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Everybody’s Doing It

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It seems that everyone wants to get into the domain investment business. All it takes is internet access, a good idea and around $8.00 and you can buy yourself a great domain name! Shoot – you don’t even need a great idea to register a domain name. Come on, everyone has a few of those alcohol-induced purchases, right?

The point is that it’s very easy for people to register domain names and become involved in the domain business. One thing I’ve noticed is the diverse backgrounds of people I know in the domain industry. There are marketers, lawyers, doctors, techies, professors, salesmen…etc. The list of professions is deep, to say the least. This is because the domain industry spans every single profession and industry, allowing those with a strong background in a particular field to have an advantage over others.

Take my friend Ben for example. He’s a finance guy who knows that business well. After many discussions about the domain industry, my friend decided to get his feet wet and register a few domain names that jive with his finance background. Although he won’t be able to retire on most of the names he purchased, he did acquire some pretty good names in YuanInvestment.com (Yuan is the Chinese currency), MarginInvesting.com, and YenInvestment.com (BTW, if you are interested in acquiring these, drop me a line!).

Although he may not even realize it until reading this post, I think the most valuable domain name that he owns is his own first/last name in the .com. He is now in control of his name on the Internet, which will be important once he really makes a name for himself. Ben is a smart guy. When the domain industry really comes from under the radar, Ben will probably be managing billions of dollars, and he will have a leg up on everyone else. Shoot, maybe Ben will be the financier that helps propel the domain business forward.

Opportunity Cost of Lost Opportunities

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While some people may complain that its almost impossible to find a true premium generic domain name at a “good” price these days, I believe there are still great deals to be had.

Like the saying goes, sometimes it’s necessary to overpay today to find a good deal tomorrow. I believe there are three reasons to overpay:

  1. Create goodwill with a domain owner/seller to buy the next name (the really desirable name) from him for a fair price. Most sellers prefer to deal with trustworthy, quick paying clients that they know rather than trying to establish a new relationship with someone else.
  2. Acquire a group of domain names in the same vertical or a set of similar names that add value to each other. If a person owns the singular and plural of a name (Deal.com & Deals.com), the value of both can be enhanced as a set. Likewise, owning several extension (.com/.net/.org/.info) of the same domain name can increase the value, too.
  3. Ensure that the offer meets the seller’s needs in order to secure the name. If the seller isn’t inclined to sell for market value, it may take a considerably larger sum to convince the owner to sell.

Frequently, a person only has one chance to buy a domain name before someone else acquires it for a development project. Once a domain name is developed into a website, the name may be impossible to acquire. To avoid this, sometimes a buyer has to jump on an opportunity as soon as it presents itself, or the name may not be on the market again.

If the ideal domain name is available to acquire, now might be the time to do what it takes to secure it. Otherwise, it may be a source of regret down the road.

.Mobi Shines in Sedo Auction

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Mouths dropped throughout the domain industry after the completion of Sedo’s most recent auction for .mobi domain names.   The auction grossed over $1.5 million in sales, which could be a record for this extension.   The sale of Music.mobi for $616,000 easily eclipsed the previous public sale record of Flowers.mobi for $200,000. In fact, Games.mobi also doubled the previous record, selling for$401,500.

The amount of money paid for these names is significant, and it shows there are people who feel strongly about the future success of the extension.   I eagerly await to see who the buyer is and what is done with each of these high caliber names.   Should consumer friendly sites be developed on these names, it would be significant in that others may follow suit, further boosting the relevance of .mobi.

Industry giants such as Bank of America (bofa.mobi), ESPN (espn.mobi), AAA (aaa.mobi) and others have built mobile-friendly website on the .mobi extension.

The adult industry has always had a major impact on the advancement of various technologies such as VCRs, DVD players, Web development, and probably even more that I can’t think of off the top of my head.   I wonder what the impact would be if they began using .mobi domain names for handheld porn.   Sure, it probably wouldn’t be openly welcomed by many, but when has it been?   That could really advance the .mobi extension, as consumers become aware of it.

Courtesy of the Mobility.mobi forum and verified by Andew’s post on Domain Name Wire, below are some of the key sales from the Sedo Auction:

Music.mobi $616,000
Games.mobi $401,500
Sports.mobi $101,000
Movies.mobi $82,000
Game.mobi $61,000
Juegos.mobi $61,000
Videos.mobi $51,000
Photos.mobi $51,000
Sport.mobi $51,000
Job.mobi $43,600
SportsBetting.mobi $41,000
Radio.mobi $34,500
Fashion.mobi $32,000
Horoscope.mobi $30,000
Wine.mobi $30,000
Play.mobi $28,150
Video.mobi $25,555
Jokes.mobi $24,100
Flower.mobi $21,500
Dictionary.mobi $21,500
Musica.mobi $20,600
Movie.mobi $20,500

Apple Store POS Technology

0

I am here in the Apple store on Fifth Avenue again checking some things out, and they have some awesome point of sale (POS) technology. There are people walking around with handheld credit card scanners to complete the purchase. The only catch is that they don’t print receipts. How do you get your receipt, you ask?

Email!

What a great way to build the customer database for future direct marketing efforts. When they email you the receipt, they can probably send you an offer to make an upsell purchase. They may also re-offer you that extended warranty you passed on before. The sky is the limit with this technology. I am constantly impressed with the way they do business (the rep next to me is speaking in Spanish to a customer, BTW), and I am glad I bought some AAPL stock a couple of weeks ago.

I am curious if buyers are automatically opt-ed in to receiving future solicitations by allowing them to send your receipt via email. I may just have to make a purchase to examine their after sale direct marketing efforts. Regardless, they are certainly building a huge database with a ton of transactional information.

I ♥ Domains

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While running on the treadmill last night, I was wearing my TrafficZ shirt with the “I ♥ Domains” graphic on it. I hate running, so I like to think about various things to get my mind off of running to shorten my workout. I looked in the mirror, saw the shirt, and thought about why I ♥ Domains, and I wanted to share a list of some of the reasons:

1) Opportunities to find success no matter what the focus
2) Global industry allows networking with folks throughout the world
3) Develop, Park, Blog, Arbitrage, Hybrid…etc… You name it, you can do it
4) Fun and interactive investment vehicle
5) Industry is under the radar
6) Doesn’t matter how large or small you are
7) Personal background doesn’t matter
8.) Unexplored ideas are waiting to be found
9) No matter the location, you can impact the world
10) Hundreds of ways to prosper

I ♥ that there are so many opportunities in this industry for everyone who is willing to work hard. Whether you are a large or small entity, you can educate yourself about a niche and become successful. You can do so many creative things with domain names, and whether anyone says you are right or wrong, the bottom line is your bottom line.

There aren’t many shortcuts to take, but if you work hard, listen to advice, be creative and think outside the box, you too will ♥ Domains.

Industry Veterans Launch TheDomains.com Blog

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MostWantedDomains.com, a closely held company founded by domain industry veterans Michael and Judi Berkens, just launched launched their blog, TheDomains.com. One of the features they created is the “Domain Parking Stock Index,” a weighted average which tracks all public companies which either own large domain portfolio’s and/or make a significant income from parked domains or PPC revenue.

The initial DPSI index includes Google, Yahoo, Baidu.com, Dark Blue Sea, Marchex, and Banks.com. It will be interesting to see if the DPSI becomes a barometer for the health of the domain investment business.

I wish Mike and Judi all the best with their new blog, and I look forward to reading their insight.

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