Get your catchy domain at it.com

Hi, I'm Twiki answering your questions today here on NP. AMA

NameSilo

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
I've just received a bunch of questions from another NP member via DM.

I thought it's more appropriate to reply to them in an AMA post as others NP members might have other questions. Never did an AMA before, here or anywhere else. Anyway, ask me anything below.

Before anything else, please note: I am really not a fan of the spotlight. So please don't put me on a pedestal - like a few folks wanted before. I really don't like / want / need all that. Just got a bit of more performance lately but it's nothing that uncommon I'd say. I'm just yet another domainer here on NP where I have learned a lot. There are many others here much better than me.

OK so here are the questions I've received, and the answers:

- Q: How long have you been in the industry?
- A: This is rather difficult to answer. I'd prefer to say 3 years, because these are the years during which I finally got performance. Which has been visible just as it went here on NP in the sales thread.

But I've been buying and selling domains on a constant basis since 2018. And I also had a few tens of short domains like 15 years ago or so. Unfortunately I let them expire an got out of domaining for a decade, would have been worth some decent money today. But I think it's never too late if you're willing to do the work.

- Q: What is portfolio right now?
- A: I guess you're asking about the size. I have 7400 domains right now, down from 25.000 historical max. I'm reducing the portfolio however and hope to go beyond 4000 so it becomes much more manageable.

- Q: How much would you say you have acquired in drop registered or closeout vs auction at GoDaddy/Dynadot etc?
- A: Again if you're asking about counts: I don't have a statistic, but probably 75% of my domains are drop regs, 15% are hand regs, and most of the remaining are closeouts. Auction buys, less than 1%. However I intend to develop that next but it is more time consuming for me to watch the auctions.

- Q: How much do you spend on average acquiring domains?
- A: If you ask about time, it varies. Sometimes a full day, other times I don't even work on domains. On average at least 2 hours per day. If you're asking about $, most domains are at reg cost OR closeouts which range between 5 and 50$ + reg fee. Auctions I only have bought domains worth $300 or less.

- Q: Looks like you are mostly focused on the dot com? Is that correct?
- A: Yes. I have a much better hand at .COMs. Like 99% of my domains are .COM.

- Q: Do you hand register domains also?
- A: Sure, but not every day. Sometimes I get an idea and will register some based on it. I've sold for example quite a few meta domains which are all handregs. I haven't sold any NFT domain so far. It depends. I tend to not go too deep in hand regs.

Please note that drops are also a form of handregs. Well drops I do daily, and sometimes several depending on the quality available that day.
------

I'm going to add a bit of more insight here as to how I get results:

What I do is simple, I'm working hard each day (really) and got a bit of luck as well. That's all, nothing out of the ordinary. I also try to help others when I can, here on NP and elsewhere (with some limits, of course). I am also a full stack developer and I build my own tools for domaining, that helps as well.

If anyone here on NP has another question to ask, please ask below. If there are none more, that's also cool with me.

Thanks!
 
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twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
If you want to buy a domain TODAY for $100, what .com name, at least a keyword, you will choose?

I'm going to answer all those questions that make sense to me.
 

AEProgram

Top Contributor
Impact
6,571
No, I have accounted for that. Although you are right, quality increased over time.

But even so, I have tested various other landers (including my own) and monitored the results. There's definitely a difference.

However I'm pretty sure this might differ from one domainer to another a lot. For example Dan never worked for me and it's still puzzling as to why.

Edit: The most important factor in sales, by me it's trust.

The GoDaddy name there and phone number on NS5/NS6 beats everything else.
The 4.7 Trust Pilot on Dan pages can be a BIG turnoff for a lot of people. Even though a 4.7 score on Trust Pilot is good, for most people they are already hesitant to buying a name at a premium price, show them a 4.7 rating and they are gone.

Recently someone posted a terrible review of Dan, probably someone with a lack of understanding how DNS works. Regardless, imagine you are thinking about giving your card number to them today and you go to Trust Pilot and the first review as of now is a 1 star of someone claiming bad things.

At least give domainers an option if we want that trust pilot on our landers. Give us an option to display our own phone numbers in big on the page.
 

topdom

Top Contributor
Impact
1,506
Maybe answered somewhere, but let me ask more..
here my second list of questions:

You park at AN / NS5/NS6.

-Are your domains parked in make offer form, or BIN form, or maybe neither (contact form only)?

-Do you add prices (almost) always, or do you add them
after an offer, or price request?

-Do you use fast transfer (not always possible)?

-What do you do if you let a domain expire , when it has a price. Do you remove the domain right away?
Because otherwise you may have to sell domains you don't own.

-Do you also list elsewhere?

BTW, I never parked at AN. Many of my domains are parked at Epik, and not even listed anywhere.
After Dan and EPik screwed their own parking systems intentionally,..looking for a new place to park.
Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form,
so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity, and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later.
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
Maybe answered somewhere, but let me ask more..
here my second list of questions:

You park at AN / NS5/NS6.

-Are your domains parked in make offer form, or BIN form, or maybe neither (contact form only)?

-Do you add prices (almost) always, or do you add them
after an offer, or price request?

-Do you use fast transfer (not always possible)?

-What do you do if you let a domain expire , when it has a price. Do you remove the domain right away?
Because otherwise you may have to sell domains you don't own.

-Do you also list elsewhere?

BTW, I never parked at AN. Many of my domains are parked at Epik, and not even listed anywhere.
After Dan and EPik screwed their own parking systems intentionally,..looking for a new place to park.
Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form,
so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity, and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later.

If you truly want to grow your domaining as a business, you have to streamline your operations. That's what I did. Decided what works, chosen my methods and stick to it. (apart from occasional testing.)

-Are your domains parked in make offer form, or BIN form, or maybe neither (contact form only)? > Only BIN. Make offer price is the same as BIN, so basically I don't have an make offer (fixed price).

-Do you use fast transfer (not always possible)? > If available, but I don't stress over it.


-What do you do if you let a domain expire , when it has a price. Do you remove the domain right away?
Because otherwise you may have to sell domains you don't own. > Yes, the same day it has expired. Besides Afternic disables your listing at the same time (detects domain has expired) so there's no such risk.

-Do you also list elsewhere? > No. I tried everything else, and in the end Afternic works for me best, even though their commission is 20%. But even with that, this simple setup (parking everything at Afternic NS5/6) is bringing me the best results (thanks again @AbdulBasit.com ).

- Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form,
so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity, and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later.

> This actually tells that you still need to learn and haven't reached your domaining let's say maturity phase. You stress too much and focus on the wrong things. Here's my advice below:

- Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form, > No, definitely not. Unless you have a precise method for not listing your domains at all, and doing outbound to high roller companies, like @Lox has. But that's a high end and difficult one I must say (I admit I'm not able to do that yet).

- so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity > Once I raised all my prices to the right BIN and keeping it, all that goes away. You get your bin price, no more lowball, no more nonpaying etc. I only get like a payment error once per year at Afternic.

Don't put low min if you don't want to be lowballed. It's that simple.

- and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later. > Same advice. Learn the right prices for your domains. Put a BIN price. Then forget about all the hassles etc.

If your domain is valuable, you'll get offers anyway via Afternic/ GD brokers. But overall BIN will sell most stuff.

In my opinion make offer is only good in the following situations: 1) You don't know exactly what your domain is worth; 2) You have a top-tier 5-fig domain or more, and don't want to put a price on it; or 3) You have a domain that you know will be worth much more later so you're just testing the market by accepting offers but declining all of them.

BIN price trumps everything else. With the sole condition, has to be the right price for your domain. Too low or too high and you're killing the sales ratio and/or profits.

Edit: Abdul Basit for example has a min offer, but that offer it's at say 70% of the BIN price. It tells there is room for negotiation but not much. It's a safe way to use min offer and I would not use anything lower today. But in my particular case, nobody ever took that min offer so there was no point to have the same. In the end I gave up on min offer completely.
 
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Lox

_____Top Contributor
Impact
8,384
If you truly want to grow your domaining as a business, you have to streamline your operations. That's what I did. Decided what works, chosen my methods and stick to it. (apart from occasional testing.)

-Are your domains parked in make offer form, or BIN form, or maybe neither (contact form only)? > Only BIN. Make offer price is the same as BIN, so basically I don't have an make offer (fixed price).

-Do you use fast transfer (not always possible)? > If available, but I don't stress over it.


-What do you do if you let a domain expire , when it has a price. Do you remove the domain right away?
Because otherwise you may have to sell domains you don't own. > Yes, the same day it has expired. Besides Afternic disables your listing at the same time (detects domain has expired) so there's no such risk.

-Do you also list elsewhere? > No. I tried everything else, and in the end Afternic works for me best, even though their commission is 20%. But even with that, this simple setup (parking everything at Afternic NS5/6) is bringing me the best results (thanks again @AbdulBasit.com ).

- Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form,
so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity, and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later.

> This actually tells that you still need to learn and haven't reached your domaining let's say maturity phase. You stress too much and focus on the wrong things. Here's my advice below:

- Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form, > No, definitely not. Unless you have a precise method for not listing your domains at all, and doing outbound to high roller companies, like @Lox has. But that's a high end and difficult one I must say (I admit I'm not able to do that yet).

- so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity > Once I raised all my prices to the right BIN and keeping it, all that goes away. You get your bin price, no more lowball, no more nonpaying etc. I only get like a payment error once per year at Afternic.

Don't put low min if you don't want to be lowballed. It's that simple.

- and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later. > Same advice. Learn the right prices for your domains. Put a BIN price. Then forget about all the hassles etc.

If your domain is valuable, you'll get offers anyway via Afternic/ GD brokers. But overall BIN will sell most stuff.

In my opinion make offer is only good in the following situations: 1) You don't know exactly what your domain is worth; 2) You have a top-tier 5-fig domain or more, and don't want to put a price on it; or 3) You have a domain that you know will be worth much more later so you're just testing the market by accepting offers but declining all of them.

BIN price trumps everything else. With the sole condition, has to be the right price for your domain. Too low or too high and you're killing the sales ratio and/or profits.

Edit: Abdul Basit for example has a min offer, but that offer it's at say 70% of the BIN price. It tells there is room for negotiation but not much. It's a safe way to use min offer and I would not use anything lower today. But in my particular case, nobody ever took that min offer so there was no point to have the same. In the end I gave up on min offer completely.

The biggest part of my domain selling model is identifying 2-3 prospects; because it would be foolhardy to have a model that attempts to attract everyone. After identifying, you should have a general sense of who your ideal prospects are and the ideal time to put it on the market (with or without NS) .... I’ve briefly covered how here .

Regards
 

AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,204
If you truly want to grow your domaining as a business, you have to streamline your operations. That's what I did. Decided what works, chosen my methods and stick to it. (apart from occasional testing.)

-Are your domains parked in make offer form, or BIN form, or maybe neither (contact form only)? > Only BIN. Make offer price is the same as BIN, so basically I don't have an make offer (fixed price).

-Do you use fast transfer (not always possible)? > If available, but I don't stress over it.


-What do you do if you let a domain expire , when it has a price. Do you remove the domain right away?
Because otherwise you may have to sell domains you don't own. > Yes, the same day it has expired. Besides Afternic disables your listing at the same time (detects domain has expired) so there's no such risk.

-Do you also list elsewhere? > No. I tried everything else, and in the end Afternic works for me best, even though their commission is 20%. But even with that, this simple setup (parking everything at Afternic NS5/6) is bringing me the best results (thanks again @AbdulBasit.com ).

- Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form,
so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity, and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later.

> This actually tells that you still need to learn and haven't reached your domaining let's say maturity phase. You stress too much and focus on the wrong things. Here's my advice below:

- Maybe not listing anywhere may work the best, as long as there is a good honest place park with contact form, > No, definitely not. Unless you have a precise method for not listing your domains at all, and doing outbound to high roller companies, like @Lox has. But that's a high end and difficult one I must say (I admit I'm not able to do that yet).

- so we can avoid lowballing/nonpaying agents/marketplaces hiding behind anonomity > Once I raised all my prices to the right BIN and keeping it, all that goes away. You get your bin price, no more lowball, no more nonpaying etc. I only get like a payment error once per year at Afternic.

Don't put low min if you don't want to be lowballed. It's that simple.

- and prevent others from stealing your leads first, and domains later. > Same advice. Learn the right prices for your domains. Put a BIN price. Then forget about all the hassles etc.

If your domain is valuable, you'll get offers anyway via Afternic/ GD brokers. But overall BIN will sell most stuff.

In my opinion make offer is only good in the following situations: 1) You don't know exactly what your domain is worth; 2) You have a top-tier 5-fig domain or more, and don't want to put a price on it; or 3) You have a domain that you know will be worth much more later so you're just testing the market by accepting offers but declining all of them.

BIN price trumps everything else. With the sole condition, has to be the right price for your domain. Too low or too high and you're killing the sales ratio and/or profits.

Edit: Abdul Basit for example has a min offer, but that offer it's at say 70% of the BIN price. It tells there is room for negotiation but not much. It's a safe way to use min offer and I would not use anything lower today. But in my particular case, nobody ever took that min offer so there was no point to have the same. In the end I gave up on min offer completely.

Always good to see different strategies working for every other investor.

I tried ns5/ns6 on a reasonable number of domains but it didn't impress me much so I got back to ns3/ns4 which is what I prefer the most. But I'm happy to know ns5/ns6 are working better for you.

I agree with you that BIN pricing trumps everything else.

Coming back to asking you something so here is my question to you:

I read that you're lowering down the portfolio size and I was wondering why don't you scale up like before which will increase the probability of sales. I've believed that both numbers and quality together makes it a perfect combination. So what's your thought process behind this?
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
I tried ns5/ns6 on a reasonable number of domains but it didn't impress me much so I got back to ns3/ns4 which is what I prefer the most. But I'm happy to know ns5/ns6 are working better for you.
As my Afternic rep said to me: NS 5/6 work best for domains with a retail price below 5k. Above that, NS3/4 is the right choice.

Your domains are of higher value, therefore the difference is clear. Plus it's a different sales process, negotiations etc. The bulk of my domains is valued between $1.5K - 3K, therefore NS5/6 fits best.

I read that you're lowering down the portfolio size and I was wondering why don't you scale up like before which will increase the probability of sales. I've believed that both numbers and quality together makes it a perfect combination. So what's your thought process behind this?
The answer here is more complicated as there is more than one side of this decision.

Indeed, the more good quality domains you have, the better your sales obviously. That's fairly easy to understand for anyone. But there is a catch, or actually more of them.

1) There are limits on how many domains you can have. There are financial limits, and also workload limits. I've realized that I cannot properly manage a portfolio larger than 4 to 5 thousand names. It gets to mostly skimming over some domains, which in turn hurts profit. Edit: My current model depends on pricing precision, well if I cannot allocate enough time for that towards each domain I'm not going to make a good ROI. Too high or too low priced, the overall profit is greatly reduced.

So it makes sense to not only reduce the financial load but also the work load and focus on best names. This gets you less work and more money.

2) In these times, during which it has become obvious for everyone (or should have) that sales are going down and will continue to go down as this global recession is settling in, it is too risky to stay at pre-recession investment levels. That's valid for many of us including myself.

I am aiming to reduce my renewal footprint at less than half ( ideally not more a third ) while maintaining the highest sales ratio by selecting the best names I have and letting others go.

3) I've been doing a volume domaining business in the past. But, as I've said multiple times on NP already, I've moved recently moved from volume to retail. The reasons are several (see above as well) but the most important factor is that this are NOT the right times for a volume-based business.

Sales are getting lower and margins will be squeezed; therefore you need to stay as liquid as possible (small footprint; less renew overhead; cash in bank) and have the highest margin (few but top quality names) so whatever you sell it still brings you a decent ROI and financial stability.

If I'd be in a volume, discount or wholesale business right now (domaining or else) I would not be comfortable at all because these are hit first when sales dwindle and margins get squeezed. Which is BTW (or should be) a no-brainer anyone who know a bit about buying/selling stuff, be it of domains or whatnot. (Edit: I know stuff in this line as I've been doing a bit of business all over the board, online and also brick and mortar and certain things are fairly common in the bulk vs. retail kind of business).

Edit: @AbdulBasit.com , you're doing top retail domaining, that's the ideal one to be in at this time. If one is able to secure enough great domains and also having the financial weight to do that. I'd advise you to focus perhaps less on profit during this recession and more on buying. Great quality names will eventually hit the market and it's time to buy them for less and hold for better years when they will sell for top dollar.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,204
As my Afternic rep said to me: NS 5/6 work best for domains with a retail price below 5k. Above that, NS3/4 is the right choice.

Your domains are of higher value, therefore the difference is clear. Plus it's a different sales process, negotiations etc. The bulk of my domains is valued between $1.5K - 3K, therefore NS5/6 fits best.


The answer here is more complicated as there is more than one side of this decision.

Indeed, the more good quality domains you have, the better your sales obviously. That's fairly easy to understand for anyone. But there is a catch, or actually more of them.

1) There are limits on how many domains you can have. There are financial limits, and also workload limits. I've realized that I cannot properly manage a portfolio larger than 4 to 5 thousand names. It gets to mostly skimming over some domains, which in turn hurts profit. Edit: My current model depends on pricing precision, well if I cannot allocate enough time for that towards each domain I'm not going to make a good ROI. Too high or too low priced, the overall profit is greatly reduced.

So it makes sense to not only reduce the financial load but also the work load and focus on best names. This gets you less work and more money.

2) In these times, during which it has become obvious for everyone (or should have) that sales are going down and will continue to go down as this global recession is settling in, it is too risky to stay at pre-recession investment levels. That's valid for many of us including myself.

I am aiming to reduce my renewal footprint at less than half ( ideally not more a third ) while maintaining the highest sales ratio by selecting the best names I have and letting others go.

3) I've been doing a volume domaining business in the past. But, as I've said multiple times on NP already, I've moved recently moved from volume to retail. The reasons are several (see above as well) but the most important factor is that this are NOT the right times for a volume-based business.

Sales are getting lower and margins will be squeezed; therefore you need to stay as liquid as possible (small footprint; less renew overhead; cash in bank) and have the highest margin (few but top quality names) so whatever you sell it still brings you a decent ROI and financial stability.

If I'd be in a volume, discount or wholesale business right now (domaining or else) I would not be comfortable at all because these are hit first when sales dwindle and margins get squeezed. Which is BTW (or should be) a no-brainer anyone who know a bit about buying/selling stuff, be it of domains or whatnot. (Edit: I know stuff in this line as I've been doing a bit of business all over the board, online and also brick and mortar and certain things are fairly common in the bulk vs. retail kind of business).

Edit: @AbdulBasit.com , you're doing top retail domaining, that's the ideal one to be in at this time. If one is able to secure enough great domains and also having the financial weight to do that. I'd advise you to focus perhaps less on profit during this recession and more on buying. Great quality names will eventually hit the market and it's time to buy them for less and hold for better years when they will sell for top dollar.

Thanks for sharing everything in detail. I appreciate it 🤗 (y)


I agree on ns5/ns6 part where AN broker says that it works better for domains having BIN under up to 5K.

On answering my question, I agree with you. The type of model you're running your business may require you to lower down the portfolio size. Also I understand that such difficult times are good for getting great deals if one has the cash like you said.

Thanks again!
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
Just a sales update:

Haven't sold a single domain in 2 weeks, which is definitely odd. But it's summer, people are so in vacation right now. So I'm kinda in sort of a vacation myself too.

This has happened before, like a couple times, just not recently.

Fortunately I have extra domains to cash for June, so monies are still moving in. Waiting for better days.
 
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silentg

DomainRetail.comTop Contributor
Impact
6,390
Impact
785
Much more sales through sedo these days.
July/august sales decrease - 20%
 

Devanos

Namez.orgTop Contributor
Impact
1,229
Hi Twiki

Many thanks for all this information and your time.

I have 2 Questions:
1- What are the sources that you rely on in order to find new and exclusive niches in different industry?

2-What is your strategy to increase your portfolio in the SH marketplace ? Do you buy from the SH wholesale marketplace Or do you Hand reg the Domains and list him for 1$ to review and Approved?

Thanks
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
Hi Twiki

Many thanks for all this information and your time.

I have 2 Questions:
1- What are the sources that you rely on in order to find new and exclusive niches in different industry?

2-What is your strategy to increase your portfolio in the SH marketplace ? Do you buy from the SH wholesale marketplace Or do you Hand reg the Domains and list him for 1$ to review and Approved?

Thanks
1) Experience. I've done extensive testing for years. Bought lots of different domains and see what sold and what didnt. But I don't do that anymore.

2) I got out of SH marketplace and won't go back in. It didn't provide the needed results.
 
Impact
785

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
I dont know what is wholesale, i only sell at correct price lol
Sedo is used mostly by other domainers today (wholesale pricing), while on Afternic there are more end users (retail pricing).

It differs of course, not always like that but there is a clear difference between the users on the two platforms.

Note - correct price, that can be one of several things.
 

AEProgram

Top Contributor
Impact
6,571
Impact
8,455
Much more sales through sedo these days.
July/august sales decrease - 20%
What do you mean july/aug sales decrease -20%? July barely started

I agree with Sedo. I am averaging 2 sales a month from Sedo this year. Pretty amazing
Already had a sedo sale this month
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
22,439
What do you mean july/aug sales decrease -20%? July barely started

I agree with Sedo. I am averaging 2 sales a month from Sedo this year. Pretty amazing
Already had a sedo sale this month
Retail sales, 4-fig? Thanks
 
Impact
785
Impact
785
What do you mean july/aug sales decrease -20%? July barely started

I agree with Sedo. I am averaging 2 sales a month from Sedo this year. Pretty amazing
Already had a sedo sale this month
Decrease in number of sales
 

AEProgram

Top Contributor
Impact
6,571
Impact
785

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