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 Those ever-changing data points may be helpful, but I am confident I would never keep up with the data, and having outdated data would probably be detrimental.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.
Thank you so much. This is so important for keeping track and spotting good and bad ROI. I’m not good with Excell, but I have someone close to me that helps a lot.
As an aside, I inherited a stock portfolio with a prolonged Probate (Covid). The DOD was so important. A snapshot of holdings on that day saved on Capital gains (I sold some and bought my picks). Not exactly the same, but relevant.