Category Archives: Selling

Great Marketing using Domain Names

This past weekend my wife and I took a drive from Calgary to Kelowna and saw some great domain names along the way!  They were used by small businesses in creative marketing on signs and billboards along the side of the road.

The highway from Calgary to Kelowna is heavy traffic – the road through the Rocky mountains to the winery and orchard-filled Okanagan valley are filled with tourists. And tourists equal potential customers for the businesses in this area!  I saw some great use of domain names and signage, but one of two that really stood out for me were  OsoyoosCottages.com  (Osoyoos is a town/area in southern part of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia near the US border with Washington state).   The domain was written brightly on the sign which was an actual cottage chair – Brilliant!    The domain is a good one too – easy to understand.

OsoyoosCottages_1

Good use of domain name and billboard advertising on highway by OsoyoosCottages.com

The other one that caught my attention was  CountBeans.com   – it was on a sign we passed in the town of Vernon, B.C.  It is for the business Padgett – The Small Business Pros which offers small business bookkeeping services.  Another brilliant piece of marketing by a small business. This is a great domain that is easy to remember, short, and relevant to their business (with a twist).  I still remembered it a day later after driving by it on the street – I only saw the sign for a few seconds.

There was of course many great signs we saw along the way, but these two stuck out in my mind for the use of good domains and combining it with the traditional use of signage to capture attention (and retention) – that’s some good marketing by these two businesses!

Harsh Lesson in Domain Liquidity

This week I learned a harsh lesson in domain liquidity – AND THE MARKET DOESN’T LIE.  I needed an extra bit of cash in the war chest so I put some domains up for a “quick sale”.  Ask yourself – if you needed an extra bit of cash, could you sell some domains and turn them into “cash” within 24 – 48 hours??  THAT is domain liquidity!

I was suprised at what sold, what didn’t sell, and the emotional ups and downs of trying to sell quickly.

Firstly, I think being able to turn some of your domain portfolio into “quick cash” is important.  It’s important to have cash to take advantage of opportunities. Opportunities come along, whether it’s a deal to get that premium .com you wanted, or other investment opportunities in things like stocks, businesses opportunities, etc.  If you can’t participate, their is a cost to “losing out” on the opportunity – it’s called “Opportunity Cost” and it is real.  (It’s real painful as I’ve found out.).  When you don’t have enough extra cash on hand to take advantage of another opportunity you lose out, you lose out on the chance to grow – and grow faster!

This week I missed out on an opportunity because I wasn’t able to generate enough “quick cash”.  I had to judge how much value was I willing to sell in my portfolio (and at what price). How important was that opportunity I was looking at?  Was it more important than the domains I was selling? I’ll never know because I didn’t reach my target sales, haha!

Now, some things I learned, and some observations about trying to sell some domains quickly.

The Market Changes – when you are trying to sell domains quickly the market dynamics change.  The potential Buyers change, and the criteria of what is considered a valuable domain changes.  It is very difficult to engage an end-user for a very quick sale (1 – 2 days). So your pool of potential Buyers shifts to someone with ready cash looking for opportunities that can close quickly = domain investers (domainers). End users may be interested in the “brandability” of your domain, or its relevance to their market niche, while  a domainer may be more interested in the amount of traffic or search volume that particular domain may get,  to evaluate whether it’s a good product/service keyword domain for example (their are numerous niches of domain markets). And as important – the price.  The quicker the sale – the lower the price.  This is just the market speaking.

Are Your Domains Really Worth as Much as You Think They Are?? – How much do you think you could get?…I mean if you wanted to sell that domain today, not in a week, but in 24 hours.  Who would buy it?  How would you sell it?  Do you know someone who would buy it from you quickly, or do you know where you could advertise it to sell quickly? Would it even sell at all?  The biggest delusion we may have when trying to sell quickly is thinking that we have “gems” and still trying to get close to end-user pricing. (We’ve all done it!).  Remind yourself, a Buyer needs incentive to buy a domain quick for cash, which usually means they can buy your good domain at a price low enough that they can still make money off of it.

This Part is Painful – lowering the price of my domain so it would sell quickly.  It’s hard to look at that “end-user” price and get rid of a decimal point.

The Market Doesn’t Lie – it’s always an education for me on what sells and what doesn’t and how fast. Sometimes the silence speaks volumes!  I contacted a few domain Buyers I thought may be interested in my list for sale – no response. I contacted a different group of Buyers that had purchased similar domains from me before – no response. Why weren’t they selling?  The answer > either my price was too high, or I wasn’t giving the Buyers the type of domains they wanted.

I posted domains for sale on forums where I knew Buyers frequented daily. As an example –  I put up a good two-word dotcom for sale at a great price and no one bites.  And then I put up a .info for sale, almost as an afterthought and IT SELLS WITHIN 1 HOUR!  The difference?  The buyers of the .info were purchasing based on keyword value of the service domain, and while the two-word .com was an impressive geo “brand”, it’s not what the Buyers were in the market for. Result “.com brand” = no sale, and the “keyword .info” SOLD in 1 HOUR!  

I admit, in this case, I was totally wrong on what the market would value these two domains at.  The result is a good reminder for me of “what sells” – THE MARKET DOESN’T LIE.

Before I end this post I want to give a quick “thank you” to two other domain bloggers that partially inspired this post.  Morgan Linton ran a contest recently where he would give someone “liquidity” by buying their domain according to his specific criteria of what he (the Buyer” was looking for). You can read more about that at his blog MorganLinton.com

Also DomainShane.com hit the nail on the head in one of his recent posts – “There is liquidity. If you have a solid domain there are enough markets to sell through. Whether it be Sedo, Afternic, Namejet, Godaddy, Newsletters, and even the forums, there are plenty of places to move your names. They may not get you the top dollar of an end user but they still provide an opportunity to flip for profit. If you have names that don’t move in these markets you may want to take a look at the type of names that you have.”

Thanks to Morgan and Shane for sharing information on domain liquidity in their blogs. And remember – The Market Doesn’t Lie.

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