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Guest Post: How to Buy $100,000 Domains for $5,000 or Less: Focus on a Specialized Market

Gary Males and Aaron Krawitz are veteran domain investors, who specialize in foreign domain names. They are the owners of the recently relaunched fixed-price marketplace, IDNTools. Aaron and Gary are guest authors of this piece on ElliotsBlog.

It is every domainer’s dream to own premium domains that are category killers, brandable and that drive search traffic (as measured by Google Adwords Keyword Tool). It is typical to be discouraged by the extent to which the domain market has already been tapped. The majority of those who brave on, tend to fall victim to the following traps:

1. Hand regging and buying cheap poor quality domains.

2. Looking for top names and repeatedly feeling priced out due to
pricing that is in the $xxx,xxx range.

3. Waiting for and investing in the next obscure ccTLD or gTLD landrush.

If these are often roadblocks that derail a domain investor from reaching success and profitability, then how should one proceed?

Find a rapidly growing, specialized niche within the world of domaining. In particular, focusing on foreign language domains in quickly maturing markets – such as Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese or Japanese domains – can be an affordable pursuit with lucrative long term prospects.

The main barriers to investing in foreign language domains, and in IDNs in particular, are:

  • Ignorance. Many simply aren’t aware that the average citizen in many foreign countries types in her native language using a dual language keyboard that allows her to easily switch between her native language and English – so that typing in אם.com is not a challenge.
  • Parking: The Myth that “IDNs don’t make money”. There are more than a few examples of IDN investors today making $xxx – $x,xxx per month for a single domain, just by parking. As IDN news spreads around the globe, traffic and revenue is materializing for different languages in different niches, but at different timescales – meaning there is still opportunity.
  • Translation. How can you invest in a language if you don’t know it? Though Google translate and other free translation tools have vastly improved over recent years, there are unfortunately many scammers who prey on those who don’t know a language. For this reason and others, we have established a fixed price marketplace at IDNTools where you can buy from a trusted source with confidence.
  • Sales. Many IDN owners aren’t selling as they are aware that the market is in its infancy. This is yet another reason that we established a fixed price marketplace at IDNTools – to create liquidity and to establish a place where someone who wants to invest in IDNs can find a quality name 24/7. In addition, we maintain a sales history chart for those who want to check IDN comps before making a purchase.

We hope that you will take the time to look at our new domain listings on IDNTools, all of which are translated and available for purchase at a fixed price. If you have any questions about IDNs or feedback on our site, feel free to reach out to us directly at sales@idnnewsletter.com

IDN Event Recap

The first IDN Event was held last night in New York City, and the turnout was impressive. Around 40 domain investors attended the sushi dinner organized by Gary and Aaron, two prominent IDN investors and the duo behind  IDNTools.com and related websites.

Obviously, the networking aspect was one of the most important elements of the Event. Attendees came from as far as Israel, the UK, and Hong Kong, to as close as Manhattan, and there were a number of people from various cities throughout the US. It was a good mix of people, and I felt completely comfortable, despite not owning any IDN domain names yet.

I appreciated the fact that the Event was partly treated as an educational opportunity. Although I would guesstimate that 85% of the crowd was made up of people already investing in IDN domain names, there was time devoted to teaching attendees about IDNs and how they are used. The fact that it was educational and not a sales pitch made it all the more interesting to me.

Edmon Chung, the CEO of .Asia prepared an interesting presentation as did Patrick Carleton of Wyvern, LLC. Personally, I felt that the candid remarks of IDN investors Andrew Snow and Moshe Schneider (who recently bought Москва.com (Moscow in Russian Cyrillic)  for $216,000 were the most interesting. When you’re able to hear directly from people who have spent 7 figures in US dollars on a particular investment, it’s generally a good source of information.

I really believe IDN domain names are going to become more mainstream domain investments in the next couple of years. I have been doing my research and due diligence, and there some domain names in the coordinating Snapnames IDN auction that I am following. The auction ends on November 3 at 3:15pm EST.

I appreciate the effort that went into making this a success, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it turn into an annual occurrence. Congrats to IDN Tools on this achievement.

Halloween Sunday Updates – IDN Event + Epik + More

Happy Halloween to everyone! We had a smallish Halloween party on Friday night, although I can’t share the costume I wore – apparently it’s not blog-appropriate.  Here are some weekend updates from the domain business.

  • I had a great time at the IDN Event in the city last night. I plan to post a full recap about the event tomorrow, but Gary Males and Aaron Krawitz deserve a big ovation for putting the event together with so many people in attendance.
  • For those of you who are concerned about your Epik websites, I want to remind you about a post Rob Monster wrote on the Epik blog back in March.  According to Rob, “The price for the Epik product portals is a one-time setup fee of $249 which includes custom graphics, custom copy, backlinks, and product sourcing.   Epik shares 50/50 in the net revenues and covers all operating costs. There is no lock-in and if after 1 year on the platform, if you have not sold your domain or the site has not yielded at least $249 in gross revenue, we’ll refund you your setup fee, no questions asked.”
  • I am still trying to figure out the next move for BumperProtectors.com. I think I will probably keep the site as is and hope that Rob is able to work things out with Google. I have faith that they will make some changes to make things better.
  • If you’re going to AdTech in New York this week, let me know. I don’t have firm plans yet, but I will be stopping by the Javitz Center to check out the exhibit hall at some point on Monday or Tuesday.

IDN Event Agenda Posted & Location Announced

There will be a one evening IDN Event held in New York City on Saturday, October 30, 2010. The Event will be held at Haru Sushi, located at 280 Park Avenue in Manhattan, which happens to be a great sushi restaurant.

The organizers are already ahead of what they expected in terms of attendees at this time, so they had to move the event to a larger Haru, which can accommodate more people. I will be speaking at the conference, although my topic won’t be IDN domain names.

The full agenda has been posted online, and it looks like it will be a good opportunity for networking. From what I understand, there will be a number of IDN experts, IDN investors, and other domain investors in attendance.

If you are an IDN investor or you are interested in learning more about the space, I recommend that you attend. Until October 20, the cost is just $99 for a ticket, which is affordable when you consider that it comes with a sushi dinner, which can run you $100 alone in some NYC restaurants. After October 20, the ticket cost jumps to $275.

IDN Event Coming to New York City October 30

A night of domainer networking and sushi is coming up in New York City, and I will be attending. Here are the details:

IDNTools and sponsors Register.com, Moniker, and SnapNames will host the first-ever IDN Event in Manhattan on Saturday night, October 30th from 7:00pm – midnight. The night of dinner and networking will be held at Haru, a great sushi restaurant located in New York City.

The purpose of the event is to facilitate networking and educate domain registrants about international domaining opportunities and the importance of connecting with local audiences. The organizers will also hold an IDN auction to coincide with the event.

If you register before October 1st, the cost of attendance is $99, and it includes a full sushi dinner.   Attendees will have the opportunity to network with other domain investors and industry professionals. There is a full agenda for the IDN Event listed on IDNEvent.com.

Winners Announced for Domain Registration Contest

After a successful IDN Domain hand registration contest held on my blog, sponsored by IDNTools.com, I am happy to announced the three prize-winning winners:

  1. Jose 美容整形男性.com
  2. Clotho 男性整形.com
  3. Ruy 結婚相談所 大阪.com

The first place winner received $150, the second place finisher received $100, and the third place finisher received $50. There were a number of good entries, and I appreciate all of the submissions.

If you are looking to invest in IDN domain names, or if you just want to learn more about them, I recommend reading the best IDN Blog, signing up for the IDN Newsletter, and checking out IDNTools.com.


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