I would bet there are a lot of fans of Discovery’s popular television shows Gold Rush and Bering Sea Gold who also invest in domain names. I thoroughly enjoy both shows, watching the episodes as soon as I have time, without commercial interruption.
The idea that people can go up into Alaska and dig deep down into the earth or sea to find something of the highest value is captivating television. Teams of gold seekers use various tools and techniques to pull out as much gold as possible, capitalizing on today’s high gold prices. These gold miners risk life and limb, literally, to find this buried treasure. It’s exciting to watch.
The parallels between these gold miners and domain investors is also something I’ve noticed. When you go up to Alaska’s Klondike, you can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment and you are guaranteed nothing. Similarly, you can visit a domain registrar like Name.com or an aftermarket like Afternic and spend thousands of dollars on domain names, with no guarantee of a profit.
The biggest asset a domain investor has is his knowledge of the market. If he knows what domain names have value and where they can be sold to maximize this value, a lot of money can be made. Likewise, a gold miner who sets his equipment up on the right claim can turn dirt and water into gold very quickly, making significant profits in a short period of time. While it may look easy to make profits, it’s really not as simple as it looks.
When I watch these gold miners struggling to find enough gold to tred water, it makes me realize how lucky I am to do what I do. There is similar financial risk with domain investing, but there isn’t the physical labor required to turn a profit. I certainly consider myself lucky to be involved in this business.
Much like a seasoned gold miner might caution a greenhorn, I would also caution “newbies” looking to make quick money investing in domain names. There may not be the physical risks that exist with mining for gold, but there are plenty of potential pitfalls.
Before spending money on domain investments, I recommend new investors take a lot of time to research the market and learn what domain names are valuable and more importantly, what makes them valuable. Anyone can buy domain names. Not everyone can make money with their domain names.
…with a nod to Frank for the idea.