When I Shoot for the Moon

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If you were not familiar with the term “shoot the moon” before this month, you’ve probably become familiar with it by now. Figuratively speaking, when it comes to domain names, shooting the moon is when a domain registrant receives an inquiry to buy a domain name and prices it as high as conceivably possible to ensure money is not left on the table.

Rob Monster started what has become a long discussion on NamePros discussing the strategy of shooting the moon. Michael Sumner followed up by sharing his thoughts on the NameBio blog with some data supporting his thought that most investors should not use this strategy because it probably won’t work out too well in the end.

For the majority of my 1,000+/- domain name portfolio, I do not shoot the moon. I would rather sell the vast majority of my inventory for average retail prices and continue to replace, grow, and improve my portfolio. My business has bills to pay, and the income from closed sales pays my salary and covers the cost of new acquisitions. I can not rely on outlier sales to fund my business – I need to regularly sell inventory, and for that, shooting the moon doesn’t make sense because I will lose far more deals than I will close.

When it comes to doing deals with end user buyers on my highest value domain names, typically my one word .com domain names, I tend to shoot the moon. These types of domain names are very difficult to replace, and when I can replace them, the prices have been continuing to rise. Because of the time and money it takes to add exceptional one word .com domain names to my portfolio, I am generally unwilling to sell my top domain names for less than optimal prices.

Shooting the moon is a good strategy for me on my best domain names, but it is unwise for me to do on my average domain names. As Michael Sumner pointed out, far more deals will be lost than closed when a really high price is given, and I would rather sell most of my names for reasonable prices, while holding out for the super high prices on my hard to replace, one word .com domain names.

12 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with end-users today, is that they want a domain name with everything built into it, like traffic, ranking etc and they want it for less than $5k! They don’t want to pay up!

    They want a ready made business, that produces income and profits from the start! They don’t want to work for it!
    They don’t want to be a founder, they just want to be a CEO!
    Sounds like a Millennial to me.

  2. What wrong with trying to get the best price for your domain, a good majority of sales listed on namebio are inaccurate as many never completed, or were pulled from auctions that did not close, or were renewed.

  3. One of the guiding principle for me – for 95% of my domains – is something I believe I learned from Bill Sweetman (although I can’t track down where). Most domainers are incorrectly more concerned with leaving on the table, than they are concerned with taking money off the table.

  4. I think there are 2 key factors that determine whether one should shoot the moon or not.

    1) Domain value. How rare it is. It is far more likely to shoot the moon on a premium domain vs a medium-level domain.

    2) Financial situation of the domain owner. If a domain owner is in need of money, then they may opt to sell for less than a domain is worth.

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