Rick’s Version of The Domain Game: Hold or Sell? How Many? How Often? How Much?

Morning folks!!

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.

  1. Cost of Employees $0

  2. Cost of Rent $0

  3. Cost of advertising $0

  4. Cost of Electric $0

  5. Cost of ??? $0 $0 $0 $0

  6. Cost to run this business $55,000/year

  7. 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.

Rick Schwartz

15 thoughts on “Rick’s Version of The Domain Game: Hold or Sell? How Many? How Often? How Much?

    1. Steve B

      It’s just different styles, imo.

      Some people are Macy’s, and others are Walmart.

      Quality vs Quantity.

    2. Joseph C.

      On that link:
      17 bids from two bidders, with 2 days, 18 hours to go at $33,510 … Gimme a break! Is this what GoDaddy auctions have turned into? Can’t they put a stop to shams and shills??

  1. Michael D.


    At what age did you start Domaining and what would you say to your younger self if you had to do it all over again?

  2. J.G.

    I’m on the opposite end in that I never managed to sell a domain name in the twenty years that I have been into them.

  3. Steve B

    It’s just different styles, imo.

    Some people are Macy’s, and others are Walmart.

    Quality vs Quantity.

  4. Richard

    30% taxe rate really is a cooler.
    What an incredible competitive disadvantage compared to the guys doing basically the same thing but from the Caymans, Panama, Monte Carlo, Switzerland, you name it.. Millions more to invest and to leverage.

  5. Vinod Reghunathan

    Quite inspiring!. Value your vision for your business. Fewer sales more money, its better than finding 1 person than finding 100 people and sell 100 names and make 1 million. I prefer to do it in the same way.

  6. Jeff Schneider

    Great concepts to win by Rick,
    We have always adopted the concept more is not better.Actually less is much more profitable.We believe 5-10 quality (.COM Equimoditty Platform Asset TAX SHELTERS)beat 100s if not 1000s of sub-standard extensions when it comes to ROIs.Those who understand this concept and bite the bullet and dump sub-standard extensions and redistribute money into (.COM Equimoditty Platform Asset TAX SHELTERS)will win the future games handily. JAS
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence,Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master ) https://www.UseBiz.com

  7. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    Many of the Domaining Blogs have actively blocked our Marketing Intelligence releases in the past and to this day as well. This is a blocking strategy to protect their interests NOT their readerships best interests. Surprisingly they (some not all) are blocking our comments on the coming expanded Demand for (.COM Equimoditty Platform Asset Class) due to the coming Blockchain Driven Business Configuraters, Intelligence release. Domainers are not served fairly by blogs who CENSOR COMMENTS !! JAS
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence,Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master ) https://www.UseBiz.com

  8. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    We highly suggest to your trusted readership to review our linkedin article (The Mother of All Tax Shelters ! NO REALLY ). This article will shed a clear light forward for discerning investors. Thanks Rick
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Intelligence,Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master ) https://www.UseBiz.com

  9. Garett

    Thanks Rick, I really appreciate it. I had asked in one of your prior blog posts how many domains you sold out of your total inventory just to learn what higher prices would do to the sales percentages. Based on your historical posts, I had calculated it was close to these numbers. This post was a great summary. Thanks again.

    I sell about 60-80 names per year at an average of $1,700. I have about 1-2 sales per year where I know for a fact that I left serious money on the table (2 in the last month…1 of those I’m pretty embarrassed to even reveal). Many times it is nearly impossible to know before the sale takes place, so pricing in an affordable range really cuts out your large sales, except on my limited Ultra Premium names that have no price or a high price. As time goes on I would like to gradually evolve towards your model. Maybe taking some first steps this year.

    Your time is very appreciated. Thanks. It is very hard to get deep insight like this in the domain market.


    I just started learning about the world of domains and came across your blog and it’s inspiring. This is my best article yet. I’m on a mission to read every single article of yours, I’m also a firm believer of generational wealth. I pray I’ll look at my life in 15 years and it looks as bright as yours and even better


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