It's always interesting to see editorials about books that a book reviewer never even read. So I really like the Domain Gang post from yesterday. He says things I can't.
So everyone has an opinion on the sidelines and that is their right. I value the ones from the attendees the most. TRAFFIC is about keeping the NOISE out and the BUSINESS in and I think 100% of ATTENDEES now realize why we do that and appreciate it. Everyone at TRAFFIC has a positive outlook and viewpoint on things and that is the common bond. Once you leave the confines of the TRAFFIC environment, you realize why we do it, why people come back and just how special our shows are.
Our seminars were some of the best attended seminars in all the years we have done TRAFFIC. Why? As Mike Berkens put it, "People are looking for answers" and answers were exactly what they got. Whether it was what they see or don't see in gTLD's or Adam Dickers extraordinary seminar that gave attendees DOZENS of new ideas and new ways to make money and do real business and BUILD real businesses. I am sure in the days ahead you will hear from multiple people about their own experiences.
Declan Dunn was incredible too. He explained the FLAW in how domainers operate. We focus on a few pennies for the first sale but it is the repeat sales that have the real value and domainers don't get squat for that. We need to change how and why we do business.
I can't even tell you how many people came over to me feeling bad for those domainers that won't or can't step up to the plate because they look at it as an "Expense" and not an "Opportunity" or investment in themselves. It's just sad!
Just remember that 80% of folks give up in life when they don't achieve what they want when they want. Our attendees, past and present, don't give up until they either perfect what they are looking to achieve or realize it won't work and go back to refine and rethink.
Now on to the auction. Obviously we did not achieve our desired result and of course the grave dances can't wait to come out. But the grave is one we all share whether you understand that or not. So jump in.
I can only choose domains that folks want to sell and look at it through the eyes of a domainer. Fanclub.com could not get past $37,500. Is that because the domain is not worth more than that? Or is because domainers just don't have the funds or maybe they are content with their portfolios? GoldBullion.com only had a $20,000 bid.
So what domain genius wants to tell me that FanClub.com should be priced at $37,500? It's a great domain name deserving of a much higher bid than $37,500 but domainers are not buying at that level right now and that was the highest bid receiveded for that domain name. That's a real barometer whether we like it or not. Whether we agree with ot or not. That is the most a domainer will ay at this moment in time.
The market is a snapshot of things and the picture it took was not very good. While many attendees are doing well, the average domainer is not.
One again, the reason there is no online bidding is because the hotel connection is not dependable. We have NEVER been to a hotel with a dependable connection. I can't fix that. I have to deal with it or I could just imagine what folks would be saying.
So phone bidding is the way we handle it and it works. It ran flawlessly and professional and props to Ray and Kim.
The online bidding platforms themselves work well. That has not been the issue. But no matter how good the platform is, if the connection from the hotel goes up and down, and it does, no platform will or can work. When you are in a controlled location that problem is not there. However at hotels, this IS the issue. Connectivity!
As it turned out, I did not know or approve the audio feed. I heard it sucked. That illustrates my point. I can guarantee there will not be video or audio for future auctions at TRAFFIC until it is perfect and even then I doubt it is worth the effort.
You win some, you lose some. I take full responsibility and if I had to do it over again there would not be much that would be in my power to change. The market is the market and the domain market is soft. Given the same 10,000 or more domains submitted, I would choose the same ones. Let me be BLUNT. The quality of domains that so many domainers have has NO VALUE and is a liability.
Example: There is a thing called a "Court Order". I own CourtOrder.com. Does not have a great value but it does have meaning. Now the guy that owns OrderCourt.com thinks I would have an interest in that name. That is what I deal with. Sorry friend, that domain has NO VALUE. It means nothing. If it was "OrderInTheCourt.com it might have some limited value. But ordercourt.com means nothing. So I love folks like my new friend Roger who sits there and says to himself something like..."My domain is better than that but Rick did not pick it."
To that I would say, your domain is likely not as good OR your pricing makes it unattractive. And that would be why I would pick one domain over another. I could care less who owns it. I owe no favors and am free to pick what I thought might have interest to some.
It is interesting to me to see who bought what. Seasoned veterans bought most of the domains that sold. There was plenty of gold and they were able to see through it all to pick up a number of bargains. Why?? Why do they buy while others diss?
Let's look who bought. Mike Berkens, Sean Sullivan, Morgan Linton, Darren Cleveland, Gregg, McNair, Russ Goodwin, Bill Sweetman, Brain Benko, Ammar Kubba, Rick Schwartz and other well known domainers. I think I read that Adam Strong won an auction on the phone. I am awaiting the final phone bid winners so will know soon.
Combined these domainers bought 75% of all lots that sold in the auction. What did these professional veterans see that so many less seasoned domainers did not? That is the question some should be asking instead of the nonsense they spew. Think about that. Why did so many miss the winners? Why focus on what you did not like? I discount what I don't like and focus on the domains I see that have the POTENTIAL for a big payday. I buy potential.
Now this is not over. In a few years we will hear that somebody sold a domain for $100k that they bought at the 2012 TRAFFIC for $500. Why do I say this, because we have a history that proves it.
I had all types of multi-million dollar domains offered to me. And exactly WHO in our audience at this point in time was going to pony up 7 figures? What's the upside for a domainer without a strong business plan? There is none. I can tell you confidentially that one of those above would not even entertain buying a $100k domain name today and for multiple reasons.
To have a $2MM domain in the auction to "Feel Good" or to watch somebody bid $1.5MM to showboat is a WASTE of everyone's time. Unless an owner can bring multiple bidders that are end users, ain't gonna happen. I also don't do Pre-Arranged sales to save face when an auction falls apart.
So what domain genius wants to tell me that FanClub.com should be priced at $37,500? It's a great domain name deserving of a much higher bid but domainers are not buying at that level right now. That is as high as they were willing to bid and the seller would be INSANE to sell at that level. GoldBullion.com could not get a $20,000 bid. It's not because the domain is not worth more. It is because domainers have to buy low hanging fruit right now and that is the right way to do business during times like this.
The market is a snapshot of things and the picture it took was not very good. While many attendees are doing well, the average domainer is not. Their focus now is trying to make profitable businesses out of what they already own.
I liked that we were able to keep the action moving and the boredom somewhere else. That alone to me was a great achievement and it was recognized in this blog post by Andrew Allerman who then got accused of basically sucking up to us which I think Andrew answered clearly enough in the comment section.
There are still a few deals that are alive and may be closed where the bidder on the floor was very close to the reserve and now those sellers are willing to take the lower bid. So anyone with second thoughts, can still have a shot at some of these domains.
As folks begin to arrive home you will begin to hear things first hand and not through any filter or agenda. I am sorry so many are stuck on the sidelines in the cheap seats watching the future pass them by. The only way they can feel important or feel like they are participating is to take cheap shots. Amusing and sad at the same time.
T.R.A.F.F.I.C. attendees have a very special bond. Whether you go to each show or just once in a while, there is a bond that is very strong and getting stronger. It's a labor of love on our part and it is returned in more ways than I can count. Attendees really do appreciate all of our efforts and they let us know it. Howard and Barbara, Ray and Kim, Danny, Alina and myself. They know and we know and really, that's all that counts.