It All Comes Down to Comps: Either You Know Them or Create Them

Aug 16 2013

In my opinion, in order to be a successful domainer you have to have a full grasp of the value of your assets.  That means always watching and learning from comparables.  There is no Beckett Price Guide to Domains.  There is no multiple, no set minimums, no commodity market for your products.  The only guidelines you have to follow are sales of domains that are similar to yours that give you an idea of what one person was willing to pay for a domain that may be comparable.

The goal of good domain seller is to be the comparable.  To realize that each domain is unique and create a price regardless of other prices.  To sell for a price that becomes the precedent for future sales.  I know for a fact that many domain prices are merely pulled from nowhere based on how the seller felt that day.  They are creating a price based on a unique asset that has no comps and the buyer can either buy it or not.  Knowing the quality of the domain is such that there will be another buyer inquiring some time down the road.  But the reality is for most domains there now have been enough sales that there are now comparables for almost every domain.

If you want to become a good domain investor you have to know what is a good buy and a good sell.  It is no coincidence that the people that are doing well in this industry know domain values as well as anyone in the world.  Elliot Silver is known as a shrewd negotiator.  Andrew Rosener moves as many high end domains as anyone in the industry and has a deep buyer base. Frank Schilling and Michael Berkens have deep quality portfolios and could care less what others are got for their name, they set their own prices.  The problem is, other than Schillings names, very few of the sales from the people above are going to be made public.  In order for you to get your comps you can go a few places and do a few things.

Godaddy: The first thing you can do is follow names over at Godaddy.   You simply log in to the auctions and click the eye next to the auctions you want to follow.  At the end of the day you can see all the results.

Namejet:  Although I don’t recommend this, ou can do the same thing here.  Simply make a minimum bid and then follow. I think it’s wrong to do that as it gives a false sense of how many people are actually at the auction but most people realize that 50% to 80% of all bidders are actually price watchers

DnJournal  Ron Jackson puts out the closest thing to a Becketts Price Guide.  He does a weekly sales list from most of the major auction and sales houses.   Adam and crew have spent years creating the largest database of sales I’ve found.   Originally built off of Namebio database, they went on to create their own sales list and use their data to create a domain price estimator.  Have become a great tool for our industry.  Ray usually lists sales reports each day from most of the major auction houses.  Lots of comparables daily  Lists Sedo and Afternic before anyone else but if you miss them they’ll be on plenty of other blogs.  You can look at past auctions to see how the domain sales did.   There are mostly websites but you can filter out the domains.  Most are usually covered at HybridDomainer if you don’t have time to search  A lot of people don’t know about Gold Names but he/she posts domain sales quite a bit.  I usually throw them into a spreadsheet to make them a little easier to read but lots of good info there.

DomainShane.  This article reminds me of how much I’ve slacked this year. I haven’t had a lot lately but I used to do a list of comparables for NNNN.coms and daily sales.  I am hoping to add someone to help out and get those going again.

Those sites above deserve credit for making these sales public.  Giving all of us comparables.  It gives all of us and understanding of what our domains MIGHT be worth.  It’s up to us to take that info and understand how it reflects on our own assets. I understand why a business or person would want to keep a sales price private, the buyers don’t want the whole world knowing what they paid for their domain.  As a seller you want the world to know you sold the domain and what for.  It makes selling easier.  There is a reason you have to disclose price in the US of homes and land.  The Realtors Associate needs it and have forced the government to keep it public.  The same can be said for domains.  We need public sales to information flowing.  So everytime someone releases a sale be thankful,  they are making you a better domain investors and better domain investors make more money.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Andrew Rosener

    Thanks Shane. You are spot on. One of the reasons that we still aggressively buy domains and participate in as many auctions as we possibly can is because if you don’t have your finger on the pulse in an industry like this then there’s no way for you to make good decisions or give good advice.

    I know if I’m willing to buy a name a certain price then there are certainly end users willing to pay more and I can use that as a baseline to give price indications and advice to my clients.

    When I was in the seafood commodity business, the first thing I did every single morning was run down my list of phone calls to the various fish auctions and top tier packers to see what the market prices were that day. It’s no different in domain names, just more high tech!

  2. Raymond Hackney

    Thanks for the mention Shane, and good article. Like Andrew said its a full time job keeping up on so much data from so many places but you have to be up to date especially if you advise clients.

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