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interviews Private Domain Name Acquisitions – An Interview With Investor Bogdan Vovchuk

NameSilo
There are many ways to acquire domain names: expiring or other auctions, purchases from investors, closeouts, expired names, drop catching, hand registrations, etc.

One acquisition method that is often overlooked is private acquisition. That is, seeking underused domain names by directly contacting the owner to see if they are willing to consider selling the name at a reasonable price. While this is not as easy as bidding in an auction, potentially you could be rewarded with a superb-quality name.

Domain name investor Bogdan Vovchuk recently contacted the owners of 100 domain names that seemed possible targets for private acquisition.

Interview

He summarized the private acquisition experience on social media. I reached out to learn a bit more to share with NamePros Blog readers.

Image-TitleBogdan.png


You contacted 100 domain name owners. How did you select the domain names to target for possible private acquisition?

Mainly I chose to contact the owners of high-quality domain names with patterns, like CVCV, VCVC, VCCV, and 2-word domains such as HappyHours, PayBack, etc.

Did you exclusively target .com names for private acquisition?

Mainly, although I'm still waiting for a response from the owner of a short one-word .io domain name.

You used a combination of email and LinkedIn for the initial communication. Did you find one more successful than the other?

Email is still the best way to contact domain owners, although LinkedIn can be useful when you know for sure that the person you are contacting is the real owner of the domain name. With LinkedIn be careful, because different people can have similar names.

What tools did you use to find email contact information?

While you can send an email to [email protected], or similarly with admin or hello, in most cases, your emails will be ignored. I used 3 different tools to find domain owner contact information: DomainTools, WhoisXMLAPI, and Hunter.io.

Do you have suggestions for that original email? For example, how short do you keep it?

Keep it super short and simple. Do not imply anything that is not true, like: "I want this name for my low-budget project". Rather write something simple such as “Would you like to sell EXAMPLE.com?” Tip: do not include domain names you are currently selling in your email signature.

You suggest it best to concentrate on domain names owned by individuals, as opposed to corporations?

Yes. Try not to contact corporate-owned domains. For domain names owned by large corporations, the chances that they will sell them to you for cheap, or even respond to your email, are very low.

What fraction of queries resulted in a response, and how quickly did the response typically come?

About 50% responded. Typically they responded on the same or next day. The longest response was in 24 days

Do you feel most owners understand the worth of premium domain names?

Yes. Domain owners are well aware of the value of their assets. Often they intentionally shoot for the moon, so that you don't waste their time with low-ball offers. Note: more on this topic in next section.

If you were repeating the private acquisition exercise, are there things you would do differently?

Do not contact the owner if you don't have the amount that you’re willing to spend. At first, try to find the owner's email via hunter.io, and only use DomainTools or WhoisXMLAPI if you were not successful with hunter.io.

Do you regard private acquisition as worth the time invested? Do you plan future private acquisitions?

Sure, it was worth the time invested. That name would go much higher on the auction if it expired. As soon as I have a sufficient budget for private acquisitions, I'll definitely do it again.

Is there anything else that you wish to add on the topic of private acquisitions?

Be polite, no matter the response.
Note your progress in Google Sheets or other similar software. It will save you time next time.

Results

He is not releasing details of the name at this time, but the 100 queries resulted in one successful acquisition. The transfer was handled through Escrow.com.

About one-half of the queries resulted in some response. He characterized the responses in the following chart.
Image-ChartResultsNegotiations.png

Six owners asked for more than $100,000 for the domain name, while another 11 quoted a price between $50,000 and $100,000. Only 5 respondents asked less than, or about equal to, $5000.

In 8 cases the owner said the name was not for sale, while 4 more said they were waiting to be approached by an end user.

A Bit About Bogdan Vovchuk

Bogdan Vovchuk is based in Ukraine. He has been in domain names since 2017, but has been more serious in domain name investing over the last few years.

He currently has just over 550 domain names. His ultimate goal is to become full-time in domain name investing, seeing a portfolio of 2000 to 3000 quality names as necessary to sustain that.

He announced his first 5-figure sale in early May of this year.

Bogdan has been active on NamePros since 2017. You can reach him at the handle @Bohdan.

He is also a frequent poster on Twitter, at bogdan_vovchuk.

Leanne McMahon recently did a 20 Questions with Bogdan Vovchuk at CrunchID.

In addition to domain investing, Bogdan works on several development side projects.

Final Thoughts

Sincere thanks to Bogdan Vovchuk for openly sharing his experience with private domain name acquisition. I think it is an important acquisition option too many of us have not personally tried.

Bogdan’s social media profile includes ‘Pay it forward, cause what goes around comes around.’ He models that in the positive and active sharing he does with the domain name community.

Bogdan gave the following great advice recently:
You can always turn your weaknesses into strengths by learning.

I urge readers to share their views and experiences with private domain acquisition in the discussion section below.
 
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PurpleMan

Top Contributor
Impact
522
Thanks Bob for this piece. I thought one can only get emails of domain owners on hunter.io only when the domain is hosted.

@Bohdan , what do you do in situations where the domain is parked and the other two email harvesting methods mentioned doesn't produced desired results? Is it advisable to reach out to the emails on private whois?
 

karmaco

Top Contributor
Impact
10,781
Nice writeup. I know alot of guys who do this and attempt this type of acquisition (particularly with 4 letters or dictionary words) and every one of them say its very difficult. Until you get some contacts under your belt and become a trusted repeat customer.

When people find a resource to acquire high value names for XXX to XXXXX they keep their sources very close to the vest. I know Riz was very good at this and I know several others who have acquired some great names this way.

But realistically,its like outbound in reverse and you will have much more failure than success. If someone contacted me via whois when there is a landing page I know its another domainer. If someone dug up my info that I had cloaked in privacy I’d be even less likely to deal with them. Always put yourself in the others shoes.

Now and then you could get lucky with a non domainer who is just not using that name and isn’t up to date on valuations or someone who prices very low but thats not going to happen on most names.

Alot of time for not alot of result for most. I think the conventional acquisition routes are more sustainable and less time wasting.
 
biix
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