It’s about that time again. Another episode of our Interview With The Expert series. This is where we interview an “expert” in any given niche and ask them questions on how they currently operate their business, strategies to get started etc.
If you you’ve missed any of these interviews, you need to catch up!
- Interview With The Expert | Volume #1 – Featuring Abdul Basit
- Interview With The Expert | Volume #2 – Featuring Shane Bellone
- Interview With The Expert | Volume #3 – Featuring James ILes
- Interview With The Expert | Volume #4 – Featuring Namerific
- Interview With The Expert | Volume #5 – Featuring Bhanu Madala
Again a big thank you to everyone who has been willing to be part of this series and share their knowledge with all of our readers.
So today we will be interviewing Doron Vermaat. If you are aren’t familiar with Doron, you should be. He really knows how to invest in domain names and I am glad I was able to chat with him over at the Namepros forum.
So let’s get down to it.
1. Why and when did you get into buying and selling domain names?
I always owned a bunch of domains because I have worked for and founded internet companies since early 2000 but I really found out about the domain name investing industry about 3 years ago when I was looking to get back a domain name owned by a company I co-founded but was closed down.
The domain was registered with Network Solutions and it went to auction at NameJet where I learned about the domain name after-market, drops, auctions and so on. Beside buying back my own domain name I started participating in several other auctions that same week. I was hooked immediately!
2. What are some key factors you look for before you purchase a domain name?
I mainly look for brand-ability. Ask yourself if you would name your company, service, product or blog with that name before you purchase it. And if yes, ask yourself if you would you pay up to own the matching domain name for that business idea of yours. I don’t care about age, back-links, page rank since the fast majority of the end-users don’t care about that either.
3. Is there a specific type of domain name you look to acquire?
I love premium type brandables (both the keyword ones as well as the invented/made up kind) and I also dabble a bit in the short and liquid domain market to add some liquidity to my portfolio in case I ever need it. Some recent acquisitions of mine include names such as StarTalent.com,GamingHero.com, OneBeer.com, Macato.com, Fay.co and around 400 LLNN domains. I mainly invest in .Com but also own a bunch of .Co and some new Gtld’s.
4. On an average day, how much time do you put into your domain business?
Way too much! I love to read the blogs and forums and I probably spend another hour or two each day to go throough drop list, auction sites and manage my portfolio of names.
5. What has been your greatest domain sale to date? Can you disclose the name? If not, can you disclose the overall profit you made on the domain name?
I sold RiskJobs.com in November 2014 for $25,000. I paid $230 for it on NameJet earlier that same year.
6. What are your thoughts on the new GTLDs? Have you invested in any of them specifically?
They add some diversity to the industry and give us something to talk about. I do believe a handful of the new Gs will become successful and see decent end-user adoption within a couple of years. Especially .App in which I own around 50 of them (.Career, .Work, .Media, .Click and .Pub of the top of my head) which is only a small percentage of my portfolio which consist of just over 1000 domains at the moment.
My advice for those looking to invest in the new Gtld’s is to only go for ultra premium names with a nice right and left of the dot meaning that makes sense such as Online.Media or Night.Club etc. Someone that invests wisely in the new Gtld’s is Konstantinos Zournas who publishes OnlineDomain.com so I recommend anyone interested in the new Gs to follow him.
The way I look at them at the moment is that I can always start investing in those that become successful the moment they start to take off which might take years, or never. If you can be successful as a newbie with investing in .Com in today’s market you can also be successful in the new Gs even five years from now.
7. What’s your advice for someone who has a domain name and wants to sell it? Should they do outbound sales (contact potential buyers) wait for offers to come to them, list them on auction websites such as Godaddy, Flippa etc. What works for you?
Personally I don’t flip domains or do any outbound sales on them so I might not be the best person to give advice on this. If you acquire the right domains end-users will come knocking on your door sooner or later and this how you maximize profits imo. You need to make it easy however for these buyers to see that the domain they want is for sale and to contact you which is why a great For-Sale landing page is a must have imo.
I use Efty for all my sales landers (Shameless plug as I am a co-founder of the company). I also list my names on Sedo, Afternic and have around 150 names listed with brandable marketplaces BrandBucket and Brandroot.
8. If you had to sit with someone completely new to this business, what would be the best piece of advice you could give them?
Don’t quit your day job, lol! I’m afraid the reality is that a majority of the people that try their hand at investing in domain names are losing money. You just don’t read about their stories because we prefer to read the success stories instead.
My advice to someone totally new is to get your ass over to NamePros which is the best forum related to the industry with a super nice community of users, subscribe to Domaining.com to read and absorb as much info as you can, study sales reports and pick a niche in which you are knowledgeable or passionate about.
I have a background in executive search and recruitment so my $25k sale of RiskJobs.com wasn’t just luck. I knew that companies pay huge placement fees for senior risk management professionals so I knew the domain was a great buy when I saw it and I was also able to negotiate a good price when I sold it because of this knowledge. My last piece of advice would be to realistic with yourself as not everything can be achieved by means of study and hard work.
Some people just suck at investing in domain names so if you find yourself still not turning a profit after a year or so despite all the hard work, study and money you put into it you might want to consider investing your hard earned dollars in something else like stocks or put it in a savings account instead!
9. What mistakes have you made that you can share with our readers to help them from making the same mistakes?
Don’t pay extra to promote your names on marketplaces such as Sedo or GoDaddy auctions. If your names are good end-users or other investors will find them. Just look at the featured listings on Sedo and GoDaddy auctions and you will see mainly crap domains from people that don’t have a clue.
Look at your renewals every month like your on a sinking ship and need to drop some of them to stay afloat. I find it very liberating to drop some bad or mediocre domains each month and raise the overall quality of my portfolio by doing so.
Don’t hand register too many names, try to buy two or three quality names in the after market instead.
10. Where can our readers find out more about you?
I write about brandable domain names, startups and everything else related to domains on my blog DNgeek.com. You can also find me on NamePros, add me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter or say hi to me at NamesCon next week!
There ya have it! We want to give a big thank you to Doron once again for sharing this great information with us all!
What did you think of this interview? Let us know below.
Also, if you have any questions or would like to be featured in our Interview With The Expert series, feel free to contact us.