My first REAL domain name sale

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As with anything, success in domaining won't just find you.You’ll remember that a couple months ago I posted about my first domain sale.

As nice as it was to make that sale, it didn’t have the feeling of a real success.  My total profit was only $31, and truly it was more of a relief than anything to be rid of a name that I had regretted purchasing in the first place.

Here are the details of the first sale I’m proud to have made:

Standing at the precipice of the domain sale.Domain name: CloudNative dot net
My purchase price: $20 US
Sales venue: I contacted the buyer
My sale price: $699 US
Commission and fees: $26 US
My profit: $653 US

I bought the name as a GoDaddy closeout. For those unfamiliar with GD closeouts, essentially they are expired domain names, registered at GoDaddy, that didn’t receive any bids in the GD expired auction. Basically, a last ditch effort for GoDaddy to make more than registration fee on the name. The beauty of buying names via this venue is that they still retain their age (a valued commodity to some investors) while not costing too much.

As soon as I saw the name, something clicked; I knew I had heard the term before. A quick Google search confirmed my hunch and revealed that many software companies are involved in building cloud native applications. In addition, it was a nice bonus to see that about 800 people per month were searching for this exact term.  

I had never bought a .NET name before, having read that they only hold about 10% of the value of a .COM name, but I felt that this one was worth taking a chance on. I scooped it up immediately.

On a lark, after the purchase I zipped over to NamePros to ask some more experienced domainers what they thought of the name. I was surprised by their reactions… One member in particular (whose opinion I respect) said he saw no value in the name, owing to the fact that it made no sense. Of course I knew this to be untrue, because I had done my research. But that little exchange served as a valuable lesson to me… Don’t take anyone’s word as gospel. If you’ve put in the leg-work, and you have good reason to believe you’re right, then have some faith in yourself. 

Anyway, as soon as the domain was in my account I emailed five or six companies and quoted my asking price of $699. (As a side note: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my wife helped me to tweak the wording of my outgoing sales pitch email to make it sound more legit and personable.) A marketing manager from one of the companies emailed me back a day later with a simple message: “I got your email. We’re interested in the name.” I was elated! There was no attempt at negotiation, no request for weird technical details that I didn’t have. They were just a legitimate business, working in a niche that was perfectly represented by the domain name I was selling. Mutual benefits at their best!

Of course, being that it was my first REAL sale, it couldn’t be that easy… After that response, I didn’t hear from them for the next ten days. I left two messages, I wrote again asking if they needed more information. Nothing. I had pretty much given up hope at this point, but my contact finally got in touch me me on the 11th day (he had been out of the country). After that, the transaction went smoothly. Payment was sent by Paypal right away, and they were completely fine with having to wait an additional 45 days to have the domain transferred to their registrar of choice (an annoying security measure employed by most registrars after a domain purchase).

My confidence has blossomed since that sale. I even made another one recently! This time for a more modest profit of $160 (the name: Tech Shore dot com), but it’s showing me that I’m starting to buy the right kinds of names; the ones that actually give me a chance at a sale because people and businesses out there want them. It’s a great start. Perhaps a slower one than I had hoped for (having started this journey about nine months ago), but I’ll take it. 

They say 90% of domain investors don’t make money, so if I can get myself in that 10% (no I’m not there yet), then I’ll be a happy camper.

I’ve re-invested some of the money I made into a couple decent quality names that I’m willing to hold long-term.

I’ll also be using some of the money to start my own personal marketplace at Efty. The url of my marketplace site? BrandSail.com. Keep an eye out for it in another week or so.

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