Sunday Morning Thoughts & Updates

9

It’s a beautiful Summer Sunday morning, and I thought I would share some thoughts and updates with you before we head out with the kids. The PMC is a week away, and I sincerely appreciate all of the domain industry support. There is still time to make a donation to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and help me achieve my fundraising goal. In the meantime, here are some domain industry thoughts and updates:

I agree with Shane that some domain investing money has been moved to cryptocurrency investments. I am not really involved in the crypto space, and I can’t imagine having to focus on the hyper volatile cryptocurrency trading market at all times. I spend enough time on my domain business, and I don’t think it would be fair to my family if I had to keep a constant monitor on something else. I am sure there are people that moved from the domain business to cryptocurrency making lots of money, and hopefully that continues for them.

According to a Domain Incite article, “ICANN will NOT set a date for the next round of new gTLD applications, despite recent pleas from registry operators.” Not surprising to me.

If I were to list domain names for sale at NameJet right now, I would do it with no reserve. I have been avoiding most reserve auctions (not just the recent issue), and I typically figure others do the same as what I am doing. I never had much luck with reserve auctions, so this is another reason for me to list names with no reserve price.

I listed some domain names for sale via Embrace.com.

The Donuts / Rightside deal was completed last week, and Rightside (NAME) is no longer a publicly traded company. In the wake of this news, it looks like Donuts launched a new website. It’s a pretty slick looking website.

NameSummit is coming up a week from tomorrow in New York City. I am hoping to make it on Tuesday, so let me know if you want to get together. I will only be there for the day though.

I sometimes want to say this to startup founders who inquire about a domain name but can’t afford my asking price: ‘your inability to get funding doesn’t mean my domain name is worth less.’ Sorry, but I am not going to lower the price of my domain name because a startup can’t afford it. They can either buy it when they have more funding or they can work out a mutually agreeable payment plan.

I don’t understand why people will pay GoDaddy or anyone else a fee (plus commission) to try and acquire a domain name, but then they offer something silly like $50 or $100. I know it isn’t in their interest to do this, but these buyer brokers should tell their client that the offer is absurd, especially if it involves an aged and/or valuable keyword .com domain name. A domain owner who jumps through a couple of hoops to see the offer will likely get irritated by some unreasonably low offer.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Elliot. Regarding your domain buyer broker comment, which I know wasn’t directed at me, you make an excellent point. A reputable domain buyer broker should help their buyer client understand what a realistic price range is for their desired domain name. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, and even risky to the potential transaction, to present a domain owner with a ridiculously low offer, especially if owner is a domainer. I’d estimate that 90% of the potential clients that approach me for help acquiring a domain need to be educated by me about the fair market value of the domain(s) they want. I only take on buyer broker projects where I believe the client has a decent shot at getting the domain (from a budget POV). I also turn away way more clients than I accept, usually due to budget discrepancies.

  2. When I sold two long three-word .coms for just over $21k recently, it was the first time I sold a domain for Bitcoin. The buyer gave me a $1k premium in Bitcoin to cover the possibility of price volatility while receiving and trying to cash out, as the base sale price was $20k for the pair.

    Let me tell you – this was great. We reached agreement by email, along with an NDA, and I was literally paid in full without any need for an intermediary (except the Bitcoin exchange if you count that) without about 1 to 2 hours. I would love to do that again for sure.

    Also note: if you are doing a Bitcoin sale, then the buyer should pay you in full up front. You can look for an escrow service if you want, but frankly when I did it just seemed like a hairy mess to deal with. Here’s the bottom line: if you are a legitimate player who is out in the open, been in business, with a public reputation to consider, then the buyer should have no problem with this, as mine did. On the flip side, my buyer is the one who is super private. They know that if you fail in anyway to do the right thing (which I also wrote into the NDA), then they can go to about a billion places on line to expose you, as well they should, and as well you should want them to if you don’t do the right thing.

    So I can’t comment considering Bitcoin for domain sales highly enough. Yes, there can sometimes be some risk if a huge wave of volatility is happening, but when I did this there was a lot of turbulence occurring with the BTC price, and it worked out just fine. I still wound up netting more than the agreed base sale price.

  3. Hey Elliot,

    First of all- best of luck in the upcoming Pan-Mass Challenge! Secondly- I agree with both You and Shane that crypto has definitely had an effect on domains and I can tell you that I have been busy quoting a lot on bitcoin/fintech/crypto names! Activity has really picked up in the past 3 months.

    Look forward to catching up at NameSummit next week!

    Cheers,

    Mike

  4. Hey Elliot,
    I wanted to share with you an itunes podcast that I have been listening to called Masters of Scale. In one of the episodes, Reed Hoffman discusses the importance of startups getting more money than they should. The reason is that of situations of acquiring a domain name. Within the episode, there is a funny example of how Eve.com was acquired and eventually the transition. In the end, the startup needs to have funds to secure its brand without question If the startup is not in a position to acquire its brand, the failed in one of the 10 commandments of a startup.

    It is a good listen. I provided the link.

    https://tim.blog/2017/06/26/10-commandments-startup-success/

Leave a Reply