About a month ago, I listed a group of domain names for auction on NameJet. The majority of the domain names I listed for sale were acquired within the last 18 months or so. The domain names came up for auction last week. Some of the names sold for more than I paid, and others sold for less. Overall, I lost a bit of money on the auctions.
My business model was built on buying and quickly selling domain names. This model has been altered over the last few years, and I have been buying more domain names for longer term holds. Domain names like Lilac.com, Embrace.com, Franks.com, and RightAway.com are either long term holds until the right buyer comes around or not for sale. This is partly by choice and partly a result of the market. Sales to other domain investors are more difficult these days, and great names are harder to find at reasonable prices. I would rather keep my better domain names until the right buyer makes the right offer.
Even though my model has shifted, I still like to move inventory. I have always kept my domain portfolio trim (under 500 domain names), and I always like to keep enough cash available to make several large acquisitions at any given time. One way to keep my business model moving is to put domain names for sale on an auction platform like NameJet and hopefully make a return on my investment.
Some of the domain names were good buys and sold profitably. Other domain names sold for less than I paid. It was a risk I was willing to take because I like to keep cash flowing.
Despite the fact that I didn’t make a profit on the deals, I did make back most of what I spent. A couple of domain names that didn’t hit reserve are back in my account, and one has subsequently been sold.
I am constantly on the hunt for new domain acquisition targets. I probably spend more time buying domain names (or trying) than I do on sales outreach. With most domain acquisitions, there is some level of risk. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a good return on that small batch of domain names but I didn’t lose my shirt either.
I am sure there is a lesson here, but at the end of the day, you win some and you lose some.