What other Brokers won't tell you.
Have you ever wondered why Domain Brokers do not tell you how to directly appraise your domain name? Have you noticed how they go roundabout the houses without actually telling you how to evaluate the price of the domain? Basically they would go out of business if they spilt trade secrets.
Recently I have been pondering on the thought of the hundred of thousands of domain names that are registered daily with people who have no clue about marketing and hope to win the jackpot with their unique domain names.
From a marketing perspective if someone asked me to broker a 'NNN' domain or a 'LLL' domain, I would first have to ask myself who would buy it and how would it be useful to the end user for Search Engine Optimization. Would the end user acquire it to sell on as a profit and possibly brand it in some way as such domain names have no value in search terms.
I have heard there are Chinese investors that are buying up these domains and something came to me about one wholesaler in China who every so often has her website taken down as she sells fake handbags and clothes. She never uses keywords in her domain names and does not do any SEO for the simple reason that she can send a link directly to her customers without the authorities catching up with her. Mostly she will use scrambled words i.e letters and numbers. This is possibly the only reason why Chinese investors buy up such domain names as they are disposable,unless they are auspicious in some way like 8888 for instance.
I see so many dropped .coms each day because people just buy domains without actually thinking how they can monetize their investment and when they don't sell they simply do not renew them.
If you think about a business starting out, the first thing they will do is search to see if a domain name they have chosen is available or not. If it has been taken they will look for alternative domain extentions. Failing that they will rebrand themselves and look for alternative names. The way to find investors is to advertise on startup sites or look for companies not ranking well on search engines in your niche or companies that are paying for advertising. I would also search classified ads for new businesses and start discussions on community forums.
Unless you have little black book of investors you can call on, your chances of selling your domain name are really slim. yes there are domain investors on Social media pages and groups aswell as the popular domain marktplaces, but unless you are prepared to pay for featured listings your domain just gets swollen up in a staturated world.
Do not expect your domain to be sold overnight it may take months or even years before you find the right person to sell it too. Domain Brokers are not miracle workers.
Also when you buy your domain name think how it will be relevant to the end user do not use more than three words maximum the fewer keywords the better, I personally prefer maximum two words, three must be an exception.
Also some domain extentions are not marketable, I will give an example what business would want to be known as www.ukdomainbrokers.wtf If I could not have www.ukdomainbrokers.com - yes before you say anything there is a domain extention .wtf - I would most certainly not use the extention as it would not preceive my company to be professional.
Also over pricing your domain names is another factor why your domains won't sell. I do not use online bots to value domain names I use the method of trusted Google Keyword Planner. You must have a gmail account to access this alternatively there is a company called www.serps.com and they give you a 30 day trial.
There I type in my keyword and domain name and Google submitts how many times per month your keyword is seached for and how much it would cost per click if you paid for advertising.
Put yourself in an entreprenuers shoes for a minute, you have decided what business you are about to startup. You have a business plan and now you need to brand your company. You have run out of ideas after asking your friends and family although in most case a business man/women already knows in their mind what they are going to be called.
However in the worst case scenario they turn to the web for ideas and go to branding companies for inspiration. This is like looking for a needle in a haystack, unless you are an entrepreneur that specifically scowers endless lists for names that could be brandable and turned into a business which is something Web Designers and Marketers may do for affiliate marketing purposes or to set up micro sites to then sell on.
In most cases people usually turn to registrars to filter through domains that can be branded. However a scrambled word which has little or no meaning is less likely to be ranked in search engines.
For a domainer as I pointed out to one of my clients today after he asked for my advice if he should drop one of his domains, I recommended that he should as it had little meaning. Therefore unless you know for a fact that your scrambled word will sell I would avoid buying such domains.
Also a word of advice do not use famous people's names or brands in your domain names ie for example: nikebucket or notflix as it has a trademark in the keyword or could be similar and misleading to an original brand. I have had many discussions about this and registrars sell trademark domains and extentions even though they know that anyone buying them may be liable to be sued. They do not care as it is up to you to take that risk and it money to them if you buy that name, it called business even though I think it unethical.
Illegal Substances Domain Names.
Marajuana or any other type of illegal drugs comes to mind - if you intend to buy such a domain and then sell it on your own directly to an investor consider the implications if it is a buyer from a country which has not legalized the drug i.e UK wants to buy it, you have to do your due diligence and ask what the investor wishes to use it for. Unless the buyer intends to flip the domain for an investment to another investor of a legalized state or country it is unadvisable to promote the drug even if it is only the domain name that you are selling, as the buyer may use it as an ecommerce tool. This may be deemed as incitement to commit a crime and aiding and abetting. If you sell it through one of the leading auction sites most likely it will be an investor that will buy the domain to flip for a profit and not the pimp in your local hood. This is a very grey area which no one talks about. Be cautious and always put a disclaimer saying that you will not be liable for prosecution if it ends up in the wrong hands and the digital trail links back to you. ICANN keeps your details on their servers which are shared with the people that need to know. The same goes for 'Streaming Domains' most streaming domains are illegal - do you want the feds knocking your door 5am in the morning? - *stay away from domains that can be intepreted as something illegal.
Guns which are obviously illegal in the UK and also should be in the USA especially after the shootings in Florida most recently are also a topic of discussion. If you have a domain with a 'Gun' related keyword ask yourself who are you going to sell it to, if it is a domain investor that intends to flip it then that is b2b which is ok, however if it is 'Joe Blogs' off the street in a country where guns are illegal you have to be cautious as you could be inciting someone to commit a crime. Always do your due diligence, and put a liability disclaimer of professional indemnity more commonly known as errors & omissions (E&O) in the US stating you will not be liable for third party misuse of the domain name. Always protect yorself!
Pricing your Domains.
So you have an average of how many impressions you get per month but not everyone who sees your listing is necessarily going to click on your website. The average click through ratio is only 2% of the impressions. I then times that figure by 12 months to get an overall price how much an end user would have to pay a search engine for advertising. I also take into account how old the domain name is and if it has a website associated with it and if it has been optimized and ranking well. I then sit down and work out how much I am willing to sell the domain for based on my fiigures and how much the end user would potentially save per annum if they were to purchase the domain.
Bear in mind that sometimes a low search volumn does not neccessarily mean that your domain name is worthless, because if the keyword(s) have value to the content that can be developed this could in fact increase the value of your domain. Here is an example say for instance the word 'diamond' had a low search volumn (even though in reality the search is 301,000 times per month at a cost of £3.99) but just imagine if it had zero searches but your domian was www.500ctdiamond.etc, you would in fact have to calculate how much such a diamond would cost and what company would sell it and determine the cost of the domain by these factors.
I also sometimes include a Website with SEO, Marketing and Business Consulting, Trademark Registration and Company Formation to add more value to the domain and may even offer to lease the domain or spread the cost over 12 to 60 months.
I am maticulous when it comes to contracts. I do not offer any service without a signed agreement.
www.startbrand.co.uk has legal documentation that you can have on application free of charge.
I will be listing these on our website soon ready for downloading.
(I have just let the cat out of the bag )
Another scenario that I came across most recently was a domain name that was listed on a few networks for $1,000,000 so a domainer asks me to broker a similar one for the same price. I personally thought the domain was over priced at first untill I approached the owner of the original domain advertised giving the second domainer the idea he could list it for the same price. The difference was the original seller of the first domain had a business plan included with his package whilst the second person did not, therefore the price of the domain had to be reduced significantly in order for me to list it.
Buying and Selling to Countries outside of your GEO Location.
In the UK if you sell to a country in the EU you have to be VAT Moss Registered or pay the country directly Vat on your Digital products this includes Domain Names and E-Books.
My recommedation and advice is to set up a landing page and choose a niche that is relevant to you domains, that way you can advertise a few domains from your one catagory saving you time and money.
I would also recommend not using a done for you free template as all it does is show a nice destination page but without seo your domain will just float in cyberspace and will not be found unless someone types in your domain name.
Therefore it may be an idea to set up a professional website and start a blog. By doing so your landing page will get ranked quicker and you will have more chances of finding an investor, you can even refer back to your website/blog with a quick reference link rather than listing your whole portfolio.
Do not use autoblogs they just scramble old news/information to make it look like new its like using www.spinbot.com to re-write content. Users prefer to read fresh new original content and it serves no purpose and will not be ranked well if at all.
I read on a popular Facebook domain group today 02/19/18 that a famous domain broker which shall remain nameless was offering autoblogs for $35. What was not included was SEO. So unless you know a thing or two about Marketing and SEO and are contemplating using the auto software this is certainly not for you and the add on to the wordpress blog cost a subscription per month which he ommitted to divulge.
www.startbrand.co.uk do offer a Website and a Blog with seo and Marketing plus Google Analytics and a Facebook Page, Logo Design all inclusive for £49.99 per annum which equates to $70.00 It is sllightly more than what the Domain Broker was offering on the Facebook Group but it is more value for money as you do not need to update your site and blog as we will do it for you, giving you more time to concentrate on your business and we use humans not bots.
Don't get me wrong this is a blog that you are reading now and it is not fancy like a wordpress blog which you can design and make it look like a professional website.
I chose for this purpose to have a quick and simple html version, it serves my purpose and I am on the first page of Google for the keywords 'UK Domain Brokers', which makes me happy and I was ranked within 3 months.
It normally takes about 12 to 18th months to get ranked for the First Page of Google providing you have done your SEO properly. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve I use but they are trade secrets, as I do not want my Website Designing Competitors to know, if you see what I mean? Yet I will use my knowledge to optimize all my clients websites and blogs to their best advantage.
One Final thing have you noticed that as soon as you register a domain especially with the registrar 1&1, that you get bombarded with unsolicited phone calls and emails from people usually form India using UK numbers to phone you offering website design or is it just me? According to 1&1 they do not pass on your details to no one, but it seems a bit of a coicidence since I have been using this registrar I am being spammed left right and centre. Its infuriating!!!
If you have any questions feel free to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Speak Soon, Best Wishes Renata x