James Iles

How to Train Your Domain Brain

By James Iles, Nov 14, 2016
  1. James Iles

    James Iles Writer at and Consultant PRO VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger ★★★★★★★★★★

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    There is a lot of skill involved in domain name investing. It may seem like a question of buying a few domain names and waiting for an offer to come along, but you need to have several abilities in order to fulfil your capabilities. You’ll need to understand the type of domain names that sell, where they sell and why they do sell.

    Fortunately, there are a few ways to train your domaining skills to help you buy the right domains at the right price, that should ultimately help you to sell more names.

    Train Your Domain Brain
    Domain Sales Statistics

    Every day, NameBio produces a list of hundreds of domain sales from the previous 24 hours. The data includes the domain name, the sales price and the sales venue. Every week DNJournal’s Ron Jackson writes a list of the Top 20 domain sales of the week, with plenty of additional data from the leading marketplaces.

    Take advantage of this data and see exactly what has sold this week. Were numeric domains popular? Were there any two-word sales? Which brandable domains sold? It’s also a good idea to take a look at the WHOIS records for every listed sale to see whether the domain name was sold to an investor or an end-user. Determining whether each name sold to an investor or an end-user will help you value your own names, and future purchases to some extent.

    The Domain Game

    Michael Sumner (@Michael) of has produced a unique app called the Domain Game, which is available for iOS and Android devices. The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible by correctly guessing the price range for one of thousands of real domain sales that have been collated by NameBio over the years.

    It’s an incredible way to improve your knowledge of domain sales at varying venues. For example, through this app, you’ll likely see that Uniregistry Market produces many five figure sales, while sales closed at Afternic will usually be in the four figure range. It will also teach you to differentiate between end user and investor sales.


    Every couple of weeks, Michael Cyger of DomainSherpa hosts the DomainSherpa review, in which he’s joined by three “Sherpas” to discuss domain sales and purchases. A large segment of the show is dedicated to reviewing an investor submitted portfolio.

    It’s very rare to be able to get industry leaders to analyse and give feedback on a portfolio of names, so if you’re looking for help in deciding which of your names are good and which aren’t, you may be interested in submitting your portfolio for review. If not, the tips that are shared in every episode are worth listening to, and can often be applied to your own portfolios.

    Guess the Price

    Here’s something that you can do pretty much immediately to improve your domain brain. Find a selection of 15 to 20 auctions that are taking place at GoDaddy, NameJet or Open a spreadsheet, list each domain name and write down the price you think the domain will sell for.

    Once the auction has closed, check the sales price and see whether you were close with your guess. It’s a great way to see how good your sales knowledge is, and it’s a challenging task that you can do every week. Over time, your estimates will become more accurate.
    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

    James is a domain name industry and professional currently working on numerous domain industry research, acquisition and sales projects. Contact james (at) For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected] For James' own blog, visit

    This is James Iles's 284th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (12)

  6. internext

    internext VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for the informative article. I really like the idea of challenging myself to know the sold price ranges for given domains.
  7. ben pedri

    ben pedri Top Contributor VIP

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    some more great info from this author,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,THanks Ben
  8. bRionZ


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    I will try to do that sir. thanks for sharing, it was helful. :xf.wink:
  9. N-A

    N-A Account Closed

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    Disagree. Michael Cyger misleads you for financial gain (see: Estibot) and Shane Cultra finally admits to losing $16,000 and discusses his mental breakdown as people hurt his feelings about it on a DomainNameWire Podcast after trying to pump .WS so hard here.

    Sherpas? Hardly.
  10. ben pedri

    ben pedri Top Contributor VIP

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    David you hit the nail right on the head ,michael cyger cares about michael cyger,he sold his best friend adam down the river ,made a crap load of money off the guy and he actually promoted adams guiltyness by throwing him overboard,domainsherpa in my opinion is ok ,but the panel is full of -hit they over value portfolios that they are reviewing and give these people on the show false hope ,I just love when all 3 sherpas value a domain at 10 grand each,then when michael cyborg asks they to make an offer to the guy ,they respond with 200 dollar offers. Some of the main guest are good but the panel is full of it.
  11. redesignunit

    redesignunit Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    thanks ben great information shared here.
  12. elevator

    elevator VIP

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    Thanks, the writeup is full of good ideas, I will put effort to do all you have in the article. Cheers.
  13. Jayseen

    Jayseen Established Member

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    I'm not really sure about Domain Sherpa...
    The rest are spot on though!
    On the flip side, I read the title of the post as 'How to Train Your Dragon' :-D
  14. imc

    imc Established Member

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    Once you conform and follow others, you will either gain or lose depending on the validity and value of what you are learning. Don't settle for other people's experiences. Forge your own path with all around knowledge and create your own space, at least where domain name acquisition and valuation is concerned.

    Unless you know the true value of the domain you have registered, it is pointless to ask someone else after the fact. Imagine buying a house and then asking someone down the street, what it's value is? I've had domains listed on sales forums for $30 due to critical need and not only no one bought it, but some derided the names as useless, either out of spite or ignorance. Few of those names went on to being sold for mid XXXX's.

    Don't go by what's printed. What's sold has no bearing on newbies. That space is already saturated to a great extent and the sales in that niche shows, the buyer wanted the best name in that space. Not to say you can't succeed. There are far too many variables. A better choice is to look for new trends and wait for that industry to mature.

    There is too much sugar coating in this industry. Like Trump, no one discloses their true financials. Only successes. Take everything in with a grain of salt. In this industry, everyone is an expert until they can reveal how much they spent and how much they made on it.
  15. Timwayne

    Timwayne New Member

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    Thank you
  16. N-A

    N-A Account Closed

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    Another way, really, is to stay physically fit. If you're sluggish all day, you're not going to have the best brain to work with.

    My recommendation is an hour of physical activity at a minimum, per day. Me, on the other hand, I do upwards of 2 hours and my domain brain is on point.
  17. bonin

    bonin VIP

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    Thanks for the valuable info and.... WeTrainTheBrain dot king
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