Mike Navarini shares tactics for buying domain names for next to nothing and selling them for thousands.
If you’re just starting out as a domain name investor or you want to add an almost no-risk way to invest to your game plan, you will want to watch this interview and on-screen tutorial.
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We recently learned that there are many people hand registering domain names for the normal price of about ten dollars per year, and then selling them for 15 hundred to four thousand dollars each on brandable domain name marketplaces that exist. Today we are going to continue this series with a brandable domain name marketplace founder, who has some really interesting and useful tips and tricks for domain name investors.
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Michael Cyger: Hey everyone. My name is Michael Cyger. I’m the Publisher of DomainSherpa.com – the website where you come to learn how to become a successful domain name investor and entrepreneur directly from the experts. I would like to welcome to the show, Mike Navarini, Founder of the ad agency, BananaAds.com, and the brandable domain name marketplace called Namerific.com. Welcome, Mike.
Mike Navarini: Hey, how are you doing, Michael?
Michael: Doing great. So, what we are going to talk about today’s show you have actually done. When we did the pre-interview, you mentioned that you have bought and sold domain names on your own marketplace called Namerific.com. Let me start by asking you: what is a real domain name that you have registered, how much did you buy it for and how much did you sell it for?
Mike: Well, I guess I will start with one of my domains that I bought that is called Veravo.com, and I bought it with a coupon on GoDaddy for 99 cents. And I had it sitting in the marketplace for maybe six months and someone picked it up. Someone bought it and I believe we sold it for a few thousand dollars. I cannot remember the exact amount, but yeah.
Michael: So, something like three thousand.
Mike: Maybe like two thousand, I think.
Michael: Two thousand.
Michael: Okay. So, 99 cents. So, you paid one dollar for a domain name, you held it for six months, you did not even have to renew it and it sold in the marketplace, Namerific.com. You know, this is sort of the example that I think a lot of people would love to have happen to them. Is this something that was a lottery ticket in your opinion, like you bought it and you held it and it happened to hit, or is this something that happens on a regular occurrence to you and other domains on Namerific?
Mike: This is something that happens on a daily basis. I mean pretty much any domainer out there, when you are buying domains, I do not think you should be paying the full registration price, especially the first year because there are so many coupons out there and so many different registrars that you can buy domains at. There is really no reason to be paying 12 to 15 dollars for a domain, especially on its first year when it is a hand registration. So, actually I can show you today, a little bit later in the show, me in action, buying a domain name for 99 cents and using the coupon so that your viewers can see that it is real. It is not a scam. I will show you that it is actually a legitimate-sounding brandable domain that someone might actually buy.
Michael: Awesome, all right, and we are going to do that. We are going to actually flip to a screen share later in the show and show you step-by-step how that is done with Mike doing that, so stay tuned for that. Hey Mike, do you have any idea how many times you have reproduced this type of sale, where you personally have bought a domain name for one dollar and then flipped it within a year or within a couple of years for a couple or a few thousand dollars?
Mike: In terms of a number I cannot say exactly, but I mean.
Michael: More than ten. Less than five. What do you think?
Mike: Oh, definitely more. I mean basically almost every domain I buy that is a hand registration I use a coupon and pick it up for one dollar to three dollars. It depends. Sometimes the dollar coupons do not work, so you have to pay three dollars. Big deal.
Michael: And so, a lot of people, maybe they are in college or maybe they are on a fixed income, this really appeals to them because they can buy a domain name for essentially nothing and then have the opportunity to flip it. And is this the kind of system where, if they bought a domain name for one dollar, they would not be able to buy another one for one dollar, or like you just mentioned? Is it possible to buy domain after domain for one dollar to three dollars each?
Mike: I can show you guys how to do that. I mean there are multiple coupons in GoDaddy, for example, and you can create multiple accounts, because each coupon can only be used once, I believe, so all you need to do is create a second GoDaddy account with a second email address, and then you can use all those same coupons again.
Michael: All right. All right, we are going to get into that. Hey Mike, let me ask you. How did you first discover that domain names could be a valuable asset worth selling in an aftermarket like your Namerific.com?
Mike: Well, I have been buying domains for a long time now, but actually I guess I first got introduced to reselling domains for money back around 2009, around that timeframe. I actually went to Hawaii for a month and I rented a room on Craigslist. As it turns out, that is where I met my Co-Founder, Zane Gocha, and he was actually already buying and selling domain names back then. He was telling me, like: “Oh, I bought this domain. I sold it for this amount of money.” That kind of piqued my interest, so that is where I first heard about this little niche, making money, buying and selling domains. And we developed a friendship from there, and that is how I kind of got into the whole Namerific thing, because he actually started his own brandable domain site called ZTGBrands.com and, from that, he kind of morphed it into Namerific, which is what the site is today.
Michael: Got you. So, you co-founded Namerific. Well, actually your Co-Founder, Zane Gocha, started Namerific, or did you two sort of combine efforts and co-found?
Mike: Well, we started the company together to build the actual brand, Namerific, but he was actually the original owner of the name, Namerific, the domain, and he started the previous site, ZTGBrands.com, which is kind of what parlayed into the full site that it is today.
Michael: Got you. So, how would you describe Namerific.com to somebody who has never been to the website before?
Mike: Well, Namerific.com is a brandable domain name marketplace, where you can go and buy a brand for your new business, a project, a new app that you have developed – basically anything you need a nice .COM domain for, and we just make it really easy for you to pick up a clean .COM domain and a logo that comes with it. So, it saves you time and it saves you money because I guess time is money, and it is really difficult to find good .COMs these days, so that is what we do. We find them and we list them up on the site, we pay a logo designer to create a nice brand, and then we just make it really easy. So, that is how I describe the site.
Michael: Got you, so Namerific serves primarily those looking to start a company or looking to start a brand for a product or service that they have.
Mike: Yes. Anyone that wants to brand anything can come to our site and buy an actual brand name. So, sometimes we have big corporations that are developing some sort of a new product. They will come and buy a name from us, or it could be someone that just created a new app and they need a cool name for it, but they are too busy developing and they do not have time to be searching for domains. It could take a long time to find one.
Michael: Why only .COMs, Mike? Why don’t you have like the cool .MEs or .IOs, or some of these new TLDs that are coming out every day?
Mike: I think .COM is still king. Even if you did find a really great .IO or .ME, your visitors, your customers are going to ask, “All right, who owns the .COM and why don’t you?” So, the .COM has just been around for so long that everyone kind of considers it like the primary domain, so I think that whatever business you start you should try to have the .COM at the minimum. You could also pick up those other extensions, but you should have the .COM because that really shows that you really own that brand.
Michael: Yeah, it is sort of the de facto standard right now.
Mike: Yeah, it still is. I mean there are tons of other extensions, and some great ones and you can pick up a really cool one, but if you really want to own your brand, I think you have to have the .COM.
Michael: What are the cool extensions in your opinion?
Mike: I think some of the .LYs are kind of cool. .XYZ is kind of nice. .IO. I really like .CM because you can pick up some .CMs that are actual – I guess I do not want to say they are typos, but you can get some high traffic domains that people are trying to type a .COM, but they actually mistype the .COM and miss the O.
Mike: You get some extra free traffic.
Michael: So, if you are looking for typos, the .CMs are a good one. But it is not great for branding?
Mike: I think it is good to own your .CM for your brand, or it could be, but if you want to make money with redirect traffic, where you are getting a lot of visitors typing that kind of stuff in, first off, do not buy trademark, because I have experience with that. I have actually be sued by a big company for having a trademark typo.
Michael: Did they actually sue you or just send you a seize and desist letter?
Mike: No, they sued me in Federal Court.
Mike: Yeah, I was fighting it for three years.
Mike: Actually anyone can go look it up. Just look up Facebook versus Banana Ads.
Michael: Ooh. Yeah, that is not a small company that went after you. And how did it get resolved, Mike?
Mike: Well, it took a lot of time and persistence, but I finally got it resolved and it is in the past now, so I do not have to think about it anymore.
Michael: Was it an expensive lesson learned?
Mike: Yeah, it was expensive. I mean the most expensive thing about it was the time because I actually defended it myself. I did not hire an attorney, but I did have to put a lot of time into researching and kind of studying the law and other cases and kind of what to do. So, it turned out fine. I think it was actually a good thing that happened to me because I learned so much about the legal system and what not to do to protect myself in the future.
Michael: All right, we may have to do a whole show on that one. Have you back on. Let me ask you. So, you said you like the .IOs. You like the .LYs, but .COM is, I said, the de facto standard that people are going to assume that you own the brand when you own the .COM. I do a weekly show with a few regulars in the domain name industry and we talk about the new TLDs, and I wonder from your perspective, somebody that understands domain names, that owns a major marketplace, but is not necessarily an insider with respect to some of the consultants that specialize in the new TLDs. Do you follow any of the new TLDs, like the .NINJA or the .TODAY? For example, .NAVY and .AIRFORCE are coming out. Do you follow any of that news?
Mike: I do not really follow any of those. I do follow the major sales that happen in the other major extensions, like .LY. The more popular ones, and some of them are actually selling for good amounts of money. However, like I said, I forget what the exact statistic is, but I think 90 percent of domains out there are .COMs, so .COM is still king and I do not personally see that changing anytime soon. I mean yes, I think there is opportunity to make money with other extensions, so you should not totally ignore it. And it is not really that big of an investment to pick up a couple nice domains with other extensions, but I think right now, for someone who starting a business or an app or whatever, it is really nice to own that .COM for your brand, and that is really the main point I am trying to get across.
Michael: Definitely. All right, so back to the discussion that we started with, Veravo.com. You registered for one dollar. Let’s say that I was the one that registered that, Mike, and I wanted to list it for sale on Namerific.com. What are the fees to list a domain name on the marketplace?
Mike: Well, the fee is exactly zero dollars and zero cents.
Michael: All right.
Mike: The only cost is the time it takes you to go to the site, register for an account, and submit your name. Once you submit your name, we will review it. If we approve it, then you will get an email to forward that domain to the sales page. So, if it Veravo, you would forward that domain to Namerific.com/Veravo, our system will recognize that it has been forwarded, that verifies that you are actually the owner, and then what we will do is we will have our logo designer design a logo and we will write a description and then get the domain live on the site.
Michael: Who writes the description, you do or I do as the seller?
Mike: We do. We do it.
Michael: You do.
Mike: Yeah. We have actually tested to have domainers write their own descriptions and I think domainers are better at buying domains than writing.
Michael: Now, on some other marketplaces, they have to pay their designers to produce the logo because a domain name may reside on the marketplace for years without selling, and that designer wants to receive something. How do you work the finances to pay the designer before without charging anything to have a domain name listed?
Mike: So, how our system works is, when you list your domain name, you actually choose the price that you want to list it at for the actual sale price on the site, the retail price, and then it shows a breakdown of where the proceeds will go when the domain sells. So, a cut of that will go to the logo designer. You can choose to award the logo designer between one hundred and one thousand dollars for their design.
Mike: That is when the domain sells.
Michael: Okay, so they get paid on the backend when it sells.
Mike: Logo designers get paid on the backend. So, they do not take any money upfront. However, we do have an in-house designer that we are paying upfront to basically expedite the process because there is a lot of domains to go through and a lot of these designers will design a bunch of logos, and then they will just kind of wait for a sale. And we need someone that is constantly designing, so that is why we have an in-house person as well.
Michael: Got you. And do you require exclusivity if I were to submit one or more domain names to your marketplace?
Mike: There is no exclusivity. The other marketplaces, such as BrandBucket, have these contracts in place. So, if you get your domain on their site, live, you are stuck listing your domain name. If you try listing it somewhere else, they will shut your account down, supposedly. But if you list with us, you can have your domain in as many places as you want to increase the chances of a sale. So, we do not have any exclusivity contracts except for the high premium names. If it is a very high premium name, like 100-thousand-dollar domain or something, we might have a person-to-person contract directly with that specific domainer to just have an agreement where we can have this listed on our site only for a certain amount of months or whatever.
That gives us a little bit of comfort that we can actually go out there and try to find a buyer without worrying that it is going to sell somewhere else.
Mike: Does that make sense?
Michael: But if I list a domain name, let’s say, on Namerific and I list it for three thousand dollars, and then somebody is smart enough to do a WhoIS lookup, contact me directly via the email address that is on the WhoIS record, and say, “Hey Mike, I will give you 25 hundred for it,” it seems a bit unfair if I do not compensate Namerific for producing the interest in that.
Mike: Yes. So, actually recently that happened to us. We had a nice premium domain, JNA.com. I think we had it listed for 30 thousand dollars. I believe what happened was first the buyer came to us and we agreed on a price and everything, but then before the actual sale went through, the buyer WhoIS-ed the domain. Even though the domain had privacy, I believe, he was able to contact the seller, and then they generated a deal together, and we did not make any money off of it.
Michael: That is unfortunate. Does that make you want to rethink the way that you have the domains listed, that you get a contract if this sells period through any channel that you get commission?
Mike: Yeah, we have to review our policies. I mean it is pretty rare for that to happen because I would say most of the buyers do not want to go through the hassle of trying to work and deal directly with the domainer, because sometimes there are scams out there and they might send the money over and they might not get the domain, whereas we act as an escrow service and you are actually going to receive the domain when you pay for it, and the domainer is actually going to receive the money.
Michael: That makes sense. So, let me ask you one more question about submission. How do you regulate the fact that I may own like two thousand brandable domain names and submit them all to you? You do not want to be inundated with a bunch of crappy domain names, for lack of a better description. How do you sort of moderate it when anybody can submit as many domain names as they want to you?
Mike: Well, I would say we get around one hundred to two hundred submissions a day, and I will spend maybe – I don’t know. It depends, but if I go through a list, I can pretty easily filter out the bad ones that I do not want, and then just reject them. So, we do not discourage anyone from submitting names, but if you notice that your names are getting denied a lot, then it should give you an idea of what we are actually looking for.
Mike: So, I go through a list every morning and I actually work with my brother, who is my business partner on the site, and we pick the top submissions and we approve them, and the rest just gets filtered out. There are a lot of decent domains that get submitted, but we really only want to list the best of the best on the site because I do not want my buyers to spend time looking through so many domains. So, we actually have a lower number of domains on our site compared to the other major brandable marketplaces, so there is less names to filter through and higher quality I think.
Michael: Got you. So, a lot of people will watch interviews like this and become familiar with the new marketplace like yours, and then want to submit everything. What types of domain names are you looking for? What are the general guidelines that you provide to people in order to help prevent a lot of the domain names that you would reject from being submitted to you?
Mike: Well, we are basically looking for business names. If you have a .COM domain that someone might use as a business name, we are interested in looking at it. Of course all the general guidelines apply. We are looking for stuff that is shorter, less double characters. Something that is easy to spell, easy to remember. We really like three-character domains and four-character domains. Stuff that sounds really cool, even if it is multiple words or two words. If it jives together nicely, we definitely approve a lot of those.
Michael: What about generic words?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah, made up words are really popular. Most of the domains we sell are made up, brandable names or words.
Michael: Okay, something like SoundCloud would be cool.
Michael: What about SeattleChiropractor.com?
Mike: Something like that we tend to shy away from because it is so specific.
Mike: We kind of want our domains to appeal to a broader audience.
Michael: Okay, so now geo domains.
Mike: If you have a geo character-type domain, I would probably not approve it, like if it was something like SeattleChiropractor or something like that.
Michael: Now, what if it is Chiropractor.com? Is that a type of domain name that you would?
Mike: Yeah, we would like that.
Michael: You would.
Mike: I would definitely approve Chiropractor.com of course.
Michael: Okay, so even if it is like a dictionary word that applies to a specific product or service, you might take it. It does not need to be a “brandable,” which is like a made up word.
Mike: It could be a keyword domain. I mean if you were a chiropractor, would you not want to brand your company at Chiropractor.com?
Michael: Yeah, I just do not know how many chiropractors actually go out to brandable marketplaces to look for a domain name for their business.
Mike: Yeah, well, there are. I mean think about how many chiropractors are in the US. I mean there are thousands upon thousands, and they all have a website, or you could actually go above all that and become a directory for all chiropractors. Chiropractor.com is probably already that. I have not checked.
Michael: Okay. So, if I did own Chiropractor.com, I would be very happy and I would submit that. How long does it take from the time that I submit one or more domain names to you to the time that they are reviewed and I get a response back saying that they are approved or rejected?
Mike: So, we try to review and approve or reject all names within a day or two. Sometimes it does take longer. I mean if it is on a weekend or holiday weekend, and stuff like that. So, once that happens, sometimes it takes a while because a domainer has to actually forward that domain to their sales page so our system can verify that they own it, and sometimes that is actually the longest process because they are lazy, I guess, or they do not actually know how to forward a domain.
Michael: Right, and you have a how-to tutorial on how to do that.
Mike: Yeah, we have some basic instructions on how to do it, or they can contact us directly, but it is really not too complex of a task.
Michael: Yeah. When we get in later into GoDaddy, we can show people how to a setup a forward. It is pretty easy.
Mike: Yeah, it is very easy. But in terms of actually getting a domain completely live on the site with the logo and everything, usually it happens within a week or two. Sometimes it happens within a day, like yesterday I had a domainer ask me if I could prioritize her domains and get them listed right away, and I went ahead and did that for her, but usually we like to have the domainers incentivize a logo designer with a little bonus money, so we have an option where you could pay 25 dollars and you will have a logo within 24 hours, guaranteed, and it will be live on the site.
Michael: Oh, very cool.
Mike: Because logo designers love upfront money, of course.
Michael: Right, so they get a little bit upfront, and then they get it later.
Mike: And then they still get the award when the domain sells. So, it works out for the designers because they are getting something, but they also have a really big incentive to make a great logo because they know they are going to make money if it sells. And the logo is really what sells a domain sometimes. It is just a nice picture. Even if the domain might not be that awesome, if the logo is really cool, it will sell.
Michael: That is interesting. All right. And you mentioned three and four characters. Three characters are really hot right now, but four characters, unless they are a word, are not necessarily hot. Do you want any type of four characters?
Mike: No, I prefer a pronounceable four-character, or a four-character that could be used as a business name. One four-character we have is Hono.com, like Honolulu. That is a really nice four-character. We own some domains like Wekk.com. Those are all pronounceable four-character names that we like.
Michael: Even though Wekk does not pass the radio test because if you said it on the radio, people may think of it is Weck.
Michael: But it is still a domain name that you are looking for because it can be pronounced. You just have to explain it.
Mike: Well, if you look at the domain, it actually looks pretty nice. So, I mean I know the radio test is one thing, but it is not everything. So, if you do have a four-character that you think would pass, go ahead and submit it and we will probably approve it. We do reject most four characters that we get because they are like UYTH.com or some weird string of characters that do not really mean anything, and that is not something that someone would usually brand a business with. I forget what the term is, but it fills in like an actual phrase, what the business stands for.
Michael: Yeah. Now, Hono.com is a nice domain name. If I were to submit that one to you, do you set the price or do I set the price?
Mike: You can set the price when you submit it. You list what you want to retail it for on the site, and what we do is either we will approve that or we will adjust it. And if we adjust it, you will get an email saying, “Do you accept our adjusted price?”
Michael: Okay, so if I submit it and I say it is 100 thousand dollars, what would you come back with?
Mike: I would come back and say that is probably too high and it is not going to sell for that much, so let’s list it at 15 thousand or something, and then they will either say yes or no. If you say no, it will not go live.
Michael: Got you, so there is a little bit of back and forth to try and set the price.
Mike: Not usually. I mean pretty much any price we set people agree with. However, once in a while, there will be a domainer that thinks their domains are worth so much money and I will contact them directly and discuss pricing with them.
Michael: Doesn’t every domain investor think that their domains are worth more?
Mike: Yeah. I mean a domain is really worth what someone is willing to pay, and that is really what it is worth. So, we are the ones working with the buyers and we are seeing all the sales come in, and we know what things are worth usually.
Michael: Yeah, you have a lot more data. Yeah, exactly.
Mike: Of course it is great if we can list a domain at a higher price, but we also want to turnover domains. We want domains to sell, so we also want to price them aggressively as well.
Michael: Right, that makes sense. All right, so we talked about how long it takes to get reviewed and approved. I was wondering. How much traffic do you get on Namerific? How many people come, looking for brands per month would you say?
Mike: Right now we are getting about one thousand uniques a day. It varies between I would say nine hundred and two thousand a day. It depends on the day. Sometimes we have spikes. Sometimes we will have a low day, where it is like eight hundred uniques, but that is basically without any of our paid advertising. That is just all natural traffic coming in through search engines and also domain redirects. So, if someone is typing in a domain that they want to buy and it turns out that that is one of our listed domains, it will redirect you to our site, so the traffic is through that as well.
Michael: Very cool. And how many people of those thousand unique visitors per day that come to the site actually buy the domain name for the price listed versus want to negotiate?
Mike: So, we have a few options. You can buy now or you can make an offer or you can inquire. I would say about 30 percent of the sales come through a buy now and the rest are through offers or inquiries. Usually a buyer will come in and offer kind of a lowball amount, and we will either work with the domainer or if it is our own name, we will figure out the lowest price we are willing to take, we will respond to the buyer with that amount and try to make a deal happen.
Michael: Yeah. Do you get a lot of lowball offers?
Mike: We get a lot of lowball offers, yeah.
Michael: Do you just ignore those when they come in for ten dollars or 50 dollars?
Mike: Oh, we never get anything that low. The lowest offers we get are in the low hundreds, but yeah, I mean we are really trying to target higher priced names now, so we do not even want to deal with names that are getting sold for like five hundred dollars or less because it is just too much work for not enough money.
Mike: I mean to actually process a domain and everything, and receive the money, work with the domainer, and all that stuff – get it transferred -, it is actually a decent amount of time to get a sale process. So, we are really targeting domains thousand dollars and up.
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Michael: Yeah, and that makes sense. And if I do sell a domain name for one thousand or two thousand dollars, what is the commission that Namerific takes for doing the promotion, taking the sale, acting as the escrow agent, creating that logo, and then processing it? What is the total commission that I would pay?
Mike: So, the standard in our little niche, which is brandable domains, is 30 percent, and that is what we charge. So, the reason we charge that is because we are actually getting a premium from the buyers. They are coming to our site and they are willing to pay this higher amount of money for this domain because it is packaged and it looks really nice, and it is ready to go, so it is really an end retail price is what we are getting.
Mike: And that is usually higher than what you get if you just list it on GoDaddy Auctions or Sedo listing because it is just a domain itself, and usually the people buying those domains on there are other domainers that are looking for deals, whereas we are actually going for end users. And we also have a lot of costs. Marketing costs and just costs to run the business of course, so that is why we have to charge a 30-percent commission.
Michael: That makes sense. And to be honest, if I buy a domain name for one dollar, which you are going to show me how to do a little bit later in the show, and you sell it for two thousand dollars, you can keep 30 percent. That is well earned.
Mike: Yeah. No one really complains about the 30 percent. We do have a few domainers who have been with us for a long time and they have a lot of domains with us, and we have a special pricing model with them, but it is still close to 30 percent.
Michael: Yeah. Okay, so your standard is 30, but if I have some primo domains that I am willing to work with you on, something is negotiable.
Mike: Yeah, if it is really premium stuff, we can negotiate with you. I think what happens sometimes, when someone kind of says, “Oh, 30 percent is too high,” we will just list the domain for a higher price so they get what they want in pocket and it usually works out fine.
Michael: Good. What are the total sales at Namerific in the past year?
Mike: Total sales. We are in the six-figure range for total revenues. So, I have not checked my books, but yeah, it is up there.
Michael: All right. Any other details or requirements that you can think of at Namerific that would give somebody watching this show that might be interested in listing their domain names some tips on proceeding before they actually submit their domain names to you?
Mike: In terms of like how to buy the domains?
Michael: We talked about how you do not have exclusivity. You do not require them to sign a contract unless they are a high dollar amount sale. People redirect. Your commission is 30 percent. I think we talked about everything. Do you have any idea what your sell-through rate is? If I list a domain name there that you guys liked enough, how long might it be on the market before it sells? Is there any way to determine that?
Mike: It depends on the name. If it is a great name and we price it aggressively, it will turn over. Someone will buy it, but what it really comes down to is what does a domainer want to accept as the price because some domains, I mean we have got three offers on a single domain in the past two weeks, but the seller does not want to sell at the price of these offers coming in. So, it is really up to the seller to decide if a domain gets turned over because they are ultimately the ones who decide what they want to take in pocket.
Mike: But I would say if you have a good domain and we price it aggressively, it will sell within a year. Around there.
Michael: Okay. What are the best selling domains on Namerific? You mentioned that they need to be some sort of business, but do you sell more cloud-type domains or wearables or healthcare?
Mike: Actually the cloud domains are pretty popular.
Michael: They are still popular.
Mike: They are still popular, but I would say the most popular domains that we sell are just the made up words. Most of the domains we sell are just completely made up.
Michael: Like with Veravo.
Mike: Yeah, or it could be a word that is kind of a hybrid into a made up word, like we sold a domain recently, Liquinex.com. It is like liquid, but it has a weird ending or a different ending, or Reimburse. We sold Emburse.com recently. They are just kind of hybrid. Basically real keywords in a niche that are made into a made up word or whatever. Does that make sense?
Michael: Yeah, that totally makes sense.
Michael: All right. So, let’s say that I want to go through this process and then submit domain names to Namerific.com for sale. What is your process to find a great brandable domain name?
Mike: Our process. Well, I do have a team that I work with. They are actually overseas, so it is a more economical way for us to find domains, but I basically have one person. All they do is look for good brandables, and we have a few methods for that. One is we have some Excel tools that we can put in a base word and it will add a suffix to the end of the word or a prefix to the beginning of the word, and then it will generate thousands of made up words with a base keyword. And then we will take all those created names and will plug them into like a bulk search tool, like on GoDaddy they have a bulk search, where you can search hundreds of domains at a time.
Mike: And it will show us what is available. Then what they will do is they will look through that list and they will find the best of the best, and then every morning they will email it to me and I will pick the best of the best of that and then we will buy a few.
Michael: Got you, but the prefixes and suffixes. I would suspect that that once you go through that process once or twice, you have pretty much picked out all the good ones. And there are so many domain name investors nowadays that they have already reserved the good ones of those. How do you find good, new brandable domain names?
Mike: Oh, well, a lot of times I will think up names or they will think up names, and they will just do a search and they will find them, but one trick we have that I have been thinking whether I want to share it or not.
Michael: Do it, Mike. Do it.
Mike: Well, one trick is actually looking through these domain contest submissions. There are some contest sites out there, where people are paying money to have domainers generate a bunch of available, hand registration domains.
Michael: I was not aware of that.
Mike: Yeah, so what we will do is we will look through all those entries and we will find the ones that are really good, and we will just pick them up. So, that is one trick.
Michael: Where do people run contests to have domain names submitted to them? Is that like a 99Designs.com sort of thing, where people will pay to have a brand created for them?
Mike: Well, one is NameStation.com. It is a good site, where you can look up their contests. And you can actually pay for an account and get more access, but there are also free contests. If you look at the closed contests, you can find a lot of domains that have not been purchased, but they are still good. That is one place I would start.
Michael: So, it is sort of the power of the crowd to come up with interesting ideas. I wonder if you could go onto Mechanical Turk. Well, a lot of those people may not be Native English speakers, but I wonder if you can go onto Mechanical Turk and say, “I need somebody to search for a name that contains some sort of cloud,” and then one name gets submitted per person and you pay them 25 cents per piece for their submission.
Mike: Yeah, I mean that is possible too. There are a lot of ways. There are a lot of sites too to find domains. I mean one of our things though that we really like is this Excel spreadsheet that just generates so many domains, and a lot of them are actually pretty good, like I am surprised they are not already taken.
Michael: Got you.
Mike: So, yeah, I mean we try to buy domains every day. Sometimes we do not, but when I find good ones, we always pick them up.
Michael: Yeah, all right, that makes sense. And do you know what the last three brandable domain names you have purchased? Like what did you purchase today or yesterday?
Mike: Well, I have not purchased anything today, but I can show you one that I am going to purchase on our little screen share thing in a little bit.
Michael: Okay, let’s do that. We are going to switch over to screen share right now and we are going to see Mike’s screen as he goes through the process to actually think of domain names, look for availability, register the domain name for one dollar or very inexpensively, and then manage that domain name. So, stay tuned.
All right, Mike, we are back. I see your screen on the window right now. We are on GoDaddy. First off, I know that you and your employee work together on a nightly basis and your employee or your employees come up with multiple domain names. They may send you a list that you get in the morning. How many domain names are typically on that list that you need to review and determine if you want to buy?
Mike: I try to keep it under 20, so they just send me the best of what they find, and then I will go through that list of about 20 domains and pick the best one or the best couple ones, or if there is nothing I like, I do not buy anything, but usually there is something good in there.
Michael: All right. So, of the 20 or so domain names that your employee sent you for review this morning, what is one of the domain names that was on that list and why do you like it?
Michael: Nexuro. That is probably the way I would have spelled it. Nexuro. And what does that mean? What do you feel like when you think of the name, Nexuro?
Mike: It sounds kind of techie to me. It does not mean anything specifically, but it does sound like a company would use that or there would be a company name, Nexuro. So, maybe a software company or maybe an accounting business. Just off the top of my head, there are a couple of random ones.
Michael: Yeah, it sort of makes me think next, like future, and then uro. I do not know what that is, but clearly the euro. But yeah, it does sound techie. So, what is the first step that you would go through when you get this list and you like Nexuro.com?
Mike: Well, usually I just have my employee go through this whole process, so I do not actually do anything, but I have trained them to basically go to GoDaddy, login, and purchase the domain using a coupon, and then they will forward it to the specific sales page that it is supposed to go to on Namerific. And then they will go on Namerific and submit that domain, and it will go through the normal process, where the designer will design a logo and we will write a description.
Michael: Okay. Can we do that process on Nexuro so people can see it?
Mike: Yeah, we can.
Michael: Great. So, what is the first step to find a coupon code for buying that domain name?
Mike: Okay. So, the first step is to go to this link right here. Domain coupons for GoDaddy.
Mike: It is just FoxCrowd.info. I will send you this so you can share it with your audience.
Michael: FoxCrowd.info/Forum/Topic/My-Big-List/. Okay.
Mike: There is also, if you go on NamePros, an entire thread. Where is it? Yeah, it is right here. It is a GoDaddy discount codes thread with updates all the time. There are 750 pages of people posting about coupon codes.
Michael: Now, those drive me crazy because I can never find which one is valid and which one is not.
Mike: Well, we actually keep a list. Whenever a coupon works for us, we will put it on a list that we will know that usually works later, but you can actually go on here. This guy just said that this coupon just worked for 99 cents. This was yesterday, so we can actually try that one right now.
Michael: Okay, cool. So, you basically go to the end of the thread, find somebody that says that the coupon code worked, and then go to GoDaddy and try and buy it with that coupon code.
Mike: That is one of the ways. They can also go to that page, which is here. My Big List, and there are tons of coupons on here that still work and they have been working for a while. So, you can go down this list and find ones that work, and then plug them in.
Michael: Okay, let’s head over to GoDaddy. Now, often times, when I sign into my account on GoDaddy, these coupon codes do not work for me because I am part of their Domain Discount Club, which means that I pay a certain fee per year and then my fee to buy a domain name is just eight dollars and change, period. Do you find that sometimes coupon codes do not work for you also?
Mike: I mean a lot of times they do not work, but that is why we have multiple accounts. So, if it does not work for one account, we will register it with another account. And then once that domain is in that other account, we will either let it sit there until we need to renew it, but then we will try to get it into our main account, where all of our domains are.
Michael: Oh, okay.
Mike: So, yeah, you can just create a new GoDaddy account, but you really do not need to because there are so many coupon codes available that it might be a little time-consuming, but you can buy domains for one dollar to three bucks.
Michael: Well, it might be time-consuming, but you are saving money, and so you have less out-of-pocket expense.
Mike: Yeah, exactly.
Michael: Okay. All right, so you did a search. Good news. This domain name is available.
Mike: It is available. And you know it is available because down here it does not say this domain. Sometimes, even if it is available at auction for thousands of dollars, it will still say it is available, but it will not be available for this price.
Michael: Right, sometimes it is for sale through the GoDaddy Auctions and it may have a premium price.
Mike: Yeah, exactly. So, you want to find domains that are not registered by anyone that is just available to hand register like this. So, what you do is you continue to cart. You do not want any of that stuff.
Michael: Okay, they are going to try and up-sell you on some different things. Now, you are already signed into your account, I can see, which is showing me some domain names, which are blurred out so that other people cannot see them, and it is asking you if you want to renew those domain names.
Mike: Yeah, I am just not going to renew those ones, but you go up here and you choose term. One year from five years.
Michael: So, it defaults to five years. You do not want to buy it for five years because why?
Mike: Because it is just not necessary. You might sell it within the first year, and then all that other money you spent on those other years just goes away.
Michael: Right, you lose it anyways.
Mike: Unless it is like a really highly valuable domain, you really do not need to register for multiple years unless you really want to guarantee that it is not going to expire.
Michael: Makes sense. Now, Mike, I noticed on the first screen it actually said Nexuro.com was available for $2.99, but now it is saying it is $12.99.
Mike: Yeah, I think maybe GoDaddy did not think I was logged into my account when I went to the homepage, so it just showed as if I was a new customer. $2.99. But I think if I created a brand new account, I could register this domain for $2.99 without even using a coupon.
Michael: Got you.
Mike: Now that GoDaddy sees I am actually logged in, it is trying to sell it to me for $13.17.
Michael: Right. Okay, which is their normal price. Now, how do you enter that coupon code that you copied off?
Mike: Yeah, at this point, what you are going to want to do is you are going to want to scroll down where it says have a promo code, and you are going to want to plug it in here.
Michael: Okay. I think you might actually have it on your clipboard.
Mike: Let me see. Oh yeah, I do.
Mike: Okay, so paste it there. See what happens. Okay, it looks like that one did not work.
Mike: It is still 13 dollars.
Michael: Well, it is funny because it said promo code has been applied, but it did not actually reduce your cost at all.
Mike: Yeah, it did not. So, let’s see here. Let’s go back to this and see if there are any other new ones.
Michael: So, this is actually the process that somebody would go through. You try one promo code. It did not actually reduce the price. You go back to the list. You try another one.
Mike: You will have to try a few. Let’s see if this one works.
Michael: I am glad we did not get a coupon that worked right off. That one did not work either.
Mike: That one did not work either.
Michael: Was successfully applied even though it did not work.
Mike: Yeah, so let’s actually go to this one and let me try to find a few. ANIMAL295. I feel like that one might work. Yeah.
Michael: Hey, look at that. All right, so it is $2.95, but they tack on ICANN fees, and this is the fee that GoDaddy pays to the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers in order to allow them to do all the beautiful work that they do, so the total is $3.13. Is that good enough, Mike?
Mike: For me it is good enough. If you really want a domain for one dollar, you can spend more time trying the other coupons, but for me, I will stick with this three-dollar one.
Michael: Before you hit proceed, or hold it for a second. You had mentioned previously that if somebody wanted to create a new account, they could often times go to Google, search for domain name registration, see a 99-cent option, but they would need to have access to a different email account. Is that the only thing that is necessary to create a new account on GoDaddy?
Mike: Well, basically, just do not be logged into your current GoDaddy account and create a new account. But I do not recommend creating a new account for every domain you register. It is just too much work. You can probably have like three or four different accounts. I actually do not even know what GoDaddy’s rules are with that, but you can have three or four different accounts and use each available coupon once on each account. So, there is plenty of domains you can register with that method.
Michael: Okay. So, in some cases, there might be a 99-cent coupon, especially if you are a brand new customer, but in this case, because GoDaddy realized that you were an existing customer, the best you could find with a little bit of work is $3.13.
Mike: This coupon was actually in the $2.95 bucket here. I mean I could have tried some of the ones over here, the 99-cent ones. I mean I can still try. I think we have used most of these though, so I do not even know if I want to try it.
Michael: Okay, no worries. I think we got the idea of how to search for the domains and then how to plug them in and look for ones that are working.
Mike: Exactly. Yeah, and this helps if you are registering a lot of domains because the costs do add up.
Michael: Yeah. All right, and let’s go ahead and process this, and then what I would like to have you show quickly, Mike, is if you have, let’s say, two accounts with domain names, but you do not want to get all the domain names into one account, what is the best and easiest way to do that?
Mike: I can show you after I get this domain and how to move it to your primary account.
Michael: Okay, and Mike is just entering some WhoIS information so that area is blurred out that you do not see, but it is just basic information associated with the domain name.
Mike: Actually I usually do not buy domain privacy because it costs like an extra seven dollars on GoDaddy, so it is not even necessary to blur that out.
Mike: Sometimes I have my different GoDaddy accounts do not really have all this information in here. So, usually your WhoIS will be public if you are really trying to get this low cost, and do not use a fake name or company. That is against the rules.
Michael: Right, you want to use real information because people might actually contact you to buy the domain name.
Mike: That is right. So, yeah, I mean you just update your billing information and your WhoIS information. You want to update your WhoIS before you buy it because if update it later, the domain gets locked again for another 60 days.
Michael: Oh, okay, so basically, to explain that, there is a rule set by ICANN that says that if a domain name WhoIS information changes, the registrar has to lock the domain name, so it cannot be transferred out of the registrar for 60 days, and they do that in order to prevent domain names from being stolen and then transferred outside the country, for example, another registrar.
Mike: That is right. Yeah, and you can change all the other WhoIs information. The only thing you cannot change is the name. So, you can update your address and your phone number at any time, but you have to keep the name of the registered person the same. When you change that, that is when it gets locked for 60 days.
Michael: Okay. And let’s say that I buy a domain name today, Mike, and I list it on Namerific and next week, let’s say, it is for sale. Somebody buys it. Even though it is locked, I can push it from one GoDaddy account to another.
Mike: Yes, you can. You can transfer accounts.
Michael: And we will show you how to do that once you get through this checkout process.
Mike: Yes. I do not know if your viewers just saw, but when I tried to checkout, I think maybe GoDaddy recognized my credit card, so it put the price back up to 13 dollars.
Michael: Oh, I did not see that. Boy, I am glad you showed that because some people may be actually having that problem as well. So, now you need to go back to the list, find another coupon code, and try and apply it.
Mike: Yeah, that is right, and actually that coupon just increased the price.
Michael: Yeah, GoDaddy has some interesting systems.
Mike: Yeah, but one of these will definitely work and we will get a domain for a cheap price.
Michael: All right, there we go. $3.13.
Mike: Back to three dollars. Go back again. Let’s see if we can place your order.
Michael: Oh, coupon code is not available.
Mike: Yeah, it is not a seamless process, as you can see. Let’s try this one.
Michael: Sometimes it is not easy to save money.
Mike: Yeah. Well, that is why I have my employees do it, because it consumes some time to do this.
Michael: Well, and I am totally not doing a promo for GoDaddy when I talk about the Domain Discount Club that I pay for. I think it is 90 dollars per year, but I like my time and I do not like to search for coupon codes and try things over and over again. So, I pay eight dollars and change for a domain. It is not the cheapest. It is not the most expensive, but it is a discount. All right, there we go.
Mike: All right, so we got a coupon that worked. $3.13, and I have this domain till the same date, 2015.
Michael: All right, so it is registered for one year. It cost you $3.13 for that one year. And if you sell it between now and then, you do not have to pay another penny to GoDaddy for the registration.
Mike: That is right, but next year, when you need to renew it, you will have to pay a renewal fee. You could spend more time, just like I just did, to transfer the domain or to a different registrar and use another coupon to renew it, or you could try to find GoDaddy renewal discount coupons.
Michael: So, just like you did to register it, GoDaddy offers renewal discounts.
Mike: There are, but they are harder to find. It is much easier the first year to get that significant discount. We do not typically spend all that time when we renew. We just pay. I think we are in the Domain Discount Club, like you mentioned, and we get renewals for like eight bucks.
Michael: Got you, so you will push it to an account that has Domain Discount Club, and then you just pay the eight dollars and change for the domain registration for the year.
Mike: That is right. So, now, if I go into manage my domains, I can actually push this domain to my primary account.
Michael: Okay, and this is the same that will happen at the end of the year, when you want to manage it in your main account, and then also if somebody buys it and you want to push it to their GoDaddy account. This is the process.
Mike: Yeah, that is right. So, to push it to the main account, you just do this. And then you go here. You may need to take this part out.
Michael: We will gray it. So, basically you are storing information, account numbers.
Mike: I just needed to get my account number.
Michael: Yeah, and that is why this whole screen is blurred out, because Mike is just looking something up.
Michael: Oh, so I actually get to see you have a training document for your employees. That is cool to see. So, what you cannot see, as the audience, is that Mike has a process written out as well as accounts that should be transferred and how the entire system should work.
Mike: Yeah, I mean I have dozens of hours of video, training my employees on how to do all this stuff.
Michael: Very cool.
Mike: Also, for documentation, they can print out and have it in front of them when they are doing all this work. So, actually, as a domainer, I highly recommend getting. If you are serious about starting a domain business, you can actually hire someone overseas to help you with this kind of stuff. I can actually tell you about that later, Michael.
Michael: Very cool.
Mike: So, what you want to do is, when you go to this point, you want to select do not change the WhoIS information because then that will start another 60-day lock if you change the details. And so, I have all that stuff, and then I just hit next. And then hit finish, and then that is it.
Michael: And the way that you started that process, Mike, was that you clicked the domain.
Mike: Clicked the domain and then I clicked the little plus, yellow button, and then I said begin account change.
Michael: Begin account change. It was the more, plus, and then begin account change. Okay.
Mike: And then I can sign into my primary account. And then, once I’m signed in, I can actually go and accept that account change. So, if I go here.
Michael: So, you launch the domains.
Mike: To this drop-down on the top left. It is loading, but I will go here to pending account changes. Nexuro. And then I will say accept. And if there is more than one checkbox here, you did something wrong because that means you probably selected to change the WhoIS information. So, we usually just want to have this one checkbox, and then hit okay. And now the domain is in your account. It might take a minute or so.
Michael: Awesome. All right. Now I want to submit Nexuro. Do I have to buy a domain name before I can submit it to Namerific for review?
Mike: A lot of people submit them, and then once we approve it, then they will go out and buy it.
Michael: So you do allow that.
Mike: We do allow it, but if you find a good domain, you should buy it because if you are submitting domains that you do not own, I cannot guarantee that someone else.
Michael: It may get taken by somebody else.
Mike: Yeah, it may get taken by someone else.
Michael: I get emails all the time on DomainSherpa, saying, “Hey, is so and so register frontrunning because I tried to register. This domain name was available last week and now it is taken.” I am like: “Yeah, there are a lot of people with good ideas.”
Mike: Yeah. So, the process of submitting a domain name is you would register on Namerific, you would go to the bottom over here and hit sell with us, and we register there. And then what you do is login once you are registered, and then you would go to the Listing Center and click Add New Domain. And then you put it like that and you try to modify it so it looks good.
Michael: All right, so capitalize where you think it should be capitalized. .COM is just a pendent, so people should not type in the extension. You only take .COM.
Mike: That is right. Price. This is the price I want in pocket as a domain owner. Let’s say I want a thousand bucks, so I will put it like that.
Michael: Is that a reasonable amount for Nexuro?
Mike: Yeah, I think that is. I think this domain can sell for a couple thousand, but this is the price in pocket after the commission and everything. So, our system, as you can see here, updates the prices.
Michael: Oh, okay.
Mike: If I type in five hundred dollars, that is the total listing price there. If I put it for one thousand, it will list it here. And then if I change the designer award, it also updates all the prices, as you can see.
Michael: Got you.
Mike: So, I will set the designer award at two hundred for this one.
Michael: Now, what difference does it make if I pay one hundred dollars or five hundred dollars? Am I going to get a five times better design if I select five hundred?
Mike: Your domain will get picked up faster by a logo designer typically if you have a higher reward amount, so that is one thing, but also, the designer might actually spend a little bit more time to make sure your logo is really nice because they do want that five hundred dollars. So, yeah, you could choose five hundred, but of course the actual listing price of the domain will go up more, so it might be harder to sell. So, you could just review all this stuff before you submit it.
Michael: And I see an option I can actually submit my own logo if I am so inclined.
Mike: You can, but in this case, I will not select that because I want someone else to have a chance to design it, and then I will just click Submit. So, now it is pending approval. So, you can blur out this part, but I am going to login to my admin and I am going to basically accept that domain so that I will get the email saying that my domain has been approved, and then I will show you how to verify it.
Michael: All right, so this whole section. They do not need to see this whole screen, so we are going to blur out the whole screen here, Mike, but basically you are going into the admin. I will describe it.
Mike: I am going into the admin. I am reviewing the domain right now. I am seeing the price. I am okay with that and everything. I am going to send it into the verification mode, so now the domain owner will get an email saying they need to verify it, which I can show that email come in here.
Michael: So, if it is approved or denied, an email will be generated?
Mike: If it is approved or denied, yes, an email is generated on all these different steps that take place.
Mike: So, let me go here. Yeah, so now I have got an email saying Namerific. Your domain at Namerific has been approved. Hello Michael, your domain, Nexuro, has been approved and now pending verification. What you need to do is forward the domain to the sales page, which is Namerific.com/Nexuro. So, all the instructions are here, but essentially what you do is go into GoDaddy. Open up the domain page. Actually this is already done. Let me go into all domains here. Open up Nexuro. So, now, this is where you can un-blur the screen.
Mike: At this point, you click the drop-down, you click forward domain, and I guess put in this CAPTCHA code.
Michael: At least I can read that. Sometimes I cannot read those. Okay, so you click add one now for forwarding.
Mike: That is right, and then over here you just type in Namerific.com/Nexuro, and you could click this little preview button to make sure it actually does go to Namerific and you typed it right.
Michael: Oh, cool.
Mike: And now it shows that it is unavailable because obviously there is no page setup yet, but once our system recognizes the domain is forwarding, it will create a sales page.
Michael: Does it matter if you select 301 or 302 redirect type?
Mike: I use 301 because it is permanent. It will always be forwarding. To be honest, I am not exactly sure how temporary this temporary one is.
Michael: Yeah, so basically your system will work as long as it is forwarding.
Mike: Yeah, so what happens now is it might take a few minutes, but if I go in here and type in Nexuro.com, it should forward. Well, GoDaddy is not forwarding it yet, but in a minute.
Michael: Right, it takes a while for GoDaddy to setup the DNS on their routers and DNS system, and then for it to propagate.
Mike: And also my ISP has to update and recognize the new DNS.
Michael: Right. How long does it take your system to recognize that the forward is in place once GoDaddy sets it up?
Mike: Our system is checking every hour or two, the forwardings. So, once it recognizes that, what it will do is send the domain. It will say, “Okay, this domain is verified now.” It will go into the next step, where we notify the writers and the logo designers about the new domain that is available to design a logo for.
Mike: And as a domainer, that is the final step. You do not really need to do anything else at that point.
Michael: Right. Perfect. So, that is the last step that, as an investor, I submitted the domain name to you. Everything is done. Now I just need your team to create the logo, write the description, and list it for sale, and then keep my fingers crossed.
Mike: That is right, and do not let it expire because if it does, someone might pick it up and then we have to remove it from the site.
Michael: So, you mentioned that you were using employees in other countries. What is the big advantage of using employees outside of the US?
Mike: The big advantage is cost savings I would say, and also advantages: you are giving someone a job that needs money. I have hired dozens of employees over the last five years for my online businesses. And I do not know if anyone is familiar with The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It is a really popular book. One of his big things is outsourcing your time to other people. So, you are basically hiring people to perform tasks for you that consume your day, and that is kind of how I have been running all my businesses the last few years; is outsourcing any sort of repetitive tasks that take up my time, so I have more free time to actually grow my business and develop partnerships, and do more managerial type work instead of doing the small stuff.
Michael: Now, I read that book and I have tried to simply my life and outsource as much as possible. I often find that I spend the most amount of my time doing email, interacting with people to try and educate myself or answering questions from the audience of Domain Sherpa. How do you outsource that stuff, Mike?
Mike: Training. It is really important to train someone, or find someone who already knows the niche that you are in. Actually you would be surprised. There are actually people that are. All my employees right now are in the Philippines, the outsource employees that we have, and I have found employees that have worked for domain registrars in other countries that are very knowledgeable about domains already, and those are the people I have picked up to work with Namerific. So, yeah, you can definitely find these people.
Michael: It makes sense that you outsource the process of coming up with made up words like Nexuro.com and then go through and look on this list and find a coupon code that is less than three dollars, and if you cannot find one, then create a new GoDaddy account with these emails that maybe work with your system. I understand how that process can be systematized, but do you actually use employees to go through your email and answer emails and file them?
Mike: So, my employees have full access to my email and they will scrub out the stuff I do not need, and they will actually notify me on Skype if there is an email I need to respond to, or they are already trained to respond to many emails as well. And they have their own email signature that when they write an email, people know it is them. So, yeah, I think anyone doing any sort of online business needs to have some sort of help to save them time because time is valuable, and if you really want to make serious money, you have to figure out a way to automate a lot of processes.
Michael: Yeah. Why do you use employees in the Philippines versus other countries, where cost of living is not as high or is similar to the Philippines?
Mike: Well, I mean there are a lot of places you can find outsource employees, like Eastern Europe, India, and places like that, but what I have found over the years is that people in the Philippines, first off, are very loyal, which is good. You can trust them. They are trustworthy. They are not going to steal your business or try to duplicate what you are doing, and they speak English. It is an English-speaking country. I have been in the Philippines about five times, and almost everyone speaks English, especially the younger people that are in the 20 to 30 age range.
So, they can actually write for you. They could communicate with customers, and they can speak English with customers if needed. And it is also inexpensive to hire them.
Michael: How much does it typically cost to hire an employee per hour in the Philippines?
Mike: Well, I would say the average salary in the Philippines is about seven thousand pesos per month, or even five thousand to eight thousand. Around there I guess. That translates to a couple hundred dollars, but I typically pay them more than that.
Michael: The average salary is only a couple hundred dollars US?
Michael: Per month?
Mike: Yeah, per month.
Michael: Wow. Yeah, I can see why you want to pay them more.
Mike: Yeah, it is not hard to pick up employees. We offer them a little bit more than that, and I also offer incentives. They get their base, plus they can get a commission. For example, this new domain that my employee found. If we sell that, he is going to get a nice commission on that.
Michael: Oh, that is cool.
Mike: Like a brand new iPhone or something. I have incentives for my employees so that they are excited to do the work.
Michael: Yeah, excellent. So, running a virtual company like this, where your employees are working in the Philippines and they are basically working while you are asleep, what does that allow you to do in your life that you would not be able to if you were working a regular 9-to-5 job at a company that you had to be there in-person?
Mike: It gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility. I do not actually have to be at an office every day. I mean right now I am calling you from my home. So, I mean have had an office. I used to have an office in San Francisco for about 1.5 years and I had employees there and everything, but I decided to go travel for a year, and so I kind of ended all that.
Michael: So, you traveled for an entire year without living in a specific location.
Mike: I travel every year. I do not travel for a whole year at a time, but I do travel usually a couple months. I spend about 30 percent of the year overseas.
Mike: Yeah, and I do travel domestically a lot. I am going to New York next week for ad:tech advertising conference, and then I am going to Brazil after that for a few weeks. And I recently came back a few months ago. I went to 18 countries over three months. So, I do move around a lot and I am able to do that because I do have this staff that is assisting me with all the primary business functions that need to be going on every day. And actually, to correct what you said earlier, my employees do not always work when I sleep. They actually work my hours as well.
Michael: Oh, they do.
Mike: They work nightshift in their country, which is our daytime here because business hours in the US is when most of the stuff is happening, but they are also able to work their daytime if they ask me sometimes.
Michael: And so, if they have questions during the day, they may Skype you and want to instant message or do a face-to-face call like this?
Mike: Yeah, face-to-face calls. Sometimes their Internet is not as fast as mine, so the face-to-face calls do not work as well, but there is a constant Skype conversation going on all day with all my employees.
Michael: Got you. And do they also have other jobs, or do you find that you are paying them enough that they are dedicated one hundred percent of their time to you?
Mike: No, they are all full-time and this is their only. Usually when they work with me, it is their only job. I mean they might do other things that I do not know of, but it is not a problem because they are actually getting the work done that I need to get done. And it is enough for them to live over there. I mean they like working for me because I will go to the Philippines every year too and I will take them on a vacation to some exotic place over there that normally they would not be able to go to.
Michael: Oh, nice.
Mike: Yeah, I keep them happy.
Michael: That is great. And so, you mentioned that you do a lot of traveling. You visited 18 countries in three months. Is that what you said?
Mike: That is right.
Michael: I am here in Seattle. If I go back East, I have no problems. I am on the Internet. Every hotel I go to has Wi-Fi available, but if I go International, I notice that it is difficult for me to find places that have Wi-Fi and be available on the same time zone as my employees. How do you manage that, getting Internet access and being able to answer the questions for employees?
Mike: Well, I typically try to stay in one location for a decent amount of time before moving on too quickly, so I will kind of plan ahead. Maybe I will book an AirBnB that already has reviews saying it has good Wi-Fi or something like that, and then I will arrive at my destination and I will have a workstation ready to go with Wi-Fi. Internet is important for me when I travel, so sometimes I do avoid traveling to places where I know the Internet is not going to be good. And recently I was in a few countries where the Internet is even better than here, like South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. They have 100mb per second standard Internet.
Mike: They are extremely fast.
Michael: Yeah, that is phenomenal. I was in Israel two summers ago and they actually have buses that have Wi-Fi built-in, like that was cool. Taxi. You get in the taxi and you hookup to their Wi-Fi and you can check your email. Some countries that you would not except to actually have pretty good Internet connectivity.
Mike: Yeah, I was actually walking around Seoul a few months ago, and you can get Wi-Fi almost anywhere, so you do not even need a cellphone plan really. I use Google Voice for my cellphone when I am overseas. People can text me or leave me voicemails. Call me. I can pick up the call.
Michael: Now, are you worried about security when you are traveling in these countries, signing into your accounts and passing your password and things like that? Does that worry you?
Mike: I am pretty careful with what I do, but I have never had a problem with any accounts being compromised or anything. What you do not want to do is go to a public place and connect to their Wi-Fi and log into your bank if you are not sure about the network because what hackers can do is create a fake network name that tricks people into logging into that, and then they can track all of your passwords and capture all of your data. So, there are a few tips that you should know about if you are going to log into public Wi-Fi.
Michael: Now, it sounds really cool and I should be able to do what you do, but I have got a family. Is it possible, do you think, to do that sort of traveling with a virtual business when you have a family? What do you think?
Mike: I mean it depends what kind of relationship you want to have with your wife.
Michael: Yeah, that is a good point.
Mike: But I do have friends that have actually. When I was in Europe, a friend of mine met up with me and he brought his wife and kids, and they stayed with me for a week. So, it is possible to travel. It just depends on your personal situation. Right now I am single and I take advantage of that, so I do travel when I can.
Michael: Hey Mike, I mentioned at the intro that you are also the Founder of BananaAds.com. What is that business?
Mike: So, BananaAds is an online advertising agency, or some people call it an affiliate network. And we are basically a middle man between advertisers who own a certain product that they are trying to get sales for or leads for, and publishers who basically post ads on the Internet or drive traffic to that advertiser’s product, and we facilitate that entire process with our tracking platform. And what our publishers will do is login and they can choose from a list of affiliate products to promote. And for example, it could be a GEICO auto insurance quote, and what will happen is they will take that special tracking link from BananaAds and they will promote it.
It could be on Facebook ads. It could be on email lists that they have. It could be in search engines, popups, pop-unders, banner ads, and in-text ads. There are all sorts of different advertising mediums they could promote that link at. And when a visitor will click on that link and fill out an auto insurance quote, for example, they will get paid from me around eight dollars and we will take in maybe ten dollars from GEICO. So, that is how we make money. We will make like two bucks on the margin for each sale that goes through, and we facilitate the relationship between both parties.
Michael: That makes sense. But unless I am writing a magazine or a blog about cars or car insurance or ways to save money, or something like that, it might not make sense for me as a publisher of that website to use that affiliate offer.
Mike: It depends. Let’s say you have a domain blog, Domain Sherpa. You can actually sign up on BananaAds as an affiliate and you can look up Namerific. We have an affiliate program, and you could grab our link, put a banner up on your site for Namerific. Anyone who clicks on that banner and goes to our site and buys a domain, you will get a commission off of that.
Michael: All right. How much can I earn for that?
Mike: It depends. I think we have it set at 10 to 20 percent right now on the sale, so yeah, you can make some hefty money I guess.
Michael: Yeah, nice.
Mike: Yeah, we have not been pushing our affiliate program too much because we actually run most of our advertising in-house, but I can find some specific publishers like yourself to maybe promote it.
Michael: And is there a minimum amount of traffic that my blog needs to have in order to work with an affiliate network like yours, or will you take anybody, even if I only have like myself and my mom reading my blog?
Mike: I mean we pretty much take anyone, but we do like to work with people who do have traffic volume because it is worth our time to work with them and everyone can make more money that way. We do not typically like to put all our resources towards an affiliate or publishers that does not have any traffic, although we do have tons of training resources on how to become a successful affiliate. Typically I will hand off those training resources and sometimes I will hear back from the people because they went through it all, and they will actually become a successful moneymaking affiliate or they will just get lazy and not do anything.
Michael: Awesome. Well, that is great to know that you have those resources. Mike, if people want to get in touch with you to maybe ask you a question about Namerific or maybe become an affiliate on BananaAds.com, what is the best way for them to reach out to you?
Mike: Well, they could go to my blog, MikeNavarini.com, and I have a contact page on there with my contact information. Anyone is free to call me on my cellphone: (925) 577-6273. They can text or call me. I am on Skype at Mike.Navarini. I also have a Skype for Namerific. Just Namerific is the Skype name. They can email me: Mike@Namerific.com. Pretty easy to get a hold of. They can add my Facebook.
Michael: How do I know you are replying and not one of your employees?
Mike: Because it will have my signature in the email.
Michael: All right. If you have additional questions for Mike that were not answered on this show, please post them in the comments below this video on Domain Sherpa and I will ask Mike to come back and answer as many as he can. I also encourage everyone to take a moment and if you received benefit from this interview, post a quick thank you. I know a lot of you listen to this show on iTunes or you may download it through our feed and listen on another audio maybe during your workout or during commute in the morning or in the evening. People remember to sign back onto Domain Sherpa and post a thank you to Mike. It encourages more Sherpas like Mike to come back and share tips and tricks like Mike did today.
Mike Navarini. Founder of the ad agency, BananaAds.com, and the brandable domain name marketplace, Namerific.com. Thanks for coming on Domain Sherpa, sharing how we can buy domain names really inexpensively with very little risk and then sell them on brandable domain name marketplaces like Namerific.com, and thanks for helping others reach their peak on Domain Sherpa.
Mike: I really appreciate it, and you can tell your listeners. If they want to ask questions in the comments, I am happy to follow through with any questions people ask about any of the stuff we talked about. I know that people might be wondering how can they hire someone in the Philippines or something like that. I have sites that they can go to, to find people, and I am happy to share those kinds of things in the comments below.
Michael: Awesome. Well, we will let them ask. And if they are interested, then I will have you come back and share those. That is much appreciated, Mike. Thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.
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