Cutting your Losses on bad Domain Names
In the domain name world, it is very easy to get carried away when you’re new to buying domain names. This is something that I discuss in my course and have personally went through as well. Like many out there I spent far too much money on awful domain names when I first started domaining.
I remember registering over 550 .com domain names in my first few months. Many of these domain names were either violating trademarks, 3-4 word phrases, or even worse a combination of the two! I had another online business going that was making enough to keep fueling my bad domain selections and cash flow the process. In all honesty I lost thousands and thousands of dollars because of these poor domain name choices.
Common Mistakes for new Domainers
What I discuss above is a story that many past and current domainers can relate to. In a way it’s an expensive lesson that comes with the learning curve involved in this industry. Being able to overcome it is where things can get interesting.
For anyone reading this that may be new to the domain name industry some common mistakes to avoid are registering trademarked domains, registering domains in obscure extensions that no one will ever buy, and purchasing long domains with 4+ words in them. Of course, there are some exceptions to these rules, but the large majority of the time they hold true.
Have a Plan and Stick to it!
Something that I absolutely love about the domain name industry is that there are many different ways in which you can make money. The best thing to do is to pick a strategy that works for you and stick to it.
For some individuals it may be 4 letter .com domain names, which are known as liquid domain names. These domains can honestly be pretty fun to be involved in because you can buy and sell them so quickly and keep the action flowing.
Others might focus on having a small portfolio of premium 1 or 2 word .com domain names, while others may focus on a larger portfolio of solid 2 word .coms.
Another option could be going after short brandable domain names, or names which are a play on words known as domain hacks. The options are almost limitless.
I believe that by narrowing down your portfolio and focusing on a specific aspect you can really hone in on the market and potentially dominate it, or at least make a solid profit. Many of the leaders in the domain name industry have done this exact thing.
Having a solid plan is just part of the journey but being able to stick to it is another thing. I would suggest using some resources to gauge what domains actually sell for. Some good places that you can do this include NameBio and ShortNames.
How to Start Turning Things Around
I realize that some of you reading this may already be in the scenario where you’ve purchased tons of domains that likely won’t sell anywhere. If you’re thinking man, I’m already in this scenario how do I turn things around?
To start, I’d list my domains everywhere for sale. The three primary places I’d consider selling them for a quick flip would be eBay and NamePros.
I have a whole article here already about selling domain names on eBay, and why I think it’s a great place to move domain names quickly. Check it out for more information and thoughts on why I like that as an option.
Secondly, NamePros has a variety of sections in their selling area. The one that I would primarily focus on is the bargain section as the domains currently in your portfolio probably aren’t going to generate a ton of interest. In this section you might be able to get around $5 per name.
I know that might sound bad, but it’s better than nothing. If you’ve got 500 names or more like I did this could be $2,500+ by doing this alone. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to sell every name, but it’s a start.
Another option on NamePros would be listing domains within their auction area starting at just $1 to bid. A slight advantage here is that NamePros won’t hit you with the 10% final value fee that you would have to pay on an eBay domain name sale.
The last place, which is the least likely of the three to actually get a sale would be GoDaddy auctions. The reason I say this is because the domain names would need to sell for more than the low $1 cost that you can setup on eBay or NamePros. On GoDaddy auctions I’d simply set the price to the bare minimum and hope to sell some before they expire.
As a side note, I would also highly recommend making sure the auto-renew for all of the domain names you don’t want is turned off to avoid renewing junk names again.
Study the Industry
I know I already mentioned how studying the industry is important by tracking domain sales. However, you also need to take times to really learn about the value of domain names, life cycles, and ways in which you can find your niche.
I struggled for years, and after selling off all of my junk domain names and letting the others expire I decided to take a much more serious approach. I am now a profitable domainer. I’ll admit that I don’t make nearly as much as I want to, but I have an enjoyable hobby that’s profitable at the end of each year.
Something I would also suggest doing would be breaking down the numbers. Take a long hard look at domain costs and renewals. Study the nuances of each platform where you can list domain names and begin to slowly get back to purchasing high-quality domain names that you know you can flip for profit.
Taking a slow and steady approach is the best way to get back into it all. Have a strict budget in place and only register or purchase domains you are very confident about. There will always be great names expiring or dropping every day. Don’t rush the process and get caught up buying low quality names.
I hope that this article was helpful in giving you some thoughts and ideas about cutting your losses on bad domain names. For more information check out LeapNames on YouTube.