A couple of years ago, my longtime accountant retired and my wife and I hired a new accountant. One of the things she asked me was to get a full list of my domain name inventory with acquisition costs and date of acquisition. I had never tracked my inventory on a master inventory list before, and I have found it to be helpful.
The first thing I did was go into the control panels of the various registrars I use – GoDaddy, NameBright, Network Solutions, and Enom (at the time). I used their tools to get text lists of my domain names. I then pasted them in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and spent quite a bit of time searching my email for the acquisition costs and date of acquisition. I now keep this Excel list updated as I buy, sell, and expire domain names in my portfolio.
There are a number of reasons for why I keep the master list. For one thing, it is a quick reference point for my acquisition cost when I am dealing with an inquiry. In addition, on the occasion that I am thinking about letting a domain name expire, I can quickly see how much I paid and how long I have been holding a domain name.
A little over a year ago, I compared my master inventory list to my Dan.com account to see what domain names were listed for sale. I usually add my inventory domain names to sell on Dan.com at the time of acquisition, but there are a number of reasons that could impact me not doing this. Being able to cross-reference Dan.com was helpful in finding a handful of domain names that did not resolve where they should resolve.
When it comes to continuity planning, having a master inventory list would be helpful if i unexpectedly die and my wife or kids take over the company. Being able to easily see what domain names I own would be helpful, I am sure.
To that end, I am going to spend some time adding details to the inventory list. There is no reason I should not have the registrar listed on the master list. It wasn’t requested by my accountant and I did not want to spend extra time creating the list. Now that I have found the inventory list helpful, I am going to add the registrar as a category.
My portfolio is relatively slim at around 1,600 domain names. If it were larger, I might consider adding prices, sales location, offers received…etc. Those ever-changing data points may be helpful, but I am confident I would never keep up with the data, and having outdated data would probably be detrimental.
I know there are different domain management tools, but I prefer to keep my inventory private. My portfolio is slim enough that the cost benefit of outsourcing this doesn’t make sense to me.