It is often pointed out to me that I won't sell my domains in my lifetime. DUH!!! I knew that the day I started seriously investing in domains. My portfolio would outlast my lifetime. But I am not going to sell on the cheap. EVER! That's what Generational Wealth means to begin with.
Do you think the Rockefeller's and the Carnegie's and the other land barons and industrialists of the time sold their properties before they died? The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the largest private estate in America. George Washington Vanderbilt built this in the late 1800's. Still owned by his family to this day. It has some 6500 acres, over 125,000 feet in the house. On the property there are 2 hotels, museums, large working winery, gardens, a dozen restaurants, etc. and takes in a small annual fortune. Yeah, I know, he is dead. But his legacy lives on.
Did Steve Jobs sell all his iPhones and computers? If you do it right, you're gonna die with a whole lot of stuff! Assets. Things of value. Things that will help the next generation. Maybe Jobs has inventions that have never been made or marketed yet. Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince, have songs that are released after their death.
So, while everyone else was so busy trying to sell, I only focused on buying and still do. While others focus on ROI, I could care less but I break calculators with my ROI. While others focus on selling 1%, 2%, 5% or more of their portfolio each year I am geared exactly the opposite. I am happy with 1, 2 or 3 sales per year. I simply want to make at least $1 million or more per year. EVERY year. The value of what I have will eventually be understood and appreciated. And if not, that's okay too.
So my buddy Mike Berkens sold most of his portfolio to Godaddy.com for a little over $35 Million. It was a great portfolio. Contained about 70,000 names. Nice names!!! He did great and I am happy he was able to cash in and so is he! And he earned millions in revenue with his traffic along the way. His timing was perfect. I never even had an offer for my portfolio nor do I expect one.
I have not even sold 70 domains. I have gone out of my way to preserve my portfolio. I have sold maybe 35-40 at most! A rate of 0.061% divided by 23 years!!! I am such an idiot for still having 6500 names and 99.94% of my domains left. Some domainers try to put me down for lack of sales. Maybe they have a lack of BRAINS! Maybe they don't understand MATH as I will show below! Maybe they are just poor businessmen and women. Maybe they suck at selling. Maybe they use Estibot. Maybe this and maybe that. Maybe they are just jealous of anyone's success. Yours, mine, everyone.
I face the possibility that I may never sell another domain. But then again, I probably will. So do I cash out by taking a lump sum that may only end up being $1000/domain or do I take the path that may lead to less, but then again, maybe quite a bit more. Perhaps even a windfall. Well, I have chosen the latter. I chose it because I believe in the portfolio I have. I believe in the long term viability. And what work is really involved selling a domain? This blog post takes more effort. I just shoot out prices. Maybe try to spark a conversation. Not exactly digging ditches. So something I can hopefully do until the very end.
Some think I should sell at a higher rate don't understand the equation because I'd rather sell for higher money. Yes, I know I lose sales. Guess what?? I don't care. I play a different game. And yes, I have a different inventory. Am I supposed to apologize for that?? Feel guilty because I recognized something before most? Especially all those that take their time to criticize me. LOL!
So my total domain sales are in excess of $28 MILLION! And my portfolio is more than 99.94% intact!
The way I play the game it is a marathon. The longest and slowest with the mostest, WINS!! But I also think I have most of my "Life Lines" intact. I have plenty of supplies. I am financially strong. I don't have to decide which domains to keep or sell and which to drop for financial reasons.
Many in domaining have made more than me. Much more!! But I doubt anyone was as efficient as me! First of all I have been semi-retired for my nearly my entire time as a domainer. No headaches, no employees,no schedule, no worries. As a solo artist my domain career earnings are over $60 million over my 23 year domaining career. But they say it is not what you make, it's what you keep.
- Cost of Employees $0
- Cost of Rent $0
- Cost of advertising $0
- Cost of Electric $0
- Cost of ??? $0 $0 $0 $0
- Cost to run this business $55,000/year
- Traffic earning reimbursement $60,000/year+
Total operating cost $0
I took about $7.5MM and reinvested in domain names.
I paid an average of about 30% taxes per year.
I took 25% of those dollars after taxes and bought high end real estate.
I took another 25% after taxes and stashed the cash.
Then I invested in many things of great value. Things that I enjoy and give me pleasure but also have a liquid cash value.
The rest, I enjoy the best of what life has to offer and will continue to do that as long as I can. I am a consumer of world travel, luxury hotel suites and the top cruises on the high seas with their owners suites. I like really nice cashmere sport jackets and comfortable shoes.
I get to buy the best. Even if the best is a McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese! Arby's or Taco Bell. It's hard for me to pass up Checkers. But then for dinner I can easily drop a few hundred for the 2 of us and do it often. I love eating. I am really good at it! I reached a high of 217 back in 2005. But I have learned to eat well but in moderation. Today, 181 LB's. I'm a lean, mean eating machine!
Sure, it would be nice to sell my entire portfolio and ride into the sunset. But I have no expectation of that happening. They would really have to have a long term vision and very deep pockets. Besides that they would really have to understand domains and value and future value and power. I don't see anyone that would meet that criteria. They buy the low hanging fruit that you don't need to be that experienced a domainer to buy. NNN.com, LLL.com etc.
If you read my posts over the years I have always stated that there are so many different ways to climb the Domain Mountain and make your fortune. Many paths lead there. The best I can do is share my path and hope others do the same with theirs. It's been a fantastic journey so far! One thing is for sure, the future looks quite different than the past when it comes to domain and domaining. Great domains will pass the test of time.