Marketplace Review: DomainAgents.com

In my opinion, in the past year, the domain aftermarket has taken a turn for the better after years of stagnation. I’m looking forward to completing reviews of some of my favorite and least favorite marketplaces in the coming months. The first in the series is a review of one of my favorite domain marketplaces, DomainAgents.com. Background and Facts (provided by CEO, Phil McKegney): Domain Agents was founded in 2012 by domain industry veterans, Adam Strong and Phil McKegney. They currently employ 8 full-time staff and are looking to add more. Employees work remotely. Domain Agents more than doubled their offer and sale volume in 2015. Every month they work with thousands of buyers and sellers. Millions of dollars in closed transactions were negotiated via DomainAgents in 2015. Overview There is no perfect way or process to sell a domain that I have found, so I think that is reflected in the fact that most domain sales platforms have weaknesses. Some have many, and some have very few. Domain Agents may have the fewest weaknesses of any platform I’ve tried (and I’ve literally tried every platform I’ve ever seen). The keys to the success of the platform comes from its clear vision and process, along with the willingness to make changes when possible and needed. The sales process is straightforward. A prospective domain buyer visits DomainAgents.com and is prompted to make an offer on the domain of their choice. The buyer pays a nominal fee in order to guarantee that the owner is presented with said offer. Once the offer has been presented, the owner may agree to the price, counter the...

Brandable Trend Report: The Market for “-ster” Domains

Since Napster came on the scene over 15 years ago, the suffix “ster” has been popular for online brands. As usual popularity leads to trends, which often lead to demand and aftermarket value for related domains. 15 years could be considered quite a long time for a trend, though. So,  how are “-ster” domains doing as far as reported sales recently? According to the Estibot.com and NameBio.com sales data, it look like there is still a market for domains using the suffix. While I wouldn’t say it’s a super-strong or active market, they do still sell fairly often and sometimes for high amounts. After cleaning the data a bit (see the note at the bottom for what is included/excluded), I counted 10 sales of “-ster” brandable domains in 2015 ($15,957 total), down from 11 in 2014 ($59,231 total). Note that Afternic stopped reporting sales in the summer of 2014, so any domains sold there aren’t included. Here’s a scatter chart of how “-ster” sales have broken down over the past few years. Note on the date used: Data from both NameBio.com and Estibot.com was used. Namebio data is more complete but limited to 100 results, so the data gathered from there goes back to July of 2013, where I used Estibot data dating back to 2007. Findings: Highest reported “-ster” brandable domain sale: Blogster.com in 2005 @ $100,000 Sales amount of the 54 sales used for the above chart: $277,410 (as noted, doesn’t include sales before 2007 from Estibot or July of 2013 for Namebio). Average sales price: $5,234 Median sales price: $1,545 11 sales in 2014 ($59,231 total – $5,384 average, boosted significantly...
The Art of Finding Deals on Flippa

The Art of Finding Deals on Flippa

Every domain market has its quirks and ways to find great deals, and Flippa is no different. While there aren’t too many outright “steals” on Flippa, there are great deals to be had. When bidding on and buying domains on Flippa, here are some tips to find the best deals the platform has to offer: 1. Reach out My best domain buy of the year so far came on Flippa through a connection I made with a top seller. I bought another name first (and paid a little more than I wanted), but then I asked what else was available. I found an absolute gem in the list and made a offer far below where I value the name. The offer was accepted, and the name is mine. To find deals like this, look to sellers that list a lot and ones that set reasonable BINs. If their BIN price on one auction is within the realm of reality, it’s likely they have other domains that they will liquidate at a good price for the buyer (especially if you buy more than one). Most/many sellers aren’t looking to hit the lottery and hit the top of DNJ with every listing; they just want to make a modest profit consistently. 2. Look to listings ending soon where the reserve has been met This is the #1 way to find consistent deals on any auction platform. I went through a baseball card collecting phase a few years back, and I would spend a couple of nights a week just watching auctions close on eBay and sniping the ones that were under-priced. I...

Top 11 Flippa Sellers to “Watch”

If you’re interested in buying and selling on Flippa, one thing you can do to get a feel for the market is “watch” sellers. Some sellers consistently outperform the market, and some just post interesting names. Note: you have to be logged in to Flippa to view a seller’s full list of auctions and profile page. To watch a seller, just click on the big blue “Watch Seller” button to the right of the user name. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I likely missed some of the best sellers on the platform. If you weren’t included, add your username and the URL of your profile page in the comments. Ali Zandi – Ali started out in the summer of 2014 by selling his own inventory (as KCGroup) and was hired as Flippa’s senior broker in early 2015. He’s become a bit of a polarizing figure on NamePros, but he’s a personal friend, and he consistantly brings top names to the marketplace. He recently sold Consoles.com for $50K and is currently brokering WMD.com along with many other one-word domains. ca98am79 – Even though there’s another account on Flippa with “IOKING” as its username, The owner of this account is undoubtedly the .io king of the world. He runs Park.io, the only .io drop catching service that I’m aware of, and he owns the cream of the crop himself. I recently dove into the .io market, and the portfolio is staggering. With names like Ask.io, File.io, and Paid.io, if .io were to become mainstream, the owner will likely become very wealthy. He recently sold SMS.io for $7,500 on Flippa and is currently selling Rank.io. SuperbDomains –...
6 Reasons to Start Your Flippa Auctions at $1

6 Reasons to Start Your Flippa Auctions at $1

It can be tricky to price your names on Flippa in order to get maximum exposure and the highest price. After all, it only takes two interested parties to boost a price indefinitely (or one interested party to hit a BIN). So, the number one goal (at least for my own auctions) is to maximize exposure in order to find the most interested bidders possible. The following are the reasons (and the reasoning behind some of the reasons) that I almost always start my auctions at $1 (whether the listing has a reserve or not): Engagement – The name of the game (or at least the name of my game) on Flippa is engagement. You want bids and lots of them. A $1 start invites early bids and often keeps the price accessible to all budgets (at least for a while), especially if you are listing with no reserve. Is someone bidding early on a one-word .com listing with no reserve and a $1 starting price going to actually win the name for $xx? Probably not. But I think bidding early on auctions is mentally satisfying to some bidders, as it allows them to own the domain (at least in their minds) for as long as they are in the lead. Visibility – Engagement may be the name of my Flippa game, but the goal of engagement is the added visibility it brings to listings on the platform. And the added visibility brings even more engagement, which starts to compound. As more bids come in, you begin to rise on the Most Active page. Increased # of watchers – The added visibility...

.io Domain Sales by the Numbers

When I started seeing nice numbers for liquid sales of .io domains last year, my interest piqued. Since then, I’ve registered around 10 and have been on the lookout for better names on various venues. Today, I decided to dig into the stats a little more to see what I could find about what sells. The sales are listed at the bottom of the post. NameBio.com shows 69 sales for .io domains which sold for $1,000+, and I found a couple of other sales by using Estibot’s domain history tool. It looks like there are 7 domains of the 71 total that have been sold twice or entered in twice by mistake, so to make this data a bit easier to work with and maybe cleaner, I removed the first instance (by earliest date) of each duplicate.   Findings Unique .io domains reported sold for $1K+: 64 Gross Sales: $248,335 Average Sale: $3,880 Highest Sale: $24,600 (doc.io 6/16/10 Sedo) Avg length: 4.48 characters Acronym/abbreviated domains sold: 15 (estimate, as I don’t know if some like Lob.io are to be used as acronyms or not) 1-word domains sold: 47 2-word domains sold: 1 (2 if you count clubhouse.io $3K 1/14/15 Sedo) Numeric domains sold: 1 Average Google exact match search volume/mo: 513,851 Average CPC: $3.03 Lowest monthly search volume: 4,400 (localize.io – $1,110, 3/1/15, Sedo) Highest monthly search volume: 7,480,000 (java.io – $1,995 2/17/15, Sedo) Number of sales reported on Sedo: 42 Average sale on Sedo: $3,890 Number of sales reported on Flippa: 19 Average sale on Flippa: $4,015   Takeaways It’s pretty obvious that you want to keep your .io domains as short...