A lot of domain name investors have a difficult time explaining who we are and what we do. To help those in trouble I’ve listed a few questions and how I answer them. Remember, we are a small industry. Because we are so small, you make a big impact on how the world perceives what we do.
First let me give you this example for your arsenal. A domain name is a piece of land. Owning a domain name is no different than someone purchasing a piece of land because they believe they can sell it for more money at a later date.
What do you do?
I am a virtual real estate investor. I buy domain names, then turn around and sell them for a profit.
Speak with confidence! People can pick up right away if you have any negative feelings about what you do. The average person understands real estate more than the internet. Why? Because they either own a home, have a friend/relative that does or have watched one of the dozens of TV shows about real estate.
So you buy people’s domain names and sit on them until they pay you a ridiculous amount of money for them?
No, not at all. I have no interest in purchasing anything that would either be trademarked or confused with one. Trademark laws prevent me from purchasing these types of domain names.
What do you mean by trademark?
Let’s use the company Walmart. They have filed the appropriate paperwork with the government preventing anyone else from using the term or name Walmart in any way. Examples would be Wallmart.com (misspelled), WalmartStores.com or Wal-mart.com. I would never purchase a domain name that can mislead site visitors into thinking I am associated with that company.
How do you go about purchasing these domain names?
There are several avenues to purchase domain names. First would be domain names that are available (hand register) for purchase using a registrar like Name.com. Now, just like property taxes, if someone doesn’t pay their annual renewal fees that domain name is taken away and made available to the public. These are called deleting or drop domain names. I can get a list of names coming available again soon and purchase them when they do. Another way of getting great domain names is helping people in need. When people need money, they come to me and offer to sell their domain names. This is a great win-win situation that allows them to put much needed cash in the bank and I walk away with a domain name usually at a reduced rate because of the quick sale. There are actually more ways to acquire domain names but you get the idea.
How do you sell domain names?
Just like buying, there are several avenues. The simple answer is either someone will contact me with interest in buying, I can list with an auction service like Sedo.com or BuyDomains.com or I can proactively seek out buyers that would benefit from owning my domain name.
What’s the most you have sold a domain name for?
I’ve sold a few hundred domain names ranging from $25-$1500 and honestly can’t remember them all. I do remember selling PrayerForum.com last week for $1200. As an industry though, we’ve sold millions upon millions of dollars in domain names this year. If you are really interested visit DNJournal.com and click the YTD sales chart on the top left. So far this years top sale is Toys.com for $5.1 million!
On a side note, I’ve had a domain sale of mid $x,xxx and low $xx,xxx that I NEVER bring up because of an NDA. If you have an NDA, don’t bring it up. When someone I don’t know says I’ve sold a domain name for $xxx,xxx but can’t discuss it because of an NDA, the first thing that comes to mind is they are lying. The sad reality is that most people believe you are full of shit. This is the #1 reason why the reporter of the New Times called us conniving. Instead of making something up, divert the attention to what we have done as an industry.
Practice these answers. The easier the information comes to you, the more confident you come across.
What do you guys think? Is this similar to how you would explain what you do as a domain investor?