Mike Mann’s Big Investment Paying Off

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I think many people within the domain industry (and outside of it) were taken aback when Paul Sloan reported that Mike Mann hand registered nearly 15,000 domain names in a 24 hour span in 2012. If you haven’t read the article from Cnet, take a moment to read it and learn more about Mike and his background.

Since the publication of that article, I have been curious about how Mike’s investments have paid off. Registering 15,000 domain names would cost approximately $120,000 annually with renewal fees about the same each year (assuming an $8 cost). In February of last year, I asked Mike about whether he could share his ROI for these domain names, and he told me he didn’t have that information.

In a tweet this afternoon, Mike reported on the sale of one of the domain names he registered during that registration binge in 2012:

Mike announced that he sold Koniku.com for $30,000. Whois records show that this domain name was registered on April 17, 2012. In the Paul Sloan article, DrugDevelopers.com was mentioned as one of the domain names Mike hand registered. That domain name shares the same registration date, so I presume Koniku.com was also registered at the same time.

It has been a little over five years since Mike’s registration binge. Assuming a cost of $8/year (which is what Mike cited as his purchase price in the tweet), 15,000 hand registered domain names over 5 years would have a total cost of approximately $600,000. The sale of Koniku.com returned 5% of the entire spend over 5 years. I think this is pretty remarkable since it is likely that Mike has sold other domain names from this time period that would also defray the cost. It would still be very interesting to see the overall ROI from this registration period.

Registering 15,000 domain names in 24 hours back in 2012 was ballsy. It looks like Mike’s big investment could be paying off.

26 COMMENTS

  1. All props to him. Definite leading investor in the domain industry. But has any blogger ever gone back and done a thorough Jamie Zoch-style review of Mann’s previous sales tweets to see the current status of those domains? i.e. that the sale was indeed completed and the domain transferred to the buyer, and everything with the sale looks in order. Or does everyone just accept and report the information that’s provided with no verification? Many of these sales are in the 5 figure range and many of those domains appear to have never been used since they were sold. And some still point to Domain Narket nameservers. If you were an enduser (presumably) who put up that much money to buy a domain, wouldn’t you want to put it to use? or t least switch the nameservers? Bottom line: reported sales info in the domain industry, not just Mann’s, especially info that is self-reported, should be verified, or at least spot checked for accuracy.

    • Seems like a whole lot of time to spend on a project that would likely only have downside for someone to write about. In addition, something might look funky but be perfectly legit. Maybe DNS didn’t change because buyer just wanted to buy the name and didn’t do anything with it. Maybe the purchase is self-financed over 5 years and buyer is making payments. Maybe Whois never updated. All of these things are possible, and simply doing Whois searches wouldn’t get an accurate picture. If you’re interested in this info, why not go through his feed and see for yourself?

      I accept what people I trust post at face value. I don’t have the time or interest to follow up on sale tweets people write about. It’s hard enough to always follow up on important issues like LLL.com UDRP decisions let alone all of the sales data that is shared by people in the business.

      If someone is going to spend the time looking at all Mike Mann reported sales, they would probably look through NameJet auction reports, Sedo auction sales, NamePros members’ domain name sales reports…etc. Lots of work with very limited (maybe no) upside.

  2. It’s too early to tell if Mike Mann is a genius or a fool. I guess we all have a little bit of both in us. The only thing that sways the bar is luck. A lucky fool is the best place to be.

    • As I recall, Michael sold a company to Verio around 1999,2000?? for big bucks ( mid $xx mil ?) And, used some of the money to start BuyDomains.

      When he sold buydomains to NameMedia, I believe he took a small ownership in NM as a non-active stockholder. Don’t know if that paid off for him.

      Plus, he sold a few domains for millions. (ie, sex)
      Plus, still part owner of a couple companies.
      Plus, has a very nice beach house in Delaware worth a couple mil.

      So, we don’t have to worry about Michael. He has proven himself many times over.

      When Michael sells DomainMarket, it is time to get out of domains.

  3. if someone, anyone, other than god was able to find 15,000 domains worth reg fee in a 24 hour period then he deserves a gold medal or some such.

  4. A man can make and lose many fortunes in his life and still die a fool and penniless. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    Hand reg’ing 15K domains is a fool’s move as Ricky-Boi Schwartz would have you know. If you throw a thousand darts at a dart board, of course you are going to get a few bull’s eyes. That’s just statistics. But the math will lead to the conclusion that there are a ton of pigeon shit that you not only hit, but also have your hands and head in.

    Just sayin.

    The smart domainer picks his target carefully from a carefully curated list. He rarely misses because times are good in the domaining industry and there is enough to go around. Just use a sniper’s mentality and put down the shovel. Becuase a big pile of pigeon shit is still a BIG PILE OF SHIT.

    • I have to agree with the random domainer. Something tells me that 600k spend is still be in the red. Certainly ballsy move for sure and often with great risk comes great reward; but I can’t say that you’ll find me registering that many in a single day. And in Full Disclosure, Full Disclosure seems like he is also right on the money 🙂

  5. Publicly announcing big domain sales or 15k registrations in a single day is all about PR. PR pays off in more sales, bargaining power with buyers, higher business profile, and probably satisfies one’s ego. Bloggers repeat the sales tweets, repeat the 15k reg claim, and contribute to the PR effect.

    15k regs in a day? Wow. What would be interesting is to see the list of domains that were registered on that day. One, to verify they yes they actually were registered. If one says so, it probably is true. But did anyone do this like a journalist would or did they just “take it at face value” and report it. Second, so that folks could take a look at the quality of the domains that were registered.

    Since sales data is made public by MM, why not offer the reg list for review too? That would be interesting.

  6. He was a non-payer on a bunch of recent NameJet auctions he won with aggressive bidding and overpaying. I guess all his great sales aren’t enough to pay for those.

    • NameJet bidder alias: illiiilli

      Quite a few auctions restarting within the past few days and I expect even more to restart soon as 30 days pass since close and non-payment. Some auctions were paid for though (i.e. cleangetaway.com, where you were 2nd highest bidder Elliot), while many others not paid for.

      And in auctions where he bid and did not win, there’s no telling how much he cost the winners.

    • I have been deleting my backorders regularly, so I have not noticed re-auctions. It was annoying when auctions would continue to be reauctioned over and over because they didn’t meet reserve so I started regularly deleting them.

    • That’s a good question. He has at least 3 other bidding aliases, so I’m wondering if NameJet will close those accounts too. Doubtful.

      I also find it interesting that he’s being allowed to pick and choose which auctions to pay for. There’s a lot more I expect to be re-auctioned.

    • I don’t delete my backorders right away for this very reason. Sometimes you can get a better deal on the second go around with fewer bidders.

    • Well if that behavior is true. That a single user uses multiple aliases. And that same user is allowed to pick and choose which domains to pay for and which domains to “run up” and let go, then we all should be worried. I am not saying this is true,but if it is, then how can the average Joe Domainer trust Namejet???

      Alas, the domain industry has a BAD HISTORY of shill bidding and other unethical behavior. Bordering on criminal if not down right criminal.

    • @bixbyboo – regarding picking and choosing, I was wrong about that. I had an auction end date wrong in my list and incorrectly thought that he didn’t pay for a domain during the same time period that he took possession of other auction wins. It looks like he stopped paying for the auctions he won starting 8/7/17.

      Here’s a breakdown of the NameJet auctions I was in with him where he won:

      Paid for:
      7/28/17 – 8/6/17
      17 auctions, total of $6,045

      NOT Paid for:
      8/7/17 – 8/16/17
      51 auctions, total of $23,271
      17 of these auctions have been restarted

      Now I suppose there’s still time for him to pay for some of the auctions won that haven’t been restarted assuming NameJet is giving him 30 days to pay. But I have my doubts. On the bright side, I won a name today for $129 that Mike previously “won” for $323.

      In the time period of 7/28/17 – 9/8/17, he has proudly announced sales on his Facebook page totaling $273,940:

      7/28/17 – GrowthAlliance.com $24,888
      7/28/17 – SnatchAndGrab.com $9,888
      8/8/17 – SkunkLabs.com $19,888
      8/8/17 – EnergyOutlet.com $47,000
      8/8/17 – BlueTrading.com $12,000
      8/13/17 – NorthLife.com $32,500
      8/14/17 – OwnTheExperience.com $25,000
      8/21/17 – MejorATuVida.com $20,000
      8/28/17 – IncreaseMyIncome.com $9,888
      8/31/17 – IdeasOfOrder.com $18,000
      9/6/17 – Koniku.com $30,000
      9/6/17 – FearTheSpear.com $9,888
      9/8/17 – FinishWorks.com $15,000

      I don’t know why he backed out of paying for those auctions, but his name is on the whois info of all the names that were won and paid for, so I can only assume they are for him or his companies. Welching on his obligations while announcing these big sales — domaining at it’s finest.

      What is most frustrating is that I saw this new alias “illiiilli” bidding like crazy (and mostly overpaying in my opinion) and I emailed NameJet about it since none of the names had transferred since the auction close. I’ve seen this happen before and don’t want to waste my time researching and bidding on auctions that I have nearly no chance of winning for a reasonable price and have a good chance of not being paid for.

      Maybe Mike will have some “logical” explanation for this. Maybe an “investor” backed our or something else. But it’s no excuse in my opinion.

      I don’t think NameJet would tolerate this behavior from any “regular” bidders. Understandably, NameJet won’t share with me if Mike’s other accounts are going to be closed, but I will be watching to see if his name ends up on the whois info of any wins.

  7. Namejet is not an auction hour, it is a for profit exchange platform, that has shown they are more interested in profits, before extraordinary instances.

    $600K in renewals, not an easy feat, he still needs to use the profits to carry the dead weight forward.

  8. I guess those 15k reg came after lot of research and strategies, got more info ‘truth in numbers’ from the domainmarket website – this 15k is less than the 5% of total names out there.

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