Get your catchy domain at it.com

I'm Brad Mugford, owner of DataCube.com. AMA

NameSilo

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
I registered my first domain in the late 1990's, but have been an active domain investor for 15+ years now.

I am going to call this an Ask Me (Almost) Anything.
There might be some questions I am unwilling or unable to answer.

I would prefer to keep the questions related to domain investment, or business in general.

Feel free to ask general questions, or specific questions for instance regarding an appraisal of your domain.

About:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/datacubecom (I have not really used Twitter much, but plan to start using it more.)
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/bradmugford/

I am not sure how long I am going to leave this thread open. Let's see how it goes.

Brad
 
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Future Sensors

78% of human domainers will be replaced by robotsTop Contributor
Impact
14,508
Great initiative. Let me begin with a question. Are there certain categories within your domain sales that stand out in terms of popularity, during the years that you have been active? Of course, this depends on the composition of your portfolio, but I'm curious if you can say something about it.
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Great initiative. Let me begin with a question. Are there certain categories within your domain sales that stand out in terms of popularity, during the years that you have been active? Of course, this depends on the composition of your portfolio, but I'm curious if you can say something about it.

I don't really have a specific niche I invest in. I tend to target domains based on the pool of potential end users.

While I have no problem with future trend domains or cute brands (I have many myself), they are more of an unknown.

If you target domains with existing pools of end users, they also tend to grow in size over time.

Brad
 
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Nikhil Jain

Top Contributor
Impact
5,467
Hi Brad!

Based on your 15 years of sales experience, have you tested which pricing works best for closeouts/backorder quality domain names? I understand each domain is unique, but if I were to consider a numbers game, then did you come to a conclusion wherein a particular price band performed better for the low tier domains in general compared to slightly higher price band on the same quality?
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Hi Brad!

Based on your 15 years of sales experience, have you tested which pricing works best for closeouts/backorder quality domain names? I understand each domain is unique, but if I were to consider a numbers game, then did you come to a conclusion wherein a particular price band performed better for the low tier domains in general compared to slightly higher price band on the same quality?

It's kind of a complex question to answer.

When I purchase domains I factor in a standard 1%-2% sell-through rate.

If it is just some decent two word .COM or cute brand, I would want a pretty wide margin between my purchase price and sales price. These types I would generally buy from mid $XX to low $XXX and price them from low $X,XXX to mid $X,XXX.

Many of my sales are what I would called "bread and butter" sales. These are just ordinary sales that keep cash flow going. Most of these are in a low $X,XXX to mid $X,XXX price range.

Then on top of that there are some higher sales in the mix.

I would pay a much higher ratio for a domain depending how liquid it is, for instance on a CVCV or LLL.com.
Those have very high liquidity, so they are far less risky.

So I guess in summary I think mid $XX - low $XXX buy and low $X,XXX to mid $X,XXX end user pricing is a ratio that works when you figure STR and the mechanics of owning a large portfolio.

The key though, is you need the eye to find these. That only comes with experience.

When you have cash flow to justify it, then you can start targeting higher end domains.

Brad
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Contributor
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,295
Hi Brad,

Always interesting and worth reading your posts and replies at NamePros so thank you for your valuable contribution 🙏

Coming to the topic, I would like to ask a few questions if you're okay to answer them:

What's your highest sale price and domain name?

How many domains you currently have in your portfolio?

How many domains do you generally add each month in your portfolio?

And what's your yearly STR?

Many thanks!
AbdulBasit Makrani
 
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bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Hi Brad,

Always interesting and worth reading your posts and replies at NamePros so thank you for your valuable contribution 🙏

Thanks for the compliments.

What's your highest sale price and domain name?

I would rather not say, but I will say it was a (5) letter single word .COM for six figures.

How many domains you currently have in your portfolio?

I have 6,000+ domains.

How many domains do you buy generally add each month in your portfolio?

At this point much lower than in the past. Many just decent .COM sell for mid $XXX to high $XXX (or more) at expired auction. When you factor in a normal STR, the math doesn't make sense.

I would say on average maybe 10-20 domains a month in a variety of price ranges.

And what's your yearly STR?

It hovers around 1.5% on average though I don't tend to have very many higher quality domains priced.
Most are listed for sale, and open to offers.

What I have priced are mainly non .COM, lower upside .COM, etc.
The priced ones are probably a 2%+ STR.

Brad
 
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Samer

Top Contributor
Impact
21,348
This one is a bit personal.
What is your 2nd favorite name after DataCube

We all know DataCube is priceless.
I’m quite fond of it myself, but not news (to me) You have to have a #2.

FWIW, i’ve gotton more inquries on names i’ve put on NP; even if i dont link it; think of it as a case-study.
 
Impact
4,013
This tread should be interesting
🤗♥️🤗
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
This one is a bit personal.
What is your 2nd favorite name after DataCube

That's an interesting question.

Maybe not value wise, but one that immediately comes to mind is BuildingBridges.com.
It is just a term with a very positive meaning.

Brad
 
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HandmadeLife

Established Member
Impact
374
Hello Brad

This topic is very interesting.
you are always interesting in your responses.

Let me ask you some questions

what do you think of extensions such as XYZ, VC, GG, are they worth the investment or is it just a trend and it will go?

What are the strongest 5 extensions after .com in order from strongest to weakest?

what is the niche that sell best for you during 2022?

thank you
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
what do you think of extensions such as XYZ, VC, GG, are they worth the investment or is it just a trend and it will go?

I have been skeptical of .XYZ largely because of the actions of the registry.
They have had issues with forced (opt-out) registrations at Network Solutions, penny regs, spam issues, etc.

Over time it seems like they have cleaned much of that mess up and there are some strong sales, especially in the Web3 niche.

I am still concerned about the level of consolidation in the extension. Only a handful of people are making steady sales and the registry has introduced premium registration and/or renewal fees.

In general, I have no interest in dealing with "premium" renewals. They can quickly turn assets into liabilities when you factor in standard STR. It can also be difficult in negotiation with end users when you have to bring up that renewal fee.

If you can get high quality terms for low prices, and low holding costs, it could be worth a shot.

I think the others have a place. The lower on the totem pole a domain extension is, the higher quality the term needs to be IMO.

What are the strongest 5 extensions after .com in order from strongest to weakest?

I can't really rank a top 5, but in my view there are (3) extensions that are often the first choice of end users.

1.) .COM
2.) .ORG
3.) Their ccTLD

Most other choices are secondary options IMO.

The extensions I deal in are mainly - COM/NET/ORG/US.


what is the niche that sell best for you during 2022?

thank you

I tend to do well with (2) word .COM. Many of these are quasi-keyword quasi-brandable types.

An example would be something like "Natural Adventures". These are also the type you can find from time to time for very reasonable prices on auction venues.

Brad
 
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Bob Hawkes

Top Contributor
NameTalent
Impact
32,349
Thank you very much for doing this, Brad. A lot has changed in the domain world over the time you have been involved. I would be interesting in your comments on one or all of the following.
  1. What are some of the most positive changes in the world of domains over the past decade or two?
  2. What changes have had the biggest negative impact on domain investing?
  3. If you were starting from scratch today, would you still go into domain investing?
Thank you for all of the insightful answers, and sharing your expertise.

Bob
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Thank you very much for doing this, Brad. A lot has changed in the domain world over the time you have been involved. I would be interesting in your comments on one or all of the following.
  1. What are some of the most positive changes in the world of domains over the past decade or two?
  2. What changes have had the biggest negative impact on domain investing?
  3. If you were starting from scratch today, would you still go into domain investing?
Thank you for all of the insightful answers, and sharing your expertise.

Bob

1.) When I first started out I was manually looking at lists of thousands of domains per day. It was to the point where I started to have eye strain.

That is just a highly inefficient way to do it.

Over time I would say the amount of available tools to weed through lists has become more impressive.

People might trash automated appraisals, and I am one of them, but tools like Estibot really help weed through long lists as do free options like ExpiredDomains.

A lot of the process in general can be automated in a way that was not true in the past.

2.) Well, as a domain investor I would say the biggest negative is the rise in reseller prices, at least from the perspective of someone who sells to end users.

I think over the last several years end user demand for quality domains has increased, but not near as much as reseller prices have.

I would say another negative could be consolidation in the domain field. It not usually a benefit for consumers when one, or a handful of companies controls so much of the market.

3.) Tough call. I would still say yes, but I would probably modify how I operated.
It is certainly tougher today to find appealing investment opportunities on public venues than in years past.

Low liquidity is the main reason returns on domains can be so high, but at the same time I think they pair well with traditional investments like stocks, real estate, precious metals, etc. I would not have all my eggs in one basket.

Brad
 

bhartzer

VIP Member
DNProtect Staff
Impact
499
Hi Brad,
Are there are certain 'niches' or 'topics' of domains that are easier to sell than others? For example, I once worked on a project to help a client sell a portfolio of geo 'home inspection' domain names. It didn't go well because Home inspectors weren't buying their 'geo domains', even at an extremely low price.
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Hi Brad,
Are there are certain 'niches' or 'topics' of domains that are easier to sell than others? For example, I once worked on a project to help a client sell a portfolio of geo 'home inspection' domain names. It didn't go well because Home inspectors weren't buying their 'geo domains', even at an extremely low price.

When it comes to GEO domains that is certainly the case.

In my personal experience I have done well with real estate domains, but terrible with legal domains.
Oddly I have done well with some niches like roofing, but not with plumbing.

It is a bit of a crap shoot. Even great GEO domains can sit on the shelf collecting dust, even though they would be highly beneficial to the right buyer.

Brad
 
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FAC

iimmerse.comTop Contributor
Impact
5,406
Hi Brad,

Thanks for always contributing your time to NP with most valuable posts/threads.

Question:

Have you ever tried outbound? And if so what are/were your methods? How do you find endusers?

Cheers,
Frans
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Hi Brad,

Thanks for always contributing your time to NP with most valuable posts/threads.

Question:

Have you ever tried outbound? And if so what are/were your methods? How do you find endusers?

Cheers,
Frans

Thanks for the comments.

I dabbled in outbound in the early days. I was highly selective and emailed a handful of people for a domain.

If you handreg a domain and are sending out dozens or hundreds of emails, you probably need to be far more selective.

If you enter with limited capital, there is a fundamental "chicken or the egg" type problem.
If the average STR is 1%-2% how do you make sales with limited domains?

I am not against hustling for sales to try to get over that problem, but I am not sure how effective it is today.

Brad
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
How do you find endusers?

You basically need to have domains that already have obvious end users.
GEO domains are a natural place to start, but as I said earlier it is a real crap shoot.

You might be able to sell a domain for $250 - $1,000 but then not be able to sell 100 other domains at all.

Brad
 

FAC

iimmerse.comTop Contributor
Impact
5,406
Thanks for the comments.

I dabbled in outbound in the early days. I was highly selective and emailed a handful of people for a domain.

If you handreg a domain and are sending out dozens or hundreds of emails, you probably need to be far more selective.

If you enter with limited capital, there is a fundamental "chicken or the egg" type problem.
If the average STR is 1%-2% how do you make sales with limited domains?

I am not against hustling for sales to try to get over that problem, but I am not sure how effective it is today.

Brad
I agree, same experience here, thanks!

Another question came to mind:

Would you ever sell DataCube.com and if so how much would it be in figures? It's a historic name, hard to let go of that one!
 

FAC

iimmerse.comTop Contributor
Impact
5,406
You basically need to have domains that already have obvious end users.
GEO domains are a natural place to start, but as I said earlier it is a real crap shoot.

You might be able to sell a domain for $250 - $1,000 but then not be able to sell 100 other domains at all.

Brad
Yes it's very time consuming. Better to have a big portfolio with quality names and place them for sale on all platforms possible and wait for an enduser to come to us.
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Another question came to mind:

Would you ever sell DataCube.com and if so how much would it be in figures? It's a historic name, hard to let go of that one!

Almost everything has a price, but for me to consider it that price would need to have a lot of zeros in it. :)

Brad
 

Mohd Wal

Established Member
Impact
-39
Thanks again for your time @brad,

I have a few questions for you.

1. Do you hand register names now? If yes what is the percentage of your newly hang registrations got sold? What is the average time it takes you to sale your hand regs? Do you submit them for approval at brandable marketplaces or you get inbound sales on them?

2. What type of hand register do you prefer most? I.e Made-up, EMD, TYPOS, BLENDS, etc.. .

Thanks
 

bmugford

www.DataCube.comTop Contributor
Impact
42,447
Thanks again for your time @brad,

I have a few questions for you.

1. Do you hand register names now? If yes what is the percentage of your newly hang registrations got sold? What is the average time it takes you to sale your hand regs? Do you submit them for approval at brandable marketplaces or you get inbound sales on them?

2. What type of hand register do you prefer most? I.e Made-up, EMD, TYPOS, BLENDS, etc.. .

Thanks

1.) From time to time, but it is usually for projects or in some format that is easy to scan like with GEO domains.

For instance I might scan (Geo)Roofing.com and some random high quality city is available.
I would register that.

I don't really use any brandable marketplaces.

2.) With more than 160M+ registered .COM it is kind of slim pickings. I just find it far more efficient to evaluate lists of existing domains than try to come up with new ideas that are available to hand register.

Brad
 
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Haddi Zak

Established Member
Impact
19
Hi Brad
Thankyou for your insights.

I have often seen you advice on buying names for which there are potential endusers. How much of potential prospects do you think are necessary at minimum when evaluating a domain name? As in drop-regs there are 2 or 3 prospects mostly.

2) Do you deem search volume and cpc as an important metric when buying a domain name?