKI.com, but then sold out and spent the money, which was a bad move. If only I had carried on.

    It wasn’t until mid 2015 that I started getting involved again and quit my job to do domains full time. This was probably the best career decision of my life.


    NP: Do you own many domain names personally, or are you concentrating on brokering?

    James: I have literally just sold out of everything while I asses the market. There is a lot of manipulation going on right now. So I am going to stand back, follow what my Chinese clients are looking for, and make educated and calculated decisions.

    I have a couple names left: CFJL.com, which in Pinyin means Wealth Manager and Accumulation of Wealth, and I also own FinancialProducts.com and DriverlessMotors.com.


    NP: What is the best domain name you are currently brokering?

    James: Right now the best name we are brokering at BQDN.com is HH.com.


    NP: Last year, what was your total dollar volume of domain names you sold?

    James: Just shy of $3m USD in my first 6 months.


    NP: Have you noticed a change in the Chinese domain market in recent months? Do you think buyers are changing the way they invest?

    James: I have noticed a massive change since the start of 2016. The Chinese are only really buying LL.com and NN.com if it is an amazing deal. I believe their mentality is that they can make more money ‘trading’ cheaper names in bulk, such as LLL.cc, LLL.co, etc.


    NP: What do you see happening within the Chinese domain market within the next 12 months?

    James: This is a tough one to predict. It all depends on things like the Chinese economy, Global Stock Markets, and a few other factors. I still believe the market is going to grow but not as quickly as it did at the end of 2015. I think certain areas will still grow, such as 4N.com, 5N.com, 4L.com, and I think Western premium 3L.com will grow also.


    NP: What’s your opinion on new gTLDs?

    James: Honestly, still not keen. I will just stick to .com and .net. If you can find an amazing deal, the name makes sense, and you can afford the renewals for 5+ years, then maybe.


    NP: What's your top tip for anyone just starting out in domain investing?

    James: Firstly, do research. Do not just hand register names. If you have a bit of spare cash and want to learn some good knowledge, I would recommend doing Mike Cyger’s DNAcademy as he has years of knowledge.

    Alternatively, scan auction sites for cheap deals such as good combinations of LLLL.net, 5L.com, and 6N.com. It hurts when I see people with names like XVQT.net or .com. These mixtures of Western and Asian have no use at all.

    No company in the west is going to want it and the Chinese are not going to want it, so pointless wasting money on them. Either get something like BAOD for the West, or TXZM.com for China, or even better, find a name that works globally [for the West and China] like BCDW.com. The top 5 Chinese letters are actually B, C, D, T, and W. Also, a bit of advice: Chinese do not actually like the letter Q.


    NP: What is the domain industry missing?

    James: That's a tough one. I see a lot of jealousy and greed in today’s market if I am honest. A few years ago, there was never so much hate towards another domainer for making an investment decision or being the broker for a name.

    After reading blog posts about some people making their own personal investments, and so much hate being blasted at them, it was shocking. Very few people want to actually help one another these days it seems.


    NP: What service would you most like to see in 2016 to help you succeed?

    James: An English version of the Chinese market performance. Someone doing what Chaomi.cc and 111.co do but for the West instead of trying to use Google Translate all the time.

    --

    Thanks to James for taking part in our Expert Exchange.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com, domain name investor and broker. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 162nd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (31)

  6. dnbrokership

    dnbrokership Established Member

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    Not everyone is who they appear to be. I will pass ...
     
  7. Bros

    Bros Active Member VIP

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  8. BoothDomains

    BoothDomains Contact us if you are looking for a premium domain

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    Thanks James. I appreciate you taking the time to ask me the questions. Happy to help anyone that has any questions.
     
  9. tld_org

    tld_org Business Member Business Account

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    What's that mean?

    For context, was the $3M just one sale at $3M or was it 500 sales at $6,000 each? And what was the biggest sale? Always see people with claims of a ton of sales but rarely is there any details to back it up. I'd think these are questions the interviewer would require to be answered before published an article.
     
  10. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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  11. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandBucket Brand Ambassador PRO VIP

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    Interesting commentary on the Chinese and Western domain markets. Always a pleasure to hear from successful members of the industry.
     
  12. BoothDomains

    BoothDomains Contact us if you are looking for a premium domain

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    Thanks Keith. Appreciate it.
     
  13. BoothDomains

    BoothDomains Contact us if you are looking for a premium domain

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    The biggest sale was NN.com with several LLL.com sales.
     
  14. GetBigDomains

    GetBigDomains GetBigDomains.com

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    Thanks for sharing the info on your experience and the Chinese market.
    I'm trying to retain meaningfull .coms & .nets and not even dare to get into Chinese domains.
    I'm sure they're all snapped up in no time. I will look out however. Have a few other extensions.
    Testing still. Thanks again!
     
  15. Nsmith91

    Nsmith91 Work Hard, Play Harder!

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    Thanks for sharing your insight and view!
    I think there is enough room for everyone in domaining . A solid strategy and the right amount of effort is necessary. All the negative comments on some investor's post are non value added. We all would like the easy sales but most of them required research, foresight, and some precision.

    I'm still trying to learn all I can about this industry!
    I regged a lot of crappy domains and now I'm doing my research.
    What advice would give someone who is starting over with a low budget of 500-1000?
     
  16. SlimPickins

    SlimPickins Diggin' the Domains... VIP Trusted Contest Holder ★★★★★★★★★★

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    thanks for sharing your perspective and own story James! While it obviously cannot hurt to "come into the game" being related to someone, and knowing a lot of big names/players, already well established in the biz and with high caliber domains to help broker, being able to succeed at that level out of the chute must still be incredibly hard (ie not blow good sales, get prices that sellers in no hurry or need to sell high asset domains are happy to accept and close on etc) and to achieve so much in a half year bodes great things ahead for you I am sure!

    Keep up the great work and all the best to BQDN.com and yourself!
     
  17. ikehook

    ikehook Active Member DSAD.com Staff NamePros Supporter VIP

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    Nice work Buddy, Thanks
     
  18. Domain Shane

    Domain Shane Active Member DSAD.com Staff PRO ICA Member VIP

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  19. joanlee

    joanlee Account Auto-Closed

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    Domaining in 2016 is a tough job.
     
  20. abcproductions

    abcproductions Active Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    "It hurts when I see people with names like XVQT.net or .com. These mixtures of Western and Asian have no use at all.
    No company in the west is going to want it and the Chinese are not going to want it, so pointless wasting money on them."

    Wrong.
     
  21. Loko

    Loko Established Member

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    Thanks for sharing guys.
     
  22. eveng

    eveng Established Member

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    HH.com is a real and rare gem. Goodluck with that.
     
  23. China auto

    China auto Established Member

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    Coming Soon
    bqdn com/
    I just installed WordPress free at. MOJO Marketplace — a leader in Themes, Plugins, and Professional Services… BQDN coming soon…
     
  24. BoothDomains

    BoothDomains Contact us if you are looking for a premium domain

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    ?
     
  25. brindle123

    brindle123 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I agree with abcproductions. Just because the chinese don't like it or it doesn't have western appeal, doesn't mean that some new product or business will pop up in the future that needs that domain.

    I don't hear anything on the forum about what the market in India is going after, what letter combos are premium for them! All we hear about is the western and chinese markets. There is a whole big world out there that will be needing LLLL.com.

    I see the LLLL.com market staying strong and fluid for the foreseeable future just due to rarity and demand. Price fluctuations will and are happening, but the demand is there to hold up the market.

    LLL.com market is more than most can afford, so those that can't play in the 3L.com market will play in the 4L.com market until that gets priced out of their range too.
     
  26. djum

    djum Active Member VIP

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    //James Booth has been a full-time broker for less than a year
    +
    A few years ago, there was never so much hate towards another domainer for making an investment decision or being the broker for a name.

    How can you tell what was going on few years ago if started brokering just year ago?

    Also 111.co have English version, no need to GT.
     
  27. ikehook

    ikehook Active Member DSAD.com Staff NamePros Supporter VIP

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    He wasn't a full time broker then but he wasn't under a rock either.
     
  28. BoothDomains

    BoothDomains Contact us if you are looking for a premium domain

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    I still followed the market a few years ago but only recently started to broker names. As mentioned at the top my brother has been involved in the industry for many years. 111.co does have an english version but what am I am saying is something more accurate and not translated. An actual western site with accurate stats. LLL.com CHIPS are not $154k each they are at around $50-55k average.
     
  29. djum

    djum Active Member VIP

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    That's just BIN price of cheapest LLL.com chip offered for sale at the auction, and it's pretty accurate (999 999 元), assuming how few of them offered there at BIN :)
     
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