Saturday, July 7, 2018

Should Automated Domain Worth Tools Be Extension Specific?

Automated Domain Worth Estimation


As those who follow my posts on NamePros and elsewhere will know, unlike some domain investors, I do see value, despite their  limitations, in automated domain name appraisal tools such as Estibot and GoDaddy GoValue.  Even though these should never be the only or even primary estimates of worth, I think that domain investors and potential purchasers should know the values for domain names they are considering. Therefore, in most cases I show these values in my listings at NamesThat.win (along with the caveat that values are not static, and potential purchasers should check for the most recent estimates if this information is important to them).

As artificial intelligence, and in particular machine learning, progresses, these automated tools will become even better. I simply do not accept that a human is always better at the task of evaluating the worth of domain names and always will be. Even today Google Maps does a pretty amazing job of finding a good route from point A to point B in a complex city, whether I want to go by walking, public transit, car, or bicycle. Is evaluating a domain name inherently a more complex task? A tool that has access to all of the data on past domain sales, Google searches, etc. is well placed to make a good estimation of domain name value.

As behavioural economists remind us, humans are subject to numerous cognitive biases and blindspots. Yes, I value the opinion of domain name investors, occasionally asking for them on the Appraisal section of NamePros, and not infrequently leaving my opinions for others. But I also place value on objective estimates from automated tools. Both human and automated estimates are sometimes very wrong, or at least predict values far different than sale prices.  That is because ultimately the worth of a domain is what someone will pay for it, and that will never be an exact science.

As a scientist I know that an estimate is improved by taking into account multiple independent values, and that is how I see automated tools and opinions of experienced domain investors co-existing. This is a long lead in to a post on a new extension specific approach to domain name evaluation.


New APP Specific Domain Name Estimation Tool


NamePros user un1 on July 6, 2018 posted an offer to use an Excel based tool developed to estimate the worth of APP extension domain names.  The tool works only for the single extension APP, since it takes into account

  • how related the domain name is to the names of apps on Google Play or the iOs App Store
  • how many downloads those apps have

Among the other aspects of the evaluation the poster lists the following.
  • search result performance
  • TLD penetration (how many extensions the word is registered in)
  • traffic rank of the most similar domain with the highest rank (for example, for the appraisal of abc.app, the traffic rank of abc.com)
  • synthesis of appraisal results from different services (the poster does not specify which, but I presume at least GoValue and Estibot, possibly others)
  • length of the domain name
  • trademark strength  
  • meaningfulness
The scale is a mix of quantitative measures automatically assigned, and ratings assigned qualitatively.  For example, the developer explains that the trademark strength is assigned using the following Likert scale.
  • 1 -> generic phrases or random letter combinations which are not used as trademarks (except possibly in a very regional micro company). . 
  • 2 -> deformed versions of strong trademarks (e.g. "itun") and/or out-of-context trademarks (e.g. "kandle")
  • 3 -> well-known trademarks with no relevant apps released and/or no "mobile", "app-related" orientation (e.g. "baze") or generic names of mobile apps (e.g. "squadd", "dancingline" etc.)
  • 4 -> well-known trademarks with apps released (or at least app-related orientation): e.g. "virgingames", "storspelare" etc. Rule: The sole activity is not the mobile app; the app is just the extension to the existing business.
  • 5 -> well-known "mobile-first" trademarks (i.e. the main area of activity is 'app-related' services): e.g. "heimlich", "bambo", "xpro" etc.

Dollars or Scores


A number of people have commented on NamePros at various times that they find the automated tools worthwhile in expressing relative worth (i.e., whether name A is better than name B), even though they have no confidence in the dollar values given by the tools.  One aspect of the new tool is that it does not try to give a dollar figure for the evaluation, but rather a score on a 5 point scale, with a more valuable domain name being near the 5.

  1. host.app = 4.73 (reported sale: $14,162)
  2. RN.app = 4.42 (reported sale: $15,000)
  3. HedgeFund.app = 3.13 (reported sale: $251)
  4. YouProductive.app = 1.63 (reported sale: $1,300)

He does point out how his tool ranks those APP domain names that already have a NameBio recorded sales price.  As .app extension domain name sales increase, there will obviously be more data points both to evaluate the quality of the tool and also to convert points ratings into dollar value ranges.


Concluding Thoughts


I see a lot of value in a domain extension specific approach to automated evaluation.  GoValue currently rates (almost all) new domain extensions equally, and clearly this can't be right.  For example, when I checked just now it told me that pepperoni.pizza and pepperoni.science are worth exactly the same, $566.  That is clearly wrong!

Estibot do try to evaluate different extensions differently.  Although they do not disclose their detailed methodology, at least the way they structure their reports seems to indicate that in some cases (e.g., extensions like science) they span the dot and for their search statistics look at searches for the two parts together.  That is, for a word like planetary.science they would look at how searched (and advertised) "planetary science" was (as well as simply the word planetary).  While this is sensible here, for the new .icu (I See You) extension they seem to be doing the same as for extensions like science and spaace, and searching on the combination across the dot.  This does not make sense for this extension.

If the automated tool restricts itself to one extension, it can look at parameters important to that extension only.  For example, when evaluating .loan or .loans, it could look at how frequently that type of loan appears in commerce.

With well over a thousand extensions, even if country code extensions are not included, it would become chaotic to treat all individually of course.  However, some could be grouped together, and for some other extensions with limited registrations and sales, it is perhaps not sensible to try an automated worth estimate.

I welcome this new contribution to semi-automated domain worth, and look forward to seeing results from its application. I think several of the features, concentration on one extension only, use of a hybrid automated and human approach, and use of a scale rather than a dollar value, make it innovative and interesting.


I have no association with the developer of this, or any other, automated domain value tools. The information on what parameters are used is taken from the original post.  You are responsible for your personal use of the information from any of these tools. This post is for information purposes only. The image that accompanies this posting is by Pixabay user geralt.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My Most Visited Domain on Undeveloped - Photon.gdn


I was recently offline for a couple of weeks, and when I returned I noticed that I had a new "most visited" domain name on my Undeveloped portfolio (my overall portfolio contains about 200 domain names).  One nice feature of Undeveloped is that it tracks how many visits each domain name gets. If you have the DNS pointed to Undeveloped, then a user typing in the exact full domain name will be counted as a visit, as will someone searching within Undeveloped and clicking on that domain name from the list of domains presented.  Undeveloped do not count visits to your own domains while you are editing your portfolio. You can have a display of visits displayed for potential purchasers if you wish.

Anyway, back to the story.  For the first time since I have been using Undeveloped, a .gdn (global domain name) had rocketed to first place in the most visited category, and by a dominant lead.  The name? photon.gdn  Now I am not sure exactly when I set my DNS to point to Undeveloped for this domain, but as the graph here shows that the uptick in visits over the past month is impressive. Keep in mind that this is not a list of searches on the word photon (which would be in the tens of millions per month), but actually typing in exactly photon.gdn.

Given that the global domain name extension is not that well known, this is especially surprising.  This is the first time that a .gdn has been in the top 5 most visited list on my Undeveloped portfolio. As a sidelight, another .gdn domain name also appeared on my most visited list, BCTech.gdn, but I had dome some promotion of this name in conjunction with recent British Columbia technology announcements and events, so that is perhaps not so surprising.  Up to now, I had done zero promotion of photon.gdn, so it rose to first place all by itself.

When I purchased the domain name photon.gdn some months ago, as a physicist I did recognize that it is a pretty special word. Much of my research career was based on making sense of astronomical objects from the photons they emitted or reflected. The photon is the quanta of light, that is the smallest energy packets that light comes in.  I am using the word light loosely here, and actually the word photon applies to any kind of electromagnetic radiation, from microwave to infrared to visible to X-ray to gamma ray. A photon of ultraviolet radiation has more energy than a photon of visible light, and that is why exposure to ultraviolet radiation carries more biological risk.

Photon is therefore one of the most important words in science.  But it also is of huge importance in industry, especially in communications. The industry of photonics essentially deals with doing with light what used to be accomplished using electronics (photons replacing electrons).  A single fibre-optic cable can simultaneously carry a huge number of voice transmissions (or other types of data).  The National Centre for Photonics and Optics Education have a nice introduction to photonics here. From communications to medicine, signal processing to imaging, photonics is changing our world.

Even among new extension domain investors, I admit there is not a lot of familiarity or enthusiasm for gdn, and I think that is unfortunate.  I am somewhat contrarian in my view of the extension, and do see significant value and potential.  The idea of gdn was a global domain name - i.e. rather than using a .uk or a .de or a .ca,  a company that operated in multiple countries, but did not want to use multiple country code extensions or a new or legacy other top level domain, might choose gdn. I say company, but the idea for gdn has always been inclusive of any business, individual, site, or organization

I like the premise for the extension .gdn.  Even though there are a significant number of registered domains in the extension (about 100,000 according the NameStat data), I find that occasionally great single generic words can still be found to register (in most cases these have been held previously but allowed to drop by a domain investor).  As with many of the new extensions, discount pricing has hurt the extension, and resulted in the usual dip after the one year period following cheap registrations ended. Pricing seems to have stabilized in the last year (the extension has been generally available for a bit under three years).  If you look at NameStat data there is one Alexa top 1M website using the extension for every 1400 registrations, which is actually pretty positive. As comparators, the .app extension is about one for every 4000 registrations, and the leading new extension .top has one Alexa top 1M for every 2600 currently (you can find this information for yourself for any global extension using Namestat).


The extension has, not surprisingly, most registrations in the US, although the geographic spread is pretty healthy (see graph based on NameStat data). There are registrations from 111 different countries. I think that for a name that claims to be global it is important to have significant registrations in both the US and China, as well as developed and developing countries in various parts of the world. The extension passes this test.

One aspect I look at when considering the viability of a domain extension is which registrars handle it, and how expensive and stable renewal rates are.  In the case of .gdn, major registrars including Alpnames, Dynadot, Epik, Gandi, Namecheap and OVH all offer renewals at about $12 or less. You can find the best deals on any domain extension (for registration, transfer or renewal) at https://tld-list.com/.

I decided to try to figure out why the specific domain name photon.gdn had suddenly rocketed to first place among my Undeveloped portfolio domains.  As a starting point I did a Google search on gdn photon.  The results are shown in the screen capture.  I was somewhat surprised (and pleased) to see that the leading search result pointed to the technology section of the domain name catalog at my website.   Also the third entry is the Undeveloped lander for the domain name, which may help explain the number of people landing there.

I think if you look down through the other links and image search, though, another clue is offered regarding the popularity of photon.gdn.  I won't go into the technical details, but GdN is a semiconductor material used in the photonics industry. In this case by serendipity the extension abbreviation is the same as the scientific abbreviation for a related term.  When this happens, there are definitely advantages in search engine optimization, yes for the lander for the domain but more importantly to a future holder of the domain name.

As a domain name investor, I had to decide how to respond to the new popularity of one of my domain names.  While the name had received lots of visits in the month, there were no offers made to purchase the domain name.  Up until a few days ago I had no price set for this particular domain name, and it was simply listed with make an offer on Undeveloped (or through my Efty Marketplace).  I had three options: leave it that way and wait for an offer, set a fairly high but it now (BIN) price and hope that the popularity would lead to a major sale, or set a modest BIN and hope to quickly sell the domain name.  I do realize there are sound arguments for all three choices, but my primary interest is to see domain names, especially scientific and technical ones, get into use on websites, so I decided to set a modest BIN.  Simply enter the domain name into any browser to see that price (assuming that it has not yet sold at the time you read this), or easier yet use this link. The good folks at Undeveloped will efficiently and securely handle your payment and promptly transfer ownership of the domain name to you.

It will be interesting to see if having a BIN price will result in a sale or offer.  The research done by Undeveloped suggests that having a BIN price, having the lander at Undeveloped, and showing your full profile as a seller all help in getting sales.

PS In case you are wondering, some of the other domain names which have been in the top 5 most visited of my Undeveloped portfolio over the past few months are listed here.  These are not necessarily my most interesting or valuable domain names, and some have DNS pointing to Undeveloped and others do not, so the comparison is skewed by that.  Click (or enter in browser) any domain name to go to the lander for it.

Monday, June 25, 2018

ngTLD Sales Report May 23 - June 22, 2018

Another month has rolled around, and it is time again to take a look at "new" global TLD (ngTLD) domain name sales reported in the NameBio database.  While the number of domain extensions sold is down slightly, there were still 104 sales over 16 different extensions during this reporting period. The total number of sales and the average sales price were both similar to the previous month. This was certainly a 30 day period in which the .top extension dominated, accounting for 78 of the 104 sales. 

During the monthly period ending June 22, 2018 there were
  • 104 recorded ngTLD domain name sales;
  • The average sales price was about $3450, while the median price was $1580;
  • In terms of major sales, 8 were for $10,000 or more;
  • The highest price sales in this period were bz.top for $53,904, RN.app for $15,000, host.app for $14,162 bet.top for $13,861 and ttt.top for $13,130; 
  • There were sales in 16 different extensions during the reporting period;
This report saw sales in 16 different extensions (compared to 23 and 18 in the previous two months). Top dominates, while the extensions global, app, link and work also had multiple monthly sales. Considering the newness of the app extension, it seems off to a great start in the resale marketplaces with 3 sales including 2 in the top 5. Here is the breakdown by number of domain sales reported in each extension.
  • app 3
  • capital 1
  • club 1
  • community 1
  • directory 1
  • finance 1
  • gift 1
  • global 8
  • guru 1
  • live 1
  • link 2
  • storage 1
  • surf 1
  • top 78
  • work 2
  • yoga 1
So far in 2018 there have been 524 NameBio reported ngTLD sales with an average sales price of $6127.  Note that this is as Namebio report sales dates. Both home.loans for $500,000 and The.club for $300,000 are listed as 2018 sales, since they were reported in 2018, even though the sales terms were completed in 2017. On the other hand, vacation.rentals that sold for $500,300 is not reported in 2018 in their database. The total value of 2018 reported ngTLD sales up to the day of writing (June 24, 2018) is $3.2 million. In terms of number of ngTLD sales the rate is similar to that recorded in 2017, although the total value of ngTLD sales if continued at current rate through the rest of the year will eclipse last year.

The NameBio database (or at least the portion publicly reported) does not include sales with value less than $100, nor sales from a number of venues such as Undeveloped or Efty (unless buyers or sellers report them individually), nor from most of the ngTLD registries, so it is difficult to estimate how complete a record this is of all  #ngTLD domain name sales.

Here are links to the three previous reports in case you want to do monthly comparisons:
We should note that after our last report a major .top sale was added to the NameBio database with a sales date that fell within our previous observing period. The name 8.top sold for $172,758 on May 22, 2018.

We will issue our next report in late July, and it will cover ngTLD sales for the period from June 23 through July 22. As always we welcome comments and corrections.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The All Time Top New Extension Sales

In this post I take a look at the top 100 new extension (ngTLD) sales of all time (search made on NameBio database June 1, 2018 available at this link). As of that date Namebio show a total of 4380 ngTLD sales.  It took a sale of $30,000 or more to make the top 100 list.

There was a lot of diversity, with 28 different extensions having at least one entry in the list. That being said, a few extensions dominate.  Fully 44% of the list are in just one extension (.top) and another 15 % in .xyz, 7% in .market and 5% in .club. There are two entries from each of .attorney, .estate and .club.  I show in the graph those extensions with two or more entries.

Another 21 extensions have a single entry on the top 100 list: bio, casino, exchange, flowers, forsale, games, global, hosting, lawyer, ltd, loan, loans, news, nyc, online, rentals, rocks, sale, show, ventures,  and work.

I should point out that the Namebio database does not include the highest ngTLD sale of all time.  According to some sources (e.g. Top250Sales and DNJournal) in 2014 sex.xxx sold for $3,000,000.

Interestingly some of the top sales are in extensions with only that single entry in the top 100 list.  At least as reflected in the Namebio list, here are the top 8 all time sales.

  1. Vacation.rentals $500,300 
  2. Home.loans $500,000
  3. The.club $300,000
  4. b.top $218,880
  5. casino.online $201,250
  6. x.top $191,001
  7. video.games $183,000
  8. 1.xyz $181,720
There has definitely been an uptick in big ngTLD sales, with the top 7 on the list all selling within the last 16 months.

Here is a summary of key points:
  • 100 of the 4380 ngTLD sales have been at $30,000 or more to make this list
  • 28 ngTLD extensions have one or more on the top 100 list
  • top dominates, with 44% of the entries on top 100 list
  • more big sales lately, with top 7 all in last 16 months
  • the two biggest sales were in extensions with only that entry in top 100 list

Thursday, May 24, 2018

ngTLD Sales Apr 23 – May 22

Each month we take a look at "new" global TLD (ngTLD) domain sales reported in the Namebio database.  While the Namebio database certainly does not include all sales (see below), it is highly respected, updated daily, and includes statistical data, making it the best source for reports such as this.

This is the third monthly report we have done, and it has been a pretty great month for ngTLD sales.  The total value as well as the total number of domains sold (102 vs 27), number of major sales over $10,000, and number of different extensions represented in the sales, were all significantly up.  The average sales price did go down slightly, $3096 vs $4980 in the previous month.

During the monthly period ending May 22, 2018 there were
  • 102 recorded ngTLD domain name sales;
  • The average sales price was $3096, while the median price was $1000;
  • 51 of the sales were for $1000 or more;
  • In terms of major sales, 6 were for $10,000 or more;
  • The highest price sales were my.bio for $61,002, go.exchange for $30,000, BroadwayTickets.nyc for $25,000 and my.tax for $22,500; 
  • There were sales in 23 different TLD extensions during this period;
  • Sedo (35), Jiangsu Bangning (30), Global Registry (14), Flippa (8), Alibaba (6) and Dynadot (3) recorded multiple sales during the period, while six other marketplaces had a single sale. 
This month saw sales in 23 different extensions (compared to 18 the previous month). There were significant increases in .top and .nyc sales, but there are reasons for both (see below). Several extensions saw their first significant sale this month. Here is the breakdown by number of domain sales reported in each extension.
  • bingo 1
  • bio 2
  • casino 4
  • city 2
  • exchange 1
  • global 14
  • guru 2
  • kitchen 1
  • live 1
  • lol 1
  • london 1
  • nyc 16
  • pizza 2
  • porn 1
  • red 1
  • science 1
  • shoes 1
  • tax 1
  • tips 1
  • top 42
  • tours 1
  • vip 1
  • work 1
  • xyz 4
During this month the .top registry shared over $3 million in sales with Namebio, a portion of which were sales from this time period. This accounted for the large jump in reported .top sales, but even if all .top and .nyc data were excluded, this would still have been a strong month. An auction in .nyc accounted for the increase in sales with that extension.

An interesting twist was that although there were 102 sales in this period, that was in only 101 different domain names.  A.pizza sold twice during the reporting period, both times on Flippa.

So far in 2018 there have been 401 Namebio reported ngTLD sales with an average sales price of $6411.  Note that this is as Namebio report sales dates. Both home.loans for $500,000 and The.club for $300,000 are listed as 2018 sales, since they were reported in 2018, even though the sales terms were completed in 2017. On the other hand, vacation.rentals that sold for $500,300 is not reported in 2018 in their database.

On a NamePros discussion regarding sources present in the Namebio database it was pointed out that most registries seem to have largely stopped reporting, and no doubt there are many registry sales not represented in the database. The Namebio database (or at least the portion publicly reported) does not include sales with value less than $100, nor sales from a number of venues such as Undeveloped or Efty (unless buyers or sellers report them individually), nor from most of the ngTLD registries, so it is difficult to estimate how complete a record this is of all  #ngTLD domain name sales. For example, there have been no .club sales this month or the preceding one, even though clearly a large number of sale in that extension have taken place.

One of the points that continues to surprise me is how, after a long period without significant sales, a high value sale suddenly takes place.  For example, prior to the sale of my.bio for $61,002 the highest reported .bio sale was $7000 (for the single letter i.bio domain name back in December 2015).  Namebio only had 5 recorded sales of any size in the .exchange extension prior to the $30,000 sale of go.exchange. This sale easily eclipsed the late 2017 sale of btc.exchange for $12,500. Past sales are not always a good predictor of future sales in the world of ngTLD!

Here are links to the preceding reports in case you want to do comparisons:
We will issue our next report in late June, and it will cover ngTLD sales for the period from May 23 through June 22.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Using All Of The Domain

Introduction

I find many domain owners do not take full advantage of the possibilities offered by subdomains. With most extensions your purchase the second level domain (e.g. if I own expertise.space the top level domain TLD is space, while I own the second level expertise with that TLD). However, I also own the right to use the third level.  Many assume the third level has to be www and that the only domain name they own is www.expertise.space, but that is just one possibility. I could just as well use Canadian.expertise.space if I wanted, for example.

What is a Subdomain

Most web hosting services allow you to have either a limited or unlimited number of subdomains associated with each hosted domain (this is one thing to check for when looking for a service). That means if for example planners.top is the domain being hosted, and you set up a subdomain named event, then when someone types in event.planners.top they will go to the website information you have placed in the subdomain. On your hosting panel your subdomain will be just like its own domain, and to the user event.planners.top seems like a different site from planners.top. You can read about subdomains here.

DNS Redirects

You can achieve almost the same thing by using domain name server (DNS) redirects.  These are instructions where your domain is registered that tell all the domain name servers in the world where to go when various URLs are use. That is I could put DNS redirects where I have the domain name planners.top registered, and direct event.planners.top to one web location, and wedding.planners.top to another.  This does not even need to be a website I host - I could point it to my Facebook page, LinkedIn account, or somewhere else if I wanted.
     DNS redirects are somewhat easier to implement than setting up a subdomain, and have certain advantages (such as you can either mask it or not - when masked it means the URL at the top will show wedding.planners.top rather than the real URL of the site). It depends on your application whether the subdomain or DNS redirect is the better option.  DNS redirects can be used with any registered domain name, while you will need a hosting service to enact subdomains.

Why Is This Important?

This means that when you own the rights to a single domain, you own also the rights to all the three part combinations with that domain name.  For example, I have (or at least did when I wrote this - it is currently for sale) the domain planners.top.  That is a pretty memorable one word domain name in a well known extension by itself, but the real strength of the name is when used with subdomains (or DNS redirects) to make any of the following (I have not implemented them, but could have them all go different places):
  • Canadian.planners.top
  • career.planners.top
  • daily.planners.top
  • event.planners.top
  • financial.planners.top
  • site.planners.top
  • urban.planners.top
  • wedding.planners.top
Another domain that I currently have for sale is tweets.today.  I like the domain a lot - short, memorable, and high impact.  But it becomes even more versatile if you also consider it used with subdomains where many sites could operate in parallel using the one second level domain. Here are a few possibilities, although the list is endless.
  • best.tweets.today
  • funny.tweets.today
  • golf.tweets.today
  • inspirational.tweets.today
  • science.tweets.today
  • top.tweets.today

Domain Name Phrases

One use for subdomains or DNS redirecting is in domain name phrases (see our website for some examples, or more about domain name phrases here).  One of the leading companies in domain name phrases is Names.of.London - check out possibilities with this search box.

Another domain that I own is kindness.top.  I admit that, although memorable and a highly searched English word, by itself the domain name maybe feels a little strange.  However, when combined with an additional word like make.kindness.top it becomes a great call to action domain phrase.  If, for example, on Twitter someone enters exactly that phrase with the periods, it becomes a link to the associated location.

With DNS you can readily direct it different places according to the third level word.  To demonstrate this I have directed make.kindness.top to our site page describing domain name phrases, while I directed kindness.top and www.kindness.top to the landing page where we have it available for sale. Check it out with the above links (or type the URLs into your browser)!

Want to see another one?  I have directed curlers.win and www.curlers.win to the page (on Namecheap Marketplace) where the domain is for sale, while I directed the domain name phrases all.curlers.win and young.curlers.win to a page on my website where I talk about that particular domain phrase.  Note that I used DNS masking, so it looks like the website URL is all.curlers.win, even though the website you really are at is a page on my NamesThat.win site .

A Touch of Distinction

A simple use you might want to make of this idea is to add the word the instead of www  as the third level of the domain.  For example direct people to the.photonics.site (instead of www.photonics.site or just photonics.site), or if you had a biotechnology newsletter or review called The CRISPR Review it might be cool to call your website the.CRISPR.review.

Summary

  1. You can use DNS redirects or subdomains with your hosting provider to make various third level domains with the second level domain that you own.
  2. DNS redirects can be done in just a few minutes using the control panel where your domain is registered.  They can be masked or not.
  3. Subdomains are created using the control panel where your domain name is hosted (this might or might not be the same place as where the domain is registered). You add subdomain web content exactly like it was an independent website.
  4. Many web hosting plans permit an unlimited number of subdomains.
  5. These techniques can be used to operate sites in parallel with a single domain - e.g. financial.planners.top could operate separately from event.planners.top. 
  6. You can make a domain name into domain name phrase using the same techniques.  For example, the domain name kindness.top can become make.kindness.top.  That expression becomes clickable in social media like Twitter.
  7. If desired you can precede your website with something other than www (but remember that some people may assume it is www, just like some assume the TLD is com).

Disclosures:
At the time of writing I had for sale the domain names mentioned here: planners.top, tweets.today, curlers.win, photonics.site, CRISPR.review and kindness.top (if the links no longer go to a landing page, it means the domain is no longer for sale, and we have no association with the new owner). At our website www.NamesThat.win we sell domain names for domain name phrases. We also have an affiliate relationship with Names.of.London.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Namecheap Marketplace for Domain Sellers

I recently noticed that the Namecheap (NC) Marketplace (NCM) now allow BIN as low as $1 (used to be $5, the maximum remains at $1000).  I have found the NCM a good place to sell value domains at low prices, and this change makes it even more flexible in trying to get a few dollars for domains about to expire (or otherwise). I thought this might be a good time to explain the main features, and to give some tips for domain name sellers.

Main Points:
For those unfamiliar with the NC Marketplace;
  1. The NCM is only for domains registered with NC.
  2. Listing process on NCM is easy (can list price, term, categories, text description). To list a domain log into your account, select Domain List and then Manage (for the domain you want to list).  Then scroll to near the bottom, and click on the Sell Domain. Fill in the information, and your domain is up and for sale immediately.
  3. They charge 10% commission with no minimum or other charges.
  4. NC act as effective escrow on NCM transactions, taking buyer payment, then automatically transferring the name and changing contact information (purchaser must have NC account but they are free).
  5. NC essentially push the domain to new owner, so there is not an automatic need to add a year registration.
  6. You accumulate funds in your account, which you can transfer in any amount to be used to purchase NC domains (or I presume other services like web hosting).  If you want to withdraw them to your PayPal as money, need to have $100 minimum. Although NC do not add any fees for a PayPal payout, depending on your country, PayPal may add 0.5 to 2.0% fees on the money transfer.
  7. Purchasers can buy you domain by putting it in the NC cart and use any of their standard payment options that include credit cards, Paypal and Bitcoin (as well as others).
  8. You do NOT need to wait for the 60 day ICANN period, since the sale is essentially a push to the new owner.
  9. It is not an auction site - you set a BIN price and the purchaser has only that option.  Also, there is no direct route for potential purchasers to interact with you.
  10. When you click on the name of a domain name for sale on NCM it will show you both the day the current for sale listing expires, and the expiration date for the registration of the domain name.  Don't confuse the two!
    I have both bought and sold domains there, and have found the process smooth and fast (longest wait was a few hours). I have found NC support very responsive, when it is needed.

Search Notes:
One important point to note is that in general domains registered on the NC Marketplace do NOT show up in the general NC domain search (the one used for hand registrations).  To see listings on the NC marketplace you need to go to Domains tab, and then down to Marketplace.  The search is slow though.  You can turn off options by price or category on the left but response is slow. 
     Some names on NCM DO show up in the general NC search.  I have not figured out which ones get there, but I think that the name must be listed for some small multiple (or more) of registration cost for that extension, and be listed, and not expired for an extended period.  If anyone knows more precisely, please add in comments.

Tips:
A few tips for those selling domain names through the NCM:
  • Although you can list up to 5 categories for each domain (e.g. technology, business, advertising, computers, etc.), only the first two alphabetically get listed beside the domain name.
  • You can re-list a domain name that has not sold.  I sometimes use longer periods (simpler), but I sometimes use the shorter duration listing and re-list, since many of the sales seem to come when the domain listing is about to end when the name will be near the top of their list.
  • I find that to be very successful you need your own website or social media presence to post to your listings.  People will in general not find your domains through the NCM.
  • I find some who list on NCM do not realize how easy it is to have a single link which always shows your updated NCM listings.  Simply find one of your listings, then click on your username (in blue on left - mine is fundybob), and then get the URL from that page.  As an example, here is mine:  https://www.namecheap.com/store/domains/marketplace/buy-domains?seller=fundybob 
  • If desired, you can also link to any particular domain name.  To do that find the domain name in NCM, then copy the URL.  Note that when the listing period expires and you re-list you will need to change the link.  An example: https://www.namecheap.com/store/domains/marketplace/listing/56000093
  • You can use that along with a DNS redirect to make the NCM listing a landing page. For example, if you click the link expertise.space you will see this set up for one of my domain names.  One advantage of using NCM as your lander, is that the potential purchaser is immediately in an environment where they can instantly purchase the domain name and implement it with a hosting package.
  • I use both types of links on my website.  On my main page https://NamesThat.win/ (see second line of icons), I link to all my NCM listings, while on the following page you will see links to individual NCM entries (these I need to update by hand). https://namesthat.win/domains.html
  • While you can't change a price once the domain name is listed, you can delete it and then re-list it right away, so that is how to edit the NCM price if you made a mistake or have second thoughts. To delete your listing, log in to NC, go to Domain List, select the name, then click on Manage.  At the bottom right, where it tells you it is for sale, click on Cancel and enter your password again.   
Final Thoughts
     The NCM can be one option to easily and inexpensively sell domain names.  Because there is no minimum commission, it is particularly good for low cost domain names (I recently sold one for just $2.00 there, and the commission charged was only $0.20).  While most of my buyers seem to first find my domain names through my website (or social media, perhaps), many prefer to purchase them through NCM.  
     One big advantage of the NCM in my opinion is that NC generally have cost competitive renewal rates for most  extensions, and also excellent value in shared web hosting.  The new Stellar Plus shared hosting with unlimited domains and storage is an especially good deal. Therefore, if your end user has plans to use the domain they are buying to set up a first website, it is fast and easy.  The new owner can literally have their website up the day they purchase the domain from you.  
     While other registrar marketplaces exist and are great (Namesilo comes to mind), I like NCM a lot.  If you decide to list there, I wish you all the best.

Happy Domain Investing,
Bob

ps While I won't be able to edit this one, I am planning to post a version that I will update on my blog at this link: https://agreatnameforyou.blogspot.ca/

pps Disclosure:  I have no association with NC, other than as a user and an affiliate account, and was not compensated or encouraged to create this post. 

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