The Factors I use in Evaluating a Domain Name

Good Morning from Istanbul.

I believe a domain name has a value that is in direct proportion to the population it serves and the spending power associated with those particular groups. That is why I have always believed in dotcom. It just serves the largest sector. The wealthiest sector. The most global.

So if you have .gr for Greece, that is the population and the economic center that you tap into. It’s your base. Expanding that base is the trick. Same with all country codes. So there is a formula that you can form that helps to show the value. China may have the largest populace, but may not have the biggest spending power. There are other factors. Some items are more popular in one geographic region but not another. The point is there are all just a few factors that go into a value of a domain. Then we get to what somebody could do with it. What their potential is. Again, the point is there are so many things to consider. Each with a value. Each with a mathematical number attached to it. Dozens and dozens of factors.

Now this is something that there is no analytics’ on. Few really understand how many different facets there are to weighing a domain. And even when some consider it, their timeline is not included which is perhaps the biggest facet. But to be honest, there are many competing facets. Too many for me to even mention. You don’t have all day to weigh each and every facet. You have to learn to do it rapidly.

So I look at crappy domains and folks, they are as worthless as anything on this planet. Does not mean you can’t make it the next Google. But the inherent value is nil. You add up all the facets and it adds to zero. It adds to minus zero since it is a liability not an asset. Maybe I am exaggerating. Maybe the domain you have gets a 7. But the problem is it is a 7 on the scale of 1 million. Valueless. Worthless.

This period is your last best chance to find gold at below market prices. The window of opportunity will be quite short. It started just last month and could be over by this fall. Puff. Here today, gone tomorrow. The aftermarket next year won’t be as good as this year for the simple reason that there will be less domains of quality up for sale. Many will change hands this year. It won’t repeat next year as those that buy are buying to keep as opposed to flipping. The pool of quality domain names will not be what they are today. The window of opportunity is open. Don't blow it this time!

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

2008 BC…..I mean 2008 BEFORE CRASH

Morning Folks!!

Last year was 2008 BC. Before the crash and before the meltdown. So is 2009....2009 AC? 2009 AFTER CRASH? In a word, no. It is 2009, YEAR ONE on the Internet. This year is the actual starting point of the net. Whatever happened before was just positioning. Just a test. Just whatever it was. But now 2009 marks the true beginning of the Internet.

Today, when somebody loses their job, they go and signup for unemployment and their next chore is putting up a website. Not for all, but for too many to even count. Millions upon millions. In 2001 and 2002 I stated “From the ashes domains would rise the true Internet.” It did in spite of Main Street and Corporate America and the media doing everything in their power to kill it. The newspapers saw their empires in jeopardy and they fought tooth and nail to destroy the Internet. Same with broadcast media. Story after story about security and only to scare folks away. Misinformation spread purely for their selfish survival needs. Well, it did not work! It worked for a short time, but now it is over. They have lost. They have been defeated. They have been annihilated. They won’t disappear completely, but just like the local Blacksmith, their time has come and gone. While there will always be a need for the blacksmith, there will also always be a need for newspapers and periodicals. They will just take a different form and the newsstand of tomorrow won’t look like the ones of today.

The blacksmith’s that survived likely put in a gas pump. A gas pump to keep up with the times. Those that did not, mostly disappeared. Same with media today. Those that put in gas pumps, I mean transform their business to websites, have a chance to survive. Those that actually embrace and are aggressive will have a chance to thrive. The NY Times is on life support, the Boston Globe in even worse shape. The Wall Street Journal, flying high because they adapted instead of fighting the losing battle of the others. Pretty simple stuff from where I sit. Pretty predictable from where I sit. Why did those in the boardrooms miss it?

So as we look ahead to the rest of 2009 and into 2010 I can tell you that transformation is in the air. The last phase of a 20 year plan is about to start. This phase will trump all other phases combined. You are about to witness an explosion of epic proportions. And while payouts are as low as I have seen, I am here to tell you that in the next 12-18 months payouts will once again reach record levels. Demand for targeted traffic will go up exponentially. You will see the fist signs of this as early as August 2009. Then of course the fall will be even more interesting. However we won’t yet be out of the woods. It will unfortunately be short lived. As prices early in 2010 will once again collapse as I see it. However that will be the end of the worst part as we go through 2010 things are going to firm up. By August 2010 get ready to rumble. This time it will be here to stay and we are off to the races. That’s how I see things unfolding. As always, time will tell. I could even be off by a year. Point is this IS what is coming. The only question is the time line.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Good Morning From Santorini Greece. My Hotel Key Collection Post

Morning Folks!!

People and friends I have met over the last years have no idea how hard I used to work. For me domaining is a hobby as well as a job and as well as an income producing investment. But long before that I did things that few humans ever did. I traveled so extensively few even believe it. So here is a picture of my key collection (With actual Metal Keys) representing the 15 years I lived out of a suitcase. Packing and unpacking almost every single day. Seldom did I stay in a hotel room for more than 1 night. Seldom did I pay more than $15/night. On one hand it was great to see the country and then later the world. On the other hand traveling was not so conducive to long term relationships. These are just 2 large vases full of keys. I have 5 in all and someday want to do an entire wall with these keys.

2007 04 30 011

But even today few know to the extent in which I traveled. Back in the 1970’s when I was in my 20’s the economy was a mess. “Whip Inflation Now” was the slogan. I barely made enough to continue traveling and businesses were going out of business left and right.. Untied Airlines and Eastern Airlines (The largest airline of the day) had this special travel pass. You could travel UNLIMITED through the USA for $999 for 31 days. The only catch was you had to plan the entire trip itinerary in advance. In those 31 days I would start in Miami. I would fly to New Orleans. Work the day there. Then in the evening I would catch a flight to Seattle. That would save me a night at the hotel and they fed me dinner and then breakfast. I would work Seattle maybe spend 1 night there and then that evening I would get on a plane to Atlanta. Sleep on the plane, have dinner and breakfast and then work Atlanta. Then on to Los Angeles. You get the picture.

Sometimes I would take as many as 3 flights in 1 day to various cities. In those 31 days I would hit 21 major cities and also rent a car and “Surface travel” between others. I would do this for 1 month and then get in my car for the 90day journey from coast to coast and border to border. When I say few if any traveled as much or extensively as I did, I mean it.

I was very determined even back then to make it big. But it was hard and it took a very long time. I also figured someday I would do well and folks would think how lucky I got. And yes, luck always plays a big part. But I learned early that the harder you work, the luckier you get. I also figure that nobody would really believe me when I told them this story. So I began collecting the hotel room keys from all the places I stayed. Proof that this was a tough road and I really did pay my dues. Nobody handed me JACK!

This was tough. Tougher than you may think. But it provided me with an education that to this day pays dividends. I saw things that nobody saw. I understood thing that nobody understood. I had a perspective unlike any other living person because no other did what I did.

So those were tough years to do what I did but those were the building blocks of today. It is how I formed my perspective. Talking to so many business owners in so many different parts of the country. They were all different and all quite the same. Quite a contradidction, but also a reality. So folks look at me now and don‘t think I work hard. They are right.. On the other hand, I really never take a day off. 14 years and each day I have read and responded to emails. I have NEVER been out of touch since the day I got on the net. No matter where I am I do what I have to do and love doing it. Work? What’s that?

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Good Morning From the High Seas!

Morning Folks!!

I am making this post on the first full day of a 12 day cruise that will bring 8 of us including my wife’s parents, Sister, brother-in-law and my good friends and best man taking us from Rome to Athens to Istanbul with stops in Capri, Naples and 3 other ports of call. The ship is the newest afloat and “Magnificent” is the first word that comes to mind.


When I started cruising over 30 years ago there was not even a TV in the room and for women to do their hair they had to go to a common “Hair Room” to blow dry their hair as that was the only place on the ship with 110v. Today, 52” LCD TV’s. Bose sound system, wifi and the list goes on and on. The business center has more than 50 cubicles. Each equipped with their own laptop.

It’s been about 5 years since they equipped ships with some of these conveniences. But now it is at a level that makes it possible to cruise the world and still do business as if you were at home in the office. Miracle of miracles.

Now on to today’s subject. As I have been saying, this is probably you last chance to buy great domains that actually have value. When this window closes, and it will, it will be over. Period. The chances of buying quality domains after this downturn for prices like we have been seeing are nil.

After my purchase in 2005 and even before I sat on the sidelines most of the time. I just did not see value and so I did not care to participate in a market that gave insane prices to worthless domains. Today, there is value like not seen in close to a decade. See, when I buy a domain I ask a number of questions. While many are satisfied with flipping domains for 2x, my focus has always been more of 100x and more. It’s just a different way to play the same game. You can have great success either way if you do it right or great failure if you do it wrong. We are at the day of reckoning.

In Florida there are 2 housing markets. The prime land of the coast and the waterways and the swamp land that was filled in and golf course communities were built. The homes in the swamps sold for many millions. The prices rivaled and in many cases were higher than the prime land of the beach and deep water canals. When things were going well it did not matter much. But for years I kept pointing out that those in the interior that bought in the filled in swamps would be decimated. To me that was like buying a 6 letter domain that spelled nothing. Since people did not believe things would ever turn bad, they laughed.

Well, guess what? Today the prices of PRIME waterfront in South Florida has not only not gone down, I just paid for apprasials on all my properties and even with the extra caution and even during the WORST market in generations, my properties have all gone up substantially. Each and every one of them. I was SHOCKED to say the least. I felt like I was in good shape, but until an independent pro comes in, you really don’t know for sure. Now the properties inland and in the swamps, multi million dollar properties, are 50% of their original prices and STILL are not being sold. In a good market, everything sells. In a bad market, you get your report card. Same is true with domains. Those with crap are paying the price and many are hanging on for dear life. Their only avenue to survive is selling their best domains under market value just to sustain themselves. Their loss is the gain of those that are strong and play the game differently. That is why we are seeing so many FANTASTIC domains coming to market at 1998 prices. Once this period ends, and it won’t be that long, the game is over. Done! At least this phase of the domain game. The game will begin to shift. Big players, deeper pockets, interesting proposals. All coming but not on our timetable. On their timetable. So I continue to say that PATIENCE is and always will be the KEY ingredient to this phenomenon called domains.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Monday, Monday

Morning Folks!!

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be…….

Those are the first 2 lines of a song by the Mama's and the Papa's from 1966.

So what should I write about today? That is always my first question. Then an idea usually hits within a minute or so. Ok, let’s pause. Ok, idea formed. I used to hate Monday’s. When I was young it was the day to go back to school and there was the seed of that hate. Then in 1984 I went into business for myself for the first time. That was when I started to like and even anticipate Mondays.. It got to where I could barely wait for Monday to come? Why? The phones would ring and I would start doing business. I loved Monday! I still do. Monday means money.

I can’t remember the last time I woke up not looking forward to what this new week would bring in terms of business. The excitement of the future keeps me going. Gives me fuel. Gives me whatever it is. Spinach to Popeye.

These Monday’s are especially exciting. Each week brings new challenges and new opportunities. Oops, there is that word “Opportunity” again. I can’t seem to hide or shake it. See, I have lived thru days where either there was no opportunity or my eyes were not trained to see it. My soul was not trained to feel it. My wallet could not take advantage of it even if it was there. But a few times, opportunity was few and far between even with the dollars. Not today. Today is ripe with opportunity never seen before on this planet. Really. Truly. I am just overwhelmed by the choices.

I guess my question then becomes if this is a time of opportunity and the wrapper keeps saying recession and the opportunities keep growing, are we really in a recession? The answer is that we are about to see whatever is coming. See, when 10 or 15 million folks lose their jobs they can survive on their savings and credit cards for a while. How long? THAT is the question. THAT will tell the story. As I see it, the fall has the potential to be the worst ever. So you still have a few more months to cut those recurring monthly expenses because likey those expenses will dictate how well you get thru what is yet to come.

Many domainers will collapse as their renewals bury them in debt. Desperation will set in when they find it next to impossible to sell what they have. Why? Worthless domains don’t sell well during times like this. You bought SWAMPLAND and the gators are about to eat you for dinner.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

The BS of BS. Are you ready to get it?

Morning Folks!!

Last post this morning before I get distracted. The one question I hear more than any other and sometimes the question comes with an accusatory tone. Like I am supposed to apologize for recognizing the value of domains in 1995 when others did not. Like I have something to be ashamed of. Try they may, but it will never work. So back to the question. 'If you were to start today how would you do it?' Of course the underlying tone is 'You could not do it.' which is of course nonsense.

First I always say....Stop buying WORTHLESS domain names. But few pay attention. They still buy garbage and in many cases pay for crap what I pay for a domain that can be a business standing by itself.

So look at the list of domains I bought this week. Nothing over $10k. The best domains cost me the least. There were a dozen others I could have won as well but at this stage of things I am looking to fortify what I have which is different than somebody starting out today.

Rick Latona Auction:

1. $5500
2. $1250
3. $1300
4. $3000

Moniker Auction:

1. $9000
2. 4500
3. $3000
4. $5000
5. $5000
6. $5000

Now some of these domains are not the way I would START a domain collection....but domains like that is a multi billion dollar industry is an example of how to start. $1300 to go into business?? Insane! If I had nothing in life to do, I could make a living with this single domain name. Same with Same with Same with

So while others are buying for $20,000 and for $1000, I do it differently. I look for meaning. I look for a domain name standing alone to be a business. I don't expect anything less. So I will say to folks, it is time to raise your game. Liquidate the CRAP and buy prime. There are sooooo many GREAT domains coming to market that you have ONE LAST CHANCE to make it in domaining. This is going to be your very last chance of buying great domain names. The window of opportunity is open. I am not smart enough to tell you how long that opportunity will last. Months maybe, a year. That's about it. So if you pay a lot in renewals and your domains don't do it, get rid of 160 worthless domains that are a liability and trade it in for one or thousands of other domains that actually mean something. Turn your liabilities into assets. Quality rules now and rules always.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

New Video Surfaces of Auction. Look into the eyes of Determination

Morning Folks!!

Last night a new video taken at TRAFFIC was posted on my blog. As I was sitting right next to Div it shows something that until now I may have been the only one privy to see.
Here you can see a close take of Divyank's face during the auction. Those are the eyes of a hunter. The eyes of determination. The eyes of a tiger doing battle and getting the prey. It is PRICELESS

Posted by Javier Zaffaroni as he took the video at TRAFFIC sitting about 3 rows in front of us. Thanks Javier for sharing this intense video.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Domainers Fail to Even SPOT an End User

Morning Folks!!

There has been a lot of talk about the 'End User.' But I am not too sure domainers even know what an end user is or looks like when they see one. See there was an auction last week. An end user bought the highest priced domain but domainers think he too was a domainer. WRONG! Div bought NOT as a domain industry pro. He bought it as an end user and now has the chance to transform Skenzo into a mainstream powerhouse. This domain puts Skenzo right in the middle of Madison Avenue and not even they know what has really happened.

By acquiring as an END USER, Div has the chance to transform his business into something priceless. He has a chance to disrupt things on several levels. So my surprise is that nobody recognized the end user when they saw one. Maybe we need to pass out t-shirts with END USER in big bold letters.

Now as far as end users......both Moniker and Rick Latona spent countless hours courting end users. It works a TINY little bit. In this case, enough to show what happens when you have a real auction and you mix it up and have the right audience. As I have stated now countless times....End users are coming one domain, one project, one need, one use at a time. They will likely never come in mass. We all hope they do. We will see many more auctions like this if that were to occur. But stop thinking it will happen overnight. It will happen, but we could still be a decade or more away. You can't force them to get the religion. It will happen when it happens. But when and if that day ever does come, it will make major art auctions look like stuff for rookies. Imagine not domainers selling to end user, imagine end users selling to end users. What does an auction for look like if auctioned by Bank of America and 10 banks are there? Now THAT is an auction and that is likely something we may never see. At least in our life times.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz