$8.58: The deadly, vicious cost of a dot-com domain registration

In this blog, we explore the mathematics facing those playing the domain game.

It’s so tempting. It’s under a hundred. Heck – it’s under $10. It could sell for $500. $1,000. $5,000. And, even $25,000.

It just sets me back an affordable ten bucks or less. Take a breadth .. not even a deep one … register. Done. Coffee time. I’m on a roll, so I register three a day. I repeat this for the week. It’s less than ten bucks, afterall.

Or is it?

The thing is, I need lot’s and lot’s of these to sell a few. It’s on the odds. The assumption is, the more I have, the greater the chances of selling. So, I register three a day for a week, as sales to be sure is a function of quantity.

$8.58 x 3 domains/day x 7 days.

How’s your Math on that? Mine is awful, so using Excel, I see it tots up to $180 and eighteen cents. Let’s hope 8’s are lucky.

But now I realise .. in fact anyone can create a domain name for $8.58 — it’s a weakness in the domain game model. My name has to be very, very good to tempt someone to purchase.

So, I will need to renew my domains for a number of years.

Let’s say I’m a beleiever in these names of mine. I’m going to renew for ten years.

Now my costs are $180.18 x 10 years = $1,801.80. Those little $8.58’s are totting up faster than something that tots up very fast.

Wow. Nearly two grand! That little $8.58 does not look so small now. You have to clear one sale over $2,000 to break even. You need two sales at $2,000 to make a decent return (100% — actually that is a good return :D).

You need to sell 2 names out of 21. That’s a total sales rate over the ten years of 9.5%.

On a yearly basis, I need to sell 1%. They say successful domainers only sell 2% of their portfolio per annum. That’s if I’m selling at $2,000 level.

BrandBucket have a feature called “Name My Company” where potential customers look for suggestions based on a few keywords. I have my doubts about this, as it’s taking the consumer away from the magic of discovery a bit.

For me, it’s a useful exercise, as I find myself really thinking about a) the names I have and b) the inquirer’s needs.

Names are amazing things! I really love some now before I did not like. And I’m less keen on others. An example would be ClearBreak.com. I now really like this name, and the data stacks up.

It’s one of those rare things where the monetary cost of acquisition of the hand-reg is completely irrelevant towards the value.

With hand-regges I now perform a lot more checks:

1. Check extension history
2. Check domain with extension score
3. Check parsed keywords score and bid in Google (descriptive names only)
4. Check Alexa (descriptive names only)
5. Check NameBio sales history. This can involve two searches or even more, and takes time. Could one strong word make up for one weak one?
6. Check no UK/EU/UK trademarks.

Phew. Quite a lot of work!

As I’m doing this, I’m all the time thinking about the domain…what are it’s prospects?

Guess what — if this hasn’t been done in the past, it has to be done now, or else the little $8.58 will chew me up and spit me in the bin, like a piece of old bubble gum.

There’s also a critical assumption in all of the above that I’ll be exploring in the next post.

What I’m Up To Over the Last Month Last Six Months

The rough news has been, on the textbooks website, Half.com (part of eBay) ended their affiliate program. The two top selling stores are Amazon and Half. Nobody else comes close. This left the door open to Amazon to slash the rates to the textbook search engines which they duly did (now half the standard affiliate rate). I could make something myself, but you’d be risking all the SEO and just reinventing the wheel, for something that has to end, and in fact which we are dedicated to ending. Such a strange business to be in — the logical aim of this affiliate site is to go bust, if you’re true to the domain.

By the way, isn’t it funny the way some bloggers are so paranoid about affiliate links on their blog? You’d swear the Gestapo were outside waiting to arrest them if they didn’t disclose the fact. “Oh please dear reader let me emphasise it’s an affiliate banner — yes yes yes I will make ten cent a sale if someone clicks through and buys something…I confess…I CONFESS!! Plz Don’t arrest me and torture me!”

Back at the house, sales since the last blog (it’s a long time ago 😀 — bear in mind we have to pay $3,000-4,000 per month in renewals), were as follows:

Liquidation Sales [$50-250]: thesat*****.com, jobsini*****.com, *****loaf.com, luxury-*****.com, cyber*****.org, int*****.org, game*****.com, cred*****products.com, fx**.com, tf**.com, zi**.com, ****cruise.com, domain*****.com, io**.com, *****deals.org, mp3-*****.com, market*****.com, *****junky.com.

Some very good bargain there, esp ioiu.com!! For more bargains, check my NameJet page:

Sales [$350-750]: searc*****.com, Ticket*****.com, nice*****.com, fast-*****.com, click*****.com, thegirl*****.net, miss*****.com, miss*****.com, japan*****.com, *****watch.net, c*****canada.com, *****tips.com, *****shop.com, *****croatia.com, *****valley.com

Sales [$751-999]:
sell*****.com, smart*****.com, *****frenzy.com, Det*****.com, *****tabs.com, *****please.com, meacup*****.com, *****findr.com, bag-*****.com, *****money.com, curse*****.com, *****repair.com, *****outlet.com, shoe*****.com, discounts*****.com, finance*****.com, hot*****.com, wait*****.com, *****charges.com, dj*****.com, renter*****.com, *****sign.com, *****city.com, *****me.com, drum***.com (instalments), *****sofa.com, *****cars.com, rev*****.com, cash*****.com

Sell*****.com and WifiRepair.com were really bad price ups by me! Especially sell*****.com!!

Sales [$1,000-$2500]:
jobin*****.com, *****bot.com, brand.click, *****jewelry.com, fleethe***.com (instalments), *****arcade.com, car*****.com, clearance*****.com, rare.xyz.

Hum. Two Gs. Would’ve thought! Now, tragically, the lists get smaller..

Sales [$2501-8000]
— okay so I where you see ** it’s a BrandBucket sale, and I can’t disclose the full name:

deal***.com, ***bot.com, ***drone.com, daily***.com, stock***.com, online***.com, ***genius.com, *****tires.com ($5,000 on Afternic)
*****Game.com ($8,000 on Afternic).

You can see my BrandBucket portfolio here:

The most sales was Godaddy/Afternic. BrandBucket was next, which surprised me, even with the high commission, it’s worth it. Undeveloped were next and have a beautiful landing page that works. Sedo look like they are coming back and all the sales we made there were in the last month.

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On the development front, I’ve been taking intense classes in PHP, JS the lot in a project driven course. As a result, I haven’t been working as much on the affiliate sites. I can’t wait to get stuck into AllHotels.com which is due a facelift. aJob.com needs a change as Indeed end their affiliate program. MP3Downloader.com is up and running at last and is going well.

As part of the course, we had to buy this book on PHP/SQL. I nearly fell off my seat when I saw the price in the bookstore of this book. €70 for a book on PHP? I don’t think so!

Thankfully, I headed to CheapTextbooks.com where I got it at a far better price! I mean honestly..€70 for a textbook? *cue disclaimer* *runs for the hills*