The Underwater Domainer and Widespread Despair

Morning Folks!!


I think the last time I saw despair online and specific to the domain industry was before there was a domain industry. Maybe around 2000 when things crashed. Then around 2003. At that time it was serious! The net was the enemy to brick and mortar and they tried to kill it. Put a dagger through the heart if they could! It is not as serious today, however a widespread amount of domainers are in despair, scared, questioning every move and most likely their bills are more than their income.

The LAST thing to do is give up on your valuable domain names. Stop listening to all the bullshit spewed by every guy and his sister about this or that. IF you have good and solid domains, take a deep breath, you will be fine. Things are going to change.

In business and in life it is all about overhead. Do you have a spreadsheet that lists EVERY SINGLE recurring and non recurring expense? Do you know EXACTLY how much it costs you to wake up in the morning? What's your 'Number'? If you don't have your 'Number' are without the tools to navigate through what has been going on and what is yet to come.

So on one hand you have the financial burden as payouts are lower and on the other hand you have umpteen thousand extensions coming your way. Extensions that have little relevance in your life even tho some are jumping overboard. They are likely not to have any meaning for 5-10-20 years in a success!! If at all.

What makes things worse right now, is that the last 2 weeks of July and the first 2 weeks of August is when then entire world is on vacation. Just a fact folks! That is the heart of the summer holiday time. What makes it even worse is the Olympics is very distracting so it works as a double whammy. Sprinkle on some political and financial fear and you have what we have.

August 15th is when things starting to change each and every year. Why? 3 words. Back to School. So vacation turns into focus on getting the kids ready for the school year and it takes until mid September before the business minds come back to play.

So you add all these things up and add to that a soft economy that folks are scared may unravel, gas prices back on the rise, taxes about to skyrocket, an election with unknown results, a civil war in Syria, Egypt still not settled, Iran and Israel a spark away from launching WW3. Then add the 40 things I did not mention.

I have written earlier this summer that the next few months will be the most uncertain and unsettled times in many of our lifetimes. But Iook past that mess assuming we get survive December 21st I think it is.

So I see very unsettling times for now. But when I look past this mess and to next August 9th, I see much calmer seas. I see a reshuffling of what has value and what is considered a liability.

Cash, Gold, Diamonds, Oil, Real Estate, Com. Investment quality .Com. Income generating .Com. You can build an empire around one .com domain name. They have yet to connect the single most important DOT! The overhead of 1000 stores vs the overhead with one .com. Some will open stores because of their .com and some will be closing stores because of their .com.

In the history of the world, there has never seen anything like .com. Nothing in history had billions of folks building .com. Good luck repeating that! To lose faith in .com now is like giving up at the Olympics. I did not see Phelps give up after that huge loss. So to lose faith in what you believe in because it is going to be challenged by 1500 wannabees is just hysterics from where I sit.

Step back and look at the dynamics. We had a false start last spring. Things looked like they were about to get better and people reacted and then we found out it was a mirage and things sunk again. When things sink, folks go out of business and those in business are mostly concerned with preserving it as opposed to expanding it. So when things turn in the right direction, you will see more new businesses, better funded businesses and a general expansion as opposed to the contraction we are seeing now.

What is the cost of renting/building/owning a real world store with all the overhead? That's the value of any domain in demand in my book. And .com just reinforces your brand no matter what that brand is.

In despair? Then figure a way to 'Poll Vault' mentally and financially over the next 5-6 months and you will see what I see. Just make it that far and you will see clarity.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

26 thoughts on “The Underwater Domainer and Widespread Despair

  1. savio dsilva

    Hi Rick,
    I find it really fantastic that a guy of your caliber still takes the time to write these long posts on your blog.
    Would really appreciate if you gave us domain amateurs and veterans some insight into your daily schedule in a future post.
    Also, thanks for the regular posts on your blog now. Since it deeply saddens guys like me when so-called domainers and domaining pros don’t take the time to connect with their readers, customers and prospects through their blog.

  2. domains

    Good reminder Rick and the domain community appreciates it. Your wisdom and smarts helps us all.

  3. Shane

    Many of the business models that have been used in the past are broken but nothing has changed for good dot com domain owners.They are assets that continue to increase in value. It’s only the easy monthly income that is getting lower and lower. Its the shitty domain owners that are in deep trouble. They are using your”Poll” vault but unfortunately they are going to need a”pole” to get out of their hole.

  4. Rick Schwartz

    When I coined the expression”Pigeon Shit Domains” it was to warn folks that we all need to get rid of our domains that likely will never be worth anything. As you get further down the Internet Road we all learn which way things go or don’t go or are passe. My best advice is to get rid off all the shit. Condense the average ones into the best ones you can get or trade for.
    The days of huge portfolios is not only over, it has totally collapsed. Folks bought into a false and short term premise. It became an anchor bigger than the boat itself and many did not realize it. Some did, but too late.

  5. Donny

    We did a 300 dollar test to see what type of response we would get on my ins names this past month. No really intention of selling unless we got what we wanted still getting offers. Probably the worst time to do it now after thinking about what you said about JULY/AUG. daah me.
    I was amazed at how small-mid business owners have no idea what a good domain is. I learned that owners will not pony up unless they believe and understand”why” a great domain name will help the company.
    When I started using numbers, sales and the liability of not owning a great domain it started to click with them. Never tried to sell them anything if that makes any sense.
    I see now that when all of these owners start understanding it will bring out the checkbooks. It could a few years but the need to educate these owners is so important. Also I don’t even think the name needs traffic to sell them a 50k or 100k name. I really don’t. Not after learning what I did this week.”The Value of losing a customer” Esp in a business where 1 click can be 20,000 in commissions per year.
    JMO of course.

  6. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    Thoughtful post! This period in history supplies an opportunity for many Domainers to reposition their portfolios to the .COM Channel of Top tiered Traffic.
    ” Follow the Money, Folow the Traffic to Top Tier Traffic Stream in Recorded History, in The .COM Channel” If you can argue with this statement, you are arguing from false information. This is not self promotion it is the Factual reality in our market place. Do you all realize on average how many repeat clicks it takes to close a sale in Cyberspace? Do you all, also realize that the .COM Channel of Streamed Money and Sales, is KING in repeat clicks??
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  7. Show us the money..

    Small business people will only pay a certain amount for a domain because at the end of the day it may not be that important for their business.
    The value in domains is at the top end, thats where the serious money is chasing.
    The mid market say 5 to 50k should move over time as the running costs of a website decrease. Just being able to redirect your URL onto a full ecommerce site is where it is at going forward. Domainers can bang on about whatever they want but if you actually run a proper business there are competing aspects to your money, I’d rather buy stock and turn it over, because people are buying on price and not how fancy your URL is. There are obvious cases where com’s are good for doing XYZ but people neglect that the trademark register precludes the use of the domain for a whole bunch of activities if its well picked over…
    Contra to what everyone is saying I believe we are shifting to fewer and more centrally managed etailers. because when you’re competing on cost then cost is about scale and efficiency in logistics and procurement/supply chain. This has obvious repercussions for the .com game, but likewise more big foreign players might want to use the URLs to probe into our markets.
    Anyway could talk for ages… bla bla..

  8. Donny

    You said- At the end of the day meaning to me”right now” you say it may not be that important for their business to get a domain name, maybe not in exact words but- WTF that is like saying your own personal name has no importance so their is no need to tell anyone who you are.
    Small business- or 2-50 employees needs to have a great name to stay alive. It is a liability to a company if they own a bad name or don’t have one at all. It is like walking around with no head. No one knows who you are.
    solomo is going to change your etailer theory. Local is it. i-5 and solomo will screw that up for sure.
    If a real estate agent owned for example do you really think he or she would ever have to worry about leads again. That 500k condo is a 15k in commission. I would rethink that theory of yours.

  9. ScottM

    If most of your portfolio is loaded with pigeon shit domains then you in fact have a pidgeon shitload of domains.

  10. Show us the money..

    Believe what you want Donny, but take Twitter, Youtube, Google and loads and loads of other highly successful businesses and they DON’T go for generics, they go for branding with negligible traffic that wouldn’t wash its face in most domainers porfolio’s.
    The domain name game is overbought in my opinion, the upside is only so much for high risk. Property beats it hands down at the moment. Domains were a good buy say pre 2005, but I see far too many domains at far too higher prices.
    Difference is Donny, I know plenty of business owners and they don’t want to pay for a decent domain name, and they certainly don’t want to pay for the upkeep of a website with its attendent costs. They will without a shadow of doubt all herd onto the likes of Facebook or Google if they make it easy enough and cheap enough. I.e. Facebook Shop app… An iphone shop managed by Apple with a link straight off the front of Apples landing page on iphone etc etc.
    You make reference to as some holy grail example but whats its worth in the market already? So, some real estate agent in Florida wants it and the domain owner already knows its worth XYZ, then there’s nothing in it for the buyer because its already been factored into the price, hence they may well follow some other strategy.
    Also, you were referencing low cost domain names, not higher end ones. Where you trying to sell for $300 in your exercise. No? So how about measuring apples with apples. I’ll have it for $300 if you’re that much of a mug.

  11. Show us the money..

    Furthermore Donny, its far easier to make money in ecommerce via already established porthole type websites such as Amazon, Ebay etc. See, the fact is that people in business go where the buyers are (The REAL traffic) just like when they existed on Main street where the footfall is highest.
    Buying a domain and building a website and maintaining it and getting traffic is quite a big task beyond a lot of small businesses.
    In your property example, if the likes of Rick does it well with his then small real estate agents will use his domain as a porthole because the traffic is already there and they can keep their own cost structures variable in alignment with their commission base. Somenody in Florida will look likely on before they look on Understand that and you’ll understand what real business is about.

  12. Faz K

    Hi Rick,
    Up until today I wasn’t quite sure if I am allowed to leave a comment on your blog. If it does get approved then all I wanted to say is that you have a Fan here in England.
    I am new to the Domain Industry and visit your website on a regular basis. It is amazing to see your enthusiasm in sharing your experience and knowledge so selflessly. It is hard to find industry leaders regardless of the sector whether be it Finance or IT, to talk their minds to help others better understand the relevant industries. This can be mostly attributable to selfishness and lack of confidence in their ability and sometimes integrity plays a role too.
    It is very kind of you to go out of your ways to contribute towards shaping this industry.
    I hope you are told enough that your views are very much appreciated, inspiring and resourceful.
    I also hope that you keep up your great work.
    Best wishes

  13. Show us the money..

    A freud slip lol, probably because there are so many crap businesses dealing through them.
    But one thing, too many domainers talk about the ‘lost sale or the sale gained concept’ like if I was making 15k commission on a house sale then I’d be mad not to spend ‘millions’ buying florida homes .com. But the issue can be by not having your offering in the right place where the traffic is highest then your domain could lose you alot rather than just having all your offerings in one of these portals….
    But, if you had a small real estate practice in Florida and bought and then REBRANDED your business to suit the URL then that could be a smart move as you could use the portals and also gain some leverage with a clean generic that matches your business and gives confidence to buyers.

  14. BillW

    @Show Us the Money -“Buying a domain and building a website and maintaining it and getting traffic is quite a big task beyond a lot of small businesses.”
    Websites don’t have to be expensive and nowadays there are made super easy for novices on sites like Squarespace or Homestead (the latter is owned by Intuit). With pretty much zero experience you can build a very nice website and the hosting cost is about $ 10 – $20 a month. Not bad for a 24-7 sales tool and they both offer live tech support if you need help. Downside is they”own” the shell of the website, so they keep you locked in to your monthly fee for that service. Still a cheap marketing tool you can do yourself.

  15. Greg

    There is no way to immediately identify”internet” without .COM
    You cant put mywebsite.newtld in advertising if you want people to know what you mean
    If you have .com domains there’s nothing to fear

  16. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    The most Powerful Marketing Tool in Recorded Industry = Domain Name.
    The left side of the = is absolutely correct! So why do we call them by the Right side of the = sign ?
    Yes they are Domain Names. Let me ask you a question?
    Your sitting at your coffee spot and someone asks you what you do and you say your a Domainer. The other person responds and says Oh yah, I have my own Domain Name, I bought it for a couple dollars. He says this, as his eyes glaze over and loses interest immediately.
    This time your siiting at the same coffee place and someone asks you what you do and you say , I invest in Virtual Business Foundations that just happen to be the most powerful Marketing Tool in Recorded History! The other person responds Really! Tell me more, with his eyes wide open.
    My point being there comes a time when old perceptions need to change to more powerful peceptions, that are more representative of the Beast,called Domain Names.
    You say you don’t like = Virtual Business Foundations. Great you could call them anything other than a Domain Name.
    Strategic Business Foundations
    Strategic Marketing Foundations
    Virtual Marketing Machines
    Top Tier Traffic Aggregators
    The holy Grail Of Marketing
    Etc. Etc. Etc. Get creative but please dont call them Domain names or your apt to get a glassy eyed response.
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger

  17. svfox

    He better post it. If not T.U.R.D. has 50 million in disposable income to enforce fair posting.
    If he lets my posts go through then he will let yours through.

  18. domains

    Humpty Dumpty on wall, who is the greatest mother fucker of them.
    Answer Not investing in good domains.
    Now is the time and raise your hand and say fuck yeah loudly and proudly.
    So many mother fuckers, so little time.
    Fun times in the domain space. On a mission. Thanks Rick and keep up the great posts.
    Enjoyed this one and yes while things are challenging, economic conditions, we need to stay focused more so then ever before. Fuck the noise, fuck the distractions, fuck the hidden agendas, fuck the trolls..
    ok.. thats my sunday thought.

  19. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    The everybody elses opinion remark is”Dead Balls On”. The media, which is fee based propoganda, has been working over time to convince Foundation holders their addresses are worth just a little over a REG FEE !
    Give them credit, They have done a good job of denegrating Domainers with Cybersquatter,Etc.Etc. Countless DOT SOMETHINGS and on and on Confusing and Dazing Domainers with false Illusions.
    Their smoke screen has suucessfully suppressed the value of Virtual Business Foundations – OR – PERPETUAL MARKETING MACHINES .Sadly lots of Domainers are still drinking their Kool-aid.
    Wait though, you even have said your sensing a turning of the tides. Witness to this is the uptick in Bidders on Namejet and others. The secondary Market place especially in the .COM vein are increasing at an exponential pace. Could it be that people are waking up outside the domainer community? Absolutely !
    Now the most important shift in our opinion has to be in the Domainers camp. They have to realize the power that lies with them in owning arguably the most powerful Strategic Marketing Tools in all of recorded History. Domainers will not hear this from outside interests salivating for our KEYS to the Holy Grail of Marketing, otherwise known as Virtual Business Foundations or as they would like you saying Domain Names.
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  20. Sideliner

    Marketing is still the 4″P”s as identified a half century ago:
    The internet has just added a new dimension to the”place” but for many products it’s not the holy grail. Without the 1-2-3 punch of traditional marketing, media, promotion, trade shows and other traditional advertising and sales methods you may not reach critical mass.
    On a cost basis, the internet is probably the most cost effective marketing tool of the future.

  21. DomainsCrawler

    Hello Rick
    No despair here. As you’ve said, the domain industry is the highest paying commodity ever known to man. Get through the hurdles and success is just a business plan away.
    On another note, you’ve often talked of”Pigeon Shit.” The words alone have inspired me in many ways. I’ve created my own course in relation to it and call it ‘No Bull Zone.’ The Logo is placed on several of my sites and has kept some of the crap away. I wanted to thank you for that inspiration!
    But the real reason I even brought this up is that it reminds me of the words ‘chicken shit.’ Which is what I’ve been in regards to responding to not just your blog, but several others I follow. I’ve been chicken shit to respond because I’m technically a newbie and pretty much don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the domain business. But then I look at what I’ve accomplished in such a very short period of time, I find myself no longer a chicken shit to respond to or seek advice from you or anybody else for that matter. Which brings me to my hole point. I read your blog on a regular basis thru RSS. And even though there are a handful of”Domain King” bashers out there, I don’t listen to their shit. They are just jealous punks. I do however listen and absorb what you have to say and I try my best to apply your lessons and wisdom to my own applications. And as a result of listening and reading between the lines, I feel I’m on the right path. Through your advice, I gotten rid of 100’s of crap domains and really began to focus on a bigger picture.
    So, considering that just a year and eight months ago I didn’t even know how to check my email. And that in this short period of time I’ve built and published over 60 sites and still own several hundred domains, I’m reaching out to you for a no”Pigeon Shit,””No Bull Zone” opinion on what I’ve got going on.
    If you would do me the honor of taking a few minutes of your time to check out I’d be most humble with any advice, good or bad.

  22. Donny

    Show us the money
    The problem is you’re working with losers. And birds of the same feathers flock together.

  23. Jeff Schneider

    Virtual Business Foundations employ all 4 Ps as you call them,Just more efficiently, with a superoir R.O.I. The old B School mentality interlaps with the New World Marketing scheme of things. If you are looking for superior R.O.I. The virtual Perpetual Marketing Machines in the .COM Channel are far superior vehicles to your geographically barriered and time constrained approach.
    Once web companies employ more sales people over engineer Alpha Dogs, the true Strategic superiority of these most powerful marketing tools in recorded History, will clearly be seen. Old habits die hard, but eventually succumb to a better”Mouse Trap”
    Evolve or get out of the way of progress.
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)


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