Time to Buy or Time to Hold?

The domain name aftermarket has been performing strongly for nearly a full year now. The last six months have been particularly strong. A look at the DNJournal year to date sales chart proves that, and the publicly reported sales are just the tip of the iceberg considering the volume and value of private sales that are unlikely to ever be reported.

With the considerable movement in the aftermarket, it has become very challenging to buy valuable domain names. When good domain names are available to purchase, the price to buy new inventory is getting much higher as well. My focus is on one and two word .com domain names, but I have seen and heard that other areas (.IO and .CO for example) are also becoming much more difficult to buy at wholesale level pricing.

In years past, I might open a negotiation with a $5,000 offer to buy a name I value in the $50,000 – $100,000. I know $5,000 most likely would not be enough to get a deal done, but if the seller is seeking under $50,000, it would often be enough to get a counteroffer or reply. These days, most of my offers are starting well above that $5k number. Oftentimes, I don’t get a reply or get a “no thanks” without a counter offer. Domain names are in stronger hands than ever.

The challenge right now, for me, is to acquire inventory for reasonable amounts, knowing the wholesale market is likely as high as it has ever been. I have no problem shelling out a lot of money for an exceptional domain name, but chasing down these exceptional domain names and closing deals has been a difficult challenge of late. I don’t have as big of a budget as some of my colleagues and friends, but I have made a whole bunch of six figure offers on various domain names and none of them have led to deals lately. Frustrating.

On the other hand, holding on to cash is also appealing. At some point, one must assume, the market could come back down. Perhaps there will be less funding going to startups and businesses, and they will need to close as a result. People may need cash and will be willing to sell domain names for less than their prices now. I think this is inevitable, but timing is everything. I’ve thought this about expiry auctions for the last few years, and that hasn’t happened yet, so who knows.

The most enjoyment I get from domain investing is making deals. Negotiating is exciting and closing deals is thrilling. I don’t care if it’s a $500,000 deal or a $5,000 deal. The negotiations have the same ups and downs, and I enjoy that adrenaline rush. However, the market is crazy right now, so the smart thing might be just to hold on to cash and wait.

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


    • It is always time to sell domain names.

      I am not really sure what the wink emoji signifies to you. Although I don’t really discuss my own sales, I have seen articles on a couple of blogs and social media posts when others have detected movement on my names. It’s not a secret that I am always looking to sell domain names when there are deals to be made.

      I also regularly update my investment page with most of the better names I own: http://www.topnotchdomains.com/investments.html

      When a name comes off, chances are pretty good that it was sold.

      • It’s not always a good time to sell domain names. Sometimes it’s a buyers market and sometimes it’s a sellers market, which we are in right now. But you knew what I meant anyway. 😉

        The domain expired aftermarket is way overpriced right now. Not a good time for domain value investors like myself.

  1. “The domain name aftermarket has been performing strongly for nearly a full year now.”

    Yes, that exactly correlates with the US Census Bureau chart of Monthly Business Applications. The sudden leap in applications can only be explained by the pandemic. Applications seem to be up close to 50 percent compared to 2019.


    It’s very likely that Europe and other advanced countries would be similar. My sales have been up in the last year. I’ve already sold 42 names this year on the Godaddy Uniregistry Afternic DLS network, much more than ever before. I noticed a big drop in sales around April last year, exactly where you can see a big dip in the chart.

    It’s hard to predict if this accentuated level will continue, but likely, it doesn’t seem to be sliding so far.

    • In late March and early April of last year, I thought 2020 was going to be a lost cause. I figured business would be shitty, but at least I would be able to spend as much time as needed with my kids to help them with virtual school.

      Things changed drastically in the late Spring / early Summer, and I had a great year.

      So far, things have started out on a good note this year.

  2. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist
    sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

    You never know until you dip your toes in the domains. The only game in the investing world is stocks, real estate and maybe digital assets domaining.

    Buy, sell, hand reg…whatever it takes….just hand reg for just $6.99….nothing to lose—easy peasy stress free hobby making money


  3. Domains are vastly undervalued. See what yachts, real estate, art, and jewelry are selling for. Fraction of the benefits, often high maintenance costs, and rarely provide a better opportunity.

    George Kirikos has recently posted a CAD 12.5M building on Twitter, take a look at that Vs. a top .com domain. No comparison.

    • “See what yachts, real estate, art, and jewelry are selling for. Fraction of the benefits, often high maintenance costs, and rarely provide a better opportunity.”

      so correct and only the f rich can afford these useless toys just for themselves to use…look at the yachts,art,jewelry…all for show for the rich to launder money and only they can use whereas domains are for the masses. And it costs unnecessary money to maintenance.

      If I sell one (which I know they will be sold)of these domains that I just hand reg I already make money…and the ROI is tremendous

  4. Domain aftermarket feels like a bubble right now. Markets have been over stimulated.Time to buy was a year ago.

    • That is because you overpaid for crappy names as you can’t back down from an auction, and get put into overpaid situations, and then overask. If you know, you know what’s going on right now, and apparently you don’t know Mario.

  5. You’ve mentioned that before, but it’s funny because you come across as such a non-adrenaline rush kind of guy on the surface. Maybe you let loose at ball games.

    I tried to buy a really great one word .com myself a while ago. Strong hands, end user, not really using it in the conventional sense and could do without it apparently but using it a bit nonetheless, etc.

    When they don’t want to sell for cash, you have to try to improvise like MacGyver. A good thing to try when all appears lost is to consider if you have any domain they might want to add to the deal as a trade, or trade plus cash. You can at least try.

    It’s a super great domain, but I was trying to buy it as an end user, nor for investment and later resale.

  6. I figured there might be an influx of fresh over-optimistic new investors, like with the 4L hype bubble a few years ago and the *coin and NFT hype of today.


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