For the inaugural edition of “5 With…” I thought it would be appropriate to conduct an interview with myself. Look for new interviews in the “5 With…” category, as I already received commitments from some of the best-known people in the business. Here goes…
1.) EJS: How did you get started in the domain investment business?
EJS: When I was in graduate school, I saw people buying and selling domain names on Ebay. I thought that if people could do this, I could do it, too. I focused on buying domain names I thought could be developed into businesses, forums, or other profitable ventures. I stuck with generic domain names that had obvious meanings. At the time, I didn’t realize that there were online communities dedicated to the domain investment business. Once I joined a couple of the forums, I was able to learn alot from others, and I made contacts with other people active in the business. I owe alot to the people I met on Ebay as well as some of the active members in the various forums.
2.) EJS: When did domain investing become more than simply a way to earn some extra cash in graduate school?
EJS: After I joined DNForum in early 2006, I saw a listing for the .net, .org, .info and .biz of a one word domain name for sale for a few hundred dollars. I bought those and contacted the owner of the .com. To my surprise, the owner sold the .com for only a few hundred dollars. I was able to resell the entire set for low $xx,xxx. Several months later, I bought a well-priced name, and I sold it at a TRAFFIC auction for $xx,xxx. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to reinvest the profits into better domain names, helping me build a stronger portfolio.
3.) EJS: What was more exciting for you: Red Sox winning 2004 World Series or buying Customs.com?
That’s a tough call. I think buying Customs.com was more exciting because it was a personal achievement. The Red Sox winning the World Series was a great feeling – especially since I was in New York City when they won. Hopefully 2007 will be a repeat!
4.) EJS: What’s the best piece of advice you would give people just starting out in the business?
EJS: Study the market as much as you can before you dive in and buy a bunch of names that are best left unregistered. Since there are many different areas of domain investment, focus on one aspect – maybe a particular extension or genre of domain name and learn as much as you can. Just as you would want to buy low and sell high with stocks, the idea is the same in the domain investment business. Do your research and continue to buy better names each time you buy.
Also, may I give a second piece of advice?
EJS: Sure, it’s your show, go ahead.
Thanks! I would also recommend that people read my blog post here which gives 10 Domain Investment Tips.
5.) EJS: Do you regret ever selling a domain name?
EJS: The only domain name I really regret selling was Arrangements.com. I still think that name is perfect for a florist. I think I sold it for a great price, but I was able to reinvest and buyer more great names. Maybe some day I will try to buy it back and develop it!