My first year has come to an end

Labeled as discuss in General Domain Discussion, started by Dominic Belley, Mar 26, 2016


  1. Dominic Belley

    Dominic Belley Four Letter Acronyms VIP

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    Hello NP community.

    Today marks the last day of my first year as a domainer.

    I thought I could share my story. Who knows, maybe it could help future beginners to see the path taken by someone who literally knew NOTHING about the domain market.

    Exactly one year ago, I was watching tons of videos on YouTube about ways to make money online as a secondary income. Then I came across the DomainSherpa video with Micheal Cyger and Michael Krell. That video is about brandable domains and BrandBucket. I immediately fell in love with the concept, so I decided to allocate myself a small budget of $200 and give it a try.

    A week later, using plenty of GoDaddy coupons, I was already the proud owner of nearly a hundred domains. While watching TV, I was writting down all sorts of invented names that I thought sounded good and hand-registered the ones that were available.

    Every newly registered name was instantly submitted to BrandBucket. At that time, there was around 10,000 domains on BB. Then one day I got my first one approved, and another, and another. Wow! I was so excited by those « We've reviewed your BrandBucket domain submissions » and « Congratulations! The following domains meet our criteria for listing. » emails.

    But hand-registering that many invented words in such a small period of time right from the beginning of my journey was a huge mistake. I did not know it at the time.

    It was taking around 6 to 8 weeks to have domains reviewed. That is a very long wait and it allowed me to register and submit so many domains before receiving a first feedback. In my mind, I thought they would mostly all be accepted and I thought I would make a lot of money with them. It did not turn out that way.

    Months were passing and at one point I had around 75 published domains in my account and over 200 had been rejected. Luckily I published almost all of them with credits from the voting system. Preventing me from paying the $10 fees.


    At the same time I was submitting domains on BrandBucket, there was a lot of action going on with 4-letter domains. They were selling on NamePros for $65-$70. Of course I did not know anything about that sector. I was just observing an amazing amount of 4L being traded everyday and people seemed really optimistic to see prices go up.

    Despite my lack of knowledge, I knew I could not let that wave pass without participating. I knew there was money to be made. The problem was that my initial $200 investment for BrandBucket was long gone without any return. For some reasons I have decided to trust my gut feeling and allocated myself a new extra budget of $2,000 to purchase 4Ls.

    After buying a couple of domains here and there, I created a « 4L wanted » thread on NP and started buying in bulk to get a better unit price. I have been able to grab a few lots of 10 to 15 names that way and then the fun began.

    I was flipping 4L like crazy on NamePros and eBay. It was very exciting and also quite profitable. It was all new for me, finally a bit of money was coming back. I was sometimes only making a net $20 on a flip but I was reselling so many that it was quickly adding up.

    I was active on BrandBucket and on the 4L market at the same time. But deep inside I knew one of them was not right for me. I knew without a doubt.

    I am not a long-term holder. I prefer liquid domains.

    After 5-6 months on BrandBucket, I still had no sales. So I started to use my BB published names as liquid domains. I was selling them for 3% to 5% of their BB suggested price. Believe me, they were selling like hot cakes.

    At that time, BrandBucket was really hot. An approved domain was instantly worth $40+, no matter what the name was. Again, I recognized the opportunity and took advantage of it and sold around 75 domains that way. I was submitting domains with the only intention of immediately flipping them to another seller. I was getting really good at choosing domains that would be approved. Any keyword with « sy », « zy », « zo » or « za » as a suffix was a sure shot.

    After a while, I started to feel things slowing down and I decided to stop submitting names. I created auctions on eBay and NP to sell the 24 domains I had left all together. A buyer came along and that’s it. I was done with BrandBucket.

    After that experience, I can say I did not make that much money by flipping BB domains, but it allowed me to dispose of all my published names and it also paid for the 250+ terrible domains I had hand-registered and that were rejected. All that hard earned money, us beginners are losing registering bad names was recovered for me.

    New domainers beware. Do not try to do this today. It will not work. BrandBucket published names are nowhere as liquid as they were 5 months ago. You will not be able to resell them between $50-$100 as I was doing.

    After that BB chapter, I have only been dealing with 4L domains, with the exception of a few closeouts domains here and there.


    My bad moves :
    • Falling in love with BrandBucket and blindly invest my money and time into it.
    It is good too take risks, but moderately. Especially when you are a beginner with a limited budget and limited knowledge. Do not fall in love with a concept or a domain.​
    • Hand-registering hundreds of domains without really knowing what I was doing.
    It is so easy to hand register domains. Be cautious. I would suggest to new players to limit their hand registrations to 2 domains per week. They will probably be bad but at least you won’t have the time to accumulate too many of them before realizing it is not the path to follow.​

    My good moves :
    • Recognize the opportunity in liquid BrandBucket domains.
    BB hurt me at first, but being able to turn the situation to my advantage kind of saved me.​

    • Recognize the opportunity in 4L.
    While many where optimistic, many also thought the 4L hype was over when I started buying them. 4L value had already gone up from $10 to $70. I took a risk with a fixed budget and it paid off. I never risked more than I could afford.​

    • Watch tons of videos and read blogs. Be informed in the sector I invest in.
    NamePros is a gold mine. Read as much as you can. When a thread has 206 pages, do not be afraid to go back to page 1 and read the whole evolution of the topic. DomainSherpa is an amazing source of information too. You think you’ve watched enough videos? Go watch one more. Lately I really enjoy reading Zandibot and DomainShane blogs. YouTube is also full of information. Do not blindly copy what you watch or read. Just gather as much information and build your own opinion based on others experiences.​

    • Be professional and build relations.
    I tried to act the best I could with everybody I traded with to make all my transactions a success and pleasant for both parties.​

    What I want to improve :
    • Build relations.
    I built a few business relations with people throughout the year but I could do better. I am a solitary person in life, it has never been an easy thing for me to approach others. Unfortunately, I think the same behavior shows in my business relations. I should try to work on that in my second year.​
    • Diversify
    Right now, 99% of my activities are related to 4L. I have to diversify myself a bit. Even thought I know I prefer flipping domains than holding for long-term, I still have to try to grab a few long-term names.​


    Did I make a lot of money in my first year? NO !! I repaid myself my $2,200 investment plus an additionnal $3,300. That’s it. My first year profits reside in my current portfolio because I always reinvested my revenue into buying more domains.

    My first year in numbers

    My best profit on a 4L flip is $1,494. It was a chip.
    I paid $1,106 and sold it two weeks after for $2,600 NET here on NP.
    That sale occurred just at the right time, a few days later, chip prices started to drop.

    My best profit on a brandable 2-keyword domain is $125.
    I hand-registered a domain, had it published on BrandBucket and sold it on NP for $150.

    My most rewarding sale came from my personal marketplace. I was on a 4L.
    I paid $188 for a VCCC, Non-premium and sold it for $750.
    Someone probably typed-in the domain name and was redirected to my landing page. Without contacting me first to negociate, the person clicked « Buy it now ». That was exciting! It happened on October 30th. I found the message I wrote on NP that day after my sale.

    I hand-registered over 300 domains. I don’t have the exact number.
    I purchased a total of 182 4-letter domains and resold 152 of them.


    That is my review of my first year as a domainer. Wow I realize it is a very long text. Sorry for that. I hope it was not too boring.

    Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

    Have a nice day.
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. DNGear

    DNGear Domainnaut VIP

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    Thanks for your review. Wish you all the best...
  3. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    Wow, what a post!

    Loved reading it. Kudos, Dominic ) Pleasure trading with you on some 4L.coms. Looking forward to doing more business.
  4. DKN

    DKN Top Contributor VIP

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    Congratulations Dominic :)

    Good journey.... Wishing you all the best for your future investments.
  5. Account Closed (Disallowed)

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    Bravo buddy! I like success stories like you...
    Your perseverance and hard work paid off. All the best in future domaining as well.
    Keep it up :)
  6. E-Promote

    E-Promote Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Congrats Dominic, your dedication and hard work will pay off even more if you keep going.
  7. N-A

    N-A Account Closed

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    Thanks for sharing; it was a pretty nice write up.

    Do you think that 4L has a future wherein you can have the same -- if not greater -- success in the future?

    I ask this because beginners reading this may rush out to buy domains selling for $1500 that were once selling for the quoted $2600 as they may have the hopes that they can flip it for an $1100 profit in the (near) future. If the market isn't "crashing", rather "correcting", then should one hold out until the correction is over before purchasing names and flipping them for $20-$50 profits on the ups and downs? Or should domain investors continue to short the market for these rates?

    Thanks again,
  8. Genius327

    Genius327 Top Contributor VIP

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    That was a great write up! Good luck for the second year!

    Actually I am completing my first year as well on NP tomorrow on 27 March! :D
  9. theodore_zhou

    theodore_zhou DNN.ME,WCC.ME,VXDF.COM,TJVQ.COM,ZYHY.COM for sale.

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    i have bought 4l from you from ebay,friend.
  10. Serengeti

    Serengeti Established Member

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    Tabarouette Dominic tu cruze là... Great piece...keep it up...

  11. amaz_bab

    amaz_bab Established Member

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    thanks a lot for sharing with us!
  12. Vinod R

    Vinod R Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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  13. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    Dominic, could you have allocated more than $2,000 at the start? Was the model scalable? In other words, could you have invested $20,000 and earned $30,000 above the investment?

    You mentioned that you now have also 30+ LLLL.coms and those are wholesale worth much more than the cash of around $5,000 you have made.

    So, overall, given the small amount of the start, you've done amazingly well )
  14. Doron Vermaat

    Doron Vermaat Co-founder, Efty Efty Staff PRO VIP ICA Member

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  15. NameAgency

    NameAgency Top Member PRO VIP

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    Great post Dominic. Keep working hard.
  16. doubleU

    doubleU Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for post (impresive), best of luck with future investments !
  17. Dominic Belley

    Dominic Belley Four Letter Acronyms VIP

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    I think there is a huge part of speculations in that market, but because it is affordable to everybody, the demand remains high. So 4L definitely has a future in my opinion. 4 characters is short enough to find more and more end-users over time.

    If I had one advice to give to a beginner who wants to jump into that market and who has absolutely no knowledge of 4L trends, it would be to stay away from CHIPs. Its too risky and personnally I don't even understand that market. So I stay away from it and beginners should too.

    Beginners, try this:
    Start safely! Invest in cheap random 4L, the risk is very small. At least for the first month or two.

    Go to Namebio or LLLLSales and look at the current market price of the random 4L. You will see that they sell big time for anywhere between $300 and $350 at the moment. So what does it tell you? It tells you that anytime you can buy a 4L for $275 or less, you buy it and you immediately flip it. It does not matter if the profit is small. Its still a profit. Keep repeating the same pattern over and over and believe me, you will never look behind.

    I think it is a very valid way to start. That is what I did and that is what I suggest to do. As you gain experience and knowledge, you can adjust your "style" and start looking into higher quality 4L. They cost more but they bring more profit.

    As for CHIPs. I can't talk about them. I don't understand the market. I don't know PinYin or the meaning of the letters. Its not for me. Its too volatile. I like safe investments.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  18. Dominic Belley

    Dominic Belley Four Letter Acronyms VIP

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    I did not have more than $2,000 at that moment. For me, it was the correct amount. It was enough to be active in the market without putting my personal financial situation in jeopardy.

    But yes the model is scalable. I missed amazing buying opportunities because I had no money to invest. The same is still true today. I always reinvest all my revenues, but sometimes I would need more and I sadly often have to pass on great opportunities.

    Everytime I bump my thread up with 5-10 new 4Ls, I instantly get more inquiries and more sales. So I know for a fact that the more I buy, the more I sell and the more I make money.


    The amount that went back into my bank account is $5,500. That is my $2,200 initial investment + $3,300 for myself.

    It think my current portfolio, including (4L, 5L, 6N, 7N and keywords) is worth at least $15K wholesale. So overall I think it was a good first year.
  19. Branded Domains

    Branded Domains Be You VIP

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    Nice post mate...very informative..A big like form me
  20. NameFit

    NameFit - Right Name, Right Price

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    Thanks for being giving honest and candid opinion and synopsis. It s up to reader what they can glean from your post and take action accordingly. We frequently see posts, 'so and so' made a profit of xx,000 in 3 months, 6 months etc, with ROI and all that. That is not the complete story - like how many names in total they have, such a sale constitutes what percentage of sales. Is is typical or atypical. Such posts are very misleading. To a novice domainer - that is not a best direction to follow. On good side, in domaining business, you can invest a little and taste the market, and test and develop you entrepreneurship skills which you cannot do in other businesses. So it s not all that bad, after all. Who knows you may get better with time (domain market always stays the same in spite of small spikes).
  21. Michael

    Michael NameBio Staff PRO VIP ICA Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great post, thanks for sharing your story and congrats on a successful first year!
  22. Domainzy

    Domainzy Retired VIP

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    Congrats on a excellent first year!

    As I read your story, some of it was very similar to mine, except of course that I found success at BrandBucket ;)

    Hope your 2nd year is even better!

  23. frank-germany

    frank-germany domainer since 2001 / musician VIP

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    Hi David

    please let me know, how to short domains
  24. frank-germany

    frank-germany domainer since 2001 / musician VIP

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    thank Dominic for your detailed post.
    I learned a lot - you have done phantastic.

    here is another source for 4L knowledge
    random 4l com are pretty stable
  25. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Top Contributor VIP

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    Here is one way: you agree to take someones 10 random chips and return 11 random chips in 6 months. If you believe the market will fall by, say, 30%, you sell 10 chips now, buy 11 randoms in 6 months for 0.7 of todays price per name, costing you 0.77 of what you sold it for today total.

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