Don’t worry… despite the title of this post, I am not going to try and sell you some magical e-book on how you can make $50,000 a year in extra income. I am going to tell you about something I am trying on my own, and I will update the post in a few weeks to let you know how it is going.
I blogged about an end user sale that I made a couple of weeks ago. The domain name wasn’t newly registered, but I did pick it up on the drop for a few hundred dollars and sold it for much more. In the comment section, I also wrote about another end user sale that I made last week with a newly registered domain name following the same strategy as the sale outlined in the post.
On Friday April 2, I hand registered ExecutiveHeadshots.com, and on the following Monday, I sent off about 20+/- emails to companies listed in Google for that keyword. I received 4 replies with interest seeking the pricing, and I came to a sales agreement with a buyer after negotiating for a couple of days.
The name is currently in escrow with Escrow.com, and unfortunately the buyer chose to mail a check to Escrow.com rather than pay via Paypal, so the sale won’t close for a week or two while the check clears. However, I turned an $8.00 registration into a very strong sale (although I won’t reveal the price as mentioned before).
With two successful end user sales in a month, I started thinking about ways to blow this out and make some real money. If I am able to register one GOOD domain name that a company would want either to re-brand or to help with SEO each week for a year, and I sold it within a week for $1,000 +/-, I could make $50,000 in extra income a year.
It’s probably not going to be as easy as it sounds, but I am going to give it a try. I registered a domain name on Friday and started pitching it to end users today, with one reply already. Once I have some results, I will post them, but I wanted to let you know what I plan to do ahead of time.
One piece of advice I can offer now is that actual product (not brands) or service domain names will be much better than descriptive domain names in most cases. For example, AwesomeHeadshots.com would not be a good alternative to ExecutiveHeadshots.com, as many photographers use “Executive Headshots” in their meta description and page titles since they cater to people looking for executive headshots, despite the fact that they may want awesome headshots 🙂
Great blog. If you don’t mind can you please share with us a copy or a template of the first email you send out to the people bidding on that keyword.
I linked to the post where the email is located:
Great post Elliot and I wish you the best of luck! Since I myself also focus on selling to end-users I know the incredible potential that is out there.
It just takes spending the time reaching-out to potential leads which I think many people are afraid to do!
True point. I also think people believe names they register are more valuable than they actually would be to an end user. I probably think the same myself, which is one reason I am challenging myself with this project. If it doesn’t succeed, I will be “stuck” with 5-10 names in the next 2 months that didn’t sell, but with the sale last week, the ROI is still huge although this post will need some refinement.
Tell me what you think Elliot, if I can register a domain, put a site on it fast and get it to the top of Google in a week do you think that would hurt or help my sale to the end user?
I don’t think it would hurt, but personally I wouldn’t waste my time with that. I am not a developer, but if it takes 2 hours to build a small site (just a guess), I would rather spend my 2 hours doing something else. It may be a good selling point to say it’s listed in Google at # whatever, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get ranked.
With what I am doing, at the very most, I waste $8 and under an hour emailing potential buyers. If I developed all of the names, the wasted time would add up if they don’t sell, and I would rather waste $8 not selling a domain name than 2 hours of my time.
I can tell you after many years of selling to end users… it’s hit or miss. MOST end users don’t understand.
They either don’t understand the power of a good domain (for type in traffic or branding or search engine benefits) or they don’t understand how to buy a domain.
If your email goes to the receptionist or info@ the recipient will probably not know what “this domain is for sale” means.
However, selling to end users can be very rewarding when you do find someone who is interested. Now, getting them to understand your valuation is another challenge.
Here’s a couple tips…
1. I use some proprietary tools but with some work, you can figure out how to harvest prospects. Use Estibot’s end user finder tool and domaintools.com related domain search and you’ll find plenty of leads.
2. I post the process I use at http://SellingToEndUsers.com so you might learn some tricks there.
3. Harvest as many prospects as you can then visit each site in order to qualify the prospect and look for senior level decision makers. You may be able to guess their email addresses (if you want to go that far) by finding other people in the company (see management, domain whois and press releases) and see if you can figure out the email naming protocol then you can try contacting a senior level decision maker, your call.
Good luck Elliot. You’ll have highs and lows but you should be paid well for your time if you pick the right domains and you have proven that you certainly can do that.
Hi, First I offer a new-register to Latonas and get the rejection, (2) try to find an end user. I am working on two right now; a domain registered in 2002 and a new register this month, ConvertibleCars.de to a major car manufacture group in Germany – sent a snail mail.
Do German companies use English words with their ccTLD domain names? Would the German words for “convertible cars” work better for .de?
Hi Elliot and Readers:
How about providing number of estimated searches and CPC price and highlighting that in the outbound email?
I would think that with these numbers an end user would be more inclined to pay more than a grand. I would think more in the $5000-$10,000 range if they know the amount of leads that can be produced for them.
Just a thought.
On higher priced names maybe, but if I am hand registering them, generally these figures are probably low and wouldn’t be impactful. I do think it’s a good idea when selling high value names that have strong keyword #s and people paying good $$ for clicks.
If you need inventory hit me up as I could feed ya 100+ geo/service domains to pitch with a price range and split the profits. You close the deals I keep feeding them. If you don’t close any no sweat and I will do them as I usually pitch them myself but I have quite a bit of development going so currently don’t have time.
Thanks, but I don’t sell other peoples’ domain names. This is more for learning and testing than anything else, and I wouldn’t be interested in working on a commission or anything like that.
My philosophy has always been to invest 100% of the risk and reap 100% of the reward – unless I use a domain broker to sell one of my names. These are low hanging fruit domain registrations and if it works, cool – an extra $50k at the end of the year, and if not, then some wasted time and money.
BTW, I, too have a bunch of city service .com domain names, but I really want to do the FIFO method (first in, first out) where I buy a name and sell it at a significant profit within a week.
I have been selling them since about 2002 and have sold quite a few $7 hand registered and $7 dropped pick-ups in the 1-10k range. Never did the first in, first out method though as I usually just go on a buying spree for months and stock up and then analyze them into develop and sell piles. The keyword product domains I develop and don’t solicit as I’m in no hurry to sell those and front page google listing is my goal as it increases ad revenue and end user leads. The geo/service domains and domains I regret purchasing I solicit as I’ll never be an attorney, gynecologist, doctor etc… so I try to align those with end user money as in my hands they won’t see full potential as I’m more interested in developing product stores for generic product terms over directories for services. There are services out there to develop both relatively easy but I got enough good dead on product keyword domains to make me put the geos in the sell pile. It’s hit or miss, you will find some categories of end users understand it better than others. Good Luck hope it works for ya, doesn’t take too much success to be profitable when your initial costs are only reg fee so there’s the upside.
I have never had much luck selling to doctors or lawyers, so I stopped buying those types of names, although I still own plenty. There is a method to what types of names I am buying, and I will try to share as much as possible, although I won’t reveal selling prices, as it’s not fair to the buyer (IMO).
By “plenty” I mean somewhere around 20-30 I think. I guess plenty means different things to different people 🙂
Great approach! If there are decent enough Google searches using this term then I understand it may not be too hard a sell. “Executive Head shots” however doesn’t have that many searches. What did you say to convince them that this would be great for them?
Do you mean even though there is a low search volume count, you just did an exact search in Google using this term and then looked to see which companies were using these words in their titles?
As I said in the post and the second comment, I posted my email in the previous article. I didn’t mention anything about keyword searches or search volume. I found companies who use this term in their meta description and titles, and I contacted them with a simple email.
As always great post. Keep us posted.
@John Daly, how’s your golf game:)
i would think the hit rate is fairly low (maybe 1 in 10) – $50k from a $5k investment is not too shabby (assume $1k sale price per name) – keep us posted – i’m very intrigued by the ultimate outcome in a yr – i flip but nowhere near your stellar results.
I did a search for ‘executive headshots’ and see there is a company using the hyphenated version, Executive-Headshots.com
@ Michael Carter
I don’t know if these two results can be considered “stellar” or if they’re indicative of a long term success rate yet. I haven’t really focused on this area in favor of higher value sales, but I will for a bit and see how it goes.
@ domain report
I just saw that, and it’s not the buyer. That company is based in Phoenix and the buyer is based in NYC. We should have skipped Escrow.com since he’s less than a couple miles from me, but hindsight is 20/20.
@ Elliot, Statistically speaking, the English words work better for that topic, than Cabriolets, the German for that search. In fact, more global searches get shuttled to Google.de for “convertible cars,” than to Google.com! Peugeot.de, Mercedes-Benz.de, and Infiniti.de advertise on the English phrase, “convertible cars,” among other generic companies.
If they were interested in a name like that, why wouldn’t they just try to buy convertibles.de? Who says “convertible cars?”
Just curious, I have a domain that I have thought about selling. it is an xxxxxxsupplies.com. Currently a company uses the singular version of this. (which I think is better) Would it be wise to tell prospects that their competion already uses the singular that forwards to that companies website or let them figure that out.
I think it all depends on the industry and the company that uses the name. Sometimes one name makes sense and the plural doesn’t and vice versa. Things like this are specific, and I couldn’t answer it without knowing about the industry and/or the name.
I am sexytime.de owners Ms. louise. you like?
First of all thanks for sharing your end users selling practice!
About the hand registered names: if I’m not mistaken, you can’t move the name to another registrar within the first 60 days since the registration. Isn’t it a problem for some end buyers (usually not tech savvy) to create an account with your registrar just to buy your domain? I mean some may give up because of this extra fuss. Or you usually wait a couple of months after your registration?
This is true. I wrote an article about that issue:
The gist is that I have/will use Godaddy since they are the largest registrar, and most of the small businesses I believe I will be targeting for the most part either use them already or have heard of them. I guess if someone was insistent upon using another registrar, I would explain that it can’t be transferred for x days.
Welcome to my world. In that sense, i am hoping you don’t give away the farm, because i have clients who pay me to get this info. Have mercy. If you continue on this direction, I’ll be forced to reveal secrets, and sell them for pennies on the big dollars.
Thanks a lot, bro.
glad you live in the USA, because here in Germany it is called SPAM, when you send someone an email you don’t know yet.
But you are allowed to send him a letter by snailmail (regular mail).
@ Elliot, the bottom line: I don’t know. Some English expression are heavy in use around the world that aren’t known or popular in this country! Also, some English words become the defined word in almost any language, like: “web;” “domain;” “espresso.” Ron Jackson’s recap of 2009 shows almost equal amount of German .de’s vs English .de’s among the highest selling domains!
@ Elliot & @ Stephen, no matter what you claim, you’re generous to a fault and offer lots of great tips for developers and domainers – thanx! We’re all richer because of it.
@ Dietmar, Nice to have you aboard! You can say if ConvertibleCars.de is worth anything in Deutschland! Glad I sent the “feeler” snailmail instead of email!
@ Borat, LOL!
Espresso is not an English word! It’s Italian 🙂
@Louise, Here in Germany “convertible cars” was first used in 1902 for a special tramway in Berlin. Nowadays we don’t use it any longer (googles keyword-tool will show you 260 who used it last month), but we use “Cabrio/Cabrios” and “Cabriolet/Cabriolets”.
@ Lee, LOL! Pizza is another same word in all languages . . .
@ Dietmar, thanx for the input! Interesting history . . . I figured after I posted you would show the low exact searches for “convertible cars.” It would be of value only to optimize for global English speakers, therefore, not for the German audience.
For instance, “Airline Flights” has only 210 local Google searches in Germany, but 49,500 global . . . and it’s listed at SnapNames right now for $5,000-$10,000!!!
“and it’s listed at SnapNames right now for $5,000-$10,000!!!”
‘Listed’ is very different from ‘sold’ 🙂
@Louise, of course we also use a lot of english words here in germany. But airlineflights is no common word here (the german translation is “Fluege” [non-idn] or even better “Flüge” [IDN]. Maybe, the future buyer don’t know this.
BTW: the current owner is a sedo company 😉
@JJ, “‘Listed’ is very different from ’sold’” – isn’t that the truth? I agree. What do you think about this Snapnames auction being a whole 3 weeks long? Is that a record for a live auction? People might lay down $$ who wouldn’t in a short auction . . .
@ Dietmar, thanx again for your input! Germany, the UK, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia probably have enough Airline Flights seekers who would enter the keywords, ‘airline flights” in English looking to book a flight in Europe or Germany, to make AirlineFlights.de worth developing for a ticket service . . . what do you think? 49,500 global searches per month on the exact keywords, “airline flights” alone . . . Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?
CheapCargo.de sold for $1463.00 in 2009 – it leads to the English version of a cargo shipping comparison company in NL, at CheapCargo.com . . . so that is an example of a dot de designed for English-speakers.
Here is the SnapNames link: https://www.snapnames.com/store/event.action?ig=445
^^ This will be fun to watch!
@Louise, 49,500 are impressive, but Germany is not the world. Take “airfare cheap” for example. huge 1,220,000 monthly worldwide searches. registered are com/biz/info/org/net but – guess what – not .de 😉
So, a lot of english words are used in Germany, but not all. Sometimes it depends on what the people expect, when typing an english name like “CheapCargo”. It seems as they use it as their company name, so it is well branded and of course they use the .de to attract their german customers.
@ Dietmar, hi, how are you? I beg to differ. “Airfare cheap” has 14,800 exact monthly searches, from https://adwords.google.de/select/KeywordToolExternal Not, 1,220,000 – where did you get that? The idn contest put us in Exact keyword search mode! 14,800 global monthly searches isn’t bad, but it’s not desirable as 49,500 of “airline flights.”
It’s a moot point, if the end user doesn’t recogize that, tho! 😉
@Louise, sorry my fault, maybe I need some new glasses.
dude.. its nt so easy buddy…
i bought two domain names.. adultsexymovies.com and motionporn.com
thought coveted name and could sell..
but still hard time finding customer…….
lets face it buddy.. ders no scope of business in domain names now…
and yeah..if u got ny tips..mail me
I never said it was easy. It all starts with the quality of names you buy, and I personally don’t see the value in the two you mentioned. That doesn’t mean someone else in that biz wouldn’t see value there, but I don’t.
I also think different industries have different needs and some are more willing to spend more on domain names while others will take whatever names they can get and spend the money elsewhere.
yeah bddy..mayb u r rite…. i bought these two names from expired name listings of name.com . …. if it had value…nobody wud had let them expire..lol
but temme 1 thing..so theres no scope for buying new domain names..as all good 1nes have been booked by now!!
n 1 more…what tip ull give a absolute beginner to sell hisdomain names..wer to sell..sedo namedrive wer..
Here’s one tip I think you can use…
Instead of using “words” like temme, n, u, r, rite, u’ll, bddy….etc, I would use real words, such as, tell me, and, you, are, right, you’ll, buddy…etc. It’s more professional 🙂
yeah sure sir.. tip received..and implemented..
so what do u think sir .. what is the course of action for an absolute begineer to follow if he wishes to sell his domain…
The most important thing is to buy good domain names. I could be the best salesman in the world, but it would be impossible to resell a name like TrashyBashyMolashy.com to anyone because the name sucks. Invest in good names, which can be found by doing a lot of research.
First: to learn, how to write a full sentence in proper english.
Second: go to “first”
Sorry for my bad english, I hope you understand, what I mean.
ok ok , Take it easy dude!!
@elliot well the worst thing is that there is nothing like good free appraisal service that can atleast give you proper idea.
I tried estibot.com and it shows some random results .
until there is some sort of good free appraisal help , i guess it will be very difficult for beginners to venture in this field.
Even estibot.com estimated motionporn.com at 2300 $
I happen to like trashybashymolashy.com.
how much do you want for it?
I’ve been doing this for about 2 years, needless to say I’ve made costly mistakes registering a bunch of crap. Now I’m a little wiser, finally I feel I’m heading in the right direction. There’s quite a bit to learn in this industry and it’s not as simple as just hand registering domains names that are worthless in the end.
I’ve spent hours analyzing the tons of information that exist in reference to the domain industry. Looking back 2 years and up to now. I still find myself getting rid of domain names I now consider worthless, I’m throwing them back into the pond because I want bigger fish to fry ( a little southern humor)
Hand registering a good .com generic domain name is almost non-existent. So now the majority of my domain names which I’ve recently registered are IDN’s
I referred back to this article again to get some pointers. Did the photographer you sold the “executive headshots” domain already have an existing website? I noticed the website will soon be up and running.
One photographer paid a bundle to pick up photojournalism.info, which is pointed to their main website. Essentially, photojournalism.info forwards traffic. I use a similar approach to mask my suisunblog.com to forward to my wordpress account. It also shows up in the search engine. I can describe thedomain, and add meta tags.
Should I convey to an end user about selling them
a domain name to start a website or to push it to point trafficto an existing website? Should a hand registered domain focus on small companies than to target big companies already have name recognition? Thanks.
Welcome to the real world ‘bro’, business is business.
Welcome to the fraudulent, ethical-skirting, wild world of domaining, which if you’ve made money in this business, you already know about. If you’re honest, you know about “business is business” when it’s run like it’s supposed to be run, but is your business about GW Bush-style business, or something worse?
As far as my post to Elliot you’re commenting on, that you’re “welcoming” me to the “real world,” I’ve been here longer than you by about a decade. Thanks for the “heads up” tho. I never thought I’d make it without you.
Keep on troll baiting!