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Dennis Tinerino is an accomplished domain investor as well as editor and founder of the Domain Smoke newsletter.

He recently sold the domain name ETH.Paris for $50,000 at Dan. He had held the domain name for only 25 days.

That sale ties for the 4th highest sale of the exact term ETH recorded in NameBio. It was by far the highest-value sale ever in the .Paris domain extension.

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Dennis is an energetic, friendly. helpful and optimistic presence in the domain community. I have been meaning to interview him for some time. With this wonderful sale, now seemed like the perfect time for that interview.

Interview

Let’s start with the sale itself. The name was listed at Dan with a buy-it-now price of $50,000. I take it the negotiation was brief before the sale was finalized?

Yes, there was some back and forth before the sales price was agreed on. The buyer came in with an opening offer of $10,000. This was a clear indication that they were serious about buying this domain. In seeing this opening offer, I knew it made the most sense to reply back with comparable sales to justify my asking price of $50,000. With the reply, I sent them a counter offer for $50,000 USD. Just one hour later I saw that they agreed to the offer. Needless to say, I was very excited and thankful that the negotiation went so smoothly.​

I guess you made the acquisition, and set the price, after seeing the sale in September of ETH.website for a similar amount, and ETH.club for $200,000?

The recent sales and increasing demand in the market for Crypto, NFT, Meta/Metaverse and ETH related names spiked my interest over the last 8 months. Seeing so many incredible sales and the demand rising, pushed me to dig deep and see where I could position myself in these markets. Watching the sales happen for ETH.website and ETH.club were without a doubt motivation to look for my stake in the ETH space. Seeing those sales helped me gauge where I would be pricing my domain.​

Did you acquire any other exact match ETH domain names that you still hold?

During my extensive searches I was able to acquire a handful of other ETH related domains in other new gTLDS. On these other domains, I am aiming for a similar sales price.​

It must have been a pretty incredible feeling when a sale of that magnitude closes. Does the sale influence how you will do domain investing going forward?

Sometimes I think that I enjoy acquiring a domain at an amazing price rather than making a sale. Like when you’re the only bidder in the auction, and you don’t know how you got it so cheap. But let me override my thought when it comes to this one. In my career as a domain investor there haven’t been any bigger feelings of excitement and gratitude then when I saw the email come through for Payment Received on this sale. I was literally jumping for joy.

Having now made a sale of this magnitude, I am looking forward to doing it again. Making this one happen has certainly motivated me to aim higher and look for investment opportunities that will lead to larger returns. In my early days in sales, I remember a line a mentor said that has always stuck with me ”Good job getting that sale, now do it again.”

What did I take from this? I learned the importance of consistency, the importance of discipline, and having no fear.​

Let’s turn to your domain investing more broadly. I believe your current portfolio size is above 5,000 and growing. Do you invest mainly in .com? Are there particular sectors that you concentrate in?

Many moons ago, when I had around 500 domains, I thought I was absolutely nuts for buying so many names. Just recently I’ve surpassed 6,000 domains and I’ve been enjoying every bit of having a bigger portfolio. Don’t get me wrong, when I look at how many domains I own I still have that same crazy feeling at times, but as I have become more experienced over the years, I am more focused and disciplined in what I acquire.

The bulk of my portfolio is in .com and that is mainly what I invest in. I’ve always tried my best to diversify the type of domains I buy and not get too deep into any one market sector. Watching the popularity and sales of ccTLDs and new gTLDs taking off in other markets over years encouraged me to begin to broaden my acquisitions.

To date, roughly 90% of my portfolio is .com, and the other 10% are in ccTLDs and new gTLDs. In my opinion, these alternatives to .com should not be ignored. As many of us start out by understanding domain names in .com, we need to educate ourselves and learn how to research demand in the other available options.​

Like many investors, I understand you came into domain investing after needing names for your own online projects. That introduced you to places like Afternic and GoDaddy Auctions to search for domain names. Then you decided to turn your hand to trying to sell domain names?

Exactly. When I got started back in 2014, I hand registered four two-word .com domain names that I listed for sale from $500-$800 USD. It was exactly 49 days later when I received confirmation that one of the names sold for $700 USD. When that sold email came through, I was overjoyed with the fact that I was actually capable of doing this. I began to dig deeper into domain investing.​

In your account of Domain Smoke origins, you described your early education in domain names.

When I think back about when I got started, I remember spending my time listening to Domain Sherpa. Whether I was driving to meet friends, picking up groceries, going for a walk or exercising at the gym, I was listening to Domain Sherpa. It was people like Michael Cyger, Page Howe, Braden Pollock, Andrew Rosener and Ammar Kubba that inspired me to continue my pursuit in domain investing. I remember getting chills listening to episodes during those years when I would hear investors consistently sell domains in different markets.​

So Domain Smoke started as a website to promote your own names?

By 2016 I had acquired around 150 domain names and I was doing a lot of outbound on them. It was apparent to me that I could sell more domain names when contacting prospects if I had a more efficient way to display my portfolio in one place. To accomplish this, my first domain portfolio website, DomainSmoke.com, was launched in late 2016.​

Why did it transform into the current format of a daily available domain name newsletter?

Every day that I searched expiring domain name drop lists, I thought to myself I would love to buy all of these names, but knew I couldn’t own them all. My wish was that I could share them with other investors. From that thought, I decided on September 12th, 2019 to transform Domain Smoke into a service that would offer a Free Daily Auction Newsletter available to all investors.​

While most probably read your newsletters for the dropping domain picks, I also really like the daily hints and inspiration that you start each issue with. Do you have trouble coming up with something to share each day?

Thank you so much for saying that, Bob. I really enjoy sharing inspiring thoughts with others to learn and benefit from. Sharing good thoughts and putting positivity back into the universe every day has personally helped me out over the years.

There are days when the writing part of the newsletter flows very easily, and other days when it seems so tough to write one line. So it’s certainly a task to keep up, but I have enjoyed it and found it a good challenge every day. When I encounter a tougher day to write, I may go for a walk or take a break to clear my mind before finishing the newsletter. Other days I have found myself preparing what I want to write about in my mind throughout the day.​

You relate how social media and other opportunities helped you move from being a domainer ‘lone wolf’ to feeling a vibrant part of the domain community.

My first interactions with fellow domain investors were in various forums, social media and group chats. In meeting other investors and making friends, I soon found out that I wasn’t such a lone wolf after all, and there were many other people just like me around the world. This helped me feel more confident and enjoy my passion for domain names more than ever. If I could jump in my time machine and start over, I would have gotten involved in the investor community from day one.​

What advice do you offer to those early in domain name investing?

When it comes to this question, I could go on forever. But let me share a few of my favorite tips for early investors.
  • Invest the time and money to learn as much as possible. As an investor, you need to invest in yourself to learn how to be disciplined and understand all of the possibilities the industry has to offer.
  • If you think you can generate revenue instantly in domains, you most likely won’t. Be realistic and set proper expectations for yourself, don’t expect any quick sales to happen. Once you learn how to invest, give it some time and sales will come.
  • Do your best not to acquire too many names right away. Rather, spend time making acquaintances in the investing community you can learn from. By not buying too many names to early, you will allow yourself time to see how things work, save money and find the area of the market that you enjoy most.
  • HAVE FUN!! HAVE FUN!!
Is there something about yourself or your interests that you would like to share with NamePros readers?

I’ve been an avid snowboarder for more than 15 years and enjoy being on top of the mountain. I’m really looking forward to getting back into snowboarding this season. Since it was tough to travel last year, I didn’t get to go where I wanted, but this year I can’t wait to travel to multiple places to enjoy the snow with friends.​

What final thoughts do you wish to share?

First, let me thank you, Bob and NamePros, for putting this interview together. It’s a pleasure and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Second, if you’ve read this far down, thank you NamePros readers, you’re an absolute rockstar for taking the time to read this interview.

Shout to all of the readers and supporters of Domain Smoke. Doing everything I do wouldn’t be any fun without each and every one one of you. Thank you for being a part of my journey and motivating me to keep going. Thanks also to the sponsors who help me keep the service going.

Getting In Touch

Thank you Dennis for the depth of your answers. In multiple ways you inspire and assist domain investors every single day. Congratulations on this big sale, and best wishes for continued success.

You can interact with Dennis here on NamePros at Domain Smoke. He is also active on Twitter: @DomainSmoke. Or there is a contact form at his Domain Smoke website.


Sincere thanks to Dennis for agreeing to this interview, and providing such complete answers in a timely manner. Have an idea for someone you would like to see interviewed in this space? Reach out to me with a direct message to Bob Hawkes.
 
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Mister Funsky

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Dennis Tinerino is an accomplished domain investor as well as editor and founder of the Domain Smoke newsletter.

Thank you Bob for the interview. Of all those in the industry, Dennis is one of the few I would like to meet and just hang out a with for a while...maybe while enjoying an IN-N-Out burger (anytime I head to the West coast I have to have several). Seems like a stand up guy and I appreciate all his efforts.
 
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