Investing During Tough Times

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Subscribe to Elliot's BlogDuring these tough economic times, I am spending a good deal of money investing in my own business (via development) rather than buying new domain names. Although the TRAFFIC auctions were relatively strong and the domain aftermarket continues to show positive signs, I am still finding it more difficult to sell domain names. There are some good values out there, but I believe the market will get worse before it improves, so I am holding off on making acquisitions for the most part unless I am inclined to develop.
Since most of my sales have been to domain investors, and since people are being more conservative with their finances, my sales numbers are down in the last 3 months year over year. I am not going to complain because it could be much worse, but generally speaking, I think there is less money being spent by domain investors. I do think companies are still actively trying to buy generic domain names related to their businesses, but as the credit crunch impacts credit limits for all sorts of companies, this will be impacted as well.
With these difficult times, I am paying for development expenses rather than investing in other domain names. At the moment, Burbank.com is being completely revamped because I am not satisfied with how it looks.   I put up a quickie site to ensure search engine links weren’t lost, but I am now building a directory and making the site more appealing. I think this will increase the value of the site, and I also think it will encourage businesses to advertise.   This hadn’t been my focus since my priorities were on acquiring good domain names, but it is becoming my focus.
I am also working on my other sites to make improvements on them as well.   I am adding interesting content based on keyword trends, linking to videos that could be of interest to visitors, and I am working on building links to my sites.
Like real estate, there will almost always be people buying domain names. People have tighter budgets these days, and it doesn’t appear that this will improve for a while.   Of course I am willing to make strategic purchases for the right price, but determining what the right price is has become more difficult. For the time being, I am working on strengthening other areas of my business.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot,
    first I would like to say I realy enjoy reading your blog and the different comments. You do a more than great job here.
    On domain investing, I also see a downfall at the moment and it will get whorse. Company end user will be very carefull with what they buy, just like you and me.
    Living on the other side of the World i have the outside look of what is happening specialy in the USA. Which makes it easy at some points of watching the different Markets.
    Investing should be bejond .com , its like different curency typ’s. I think most would be smart in spreading there investments. CC names are realy on the rise and usualy it takes markets outside the U.S. about 5 years until they also catch on when trends come up.
    Good foreign generic’s cc names are on the rise and the time is now while they are still cheap.
    Many investors are .com blinded because it has alway’s been the strongest TLD ending, also hyphenated names are seen as bad category. Most investors only see there on Market and forget this is the www and every site can be seen around the world. What i am trying to say is, most domainers should start looking right and left not just straight forward.
    At these hard times in the US market, Investors should start looking around contacting foreign domainers to enter other country’s and there market.
    There is always a company, a market, maybe a country profiting off a bankrupcy of others. Just something to think about.
    I am not realy into selling, i like to develope but having more names than time i would like to ask for your opinion on “WhyPark”. Do you think there system realy works?
    Keep up the good work.
    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
    Thanks for the compliment.
    Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with .com no matter what you do. Depending on your audience (and budget) you might choose a cctld, but for my purposes, I stick with .com.
    I haven’t finalized my first site with WhyPark yet, but once I do and a bit of time goes by, I will keep everyone updated.

  2. Elliot,
    I really like your Burbank.com! Great looking header. The whole site looks very good. Way to go.
    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
    Thanks. Burbank.com is being completely redone right now… I am really excited. Just a few more weeks until it’s ready to re-launch.

  3. Hi Elliot,
    For Duane and any of your readers, my humble blog Successclick.com offers a free 10 domain tester account for 90 days at WhyPark.com. If your readers would like to come to WhyPark to use this tester account, the link is http://www.whypark.com/successclick/
    If any domain blog sites want their own custom referral link, WhyPark will gladly create one for them. I can tell you with confidence that domain development is the hottest topic in domain monetization right now. Contact me at successclick_at_gmail.com for more info.
    Regarding the gloom in domain aftermarket sales, there are efforts underway to turn this around, and quickly. It’s really a simple fix as long as the domain community comes together and finds the common goal benefits us all. Elliot, you’re in the perfect position because of your blog popularity and your intelligent insight to domaining to help make this happen. More info to come…

  4. thinks are slowing down. but will pick yup. i really like your burback website. how was it made.
    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
    It was built by my designer. The site is being completely re-done as we speak.

  5. As the owner of a local media site, I can tell you with confidence that the investment in your local properties is a good one. Advertisers are seeking to be visable in these local markets and on these local properties. As all companies seem to have shrinking budgets right now, they need to have super good reason to advertise and local is key to their understanding. In all the economic mess that is going on, I can tell you that my local properties are seeing some of the best revenues ever – believe it or not.

  6. Stephen:
    What gloom in domain aftermarket sales?
    Smart and targeted selling strategies are not only avoiding gloom – they are yielding improved year over year results.
    Speaking only for AfternicDLS, we are selling more domains than at any time in our company’s history. Furthermore, our year over year average selling prices have increased by 2.53%.
    Simply put, higher sales velocity combined with increased pricing leads to improved returns for those selling domains.
    So – what is driving the improvement?
    SMB “End User” Targeting.
    SMB’s are brand buyers who value their brand as the digital identity of their company – brand identity is something on which most SMB’s place a high, both financial and emotional.
    Domain Investors may be loosely categorized as financial investors and will often look at domain valuation as an asset class, first determining annual yield (revenue) and projected appreciation (price increase). Annual yield and projected appreciation are then compared against the investor’s desired rate of return and used to calculate maximum purchase price.
    In most cases (although clearly not all cases) the SMB “End User” will place an inherently higher value on a domain than a financial investor. This is due to their domain purchase serving as the cornerstone of their companies growth plans and supporting online brand strategy.
    Conclusion – to maximize your return on domains you wish to sell, determine the most effective method to target SMB “End Users”. This can be accomplished through direct selling on your own (as has been suggested in this blog), or though an online marketplace that has effectively penetrated the SMB market segment.
    Good Selling!
    Pete Lamson

  7. I second the comments made by John C. Having survived the last economic downtown, I realized “after the fact” that bad economic times are good times for low cost advertising options. We are talking about waiting our local advertisers because one of our local search products is sold out in many markets.

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