Bidding on Expiring Domain Names – I’m a Domain Addict

I have a problem, and admitting it is the first step to finding a resolution. I am a domain addict. The saying goes, one person’s trash is another man’s treasure, well I have been playing around in the domain aftermarket for a while scooping up domains that others decided to let expire. Some domains I buy because they have good inbound links and I can “301 redirect” those domains to my existing websites that are on the same topic, others I buy for potential PPC parking revenues until I am ready to develop them and monetize them. Some I turn around and sell if the right offer comes along.

In the domain auction today I picked up 70+ domain names, most of which were between $9 and $19, however today I found myself bidding a bit higher on quite a few domain names. I kept going back and forth with Tony, the CEO I hired for IMWave back in October of 2006, about how much to spend for certain names, and I thought the conversation and outcome would provide for a good read and maybe offer up some lessons for both myself, from your feedback, and others.

Here it goes:

Adam: ut
Tony: y
Adam: bunch of auctions today, need fast calls
Tony: ok
Adam: babyboomercompany.com and babyboomersolutions.com
Tony: 150
Adam: bestratetravels.com
Adam: brandkid.com
Adam: canypacks.com
Adam: discountkidsbedding.com
Adam: medicinepass.com
Adam: mobireviews.com
Adam: mrtummy.com
Adam: newcarpricesonline.com
Tony: wow
Adam: 4m on all I am running fast
Tony: bestratetravels 100-150 not my fav
Tony: brandkid 100-200
Tony: canypacks 100-150
Adam: seriouscooks.com
Tony: discountkidsbedding 200
Tony: medicinepass 75-10
Tony: mobireviews 150-200
Tony: mrtummy ?? maybe 75-100?
Tony: newcarpricesonline 150
Tony: seriouscooks 150
Adam: bestratetravels has topped $150, let it go?
Tony: y
Adam: also optionradar.com
Adam: onlinemedicalsearch.com
Tony: optionradar.com your call on that one
Adam: mrtummy.com has passed 100
Adam: funny diet site?
Tony: jackie says its cute…
Tony: go to 150
Tony: onlinemedicalresearch & onlinemedicalsearch 100-150
Adam: ok slowing down now.. optionradar is past 100 will let that one go
Tony: y
Adam: newcarpricesonline has passed 150
Adam: serioucooks has passed 150
Adam: discountkidsbedding has passed 200
Tony: newcar don’t chase that one
Tony: seriouscooks 200
Adam: past 200
Tony: not sure we should chase that one
Adam: $250?
Tony: y
Adam: past
Tony: discountkidsbedding 250, then done
Adam: brandkid is past 200
Adam: mrtummy is past 200
Adam: seriouscooks is past 250
Tony: we’ve spent a lot on names this month….not sure how high we should go…
Adam: ok we will let the rest go
Adam: although discountkidsbedding we might be kicking ourselves later
Adam: and seriouscooks
Tony: i do like both of those….let go after them
Adam: how high?
Tony: what do you think 350?
Adam: ok
Adam: mrtummy? haha
Tony: you can try 250
Adam: discountkidsbedding is past $350
Tony: i really like that one…what do you think?
Adam: 400?
Tony: ok
Adam: nope outbid at 4
Adam: 450 max?
Tony: yeah, don’t chase it past 450
Adam: ok kidsbeds past 450, letting it go, we are good on the rest it looks like
Adam: nope seriouscooks just went past 350
Tony: 400 max on that one
Adam: that’s a serious brand
Tony: want to go to 500?
Adam: you could turn that into a whole business
Adam: we need to find a way to start building these out in rapid order.
Tony: content person
Adam: yeah but they have to be technical enough to build the whole thing
Adam: mrtummy is ours!
Adam: that’s my new nickname!
Tony: nice!
Adam: need a good logo for that one!
Tony: how about seriouscooks
Adam: I’m thinking tatoos and an animated character…
Adam: move over Mr. Clean!
Tony: oh boy
Adam: damn, seriouscooks just went over 400
Tony: i thought we said 500
Adam: oh ok
Adam: damn, outbid at $500
Adam: you could turn that into something really big
Adam: I’m thinking $800 max
Tony: ugh…ok go for it
Adam: you don’t sound sure
Tony: just thinking about costs…
Adam: made quite a bit on domains last month…
Tony: right.
Adam: we are high bid at $700 right now…
Tony: go for it
Adam: domains are the new crack
Adam: outbid on seriouscooks @ 800
Tony: that one is going to go for a lot I think
Adam: not unless we keep bidding, it’s just one other person we are fighting with
Tony: go for 1000
Adam: we have a lot of cooking aff programs
Adam: 1000 placed
Adam: currend bid is $901
Adam: damn, outbid at 1k
Tony: looking hard at that name.
Tony: let’s take one last crack at it
Tony: no pun intended
Tony: want to max at 1500
Adam: let’s do 1550 in case they pull that number out of their butt to, they will be outbid.
Tony: ok
Adam: ok current bd is $1,138 (odd number)
Tony: that is odd
Adam: if we get outbid again we are letting it go, to rich. We should start thinking of a build out plan for this one, we won’t make our money back on parking revenues
Adam: ok, outbid, time to cut bait. it’s at 1,588
Adam: sad
Tony: yep
Tony: we could make out money back on this though
Adam: ?
Adam: who the hell let’s these names expire!!!
Adam: $2k?
Tony: want to go higher?
Adam: haha great minds… never say die!
Tony: right!
Tony: 2050
Adam: you sure?
Tony: no
Adam: I’m going to have to publish this chat as a blog post… haha
Tony: after 2k I’m out though…you’re on your own
Adam: $2,050 bid placed
Adam: currently winning at $1,638…
Adam: Crap, outbid, current bid is $2,068
Adam: do I hear $2,500?
Tony: how much time?
Adam: hell the name is worth 5k right?
Adam: we would need to bid at least $2,118 to stay in the game but would probably be automatically outbid at that price.
Adam: what do you think?
Tony: i think it has value
Tony: just not sure how much
Adam: it’s like buying land and then building a house, how much for the land and how much to build the house?
Tony: try 2500
Adam: it’s would be a lot better if one of us actually was a seriouscook!
Adam: we will have to higher a content web builder that cooks!
Adam: 2500 placed.
Adam: current bid is $2,118
Tony: right, but we’ll have to pay them less cause we paid so much for the name
Adam: haha, right!
Tony: it’s an investment
Adam: outbid at 2500
Adam: haha, so are we done?
Adam: current bid is $2,600 from hattiejak
Adam: 2m left
Tony: is that a new bidder or the same one
Adam: same bidder
Tony: make him pay to have it at this point 3050
Adam: serious?
Adam: 1m
Tony: y
Adam: ok placed.
Adam: they came up but not over us yet, current bid price is 3050
Adam: probably went 3k
Adam: 4m
Adam: outbid
Adam: it’s at 3,150 now
Tony: ok, I’m really out this time.
Adam: ok me too, hard to let go, but we could probably make money using seriouscooking.com or something…
Tony: yep
Adam: haha here are some that we can register for $8.95
Adam: seriouscook.com
Adam: headcooks.com
Adam: cookingserious.com
Adam: seriouscooking.com
Adam: seriouschefs.com
Adam: how much would you bid for those?
Adam: amazing how much value things have when someone else wants them!
Tony: huh, sure is
Adam: which ones of those do you want?
Tony: seriouscook.com and seriouscooking.com
Adam: that it?
Adam: was thinking seriouschefs.com might be good too!
Adam: now we can put the 3k into development
Tony: hey for $9 grab it
Adam: Done!

What do you think? Have I gone off the deep end or what? Besides the more expensive names I picked up above, I also did end up acquiring quite a few domains that I think could have a lot of future value at bargin prices. For example, I acquired efashionland.com, mygroceryshopper.com, worldpokerbootcamp.com, buythaifood.com, podpersonal.com, localsalesforce.com, and mailfrombeyond.com for just $9 each and homedvdclub.com for $11, xmlmasters.com and babystepsgifts.com for $19, as well as others.

If you want to get into the Domain Game, there is a great new magazine that just launched called Domainers Magazine.

Once you grab some names, you can park them at a PPC parking provider until you are ready to develop them. These companies will host your domain and serve up keyword related PPC ads to your site visitors for a piece of the action. I have used TrafficClub in the past and after reading a good review about the flexibility and higher payouts offered by SedoPro, I have started testing some of my higher traffic domains there, so far so good. SedoPro is a bit exclusive, but if you have some good domains, comment to this post or email me, and I will send you a SedoPro Endorsement Code.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my domain addiction; it appears to be getting worse. Are these good investments? Or am I just being swept up on the whole auction thing?

About Adam Viener

Adam Viener is the Chairman & Founder of imwave, inc, a leading performance search engine marketing agency. Imwave focuses primarily on building and launching effective pay-per-click search engine keyword marketing campaigns for companies paying commissions on sales and leads generated. In 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 Imwave was recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies by Inc. Magazine. Imwave recently announced they had served over 5 Billion ads for their clients!

Adam is also the founder of Yazing, a new site that not only pays you cash back on the things you buy online, but also lets you earn cash rewards recommending the top brands on the internet. Yazing gives you instant access to top commission rates from the leading online brands without having to join each affiliate network or program directly.

Adam, a serial internet entrepreneur, founded one of the first commercial internet service providers (ISPs) in 1993. He has a deep understanding of internet technologies and profitable internet marketing tactics.

Social Media:

Twitter: adamviener

25 Responses to Bidding on Expiring Domain Names – I’m a Domain Addict

  1. Adam Viener says:

    There are auctions going on all the time. Sedo is a good place to find some current auctions and to park and sell your names if you want to.

    The expiring domain name auction I was participating in was on Snapnames.com

    As far as making money on the domains, I guess I feel I that I have a pretty good incite on creating and monitizing websites and blogs. I have a good understanding of the potential affiliate programs out there, how to maximize PPC content networks, and how to bid to drive traffic if I have good conversion rates.

    Many of us are bidding on a per click basis to drive traffic to sites and affilaite programs every day, why not put some of that money into owning the domains of those popular keywords. At least then you don’t have to worry about bid prices…

    Adam

  2. drophunt.com says:

    isnt it quite speculative to purchase domains without traffic for over $100 ?

  3. Peter Koning says:

    But you can just go buy 10 domains for under $100. What’s so special about these?

  4. Jonathan (Trust) says:

    "In the domain auction today I picked up 70+ domain names, most of which were between $9 and $19,"

    Where are these auctions at? Was this just one place or several?

    I think I've let some good ones expire before then I was checking and seeing how much some people are paying for domain names so next time I'm just going to sell them.

  5. Ya, serious, where are the auctions at, I need to seel some of mine if you are going to pay that much for some of those….

  6. Peter Koning says:

    Hi Adam,
    Why are you asking US if they are good investments?

    We have even less information than you do.

    We see a chat about domain names and prices, but nothing related to what the traffic is for them and what the risk/reward is going forward re developing them out or redirecting to an aff link.

    There appears to be some demand but it's from other addicted bidders πŸ™‚

    Can you give a case study of one where you made money that is related to the cooking scenario?

  7. Adam Viener says:

    There are auctions going on all the time. Sedo is a good place to find some current auctions and to park and sell your names if you want to.

    The expiring domain name auction I was participating in was on Snapnames.com

    As far as making money on the domains, I guess I feel I that I have a pretty good incite on creating and monitizing websites and blogs. I have a good understanding of the potential affiliate programs out there, how to maximize PPC content networks, and how to bid to drive traffic if I have good conversion rates.

    Many of us are bidding on a per click basis to drive traffic to sites and affilaite programs every day, why not put some of that money into owning the domains of those popular keywords. At least then you don't have to worry about bid prices…

    Adam

  8. drophunt.com says:

    isnt it quite speculative to purchase domains without traffic for over $100 ?

  9. Peter Koning says:

    But you can just go buy 10 domains for under $100. What's so special about these?

  10. Adam Viener says:

    I think you have to get a gut feel for what you think the name is worth, I have also acquired domains for $60 and turned around and have offers and sold them for $1,000+ within days.

    Remember the domain name only has one owner.

    It doesn't take many good turn abounds to fund your speculative activities. Plus if you look at the bidding from the auction you can get a sense for how many other interested parties there were out there.

    I think it comes down to trusting your gut instincts on how much potential you think a name has to generate revenues for you, and how much you think you could turn around and resell if for now or in the future.

    Very few people know about the domain auctions right now, and quite frankly I think I have picked up some really good bargains.

    Adam

  11. Greg says:

    If nothing else, you are having fun. This is still one of the greatest ways to make good money online. Each year, it gets harder, yet more creative. I have picked up some great domains grandfathered into the Yahoo Directory – for some reason, that is a free link I like versus $300/yr.

    I do think you are lucky to let seriouscooks.com go, especially with the alternatives available. in fact, I like seriouschefs.com better though chefs may be more niche.

  12. Jim Kukral says:

    I'm with you Adam. I but at least 2-3 week. I quit smoking, and this is my new vice. I'm only up to about 168 domains now, trying to cut back πŸ™‚

  13. Adam Viener says:

    I'm glad that I am not alone! I better run, today's auction is about to close…

  14. Adam Strong says:

    I'm guessing you are going for these domains for links. If not you need to work on your picks a little more. They really aren't type-in quality domains so the prices seem a bit off to me. You can find names (albeit with no links) of the same caliber on many of the domain forums for cheap too. . You can also get some good quality typein domains for around 2k that are better than the ones in this IM. Refer to dnjournal.com sales page for reference. It'd be better to save all that money and buy 1-2 solid typein names than someone elses refuse domains imho.

    "Very few people know about the domain auctions right now." .. . very few people? Ever been to a TRAFFIC conference. Every one there knows about them and there's thousands of "domainers" who bid every day on the auctions.

    Another good source of info is one of the top domainers blogs at sevenmile.com

  15. Jon says:

    So turns out you were bidding against
    "Sirius Cooks, Inc.", a dog biscuit manufacturer who was just trying to secure a potential typo for their business. At least they had a good reason to go for it, I think you guys got a little carried away with the bidding. hehe…

    Btw, are you on NamePros yet? A good bunch of people there, and lots of domains being sold cheap.

    ttyl,

    Jon

  16. rhys says:

    As long as you are within your own safe limits for investing in domains, I don't see a problem. Personally, compared to what you are buying third rate ascii domains for, I would seriously look at the after market for premium international domain names (IDN) which is after all the inevitable place for the market to go. Try IDNForums or DNLocal for bargain auctions. I would stay with the safer bets like Japanese, Korean, and latinate names. Though for real speculators you can go after Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Arabic. After all most of the world doesn't speak, read, or write English and these days many detest the prospect of doing so.

  17. David Wrixon says:

    I am Team Leader at DNLocal.com and am generally known as the Rubber Duck.

    The Globalisation of the Domain Market is definitely opening up some fantastic opportunities. You should find out most of what you need to know at DNLocal, but if you have specific queries feel free to PM me there.

    Control over your domaining habit is about making smart investments, rather buying over hyped rubbish.

  18. ah, great post. Thanks for sharing this 'in the trenches' view of your domain auction…I'll have to make a comment about it on my blog..

  19. Adam Viener says:

    Thanks for all the comments and the links from other blogs!

    The domain industry is very interesting, you have expiring auctions, sellers auctions, and buyers and sellers forums where transactions are happening every day.

    When I look a a domain, I am not allways looking for inbound links (although I do acquire some of those too) I typically look at the cost to acquire the name verse how much I think I could make from parking or developing the name.

    I also think about the hundreds of affiliate relationships I have and think about how I might be able to use the name to provide sales to those merchants in the future with a combination of site building, SEO work, and PPC bidding.

    It really dosen't take to much to cover the yearly registration costs of a domain name if you think there is value there.

    I have typically strayed away from buying the more expensive names. This auction above was a very RARE case, and I haven't acutaully paid more than $500 for a name. My typical name purchase is in the $9 – $70 dollar range.

    That being said, I have sold a bunch of names for well over $500, and that just fules the addiction!

    Adam

  20. Nick Wilsdon says:

    Hey Adam,

    Great post. Not wishing to tempt an addict even further you may want to check out the new Tucows auctions (they recently opened their portfolio). Not many people know about them at the moment so it's fairly virgin territory.

    You can visit our interface here

    We also built an auction tool which sorts the available domains by age and yahoo links, with one click to the SERPs and web archive results. You can also sign up for email alerts if you don't want to spend all day scanning the lists.

  21. Kate says:

    I think I have a few good domain names – but Id' rather not post them here. Can I email you directly?

  22. Steve says:

    Adam,

    Domains can be a lot of fun – some people are addicted to the stock market or pay $300 a weekend to hit a little white ball around on the grass. As long as you are having fun, learning, and not going in debt . . . keep going. I'd be willing to say that most successful people are "addicted" to what they are successful at.

    Take care,

    Steve

  23. Jonathan (Trust) says:

    “In the domain auction today I picked up 70+ domain names, most of which were between $9 and $19,”

    Where are these auctions at? Was this just one place or several?

    I think I’ve let some good ones expire before then I was checking and seeing how much some people are paying for domain names so next time I’m just going to sell them.

  24. Ya, serious, where are the auctions at, I need to seel some of mine if you are going to pay that much for some of those….

  25. Peter Koning says:

    Hi Adam,
    Why are you asking US if they are good investments?

    We have even less information than you do.

    We see a chat about domain names and prices, but nothing related to what the traffic is for them and what the risk/reward is going forward re developing them out or redirecting to an aff link.

    There appears to be some demand but it’s from other addicted bidders πŸ™‚

    Can you give a case study of one where you made money that is related to the cooking scenario?