How I made $8k+ selling brandables... (and how much it cost me !)

Labeled as sales in General Domain Discussion, started by HDmarketing, Apr 2, 2018


  1. Foggy

    Foggy Established Member

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    I had a somewhat similar trajectory though I have focused on invented brandables. By the end of 2014 I had 150+ domains, by the end of 2015 I had 100 more, and by December 2016 I had 400 domains, all caught on the drop or using Pheenix. From 7/1/12 through 12/31/16 I grossed $19,779 and netted $13,864 after all expenses. My first four-digit sale was at BB in January 2014. In June 2017 I purchased Desktop Catcher and also last year purchased (and sold) a few domains here. I joined NamePros in October 2016 but really began paying attention to it in 2017, it's a wonder I didn't go bankrupt without all the insight here. :laugh:

    I have 224 domains listed at BB and five in review (and sold 20 there all told); at BrandPa I have five listed, three underway and five in appraisal.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  2. Anjani

    Anjani Established Member

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    I wish everyone writes their true story the way it is..This piece has helped me to pull my head out of the clouds:xf.grin: would be wary of investing too much money or time into domaining. Thank you!!
  3. Nezam Uddin

    Nezam Uddin Established Member

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    THE proper way to domaining -

    Invest one week, few thousand dollars worth of really valuable domains. List it on a single platform on BIN.. Configure something like auto transfer on payment receipt and then shut down your pc and throw your wifi router and pretend that you've just donated that wealth and go on with your normal life. Forget that you even know what's domains. After a year, get back here and checkout your sales, you will really find investing on domains good this way since now you've had profits without -

    Losing patience
    Hypertension and trauma
    Risk of loss and many other intangible things
  4. stub

    stub PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Yep. It's a high risk business at all levels. For beginners as well as for huge companies like HugeDomains.
  5. domainer111

    domainer111 Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Yes a great post. Imo it's much harder once you get away from descriptives or two-word keyword brandables so that is a good performance. Interesting that Brandroot beats Afternic.
  6. Michael Cyger

    Michael Cyger DNAcademy Efty Staff PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Great summary of your strategy and tactics! Thanks for your complete write-up on your past 2.5 years as a brandable-focused domain name investor.

    I think it's especially useful for those starting out in their investing journey because brandables are the one type of domain name that newer investors can get into with the lowest cost.

    Do you have a rough estimate on how many hours you spent per month on your domain name investing activities?
  7. HDmarketing

    HDmarketing Top Contributor VIP

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    Since I stumbled on that Ali Zandi interview by a certain M. Cyger which started it all for me (!) I must have spent between 2 and 6h/day for 2 years, which is 60 / 180 hours a month. But to understand this figure, you need to know all these years I've been a full time musician, so my "daily job" does not require office hours. Quite the contrary.
    All these hours were not used on brandables. I tried
    • chinese letters and numericals
    • EMDs
    • One word .info
    • French domain names (I'm french)
    • Future trends keywords
    • ...
    By the way, thank you @Michael Cyger , I spent a great time going through your interviews!!

    Nowadays, I spend more about 2 to 4 hours a week: I just check my emails for some expired domains alert daily and participate in an auction from time to time. I trimmed my portfolio from 3,000 names (a lot of bad ones) to 600 (less bad names) and I think I'll bring that to 300 this year. Not all my ventures brought profit as you can imagine and my interest is slowly fading.

    I think more and more that the best way to profit is to sell / flip quality names with outbound effort and good vending skill. On the contrary, what I wanted to develop was some kind of automation: I was hoping to discover through analysis a few criteria to detect reasonnably good handregs and then just list them and wait for passive sells. Eventhough this worked to some extend, the process was never automated enough and the mental cost of renewing 98% of an inventory is heavier than I expected.

    It also was a way to know myself better. I've been using a trading bot recently to trade cryptocurrencies (don't advise anyone to do so though unless you know how much you're prepared to loose!). The feeling of having daily wins, even small ones, is really what I need. A business where you may wait weeks / months for sales is probably not for me. In both case you wait (once setup the bot works alone 24/7, once listed the name waits for a buyer 24/7), but in the first one, you can check for some action, get realtime data and act on it.
  8. xynames

    xynames PRO VIP

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    While reading the initial post back of my mind was that this doesn’t add up to $8k profit. Only to find

    You don’t need to “bring our interest” using a completely erroneous subject title at a place like this with fellow domainers.

    Of more value would be a correct summary of what happened from the getgo.

    Also - unless you’re listing the exact same names at Brandroot as at Afternic, which I assume you are not although actually I do not know because you did not clarify - then the strength of the names listed at BR might be the reason for the superior sales versus the quality of the marketplace.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  9. Bean

    Bean Established Member

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    Thoroughly enjoyed your post! You did a great job analyzing those lists and it paid off, congrats (y)
    I wonder how this little experiment would've turned out if you'd spent the whole of your initial $2k investment on 4L's. I mean weren't 4L's still relatively cheap in 2015?
    You would've ended up with a much smaller portfolio but that means less money spent on renewals.
    Any thoughts?
  10. HDmarketing

    HDmarketing Top Contributor VIP

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    Read the full title my firend, there was a hint...

    You'll have to believe me that the names are comparable, at least for CVCVCVs.
    And yes, all Brandroot names were listed on afternic as Make Offer.
  11. HDmarketing

    HDmarketing Top Contributor VIP

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    Ha ha, I would have been filthy rich ;)
    I never think that way because, you know, I've heard about Bitcoins 5 years ago already and I could have...

    Research, information, dedication... And a bit of luck is welcome in the choice of the ventures.
  12. Brandworthy

    Brandworthy Established Member

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    That's a very interesting aside. Normally we cant expect to compare the brandable marketplaces with regular markets since the former impose strict exclusivity conditions. In this case, by breaking those rules you've provided some insight we wouldn't usually get.
  13. Acroplex

    Acroplex Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The analysis of your modus operandi is commendable. The results are clearly pitiful due to one reason primarily : you sought and/or accepted low offers for the domains sold. Solution: raise your asking prices.

    Even with brandables there is great opportunity for money-making. In fact, many modern start-ups are willing to pay top dollar for the ideal brandable domain. Most will pay high four, and five figures quite often.

    Regarding the high commissions of these marketplaces, since you rely on inbound sales, I would recommend using Uniregistry Market and self-broker your domains. You keep the entire amount and deal via Or use the BIN pricing system and rely on the Uniregistry Market and automatic commission.

    Thanks again for sharing your results.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  14. KhaledA

    KhaledA Established Member

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    Nice sharing and good insights!
    Thanks .

    PHILIPPE RAVEL Established Member

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    Thank you so much for your post.
    You are an artist and a business man...
  16. Criterion811

    Criterion811 - For Sale, PMs Welcome

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    Amazing quality post :) Thanks!
  17. FintechNames

    FintechNames Established Member

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    Another quality post on namePros! Thank you for sharing it. :$:
  18. namelancer

    namelancer Established Member

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    Someone said that the best school of writing is talent.
    I commend your efforts of reliance on automated solutions in finding names, but the idea of using machine-generated methods for something that is heavily dependent on the spark of divine inspiration (as the default modus operandi of in-house branding teams that produce best results out of protracted brain-storming sessions) is slightly sacrilegeous. Of course, properly analyzed sales data should be used to weed out potential market failures, but it should be applied in the postcriptum phase of a brandable creative process and not at its inception.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  19. -AR-

    -AR- Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It's a lot of work you have put in so well done. But that is not a lot of money for the amount of work you have put in, but most domainers have done what you have done to get to a certain level of success after many years. Although most have probably done it with a lot less registrations. So maybe improve your strategy based on your findings, use some of the advice you get from here and carry on?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  20. marijuanadomain

    marijuanadomain Established Member

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    thanks to Godaddy's 99 cent coupons ( the good old days) and the cheap 4L domains I bought dirt cheap at $15 a piece years ago..
    I am making $$$$$
    easy peasy hobby.
  21. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam VIP

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    Thank you very much for this very great piece.
  22. Foggy

    Foggy Established Member

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    All other things aside, I believe this is where you went off the rails. That is a lot of names to acquire over such a short period of time (you began in December 2015).

    The process can't be completely automated—that's why online domain name valuators are so far off the mark. If the process could be completely automated then the brand marketplaces wouldn't need sellers, they would just write an app. On the other hand, automation has helped me reduce the time spent looking at domains for sale from as much as six hours to one hour a day.

    As I have said elsewhere, the ultimate question of a good brandable is: would a company name themselves that?

    What I found interesting in our trajectories (see above) was that we both focused on brandables and began about a year apart—with me only acquiring 100 domains after the first year. The differences are I don't code, I don't speak French, and I have never exceeded 600 domains (though I am getting close).

    I appreciate your thorough and honest analysis. Because you have the right attitude it was inspiring regardless of the amount of time/$ expended.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  23. maxtra

    maxtra Let's make a deal VIP

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  24. SamDam

    SamDam Established Member

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    Thanks @HDmarketing for sharing all these organized analyses, but I think it not the end of the story, with few tweaks you can still keep its title as it is.
  25. HDmarketing

    HDmarketing Top Contributor VIP

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    Ooops, no there is a misunderstanding here : that answer of mine was about ALL the domains I had (hundreds of $0.88 .info for example). I must have had 400 brandable (now 250).

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