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My first 500$ spent - what I learned and why I believe wholesale sales is the newbie way to go

Dynadot

How did you get started with domaining?

  • This poll is still running and the standings may change.
  • Handregs

  • Auction buys

  • Combo of handregs and auction buys

  • I read, read and read - then I made my first buy

  • This poll is still running and the standings may change.

Results are only viewable after voting.

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
Read in several threads here on NP about how to get started in with domaining. Most members here (myself included sometimes) recommend newbies to read, read and read before spending any money - makes a lot of sense, for sure (in theory).

But it is a bit like telling your kids to not drink before they are of legal age isn't it? ;)
I believe you should get your hands dirty and make a few bad buys, that is how you learn. You do not learn to ride a bike by reading the manual for half a year. And if you (without giving up due to the boring nature of not practising) do read that manual you will most likely not be able to ride a bike anyway.

I believe you need to handreg/buy on auction or acquire names early on to learn. There is no other way. But I also believe you should aim at selling wholesale. I will explain why further down.

But first, a question to all seasoned domineers here, who know way more than me about this. How did you get started? By reading everything there was to read or buy buying and selling small scale learning for every step you took? (I can guess the answer is the latter in most cases)

Back to my own learnings. I went back in the inbox and looked at how I got started. I started out in March 2021 spending roughly 500$ on names. After buying them I started realising that liquidation was not something I given that much thought. I had them listed on GoDaddy as well as Afternic and that's it. No sales for a week, a month, I started looking for new outlets - found NamePros and started reading and learning more and more. Summarised my buys and sales below for the first 500$ I spent (currency changes since I purchased made some numbers be a bit of but it paints an OK picture).

NamePurchase priceSold for (net)Net profit/lossSold at
g----e.com
$14​
$14​
$0​
GoDaddy
g----e.io
$87​
$6​
-$81​
GoDaddy
g----e.io
$87​
$9​
-$78​
GoDaddy
y----e.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
p----p.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
s----y.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
t----d.com
$15​
$9​
-$6​
GoDaddy
t----l.com
$15​
$10​
-$5​
GoDaddy
s----e.com
$15​
$9​
-$6​
GoDaddy
g----e.biz
$13​
$1​
-$12​
Namepros
s----s.ninja
$13​
$1​
-$12​
Namepros
s----s.partners
$26​
$1​
-$25​
Namepros
a----o.com
$15​
$30​
$15​
GoDaddy
l----o.com
$15​
$34​
$19​
GoDaddy
f----o.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
b----d.com
$15​
$34​
$19​
GoDaddy
s----r.rocks
$58​
$200​
$142​
Afternic
t----n.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
s----n.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
t----n.online
$2​
$5​
$3​
Namepros
t----g.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
r----s.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
r----t.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
w----p.net
$40​
$5​
-$35​
Namepros
Net
$502
$464
-$38

What did I learn from my start?
It is unavoidable to not handreg names when you get started, you will simply not have the energy nor motivation to learn without any "stake in the game". You can argue against this but this is my strong belief.

My first names made me learn a lot about liquidation of names, it made me discover NamePros, later invest in XYZ and also made me find Squadhelp.

Today this first lot of names and the sales "profits" (rather net loss) from them has netted me a portfolio of 100 names on Squadhelp and 200+ other names in my portfolio and furthermore above the initial amount in my account. I would never have gotten here, wouldn't been for my initial crazy handreg spree of crappy names :)


What could I have done differently?
  • Stayed away from GoDaddy as a registrar for handregs (expensive as h**l and adds VAT for many countries)
  • Do not handreg expensive extensions like .io (focus on cheaper ones)
  • Study NameBio sales before handregging odd extensions
  • Do not head to auctions to early (my first auction buy was a 4L .net - learned that 4Ls is something good and found the first "cheap" one on GoDaddy auction - again GD expensive and me having no clue what is good and bad resulted in a poor buy)
What I learned - no matter how you buy your names zoom in on selling to other investors to start with
Selling mostly to other investors early on is a great way to learn (I have sold almost only to other investors).

Will I make a lot of money on it? No.

I however will learn what others pick from me and be better at spotting names. Being good at something is all about repetition and domaining is no different. How do you achieve repetition then with limited budget - turnover. By selling to other investors you can focus on turnover, turnover, turnover. I am always looking at liquidating names I buy, no matter who the buyer is. I am at holding many of my names for 3 months maximum. Turning over names makes me money and with money I buy more names and so on. I learn in the process. Over time I have built a portfolio of names on the side for keeping but I still focus on high turnover in sales towards other domainers - it keeps me learning, earning and building experience (I need to accelerate n/o names sold to learn from to catch up and be able to compete)

So my best recommendation for a newbie: You need to buy names eventually, no matter if it is on auction or handreg. Make sure to have focus on high turnover rate and reinvestments. You will need to buy and sell thousands of names before you can master this and there is no purpose in waiting for those sales to happen retail. Focus on learning but combine it with getting your hands dirty.
 

VadimK

Top Contributor
Impact
2,490
You are definitely right about the fact that one should start buying, while learning, to get the ''feel''. What mainly many domainers here on NamePros were against (me including) is to buy uncontrolled - some newbies folks here were buying 400-500 names in their first few weeks...

Now, regarding your statement of mainly selling to other domainers - where did you come from with it? Liquidating a few names of a weird tld for $10-$20, while previously buying them for a couple bucks isn't really ''selling to domainers''. What selling to domainers is - a discovery of a name that sells for $400-800 (and often more!) to an investor (mainly they are quite experienced domainers) , who saw real value in your name and are ready to pay for it to sell further in years, or to a specific buyer or in any other way to monetize this name on an extremely extended margin.
How many sales of this kind do you have, in the mid - XXX range? Once you have at least 10-15 such sales per month, then you can say - ''my strategy is to sell to domainers...and it works'' (that is what matters at the end). Until then it's called ''luckily liquidating your garbage'' (which all of us do eventually, regardless of the experience).

But thanks for sharing your thoughts, quite interesting. Good luck!
 

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
Fully agree with you @VadimK that selling for X-mid-XX is not really selling premium names to investors but if you have (like many) 500-1000$ when you get started it is highly unlikely you buy and sell in the XXX range from start. I should maybe have phrased it as selling to other newbies while making your first steps into selling to other domainers. Me personally though have sold many names in the X-mid-XX range to others domainers here. While I have a handful XXX sales also and yet only one retail sale (SquadHelp).

My point is that one need more than one name when starting out and with 500 bucks that will be most likely 25-50 more or less crappy names. Unless you are lucky you will need to learn through flipping those for a few bucks here and there.
 
Impact
13,735
Hi

i started hand regging stupid names too
then started registering recent drops like 3 char.com, 4 letter.com, 4 n.com etc. and reselling those to other domainers on the forums.
at same time, from those sales,
i was buying domains from other domainers, like LLL.com, LLL.net, NN.net LL.net, LLL/LL.org , overture names w/ext. etc.
steadily building a diverse portfolio of domains, and creating a revenue stream by exploiting ppc to the max.

it was a scale up procedure, starting with $$$ CC budget.

imo...
 

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
Hi

i started hand regging stupid names too
then started registering recent drops like 3 char.com, 4 letter.com, 4 n.com etc. and reselling those to other domainers on the forums.
at same time, from those sales,
i was buying domains from other domainers, like LLL.com, LLL.net, NN.net LL.net, LLL/LL.org , overture names w/ext. etc.
steadily building a diverse portfolio of domains, and creating a revenue stream by exploiting ppc to the max.

it was a scale up procedure, starting with $$$ CC budget.

imo...

You started ”a couple of years ago then” @biggie? ;) (considering 3Ls and 4Ls in relative availability) Like that the principle is the same though. Thanks for sharing
 
Impact
13,735
You started ”a couple of years ago then” @biggie? ;) (considering 3Ls and 4Ls in relative availability) Like that the principle is the same though. Thanks for sharing
Hi

i started 20 years ago, but and yeah... the principle is still the same.

imo...

Care to share advice on how to exploit ppc to the max?

Hi

i and others have shared plenty in the parking section

imo....
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
20,060
Last edited:

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
Good luck. You found some angle, but it is your angle not everyone else's.

I've started at a loss too but if something almost breaks even at first that's a great start.

Edit: some more insight in my thread: https://www.namepros.com/threads/i-...00-300-per-month-income.1274598/#post-8607884
Hope it helps.
Every angle is unique in some way. Like your post 👍, interesting to see you going in so heavily in your first year - my feeling is that you have not only some business experience but also digital/brand building experience to make that work. Impressive journey for sure, hope to get close to it at some point. Next for me is to get my first ”proper” sale (1K+ outside of Squadhelp).
 

twiki

Top Contributor
Impact
20,060
Every angle is unique in some way. Like your post 👍, interesting to see you going in so heavily in your first year - my feeling is that you have not only some business experience but also digital/brand building experience to make that work. Impressive journey for sure, hope to get close to it at some point. Next for me is to get my first ”proper” sale (1K+ outside of Squadhelp).
Yes I did have a bit of those skills too; but they did not matter that much, if at all.

I had to learn domaining from scratch. I used my business skills mostly, especially broad/ segmented testing, math to grow it (figuring out the break even point, business plan), and some capital. I used to have some domains in the past but just 4-letter .coms and that experience did not bring much information.

My tech / coding skills helped heavily and still do.

When I got that large loss after 12 months I celebrated, because I knew I can make this business work in the next years. Many would have considered it a failure.
 
Read in several threads here on NP about how to get started in with domaining. Most members here (myself included sometimes) recommend newbies to read, read and read before spending any money - makes a lot of sense, for sure (in theory).

But it is a bit like telling your kids to not drink before they are of legal age isn't it? ;)
I believe you should get your hands dirty and make a few bad buys, that is how you learn. You do not learn to ride a bike by reading the manual for half a year. And if you (without giving up due to the boring nature of not practising) do read that manual you will most likely not be able to ride a bike anyway.

I believe you need to handreg/buy on auction or acquire names early on to learn. There is no other way. But I also believe you should aim at selling wholesale. I will explain why further down.

But first, a question to all seasoned domineers here, who know way more than me about this. How did you get started? By reading everything there was to read or buy buying and selling small scale learning for every step you took? (I can guess the answer is the latter in most cases)

Back to my own learnings. I went back in the inbox and looked at how I got started. I started out in March 2021 spending roughly 500$ on names. After buying them I started realising that liquidation was not something I given that much thought. I had them listed on GoDaddy as well as Afternic and that's it. No sales for a week, a month, I started looking for new outlets - found NamePros and started reading and learning more and more. Summarised my buys and sales below for the first 500$ I spent (currency changes since I purchased made some numbers be a bit of but it paints an OK picture).

NamePurchase priceSold for (net)Net profit/lossSold at
g----e.com
$14​
$14​
$0​
GoDaddy
g----e.io
$87​
$6​
-$81​
GoDaddy
g----e.io
$87​
$9​
-$78​
GoDaddy
y----e.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
p----p.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
s----y.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
t----d.com
$15​
$9​
-$6​
GoDaddy
t----l.com
$15​
$10​
-$5​
GoDaddy
s----e.com
$15​
$9​
-$6​
GoDaddy
g----e.biz
$13​
$1​
-$12​
Namepros
s----s.ninja
$13​
$1​
-$12​
Namepros
s----s.partners
$26​
$1​
-$25​
Namepros
a----o.com
$15​
$30​
$15​
GoDaddy
l----o.com
$15​
$34​
$19​
GoDaddy
f----o.com
$15​
$24​
$9​
GoDaddy
b----d.com
$15​
$34​
$19​
GoDaddy
s----r.rocks
$58​
$200​
$142​
Afternic
t----n.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
s----n.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
t----n.online
$2​
$5​
$3​
Namepros
t----g.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
r----s.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
r----t.online
$2​
$0​
-$2​
Namepros
w----p.net
$40​
$5​
-$35​
Namepros
Net
$502
$464
-$38

What did I learn from my start?
It is unavoidable to not handreg names when you get started, you will simply not have the energy nor motivation to learn without any "stake in the game". You can argue against this but this is my strong belief.

My first names made me learn a lot about liquidation of names, it made me discover NamePros, later invest in XYZ and also made me find Squadhelp.

Today this first lot of names and the sales "profits" (rather net loss) from them has netted me a portfolio of 100 names on Squadhelp and 200+ other names in my portfolio and furthermore above the initial amount in my account. I would never have gotten here, wouldn't been for my initial crazy handreg spree of crappy names :)


What could I have done differently?
  • Stayed away from GoDaddy as a registrar for handregs (expensive as h**l and adds VAT for many countries)
  • Do not handreg expensive extensions like .io (focus on cheaper ones)
  • Study NameBio sales before handregging odd extensions
  • Do not head to auctions to early (my first auction buy was a 4L .net - learned that 4Ls is something good and found the first "cheap" one on GoDaddy auction - again GD expensive and me having no clue what is good and bad resulted in a poor buy)
What I learned - no matter how you buy your names zoom in on selling to other investors to start with
Selling mostly to other investors early on is a great way to learn (I have sold almost only to other investors).

Will I make a lot of money on it? No.

I however will learn what others pick from me and be better at spotting names. Being good at something is all about repetition and domaining is no different. How do you achieve repetition then with limited budget - turnover. By selling to other investors you can focus on turnover, turnover, turnover. I am always looking at liquidating names I buy, no matter who the buyer is. I am at holding many of my names for 3 months maximum. Turning over names makes me money and with money I buy more names and so on. I learn in the process. Over time I have built a portfolio of names on the side for keeping but I still focus on high turnover in sales towards other domainers - it keeps me learning, earning and building experience (I need to accelerate n/o names sold to learn from to catch up and be able to compete)

So my best recommendation for a newbie: You need to buy names eventually, no matter if it is on auction or handreg. Make sure to have focus on high turnover rate and reinvestments. You will need to buy and sell thousands of names before you can master this and there is no purpose in waiting for those sales to happen retail. Focus on learning but combine it with getting your hands dirty.
Thanks for sharing.

I might not agree with all the takeaways, but you are essentially learning for a small loss.
Many newer investors just put money out with no sales. At least you are turning over some inventory.

There is certainly a lot of value in experience.

I will say the big money is in end user sales though, but you are not going to get there overnight and without a solid foundation to build on.

Brad
 
Last edited:

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
Thanks for sharing.

I might not agree with all the takeaways, but you are essentially learning for a small loss.
Many newer investors just put money out with no sales. At least you are turning over some inventory.

There is certainly a lot of value in experience.

I will say the big money is in end user sales though, but you are not going to get there overnight and without a solid foundation to build on.

Brad
I agree, only way to get somewhere is to learn and I guess the above is my own home-schooling way of getting into this :)
 
I agree, only way to get somewhere is to learn and I guess the above is my own home-schooling way of getting into this :)
Yep, it is better to do something and learn.

If you are new investor and just buy domains with limited experience and capital, you are likely to hit a dead end fast and you are not going to learn much.

Brad
 

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
I have learned from reading here that newbies pay end user prices as investments and then ask for appraisals to find out. Newbies don't know what wholesale or retail is.
I guess that one has to start somewhere to learn but agree buying retail to appraise here is maybe the more expensive route ;). Doing that a few times you will learn though and furthermore you will have filled the pocket of some domainer who is then able to reinvest even more into the ecosystem. All money invested in domains is good for the overall industry (to generalise it broadly)
 

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
An update here. Since I strongly believe turnover is important to learn (the more transactions you make the faster you learn) and to earn (hopefully you sell net positive most of the times) I wanted to share an (for me) important moment. Had a domain sales turnover of above 1,000 USD 🥳 for the first time ever this month (1,068$). 2022 up until May have been averaging around 210$ while 2021 averaged 80$ (120$ after making my first sale in July).
The 1,068$ consists of a few "bigger" sales for 200-250 USD and then of many in the span 1-10$ and a few in the 10-50$ span.

I know these are numbers many here do daily to weekly but for me a big milestone.

Why is this important in this thread then? I want to highlight the impact turnover focus has for a newbie on overall sales profit and the ability to sell repeatedly and thus remain in this industry without giving it up.
 
I know these are numbers many here do daily to weekly but for me a big milestone.

Why is this important in this thread then? I want to highlight the impact turnover focus has for a newbie on overall sales profit and the ability to sell repeatedly and thus remain in this industry without giving it up.
When I started I made $0 in sales a day, week, month, etc. Everyone starts at zero.
You make good decisions and you build over time. As you build the numbers improve.

I agree with the fundamental point that doing something beats just buying domains when you have limited experience. You will refine your business model over time, but the experience helps.

Brad
 
Makes sense and of course we all start somewhere (by default with a buy and zero in sales) :). What are the big sales making you scale your domain investing career @bmugford ?
I didn't really have many outlier type sales. When I first started I did hustle some sales though via proactive sales, eBay, and maybe a handful on NamePros or other venues.

I basically bought mainly attractive (2) word .COM, some on the aftermarket some via handreg (especially GEOs).

I have never really sold that many domains to other investors, but it is a good way to gauge interest especially if you are new to the field. If other domain investors are not interested, even for a low price, the domain is probably a dud.

Brad
 
Last edited:
Impact
29,776
Thank you for a very informative post @spigiv !

I think the idea of starting out by selling wholesale has a lot of merit as a learning stage. In fact a blog post on the topic has for some time been on my list of ideas.

By selling wholesale, you come to learn what other investors will buy and why, while having enough sales to get feedback. You also get comfortable with topics like transfer, push, etc. and wholesale pricing.

Also, by actively trying to sell right off you are getting in the right habit of dividing time between buying and selling. Too many at first spend far too much on low quality acquisitions before they do much to actually sell even at wholesale prices.

I would not strictly hand register, but certainly concentrate on searching for names with clear business use and at prices below what research suggests is real value. By mixing hand registration with some low cost auctions, closeouts or expiry stream names is a good way to learn some of the acquisition options.

Congratulations on almost breaking even. That is a goal that I suspect the majority do not achieve in year one. Best wishes for future success.

Thanks once more for the detailed data share along with well expressed views.

Bob
 

spigiv

Established Member
Impact
155
Thank you for a very informative post @spigiv !

I think the idea of starting out by selling wholesale has a lot of merit as a learning stage. In fact a blog post on the topic has for some time been on my list of ideas.

By selling wholesale, you come to learn what other investors will buy and why, while having enough sales to get feedback. You also get comfortable with topics like transfer, push, etc. and wholesale pricing.

Also, by actively trying to sell right off you are getting in the right habit of dividing time between buying and selling. Too many at first spend far too much on low quality acquisitions before they do much to actually sell even at wholesale prices.

I would not strictly hand register, but certainly concentrate on searching for names with clear business use and at prices below what research suggests is real value. By mixing hand registration with some low cost auctions, closeouts or expiry stream names is a good way to learn some of the acquisition options.

Congratulations on almost breaking even. That is a goal that I suspect the majority do not achieve in year one. Best wishes for future success.

Thanks once more for the detailed data share along with well expressed views.

Bob
Thanks @Bob Hawkes ! Looking forward to that blog post at some point :)
 
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