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Thread: Finding end users for domains

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    Administrator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Finding end users for domains

    The conventional wisdom is to find end users rather than trying to sell on a domaining forum. These domaining guys expect cheap prices because they're resellers. So, I tried finding end users. I had a pretty good domain a few years ago and I did my research and I wrote polite, personalised emails to those I thought might like to own the domain. I got friendly responses back - mainly asking me for a link if I did get around to developing it - but no one actually wanted to buy. It went into my little squirrely horde of things that might get done another day. And then I forgot about it.

    Then one morning, several years later, the sky was blue and the sun was shining and an email came in asking if I'd consider selling the domain. And he offered $x,xxx for it. OK by me.

    Now I have some other stuff I'd be happy to offload but I really don't know if it's worth the effort of unsolicited emails to potential end users. If someone really wants it, they'll contact me. Right?

    Is there a better way to go about things?
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    Hi Kay,

    I agree with your analysis. Searching for an end-user is like looking for a needle in the haystack unless there is a very specific reason a given end-user may be interested in a domain name. The choices are either to sell to domain investors via the usual means or wait for an end-user to come knocking on the door.

    In my case, I try to maintain some visibility in the market so that there is some word of mouth. There may be some good brokers out there but I have yet to find one that I can make a deal with. And, of course, I am always thinking of ways that I might develop the domain so that I can extract the value myself. It would be a nice annuity if I can come up with a good concept.

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    golles (21 March 2012), Kay (21 March 2012)

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    Administrator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Part of the problem is that you have to be playing with the big boys before a broker would be interested. I'm not in that league.

    It's a very odd market to be in anyway, partly because of all the domain extensions becoming available and also the question hanging over our heads of whether we'll still be using domain names in five years time.

    Mind you, Levi Strauss made his money by selling necessities to the gold rush people, and that brand is still going strong. Maybe that's what we should be looking at now rather than at domains themselves.

    PS: Links.com is a brilliant domain name. If you're not getting the right offers from buyers or brokers then maybe you could lease it or something. Oh, wow, I would like to own a domain like that.
    Last edited by Kay; 21 March 2012 at 9:04 am. Reason: To add PS
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    In so far as domain names are concerned, the new extensions probably just add more value to good .com domain names since they are the only ones that people really trust. Confusion normally adds value to the tried and true. The domain name itself is the branding address of an enterprise. Sort of like The Sears Tower, or the IBM Building. It is part of an enterprise's identity. Even Facebook is Facebook.com (just to make the point).

    In time, something may come along to replace it, but technology actually moves ahead much slower than most people think. The current address structure is over two decades old. Even if something new was coming down the pike it would probably take that long to implement it because of all of the technology conversion issues as well as all of the money that has been invested into the current structure.

    Once in a while, I have someone contact me with some well intention advice to get rid of the domain before it is too late. (wink wink). The domain business has always been extremely tough because it is opaque and run by a small network of insiders who tend to reap most of the profits. Still, there are possibilities to make some decent money under special circumstances by buying and selling domains, but I think, as always, the best way to make money is to build a real business. Something, that I am still trying to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richrf View Post
    The domain name itself is the branding address of an enterprise. Sort of like The Sears Tower, or the IBM Building.
    Errr, you mean the Willis Tower and the soon-to-be-named AMA Plaza.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    Errr, you mean the Willis Tower and the soon-to-be-named AMA Plaza.
    Lol. Here in Chicago, Willis can try as they might it is still and probably always be the Sears Tower. That is what I call branding!! Ditto with the IBM building. It might take a new generation to replace the designation. Good branding is great branding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richrf View Post
    Lol. Here in Chicago, Willis can try as they might it is still and probably always be the Sears Tower. That is what I call branding!! Ditto with the IBM building. It might take a new generation to replace the designation. Good branding is great branding.
    That was tongue in cheek. I still call my building the Xerox Building (55 West Monroe, officially) and most of the people who have worked downtown as long as I have know exactly which building I mean. Unlike the two buildings you named, however, the name elicits vacant stares from most people these days.

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    Administrator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by richrf
    The domain business has always been extremely tough because it is opaque and run by a small network of insiders who tend to reap most of the profits. Still, there are possibilities to make some decent money under special circumstances by buying and selling domains, but I think, as always, the best way to make money is to build a real business.
    I think domaining IS a real business like any other kind of investment or speculation in property. A domain is just like a piece of Internet real estate, no? Of course there are differences - land is finite and the number of possible domain names is infinite. But if you have the luck and the ability to buy cheap and sell dear it seems like any other business of trading. OK, so you're not actually creating anything, but equally neither does a real estate agent.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

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