You want how much for racecargraphics.com? Hahaha.

Whether it's the spammy solicitation emails I receive from fellow domainers (I know, I'm guilty of spamming others) or the ridiculous tweets I get, I constantly see people ask the most ludicrous prices for their crappy domain names.  This is the Rookie Domainer, so I'm clearly no expert, but you want how much for that name that you've been sitting on for 12 years that no has (or ever will) buy from you?  I had a good laugh earlier this month related to some ridiculous domain pricing that I thought I'd share.  The story starts three years ago in which I had flipped some car wrap type names and the buyer was interested in more.  I did some recon into other potential names and discovered racecargraphics.com available for sale.  Not a great name, but at the right price I could make a little money on it.  On April 20, 2012 I contacted DomainNameSales, the broker for the domain, and inquired on the price.  The buyer wanted $3k.  That was preposterous and I politely declined.

Fast forward to earlier this month and I receive an email from Andrew, Senior Domain Broker at DomainNameSales:
You had previously inquired on racecargraphics.com. Are you still interested?

My immediate reply:
Not for $3k.

What is your offer?


The seller and I just spoke. There is no way we can make a deal.
We are very far apart (A lot of money). 
I thought about it, and you should really consider registering another website name at our partner registrar Uniregistry.com. 
These are only ten dollars, but will grow in value like this one.

I nearly blew a gasket reading this snarky reply from Andrew, Senior Domain Broker at DomainNameSales so I let it rip:
Let me point out a few things to you:
1. You emailed me and asked if I was still interested in the name, following up with me from when I expressed interest 3 years ago.  Apparently this name isn't as hot as you or the seller think it is.
2. I told you I'm not paying $3k, you asked me to make an offer.  I did and I did so low b/c from 3 years ago I realize the seller has extremely unrealistic expectations on the price.  Especially since they have been sitting on it for 3 years and you are following up with me, an extremely flimsy lead from 3 years ago.
3. I made offer, the appropriate response in negotiation is counteroffer.  I'll gladly entertain one, if I could receive a legitimate realistic one.  Let me point out that if it exceeds 3 digits, that is neither legit nor real.
4.Seriously? Educating me on how to register a name.  That's quite condescending and disrespectful.  I'll have you know, I actually do register several domain names each month, ones much better than racecargraphics.com and I sell them in 2-3 months' time for $500-$1k each.  This name would not garner much more than that, if that.
5. Lastly, if you believe $3k is a legitimate valuation of this name, prove it.  Show me the monetization and traffic stats.
I look forward to your reasonable counteroffer or your follow up email in 3 years when the seller realizes the real value of this domain.

I hadn't expected Andrew to reply but he did:
Domains are priced in a number of ways - These can range from how memorable the domain is, how easy it is to spell or the length of the name.  The most important factor is demand for the domain.  Demand can be determined by the number of inquiries on a regular basis or how this particular name represents the industry it falls into.
In this case racecargraphics.com falls into many of these categories.  Because of this, the seller would expect a price around $16,000.00 USD.

They must be free pouring the Big Black Dick Rum in the Grand Cayman HQ of DomainNameSales for Andrew to suggest racecargraphics.com represents several of these categories.  Highly sought after?  You're chasing me down after 3 years?  Memorable?  How many people ever utter the words "race car graphics" in their lives, let alone search for it online?  Represents the industry?  A quick google of the term "race car graphics" identifies less than a handful of businesses that actual use that same phrase and that's my ultimate target market.  Of course, a reply was warranted so on April 2nd I replied:
You know today is April 2nd right?  April Fool's Day was yesterday. Haha.  Hit me up in 3 years again.  $3k to $16k in 3 years?!?! Haha.  This will make for a great blog post.  Thanks!  Talk to you again in 3 years.

Andrew, if you're reading this, I would like to thank you for bringing some much needed laughter into my life those few days we corresponded and for providing me content for my blog.  It has been awhile since I felt such joy in writing here about domaining, for that, I sincerely thank you.  Also, I openly and honestly admit to being a Rookie Domainer, so perhaps I just need some further education from you on how to properly register and price a domain - feel free to educate myself and the readers on those issues down below in the comments.

$3k to $16k in 3 years for racecargraphics.com?!?!?! Hahaha!!!!


Q & A: Email template that people respond to best

It has been nearly a year and a half since my last post.  Far too long and many things I have to catch you up on, but we'll save those for another day.  What I will tell you is that I have not kept all my 2013 goals, but I have been domaining here and there still.  Usually, right around Christmas I get the itch to enhance my gift budget so I hand reg a few names and usually flip them quite easily.  That was true last year and kept me motivated a few months into 2014 and then I fizzled out.  The same thing happened to me this year and I flipped 3 names just this week that cost me around $5 out of pocket.  I sold them for $900 and that surely make Christmas shopping so much easier.  But what brought me out of the wood works was a random email from someone that stumbled across this site and so I thought it a perfect opportunity to put some more content up, so with out further ado, Steven's email to me:

Have you found a good email template that people respond to? And what do you put in the subject line for them to open the email?

Terrific questions!  The easier answer first, I literally put the keyword in the email subject so if I was soliciting boxspringwidgets.com I put in the subject: box spring widgets.  Nothing flashy.  No sales pitch in the subject.  My thought behind it and there was some thought to this - if I sell box spring widgets and I get an email that says that exact thing in the subject, I'm very inclined to open it to see if it's a customer with a question, a vendor, whatever.  Point is, the first step is to get them to open the email and I believe this approach to the subject will.

When I started dabbling in domaining, I did some research on the best approaches to soliciting names.  Everything seemed to suggest short, sweet, and to the point is the best approach.  Basically, as I recall, most people that are going to buy these names from you are expected to be familair with domaining and understand the value in a name.  Something along the lines of
I have this domain for sale for this price.  Let me know if you want it and I'll consider counteroffers. 
I tried short and sweet early on and I wasn't too successful.  What I'm not so certain of was whether my lack of success was due to the email format or that the names I hand reg'd early on were not the best.  Over time, my email developed into a few simple paragraphs with some marketing schmooze/sales pitch in them.  I have been more successful using these emails and again, it may be just because the types of names I register now are much better than when I started out BUT what I find quite often, is my buyer typically (3 out of 5) is not a natural domainer, meaning they don't fully  grasp the value of names.  And for the other 2, the sales pitchy email doesn't seem to deter them.  Here's my template:

I see that your company deals in box spring widgets and my company is selling the domain name BoxSpringWidgets.com.  The domain name is a solid, industry niche relevant search term, and developing it will definitely provide an SEO boost for your company in this market.

I am making this offer to several companies over the next few days.  I am looking to get $249 for this great name and the domain will be reserved for the first person to claim it at that price.  This would be a one time investment that will pay off for a lifetime, far less than the cost of typical advertising, and more than paid for after it generates a single sale for your company.

I will absolutely consider counteroffers, assuming no one steals this domain for the price I'm offering.

Kind regards,
I will sub in "a sale or two" or " a few sales" for the underlined "single sale" depending on the particular item or service.  I'm trying to make a return on investment argument to the potential buyers with this.  I usually domain in heavy equipment industries where the equipment they sell is 10's to 100's of thousands of dollars and the point here is that they can spend a few hundred bucks on a name that if it results in a single sale over the life of the domain, it has more than paid for itself.

I hope this helps.  I look forward to coming back to the blog more often and sharing domaining knowledge - please keep the questions coming!


Geo Domains - Lesson Learned

Guest post by the co-worker and friend of mine that got me into domaining.  I appreciate him sharing this experience with us, so we can continue to learn from what other domainers have been through. - in this case, getting a cease and desist letter. 

A few years ago I started playing around with registering some .com and .net geo domains and building them out with some decent content with a goal of bringing in just a little extra monthly, passive income.  I didn't really expect to sell any of them, or even receive any offers, and as I expected I never did.  However, Google seemed to like what I had did with the content and most of the sites ranked fairly well within just a few months and I started getting daily clicks on ads.  I was pretty happy with my experiment and it brought in another $50 or so each month.

What I failed to realize while registering the names is that all of them were non-trademarked, government owned nature parks......except for one.  I blindly assumed it was a non-trademarked name just like all the others and went about my business developing the site out.  For a couple years I was ranked on page 1 of Google for the keyword name of the nature park my site was about and the site actually performed better than any of my other geo domain sites.  I thought all was well....

Earlier this year I received a nasty cease and desist letter from a law firm representing the private company that owns the nature park.  On top of it being a privately owned company, the name of the park is also trademarked.  Bad news.  I had no idea what to do but fortunately I have a good friend that's a lawyer and though he's not an intellectual property or domain name lawyer, he was able to guide me through the process.

The first thing he recommended is what got me through it quickly and without paying a dime:  he instructed me to immediately give up the name to them (per their demand in the C&D letter) and to respond to them professionally and apologize (despite how nasty the tone of the letter was...).  In my opinion, all I was doing was helping drive more attention to them and helping to bring them visitors....but they didn't see it that way.  My friend assisted me with obtaining a settlement agreement which the other party signed and I was good to go.

It was pretty easy to tell during this transaction that the company has the law firm on retainer which is why they most likely didn't try to come at me for anything other than the name.  I have a feeling someone brought it to the owner's attention and they didn't like the fact that another site was out there somehow "falsely" misrepresenting them (again...I didn't see it that way...) and so they sent their attorney after me to get the name.

I suppose it could have been a lot worse....but definitely a lesson learned.


The Legitimate List of Available Domain Names #5

It's been a while... here's the newest list of names with a few pairs again:

Legitimate Available Domain Names
Monthly Search
Est. Price
Ask Price
Monthly Search: Google global monthly exact match keyword
Estimate Price: Provided by Sedo's Big Data Pricer
Ask Price: Rookie Domainer's recommended asking price

If you're ready to grab one of these names, hit up @RookieDomainer for the latest coupon codes and then register the name(s) at GoDaddy before somebody else does!
Don't let some of the exact matches or estimate values fool you - a domain is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.  Sometimes I find the names that I never thought I'd flip, I did with relative ease and the easy names I got stuck with.  If anyone decides to buy and flip these - I'd love to hear about it! Best of luck!!!

Be sure to check our prior lists for names that may still be available to hand reg:


Email Extractor Makes Finding Potential Buyers Much Easier!

I teased my discovery of this new helpful tool a few weeks back.  Email Extractor allows you to scour websites via a keyword or phrase thru multiple search engines to gather email addresses.  The interface is super simple and the return is great.  You only need to weed out dummy and irrelevant email addresses as the program can't tell you which emails you specifically would care to send a domain sales solicitation to.  This definitely can be considered spammy, but I fall back on that I clean the list up to only the email addresses for the businesses I see a possible interest in the domain name I'm looking to flip.  It's only available for the PC and you can download it for free here: http://emailextractorpro.com/download.html The free version lets you do everything except export the list, so you can try it out as much as you like.  I dropped the $44.95 to unlock the full version and flipped a name my first go around.  I'm glad I did it because it takes much less time to generate 2-3x the amount of emails to contact.
Check out the video review:

Let me know what you think if you have used or begin using Email Extractor.  Also, got any other tools or tips for domainers we haven't mentioned on the blog - please share with us, we're always looking to learn more!!!


The Good Email Responses

Not too long ago, I shared the angry email response I received from the angry Canadian (no offense to Canadians) web IT guy (no offense to web IT... well, never mind) that was upset I contacted one of his clients soliciting a name.  Those don't happen often, but when they do, they can sting a bit.
Fortunately, most replies are positive and I wanted to share two recent ones:

Thank you.

What I find unusual, is it's not often someone will push a domain before payment is made.  I am constantly on the lookout for whatever scam is being presented, and ALWAYS have that watchful eye working overtime.

Then after I offered $400 for the one domain, you included the second.  This too was unexpected.

Thanks again!

It's stuff like this that makes domaining fun for me.  I invest some time, spend a few bucks, identify someone that will find value from it, and make a little money.  They're happy and so am I!

Most email responses from clients are not as complimentary as the one above, but even something like this, from the Vice President of a company, can make me smile:

Thank you for your help. I will keep you in mind!

She's keeping me in mind because in all my sale-close emails, I thank them for their business and offer any domain service I might be able to assist with now or in the future.  I've had near a dozen flips to clients I've sold names to before.  It's worth developing and maintaining those relationships.  Keep your head up, keep registering names, be persistent... your day and good emails will come!


Manual Renew or Auto-Renew?

That is the question.  The answer is: it depends.  For me, the bargain domainer, it's all about the manual renew and here's my reasons why:
  1. I can use coupon codes. Generally, I can score a .com renewal for $8 with GoDaddy.  The auto-renew will usually get you paying full price $12-$14.  You can manual renew before the auto-renew date, but I enjoy the many email reminders I get.  In the past, before I switched everything to manual renew, sometimes my laziness would keep from manually renewing before the auto-renew so I got stuck paying full freight.
  2. It forces me to better manage my domain inventory (in theory!).  I constantly get email reminders to renew names, several of which I do.  Others, I make a list ditch effort to flip but then choose to let them expire.
The reality of #2, is sometimes I get lazy (like I said in #1!) and forget to log in and renew, as I did recently with my main hosted site... thus when my email went down, I was instantly perplexed.  Until I realized I neglected to manual renew the name before the cancellation process started.  No worries!  I immediately signed in and renewed the name - crisis averted.  Although, this is the reason many folks would heavily, strongly, intensely recommend auto-renew.  If you're a big time domainer with a gigantic portfolio and jet setting the globe, then auto-renew is for you.  If you're a small time noob domainer operating on a shoe string budget like me, stick with manual renew and follow me on Twitter for up-to-date, working GoDaddy coupon codes including renewal codes.

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