Do You Make a Living At Domaining?

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Hello,

I'm new to domaining and DN Forum. I am trying to figure out a path to earn a living wage. Reading DN Forum and viewing interviews on Domain Sherpa has provided valuable guidance.

I have only been trying to market my domains to end-users for the last 5 months and have sold 5 domains in that time. In my experience, when I try to hold out for a few hundred dollars more than the potential buyer is offering, the buyer quits responding to my e-mail. So for me, I am beginning to think there may be a "sweet spot" price of $300 to $600 for my hand reg names. Because at least at those prices I am selling something, whereas at higher prices, they just walk away. So, initially my philosophy was to try to hold out for more, but now I am starting to think I just need to sell more names for less . . . or I may not sell any at all!

An exception to that, would be when the buyer contacts you, then it's easier to hold out for a higher price. Still I am amazed. I have a real estate domain that is an exact match to an existing, successful real estate business. They are currently using a hyphen, xxxx-realestate.com, when my domain has no hyphen. Their hyphen looks unprofessional and they are losing traffic. But they are only willing to pay $1,000 so far, which is an increase from their initial $200 offer!

I am also wondering how important it is to develop domains into a Word Press site or a landing page? I am not techie and don't really have the money to pay someone else to do this.

I would be very grateful if you would share your experience.

1. Are you able to sell enough domains that you do not need to hold another job?

2. In your experience, do you sell a higher number of hand reg domains in the $300-$600 range, and just try to sell more of them, rather than hold out for higher prices?

3. Do you think it is critical to develop sites? If so, would it be hard for a non-techie person to learn and how long do you think it would take?

Thank You for any advice you can give this Newbie.

Cheers,
Main Domains
 

katherine

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1. No. But I'm not sure I would want to do domaining full-time.
2. It depends on your portfolio. If you have premium domains, you will want high prices but there will be fewer qualified buyers. If you have average domains, you will price them accordingly.
3. No. Selling domains is completely different than making websites.

Very few domainers are making a living on domains. In fact, the majority of domainers are losing money.
This is an extremely ambitious goal. Those who actually make a living on domains either started early or they have been doing it for a long time, they have amassed large portfolios (quantity + quality) and scaled up.
They also share a common trait: they have worked hard and they are very dedicated.

I think it's not a real job, it's an investment. It's probably easier to make a living on stocks but it's not for everyone. It's the same with domain names.
 

Theo

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1. Are you able to sell enough domains that you do not need to hold another job?
Yes, absolutely.

2. In your experience, do you sell a higher number of hand reg domains in the $300-$600 range, and just try to sell more of them, rather than hold out for higher prices?
No, I sell quality domains that I acquired in the past 15 years. My selling range is $5k and up.

3. Do you think it is critical to develop sites? If so, would it be hard for a non-techie person to learn and how long do you think it would take?
You should develop your best domains, and turn one into a real business. There is plenty of material to educate yourself, or you can hire others.
 

icedude

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1. I have at least 1 $x,xxx sale every month(And, every $x,xxx sale I have had and the one $xx,xxx sale I have had were from names I did not pay more than $20 for.)

2. As long as I at least double my money on a hand reg I am happy(Buy for $7, sell for $15, it was a good investment.)

3. Well it is not critical, but a domainer that possesses Internet marketing and developing skills will have more monetary opportunity.

And, the above is correct. Most domainers are losing money, not because of the domain industry not being profitable, but because they are looking to get rich off every domain instead of focusing on the bottom line. Which is sale for more than what you paid for, so even if you buy for $7 and sale for $14, that is a 100% return on your investment.

If you are getting in domaining to "get rich quick," I advise you to just go to your local Casino and play Blackjack with the money you plan on investing in domaining and take a HIT on 20. Your chances would be much better.

But, if you are looking to see a steady return on your investment this is the business for you.
 

domainoid

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1. I have at least 1 $x,xxx sale every month(And, every $x,xxx sale I have had and the one $xx,xxx sale I have had were from names I did not pay more than $20 for.)
icedude you are a very lucky domainer if you purchase domains for 20 and can resell for four or five figures.- What is your secret? lol
-and you've only been domaining since September of last year
 

icedude

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icedude you are a very lucky domainer if you purchase domains for 20 and can resell for four or five figures.- What is your secret? lol
-and you've only been domaining since September of last year

No, no, I joined DNForum September of last year. I have been domaining for years About 2 years full time and buying domains for about 4 years.

Not luck, just skill. There is no such thing as luck.
 

Jack Gordon

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To me, domaining is a byproduct of doing business online. I have had some nice sales over the years, but relatively few that would keep me living in the lifestyle I have grown accustomed to. :)

I buy & sell domains in the niches that I am doing business in anyway, so my sales efforts are targeted to markets I am speaking to already. By doing that qualification, I tend to average higher prices.

I think it is great that you are analyzing the results you have gotten so far, and using that data to refine your efforts. That is a great skill to develop, and it suggests you have the maturity and patience to succeed.

I wish you all the best.
 

icedude

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icedude you are a very lucky domainer if you purchase domains for 20 and can resell for four or five figures.- What is your secret? lol
-and you've only been domaining since September of last year

Of course, I can not make a statement like this without showing a little proof. I don't have time to list my 20+ $x,xxx sales last year for domains I paid $20 or less for, but I did I have time to find 3 for you with corresponding purchase proof and sale proof, wish I had time to gather more, but it got kind of boring blocking out sensitive information and was taking forever.

Here you go:

Just scroll on down and take a look, I blocked out portions of the domains, but you can tell they are the same.
 
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Argie

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Of course, I can not make a statement like this without showing a little proof. I don't have time to list my 20+ $x,xxx sales last year for domains I paid $20 or less for, but I did I have time to find 3 for you with corresponding purchase proof and sale proof, wish I had time to gather more, but it got kind of boring blocking out sensitive information and was taking forever.

Here you go:


Just scroll on down and take a look, I blocked out portions of the domains, but you can tell they are the same.

WOW!! you bought box.org for $21 bucks?!?!?!?!?! :eek:mg_smile: :jaw: :hail:
 
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icedude

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WOW!! you bought box.org for $21 bucks?!?!?!?!?! :eek:mg_smile: :jaw: :hail:

Oh man, I wish. I blocked out parts of the domain names, for respect of the buyers, so it is [something]box.org as Theo said.
 

!!amazingday!!

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1. I'm combining domain investing with a web design business, which are both basically my job. I've been buying and selling domains for over 4 years now (came late in the game) but was in profit from the first year I started.

2. I sell plenty of hand-regged domains for lower prices ($350-$995) and sometimes I do a blowout sale on forums/social media platforms for some quick spending cash (in this case I'm selling at even lower prices) but I also have a good share of high quality domains in my portfolio which I purchased for higher prices ($XXX - $X,XXX) and usually sell for at least a X3 profit. If you have a large portfolio of high quality domains then you can wait for the right buyer, they will usually find you. If you have a large portfolio of "normal quality" domains (hand-regged domains and/or some purchases from the aftermarket) usually buyers won't find you, you have to find them. I have a bit of both. Also, don't put all your eggs in one basket :)

3. I don't believe it is critical to develop sites but for great domains it is recommended as the profit will be much higher than merely parking. You can learn the basics of web design by going to Amazon and buy some educational books about it. It may take a while though since there's a lot to learn (HTML(5), CSS(3), PHP, jQuery, responsive web design,...) but you could start with just HTML and CSS, then buy a theme on themeforest and that should be more then enough to create stunning sites for your better domains (that look different than the website templates you purchased).
 
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Biggie

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1. Are you able to sell enough domains that you do not need to hold another job?

2. In your experience, do you sell a higher number of hand reg domains in the $300-$600 range, and just try to sell more of them, rather than hold out for higher prices?

3. Do you think it is critical to develop sites? If so, would it be hard for a non-techie person to learn and how long do you think it would take?

Thank You for any advice you can give this Newbie.

Cheers,
Main Domains


some good advice from others!

1. there are many who started domaining, who didn't have a job per se', to quit
there are those who have "backers" or inherent capital, which gives them ability to invest in/from the "cream".
there are those who started with $500 and dug their own mountain
and...there are those like me, who prefer to work a j o b, knowing domaining is the leverage to walk...thus being able to stay on my terms. :)

then too, what does it take to "live on", the cost of living, where you live?

social security pays what $1,500 > $3K a month depending
mcdonald's pays $8 hr?
wallstreeters, factory workers, white collar, etc.

what income are you quitting, versus earnings from domaining?

is domaining as secure as that job?


who, do you want to "live like" and what does it take to make you happy?

what's your measuring stick, and is it gauged in comparison or to your own goals?



2. first, there is BIG difference between trying to sell domains and waiting for offers on your domains.

if I registered a domain yesterday and got an offer tomorrow, it's more likely I'd ask higher than $$$ for it, simply because the odds are.... the offer already is at/in $$$ range.

but to go deeper, "hand-regged" domains should be seen in perspective of when they were registered.
meaning, if I started 14 years ago and hand reggged names then, and sold them now or within past couple of years......they would more likely sell in $,$$$ range or higher.
just pointing out that, the later you come in the game....the harder it is to sell hand regged names, simply because there is "more competition" among domainers now, than it was then.

additionally, the longer you've been in the game, the more you may start "asking higher prices for your names".
but that too, is dependent on how sustainable your portfolio is, whether you have to sell or not, or even the number of names you can, or have to liquidate to stay in business.

3. if you're just hand-regging and trying to resell, it may be good to learn basic coding, as there are free websites with html editors to practice.
I use notepad, but lot of folks use wordpress, to make their own "domain sales sites" or mini-websites around a niche' domain they've acquired.

these/those kind of websites can also serve as 'proof/evidence' to any potential buyer that "you have plans to develop this or that domain name", to add weight on the "seesaw"

:)

Good Luck!

imo...
 

Main Domains

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Lots of Great Advice!

Please keep it coming!

Thanks for everyone's input!

It truly helps to learn from your experience. Thanks for sharing!! :)
 

Shane

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1.) No, I definitely do not earn full-time income from domaining. I view it as a hobby, not a profession.

2.) I've only sold one hand-reg domain and it was only bought because it received some valuable backlinks after I developed and shutdown the website.

3.) I believe development is critical. You can buy a decent domain name and develop it to instantly increase it's perceived value. Plus automated income is definitely awesome.
 

George Verdugo

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I am a full time domineer and make a killer living i started 10 years ago and i went full time 6 years ago and my advice to you is to buy quality domain names in your Niche market!! revenue on domains and i also have some killer niche names that i am developing as we speak!! So I say to buy the best you can buy and develop develop develop!! and you also must have a vision for all your startups!
 
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trekking

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3. Do you think it is critical to develop sites? If so, would it be hard for a non-techie person to learn and how long do you think it would take?

If you want to start developing domains you should give it a try and you can economically too. Get a hosting account with unlimited domains for under 100 bucks, subscriptions to wordpress themes you can find online for as little as $39 a year, including responsive themes. Images/Vectors/Logo starting at $1 a piece from stock photo sites, or commission custom made content. Probably should get some kind of photo editing software to put text on your images, logos if you buy stock. Write your own content. That's all you need really to start. A CDN to speed your sites along optional, put probably a good idea in the long run.

That's a the basic idea, there is a bit of a learning curve with WP but easy once you have set up a couple sites.

Coding sites from scratch takes mad skills and props to people who can do that, it's an awesome skill to have. If you don't want a subscription theme, and don't have time to learn code, you can commission to have custom themes made that you add content to.

There may be people who prefer HTML sites or other site infrastructure tho and that's cool, WP is one option.
 

Focus

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I sleep all day until I feel like getting up and only work online now and it's been like that for years, I'm lazy, my work ethic is basically ruined and I'm wealthy and screw around all day buying/selling domains and trying to keep from being bored. All thanks to domain names! :cool:

For those brand new to the market, get out while you still can! Also, don't waste your money on the .bullshit ;)
 

ImageAuthors

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1. Are you able to sell enough domains that you do not need to hold another job?

I began domaining basically 2 years ago and have had no income aside from domains during that time period. However, I'm mainly focused on startup development within the domain industry and elsewhere. If it weren't for those projects, I wouldn't bother with domaining. I could make much more money and put in fewer hours anywhere else. So could you. The VAST majority of domainers who didn't get involved 10 or 20 years ago -- and even many who did -- hold down regular jobs and only engage in domaining as a hobby or side project. This enables them to have more spending money for domains and also to negotiate higher sale prices, since they're not dependent on domain income. I recommend that you plan on NOT earning a living from selling domains. The game is 100 times harder in 2014 than it was in 2004 or 1994.

2. In your experience, do you sell a higher number of hand reg domains in the $300-$600 range, and just try to sell more of them, rather than hold out for higher prices?

Everybody pursues a different strategy. Figure out what works for you. If you spend $10k on a domain and sell it for $16k after holding it a year, that's good. If you spend $90 on 10 hand-reg'd domains and sell one of them for $900 in 3 months, that's good too.

3. Do you think it is critical to develop sites? If so, would it be hard for a non-techie person to learn and how long do you think it would take?

Not critical but worthwhile. Put yourself in the other guy's shoes -- the company owner or entrepreneur who is your buyer-- and try to build a site or a business. If it flops, at least you'll gain some skills and experience. If it succeeds, you'll add something to the world instead of just move stuff around. And if it succeeds commercially, you'll make a lot more money that way than by selling domains.
 
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