It’s Not as Easy as Registering in Bulk and Selling

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A couple of years ago, the .XYZ registry had a special promotion where unregistered .XYZ domain names could be registered for $.01 for the first year. I remember thinking (and writing) about registering a huge swath of them with the hopes of selling just a couple to break even and make a profit. I did not do this, but Darryl Lopes did and shared his story on NamePros today.

Unfortunately for Darryl, a year went by and he did not sell a single domain name, despite having a $300 buy it now asking price for each name. He said he received a couple of inquiries, but neither produced a sale for him:

“I mean I did pay around $200 for all 20,000 domain names so I really just wanted to sell one and make a profit. That never happened, almost a year went by and I had to make sure all the .xyz were on auto renew off as the renewal price for around $12.88 USD each, I knew this going into this and a few clicks and sorting out bulk domain edits I was going to let them all lapse.”

On one hand, Daryl lost a couple hundred dollars and a couple of days of effort. On the other hand, Darryl seems to have avoided any legal consequences such as a UDRP or URS that could have lived on and impacted his business for a long time. He was also able to say he gave this a try, and I applaud his effort and his sharing. I am sure there were quite a few people who did what Darryl did, and I don’t recall seeing anyone else share their results.

There are a couple of takeaways from this. It’s not just as easy as registering thousands of domain names in bulk and waiting for the offers to come. With the popularity of .XYZ domain names, especially after Alphabet’s ABC.XYZ launch, I thought registering domain names en masse might be a good idea. Turns out, it wasn’t necessarily a profitable plan. Of course, it could have been the domain names Darryl chose to register, but that is tough to say because most of the better names were long registered or controlled by the registry when the $.01 offer was announced.

Kudos to Darryl for taking this risk, and thank you for sharing the results. I have been curious about the successes or failures of plans like these, and I appreciate his willingness to share his data.

11 COMMENTS

    • Not necessarily. I made similar experiments with 1,000 domains in TLD1 … 2,000 domains in TLD2 … etc.

      In every 1 of my experiments, I had at least 1 or 2 sales in the low to mid $x,xxx during the first year. So I always broke even or made a small profit.

      However, the earnings weren’t sufficient to cover the ongoing renewal at full price. So I didn’t continue into year 2 for the majority of domains I had purchased.

      The difference between my experiments and Darryl’s was perhaps this: By the time .XYZ went on sale for 1 penny each, the .XYZ name space was very saturated. Better quality domains had been registered long before. In the TLDs I was dabbling in, the registration price was typically $1 or higher. The overall registration volume was lower. Theoretically there might have been a difference of quality in the TLD itself. But I also leveraged a big database to choose the strings I registered on the left. Many factors.

      It isn’t true that registering nTLD domains in bulk for a 1-year experiment will necessarily be a failure.

  1. Once you add in time/opportunity cost/headache of managing and making absolutely sure they are all going to delete, it would be a pretty big loss.

    UDRP wise I’d say the risk is low, if 20,000 names got 1 inquiry in a year from someone offering $3 what is the chance of the names attracting lawyers?

    Based on all those though can you imagine the losses from holding new tlds with regular or premium renewals? It doesn’t even work at 1 cent!

  2. He took a shot. That is what we all do. All in all one sale could have made him a profit and who knows if you dont risk you dont make any gains. Seems like a reasonable risk/reward and a rare opportunity to try with a penny a name for a year. One of the next ones will work out and hopefully you can cash in.

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