Some VERY interesting changes in pricing (numbers and strategy) during 2021

Labeled as analysis in Domain Buying and Selling Discussion, started by twiki, Jul 30, 2021


  1. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    2021 has been an wild ride for me. I started good, then slowed down (a lot). But after some recent changes described below, now my sales have taken off like a tsunami.

    There are reasons behind this latest stream of sales and it's not just random.

    For example I'm having a stream of 4-fig sales (I haven't reported all of them here BTW) but also a stream of xxx range .co sales that at least certain members here might want to learn about.

    ( Note, I mentioned about this a couple times in the sales thread, but I was awaiting more confirmation. I have gotten a ton of confirmation since. It's not just by chance. In fact, it has all to do with increasing my prices (!) ).

    Now, here are my observations.

    Note, it will not be the same for everyone else; but if you see similar patterns, my findings below might help boost your sales.

    1) There is a sharp decline in low xxx range sales

    At least for me. In the past I used to recommend $199 as a very good sales point. I've also had a lot of success with $75 as well and cleared a ton at this price point. I was also getting a ton of $100 offers whenever I offered that via Dan, Afternic or any other lander.

    But in 2021? Not so much.

    ( Edit: I no longer recommend the $199 and $75 price points anymore, which other members have had success with in the past year(s). Changes seem too deep.)

    In fact I sold so few of these low priced ones that I'm going to call that a ZERO result. I had almost no sales at the $199 price level in sharp comparison with the past when these made bread and butter.

    Notably I also got NO $100 offers anymore. None.

    ( What the heck is that. Makes one scratch head. )

    Theories on the above:

    a) Could be the fact that my quality of acquired / registered domains has increased significantly? I find that pretty hard to believe, but it's a possibility.

    b) Could be the lack of buying power of market level users (those below $300)? Maybe they are pushed down to a level where they don't pay $100 or $75 anymore. Again hard to tell.

    c) Or, perhaps, marketplaces like Afternic for example don't promote well anymore domains with such low price through their network? I can't tell exactly this too, but it is indeed possible.

    All I can tell is that something changed sharply in 2021 and it's not like I did something to create such a wild change.

    Thing is, weirdly enough, on Dan for example or any other lander I used (not with a sales network behind) I also haven't gotten any of these low offers / low priced sales anymore. This proves to me that actually there's something at play, something in the market. Something I have yet to discover.

    Now read this interesting point below.

    2) I'm having a ton of sales by pricing everything clearance range, at $299. Not more, not less.

    ( Edit: I had some .COM portfolio listed on NP but nobody would pay more than $200 for it. I've removed the post, and since then sold 3 domains for $299 in days, through the methods listed here and have still a month to clear more. This is why I'm no longer going to clear anything anymore on NP. Few saw the value in my names... )

    In January or so I had a stream of $299 .co sales. Then I made some price increases, but most decreased to $199, tested $250 and other points. Since then, I had like no .co sales whatsoever. But I didn't connect the dots then.

    Note, the same domains at same prices did not sell at all in 2020. Weird.

    Well right now I moved everything clearance range to $299 and they started selling fast. like 80-90% of them have an increased price as I was trying to clear everything before renewal which is end of this year, well, I was basically killing the whole thing by pricing too low.

    Not only that, but all other TLDS who did not sell at all during 2021, have started selling great at $299. All off the sudden. Including .net, .org, .xyz are now selling on all marketplaces at this price point.

    So I'm no longer selling ANY domain under $299. Though i plan to test a bit of them at $399 and above and see what happens.

    But why $299 is such a hot price level? That I can explain.

    First off, it's not $300 so psychologically it makes more sense. (the .99 thing)

    Secondly, it's exactly at the top level of the market price range. This is important.

    What is the market price range (if you don't know)? The $100-$300 range. This is the price range into which most individuals and self-employed, people with less income etc. will buy a domain in. Above that, it's too pricey for these buyers so then only businesses with at least some buying power will usually start purchasing. (1K-2K range for example)

    Third, it's yet again about psychology (important). The price seems high for many users, but not too high so it's out of reach. It also might seem low to other users who see worst domains at $500 or $750, but not so low that it actually conveys lack of value.

    So make sure you really test out the $299 price point.

    Notably, this $299 price works best on other TLD's than .com. It still works for me on .com's too, but less efficient. Which makes me think i should experiment with higher pricing for my .com non-renewals/clearances, because it makes me think that a $299 price for a .com might still be... psychologically too cheap. And therefore appear not valuable enough to the buyer.

    3). I've doubled or tripled my prices overall in 2021, especially on .coms. Result? They started to sell like never before.

    I used to have a lot of $500, $750 or so. Now everything pretty much starts at 1.5K, 2K and above. The weird thing is, the higher I price them the faster they sell. It's almost as it makes complete opposite sense of what a discount should bring. So I still plan to increase prices further. Cool, huh?

    So what causes this?

    Again I believe it's psychology.

    I used to price my domains low/too low. But if you search for similar domains on any marketplace, under that same price range, you will see lower quality domains (I saw that with mine). So they simply were in a pile of other stuff, and a buyer might say "okay, anything under 1k seems to be crap" so they move above that and your domain no longer appears in their higher priced search.

    It might also be demand related.

    I sense the demand for quality names for businesses has skyrocketed (those valued above $1.5...$2k) so put your non-discounted prices where the eyeballs with $ are.

    Morale of all this story?

    Don't sell yourself too cheap. You might be losing much, much more than you think.

    4) Another thing I combined to obtain this result is FIXED PRICING. Which I really recommend. At least for a test.

    All my domains under 3K inclusive don't longer have a min offer anymore. Min offer is the same as buy now. So this prompts instant decision, either buy it or go away. Gives user no more time to think and move back and forth.

    Think this would reduce sales, by not having a min offer?

    Think again. Nope. The contrary. I've learned that price is quite flexible, if you set it in the right range at least. And the above fixed price trick does (at least in my case) increase conversions a lot. A lot lot. Probably more than double them, at least by my own experience. (test yours.)

    Also I get best results currently by pointing my landers at Afternic, despite that 20% commission. I end up with most $ after fees. (note: Here is an example of Afternic BIN lander via redirect.

    I'm not sure why - but I don't think it's the lander. I bet it's the phone there.

    Edit: Many experienced sellers here say that landers aren't really that important. I agree, but

    Ns5/ns6 landers are good too but I get some infrequent errors on those currently so I kept them on Afternic for the moment.

    Overall I think that phone number works. But make your tests too, as everyone's portfolio is different.

    5) I've changed all my pricing on SEDO from BIN to make offer and made my min offer equal to the BIN. So basically increased all prices even further.

    Since then, Sedo sales started rolling great
    and today I'm awaiting yet another 4-fig, already accepted to be paid. I'm also selling domains i had at 3-fig BIN, via 4-fig min offers on Sedo. not just .coms but also .orgs for example.

    Why does this happen? Again I think it's not selling too cheap - but I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Profit note: What the above changed meant for me:

    In the last 30 days I've made 400% ROI over all domains and I've basically paid more than half my year in renewals already, so I could spend an extra 5k in new buys with no sweat, on top of the usual 5k monthly. I'm also on track to 6-fig profit this year, and higher 6-fig numbers profits next year. Which I will post about when the time comes. May your sales go great too or even better than this.

    In short, it changed everything.

    Thanks for reading!

    (edited for clarity)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Samer

    Samer Restricted (15-30%)

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    @twiki, well done!

    THANK YOU. Your sales data is priceless!

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  3. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Well, get on with some killer sales and make all of us here be amazed! Good luck there.
  4. Haddi Zak

    Haddi Zak Established Member

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    Thanks for the input
  5. Robin A.

    Robin A. Established Member

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    Absolutely valuable info you're sharing here! Thanks a lot!
    The way people respond to pricing still baffles me. Had a 4L dot com priced at $950 for a quick sale. Had plenty of visitors, but no one pulled the trigger. Raised the price to $2500 and it sold within 10 days.
    Maybe the buyer got afraid I might raise the price even more?

    Another similar observation : reduced prices for about 30 clearance domains on Dan to $100. The visitor numbers dropped to almost zero!

    Could it be that because many "domainers" ridiculously over price their domains and you offering domains at clearance or bargain prices, that potential buyers get suspicious? Something of the sorts of: "$149 for this 2 word dot com? Similar names are priced at x, xxx and beyond all over the place. There must be something wrong with the name."

    Is this how a large part of business owners think? What do you guys think?

    On the other hand, if you see gold and silver prices rise, people start buying like crazy. When they drop sharply, people hold back, stop buying and curse the markets. Smart investors however buy when assets are cheap. They don't follow the herd and do the opposite.

    Maybe the same mentality comes into play when small or medium sized business owners look to buy a domain?

    Curious to hear your 2 cents. And thanks again for your insights and numbers!
  6. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Some additional notes on how I get these results, and a high growth rate:

    - I work hard. Not necessarily all day long, but when I do that, I'm all in.

    - I take domaining seriously. As if my life depends on it. (does yours...?)

    - I don't believe in beliefs. I believe in testing.

    - I also believe in self-challenges, goals, and targets.

    - I expect changes. All the time. So I'm always looking for changes.

    - I don't believe in static things.

    There's nothing static in a market, over time. If you assume things are static, on the medium term already you are losing.

    - If you have the guts to move a few thousand names up and down with pricing, you could either be right, or you could be wrong.

    But certainly you will find out something important - in a month of too.

    So I do a lot of work, a lot of testing, a lot of price adjusting. I always challenge my own assumptions and making new ones as the market shifts all the time, just as it obviously should.
  7. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    I definitely believe a too low price kills the business.

    I've also seen this in other markets (not domaining). We advertise high quality and good service (Edit: brick and mortar) and we do that. But we are the most expensive in the market (not really the biggest firm, some competitors are multinational). (Edit: And our quality and service is good, but not necessarily way above competitors. We are indeed pricey though.)

    Guess that, been there for more than a decade while many others went bust.

    So yeah. Don't ever underprice yourself.

    Also, buyers are hardly rational beings. (I mean not at all)

    One that can enter into their mind, will always find financial success. I think my experience in years over direct sales and negotiation has taught me a lot. So I can at least grasp some of what's going on even without any message from the buyer (ever), such as from an Afternic sale. ( This helps setting my price points and strategies. )

    Edit: There's a lot one can do with their domain prices, landers, and strategy. Much more than I ever imagined when starting. I thought domaining is pretty static. How wrong I was about that at the time.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  8. Ostrados

    Ostrados VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    THanks for these great insights!

    So to be clear, you changed all your Sedo domains to make offer only, or BIN + Make offer?
  9. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    I no longer have any BIN at Sedo. Only make offer.

    Also, my former BIN price is now the starting price. So it's basically a significant increase. When selling, I get either my old BIN price, or even more $.

    I expected this to kill Sedo sales. It had the total opposite effect.

    Once again, we always have to test our assumptions - hard.

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  10. gericsb

    gericsb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Fantastic post!!!!!

    @twiki I have a question on your Sedo stratrgy: Doesn't using BIN pricing on Sedo get them more exposure?

    Which Afternic Nameservers are you using?

    Also, I think that

    1) people are suspicious of decent 2-word dot coms priced too low

    2) some people much watch domains for price drops and when they see the price Incresse, they become nervous and pounce before it goes any higher.

    I am going to try some of these techniques!
  11. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    It should, but it doesn't for me. I got the opposite effect.

    NS5/NS6 but I also use my own nameservers + a redirect to Afternic BIN page (see above link in the post). This because lately NS5/6 been unreliable for me (fluctuating, no price is shown).

    I definitely agree. You try to sell more by reducing price, and you get the opposite. But it's valid for any TLD. For example I can only sell an xyz if it is priced $299 or above. (that I tested a lot).

    I also believe the same. Saw this way too often.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  12. gericsb

    gericsb Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks, @twiki

    Awesome insights...
  13. NYJimbo

    NYJimbo Domain Re-Animator VIP

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    Interesting observation.
  14. mani0307

    mani0307 Top Contributor VIP

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    Very helpful
    Can you your portfolio size and how many .co you own and STR of .co
  15. scithe

    scithe Upgraded Member Gold Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    For hand reg brandables, getting $100-300 is a great return on $6-10 registrations. So If I could 10x my money or 30x my money, I was usually happy. Compared to buying pallets of crap wholesale and dealing with Amazon, it's really great.

    But I am seeing that the higher prices are working. Why offer a .com for $300 when I can price mine at $3k with the others (though I've yet to sell a brandable for 3k, we'll see as the months go by).

    So I have been raising my prices. Now where I have differed is that I was mostly leaving sites like Dan with just a $100 min offer even if I wanted 5k for the domain name. Now I'm reconsidering and I'm thinking that maybe pricing my offer 10% lower than the domain. So if I've got it priced at $2k, you can offer $1800 and maybe someone else won't snag it first, or you can just snag it for 2k and be done with it.
  16. point2021

    point2021 Established Member

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    very useful information.
    Assume you have invested $1000 in all of domains,How many dollars is your net profit in a month?
  17. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Underpricing is pretty much always bad in my opinion.

    Not only you leave most money on the table, but you also decrease your STR because the price tells the buyer it's a crappy domain. (perception)

    A very low min offer tells the same thing. You're unsure of the price so you have set a guesswork BIN but accept a very low min offer. This I am actually sure of, cause I've tested it long time: The lower you set the min offer, the greater the negative impact in your sales.

    So for example recently if I had a $2k domain I would use an $1.5k min offer (not less) and it really worked. But after reviewing, this actually made the BIN sales increase - so this got me to current fixed price strategy which I'm very fond of.

    But with an $100 min offer instead, I'm seeing lowball offers only, and not actually get a sale in most cases.

    You think you will get sales/offers info and appear flexible to the buyer via a low min offer - well, wrong. Instead, you get lowball offers mostly (totally useless info) and you might have already lost some important sales during this time, because your pricing tells the user either that you're unsure about your own domain, OR that this domain is not really that valuable if one can bid on it for $100.

    It's counter-intuitive for most of us. The lower you set min offer, the more it appears to make it worse.

    However, there's a catch: If you generally overprice your domains a lot, pricing them higher and increasing min offer will not help, but the contrary. You're pricing yourself outside of the market. This is one most common beginner mistake.

    This is the problem I've seen in my early years of domaining. Personal example below.

    I had a bunch of domains and for at least 6 months I've set almost everything 4-fig. Why? Because each pro domainer out there used 4-fig prices. Then I waited.

    I only had 1 sale at 4-fig. Some domains I was not fond of anymore were 3-fig, well some of that sold too.

    It didn't take me longer than this to clearly figure something out : My drops and handregs were not really 4-fig material.

    So I decided to price everything 3-fig. From that moment, I began having success and a clear growth curve.

    This is the error I'm seeing with MOST beginners. They don't know how to price their domains; and side note pricing correctly is both an art and science that takes years to master. So they usually price their names like 5 times or 10 times of what would be a reasonable price for the name. Needless to say, this kills the sales and their chances of ever getting success in domaining. They simply price themselves completely out of the market.

    There is no shame or whatever in xxx range sales. I still sell a lot of xxx nowadays. I make profit on these too, due to higher STR, so I'm happy.

    If your higher prices are working, this should tell you that generally you might be using sensible pricing (like I do) and therefore there's still room to increase them further.

    Again, the thing with domains is that we need not succumb to beliefs and assumptions. Test, test, test. That's how you find out what kind of domains you have, and what is the best way to squeeze most $$$ out of each of them.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  18. Maximinus

    Maximinus Established Member

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    I am still new to domaining and pricing is a skill which comes with experience.
    But there is one thing I know:
    Domains represent buyers face in front of the whole world.
    If an enduser pays big money for his domain, he will feel comfortable in his new venture. If he pays little, he won't be confident in the quality of the name and it's impact.
    I would rather let a domain expire, than price it xxx$.
    Thanks for sharing, @twiki !
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  19. VidhataPrakash

    VidhataPrakash Established Member

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    That's a wrong assumption. I've had worked as a website developer and a SEO... More than you would think people do realize the value of a good name even if they are buying cheap(that's a bargain for them).

    For the very same reason, these people are even ready to pay big dollars if they feel the name is good enough.

    Generally speaking, If end-users pay little for a domain it doesn't mean they won't be confident about the name quality, perhaps he/she is happy about scoring a good deal.
  20. Maximinus

    Maximinus Established Member

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    In a world where every domain enduser is a SEO expert, there would be no Facebook nor Microsoft.
    What about brandables?
  21. Hikithe Achumi

    Hikithe Achumi Established Member

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    I priced all my .co domains at $299 and just got an offer for
    Thanks you!
  22. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Glad to be of help. Good luck selling!
  23. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Got this question from a NP member:

    "Are you finding .co sells best at $299? If so may i ask what sort of ROI you are looking at on your .co?"

    This is a .co specific question, and a portfolio/personal target question so it's not really general advice OR something that other users should straight copy. But there's a valid answer to be made here and one other users can learn something from. There's also a longer story behind it, see below.

    Side note: If you have questions, please ask in the threads. I don't do advice via DM. I get too much of that and I don't like to do it via DM. But I do a LOT of advice publicly so I'll usually respond in my threads so not just one person, but several domainers here can benefit.

    I'm going to reply here, with this comment: Take it with a large grain of salt, and please note that your portfolio and goals might be VERY different.

    My .co investment strategy has changed a ton since I bought into it one year ago.

    I'm currently selling out most my .co investment but not due to the fact that it's not profitable, but due to the fact that I have other avenues (notably: .com) which are significantly more profitable and which I bank on long-term for better results.

    When I start with a new TLD, I have two approaches. Either "touch and feel" or deep dive. I did touch and feel with .biz and .info, also .net and .org, which means limited investment and awaiting results. With .co I had significant sales from the beginning so it felt like a winner so I did a deep dive.

    I still have most of the 5K .co names I bought, and mostly are 2-word. Overall they are hand regs, some are drop regs.

    The $299 price point has been a success for me but please note that I see it as a general price and a clearance price for .co's. Not the BEST price in all cases. If you have .co's that you feel are highly valuable, please set your bar higher. Much higher. Good 2-word .cos can sell nicely at $2k, and one-words can sell for much more. In my case however, overall the $299 is good.

    Occasionally I sell .co's for more, high xxx range up to 1k, but not above (Edit: my 4-figs co's aren't selling yet but there's time). When starting I kept high prices for 2-3 months but nothing was selling so going down to $299 made everything roll.

    I invested a little below $10k in these .co's. By now I got back more than half of the money (Edit: likely almost covered investment but I haven't done the math yet) and by the time when my last batch of .co's will expire early next year, I will be in profit. So it's been good.

    However, for me .co's are not the biggest chunk of cheese that I can buy.

    Single word co's are better, obviously. The amount of investment I made into it (time and cash) is much better suited in .coms. I will probably get more .co's but as private buys, higher priced .co's only. The problem with .co's is renewal which is too pricey to make a portfolio hold long-term. So you have to focus on one-year runs and drop regs. But I don't have enough time to drop reg co's as well, so I will not be doing that. I will sell the lot, bank the profit, keep a few very good names and that's it.

    Your own strategy? Might be different. There are users here who don't sell co's under 2k. I find that approach also valid. You sell a couple names in a year but you bank money. If you don't , well, in the last month or so you can put them to $299. I have too many of them so for me this price is most logical choice for 2-words. I chose safe profit today in this clearance, rather than play a little riskier for potentially higher returns.

    However I still have some co's that will continue to stay 4-fig. And I will renew them. But they are a minority.

    The reason I deep dive sometimes has to do with my base strategy.

    When I started domaining, I knew the most valuable asset is time. With each passing year, time is spent, prices go up, good domains dwindle. So what you can buy today is no longer available next year - at least not so much. I needed to learn - and fast.

    I had capital, a lot of business experience, so I traded cash for time. That's what I did with co's as well. I spent a lump $10k to learn about this TLD, at least from my investment strategy point. It went good, I got profit and a ton of information but I make more profit from .coms and even .orgs so I will continue to have a limited .co investment next. I do have much more profit from .coms so I focus on those today.

    But why spending a lump sum?

    First off, I had it and calculated with my purchase slope, this cash will still be available for 1 year. And I was right on that. Now as they expire I will use cash from sales to buy more .coms and a few hand picked .co's. (edited for clarity)

    Secondly, it's how I started. I wanted to gain time. So I spent 5-fig in first year when starting a few years ago.

    Reason is, I wanted to test a lot of investment ideas and see what sells and what not. Where you can push it and where it does not stick. In the first year I've lost $14k but guess what - I was happy! Because my business experience has shown me the growth curve exists there and that the slope is good and that in a couple years more or so I will be banking profit and then go much higher as I learn. So i continued despite making losses. It was all worth it.

    But it's a risk. I took that risk consciously as I always do, with math done. Some of the risks I take don't go well, others do good.

    So far I made significant losses only with .xyz, notably. I think this TLD is not mature yet enough for 2-words. I also have other things like .contact, .realty and some .info and .biz. All of these tests went bad, but it's alright for me as I went slowly into it.

    With .xyz I had been unlucky enough to get a few quick sales at the beginning so then I decided to deep dive and regged both hand regs and drops, mostly 2-word. I'm taking a loss on xyz but overall it's less than a month's profit so I'm just fine. Will probably recover 40%-50% of it give or take by my estimations. The $299 helps so I'll wait for this price to sell more of them though.

    Edit: If you want to get 2-word .xyz, for these names I recommend ONLY drops. No hand regs. Actually I'm pretty sure my best sales in xyz were former owners desperate to get their domain back as it expired and they wanted it badly.

    So again, this was my personal bet, but please don't mirror it. You might be losing your own money.

    In most cases, for other domainers with not the biggest experience and capital, it might not be a good idea, I think. Make your own bets accordingly with your capital, strategy and experience and see how they play out. ( Edit: Play it safe. )
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
  24. Devanos

    Devanos VIP

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    Valuable informations

    What do look about investing in 1word .org .xyz ??

    Thanks for sharing
  25. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Well I guess you should look in the reported sales thread for all @DNGear sales... and inspire from them.

    I don't have enough 1-word xyz names to give exact advice. My focus was on 2-words .xyz, and on these, it was definitely a flop. But at least I learned something.

    Edit: I also don't have any single-word .orgs. But I did pretty nicely with 2-words in org too. Overall I have more experience in 2-words than in single words, regardless of TLD.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021

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