The Domain Game

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A new book by David Kesmodel of the “Wall Street Journal” will delve into the business of domain investment (no I’ve not read it yet but it’s going to be on on my “must read list” once it’s published) . I must admit that I’d not given the whole domain investment business much thought until I sat down and chatted with the guys from Moniker at the 2007 CAC event in Macau . It was eye opening (to say the least..jaw dropping more like) to see how buying and selling the right domains can be way more profitable than buying real estate or stocks, and while not risk free, it’s certainly far less risky than buying the later. It’s also a relatively cheaper to get into domain investment, though a reasonable .com domain is likely to cost you $5000 and up at present time (no more basement bargains to be had) . That is unless you’re lucky enough to keep up with how new words constantly spring into existance and can grab them up before anyone else…or better yet predict, or even influence what new words will come into existance.

One thing I learnt from talking to Moniker is that after spending your $5000 on a domain, you’ll very likely need to sit on it for a year or more until it becomes something that someone else needs or wants, and is willing to pay for. It’s not a rapid turn over business.

Also, while .com English language domain names are in the highest demand, don’t miss out on potential opportunities in none English .com as well as other domain areas such as .de , .co.uk and the opportunity to invest into the rapidly expanding Asian domains.

That said, my recent endeavour to buy .asia domains left me with a very sour taste in my mouth as the way these domains were set up for sale and then auction was nothing more than a way for the .asia registrar to fleece people of money and give them no domains, nor return their money. The option of “bid on the domain you wanted” was where most domain purchases went. And that was after paying for the domain… Supply and demand I understand, but if a firm can’t supply what a person buys, then the money should be returned, not held.

Anyway, aside from that slight bump , the business is certainly there to be explored. Moniker hold frequent domain auctions at Internet events and online, and there’s a .TV domain auction coming up very shortly (May 20th) too. Even if you don’t bid, it’s worth attending these events just to see what is being paid for domains now a days.