Part of my week was spent attending the Domain Roundtable in Bellevue, Washington. The conference is dedicated to the business of investing and speculating in domain names. While there have been a few high profile sales, like the purchase of Golf.com by Time Warner in January 2006 or the $7.5 million in stock and cash paid for Business.com back in 2000, I've previously paid very little attention to the domain market. Turns out its fascinating.
Aside from the obvious strategies for picking up the names you want from auction services like SnapNames, or by simply registering a domain with one of the various domain sellers, there are a variety of other tricks for picking up potentially valuable names on the day they expire from the various registrars.
There's also the more direct approach of offering domains for sale by way of services like Sedo and Fabulous, which list your domain offer price. Fabulous has a higher benchmark for listing your names for sale, while Sedo merely requires you to have a single domain you're willing to sell. There's no cost for listing your domains for sale, but you will have to pay a percentage of the sale if the company you list with finds a buyer. There's also potential revenue from advertising on the domains listed through parking services, which certainly makes more sense than buying the domain and letting the registrar collect money. It might even cover the cost of your domain registration.
Like many things, there are some useful ways of increasing the value of your domain, like actually offering something useful related to whatever the domain's meaning might be. If you have a dogsandcatsandgoldfish.com, for instance, offering useful information about dogs, cats, and goldfish might increase your chances of selling the domain name vs. simply hoping someone will buy the domain. Asking 5 domain investors revealed 5 different answers about what the best strategy for making money with domains is, all while sharing a table with several people who have all made seven figures buying and selling domains. I already own about 70 domains for a variety of reasons, although my reasons for registering them had nothing to do with potential value. Since I keep adding more domains to my list, I decided it was finally time to get my own domain reseller account and save a few dollars on annual registration fees.