“The Good Old Days of Getting Big Checks for a Web Domain Are Long Gone”

I received a Google alert  notifying  me about and an article related to domain investing in The Spokesman Review, a Spokane, Washington based publication. I read it with interest, as I don’t often see a local publication covering domain investments.

The first anecdote was about a web developer and writer for the newspaper who tripled his investment on a domain name he and some associates bought in the 1990s – Steamteam.com. This gentleman hadn’t purchased the domain name as an investment, but sold it profitably.

The article also interviewed a local web designer, who seems to have a differing opinion about investing in domain names. The article stated (this is not a quote from the lady but is a quote from the article):

“But the good old days of getting big checks for a Web domain are long gone, Bracken said. By this point in the Information Age, most purchases of domains are for relatively inexpensive  sites.”

A few other people in the web development and design space were also interviewed, and they echoed this sentiment.

I think the writer should have done a bit more research on the topic of domain investing to see that domain names are still being sold for thousands of dollars on a weekly basis, and there are seven figure sales that occur sporadically throughout the year.

One can easily have a look at the DN Journal weekly and annual sales report to see that domain investing is live and well. Visitors to this website can look at the paid advertisements to show that companies are still investing marketing dollars in this business.

Domain values are generally down from the highs of 2006-2008, but much of that has to do with the economy rather than something specifically related to the domain industry. 2012 was the strongest year for my company, although many of my sales took considerably more effort than sales achieved a few years ago.

It’s good to see coverage of domain investing in a widely read publication, but it’s disappointing that it wasn’t reflective of what I see in the domain investment space. In my opinion, there is a lot of money being spent on great domain names, and the $1 million weekly sales reports from Sedo and Afternic back this up.

No, domaining is not going to end any time soon.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Every domainer knows that the good ole times are over…where we once used to buy domains and sell it for huge gains within couple days…those times are definately over…

    Domainers selling to other domainers are over…no more…

    Now, domainers have to sell to end-users which is very time consuming and difficult…just not worth it especially when u end up selling only few domains and get stuck with alot of inventory…not worth it…

    So i 100% agree that the good ole times are over…

    Good Luck to ALL and hope u don’t get stuck with alot of inventory!!!

  2. The main problem with the domain market is that it rarely offers the end user a service of value.
    My own experience is that i’m told domains in my portfolio are of high value purely to get me to pay to park or to have each ‘assessed’ at around $25 per time.
    I’ve not yet found a company that offers a simple honest commission on sale service which is backed up by pro-active marketing.
    I had 150 ‘good’ domains parked with one of the largest if not the largest company in the domain market place and did not receive a single comment or enquiry in the whole year they were parked. They all seem to want to entice you into their revenue stream but for the domain owner this is a high risk strategy.
    If I take my car to my reputable local garage to sell he proactively tries to sell it and if he does I get it’s approximate true value less his commission.
    The domain industry needs to follow suit and offer the end user/domain owner a value for money service and earn the commission they will get when domains are sold. It’s no good cherry picking the good domains and then whinging about the collapse of the market. If you want an active market go out and do something about it and earn your commission!!!!!

  3. He did state “most” are purchases of domains are for relatively inexpensive sites.

    I’d say that is a fair assessment given the 140+ million domains registered.

    Better than hyping and giving misleading claims.

  4. It’s good to see things from a pessimistic perspective but realistically speaking there are domainers like ‘Elliot’ making money by sowing market friendly domain names.

  5. While I agree we will more and more rarely see those breathtaking 7 figure sales, we’ll have a growing number of sales in the 4-5 figure range and 6 figure ones will be there too. This is due not only to the economy, but also to abundance of alternatives (new gTLDs and repurposed ccTLDs).

  6. It’s all because they don’t do live auctions at TRAFFIC anymore 😉

    Seriously, I have to disagree with the article. The weekly Afternic and Sedo sales prove there are a lot of sales going on. Those two companies sell about 2 million dollars worth per week. Even if they make up half the market it proves a massive number of sales are happening. If Domainer to Domainer sales are down that’s actually even better for the health of the aftermarket.

  7. Fuck these web developers and clueless people about domains. Zero clue on generic value of domains and type in traffic

    Domaining is a business!

    Record year for in 2012 for me as well.

    No one can fuck with the dot com. Let them be googles bitch and search engine traffic on this gtld.

    Fun times. As I say fuck the noise.

  8. End user sales may have dipped a bit from the peak years but competition amongst domain investors for expired domains might be at an all time high. It’s tougher today than it ever has been to make a buck buying and selling domains.

  9. People are entitled to their opinions of course, but when it comes to writing an article, I think it would have benefitted the audience by reaching out to people who are involved in the domain space for a living to see that there is plenty of money still to be made.

  10. Way fewer domain investors are making money like in the past, especially those who own low quality and totally worthless domains.

    The successful domain investors who wisely invested in high quality domains with type-in traffic and who have adapted to the market changes in the past year and adjusted their business models to new monetization platforms and expanded their buying/selling techniques are doing fine and making money like always.


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