Buying Domain Names

$18 Purchase to $4,999 Sale to $150 Million Startup

Late last Summer, I placed a $18 Discount Club backorder on a domain name at DropCatch.com. Once it became eligible to transfer, I spent under $10 to transfer it to my account at GoDaddy. I listed it for sale on Afternic for $4,999, and it sold within the last several weeks at the BIN price without any negotiation. After the 20% commission and acquisition + transfer costs, the total profit is somewhere north of $3,950.

Since the domain name sold, I have been periodically checking the domain name to see who bought it and why. Recently, I noticed a new website on the domain name, and it turns out a stealth startup with around $150 million in funding was the company that acquired the domain name. It’s the perfect brand match .com domain name for their business, and it suits them well.

Impress Them With Your Domain Names

As he often does, Peter Askew shared a nugget of wisdom about domain name development I can appreciate:

Besides operating this website and Embrace.com, I have pretty much resigned from web development projects. Peter’s comment still resonated to me because I share his sentiment when buying domain names in the aftermarket. When I tell someone I own a particular domain name – be it at a social gathering or professional event – I want the other person to be impressed. I want them to think to themselves – or ask me – how the heck did he get that domain name?!

Jason Calacanis Looking for a Premium Domain Name

Angel investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis is apparently looking to purchase a domain name. He put out a request on Twitter asking people to DM them if they have premium .com domain names for sale:

Track Down a Domain Owner Who Uses Whois Privacy

Whois privacy shields a domain registrant’s contact information from public view. When private Whois is enabled on a domain name, it can be more challenging – if not impossible – to track down a domain name registrant to buy the domain name. There is no way to see who registered a domain name that has private Whois records short of litigation or a UDRP filing.

That being said, there are several ways I have had success tracking down domain registrants who utilize Whois privacy proxy services. Here are some of the tactics that can be used to learn who owns a domain name that is privately registered:

3 Letter Domain Names Don’t Always Make Great Investments

Shorter is better is something my parents have always told me growing up. While this may hold true in terms of height, it is not always the case when it comes to some domain names.

Over the years, I have owned several three letter .com domain names (NLC, MYV, SHS, KJP, RER, PJP, RSN, and probably a few I have forgotten about). LLL.com domain names tend to be in high demand, and they can sell for amounts that range from five figures to seven figures, depending on the letters and demand for them. While the 3 letter .com domain name market is quite liquid, not all 3 letter domain names are investment-grade.

Someone shared the tweet below from Shifang Yuan from Yuming.com. The tweet came in response to someone else’s question about the value of two types of .IO domain names:

Going All Out in Bankruptcy Auction

Several weeks ago, Hilco Streambank emailed me to notify my that several domain names were coming up for sale in a bankruptcy auction. One of the domain names in the list stood out to me – AllOut.com. When I played sports as a kid – and even when I play tennis today, I tend to go all out. I like the business and marketing connotations of “all out,” and I have been buying similar types of domain names when I can (SparkPlug.com is another one I recently acquired).

Shortly after receiving and seeing the notifications about the auction, I was in touch with representatives from Hilco Streambank to understand the bankruptcy auction process and learn how I could participate. I started by submitting a bid, and that qualified me to participate in the auction. The domain name was sold in a package with AllOut.net, so my bid would be for both AllOut.com and AllOut.net.

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