10 Reasons Why I Am Eager To Sell My Domains

By | May 22, 2013

Sales of my domains are the same now as they have been in previous years, but lately I have been much more eager to sell them than I used to be. In the past, I would hold out for what I thought a domain was worth, but now if I get a decent offer I usually just take it. I only get one offer ever on most of my domains, so when I have an actual buyer who wants the domain I try to work something out with them.

Here are some reasons why I am eager to sell my domains:

1. Internet users in general are switching away from websites (which use domains) and instead using mobile apps, Facebook apps, and Twitter hashtags, which means 5-10 years from now domains might have a lot less value. So far it has not made much of a difference in domain values because most companies still get a domain in addition to all these other types of media, but that could easily change over time.

2. Later this year thousands of new domain extensions are launching, such as .love, .shop, .app, .goog, .aol, .boston, .paris, etc. and if they become popular, this may devalue .com domains. There is also a good chance it might increase the value of .com domains, because it will cause a lot of confusion and that will lead consumers to go to the .com versions of the domains by mistake. But, it is impossible to predict exactly how all of this will play out, so it is still a significant risk.

3. My domain parking income went up by 500% when I switched to InternetTraffic.com, as compared to all the other parking companies I have tried, but I worry that if for some reason InternetTraffic.com ever loses whatever wholesale deal makes them so special, my parking income would go back down to what it used to be.

4. There is always the risk that I will get sued over a domain, and I don’t want to have to deal with that. I have never had this happen, but it does happen a lot in the domain industry.

5. If I hold each domain for the next 10 years to try to get the absolute best price for each one, I will spend a lot of money in annual domain registration fees, so I am best off trying to reduce the number of domains by selling them when I can.

6. The economy could collapse again and this might hurt my domain sales. So far the Internet has kept growing so fast that domain prices and ad rates have not gone down much since the 2008 economic crisis, but that does not mean next time things could not get worse.

7. I have tried selling domains at auction, like at NameJet.com, Moniker.com/Snapnames.com, and HuntingMoon.com, and I did get some sales. But, only a very small percentage of the domains I put up for auction or list with a domain broker actually sell, and I have to pay a 15%-20% commission on those sales. So, there is not much more I could be doing to sell my domains than what I am already doing. This means when I find an actual buyer, it is worth trying to make the deal work with them, since I don’t have a lot of other options.

8. Even though selling domains is my largest source of income, I do not really consider domaining to be my main business. My main business is building and running my own websites (and now mobile apps also). So, selling most of my domains will let me focus more on the other parts of my business.

9. I had tried building minisites on all of my parked domains, but that totally bombed. They got almost no traffic and made no money. I also tried building real sites on some of the bigger domains and those did not do well either. None of these sites ever came close to being worth what the domain alone was worth, which made me realize it did not make sense for me to use premium domains for these sites. In the future when I build new sites, I will hand register domains for them instead. I should add though that I am not really a typical “end user” when it comes to developing domains. I build a site on a domain because I own the domain and am not using it, not because I have some brilliant business idea or want to build a brand. On weights.com for example, I had dozens of articles about weight lifting and fitness. I was not in the business of selling weights or health products, and I don’t even lift weights myself, so my site was just a way to try to make money from search engine traffic. It was a good site but not a real business. I think it is a great value for a new or existing business to buy a premium domain like this for their company. Having a killer domain sets them apart from the rest, helps for SEO, and helps in advertising both online and offline.

10. Several years ago I tried buying a bunch of super premium domains such as Weights.com, Pastries.com, and Adventure.com to try to develop them, in the hope of making big money making sites out of them, or flipping the domains for a profit. I knew I could always sell the domains for around what I paid for them, so there was little risk. While I did flip about 1/2 the domains for a profit, I was not able to make any money at all by developing them. I can probably sell the remaining domains for what I paid for them, so overall it was not a bad deal, but the results were too mixed and risky for me to want to keep doing it.

None of this means I think domains are a bad investment or that there is not money to be made, but after 18 years as a domainer I am ready to try to focus more on other ventures.

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36 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Am Eager To Sell My Domains

  1. Ron

    Domaining has been very good to you, it has largely been a small community, but now more people than ever are harnessing the power of a domain, and you want to firesale your domains?

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      The problem is that there is not a lot of upside to what I am doing right now with domains (selling 5-10 a month to retail buyers), so I would rather take the money all at once and try something bigger.

  2. Jagan

    Thank you Eric,
    You are well grounded in reality. I try to keep learning more about this to find solutions. I would recommend you visit the Boston meet being set up by Elliot silver or other domainer conferences. Also read the book by Morgan Linton. Ask successful domainer about your particular situation and I think they can help you find a positive way to exit and make money in the process, maybe at the end you will want to continue especially with all your experience in this field. Either way best regards.

  3. todd

    I’ll be honest when I see the impulse logo on the domaining feed I get excited to read what you have to say because you are a man with great domains who lives in reality and doesn’t sugar coat what he says about the domain world. I respect that a lot from you. Thank you for always telling it exactly the way you feel it.

  4. Dr Domainer

    You have done so many projects over the years
    and lots of them have drained your energy!!
    Most people could not do 30% of the work you
    have done. I would be very proud of myself if I were you.

    I hope you keep 50-100 of your best domains and wish
    you the best of luck with your future endeavors.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      Thanks. Yes, I am somewhat burnt out from 18 years of doing this. But, I will never retire. I just feel like I have hit a wall with my domains, so I want to try some other things. I still will always have some good domains, and may buy more in the future. Just this week I bid on a few domains at Namejet.com. It can’t hurt to make some low bids on the chance I might end up with one.

  5. Ron

    Jagan, Eric has been around before Elliot, and along longer than Morgan, and he doesn’t need to read some random ebook for profit, he can write a better book on pure experience. This man has put a lot of effort into trying many different things with his domains, but essentially he is right, it is a waiting game, I am sure he can earn 5 figures a month, for many many years with his portfolio, but sometimes, you need a change, best of luck…

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      Ron – Yes, well put. I am always open to new suggestions and ideas from other domainers, but I at this point I think I pretty much know about everything that is out there, even if I don’t do it myself. Somebody else like Morgan or Elliot or Rick Schwartz might be able to make 10 times what I am making from my domains, but it is also possible they would end up in the same exact situation I am in. Everybody has a different way of doing business, and for every success like Rick Schwartz with his million dollar sales there are dozens of other domainers with similar quality domains who never get those sales. Right now I actually have 10 of my best domains listed with Rick via his JointVentures.com domain leasing site, so we will soon see if he can work his magic with my domains. The domains I have listed with him are:
      Weights.com
      Pastries.com
      Ailments.com
      Divorcing.com
      Fraudulent.com
      Hoaxes.com
      Telemarketers.com
      Autopsies.com
      Physical.com

  6. Domenclature.com

    Eric,

    As always, thank you for a candid assessment.

    Clearly, domaining is made worse by people constantly hyping sentimental, and even, nostalgic dreams. You try your best to be scientific, and for that we all owe you a debt of gratitude.

    Over the course of 3 years, I have posed three serious questions on Elliot’s blog:

    1. How come domains don’t sell well on ebay, after all it is a huge market place? If in deed domains have value, they should sell in open market places, including ebay. You can buy diamonds on ebay. You can buy land, homes, Mercedes-Benz, an entire Island, why not domains?

    2. Can someone point me to a numeric domain, say NN.com or NNN.com, that is being used by a major business or company, whereby that business is thriving, so as to justify the prices for such domain names?

    3. How can Google get away with what it is doing in the search games, and the domain space in general? How can everyone sit idly as they in fact ‘steal’ the internet?

    Domainers will never engage in such serious discusions. But post an article about selecting a logo, or how much was sold by unverified after markets, and they will come out of the wood works.

    I have one question for you, Eric, I reckon that you bought adventure.com for around $200,000 last year or two years ago, and I see it offered for sale by MediaOptions, did you sell it, and for how much? Thank you.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      I can’t say the price I sold Adventure.com for due to a non-disclosure agreement, but I had several other offers in the $250,000 – $350,000 range but those included me having to pay a broker’s fee, and I did not have to pay a broker’s fee in the deal where I actually sold it. I am still amazed nobody was willing to pay a lot more for it from either me or the current seller. I think it is a great buy for a large company in the adventure travel business, or any other type of adventure business. I mainly sold it because after I developed it, it still got hardly any more traffic than when I had it parked, so I figured it was best for somebody else to make it into a big site. It appears that the buyer I sold to changed their mind on developing it, since it has been for sale for the past several months. Somebody who is a expert at SEO might be able to make a lot of money from it, but that person isn’t me.

  7. Mark Hershiser

    Todd said in reply 3 what I was thinking but he said it better than I could have. My sentiments exactly…

  8. BullS

    You are suffering what we called Domain Fatigue.

    Go take a vacation!

    Domaining is neither arts or science, it is pure BS hobby.

    If you had put $200K like I did in the stocks since 2010, your return will be $300 by now and ready to cash out.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      Yes, it is much more appealing to take the proceeds I get from selling domains and invest them and sit back and collect the interest/profits than deal with actively running a business. That is what I wanted to do when I sold Bored.com back in January 2008 but right after that interest rates went to 0% and all investments became very risky (I did not have any investments luckily), but in general I like that concept. And, I still will always be running websites and doing some domain deals, I don’t want to be in a situation where I am not doing any business at all. I will be an entrepreneur until the day I die and will never stop thinking of new ways to try to make money.

  9. Adam

    Wow. What a contrast between your post and what Rick has recently written. Thanks for your openness Eric. Always appreciated

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      I think what Rick says is great advice for most domainers, I am just not a typical domainer, so what I do is probably not always the best path for others to follow. I like reading what he writes, and find the deals he has done amazing.

  10. windy city

    Really thoughtful and down to earth article.

    Thanks for sharing and giving us food for thought about what is or may be happening down the road and around the corner.

    Another sage kinda has the opposite view and call investors that do not sell at the highest price a word that is very juvenile for the discussion. I caught a lot of grief for calling him out on that.

    I am very glad to find your articles as they are instructive as well as refreshing.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      Because I also get income from my 300+ websites, I am in a different position than many other domainers, in that I am not as concerned with getting the absolute top dollar for each domain. Part of that also is because they are almost all domains I had registered, so I have a big profit on each one no matter what I sell them for. I know saying that will probably give Rick Schwartz a heart attack, and he obviously gets good results doing what he does, but we all can’t be him.

    2. Eric Borgos Post author

      I would say that there is big rewards to be made by taking big risks (like holding out for the highest price on a domain even though the sale might fall through), and that is how Rick Schwartz operates, and he has been a winner in that game. But, there are probably stories you don’t hear about people doing the same thing and losing these big domain sales, so I guess I am just playing it safe with my domain sales and that best suits my personality. Rick’s way is probably best for the domain industry in general, since it keeps prices high. I think the best thing for domainers to do is to experiment, and see what works best for them. For example, sometimes don’t name a price just tell the buyer to make you an offer, then sometimes try setting a price (a high one), and see which way does best. After 15+ years of selling domains, I am not sure what is best. I would say that it was rare to have somebody make me an offer higher than in my head what I was looking for, but it did happen a few times.

  11. Aron - XF.com

    Add Todd said and others have mentioned: I love reading your blog posts.
    HONEST assments are valuable – especially from someone with the track record that you’ve had.

    I love reading your insights and experiences — everyone can benefit from learning more about you and how you operate.

    Thanks for the candid post and I look forward to your next one!

    Aron

  12. rob sequin

    You speak for a lot of people.

    The others should listen to you 🙂

    See you at Elliott’s gathering in Boston next month?

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      Thanks. I like Elliot’s blog a lot and read it often, but I really don’t like going to trade shows/conventions/gatherings. I like keeping everything as virtual as possible.

  13. Jagan

    Sorry Ron,
    I didn’t know that Eric was doing this full time & made $1.25 million in sales last year. I thought he was another domainer trying to make ends meet and I wanted the best for him. Best wishes to both of you.

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      The $1.25 million in sales was not all domains. Around $500,000 of that was from my CheapFlowers.com website, another $250,000 of that was from ad income (ad networks like Adsense), and around $100,000 was investment income. So, around $400,000 was from selling domains and some of that from a few big domains that I bought in 2011 and sold for a small profit. I usually sell around $250,000/year in domain names.

  14. Aggro

    LOL

    You lot can’t even dream big..

    You lot keep hugging Schwarzy’s nuts like he’s the poster boy & got Warren Buffett $$$. LOL

    Guy is worth about $15M, if that.
    I know he’s not even worth $20M.

    $20M. That’s what a TYPICAL Park Avenue dentist of similar age (60+) who made savvy investments in Manhattan real estate is probably worth.
    And this is not uncommon.

    Yet i don’t see anyone go to the dentist for financial advice.

    Who want’s to prove to be the outlier (Schwartz et al)?
    There are TONS more young entrepreneurs worth more than Schwarz, Schilling, Ham, Yun Ye etc will ever be.
    Aspire to be them – not some punk geriatric domainer with a bad goatee…LOL

    Compare Schwarzy’s grand “20 year plan” (LOL) to:

    – 26 yr old Guy who sold Tumblr for $1.1 BN since starting it in 2007
    Probably pocketed $750M for himself

    – 17 yr old who sold Summly for $30M after a few years

    etc

    Why the f do people have such low goals of aspiring to be the ‘next’ Schwarz?? Pathetic

    If you’re a young guy, would rather be the guy cashing out big time for $20M+ today than some geriatric waiting, waiting, waiting for that 6 fig offer. LOL
    Who wants that shit at 60 yr old?

    Fk Schwarz & his 20 yr plan!

    Life is short: start something great, and if you want to make filthy rich money

    The highest return of intellectual capital is found in tech start ups & hedge funds – NOT domaining

    Domaining is essentially PASSIVE – you have limited control of making it happen:
    “Entrepreneurs make it happen, domainers wait ’til the entrepreneur makes it happen (so they can acquire the domain)”

    PS. JointSalesman.com is a pile of crap & a dismal failure
    You don’t even hear him & his lackey hype it any more whereas at the start it was daily hype

    Bwahahaa

  15. Who is dat dog ?

    yet Aggro you are nowhere close to Rick, so what are you aspiring or did you give up ? You do have a couple Domains Wanted threads on DNF running so maybe you are aspiring to be Rick.

  16. Kassey

    Eric,

    A lots of thanks from the bottom of my heart! I’ve been reading almost everyday for 3 years everything related to domain investment, starting from domaining.com. But for whatever reason, today is the first time that I discovered your site. Your success but humility greatly impress me. Fresh yet very different from the styles of Frank and Rick. Please continue to write, and write more. You may not realize how much you’ll be appreciated all across the world. (I’m thanking you from this little country of NZ where the Hobbits roam.)

  17. 999names

    Agreed, your humility and self genuine expression comes across loud and clear. We like it. The only other peron that comes close would be Elliot. He also tries to keep a natural stance.

    We love you man. We have been domaining since 1999 in high school and I remember you. I wish more big name domainers had the honesty, gratitude and down to earth way that you portray.

    Sincerely

  18. web muzer

    Eric,

    Your comments are most apt.

    A thought. Given that you refer visitors from your main domain sale site to this blog, where this posting just appeared, might existence of this posting not prove a disadvantage in future domain sale negotiations?

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      Yes, that same exact thought occurred to me as I was writing my post, but I decided to write it anyway (not every decision I make comes down to making the most money in life). It may cause people to make lower offers to me, but it also might make them more likely to make an offer since they know I won’t be charging some outrageously high price. If the buyer makes me an offer that is too low, I won’t take the deal. I am not desperate to sell.

  19. Dr Domainer

    Judging people by their wealth is not the key
    to success! I’m 100% sure Rick has a lot more
    talent than most of the other successful people
    you have mention.

    Twitter is great tool to analyse people. I was looking
    at most famous and rich people and its very surprising
    to see how many are very lonely, if there’s lives
    were so great they would not be posting tweets day & night.

    True wealth is pure happiness and living the life that’s
    right for you.

  20. Klaus

    Thank for you honesty, really appreciated.

    The point in my opinion, and I am sure you will agree having experience as entreprenur, are:

    1) domain advertising circuits have been giving low quality advertising (Internet work well with videos, for instance, and parking platforms would have to distribute videos adverting…)

    2) domain market does not exist even now, 2013! goog le has been working always in any bad ways to sabotage it…

    2a) domain market does not exist also because does not exist renting

    So, since at least the point 2a is not difficult to implement, why no one makes a real platform good for the leasing model. Cax has not the column for leasing model. Epik oblige you to transfer any single domain to them PREVIOUSLY. All the other friend-of-goole platforms never will implement the renting model

    These are the main problems.

    I hope all people like you able of doing facts and not just words will go to work to solve at least the point 2a (not you, okay, if you want to leave “domaining”).

    The problem of domain industry is that it is not an industry at all. Come on, everyone have to face it: domainers/brokers sell domain to who??!? Other domainers…ahahahahhh It is ridicoulous….. They do not approach final users, they sell domain to other domainers :))))))))

    1. Eric Borgos Post author

      I think the bigger question is if a domain leasing market exists. JointVentures.com just launched a few months ago, so it will take some time to see if they are able to get some deals done. I have leased some domains to potential buyers over the years, but all of these were deals where the buyer wanted to buy the domain but did not have enough money so I let them make a small down payment to lease it with the option to buy. Only once did I ever have somebody just want to lease a domain instead of buying it, and even then my goal was for them to eventually buy it (they didn’t). I use ecop.com for my domain leasing deals and have been very happy with the services they provide.

      I do make significant domain sales to end users through domain brokers and through Sedo.com and Afternic.com so I don’t agree with you that the domain market does not exist.

  21. Klaus

    “Commercially speaking” selling domains mainly to other domainers could be called, imho, Masturbation Sale Strategy

    Of course the market exists, but like could exist the real estate market without renting

    You said: “I think the bigger question is if a domain leasing market exists”. As entrepreneur you surely know that you can’t know if there is a demand if you do not offer in the right way your goods/services. All the other things are words and nothing more.

    Domainers have to make some leasing/leasing to own platforms (or adapt the platform already existing) where domainers can list their domains in a simple manner, without having to transfer them previously (too much time already thrown to manage domains: renewals, parking, listing….). Only at that point we will know if there is a renting market or not (there is, there is, trust me….).

    I hope someone will take my suggestion…

    Thank you

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