I get emails all day long from folks trying to sell their domains. But there is a difference of late. They are no longer trying to sell one or two, they are trying to sell their entire portfolio and get out of the domaining business all together. Problem is there are no buyers.
Domainers are selling because their one time assets are now liabilities. They are bills. And those wasted $$$$ could be paying the mortgage. And I am really sorry to say I have not seen many portfolios with value. To be honest, most don't have a single domain of any value whatsoever. And they are competing against those with really nice portfolios that can't sell either. The good ones are way too risky to tie up any more $$$ with regardless of the quality.
Demand is simply WAY down. Domainers are financially weak and they are not buying. Plus they already have a boatful of domains themselves that are moving VERY slowly.
Folks like Godaddy won't buy most portfolios unless they are filled with NNN.com and LLL.com and alike. Why? Because they are clueless on what a valuable name looks liken or how to price or sell them. So they stick with these type domains that they can buy and sell rather easily compared to domains of great value.
I have a pretty decent portfolio. Here is the list of my top 10 offers I have had for my entire collection over my career. I am retired. I would love to get a lump sum.
That's right! Nobody has offered me so much as a penny! (Except for some wise guy commenter after I write this)
I have been the #1 proponent of domains for over 23 years. But I always deal with reality even when it is hard. As the new GTLD's die off, things may improve. But then again, that's the exact thing that drained the money out of the industry to begin with. I don't know that domainers can EVER financially rebound from those losses and continuing bills. Believe me, the desperation level is the highest I have ever seen it. Domainers are BEGGING for folks to buy their domains and get out of this business.
The next few months are going to be important for our sector. We are smack dab in the middle of "Domain Season". But that season is not for marginal or silly names. It is for serious upgrades and serious startups. BIG deals.
The best thing that happened to domains this year is the continuing implosion of social media. The veil is off. We have been lied to, suckered, silenced, used and worse. The fuzzy glow of Facebook, Twitter and Google are GONE! Their power and how they used it against us was exposed. The shift is still happening. This is the silver lining but we don't know how that will manifest itself yet. It should benefit domains.
A domain is about making a statement. It's about memory. WeBuyUglyHouses.com is the perfect example of why the average end user can and will find a $10 name in a few minutes. More meaningful than the crap domainers have for big money.
My domains have nothing to do with your domains. They are all unique assets or unique liabilities. Either they have FACE VALUE or they don't. Either another party would want to own them or not.
If you play the lifetime domain game it does not matter. If you are buying and selling, it does matter.
Year over year on DNJournal.com's sales tracker it appears that 2017 and 2018 numbers will be very close. Then again these are only reported sales and in fact, most big ticket sales are never reported.
I think there are ways to report those sales without breaking any confidentially agreements by simply giving a bottom line of all sales in any specified period by a broker, domainer or company. I could say I have $20 million in sales for 2015-2017 but I don't have to give specifics. I may even be able to list the domains sold without violating any agreement or spirit of that agreement. Things like that are helpful to an industry like ours but many won't contribute to that effort. It hurts them as well.
The GTLD frenzy is over. The Chinese frenzy is over or at least on pause. Many are on the downside of the slope when it comes to domaining. No matter how much they made in the day, the day is over and they are coming to grips with that. I'm sorry that is happening to folks. But it's the reality of the times.
Are the golden days of domaining behind us? Maybe! But there is still much gold in domains. There is still opportunity. But it is SLOW opportunity! SLOW! The fast track is in crisis. Time is not their ally. The bills are coming in faster than the sales can pay those bills. That's a problem and that's a problem many in domaining are facing.
It's also a problem that I decided to focus on from my very first purchases so I would never be in a weak negotiating position. I pay my domains 10 YEARS in advance when I can. Not all. But the ones I want to make sure I protect. When I have a windfall, I pay forward even more of them. Been doing that since 1996. Totaled up, I am thousands of years ahead on renewals, not a single day behind.
UPDATE!: In the past 24 hours I have seen 2 high profile incidents where on TV they did not send their viewers to Twitter or Facebook but instead are promoting their own WEBSITE! We may be at a watershed moment. People got the message about controlling their own destiny!