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interviews Interview: AbdulBasit Makrani on His $400,000 in Domain Sales Between January and June 2021

Catch.Club
One of my favorite domain name investors is AbdulBasit Makrani (@AbdulBasit.com), the founder of AbdulBasit.com who owns a portfolio of several thousand domain names. I last featured AbdulBasit on my blog in December 2020 when he broke $500,000 in sales for the year. Now, he’s back to discuss how he’s faring in 2021...


Read the interview on my blog
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.

The Durfer

Wesley SweatmanTop Member
Impact
16,633
ty Mr. James. Congratulations to Abdul! :)
 
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Haroon Basha

Service.xyzTop Member
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7,458
Congratulations Abdul Basit and thank James
 
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alcy

Restricted (15-30%)
Impact
34,640
how is it even conceivable for me or anyone to say bravo well done.. or... u did pretty good
.or.. good avg results.... without knowing approximate roi made..

I mean which part of.. if I invest 400k and sell at 500k over the year...versus... if i invest 100k and sell for 500k... are very different situations.. dont u guys get this
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
how is it even conceivable for me or anyone to say bravo well done.. or... u did pretty good
.or.. good avg results.... without knowing approximate roi made..

I mean which part of.. if I invest 400k and sell at 500k over the year...versus... if i invest 100k and sell for 500k... are very different situations.. dont u guys get this

That's a very good question and I'm happy to answer that for you and everyone else :xf.smile:

My total investment on those domains which sold during January and June 2021 is under $25,000.
 
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alcy

Restricted (15-30%)
Impact
34,640
That's a very good question and I'm happy to answer that for you and everyone else :xf.smile:

My total investment on those domains which sold during January and June 2021 is under $25,000.

cool ...tnx for info..now I can.say bravo
..well done..

my question btw was for all sellers not just u..and I'm glad u found it to be pertinent.. cause often on sales thread..or elsewhere...
...people post sales but do not mention cost.. thus roi.. and while others are quick to like and say bravo..and I just sit there and my jaw drops.. cause i have no clue if the dude who just sold a name for 10k made 1k on it...or 9k... or 5 bucks...or lost a grand...

happy sales in future..
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
cool ...tnx for info..now I can.say bravo
..well done..

my question btw was for all sellers not just u..and I'm glad u found it to be pertinent.. cause often on sales thread..or elsewhere...
...people post sales but do not mention cost.. thus roi.. and while others are quick to like and say bravo..and I just sit there and my jaw drops.. cause i have no clue if the dude who just sold a name for 10k made 1k on it...or 9k... or 5 bucks...or lost a grand...

happy sales in future..

Thank you!
I totally agree with you (y)
 
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Charybdis

Established Member
Impact
685
Congratulations!

I checked some of your domains, and they point to Afternic landers, but I don't see any BIN option. There is only an inquiry form. You said that the most effective method is the BIN.

I see this: "Get a price in less than 24 hours
Fill out the form below. One of our domain experts will have a price to you within 24 business hours."

Have you tested using landing pages which charge less commission? For example, Efty, Dan or Alter.com?

And I also read that installment payments increase the conversion rate, don't you use installments?
 
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Wisher

Established Member
Impact
−124
Still need to factor cost of all the domains that did not sell and renewals to get a better idea of true ROI.

Paints a different picture.

5700 domains say $350 average $2 Million acquisition cost + say $45000 per year renewal costs.

Afternic fees. Say AVG 18% $142000

Revenue AVG $66K per month $792000

Profit after Afternic fees and renewals $605000 (before Tax)

With Tax approx 25% return per year? Adjust average purchase price up and goes down further. Using $350 as I saw on another post mentioned.

Still a decent return.
 
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Wisher

Established Member
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And I also read that installment payments increase the conversion rate, don't you use installments?

For what its worth I have used payment plans. Read some data online they can give 40% lift in sales. The trouble I had was 50% dropped off before 6 months in 12 month contract. Yes you get the domains back but for cashflow purposes I am halting them.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
Congratulations!

I checked some of your domains, and they point to Afternic landers, but I don't see any BIN option. There is only an inquiry form. You said that the most effective method is the BIN.

I see this: "Get a price in less than 24 hours
Fill out the form below. One of our domain experts will have a price to you within 24 business hours."

Have you tested using landing pages which charge less commission? For example, Efty, Dan or Alter.com?

And I also read that installment payments increase the conversion rate, don't you use installments?

Thank you!

All my domains are pointing to Afternic landers (ns3/ns4). I've set BIN under my Afternic account so then it shows the BIN prices at GoDaddy and every other partner registrar of Afternic. That's how BIN works.
Any lead generated via AN lander form goes to the AN broker and they handle it.

I've tried Efty but not Dan or Alter. No plans to try them because what I've learned over the years by trying Bodis, Efty, Uniregistry landers is that you may save commission and handle the leads by yourself but if you need more $$$ then it's better to give AN landers a try because endusers are more aware and trusts GoDaddy brand than anyone else.

I too believe that installment payments increase the conversion rate but unfortunately AN don't offer that as of now. If they'll do in the future, I'll definitely be trying that and I'm sure it will bring in more better results.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
Still need to factor cost of all the domains that did not sell and renewals to get a better idea of true ROI.

Paints a different picture.

5700 domains say $350 average $2 Million acquisition cost + say $45000 per year renewal costs.

Afternic fees. Say AVG 18% $142000

Revenue AVG $66K per month $792000

Profit after Afternic fees and renewals $605000 (before Tax)

With Tax approx 25% return per year? Adjust average purchase price up and goes down further. Using $350 as I saw on another post mentioned.

Still a decent return.

Yes, that is also an important factor to consider but I don't usually bother that much.

As for tax, there is no income tax on domain income to be paid in my country.

Thank you!
 
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Wisher

Established Member
Impact
−124
Thank you!

All my domains are pointing to Afternic landers (ns3/ns4). I've set BIN under my Afternic account so then it shows the BIN prices at GoDaddy and every other partner registrar of Afternic. That's how BIN works.
Any lead generated via AN lander form goes to the AN broker and they handle it.

I've tried Efty but not Dan or Alter. No plans to try them because what I've learned over the years by trying Bodis, Efty, Uniregistry landers is that you may save commission and handle the leads by yourself but if you need more $$$ then it's better to give AN landers a try because endusers are more aware and trusts GoDaddy brand than anyone else.

I too believe that installment payments increase the conversion rate but unfortunately AN don't offer that as of now. If they'll do in the future, I'll definitely be trying that and I'm sure it will bring in more better results.


Have you considered testing some of your portfolio with the new Buy it now GD ones to see if uptick in conversions? Would be good if anyone has any data on it. Agree on the GD branding. You can have higher commissions and still make more if conversions are better.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
Have you considered testing some of your portfolio with the new Buy it now GD ones to see if uptick in conversions? Would be good if anyone has any data on it. Agree on the GD branding. You can have higher commissions and still make more if conversions are better.

I've answered this question to several investors and I think I'll publish a post about this on my blog soon to give my take on it for everyone else.
 
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Charybdis

Established Member
Impact
685
Thank you!

All my domains are pointing to Afternic landers (ns3/ns4). I've set BIN under my Afternic account so then it shows the BIN prices at GoDaddy and every other partner registrar of Afternic. That's how BIN works.
Any lead generated via AN lander form goes to the AN broker and they handle it.

I've tried Efty but not Dan or Alter. No plans to try them because what I've learned over the years by trying Bodis, Efty, Uniregistry landers is that you may save commission and handle the leads by yourself but if you need more $$$ then it's better to give AN landers a try because endusers are more aware and trusts GoDaddy brand than anyone else.

I too believe that installment payments increase the conversion rate but unfortunately AN don't offer that as of now. If they'll do in the future, I'll definitely be trying that and I'm sure it will bring in more better results.

I don't use them, but I read that GoDaddy has buy it now landing pages, with GoDaddy branding if that is important to you: https://domainnamewire.com/2021/01/26/godaddy-to-introduce-buy-now-lander-for-aftermarket-domains/

If you say that BIN is the most effective method (I agree), then I think it's a problem for you that your landing pages don't use BIN. Most customers will copy and paste the domains into their browsers and visit the landing page.

Maybe the GoDaddy branding increases conversions, however 20% commission from 400,000 USD = 80,000 USD commission; 10% commission from 400,000 USD = 40,000 USD commission (in case of domains priced under 5000 USD).

The difference is 40,000 USD in commissions. If your average sales price per domain is let's say 4000 USD, then you need to sell at least +10 domains thanks to the GoDaddy branding in 6 months, because of the higher commission. Provided you sell all domains with the landing pages. Of course if you only sell let's say 50% of your domains via the landing pages and 50% via the partner networks, then the math will be different, but it would be still a 20,000 USD difference. And of course if you have a lot of sales above 5000 USD, then you pay less commission on Afternic, so the math would be different again.

I think you could try Dan.com (9% commission + 1-2% surcharge to customers in certain cases) or Alter.com (10% all-inclusive commission), you might save a lot in commissions. And Dan and Alter support installment payments as well, and their landing pages look very trustworthy. you can still use the Afternic network.

I don't say they are better than the GD/Afternic landing pages, only the testing would reveal it.

I have an idea, why not use the landing pages of Dan or Alter only for those domains which are priced below 5000 USD, and use the GoDaddy BIN or the Afternic landing pages for domains priced above 5000 USD?

I use the landing pages of Alter.com. But I haven't used the GD or Afternic landing pages yet.
 
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Wisher

Established Member
Impact
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From my experience. Roughly 50% does come from landing pages, 50% GD + partner networks.

When you have large portfolio only a small uptick in conversions can make you more profitable even with higher commissions.
My gut feel would be BIN would perform better. But that may be bias as a buyer I would prefer to see the price.

Like to see actual data on it.
 
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1Darko

Top Member
Impact
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@AbdulBasit.com - congrats for your success! You're a pro and on top of that a very nice person. Thanks for sharing and showing us what is possible!
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
I don't use them, but I read that GoDaddy has buy it now landing pages, with GoDaddy branding if that is important to you: https://domainnamewire.com/2021/01/26/godaddy-to-introduce-buy-now-lander-for-aftermarket-domains/

If you say that BIN is the most effective method (I agree), then I think it's a problem for you that your landing pages don't use BIN. Most customers will copy and paste the domains into their browsers and visit the landing page.

Maybe the GoDaddy branding increases conversions, however 20% commission from 400,000 USD = 80,000 USD commission; 10% commission from 400,000 USD = 40,000 USD commission (in case of domains priced under 5000 USD).

The difference is 40,000 USD in commissions. If your average sales price per domain is let's say 4000 USD, then you need to sell at least +10 domains thanks to the GoDaddy branding in 6 months, because of the higher commission. Provided you sell all domains with the landing pages. Of course if you only sell let's say 50% of your domains via the landing pages and 50% via the partner networks, then the math will be different, but it would be still a 20,000 USD difference. And of course if you have a lot of sales above 5000 USD, then you pay less commission on Afternic, so the math would be different again.

I think you could try Dan.com (9% commission + 1-2% surcharge to customers in certain cases) or Alter.com (10% all-inclusive commission), you might save a lot in commissions. And Dan and Alter support installment payments as well, and their landing pages look very trustworthy. you can still use the Afternic network.

I don't say they are better than the GD/Afternic landing pages, only the testing would reveal it.

I have an idea, why not use the landing pages of Dan or Alter only for those domains which are priced below 5000 USD, and use the GoDaddy BIN or the Afternic landing pages for domains priced above 5000 USD?

I use the landing pages of Alter.com. But I haven't used the GD or Afternic landing pages yet.

More than half of my sales are happening via GoDaddy search where buyers just type in the domain and just checkout. Very few are via partner registrars where again there is BIN on their search results page. And also very few via Afternic lander which is sometimes surprising to me considering the number of sale happens via GoDaddy search compare to lander. But still the lander conversion is acceptable.

Since I've tried other platforms like I mentioned earlier, I'm a bit hesitant to give a try to some other companies because so far the results at Afternic are overall very good but I appreciate your suggestion and the detailed reply you did.

If you ever try Afternic landers, my suggestion is to go with NS3/NS4, put up BIN, try for at least some months and with your entire portfolio to see clear results.

Best wishes!
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
From my experience. Roughly 50% does come from landing pages, 50% from partner networks.

When you have large portfolio only a small uptick in conversions can make you more profitable even with higher commissions.
My gut feel would be BIN would perform better. But that may be bias as a buyer I would prefer to see the price.

Like to see actual data on it.

Since I receive the report every month, I can say that more than 50% of my sales are happening via GoDaddy search and the rest is via partner registrars and the lander itself.

I'll share my thoughts on Afternic BIN lander next week on my blog and NamePros.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
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Charybdis

Established Member
Impact
685
And also very few via Afternic lander which is sometimes surprising to me considering the number of sale happens via GoDaddy search compare to lander. But still the lander conversion is acceptable.

Isn't the problem here that your landing pages are only make offer without BIN and without installment payments option?

I think if you used landing pages with BIN and installment payments option, you would sell more domains via your landing pages. And if you paid less commission on landing pages then you would save money.

Some large marketplaces say that the best converting landing pages are the landing pages with a realistic buy it now price + long term installment payment option. And the worst performing version is the make offer only without BIN and installments.
 
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Wisher

Established Member
Impact
−124
It's worth testing with GD BIN at least in my opinion. Could split portfolio equally and try it.

With payment plans you can run into cashflow issues and get buyers flaking out. Can also potentially grow your portfolio quicker with the cash up front.
But yes on the face of it the conversion will be better. And it would be good to have the option in Afternic for those that want it.

Even still if GD brand gives enough uplift in conversion over others landers you can still potentially make more overall profit.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
Isn't the problem here that your landing pages are only make offer without BIN and without installment payments option?

I think if you used landing pages with BIN and installment payments option, you would sell more domains via your landing pages. And if you paid less commission on landing pages then you would save money.

Some large marketplaces say that the best converting landing pages are the landing pages with a realistic buy it now price + long term installment payment option. And the worst performing version is the make offer only without BIN and installments.

I agree that without the installment payment option, I'm missing out many more deals no matter if they get cancelled anytime during the installment which is the part of that model.

I've talked with many investors who've moved from Dan landers to AN (ns3/ns4) and found out to be overall better conversion with them mainly because of the GoDaddy trust people have in their minds.

Also I've tried Uniregistry landers for many years and I was doing okay with them but since I moved all my domains to AN landers, the results were amazing right from the start.

I'll admit that it was difficult for myself to convert a direct inquiry coming via Uniregistry lander if I compare to what AN brokers are converting from AN landers. Some might say I wasn't good at communication/negotiation but what I believe is that it's the GoDaddy trust factor which people have in mind. We've seen many times here at NamePros where sellers have shared that the buyer went through GoDaddy to purchase the domain and paid more than what the seller was offering far less if purchased directly from the seller.

I would love to try out AN make offer + installment option lander if they ever come up in the future which would definitely boost up the sales.
 
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AbdulBasit.com

DomainsWeb.comTop Member
AbdulBasit.com
Impact
13,585
It's worth testing with GD BIN at least in my opinion. Could split portfolio equally and try it.

With payment plans you can run into cashflow issues and get buyers flaking out. Can also potentially grow your portfolio quicker with the cash up front.
But yes on the face of it the conversion will be better. And it would be good to have the option in Afternic for those that want it.

Even still if GD brand gives enough uplift in conversion over others landers you can still potentially make more overall profit.

If I recall correctly, some GoDaddy rep already mentioned that after internal testing they found out that both ns3/ns4 and ns5/ns6 results are 50-50 and no significant difference.
 
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GoWebnames.com

Truth alone triumphsTop Member
Impact
3,616
Congratulations @AbdulBasit.com, impressive stats. Two questions:

1) You mention the acquisition cost as $25k for these sold domains but how many of domains were actually sold during this period? The interview lists only 10 of them sold for about $160k.

2) What's your acquisition cost for the 1820 domains you added in between? What percentage of them is hand registrations?
 
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