Being a Follower Can Be Difficult

In the game of American football, the wide receiver generally has the advantage over the cornerback because he knows the route he has been assigned to run and catch a pass. If speed, skill, and football intellect are equal, the wide receiver should be able to get open to catch a pass from the quarterback.

Last night, I was reviewing FreshDrop’s NameJet list of expiring domain names to back order. I came across a domain name that is in the same vertical a company spent tens (maybe even hundreds) of thousands of dollars acquiring a few years ago. I think the company would have paid high 3 or low 4 figures for it 2-3 years ago, and it didn’t have any bidders.

Much like a defensive player is at a disadvantage covering a wide receiver, someone who is a follower in the domain space is at a similar disadvantage. If you are only buying domain names because you know another company has been buying them, you might be out of luck if/when the company changes strategy or no longer spends money on domain name acquisitions. This is especially important if the domain investor is buying domain names in the aftermarket (as opposed to hand registrations), spending a considerable sum of money with the hopes of selling to one buyer.

I think it is wise to see what some of the bigger companies are buying, and perhaps that insight can help guide you when buying your own domain names for resale. However, you should always have a backup plan if the domain name isn’t of interest or if that company pivots from its strategy. You want to buy names that several companies would also want to own, not just one potential prospect.

I’ve made many deals on names that I bought specifically because I thought a company would want to buy them. I’ve also been stuck with quite a few names as well. If you get stuck with too much unsellable inventory, you’re going to have a tough time getting out of the hole.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Companies are not as perceptive to email to email domain sellers anymore due to Alexander Intrust/Epik whatever you want to call it, Indian domainers spam alot, and other’s in the industry to have turned on the spam show.

    They are basically like DELETE DELETE DELETE, not as easy as it used to be, if the domain is solid enough, you will get the how much? reply, but other more personal avenues need to be opened up as their are to many wannabes sending emails these days… I only know of 1 guy who can effectively churn their inventory, and even they get stuck with a few hundred domains a year, and it has become harder, and they have to try, and find more generic terms, and end users get the same name pending delete emails you get now days.

    • True, and I am the same way when I get emails from the same people, constantly offering domain names I wouldn’t even hand register with a $.99 coupon.

      Here are some tips to get emails opened:

      1) Have a compelling subject line

      2) Offer an exceptional domain name

      3) Use proper spelling and grammar (know the buyer)

      4) Don’t have attachments or graphics in your email

      5) Make it clear that the recipient isn’t on a mailing list

      6) Be professional

      7) Don’t send more than one email

  2. I been in the domain industry since 1997, and I done very well and I never do outbound emails to promote my names. IMO it’s a waste of my time, and you lose huge leveraging power that way. My time is better spent buying good names, and if there good enough buyers will come to you. To each there “own”, but IMO a waste of time.

    • I have had the complete opposite experience.

      If you are offering a lower value domain name and you only have one person/company mildly interested, you have very little leverage. You can either sell for what they are offering or hold on to it. Not saying that’s what you do, but if you only get one interested buyer who doesn’t feel like the name is a necessary asset to own, that’s where you end up.

      On the other hand, if you are offering a killer domain name and there are several companies interested, you get that leverage right back and can go with the best offer or whomever is willing to pay your asking price.

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