$58,000 Profit Flipping 8 Domains in Under 60 Days – With Ali Zandi

On this Profitable Flips show, we talk to past Sherpa Ali Zandi, who only entered the industry in mid-2014 and continues to make big sales.

In the two weeks leading up to this show, Zandi sold 8 domains within 60 days of acquiring them — grossing more than $165,000, with a profit of more than $58,000.

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About the Interviewee

Ali Zandi
Ali Zandi
Ali Zandi is the founder of Zandibot.com, a domain name industry blog offering domain name tips, tricks, insights, news, and domain name brokerage services.

Prior to Zandibot, Ali was the director of sales and acquisitions at Perception.com, a private investment fund.

Based in Hawaii, Zandi boasts a wealth of knowledge and sales experience and has facilitated nearly $2,000,000 in successful transactions in only his first 2 years in the domain industry.

He can be reached at Ali@Zandibot.com.

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Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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In this DomainSherpa Show, Profitable Flips, skilled domain name investors share all the details of how they bought low and sold high. On today’s show, we are going to learn how one past Sherpa, who only entered the industry in mid-2014, not only had a profitable flip within 12 months for more than $5,000 profit and greater than 100% of the purchase price, but has sold 8 domains within the past two weeks after acquiring them within 60 days, grossing more than $165,000 with a profit of more than $58,000. Stay tuned.

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Michael Cyger: Hey everyone, my name is Michael Cyger, and I’m the Publisher of DomainSherpa.com – the website where you can learn how to become a successful domain name investor or entrepreneur directly from the experts.

Welcome to the Domain Sherpa Show called Profitable Flips. In this Show Series, I invite domain name investors to share all of the details of how they bought low and sold high, an investment philosophy called value investing, where you buy assets that appear undervalued that, at a later date, will be valued properly by the market.

Today I am pleased to welcome back to the show past Sherpa, Ali Zandi, who is Director of Sales and Acquisitions at Perception.com, a private domain name investment fund. Welcome back, Ali.

Ali Zandi: Michael, glad to be back, man. Thanks for having me again.

Michael: For anyone that is not familiar with your background, Ali, maybe they have not watched your previous show or the time that you were on before that, when and how did you get started in the domain name industry?

Ali: I bought my first couple of domains around August 2013. And during that time, I was like: “Forget everything. I am moving to Hawaii. I am going to start over and do something new.” After that, I tried to sell them for a week or two, and I was like: “This domain thing is crazy. It is never going to work. Forget it.” I think it was around June or July, where I decided I was going to give it another shot. And I saw this domain, AppGames.com, and it was like 160 thousand dollars. I think that is what it sold for on Flippa.

So, I went and bought like 90 domains. I hand registered them all. Multiple GoDaddy accounts. Coupons. Coupons. Coupons. And I ended up selling them for 75 hundred dollars in less than 30 days, so the profit I made, I think, was 59 hundred bucks net and I was like: “You know what. Forget everything else. Domains are where it is at.” And ever since then, I was fully laser focused, man, on domains, domains, domains.

Michael: Yeah, and from what I understand, you sort of doubled down in the early to mid-2014 time period. You took a big step and you came on the Domain Sherpa Review Show. You submitted your portfolio for review in September of 2014 by Adam Dicker, Drew Rosener, and Paige Howe, and they were all pretty favorable about your either hand registered or low acquisition cost registered portfolio.

Ali: Yeah. Yeah, I mean they were not thrilled about them. They were not these short one-word .COMs, but they had potential, development potential, so yeah.

Michael: Right, and in comparison to other portfolios on the Domain Sherpa Review, where they say off the record, like: “I could not find anything in there,” and then they get on the record and are like: “Drop all of them, take that 250 dollars and go buy one better domain name or something, and let me tell you how to do it.”

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: So, you had a very favorable response. I went back and actually watched part of that interview in preparation for today. That was fun.

Ali: And Drew said something that completely changed how I started invested, is like forget about, I think, the ROI percentage and start worrying about the margin. And that just turned something on, man.

Michael: Yeah. Then, in February 2015, you came back on Domain Sherpa, became a full Sherpa by sharing your tactics on how you became a Flippa super seller, and subsequently earned a Senior Broker position at Flippa.

Ali: Oh yeah. Yeah, they liked what I was doing and they offered me a job in January 2015, and I could not say no.

Michael: Yeah. So, you have sort of had this meteoric rise in the industry and it is great to have you back, Ali.

Ali: Thanks, man.

Michael: So, let me start with this question. In total revenue, how much have you sold since you have entered the industry back in 2014-2013 time period?

Ali: Since July 2014, until now, by the time this show airs, it will be one million dollars, but as of today, it is 926 thousand.

Michael: 926 thousand as of today and hopefully, by the time this show airs in about three weeks or so, one million. So, you have got domains lined up. You think that they are priced well so that you can sell an additional 74 thousand dollars worth of domains.

Ali: Oh, easily.

Michael: Nice, and you say easily, and I am sure people are watching this show and they are thinking to themselves: “Come on, Ali. Are you really,” but we are actually going to see why Ali is so confident that he is going to close another 74 thousand dollars in sales in the next few weeks, and we will get into that. I received a couple of contacts from the audience, asking why you had left Flippa as their Senior Broker after just a few months of being at Flippa. Can you explain that?

Ali: Yeah, totally. I mean when I first came into the industry, the thrill of it was buying domains and watching them just blow up and sell. And Flippa reached out. They wanted to develop a brokerage arm. I was more than happy to do that. Flippa is my favorite platform. I wanted them to grow. I wanted them to evolve, and the brokerage arm just took off. I mean it did so well in the first couple of months. We doubled revenue there, and it was great. And recently, they acquired Domain Holdings, so their brokerage arm is going through the roof.

But for me, brokerage just did not have that excitement factor. I love the control of picking the name, the price I pay for it, and how much I sell it for, and I cannot do that with brokerage. Even though it worked, I was good at it and it was taking off, in my heart it just did not do it enough for me.

Michael: Yeah, fully understandable. I think I worked with you on a couple of those domains and I am sure you would have loved to have me say my reserve was a little bit lower, so you could close them faster and get that velocity of domains through a lot more quickly. Yeah, I completely understand where you are coming from. So, you are currently at Perception.com. How did you land that job?

Ali: So, I have always wanted to start my own thing and grow it, and a couple of investors and I got to talking. They reached out and Go Time Ventures was born. They are the majority investor, so they chose the name and everything. And Perception grew out of that, out of necessity, and now it is a handful of us. I run it. They back it. I mean it was the perfect thing for me. I love it. It is absolutely wonderful.

Michael: So, when you launched this fund, this private investment fund, it was called Go Time Ventures. Now it is called Perception.com. Why the name change?

Ali: We had a little run in with GoDaddy. They had their legal team reach out and they were concerned with the use of the words ‘Go Time’ in the domain, and I do not want to go to court and battle over it. It is what it is, and we got Perception.com out of it. So, thank you, GoDaddy.

Michael: All right, it is stop time for Go Time, and Perception.com was launched. How big is the investment fund that you manage at Perception.com?

Ali: So, we started with a half-million and essentially that half-million was proving grounds for me. I mean they have already seen what I can do. They wanted to see more of what I can do, and so far I have done pretty well and we are already talking about growing the fund into the seven figure range. Nothing I can talk about quite yet, but we are in talks about it.

Michael: Awesome. So, seven-figure range growing into the ten to 99-million-dollar range.

Ali: Eventually.

Michael: All right. And who are the two investors that are funding Perception.com?

Ali: There are multiple investors. They have chosen to remain private, but it is a group of men and women from around the world. We have all connected and grew Perception.

Michael: All right. And so, if somebody wants to become an investor in your fund, is that an opportunity or is this just private with the current investors?

Ali: Yeah, it is private. It is closed. The future might open up, but there is really no more need for more investors at the moment.

Michael: All right. Well, we wish you luck on that. So, let’s get into the heart of this interview. We are going to talk about domain flipping. How many sales have you made within the past two weeks from when we are filming this show, Ali?

Ali: Okay, so we have done eight total sales and grossed about 165 thousand, roughly.

Michael: 165 thousand. So, the gross is the gross profit before you pay commissions, before you take your salary, and things like that. It is just the buy price? It is the sell price minus the buy price?

Ali: No, that is a sale price total, minus the buy price.

Michael: I am sorry. So, sale price total at 165 thousand.

Ali: Yeah, exactly.

Michael: Okay, so I am going to bring up a chart for those watching the show. I am going to put it on the screen along with ours, so people can look at the eight domains that you have sold within the past two weeks. And I appreciate you pulling this information together for us, Ali, and being so open with it as well. You have got the acquisition date, the sale date, the domain name, the purchase price, the sale price, and then the gross profit. And people can look through the list. If you are listening to this show, I suggest you watch the video.

You can see the domains are AUS.com, Bovine.com, Cultivation.com, DiscJockey.com, Handcuffed.com, Nationality.com, SlowDown.com, and Tamer.com. The total gross profit is 165,500 dollars from those sales. We do not have a total sale price because you have requested that AUS.com remain confidential from a purchase price and sale price, although you did share that domain with me and it was a very good sale. Obviously people can look at the gross profit there.

So, of the eight domain names in the past two weeks, all of them purchased within the past 60 days. The first thing the naysayer listening to this show is going to say, Ali, is: “Great, but how many other domains did Ali purchase in the past 60 days that he did not sell?”

Ali: Well, it is not that I did not sell them. It is just they have not sold yet. We have another – I want to say – like 18 to 20 names, maybe a few more. Some are still landing into our account, but those were all acquired in the past 60 days and we have chosen to hold off for the right offers on those. We want to maximize our returns.

Michael: Now, you are typically a flipper, Ali.

Ali: Right.

Michael: You like to get a domain name at a great price, and if you can flip it that same day, you will.

Ali: Done. Yeah.

Michael: Now, are all of these additional 18 to 20 domain names that you have in your portfolio in that same sort of MO? Are you looking to flip them as quickly as you can or are you going to hold some of them for appreciation?

Ali: We are going to hold some. I mean, to me, holding is like three to six months. To others, it is three to five years, whatever it is. Generally, I have sold within 30 days almost every time I get my hands on a domain, but with the fund, we have a set budget. We want to maximize on that. And if it takes three to six months, fine. They are all liquid for at least 40 percent ROI today, but we want to wait. We want to hold off for bigger offers because they are worth it.

Michael: Yeah. They are all great sales, and clearly the 165,500 dollars in gross profit within two months is note worthy. I want to point out that on this domain list, the only profitable flip is actually SlowDown.com. You bought it for 4,250 dollars and sold it for 15 thousand dollars, which is a profit of more than five thousand dollars and a profit from the sale of at least one hundred percent of the purchase price, which are the criteria for this show.

What is interesting is that you have sold so many domain names within the past coupe of weeks that I wanted to not just talk about that one domain name, but broaden the concept that profitable flipping in the domain name industry can happen on a more scalable basis. It is more than just a one-off, like we hear about off and on Profitable Flip show, where it is just SlowDown.com. Why did you think that SlowDown.com was an undervalued asset when you bought for 4,250 dollars, Ali?

Ali: My instincts. I trust them more than anything. I mean I get this fire and I just see the price, man. And as soon as I saw SlowDown, I was like: “That is a 20-thousand-dollar domain name.” And the brandability, the ease, the radio test, I mean the search volume, the age, and what you can do with it. I mean it is so universal that 42 hundred bucks is so undervalued.

Michael: Now, let me stop you there because you got this gut instinct, which I know you and I have talked about in the past, that you have just got this feeling, this innate feeling that it is worth more. But for those of us that are watching the show that do not have the gut instinct, that look at SlowDown and say whoa, slow down, partner, or maybe type it into search engines and do not see any advertising, try to think of a business concept that might work with SlowDown and cannot think of one. Why do you think? Why does your gut feel that it is worth more than 4,250 dollars?

Ali: Well, I always say that you can develop your instincts. And when I first came into the industry and I saw SlowDown, I would not know what to value it, but I have studied. I mean sale after sale after sale, where the domain ends up and how much it sold for. I try to find out how much it was purchased for. All of the metrics I try to study of every single sale that happens. That way, when I see a domain name, my brain just automatically connects the dots that I have studied and it throws a number at me. And it works. I mean it is all about studying.

Michael: So, tell me about your study process? Do you go through Ron Jackson’s DNJournal.com, his weekly sales, and then actually type in the domain name and see where it resolves, or do the WhoIS lookup and see the company that bought it and try and find their other properties to figure out how they are going to use it? Is that what you do?

Ali: Yeah, absolutely, man. From NameBio to DNPrices to DNJournal and Domaining.com. I mean every single place that I can find the sale and find out what is going on with that domain name, down to the CPC and previous owners. Domain Tools. DomainIQ. Who owns what? What else do they own? What are they doing with it? Why did they buy it? I just need to know everything about what is going on. That way, my instincts, when I see a name, I can process all of that information just by looking at it.

Michael: Yeah. So, if I had to look through every single high-valued domain name sale in a week, I think that is all I would do all week. How much time do you spend doing that versus looking for opportunities and then selling?

Ali: I do it all at once, man. I mean I have like six screens going up at once. I am not even kidding. I have my domain list on one. ExpiredDomains.net. NameJet. Flippa. They are all open at once. I am looking at sales and looking at what is for sale. I mean it is just all day, 24 hours per day.

Michael: 24 hours per day. How many hours per day do you actually work?

Ali: 16 to 20, man.

Michael: Really.

Ali: Yeah, I mean I am up before the sun comes up and I am working just all day long. That is all I do.

Michael: Wow. All right, so SlowDown.com. You purchased March 28th for 4,250 dollars. How did you find this domain name?

Ali: I believe I saw it on Sedo. I think I saw it on Sedo or GoDaddy, one of those, and I just saw it and it was a buy it now. I was like forget it. I am not even going to bother. I am buying it right now.

Michael: Yeah. So, you saw it. Often times, I do not browse GoDaddy and Sedo because I do not know. It is just weird to browse those sites. It is not like Flippa, where I can go and look at the editor’s choices or the most active. How do you browse those two websites to look for opportunities?

Ali: Well, I use ExpiredDomains.net, and I mean their platform is wonderful, man. Their search filters are on point. I do not really like to search filters on most platforms because they do not work, but then I go through there and if I see something I like, then I go to DomainIQ and see what else they own. And if I like something else they own, I will contact them or I will just go straight to Sedo and see if the domain is up for sale on there, and then I see if it has other domains for sale from the same buyer on there because you can view their portfolio.

Michael: Yeah, but on SlowDown.com, it was not an expired domain name. Does ExpiredDomains.net allow you to look at other opportunities?

Ali: Oh, absolutely. Closeouts. Auctions. I mean just about every platform out there from backorders on NameJet to Flippa domains to any other place really.

Michael: Yeah. So, you bought it on March 28th and you sold it on May 6th. How did you sell SlowDown.com? What was your sales process that you went through?

Ali: I sat on it. I mean he reached out. I think it was exactly 30 days later. He emailed me and he wanted to know what is the price on this, and I told him.

Michael: So, you did not even list it for sale on Flippa. You did not put a landing page on it at Domain Name Sales, or anything like that.

Ali: My own landing page because all the domains on Perception.com have a landing page and contact form. And yeah, he landed on it, he sent an email, and we started talking. He asked the price. I told him 19,999 and then he just kept asking questions, and I kept asking for an offer, and eventually I gave up asking for an offer and just became his friend, man, and we talked for like a week and a half.

Michael: Wait a second. Wait a second. You are trading emails back and forth, right, and he is asking you questions. What kinds of questions is he going to ask you about SlowDown.com?

Ali: Well, he has never bought a domain before, and so he wanted to know the process, how much does it cost per year to own it, this and that. How does escrow work? And I offered him ten years of registration for free. I will cover escrow fees. This and that, and then eventually we just talked and I stopped asking for an offer because I just figured he was not going to make one until he was ready. And for a week or so we were just talking, and I asked him, “What do you want to do with the site?”

And he told me that he was just thinking about slowing down, winding down, taking life easy, this and that, and immediately I found his string and I emailed him back and I was like: “You know what. You are speaking my language, man. I moved to Hawaii. I do not watch TV. I go to the beach and watch the sunset. Just slow down, right?” And after that, he was like: “I am ready to make an offer,” like immediately after that email. And he offered 13 thousand. I was like 15 thousand. I will cover escrow and give you ten years of registration, and you got a deal, and it was done.

Michael: Wow. So, when you say you were talking with him, was that over email or over Skype or over phone, or what?

Ali: Over email.

Michael: Over email.

Ali: Yeah, over email.

Michael: So, you think it was just making that connection with him.

Ali: Absolutely.

Michael: What do you think that provided to him to close the deal?

Ali: Trust, man. An emotional connection will open up anybody’s wallet for anything. I mean that is the root of all sales. When people are spending that kind of money, especially on a digital good. I mean you cannot grasp it. You cannot hold it. You cannot touch it. You cannot look at it. There has got to be something deep down that makes you just need to have it. And for him, it was that emotional need to slow down in life.

Michael: Huh. And you think he is going to launch a business on that?

Ali: I hope so. Yeah, I mean that was his plan. He wanted to launch a business on it. Whether it is a blog or some hobby, whatever it was, it was deep for him and it meant a lot to him.

Michael: Yeah. Wow. Yeah, there should be an app, like a Slow Down app that you put it on and then it just turns off your phone for like two days. Every weekend, you are just not allowed to do any emails or something.

Ali: I agree.

Michael: Well, that is an awesome sale at SlowDown.com. Of the bunch, I am not sure I would have picked SlowDown as one of the top sellers. Well, they all sold clearly, but was it surprising to you that only one enquiry came in on SlowDown.com?

Ali: A little bit, yeah, but I had not even planned on approaching the concept of even selling that name. I had just acquired it, put a landing page up, and I was working on other domains. And then, all of a sudden, I get this enquiry. I was like: “Why not?” But yeah, I had not even. I would have put it up on Flippa or somewhere else, forums, NamePros, wherever, but I mean it just happened so fast. I was like: “Why not?”

Michael: Do you think phrases like SlowDown and other general euphemisms and phrases that people say are hot right now? Are they increasing in value, do you think?

Ali: Absolutely, one hundred percent. I mean I am going to shoot myself in the foot here because I am acquiring a bunch of these, but this is the future, man. The Internet is growing. Businesses are all going to go online, and I am talking three to five years everything is going online. These catchy phrases. I mean the average person loves this stuff. LifeGoesOn.com. TruthOrDare.com. I mean this stuff is gold. Absolute gold, and I am acquiring them left and right.

Michael: Huh, all right. So, let me ask you about another domain name on this list. Cultivation.com. Here is another domain name that struck me as wow, I cannot believe he bought that one and sold that one. So, you bought it for 8,500 dollars, which, for a single-word .COM, might seem like that is a pretty good deal, and just to complete the story, you sold it for 14 thousand dollars for a profit of 5,500 dollars.

Ali: Our acquisition date was 4/18.

Michael 4/18. So, a little bit less than one month on that one.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: Although it has 33 thousand exact match searches per month, it seems like this domain is not very valuable to me because there are no advertisers on Google AdWords. Why did you think that Cultivation.com was valuable?

Ali: Well, worldwide it has like one hundred thousand searches. Cultivation. I mean that is the root of everything growing, right? I mean with the marijuana niches taking off, I figured Cultivation Magazine. I mean everything you need to do to buy, grow, supplies, learn how to grow, and all this other stuff, and I knew the perfect buyer for that.

Michael: All right, we are going to get there. So, did you list it for sale on any marketplaces after you purchased it, or is this one that you sat on for a while as well?

Ali: Yeah, I actually handed this and Nationality.com off to Name Connect, John Daily. And he managed to sell Nationality right away, and he had a buyer for Cultivation, but the buyer was just unresponsive. Escrow had started. They had not agreed to terms. It had been like 1.5 weeks and I was talking to Drew about the domain and he wanted it, and I talked to John and he said go ahead and sell it. Sold it.

Michael: So, you are talking about Drew Rosener, who is a regular Sherpa on the Domain Sherpa Review. Andrew Rosener, who does run Ganjapreneur.com and does have a lot of marijuana-related domain names and business operating. He found value in Cultivation.com.

Ali: Yeah, absolutely. I undersold it too. I definitely feel like it is a 35-thousand-dollar name.

Michael: And you got it for 14 thousand.

Ali: Yeah, 14.

Michael: That seems like a steal when you know that Drew is into those domain names. Why did you sell it so cheap?

Ali: Well, I like moving product, man. I mean it is almost double my investment, and he is going to double his, and down the line we go. Some of these names, man. Quick flips. Get them done. Get some money back in the fund. Buy another one. Do it again.

Michael: Yeah. So, it is easy to look at AUS.com and say here is a killer domain name, but I am going to ask you about one more that I just did not get. Bovine.com. Bovine.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: For those of us that do not even know what a bovine is, what is a bovine, Ali?

Ali: Bovine refers to like cattle and cows, and buffaloes and bulls – the bovine species of animals. And as soon as I saw it, I thought steak knives, industrial equipment, leather. I mean it is short. It is six letters. It is easy to spell and remember. It has got a picture you can add as a logo.

Michael: Oh, totally. See, it is funny how you say that and everything sort of comes a little bit more clearer in my mind that it is a brand, not a descriptive keyword domain name, although it is a brand that relates to something that is bovine-related. It could be a logo like Moo.com. I get my business cards at Moo.com.

Ali: Me too.

Michael: I love them. They are beautiful.

Ali: I love them. Yeah, I love them.

Michael: And they use the cow as their mascot.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: So, that one you bought for 75 hundred dollars on May 2nd and you sold it for 11 thousand dollars on May 16th. Just 14 days later for a profit of 3,500 dollars.

Ali: Yeah, man. The owner is the owner of Epic.com, so when he sold it to me, he knew he was underselling it. He was not happy about it.

Michael: You bought it from Rob Monster.

Ali: Yeah. He is a really cool guy, by the way, man, and he was like probably crazy in the head for selling it this low and he sold it anyway. And I knew I did not have much of a margin on it, but I knew I would make a profit.

Michael: Yeah, and Rob Monster has been on the Domain Sherpa Show. You can go watch his interview. Actually, by the time this show airs, Rob will be on the guest speakers at the DN Seattle Networking Event, here in Seattle, where he is going to be talking about selling new gTLD domain names for five and six figures, and he has been involved in that as well. So, fantastic sale on Bovine, and I think that opens up a lot of people’s minds to these single-word keyword oriented domain names that can be used as a brand.

So, the most desirable, in my opinion, at least right now based on the market, domain name on the list was the three-letter .COM, AUS.com. Now, this domain name was bought on April 21st. Sold on May 19th. The gross profit was 24,098 dollars. I did see this one listed on Flippa.com.

Ali: Yeah, it was listed.

Michael: So, you listed this domain name.

Ali: Yeah, I did.

Michael: And it was a very nice write-up. I am not sure if it still available on Flippa to take a look at, but basically you pegged it as you can own the entire continent of Australia because AUS is often the acronym for Australia, but then you provided some other opportunities as well and talked about similar three-letter .COMs.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: Did you think that it was a lot easier to write the sales pitch for a domain name like AUS than it is for some of the other domain names that you sell on Flippa?

Ali: Oh, absolutely, man. I mean there are so many things you can use AUS.com for. Austria. Austin, Texas. American University of Science. I mean the list just goes on and it is a three-letter ISO code, like a legitimate continent ISO code, and a country code, so I mean you cannot go wrong with it.

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Michael: Yeah. We talked about your process for flipping domain names on Flippa.com. Did you list it starting at a one-dollar opening bid with a reserve price that was something higher?

Ali: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I always start everything at one dollar. I like getting the bids. It attracts more attention. People get more excited. They are fighting each other over it. I rather have 75 bids than two or three.

Michael: Yeah, got you. And did you find that you had more watchers on this domain name? I do not know if you would consider this to be one of the best domain names that you have sold through Flippa. Did you find that the number of watchers was higher because of the quality of the domain?

Ali: Oh, absolutely. There was like 160 watchers and like eight thousand views to it, but I advertised it just about everywhere.

Michael: Yeah, you had it on Domaining.com. You had it on some other sites.

Ali: NameBio.com. Domain Shane. I mean the list goes on, yeah.

Michael: Yeah, so three-letter .COMs right now are hot. They are selling for prices that probably end users would not pay in some cases. Why sell it through Flippa rather than, say, NameJet, where three-letter .COMs have been hot recently?

Ali: I made a promise.

Michael: What do you mean?

Ali: I made a promise to my investors and my partners. We have a rule. If it is a certain percentage of the fund in acquisition price, then I have to sell it within a certain amount of time for a certain number, and I promised them 90 days for this amount. I did just close to that amount in 30 days. So, I just wanted to make them happy, make a profit, and move on.

Michael: Right, but why sell it on Flippa rather than NameJet? Are you saying that the process to get it listed on NameJet is too long?

Ali: Oh, well, I used NameJet a couple times. They have not emailed me back, but regardless of where I put it, I would have advertised it anywhere anyways. And where better than Flippa, where I started? We have a relationship, but yeah, it does not matter where I put that one. As long as I advertise it, everybody is going to go to it anyway, and I was able to write that description and just communicate. That is the biggest thing for me.

Michael: And do you feel like the description that you wrote, that marketing pitch that you put together helped close the deal to the buyer, or was it an investor that bought it, who probably would have bought it on another marketplace?

Ali: The pitch always helps, man. I mean just like with Bovine, how you were like oh, well, I did not think of it that way. You get the picture in your head and you start kind of salivating at the idea of branding it and building a company around it, and I do the work for you. I get in your head and I tell you here is what you can actually do with it, here are the stats, and that always helps.

Michael: Yeah. I remember I was following the AUS.com auction on Flippa and, at one point, I cannot remember the exact number, but it got into the six figures, and then that bidder that bid it up to six figures got banned.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: What happened?

Ali: We got trolled along with a few more other auctions that were up. Other people’s auctions. Somebody had made an account and pretended like they were interested, and we started negotiating, and it seemed fairly real. I was a little skeptical because he was new, so we negotiated. I settled on a price. As soon as we closed, I got access to his email address and I knew instantly we just got trolled and contacted support. And since that day, they have started to code the bidder verification. I was like that is it. This needs to happen.

Flippa is growing. It is becoming more premium. Bidder verification needs to happen. Talked to the owners.

Michael: I could have sworn that you had to put like your phone number in if you were going to bid more than one thousand or five thousand, or something like that.

Ali: Yeah, but I mean somebody who is just there to destroy does not care.

Michael: So, they went to the trouble of creating a fake cellphone or a way to get texts.

Ali: Google Voice. Get a number. Get a Visa gift card, and that is that, but they are implementing it and that is not going to happen again.

Michael: Yeah. Wow, I cannot imagine somebody would go to all that trouble to mess with an auction.

Ali: Some people have awful energy about it, man, and all they want to do is destroy because they cannot create.

Michael: Yeah. So, they removed that bidder after the auction closed, and then I believe the auction reopened for an additional period of time. Is that correct?

Ali: Yeah. So, once they removed the bidder, they re-launched the auction for another five days.

Michael: Okay. And was the second highest bidder or the next real bidder obligated to honor that price or was it still below the reserve?

Ali: I sold it below reserve. I kept the reserve the same, and the auction was back at 50 thousand and I just kept it rolling. I mean obviously all the perceived value I spent weeks building up was just gone because of that fake buyer, but somebody else reached out from Europe and they were interested. I think it was like 1:30 in the morning for him, and we started talking. I hit up support. I was like verify this guy right now, and they did. They were on it and they talked on the phone, cleared him, and actually the money cleared escrow today, so it is a done deal.

Michael: Nice.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: Congrats on that deal.

Ali: Thank you.

Michael: Did you do your usual process that you identified in your last interview, How to Become a Super Seller on Flippa, where you agree to a price, you set the buy it now, and then they click the buy it now price, or did it happen after the auction ended?

Ali: No, that was it. We were talking. He made an offer. I brought him up another 20 thousand. We agreed and that was that, and he clicked the buy it now.

Michael: Nice.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: While the auction was running on Flippa, did you do any outreach to end users, people who may want to make a business or use the domain name for different reasons?

Ali: Every single person I could think of in Australia, Austin, and Austria. I mean literally every company that could benefit from it, and to my surprise, I got no replies. Zero. So, I was just like auction it off.

Michael: Wow. So, how does that going to impact you in the future on domain names like AUS.com, where you did not get any response back from people for a phenomenal domain name, one that is never going to be repeated again?

Ali: Yeah, it does not really affect me, man. I am just going to keep doing the same thing because it has worked. Just because one time it does not work, next time it might work twice as good.

Michael: Yeah. So, since the last time you were on, which was a few months ago, Ali, have you modified your buy or sales processes and tactics?

Ali: Buy definitely because I was not buying anything. I was just brokering, and now, absolutely one hundred percent. I mean my buying strategy has completely changed.

Michael: In what way?

Ali: Well, now I am diversifying, so I am buying domains in a certain range, like ten down here, ten here, and then five over here. I mean one-hundred-thousand-dollar names, ten-thousand-dollar names, five-thousand-dollar names, and I basically scour everyone in the entire world. If you own a domain name, I am going to find out exactly what you own, when you got it, and how much you paid. So, my entire process is basically I am stalking domains. That is what I do every day, all day.

Michael: Yeah, and what is your favorite tool for stalking people?

Ali: DomainIQ, man.

Michael: Yeah, they are one of the sponsors and they recently launched their product, within the past year or so, and it is a pretty phenomenal tool, isn’t it?

Ali: Oh, I love it. Absolutely love it. That with EstiBot and all the platforms. I mean I just cannot go wrong with those, man.

Michael: Yeah. I do not know. I believe I did a show on DomainIQ, or actually it is just in the commercial for DomainIQ. If you click on the logo in the upper right-hand corner and watch the 15-second commercial, I show you how to type in one domain name that you found from a buyer and then look at all the other domain names that the buyer has registered. In some cases, under different company names or different email addresses. It ties them all together, the ones that are not under privacy protection.

Have you used that to find other domain names that they own and try and do package deals for a lower price?

Ali: Absolutely. Oh yeah, all the time. I mean I type in a domain. I find out this guy owns one hundred thousand domains. I am going through every single one and I am putting them together and going: “What is your package price for these?”

Michael: Yeah, and does that work for you? Do you close package deals?

Ali: No, it does not work that well. So, I did close a package deal just the other day. It is still in escrow, but yeah, I picked up three domains. He was selling a couple here, and I went and looked at his inventory and saw three that I really liked. And I made him an offer, he said he would think about it, and then he took it.

Michael: Yeah. Ali, for you, I know you are a big fan of the Flippa auctions. What is the worst part of running an auction, and how do you handle that?

Ali: Time.

Michael: What do you mean?

Ali: I do not like waiting. I mean I run these 30-day auctions and I want to communicate. I need action. I need to talk to people. I need to get to know you to sell you something. And nobody really communicates that much. Most of the comments are from fans, not bidders, so that is kind of tough, but yeah, I think it is just the time, man, and building up the value and just waiting for that one person who just gets it, like I got it, and we just click, and then we start talking. I think that is the hardest thing, is just having patience.

I have undersold domains because I was being impatient, even though I made a profit. You know very well, but it is just patience.

Michael: I heard.

Ali: Yeah, you have heard.

Michael: Yeah. So, wouldn’t it be great if Flippa, because that is your marketplace of choice, offered like a live chat with the domain owner or broker that people get on there, and they do not want to post a comment that lives forever. They just want to like Snapchat you and chat a comment, like what do you think about this or how can I use this, and it pings you like a chat, and then you can just type back to them. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Ali: Yeah, i think it is a great idea, man. I mean if there were a live chat option for people who are active bidders on the auction, I would love it. I will talk to you all day long if you are bidding on my auction. Yeah.

Michael: Yeah. What domain names? You mentioned that you have about eight to 20 domain names that you still have for sale. I am sure people are watching this show, saying, “Hey, Ali is finding great deals. I do not have the time to find great deals, but I am willing to give him a profit if I can buy some of these domain names at a reasonable amount, so he makes money and I can go make money.” What are some of the other domain names that you currently have for sale?

Ali: Right now we have Employ.com. Dis.com. Tuck.com. Pompei.com. Tantra.com. Locating.com. I mean I have two words and three words. I have OneMoreNight.com, is a good three-word domain. BoutiqueAgency.com. CinderellaStory.com. FederalAid.com. SchoolTeacher.com. So, you can see all these on Perception.com. You can go. I keep it fairly updated, but yeah, we have a pretty solid inventory right now.

Michael: Yeah, it sounds like it. All right, so people can go to Perception.com to take a look at those domain names. Any final words of advice to anybody watching this show that wants to try and replicate and get that quick turnover that you are getting at Perception.com, Ali?

Ali: Study the market like your life depends on it. Seriously. If you do not know what domains are selling for, you should not be buying a domain name. That is the only thing you should put your focus on. Learn what is going on right now, what has happened in the past, and try to find out what is going on in the future. But yeah, if you do not know the market, you are not going to make it.

Michael: What do you say to people that are like well, the markets seem pretty frothy right now, which is a time that maybe I do not want to be putting my cash into domain names, especially if the economy takes a turn. I may be locked into these things for a while. They might decrease in value. Some of the new gTLDs are coming up and driving prices down. What do you say to people that are sort of doom and gloom forecasting?

Ali: Well, the numbers prove that they are wrong.

Michael: What do you mean?

Ali: I mean when I can make 52 thousand dollars in profit in 13 days, buying these domains, I mean you are wrong. I wrote a blog on NamePros the other day about it is not too late, or it is never too late to get into this industry and become profitable. It is only going to grow. I mean think about it. Everything is going to need a digital address. Period. That is the only place the future is going, unless there is like a worldwide disaster where your money is not going to matter anymore anyway. I mean why not?

There is no other commodity that you can make this kind of return on. Real estate cannot do it. Stock market cannot do it. Domains are the only thing that the future is almost certain on, like 99.99 percent.

Michael: All right, so if people are pretty adamant that the world is going to end, that the B colonies are going to cause farming to fail, and that countries are going to go to war, maybe go buy some guns and some gold or something.

Ali: Right.

Michael: But that is not going to happen.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: Domains might be a good opportunity.

Ali: Domains. That is it. Physical addresses are going to turn to digital ones, and businesses are going to go from brick and mortar to 99 percent online.

Michael: Yeah, but does it take money to make money, like at Perception.com, where you got access to this, initially, five-hundred-thousand dollar private investment pool to be able to buy great domain names like these that we have talked about today?

Ali: I mean with these domains of course, but then again, I took five hundred dollars and turned it into an empire, basically. Right? So, if you know what you are doing, if you study, I mean it is just like becoming a surgeon. You do not just walk in on your first day and cut someone open. You have got to go to school and you have got to learn. And you can take one hundred dollars and turn into one million dollars if you do it the right way.

Michael: All right, and we are going to get you back. Well, you are closing in on your million dollars in sales. When you hit your million dollars in profit, then we are going to have you back again, Ali.

Ali: Deal.

Michael: If you have been watching this show and you have questions, please post them in the comments below this video on Domain Sherpa and I will ask Ali to come back and answer as many as he can. If you watched his previous show, you know that Ali is very open and very giving with his time, and he does answer any questions that you have.

I also encourage you, the person who is watching this interview, to get out from behind your computer, reach out to other people in the industry, and start making connections. The easiest way to start making connections is to use your real name and post a comment below so that Ali can get to know you personally. The comment could be something simple, like thanks, Ali, or I appreciate you sharing your tactics. The most important part is just reaching out to start with. I am going to be the first to say thanks.

Ali Zandi, thanks for coming on the Domain Sherpa Show again, sharing your story about these fantastic domain name flips, congratulations on this profitable flip, and thanks again for being a Domain Sherpa for others.

Ali: Thanks again for having me, Michael. I appreciate it.

Michael: Thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.

Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/ali-zandi-flips/

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159 Responses to “$58,000 Profit Flipping 8 Domains in Under 60 Days – With Ali Zandi”

  1. Eliot Rwatirera says:

    Thanks Ali for your input. I am about to launch an auction on flippa and it was great to hear you share your positive experiences about Flippa as I was considering Flippa or Sedo, Cheers

  2. harrist says:

    I have to agree with ali! when we want to sell domain, we have talk and explain and give suggestion to buyer! after all its just domain name, and most of the time ppl are need to be convince that this domain are have big potential! but I have to be honest his domain are not so specials! but he have good perspective that every domain buyer can accept and turn that into closing sales! as long the domain name pass radio test, short and easy to remember its more than enough! wether the buyer turn that domain into profitable business or not its a different story :)

  3. payam hafciojoni says:

    Thank you Michael, Ali and everyone else for putting this high value episode together.

    There were lots of takeaways, being able to walk the walk and show actual numbers being one of them..
    Another great nugget was sharing names without dropping names. It’s one habit we the marketers must cultivate especially when building authority.
    Above all, I gained confidence because Ali was able to shed some light on a dark matter: The future of web and where we should invest our time and money.

  4. Idowu says:

    Hi Ali,

    Really informative and open interview

    I for one, love to share the knowledge I have and I really appreciate it when I see other people do the same. I mean, why hide it? Nice one Ali. Thanks!

    I initially got interested in the domain flipping business in 2010.

    I was also quite young but have always had an entrepreneurial mindset

    I bought a domain name called sexcone.net lol. I read very little about flipping domains, and just saw a trend of a lot of names taking that form, so I grabbed it on sedo, but never even made it on the auction list lol

    I was unserious and lazy about it, got lucky with another business and tossed flipping aside.

    Fast track 6 years later, I find myself reading a lot about it again and really wanting to get into it.

    I’ve read discouraging articles. I’ve also read encouraging ones and watched 1 really encouraging one so far (this one)

    I’m kinda drawing a roadmap for myself to be sure i don’t miss out on any detail before i make my first real purchase.

    So my questions:
    1. Would you advise one to purchase more locally focused domain names. I’m not from your continent and I noticed, from your interview that most of your buyers and networks are.
    2. I still have a 9-5 job and i intend to flip domains as a means to an end for me to create a financial buffer to resign in 2 years, to do what i really love (interior design). You said you put in 20hours a day, but I don’t have 20hours. Would you say putting in 4-5hrs a day might yield?
    3. I’m an IT consultant in the day, so I do spend a lot of time on my computer and I’ve always liked the idea of flipping domains, why i think it might be a good idea to help generate a passive income. I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about it, but it’s something I’m really willing to put in a lot of time and effort to learn and master. Do I have to be passionate to make it, flipping domains?
    4. I do not have that much liquidity to purchase expensive domain names, even though i totally feel your ROI vs Margin statement, so would you advise I start with what I have or gather a lot more and purchase more expensive domain names
    5. What is the one (2, 3, 4..lol) mistake(s) you made when you first started, that you’d advise I avoid.

    Regards,
    Idowu

  5. Michael says:

    Thank you for the wealth of knowledge. This is an industry I should have stuck with years ago, but with baby steps I know I still have a chance. I look forward to learning more about my options for my portfolio.

    Regards,

    Michael

  6. Joel says:

    Great interview :)

    Thanks for the interview Ali, full of great insight.

    Cheers,
    Joel

  7. Thank you Micheal!!!! Thank you Ali!!!! Both bring passion and brilliance to the domain market place. 2 of the best personalities in domaining business, Micheal save me my mug. I will be on this program sometime in 2016.

  8. Always a fantastic convo with Ali!

    great job!!

    Voight
    @sixmicfilms

  9. Michael says:

    Hello,

    Awesome interview! You’ve been such a great inspiration. I’m trying to learn all I can. Just a few quick questions:

    1) Do you purchase alot of expired domain names? How much weighing and credit do you give to page rank and estibot appraisals?

    2) Do you ever sell LLL domains? I see alot of them selling on sedo.com, wondering how profitable this is to buy auctioned domains from GoDaddy and resell?

    3) I notice you flip a few domains after buying them. I recently bought an auctioned domain from GoDaddy and won, got it transferred to my account. The problem though is that GoDaddy says there is usually a 30 day hold on all transfers before I can then transfer it to someone else. So if someone buys my newly acquired domain in less than 30 days wont there be a lock on my account?

    Thank you for your time :)

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks!

      To answer your questions:

      1. I don’t look at wether a domain is expired, at auction, or a private sale… A good domain is a good domain, no matter it’s PageRank or Appraisal!

      2. At the time of this interview, it was a worthwhile approach. Now a days, there is almost no room for profit unless you get a killer deal and hold long term.

      3. The hold is only for external transfer. You can still “push” the domain name to another GoDaddy account!

  10. Awesome interview, congrats on making it happen overnight Ali!

  11. Ownism says:

    This guy Ali Zandi is rockstar of Domain Market palace ………. Good luck guru

  12. Dave says:

    Hi Ali!

    Great interview, this is the second one of yours that I’ve listened to.

    Can you give some guidance on ‘how to’ acquire domain names?

    Do you search dnforum/namepros or flippa etc …?

    For example, if you had $1000 how would you go about finding your first couple of domains to purchase?

    Thanks …

  13. Douglas says:

    When Ali says he has a gut feeling, you know he is right! Always go with your gut, that normally lands you in a great situation.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      I became self-aware of my gut feelings on the way to Vegas on time! Go figure! I told my buddy “18 red” like 100 times on the drive. After a few days in Vegas we ended up at the Roulette table, I told him “18 red” he didn’t believe me… guess what it landed on?! He looked at me in shock.. then I told him 24 black.. he didn’t listen again.. guess what it landed on? Suffice to say, he now listens to me :)

  14. Tony Jepson says:

    One of my favourite things in the world is a person who shares their knowledge & experience while speaking honestly and to the point with no vague bs. Well done Ali! And Michael you are a freakin fantastic interviewer man, humorous while getting the juicy details out.

    Ali has a great work ethic and is an example of what you can achieve in a relatively short time when you mix your passion or dream with lots of hard work….you can become a master of your field.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Tony! I appreciate it!

  15. Zac Zarev says:

    Another great interview! Thanks to both Ali and Michael!

  16. Thanks Michael; thanks Ali! I got a lot out of this interview. Especially enjoyed hearing about your vision for ‘Bovine.com’ Ali. Being in a creative industry, I personally find brandable domains and “domain slogans” the most exciting!

    My question to you Ali, and to both of you is, are there any cons to using my real name when selling on Flippa for example? I want to instill confidence in buyers that I’m a real person and that my auction is legit, but I notice many sellers are reluctant to use their real name. Do you know why that is? Does it pose cyber security risks to the seller? Any thoughts you have on this would be appreciated! :)

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      I don’t see any cons to it. When you are selling, the more trust you instill, the better. Wether it’s a brand name you use or your personal name… as long as people know who you are and you instill trust, you should be just fine.

      I also don’t see any cyber security risks behind it? As long as you are diligent in protecting whatever you think may be at risk, you should be fine.

  17. Shari says:

    Very insightful interview. Any advice for someone like me who is interested in getting involved in buying and selling, but is a complete newbie? Where should I start? Thanks!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks Shari! I started right here on DomainSherpa.. I watched almost every video! Then I read ALL the notable bloggers websites, followed my idols and replicated what they did as best as I could. I also watch almost every sale that happens via DNJournal.com and see whats trending, what kind of domain names pull what kind of sale prices, then I base my acquisitions on those.. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! I would put your wallet down, and read & study until the only thing you can think about is domain names, dream about domain names and talk about domain names! :)

  18. elevator says:

    yes! I have that opinion that it is never too late to be in this business but to wait to nurture your domains to fruition could make a great difference.

    Nice interview! Mike and alli my kudos to both of you.

    thanks and cheers.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      It’s never too late to do anything! Great mindset to have!

  19. Jim says:

    Hey Ali,

    Just wanted to say “thank you”. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

    Jim S.

  20. shafiuddin says:

    Ali,These are some great and unbelievable stats man,7 figure income in year very less people make it.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks! Although that’s gross sales, profit only has 5 zero’s after it ;)

  21. Cindy says:

    Simply Fabulous, Focused, Fun !

    Thanks for sharing,

    Michael .Rocks !

    Ali .Rocks !
    Great Website Layout ! Love it !

  22. Mark says:

    Thank you very much for this excellent interview. Buying and selling domains has always sparked my interest and I appreciate all of the useful information here. Congrats on the profits, Ali. Thanks, Michael.

  23. Just had the chance to complete watching the interview and it was great. Very powerful information and wisdom on the domain industry. Shows the power in .com and that it’s not going away no matter how many new extensions come out. On top of that very interesting you mentioned that the catchy phrases are the way of the future, I agree as well and getting as many as I can that are 2 word mostly and sometimes 3.

    Thanks for the reminder of just simply analyzing and studying every single sale, the metrics, finding out the why and really building up that 6th sense. Thanks Ali and Michael!

    – Will

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Will! I’m glad you enjoyed :)

  24. First of all, big thanks to both of you, your job is inspiration for many of us!

    I’m just in the beginning in this business, but I believe that buying and selling domains is living second life, everything will be online very soon…. and now is just the beginning.

    For me personally this is the most interesting thing that I’m doing in my life, please keep going and share with us.

    Regards
    D.Bonin

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Indeed, the domain industry is still in it’s infancy!

  25. Michael and Ali……..

    Thanks for another outstanding interview. Ali as always has so much to offer, we all can learn a great deal from him……Thanks!!!

    Eric Jenkins
    http://www.SpringCreekMedia.Com

  26. Ram says:

    Another great post from Ali. Congrats mate.

    Looking more interviews on this section (profitable flips).

    Thank you sherpa team.

  27. Ace says:

    This is very interesting, especially about slowdown.com

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Indeed, that was an interesting deal.

  28. Noor Manji says:

    Great show again Mike and Ali, you guys are getting better with every show.
    Ali, do you still use zoominfo to find end clients or are you using something else in addition to that.? What do you think of Domain Index.com

    Congrats on your trailblazing run, very inspiring to see that anybody with the right mindset and knowledge can still get in and kick some butt.

    thank you again.

    Mike, you are ready for your own talk show now.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Noor! I am still using Zoominfo. I don’t use Domain Index. Thanks!

  29. George says:

    Fantastic interview guys! Thanks once again Michael for digging deep into what makes a successful domain buyer and seller. And thanks to Ali for sharing all of that information. You didn’t have to do it, but you did and because of that you are helping to push our industry forward and legitimize it. Cheers!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you George! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      1. Kev says:

        Hello Ali another great informative interview, and thanks again Michael. A lot of people knock the industry but guys like you motivate us to carry on. Hope to meet Mike at the Conference in Fort Lauderdale in September. Just recently started domain flipping, and I really like researching my names using google adwords, seeing comparable sales and such. I really learned a lot from the last interview as well. Have a few questions for you so I’ll probably send you an email. Thanks again guys very inspiring and motivating stuff!!!

        1. Hi Kev,

          Thanks for watching the show, and posting your comments.

          Yes, I’ll be at the conference in Florida in September. I look forward to meeting you there in person.

          Best,
          Michael

          1. Kev says:

            Definitely, It would nice to see Ali at the conference as well but he is a busy man. Am from Jamaica and I am sending you guys a warm “One Love” for all this wealth of information…yeah mon!

            1. Ali Zandi says:

              Thanks Kev! I won’t be able to make the conference in Florida, my wife and I are expecting our first born to pop out around that time!

  30. Hey Mike. Nice interview.

    Got some good tips on this one but one of the most important ones mentioned was building trust with a potential buyer and looking to become their “friend” during the process. Someone who has trust and does not feel they are being rushed, bullied or tricked into purchasing something is going to have a better overall experience.

    Make the experience enjoyable, try to relate to them. This may possibly help increase sales.

    Thanks again for the interview.

    -Omar

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Omar! It is indeed a must to develop relationships!

  31. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience, Ali. And thank you, Michael, for another great interview!

  32. Richard says:

    Nice interview Ali (Ned!). Well deserved results of hard work, persistence and excellent copywriting. Thank you Michael, always so much value in you podcast. Required listening.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you very much! I appreciate it!

  33. Matt says:

    Another great show, Michael. Ali is without doubt one of the nice guys of the industry. A very, very inspiring guy.

  34. Thanks for insightful interview Ali!

    You mentioned cold emailing companies about aus.com and didn’t hear back from them. Do you do a lot of outside marketing for all your Flippa auctions?

    If so, do you found paying for Flippa upgrades is worth it? The smaller upgrades seem to do nothing to drive visitors to an auction.

    Thanks again!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Joshua! Yes, I almost always do outbound marketing, even if the domain name is at auction and I always pay for the upgrades. Nothing better than someone I reached during outbound going into a bidding war with an investor. :)

  35. Andrew Fox says:

    Hi Ali,
    Thanks for the great info. I am interested in learning more from you about your initial start in the domain game. The information you provided was valuable.

    Feel free to give me a shot to connect.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Andrew, did you have an specific questions about my start in the business?

      1. Andrew Fox says:

        Hi Ali,

        Thank you so much for the question. Yes I sure do. I have been running an online marketing seo and web company for 5 years and am getting ready to start down this new path of domain brokering. We are starting an exchange similar to Fliippa! Therefore we need to learn about the industry and be really good at selling domains so to help our clients that are selling their own domains and websites.

        What did you find easier at first brokering a domain or buying it and selling to the end user?

        Do you find that owning domains, you usually sell to other brokers, or end users meaning someone that will develope the domain into a site?

        What was the first stream of income you made, and how would you recommend I start actually making money in this business, what direction or activities would you recommend or point me towards?

        Thanks so much for reading my questions

        1. Ali Zandi says:

          Where to start? Read everything ever written about the industry, watch every single video on DomainSherpa, study every single sale that has EVER been made… I wouldn’t buy or attempt to sell anything until you know more about domain names than you know about the back of your own two hands.

          This is one of the most complex commodities in existence. It’s also one of the most profitable, if not the most. That being said, almost everything relies on the amount of knowledge you have. There is no shortcut to success here. Too many people rush into buying and selling before ever knowing anything about the industry.. I know, because that’s what I did too! It is a sure fire guaranteed way to fail. Study first, then attack.

          Now, to answer your questions..

          I found nothing easy in the beginning! But, it was “easier” to buy my own domains at auction then re-sell to other investors via another auction platform. I bought undervalued domains, developed sales pitches for them, re-listed them on Flippa and sold them for a profit.

          As far as my buyers go, they are quite diverse. I generally sell to a blend of other investors, repeat customers, endusers and I have a network of contacts that have buyers as well and they reach out with requests.

          The direction I point you towards is the first two paragraphs of this reply. After that, i’d start on the first page of DomainSherpa.com: http://www.domainsherpa.com/interviews/page/18/

          Scroll down, click on the video “How to Increase the Value of Your Domain Names by 400 Percent” once you’re done with that video, work your way up through the rest of the posts until you’ve watched them all! That’s a great start!

          1. Andrew Fox says:

            Hi Ali,
            This was a real thrill to come into to work this morning after watching my ray lewis motivational video on the way to work and see such a great response. This will help shape my day and I will dive in head first into these videos. I really appreciate it.

            Sounds like a real business the way you speak of it. You happen to be working on buying and selling domains! What I mean is that you have a real business and that is why it works. You write copy, make phone calls, reach out to humans and interact, build relationships and have repeat customers.

            This is the type of business I am comfortable with, one with real relationships, we just happen to be working online and selling domains. Thanks again.

            1. Ali Zandi says:

              Glad to hear Andrew! It is indeed a real business and the most incredible industry I have ever worked in! Best of luck to you!

              1. Andrew Fox says:

                Thank you I am most certainly digging right in and learning from all these different sources.

                Now that I have domains and websites for sale, I have to figure out where to sell them.

                Would you recommend I start listing all these assets on the different listing sites or try to sell over, email and phone?

                Meaning list these as auctions or start selling in the local community or inside the domain industry, I need to find buyers and sellers both any suggestions?

  36. David Gruttadaurio says:

    Thanks, Michael. You never disappoint. Another overwhelming great interview!

    Ali… wow… just wow. Thank you so much for sharing. Sounds like you shoot for a 40%+ ROI. You quote Drew as saying to worry about margin… not sure what that meant and it wasn’t mentioned later. I quick explanation would be appreciated.

    I too submitted my portfolio earlier this year. Fairly well received. Shane was on for that. I think of Shane as a blue collar, meat and potatoes domainer… scrappy kind of guy. Anyway, he had more good things to say than, say Adam.

    But what I took away from the interview is that you mostly are concerned about moving inventory – fast. Most people in the industry think only of huge returns – a “hold it for 20 years and sell Whisky.com for $3.1M” kind of return… I think we all dream of a big payday, and you could definitely get those too if you held for years.

    I have to rethink my business model… but then, I’m not buying $5K – $10K domains either. Most are $100 – $500. Any suggestions!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you David!

      About the Drew quote… When I was on the review, Drew said to worry about bigger margins, not bigger ROI’s. For instance, If I buy a domain name for $1 and sell it for $1,000 that’s like100,000% ROI! It sounds better than it really is, I mean great.. you made $999.. but when you think about it, I would rather buy a domain name for $10,000 and sell it for $20,000. Only 100% ROI but a much, much higher margin. I make $10k that way. I rather do that twice a month than sell 20 domains at 100,000% ROI.. that takes a LOT more work!

      I am indeed about moving inventory. That’s the name of my game. I love the action. I especially love the conversations and negotiations. I just do not have the patience to hold out for 20 years, at least not yet. I’m still relatively new in the industry, the more I sell, the more experience I gain and the more knowledge (and money) i’ll have when I go to pick up my top 20 retirement domains. :)

      Your business model shouldn’t be based on what works for me, it should be based on what works for you. Trial and error my friend. All I can say, is to study the greats and take your favorite parts from each of them and develop your own method!

      1. David Gruttadaurio says:

        Very cool. Thank you Ali!

        1. Ali Zandi says:

          No problem, you are more than welcome!

      2. Andrew Fox says:

        Hi Ali,

        You mention to study the greats, would you mind mentioning whom you think a few of the greats are?

        1. Ali Zandi says:

          Andrew, think of it this way. There are some legendary ball players out there that never make it to the “spotlight” or went “pro”… So who knows exactly how many legends there are out there in OUR industry. I’m certain there are some names neither of us have heard of that are doing some incredible things in the domain industry.

          A lot of the people that I studied have been on DomainSherpa.com! So that should be easy to narrow down ;)

  37. Neil says:

    Refreshing interview.

    I’m a newby and it’s good to hear that it’s not just the ‘big boys’ making the hits.

    I have a small portfolio if Ali wants to check it out. http://www.domainreason.com

    Keep up the good work Michael

    Cheers, Neil

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Wait… I thought I was a big boy? ;)

      I’ll take a look! Thanks Neil!

  38. Cornelia says:

    Hi Ali,
    Very inspiring, a different angle on looking at domaining. It sounds like you found your passion. I can relate it is fascinating. Thank you

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Comelia! Indeed, I have found my passion :) Looking forward to your review.

  39. Charles says:

    Very interesting interview Ali. Although it appears easy to you to flip domains quickly I’ll bet it’s a skill few can easily acquire. At least I know now it’s possible to make good profits in a short time period.

    I’d be thrilled to sell even one of my domains in such short periods of time like you do.

    Good show! Good work!

    Thanks Michael and Ali for a great interview.

    Thanks,

    Charles

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Charles, thank you for your kind words! It definitely wasn’t easy at first, took a lot of time building up the quick flip skill set!

  40. Raymond says:

    Many thanks Ali, you are my great inspiration and motivate me a lot .

    Cheers.
    Raymond Chai

  41. Alan Dodd says:

    Great show guys, thanks, and congrats to Ali on those flips!

    I liked Bovine.com, as the poet Ogden Nash wrote:-

    “The cow is of the bovine ilk;
    One end moo – the other, milk!”

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Ogden Nash got some skills! ;) Thanks Alan, glad you enjoyed!

  42. thank you Ali,

    I am blown away to hear you talking
    and revealing insider secrets .

    you have been very inspiring to me.

    Frank Mueller
    germany

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Frank! Best of luck to you!

  43. Anunt says:

    You The Man!!!

    Hold up…wait a minute…

    Let me check if “YouTheMan.com” is registered…

    damn it…it just got registered by Mike Berkens at most wanted domains…

    anyways…thanks for another great show!!!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Nice grab by Berkens!

      Thank you for the kind words Anunt! Best of luck to you!

  44. albert says:

    Congrats. to Ali.

    I am sure Rick is shaking is head on the AUS.com sale (waaaay to low)

    But fast flips is faster money

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      I agree, long term that would have done low-mid six figures, no problem. Everyone has their own methods. I love Ricks method and I will indeed pursue long term holds eventually, but for the time being, flipping is the name of the game.. because bringing in return like that on a single domain investment in less than 30 days is a win in my book and i’d do it the same way again and again :)

      1. albert says:

        I know what you mean.

        The bargains are always going to be out there.

        Congrats.

        1. Ali Zandi says:

          Indeed they will, and i’ll be right there to nab them up! :)

  45. Arpen Tucker says:

    Great feature as usual

    Michael – some feedback, you always mention that should reach out to people in the Industry. However, I have sent you a couple of requests to connect on LinkedIn in the past and you have not accepted?

    Arpen

    1. Hi Arpen,

      Yes, we all should. However, I list on my profile that I’m not an open networker. I try to only connect with people that I know in some way, otherwise what’s the point…you end up connected to a bunch of people that don’t know who you are.

      I make a conscious effort to try to remember names. I don’t know if I’ve received a comment or email from you (if so, my apology), but those are two ways to make sure people know your name. I don’t personally recommend making connections to people via social media unless you’ve built a relationship first (e.g., exchanged many emails, Skype talked, met at a conference or other in-person event, etc.).

      Everyone is different on how they connect on social networks like Linkedin and Facebook, but I try to only connect with people I know professionally (Linkedin) or personally (Facebook), which is why I likely didn’t accept your connection request. Sorry for that.

      Now that I know your name as an audience member of DomainSherpa, I’d accept! :)

      As a hint for future connections, I always look at the note sent with a connection request and accept when someone sends a personal message and not just a standard connection request that Linkedin uses. I’m sure others do too.

      Best regards,
      Michael

      1. Arpen Tucker says:

        Hi Michael

        Thanks for the reply. I do always put a note with a connection request but maybe you didn’t see it.

        Thanks for the invite now, I look forward to connecting

        Regards

        Arpen

        1. albert says:

          Arpen, I think this is what Michael and other Sherpas mean when they say the best way to really get to know someone is through the conventions and get-togethers.

          1. Ali Zandi says:

            Very true! Building a network has to be a personal thing, not a digital one! When you are friends with your network, it is much more rewarding!

  46. GI says:

    Thanks for your time and for sharing the experience again Ali, I noticed what I was lacking to become a better seller, and wow to the sales you’ve made in 2 weeks!
    Thank you Mike for making this interview happen and can’t wait to see Ali back. Cheers.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I’d love to be back!

  47. bennie says:

    Ali & Mike

    Congratulations

    You both inspire and justify … as always!

    Thanks
    Bennie

  48. BullS says:

    Mike: Nice breath of fresh air on your show this time rather than the same old color of feathers.

    Ali brings a new perspective in the domain business and he hits many point:

    ” it is not too late, or it is never too late to get into this industry and become profitable. It is only going to grow. I mean think about it. Everything is going to need a digital address. Period. That is the only place the future is going, unless there is like a worldwide disaster where your money is not going to matter anymore anyway. I mean why not?”

    Yea, easy to make money on this “funky” business and each day the demand for domains will get higher.
    Sure glad I have many hand reg 99cent weird funky domain names….

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you!

      Now, Funky.com would be a good domain name! :)

  49. Rae says:

    Thanks for coming back, Ali, and sharing your knowledge. Great show, Mike.

  50. Eric says:

    Thanks Michael & Ali for an amazing show with a lot of great info. I couldn’t agree more about the future of the internet & the digital address being everything. I’ve only recently started to treat my domains as a “real investment” instead of a hobby. In the past I just let them sit until people came knocking, now I’m going to heed Ali’s advice & treat them as if my life depended upon it.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you for your kind words Eric! The digital address is everything!! Best of luck to you in your endeavors!

    2. paul says:

      Eric, glad to hear am not the only one who has been waiting ….for buyers to come knocking on my door; for too long ;)

      Thanks to Ali’s motivating talks and sharing of practical knowledge I am also motivated to take a more pro-active approach to my portfolio.

      1. Ali Zandi says:

        Outbound is essential! Some people don’t even know that they want something until you mention it to them! So why not! Knock on doors and wait for knocks at the same time!

  51. Daniel says:

    Great interview! Thanks Michael for preparing excellent questions and leading the interview like a true PRO! And Ali, keep on rocking! Counting down the days till 1 million dollars in profit… should be next week, right? ;)

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks brotha! Yup, next week! ;) Counting those days down man!

    2. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks brotha! Yup, next week :) Counting those days down! Ha!

  52. brand says:

    Thanks again for another great show.
    Ali, do you just buy .com’s, have you had any luck with .org’s and what is your opinion on the new Gtld’s, have you registered any or bought any?.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Hi Brand,

      I answered a similar question about the new gTLD’s below, so i’ll paste the response here as well!

      “The new gTLD’s are still a mighty puzzle, but I see some hope for a few of them. Potentially long term. It’s still too risky to throw a chunky investment into but having a few on deck just in case was worth it for me. That being said, I don’t mean investing in high quality keywords only to disregard the right of the dot. I generally will dive into something like Travel.Agency or Graduate.School. I mean, if i’m going to take a long term risk, I prefer to have some great two word keywords with a dot in the middle on deck.

      I truly have no idea when these new gTLD’s will take off, but everyday i’m given a little more hope. The other day I googled the term “San Francisco”… what ranks #1? SanFrancisco.Travel! Now, that’s an awful domain in my opinion, but it seems that with the proper SEO, marketing and development – anything goes.

      We shall see what the future holds. I know it opens up the doors for investors and even more so endusers and startups, so why not have a few in your pocket? I also agree that a great domain is a great domain and a bad domain is a bad domain. So wether or not you invest in .com only or ngTLD’s, picking up garbage will never yield results! :)”

      As far as .org’s go, I recently picked up FP.org on 5/29/15 and sold it on 6/15/15 for $9k and sold it for $13,201. So yes, I believe .org’s are great investments. But it has to be the right one!

      Thanks again!
      Ali

  53. Hi Guys,

    Another great show! You’ve both provided me with an invaluable wealth of information. Kudos to both of you for giving beginners like myself a great kickstart. :o)

    I reached out to Ali when I was in the process of trying to close a sale and I was absolutely stumped by how helpful he was. While we didn’t manage to close it (you can’t win ’em all), what he taught me has served me well for negotiating subsequent sales on other domains. Legend, that is all. (you too Michael!).

    Jonny

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Jonny,

      Sorry to hear that sale didn’t work out! But hey, the subsequent ones did! So congrats on those! Wish you the best man!

      Thanks again!
      Ali

  54. Dayne says:

    Love your passion Ali. That’s what it’s all about. Wish you continued success.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you Dayne! Best of luck to you as well :)

  55. Brandon says:

    Michael, another great show!

    Ali, can one reach out to you for domain brokerage?

    Thanks Guys!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Hi Brandon, I am no longer brokering domain names! Flippa did just acquire Domain Holdings, those guys are great! Have you tried reaching out to them?

  56. Tony says:

    Just to be clear, it’s $165,000 in gross SALES not profits. $58,883 in net profits from a total investment of about $107,000 for a 55% return in a couple of months. Impressive.

    1. Hi Tony,

      Yes, you’re correct. $165k in total sales with $58k in gross profit. I’ve clarified the title and summary above to reflect those figures. Sorry for the confusion I created.

      Best,
      Michael

  57. paul says:

    Tx Ali, for another candid, helpful, most engaging and useful interview

    And tx Michael for bringing Ali back, he and you are both great assets to the domainer community helping members improve their business acumen

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thank you for your kind words Paul! I’m happy you enjoyed it!

  58. Amit says:

    Good Interview….Thank you

  59. Daneyal F. says:

    Hello & GoodDay!
    Its fantastic to watch Ali on Domain Sherpa show again.
    Not only that he is a great domainer, marketer & entrepreneur, but he has the charisma to influence starters & contemporaries both.
    I have watched about 15 minutes of the show, and couldnt resist posting this comment.

    Best of Luck with all your Ventures Ali.
    Thankyou Domain Sherpa for having successful entrepreneurs in your show & letting us watch with so much details in your questions.

    Regards,
    Daneyal F.
    ConceptVendor.com

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed! Thank you for your kind words! Best of luck to you as well!

  60. Ryan Duncan says:

    Great interview, just made my first sale (lilsnupe.com) a few weeks ago after watching the sherpas for months. This info is pure gold.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Congrats on the sale!

  61. Rody Oversloot says:

    I love the energy and drive you are showing Ali. Also thanks for the tip on namepros regarding the Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson, it is an awesome read!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks Rody! Isn’t that book amazing?!

    2. paul says:

      i too much enjoyed the Roger Dawson Secrets of Power Negotiation book you mentioned Ali

      would appreciate more such suggestions, as you think of them and find them practically useful in domain sales

      1. Ali Zandi says:

        Nice! It’s a great read! In reality, any highly rated book on sales will add more tools to your toolbox! The more you know about sales and negotiations, the better you will do! I’m also very into the metaphysical aspect of sales as well, but that’s a whole other story ;)

  62. Jay says:

    Great Show Thanks Mike & Ali

  63. Friend says:

    Looking at the table provided (12:20 in the video) It looks like gross profit was less than 60K. How did you get to 165K?

    1. Hi Friend,

      Yes. $165k in total sales with $58k in gross profit. I’ve clarified the title and summary above to reflect those figures. Sorry for the confusion I created with the initial information.

      Best,
      Michael

      1. Ali Zandi says:

        Thanks for clearing that up Michael!

    2. Ali Zandi says:

      Ah yes, that was merely worded the wrong way! It’s been cleared up :)

  64. Great to follow your journey Ali. It makes sense that you sold the SlowDown.com domain name. I don’t think this name suits you that well ;)

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks Doron!

      Ha! Well, I try to watch the sunset as much as possible. A few minutes of slowing down is enough, isn’t it? ;)

  65. Phil says:

    Another nice show Michael ! Thank for sharing Ali, I think you gave some great info and tips to the listeners.One of the most important things I hope people picked up is Attitude is everything! You are always are smiling , speak positive energy about everything you say, words are powerful, building rapport , studying , having confidence . These are the traits of a great salesperson from cars to jets to real estate to domains.

    Couple of quick questions, I saw on name pros you are softening your stance on the .com only strategy. Have you bought or sold any of the new gTLDs?

    What’s your thoughts on the several large reported gTLD sales ?

    Would you agree a great domain is a great domain and a bad domain is a bad domain?

    Do you see and feel more adoption is ramping up every day on the new gTLDS?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts !

    Have a great day ! And again great show!

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks Phil! Indeed, an attitude of gratitude will definitely yield some might results ;)

      I am indeed softening my stance to the new gTLD’s, albeit not much, but enough to invest in a couple.

      The new gTLD’s are still a mighty puzzle, but I see some hope for a few of them. Potentially long term. It’s still too risky to throw a chunky investment into but having a few on deck just in case was worth it for me. That being said, I don’t mean investing in high quality keywords only to disregard the right of the dot. I generally will dive into something like Travel.Agency or Graduate.School. I mean, if i’m going to take a long term risk, I prefer to have some great two word keywords with a dot in the middle on deck.

      I truly have no idea when these new gTLD’s will take off, but everyday i’m given a little more hope. The other day I googled the term “San Francisco”… what ranks #1? SanFrancisco.Travel! Now, that’s an awful domain in my opinion, but it seems that with the proper SEO, marketing and development – anything goes.

      We shall see what the future holds. I know it opens up the doors for investors and even more so endusers and startups, so why not have a few in your pocket? I also agree that a great domain is a great domain and a bad domain is a bad domain. So wether or not you invest in .com only or ngTLD’s, picking up garbage will never yield results! :)

      Thanks again!

      Best,
      Ali

  66. David says:

    Thanks Michael for getting Ali back and definitely a big thank you to Ali for the motivation and advice.

    Ali you really fire me up I have to say :)

    Thank you very much.

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      Thanks David! I hope that fire leads you to a ton of success!

  67. Ali you are awesome :D What does your tattoo mean?

    Best,
    RU

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      RU,

      Thanks!

      Which tattoo? I have hundreds! :)

      The one by my eye is rooted in sacred geometry & numerology.

      The triangle (triad) is considered the most stable form. The three sides symbolize the three stages of life: Birth, Life, Death. It also symbolizes the three elements of existence: The Mind (intellect), the body (substance) and the force which drives it, the soul.

      Along side each of the three sides of the triad you will see the number 11. The number 11 is considered a master number. It represents instinct and is the most intuitive of all numbers. Being one of three master numbers (11, 22, 33) it is also the difference between those three. (Notice a trend of three’s happening here?) The number 11 is a very high vibration, one which leads to a high level of intuition, amongst many other things. It also symbolizes a pathway: 11 = | |, like a road or a path you would take. In every stage of life, you have a path or a decision you make which leads you to another, and another. So it is truly about making the right choices along with manifesting the right path with a highly positive vibration.

      The circle, is the root of it all. It stands for many things. The sun, the earth and the moon. The circle of life. Karma (what goes around comes around). The root form/shape used to create the flower of life and most importantly.. the root of all consciousness.

      There is more, but this is the brief version. ;)

      Best,
      Ali

  68. Hi Ali,

    Its been a while we had a skype call. I am quite impressed by how you have done these awesome flips and I really appreciate the transparency of the domains.
    Keep up the great work.
    Talk to you soon.
    Aishwin

    1. Ali Zandi says:

      As always my friend, thank you for your kind words! It’s been great watching you succeed as well!

      Talk soon!

  69. snowdragon4311 says:

    Really enjoyed the show.Thanks DS.

      1. Rashid Javed says:

        you are doing great job bro i am just entered in this industry few months ago and i want to be ALi Zandi for sure, thanks for sharing such a valuable information with us

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