Social Media is No Longer Social, It’s Dangerous!

Morning Folks!!

Social Media is no longer social. It's almost anti-social at this stage and won't be getting better. It will continue to get worse as hate and agendas now control it. It's not even safe!

Social Media has been weaponized. It has destroyed people and careers by the thousands! Your personal data has been distributed to every crook in the universe.

There is simply nothing "Social" about Social Media. It's a war zone.

The only Social Media I still deal with is Linked-in and to be honest, I never made a penny or got a connection via their platform. They may be next. It's a time waster not a money maker. Mostly spammers. I left Twitter and Facebook last year for multiple reasons, but sparked by the Berkens incident.

The Internet in general stokes hate as many of us have seen first hand starting early on in the 1990's. It's just gotten worse and BILLIONS of people are participating all with their own hate, anger and prejudices. As it organizes, it becomes very  dangerous. More dangerous than any other media in history.

Social Media may be the front lines of a war that is sure to come. A World War.

Rick Schwartz

The Biggest Threat to Domain Investors are Domainers!

Morning Folks!!

I have been involved in some 55 industries in my life. The core of most industries are the same. How they run is very similar and the back biting is pretty much universal.

But most of those industries had associations that were widely supported. That offered group discounts and were powerful by their sheer numbers. They had standards of conduct. Most associations charge up to $99 for annual dues that are easily offset by the benefits. Some are higher some are lower.

But with all the grandstanding and all the talk about all the bad companies out there that hate domainers etc. None have done more damage than domainers themselves.

Obviously the big one is trademark infringement. Let's make it easy. If you have a company name inside your domain without a specific "Free Speech" twist or agenda, then your domain has a high likelihood of infringement. But I am not a lawyer. I just know the difference and so should every domain investor.

Maybe before we have a "Bill of Rights" (Which there is no reason not to support) we need to set STANDARDS of what WE stand for. Standards of OUR OWN responsibilities and even self-policing. Who we are as professionals and clearly separating ourselves from the MASSES OF ABUSERS that DEFINE domainers!

I will never apologize for investing in domains. They set the rules and many of us simply played by the rules and have found all levels of success.

That said, NOBODY on the planet gives a rats ass about domainers except us! We are TOE JAM at best! We are looked at as some of the lowest forms of life by those heavily involved with the Internet. Cockroaches! And some of it with good cause! Most domainers are an embarrassment! Infringers to the nth degree!

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Shill bidding. Scandals swept under the rug. Widespread abuse of all types of things. Clawbacks. Auction houses with disgusting business practices. Add your own in comments!

The "Domain Industry" is a Dirty Rotten industry such as it is. And again, let me state clearly, there is no industry. There is no association that represents rank and file domainers. There are no standards of conduct.

I appreciate the work the ICA does but my point of contention from the get go has been "Inclusion". There is power in numbers. One $5000 member does not have the power as 100 $50 members. One $25,000 member does not have the power that 500 members have. There should be TENS of thousands of members and THEY (the ICA) should be putting on the "Industry Show" for the overall good like other industries do. Serving and representing an entire industry vs 20 SELF SERVING wildcatters with an agenda!

In the way I saw things and how it SHOULD have would have been my desire and long term vision to turn TRAFFIC over to the ICA to run. That was what I had hoped for. It was just not possible with the makeup of the ICA as I saw it and decided to just pull the plug instead and preserve whatever history we had.

And to be honest, the window of opportunity on this has all but closed. There is no domain industry and there never will be! Domainers are very charitable but charity starts at home. When the money was flying around we helped many causes but we never cemented or protected our own cause in an effective, meaningful and long lasting way. That window of opportunity is gone.

Just sayin'

Rick Schwartz

Negotiating Contracts Can be Expensive. Have the Buying Party PAY for YOUR Attorney!!

Morning Folks!!

When I negotiate a multi faceted domain deal I don't even START the final negotiations until they agree to pay my legal expenses. Negotiating any bona fide contact may easily cost several thousand dollars. My deals cost up to $2ok because there are a lot of moving parts.

Why should I be out of pocket thousands of dollars if the deal falls thru? It's bad enough to waste the time let alone the money. Now this happens after the basic deal is made. But the deal MUST be translated into an ENFORCEABLE contract. That can get expensive as the 2 sides weave the wording.

And the keyword is "Enforceable" which means if you have a sloppy contract, you have nothing.

I started doing this many years ago and I do this with ALL contracts of a d0main purchase. Not sure how many others if any do this. But this is my standard operating procedure.

I am not talking about cash deals. That's why we have But any contract, you gotta send my lawyer $2,000 if you want me to take you seriously. Why should I be out of pocket if the buying party is not serious or does not follow thru? Am I willing to lose a deal over this? Of course! Have I? NEVER!

Rick Schwartz

Is 2018 Shaping up to be a Good Year for Top Reported Domain Sales? Short Answer “Not Exactly”.

Morning Folks!!

So, since 2005, Ron Jackson's DNJournal has been chronicling the top reported domain sales each and every week as well as a "Top 100 Chart" for each and every year. A LOT of work! Thanks Ron!

I took the liberty of adding up all those reported sales starting in 2005 and segregated by year. It doesn't tell all but it does tell a story. Especially of you study each and every sale during those 14 years. Some incredible deals!

Now please don't remind me that most domain sales are not reported. They are not. And of course Yung Ye's $162 Million won't appear nor Mike Berkens $35 Million. Nor will many many many others that we will never hear about that have quietly walked into the sunset.

That all said, it is what we have and it still tells a lot about things.















Total $447,516,030

And these are just the top 100 each year.

The average year...$31,965,430

2018 not shaping up to be a big year. However there is still time and a blockbuster deal could turn things around on a dime! However, as of now, 2018 ranks among the 3 lowest years as you will see below. And may I remind you that was with intense selling pressure out there. Everyone and their grandmother is trying to sell their domains these days. That was not the case in many of those prior years where it was not a selling frenzy but was a buying frenzy.

So if you look at it through that lens, and I do, that illustrates weakness. Not terrible. But weaker. Will that change for 2019 and 2020? It should! With the issues social media is having, domains will end up as the beneficiary as folks want to control their own destiny not having the likes of Twitter and Facebook control their own narrative.

2018 was a good year for business. Companies have good cash flow and many sitting on large chunks of cash. As they see Sears closing up and many others following, can't we finally make a really good case for 1 domain worldwide that rivals and perhaps exceeds 3000 stores ready to collapse with overhead more than $8 a year after the initial buy which is still a FRACTION of what it cost to build ONE Sears Store? I REFUSE to abandon that foundational mindset that I have! That is why I refuse to give away domains for pennies on the dollar. My vision is stronger than theirs. And it's based on simple common sense and math.

Whether we compare domains to real estate and associated costs or the cost of a Super Bowl Ad or the cost of a 30 second spot on TV, the domain name remains a bargain that business has overlooked but NOW are FORCED to revisit!

The forecast for 2019 and 2020 are looking pretty damn good the way I see the universe! But it can only look good if you have positioned yourselves well and own domains that 3rd parties need, want and desire. Our job is to show value when compared to alternatives and look at the future while doing so.

Rick Schwartz

Verisign throws Domain Speculators Under the Bus. F*ck You Verisign. Apologize!

Morning Folks!!

I have been very supportive of Verisign's new price increases. I still am. But yesterday Verisign threw the domain industry and domain speculators and leaders directly under the bus and came close to calling us CRIMINALS! That was rude, it was uncalled for and as far as I’m concerned Verisign is now an enemy of the domain industry. 

That said, STUPID DOMAINERS!!! STUPID DOMAIN INDUSTRY!! This was a DUMB fight against Verisign. A fight that was nasty over pennies! The STUPID DOMAINERS were AWOL when the real fight was lost 14 YEARS ago!

Domainers called out Verisign for no legit reason!

One idiot calls them a "monopoly/mafia". Nonsense!!! They are no more a monopoly than the the Division of Motor Vehicles or your local electric company. They are meaningless in our lives. Verisign is the same. They are regulated. If not, you would be paying BIG $$$ for your assets!

When the prices go back to $100 each, give me a call. Won't be in OUR lifetime!

And Verisign, We are NOT "hiding in plain sight". That is a disgusting statement insinuating we are doing something illegal. Go FU*K YOURSELVES!

They called people who buy domains to sell for higher prices “domain scalpers”! Go F*ck Yourselves!

But domainers brought this upon themselves with the language they have use in the ridiculous out rage they have shown for really very small increases over many years while they themselves make fortunes.

Petitions??!! NONSENSE! I never saw the Domain Industry come together for anything that counted but they came together to fight a pointless losing battle. Verisign is stupid! But domainers are 10x dumber!

Hey, MORONS at Verisign, why don't you put out the number of total domains owned by speculators!? The ones YOU profit from! How many!!??

That all said (more to come) Verisign may have just ignited the domain industry like no other company could do. It gave domain speculating high visibility by a high visibility company. That’s a good thing!

 Regardless of all that it was very mean, it was mean spirited, it was uncalled for and most of all it’s simply not true. They invented the game. Domain speculators have supported Verisign to the tune of billions of dollars a year. So there’s only one thing to say to Verisign. F*ck you Verisign.

And letting me clearly say that Verisign is a meaningless company to us. They are nothing more than your motor vehicle registrar. Who gives a crap about them? They provide a service. You give him a few dollars a year and they give you a drivers license. They have a monopoly. Who gives a crap? Too many idealistic domainers taking shots at Verisign for quite a while now just got a little payback and some smack down. 

But let me reiterate again that Verisign actually gave legitimacy to domain speculators by trying to delegitimize us. A very stupid thing to do. Verisign is a bitter company. But they are meaningless to me. They mean nothing. I never talk about them. I never discuss them. They mean nothing. They are nothing more than a utility.

The good news is they are pointing to the multi billion dollar domain speculation industry. That’s us folks! A multibillion dollar industry that until yesterday was completely under the radar.

The single most important thing  to focus on is this:

"So how large is this market? The answer may shock you. Verisign estimates that over $1 billion in annual secondary-market sales of .com domain names can be documented through publicly available data. Several domain speculators believe the size of the total market is $2-3 billion a year. Perhaps $1.5 billion is closer to the actual number, which is about equal to the total annual pre-tax domain name revenue of all ICANN registry services providers combined, including Verisign.aid and SMART DOMAIN SPECULATORS"

Run with it!! Post it everywhere. Tell everyone! This is a LIFE line! But dumb domainers will focus on pennies at the expense of BILLIONS!!

Verisign is very stupid min their comments. They have made a fortune from domainers speculating and warehousing domain names. Now they complain and call out companies and individuals???




I was particularly surprised that Verisign actually mentioned names of companies and individuals in their blog post. Either way they own that blog post. They own the negative parts and we own the positive parts. WAKE UP!

So, Verisign I am very happy for your price increase but other than that please go f*ck yourselves! Go f*ck yourselves!

Quasi-legitimate industry or business? "hiding in plain sight"? Go f*ck yourself three more times assholes. The industry we have been in has been in existence for thousands of years in different forms. Calling us names and demeaning an entire group and industry is over the line! Calling us CRIMINALS??? Isn't that the point they are trying to get to with "hiding in plain sight"?


There is a good chance they could use someone like Phil Corwin to lobby to change rules and laws for how many domains an entity can have. They will fail miserably in that effort. THAT is the fight my friends! But the Domainers that fought the increase are responsible for their new position! I am sure many will call me out! But sorry, this is on YOU and your idiotic petition!

I always look for a silver lining and here are some of the things we can use in the street and there’s individuals to further our efforts and legitimize what we do and have people like Verisign that try to delegitimize this pay the price.

I am sorry, is already registered and forwards to a story about them..

Maybe I will introduce motherf* to Verisign?

Freedom of speech works both ways!

That was mine, this was theirs!

"But there is also an unregulated secondary market – led by domain speculators – hiding in plain sight. There, some speculators buy domain names at regulated low prices, then sell them at a far higher price. This secondary market is as old as the domain name system itself. However, since the wholesale price cap was imposed on .com in 2012, the secondary market has expanded in ways that exploit consumers.

Look at the website – owned by registrar TurnCommerce – where nearly four million .com domain names are warehoused and offered for sale:

  • None are offered below $195, and 90 percent of their names are priced above $1,000.

  • The average price is roughly $2,500 per domain – a markup of more than thirty thousand percent (30,000%) over the regulated wholesale price of $7.85.

    • That’s a profit margin of over 99 percent on each sale

    • At these prices, the value of the HugeDomains’ inventory is nearly $10 billion

  • Many of HugeDomains’ names have incredibly high price tags. Here are a few examples from their website, as of November 1, 2018:

    • for $1.25 million

    • is $3.5 million

    • is offered at $7.5 million

    • Even the fluff in their inventory isn’t cheap – is listed at $325,000

And yet, TurnCommerce has been actively lobbying our government to freeze the wholesale price of .com domain names. When they can buy .com names at capped wholesale prices, and mark them up to $2,500, $50,000, $1 million, or even $7 million, does anyone believe they are lobbying for continued price caps in order to protect consumers?

Even traditional registrars like GoDaddy have become big players in the secondary market and hold large portfolios of domain names for resale. GoDaddy’s public filings show it has spent over $100 million buying domain names for resale purposes. GoDaddy holds these domain names and then offers them to consumers and small businesses at prices that are often thousands of times the wholesale price. There’s nothing in GoDaddy’s public filings about its profits from this practice, but GoDaddy claims its domain name portfolio is worth $2.5 billion.

TurnCommerce and GoDaddy are not the only ones profiting from .com price caps. Domain speculation, or “domain scalping,” as some call it, has become a highly profitable industry unto itself. In fact, one of the top domain name speculators in this market reports a net worth of $500 million. These speculators even have their own lobbying group, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA), where TurnCommerce and GoDaddy are members via their subsidiaries NameBright and Afternic.

Ironically, in this speculators’ market, the price control on .com domain names serves only to reduce the cost of domain names bought by these speculators. Domain speculator Frank Schilling stated that the .com price cap “…has given the [domain speculation] industry a shot in the arm,” in a Jan. 2017 podcast interview. Flipping domain names or warehousing them to create scarcity adds nothing to the industry and merely allows those engaged in this questionable practice to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and businesses.

So how large is this market? The answer may shock you. Verisign estimates that over $1 billion in annual secondary-market sales of .com domain names can be documented through publicly available data. Several domain speculators believe the size of the total market is $2-3 billion a year. Perhaps $1.5 billion is closer to the actual number, which is about equal to the total annual pre-tax domain name revenue of all ICANN registry services providers combined, including Verisign.

Recently, some who profit most from the unregulated secondary domain market have been lobbying our government to freeze .com wholesale prices. They say their goal is to protect small businesses and consumers. But their business models and domain resale prices show that their real goal is to preserve the profits they earn from .com price caps.  In fact, the real opportunity for consumer savings would come from reducing or eliminating the more than $1 billion per year in scalping fees that businesses and consumers pay today."

With Godaddy and other large companies we have some major allies to fight the REAL FIGHT I always knew would come.

"hiding in plain sight"? Verisign, you owe us an apology! I understand this looks like payback for the HORRIBLY MISGUIDED petition domainers had that I opposed. You guys won! Domainers tried to stop your win and you guys are spiking the ball. But it was wrong minded just as the petition was wrong minded!

Either way, VERISIGN OWES ALL OF US AN APOLOGY! But I will use THEIR words from now on against them and to help us!

And to the Domain Industry, this is what I wrote just 30 days ago!

"Go buy some Verisign stock! I hope the prices go up and it forces the wannabes out. Remember, I was paying $100 a pop at the start. Then $70. Then less. At $8 I am not sure why everyone is so upset. For a REAL business $8/year is a joke! You can't get a decent Burger, Fries and Coke for $8 let alone a WORLDWIDE presence!

So stop the whining! Increasing the registration prices only hurt domainers and NOBODY gives a rats ass about Domainers! I don't think a real business owning 1-10 domains cares. Why should they!?

I would suggest that some dump all their domains. With the savings on renewals just buy Verisign and you will MAKE MORE MONEY!"

Sorry, but I blame the petition for this. That won't make me a favorite of whoever created it and signed it. But if not for that nonsense that was 14 YEARS late, that blog post yesterday would have never appeared. IMHO!

And don't like my view? TOUGH!

btw Verisign, how many domain speculator shows and events have you gone to, supported or sponsored? How many of your blog posts have you emailed me about? How many land rushes did you advertise to me via email? Hypocrites!!! APOLOGIZE PUBLICLY before that all comes out and makes you look BAD!!!!!!!!

EXHIBIT A! "Hi Rick – Today, Verisign announced the opening of the Landrush Program period for the first internationalized version of the .com top-level domain (TLD) in Japanese script, .コム , is open for anyone to register on a first come, first served basis until June 12, 2016. For more information on the Japanese IDN rollout, please check out the Verisign blog post."


EXHIBIT B! Hi Rick – Hope you’re well! Today, Verisign released its latest Domain Name Industry Brief, which provides a review of the state of the domain name industry through statistical and analytical research. The following are the top-line numbers at the close of Q1 2016:

  • The total number of registered domain names rose to 326.4 million worldwide across all top-level domains

  • 12 million domain names were added to the Internet in Q1 2016:

    • This increase globally equates to a growth rate of 3.8% over Q4 2015

    • Worldwide registrations have grown by 32.4 million, or 11 percent, year over year.

  • The .com and .net TLDs reached a combined total of approximately 142.5 million domain names in the domain name base in Q1’16

    • The base of registered names in .com equaled 126.6 million names, while .net equaled 15.9 million names

    • Verisign processed 10 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 8.7 million domain names for the same period in 2015.

  • Verisign’s average Domain Name System query load was 124  billion across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 189 billion

For more information, copies of the Q1 2016 DNIB, or to view past reports, visit, where you can also find the Q1 2016 infographic. Please let me know if you have any questions.


EXHIBIT C! Hi Rick – Hope you’re well! In case you missed it, I wanted to flag the latest post in Verisign’s blog series on the top 10 keywords in registered in .COM and .NET each month. For quick reference, here are the trending registrations from June:


When they can make money from us they love it! They encourage us to register domains as speculators Then they compare us to CRIMINALS? GO F*CK YOURSELVES VERISIGN!!

If you want to start a petition (and I don't), maybe protecting your actual LIVELIHOOD from VERISIGN and their LOBBYISTS is more important than PENNIES for a damn registration!!!!~!~

For smart people all around on both sides, you all do some of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Verisign should be banned from ALL domain events until they clear the air. Persona Non Grata!

Verisign has been "In Bed" financially with domainers for many years and now we are "hiding in plain sight" and "Scalpers???!! MotherFu*kers!

If you can sign that worthless petition that brought all this, then you can post your outrage here or possibly admit the petition was a DISASTER! Thanks!!!!

By the time Monday morning comes and these ingrates and hypocrites show back up to work at Verisign, their ears should be on fire for being exposed! Are they not encouraging us to buy, then trafficking and profiting in the same thing they are accusing us of doing and "hiding in plain sight"?!

Rick Schwartz