Berkens’ First Interview Since Selling His Portfolio + NamesCon 2016 Auction Deals

In his first interview since selling his portfolio, Michael Berkens answered some questions about the the WorldWide Media domain name portfolio mega-sale to GoDaddy. I asked him how much he sold his portfolio for, what he bought as a result of the sale, and what’s next for him.

Also, Berkens and Monte Cahn discuss the $24 million dollars worth of domain names that are going up for auction at the NamesCon conference in January 2016. Want some insider information on which domains will have no reserve, be the best value, or will have the highest resale potential? This is the show to watch!

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About the Interviewees

Michael Berkens, Right of the DotMichael H. Berkens, Esq. is co-founder and managing director at Right of the Dot, LLC, an Internet consulting and advisement firm specializing in new and existing TLD strategy, board advisement, premium domain and market positioning, sales and services.

Berkens founded Worldwide Media Inc. in 1997, which owns and manages an investment portfolio of more than 75,000 domains. In 1999, Worldwide Media launched its retail site, MostWantedDomains.com, which is responsible for tens of millions in domain sales among the business and domain community.

Berkens holds a law degree (JD) as well as an LLM degree in Taxation from the University of Florida. Since 2007, he has published a widely-read blog call TheDomains where thousands of posts that have generated well over 35,000 comments from close to 2 million visitors.

Monte Cahn: How to Resolve Multiple Applications for the Same gTLDMonte Cahn is co-founder and president of Right of the Dot, LLC, an Internet consulting and advisement firm specializing in new and existing TLD strategy, board advisement, premium domain and market positioning, sales and services.

Cahn has been pioneering domain name and virtual property aftermarket services since 1995. He is founder and former president of Moniker.com and former president of SnapNames.com, which together made up the Aftermarket & Registrar division of Oversee.net, where he also managed more than 6 million domains and 117 ICANN accredited registrars.

Cahn helped start one of the first domain name brokerages in 1996, contributing to or leading the sales of more than $300 million, including the first domain name sale for over $1 million – Wallstreet.com – and the sale of Autos.com for $2 million.

Cahn is also Executive in Residence and Advisor to the Board of Domain Holdings.

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Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/rotd-namescon-2016-auction/

Over 24 million dollars worth of domain names are going up for auction at the NamesCon Conference in January 2016. Want some insider information on which domains will have no reserve, be the best value, or will have the highest resale potential? I have got that for you today, plus Michael Berkens answering some questions about his recent portfolio mega sale to GoDaddy. Stay tuned.

I have three sponsor messages before we get into today’s show.

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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. Today, we are going to talk about the upcoming Right of the Dot auction that will take place live at the NamesCon Auction in Las Vegas on Monday, January 11th, from 2PM to 7PM. So, I invited the two people responsible for the auction, both past Sherpas, Michael Berkens and Monte Cahn, to help us learn more about the investing opportunities.

Michael is the Co-Founder and Managing Director, and Monte is Co-Founder and President of Right of the Dot, an Internet consulting and advisement firm specializing in new and existing TLD strategy, board advisement, premium domain and market positioning, sales and services. Gentlemen, welcome to the show.

Michael Berkens: Thank you, Michael.

Monte Cahn: Thank you, Michael. Glad to be here.

Michael C: I know you have got like a flurry of activity going on and I appreciate you taking out some time as you are preparing for this auction.

Michael B: Thanks for having us on.

Michael C: First things first, Michael Berkens, this is your first public appearance since an announcement a couple of weeks ago, so I need to ask you a few questions to start. People are expecting it.

Michael B: Okay.

Michael C: So, for anyone that has not heard, and I cannot imagine anyone who has not, Michael Berkens, you will be buying drinks for everyone at NamesCon. Is that correct?

Michael B: I think we are buying drinks for everybody during the auction anyway.

Michael C: All right, during the auction drinks on Michael Berkens, or maybe it is just for me for the whole show. I do not know. So, the real headline is that GoDaddy acquired the worldwide media domain name portfolio from you, which included about 70 thousand domain names that you had your portfolio. Is that number of domains correct, Michael?

Michael B: Approximately.

Michael C: Approximately.

Michael B: Yes.

Michael C: And so, what was the sales price of that entire sale?

Michael B: Cannot say under NDA.

Michael C: All right, I had to ask though.

Michael B: All right.

Michael C: So, let me try this, Mike, because I always try and work my way around these NDAs as best as I can. When my friends, who are business owners, sell their companies, in order to get a gut feel for the magnitude of the sale price, I always ask them, without bluntly asking the price like I just did, were the profits enough to buy a new watch, to buy a new car, to buy a new house, or to buy a new life? Which is it for you, Mike?

Michael B: I guess it is to buy a new life. I mean for me. It is not though. Not question of the money being enough to buy a new life, but it allows me to slow down and to not work seven days a week and ten hours a day on the computer. So, I guess it is enough for a life, but we are not actually planning on buying the houses, cars, boats, or watches right now at all.

Michael C: You are not planning anything right now.

Michael B: No. No, we have what we got. We are not looking to move or change residences, or do anything like that. And I have cars already. I am not a boat guy. I have plenty of watches.

Monte: He has moved into a new house.

Michael C: That looks like the same patio as your house that you were on the shows this year, Mike. Is that a new place?

Michael B: This is like 2.5 years, three years. It is pretty new though. We are very happy where we are.

Michael C: Mike, let me ask you. I assume that you discussed this sale clearly with your wife, Judy, and with trusted colleagues, one of which might have been your partner at Right of the Dot, Monte Cahn.

Michael B: To some extent that I could.

Michael C: What is the best advice that you got when you were discussing the sale with all your colleagues and friends?

Michael B: I did not really discuss it with too many people to be honest, and I really could not, and I could not talk about the price. So, it is pretty hard to discuss, so it is just more from a lifestyle angle and just a thought. It is somewhat more of a decision. Do I want to just do what I have been doing for the last 20 years for the next 20 years or not?

Michael C: Right.

Michael B: So, that is where we kind of came down. It is time to do a little something. Follow Mr. Schwartz a little bit. Not maybe to his extent, but definitely slow it down and step back.

Michael C: Hey Mike, Mark (Unclear 6:02.6) over at DN Prices wrote a blog with analysis of the sale based on previous public sales at Most Wanted Domains that are in the DM Prices’ database. Mark estimated the sale price to be 22.5 million dollars, plus or minus 7.5 million dollars, so that puts the sale price between 15 million dollars and 30 million dollars. Was the sale price in the range?

Michael B: So, that range is worse than the presidential poll.

Michael C: I am trying to practice my reads right now as well, because we are heading to Vegas and I like to play cards, so I am trying to read your face as I throw out those numbers.

Michael B: I read that as well, but see, that sort of puts you anywhere from – I do not know – Trump winning to probably Fiorina or somebody, so that is a pretty wide range.

Michael C: Hey Monte, let me ask you. This portfolio purchase was just a few months after GoDaddy bought the March X domain name portfolio. So, two big portfolios sold to the largest registrar in the world. What do you think this means for the domain name industry going forward?

Monte: I think it helps create liquidity. GoDaddy, after their acquisition of Afternic, their goal is to generate additional income and provide additional choices for their customers that are not only registering new TLDs, but can look at the aftermarket as a way to acquire domain names firsthand. So, I think their acquisition and the fact that Afternic is part of that portfolio and now with Michael’s portfolio, they have a whole slew of really top notch, premium and some premium choices for new businesses, startup businesses, venture capital ventures, which is the market that they cater to.

Michael C: Yeah.

Monte: So, the mom and pops. They are not necessary the domain investor portfolio company anymore. They are the new business, the startups, the mom and pops, the people just getting online and the new generation of users. And so, I think it was a very smart move and I think it is a telling tale of what companies like them should be doing in acquisitions. Ironically, we are kind of spinning the wheels back ten years, when Oversee acquired portfolios like this, when I was acquired from Moniker to Oversee.

I helped them manage their million domain names also and providing liquidity on a lot of the names that they owned through parking and also through aftermarket sales too, and so did a number of other portfolio companies, like Work Media and Name Drive. They all had their own portfolios. A lot of registrars had their own portfolios. So, it goes back to what happened back ten years ago.

Michael C: Yeah, but Monte, they have already got all these premium domain names in the registration path through the Afternic platform. So, you, with all your great names and Mike with all his great names, they were already in that hey, I want to register Cats.com or Dogs.net, or whatever. It is in the registration path and people can purchase it for a premium price. Why does this make it better for them?

Monte: Well, obviously with a portfolio purchase, they have got what they feel is a good deal on the purchase overall. The person that sold of the portfolio, both March X, and I would think Michael would agree that he is happy with his purchase price. So, on a per name basis, it does not look as large as it would on an individual basis if he sat around for ten to 20 years, trying to sell them off. So, there is a cost to buy that out in the beginning and somewhat of a premium, but also somewhat of a discount to get somebody out. And then they can then mark it up on higher margins.

I think that they experimented a lot with the March X portfolio and they got a really good deal on that. Ironically, I manage both portfolios. I managed Mike’s for many years at Moniker. I managed whole March X and (Unclear 9:50.2) before that, and helped with that whole transfer and movement of that purchase. And so, I remember the whole transaction in the first place, the first time it happened, and then of course the second one. So, I think they got a deal. Not a discount or wholesale deal, but a deal that helps them with multiples and earnings that helps with their public process, and they can take that and amortize it and depreciate that purchase over years, and then accumulate revenue and also provide good services to their clients and their customers for a long period of time with this portfolio.

And I would suspect they are going to look for more portfolios like that.

Michael C: Yeah. Yeah, great point.

Michael B: It also cuts their competition off. So, while they had these excellent assets and inventory to sell on Afternic, so did Sedo, so did Domain Name Sales, so did other companies in the space, and by obviously acquiring the names, they shut that inventory off from the other companies.

Monte: Right, that is a really good point. so, they have the first edge movement – first advantage – by having those properties only available through their networks now.

Michael C: Right. And you just posted earlier today, I believe, Mike, that Nat Cohen’s Telepathy just bought pretty much all the three-letter .COMs through GoDaddy that were in your portfolio.

Michael B: Well, that is not true.

Michael C: That is not true.

Michael B: No. Well, so far from what I saw, they bought 55.

Michael C: 55 of them.

Michael B: With like 105. The bought most of the Chinese ones though.

Michael C: Chinese premium names, yeah.

Michael B: Chinese premium names, yeah. Does that make you feel good, like hey, I sold the portfolio to GoDaddy, and then they were able to immediately make some money off of it, or does it make you feel like I wish I had contacted Nat before I had sold the entire portfolio?

Michael C: Neither.

Monte: I mean Nat knows Michael directly. He could have reached out, but like I was saying before, and Michael could validate this, is that if Michael sat back and sold those on an individual basis, he was expecting obviously a lot more money on an individual basis. That portfolio purchased by Nat gave both, GoDaddy the opportunity to look at the whole portfolio on a per-name-cost basis and then show a markup that, on a per-name basis, they made money. Michael made Of course the money that he needed to, to get out his whole portfolio, and now they still have a huge portfolio sitting there and they just got – let’s call it – ten to 15 percent of that money back, or whatever it might be.

I am just guessing at it, but now they are a step ahead because they have spent some money and bought some from Mike, and now they just put money in the bank on a small portion of the portfolio.

Michael C: Yeah. All right, Mike, congratulations again. Thanks for indulging me, Mike and Monte.

Michael B: I wish I could be more transparent, but I cannot.

Michael C: No, I completely understand. Let’s turn our attention to the NamesCon Auction taking place Monday, January 11th from 2PM to 7PM. If people want to see the domain names while they are listening to or watching this interview, where do they go, guys?

Monte: Well, NameJet will have a splash page on the auction link that will show all the names in the live auction.

Michael B: I have a better answer real quick.

Michael B: Sure. They just go with NameJet.

Monte: And they go on to the page and they look on their little, blue tab on top, where it has all the different searches and features and download and help center. NamesCon option is the first one there.

Michael C: There is an NC button right there. Awesome. All right.

Michael B: Yeah.

Michael C: Just under the logo, great, and I will put a link below as well if you are on DomainSherpa. Some people might be listening to the podcast.

Monte: By the way, that is Pacific Time. Just so everybody knows, that is two to six ‘o clock Pacific Time.

Michael C: Great.

Michael B: Of course this is not the actual live list. We will select the live names when it gets close.

Michael C: Right, so let’s talk about that. What do they see if they go to NameJet, and then how is that different from the list that will be used for the live auction from 2PM to 7PM Pacific?

Monte: Okay, you want me to answer that.

Michael C: Yeah, please, Monte.

Monte: All right, so right now the list is basically 99 percent lockdown, so there are about four hundred names on the master list. We consider these the best names at the best prices and the best opportunities for domain investors and end users and people that are looking to rename or rebrand, or whatever. The auction pre-bidding will go on until the day before the live auction, which will be January 10th. The live auction is January 11th, and we will determine what names are the most popular names at the best prices, and 100 to 125 of them will go into the live auction from that popularity and pre-bidding activity.

Michael C: Okay.

Monte: And it will be a mix of both, new and existing TLDs. And so, we could make it all .COMs if we wanted to, but again, to help spring the market forward, to help build value for both new domain main investors and also existing ones, we are going to split the list about 50-50 or so. It will not be exact, but it will be somewhere in that range so that there will be a lot of new TLDs, a lot of existing TLDs, and of course .COMs.

Michael C: That sounds good. So, yeah, there are a lot of domains on this list. I counted 365 last night. It sounds like you have added a few more. Do either of you have a guess on the retail value that Estibot.com put on the entire portfolio? Retail value. What do you think, Monte?

Monte: Not yet.

Michael C: Total domains. Take a guess.

Monte: I would say maybe 20 million dollars.

Michael C: 20 million. What do you say, Mike?

Michael B: I was going to say about 15 to 20. It is not 15.

Michael C: Last year, the number was 14.7 million, so both have been guessing a little bit higher. Actually, it is 23.6 million retail value this year.

Monte: Yeah, we did not even look at it on Estibot list. And I do not think Estibot is accounting for a lot of the Chinese activity yet. It is not taking in account a lot of the Chinese inflated buying and what is going on.

Michael C: Well, let me ask you about that, because I think Estibot might be taking that into account. The three most expensive domain names, according to Estibot that is, so it is just an algorithm, were the three two-letter domain names, WI.com, AT.com, and FW.com. They were listed for a retail value of 1.76 million, 1.39 million, and 1.16 million. What do you guys think? Are those probably the most expensive domains going to be occurring at the auction or in this NamesCon auction?

Monte: Well, we just added a new one yesterday that will be showing up today, and by the broadcast says it, it will be up.

Michael C: Yeah, what is that one?

Monte: BY.com.

Michael C: BY, another one.

Monte: Extremely valuable for a couple reasons. One: it is an English word, just like AT is, but it also means the word city in Norwegian and it has a lot of history from the past. It is an old legacy domain name was first developed to make mobile sites mobile in Europe, before .MOBI was in existence. So, it has a lot of previous meanings and it also was tied to Sysco and allowing websites to show up for Sysco users as well.

Michael C: Yeah. So, Monte, did Estibot nail this? Are those the most expensive domains in the auction?

Monte: I think so. They are in the top range. 708.com is also another one. We also just added 281.com that will show up by the time this airs. We think that is a really valuable name, and some of the generic names Auctions.com and Genetics.com, and Degrees.com and Degree, and those I think are really valuable as well for the existing .COM names.

Michael C: Yeah. Mike, Monte just mentioned 708.com. We know that the Chinese investors that have come into the market over the past years are buying up a lot of these numerics. I saw 380.com. 652.com. 983.com. 397.com. You were just adding 281.com. Estibot values all of those at 298 thousand each, like it puts the exact same number on those. So, about 300 thousand dollars.

Michael B: Yeah, Estibot has done an update to their credit. I have not always been the biggest fan, but to their credit, they have done a pretty good update on the two letters, the three letters, the three numbers, although I still think they are devaluing three numbers pretty good, but definitely made great strides in all of that.

Michael C: Yeah, so I bring these up – the letters and the numbers – because they are high value on the list as I sort them by evaluation, but also the Chinese are flooding the market. So, I wanted to ask you. Let’s start with you, Mike. What are you two doing to bring more Chinese investors into the auction to make it more accessible to drive the prices up on these domains?

Michael B: Well, I mean I have certainly contacted everybody that has contacted me in the last couple of years and inquired about a three-letter or four-letter or three-number, three-letter, or four-number. So, all of the Chinese investors who contact me will know about the auction. NameJet has a humongous list of Chinese buyers and investors, as you know. I mean certainly the largest in our industry, and they will be contacting all their customers as well. So, I think it is going to be very well known to the Chinese community.

Michael C: Hey, Monte, Domain Shane, Shane Cultra, had said that there are actual sites that have popped up that are only in Chinese that allowed Chinese investors to bid on certain domain names as a proxy for like NameJet. So, we are seeing like bids going up on NameJet. It is not actually the people that are winning the auction, because they are using another service that translate that. Are you guys looking into some sort of translation service or concierge service for Chinese investors to be able to access these domains on a language basis that they understand?

Monte: Yeah. So, one of our partners, which is 4.cn, which we ran the Domain Fest Auction back in September on and was pretty successful. We sold over one million dollars or just about one million dollars worth of domain names there. We are exposing the entire list to all their bidders, which are the same bidders that bid on eName and Gold Name and DN.com, and all those marketplaces as well. So, they are the same buyer base, but as with Mike, we are reaching out to every single Chinese bidder and person that we know that has bought or bid on any of the names not only from here, but in years past. I have databases from years past, when they started buying names years ago for other reasons.

So, yes, the Chinese community will know between us and NameJet, and also our partners in China. Everybody will know about it.

Michael C: Excellent.

Monte: As many people as we can get.

Michael C: Yeah.

Michael B: I am looking at an auction that is running on NameJet right now that will be ending tomorrow, which will be the day this show airs I guess, later in the day. It is JG.com, and it is at 751 thousand dollars right now.

Monte: And that was a no reserve name by the way.

Michael B: As a no reserve name, and there are eight bidders. Over 200 thousand dollars. So, that is the seat that we have got. We have got two-letter domains that are actually words. As Monte mentioned, AT and BY, and we have WI and we have a bunch of three-number names and we have a lot of great one-word names. A great list of names.

Michael C: You guys are feeling good.

Monte: It could be the best list that we have ever cultivated together, I have even from the past from all the auctions I have ever done.

Michael C: Yeah, how did you get such great domains? How did you get all these two-letter .COMs and three-number .COMs?

Monte: Well, we reached out to our network and we have previous relationships. Obviously that is the beautiful thing about being in the business for 20 years each, we were are able to talk to a lot of people about this is the time, and it is a great venue, and NamesCon is going to have over one thousand. They are already up to nine hundred people registered, and they still have almost a month to go. There is going to be over one thousand people there. There are going to be several hundred in the room with paddles, which is going to be really exciting, and so we think there is going to be a lot of in-room activity, even more so than last year, plus what we have going on online. Last year, we did not even have the Chinese connection, so we are going to have that this year on top of everything else that is going on. So, we are pretty excited about it.

Michael C: All right, so before I ask you which domains are your favorite, let’s talk about logistics in the in-room versus the online, and I am not even sure if you are doing any phone system. So, is Wayne Weit going to be your auctioneer again this year?

Monte: Yeah, world champion, Wayne Weit, who got into the business years ago. He is coming in with his lovely wife and she will be helping on the spot as well at the auction, and so yes, he is going to be doing the auction and he is great. He is now on his own. He left Auctions.com, or Auction.com and now has his own business, and he loves coming to the domain show.

Michael C: That is a Freudian slip because I think you have Auctions in the auction.

Monte: Right, I do.

Michael C: Right, so you put up on the big board at the top of the screen what domain is being auction right now. Wayne is up there, talking real fast, trying to get more people to bid. You hold up the paddles. How does that work in time with the online bidding? Life if I am only online on NameJet, how do I know which domain is in auction and when it is going to end?

Monte: All right, so 24 hours or about 24 hours before the auction starts, everybody that ever bid on NameJet will know which names are going to be in the live auction and there will be instructions on how to sign up for the online bidding system. Their emails and stuff will be carried over, and then they will sign in and then they will be allowed to bid. If you remember from last year and years past, I helped develop a system that runs in cooperation with the live auction room bidding. It is the same system that Christie’s Auction House uses for art and collectibles, and properties and cars. It is the same system that used for that, and so it works really well.

It works cohesively with what is going on the room. Even the clerking is remote, so whatever happens in the room gets clerked remotely through the corporate headquarters of our system, and so that way nobody has to be there physically recording the bids and it will notify what the high bid is, whether it is in the room or if it is online.

Michael C: Okay.

Monte: And half the bids last year were won online and half were won in the room, so it works really well, and half of those were end users and half were investors. So, it is a good way to get everybody to participate.

Michael C: Excellent. And will you have phone lines as well for old school like me that just want to call up and talk to somebody and make sure that they are bidding on my behalf?

Monte: If somebody requests to bid by phone, of course we are, yeah, and we also have proxy bids too in case somebody cannot attend. They will set their high bid on a proxy form and the auctioneer will work those bids in. And if the name is sold for less than their proxy bid max amount, then they win it for less. If their bid is maxed out, then of course that bid is used and somebody else would be a higher bidder in the room.

Michael C: Great. So, if somebody is listening and they want to do by phone or they want to do the proxy, just like they want to set their number and never go over it and not listen, how do they find out about those two options?

Monte: They just contact us. They can contact me at Monte@RightoftheDot.com, or if they go to either the ROTD.com site and they hit the NameCon Auction link, it has our information there and they can just email us directly.

Michael C: Okay. And is it possible for me to sit in the room and watch all the action, but I want to lay low? Not let anybody know that I have got millions of dollars to buy domains. Can I bid online using NameJet?

Monte: Of course. A lot of people did that last year. So, not NameJet. You will be logged into a new system.

Michael C: Oh, a new system, okay.

Monte: It will be the live auction system.

Michael C: And that is not the NameJet system.

Monte: It is not the NameJet system. So, everything is pre-bidding on NameJet before the auction. The auction will be on our live auction system. And then, when the auction is finished, whatever names did not hit reserve or whatever names are not in the live auction then continue on, on the extended auction, which runs for ten days after. It will end on January 21st, and there are tons of really good names that will be in there. Not every name can make the live list obviously. We already have, just to net it out, over 150 or 160 names bids, so all of those cannot make the live auction. Plus, we are there for eight hours.

Michael C: Okay.

Monte: So, we have to select which names make the live auction by a good mix of new and existing TLDs, which names are the most popular with the most bids. That is how we are going to determine what makes the live auction, and then the rest will go into the extended auction. There will be be ten more days to market it and sell it and to participate.

Michael C: Makes sense, but everything that is in the live auction will either sell or it will not hit reserve and will not sell.

Monte: Correct.

Michael C: Or you may negotiate it after the auction.

Monte: Or it will go actually right back in the extended auction.

Michael C: Oh, it will go back in the extended, okay.

Michael B: The extended auction. And actually, the names that do not get selected for the live auction will continue to be up on NameJet even during the live auction. People can bid on that continuously.

Michael C: You just mentioned that there were already bids on it. I can go over to NameJet. I can sort it by the number of bids and I can see that there are a lot of bids. Here is what I do not understand. Mike, let me open this to you. Why would anybody show their cards and make pre-bids on domain names before the auction even takes place?

Michael B: Well, I mean there is almost three hundred domains that have pre-bids on them. Yeah, sometimes there are one hundred per page. So, I do not know if it is a question of showing your cards. If you want a name in the live auction, that will help get in the live auction by pre-bidding on it, I think. And I think it is the same reason on a normal NameJet auction sometimes people put their bids in days before and there is wait till the last second.

Monte: Yeah, another reason is that people can put their max bids in and then just walk away, and then that way they are all done because there are so many really good names on the list and they can diversify their spend through the number of names they want to bid on. And then of course if they get outbid, they have time to increase their bid amount before the auction starts. So, already a number of names have hit reserve. There are a ton of names at no reserve, so they have already hit reserve, and there are a ton of names that are about to hit reserve and we anticipate by the time the live auction hits that there are going to be a lot of names close to hitting reserve and then a lot of names will hit reserve in the room.

So, that is kind of the reason why you want to do that. And of course when you are bidding, you are using aliases anyway, so you are not showing who you are and what your cards are really. You are showing your interest level, and there are a lot of good names in there and it is getting locked in and signed up, and not having to do it at the last minute and getting your names that you are most interested in, in order. That is the way I look at it.

Michael C: Yeah. So, I looked through the list last night. I personally love the domains, Pregnant.com. I think that couples or individuals that are trying to get pregnant want to track cycles. All that sort of stuff. That is a major name. Degree.com I love. Text.com I love. Actually there are a lot of domains I love, but you two have been in the industry since the industry became an industry. You have been in for over 20 years. I would like to know what your favorite names are. Mike, let’s start with you. What are two or three of your favorite names?

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Michael C: Mike, let’s start with you. What are two or three of your favorite names?

Michael B: Well, I will give you some, but since we go through tens of thousands of names and whittle them down to get to this list, these are like your children in a way and you are like asking us which one do you love more.

Michael C: I know which dog you love more, so tell me which domains you are like wow, I cannot believe they submitted that and there is no reserve. What do you think?

Michael B: Well, I think there are a couple names I like relative to reserve and names that I think could be worth a lot more in the future. I think that is kind of what I would look at it as. So, I love all the names obviously, but more specifically, obviously the two letters, the three numbers, the three letters. We love all of those. I will point out a couple things. I like Row.com. It is obviously a three-letter, but it is also a word. I have seen some words. I think we all have seen some words sell in the last couple of years sort of in the 750 to 850 range. I think the reserve on this one is five hundred or under, going off the top of my head. So, obviously it is a huge sport, it is a huge event, and it is a huge industry, so I like that name a lot.

I like Lawn.com. Again, big industry. It is just a cool name. Lawn service, and then I do not know. Golf courses. I do not know. It just seems like it could go with almost anything. It is a very cool one word. Four letters. I think it is very valuable. I love Degree and Degrees as well of course. For the money, I like Lodges a lot. It is a great travel site. There are lots of lodges around the world, and the reserve range that it is in, I think it is a good buy. And getting away from the one-worders, I like FreshFood.com. Just a ton of service companies. You might remember our FreshDiet friend that I think you had on your show as well maybe.

Michael C: Yeah.

Michael B: So, I sold that name to him, and that is a big industry. A lot of companies out there selling prepared foods, fresh foods. I think that is pretty bang on. A couple of new gTLD names I will have to throw in. I like Night.Club. I think it is one of best natural .CLUB names. I mean Strip.Club of course too.

Michael C: That is a natural one, yeah.

Michael B: That is a natural one. There is Web.Hosting, which goes without saying is huge. I like E.Gift. There are just tons of names.

Michael C: Cool. All right, Monte, let’s go over to you. What do you like? I sort of want to know what is the same, what you also like, because I know that you two did not compare notes before this interview. So, what overlapped and what was different that you like?

Monte: Well, again, as Michael mentioned, there are so many good names that we obviously like them all, or else would not have put them in. I am most excited about the newest addition, which is by BY.com. Not only because it is a two-letter. Just because of its history and because it is a dictionary term. As one of the new names that is in the auction, I think it has the chance to sell for the most money just by its previous interest. Also, the Chinese used it in the past to get through the firewalls that were put up by the government to access the Internet by having whatever their domain name was with BY.com as the Gateway out to the real world, which Cisco kind of created for that name.

So, I like that name a lot. I like Genetics.com, which is one of the more popular names on the list. If you look at CNN and if you have been watching some of the news, there are several genetic companies that go beyond what some of the companies. You get to look back at your history of your DNA and your ancestors, like Ancestry.com. There is now genetic companies that are using the keyword in their advertisements. So, I like Genetics.com. I think it is a big industry for the future. Illness, although it is a negative word, is also a very popular bid name. Right now it has got 47 bids or something on it, and there is a lot of news about illnesses and repairing illnesses and getting better and being healthy, and that kind of stuff too on the .COM side.

So, I like those. Of course I am a big fan of the Auctions.com name. I think that is a great name and I think the price is right for that one too. It is over 500 thousand dollars, but it should be one of the better names to sell. On the new TLD side, because we sold 8.xyz in the Chinese auction in September for 81 thousand dollars, 88.xyz should go for more. There have been names just like that, that should go for more.

Michael C: Should go for more. Why would a two-number go for more than the single number?

Monte: Because the two-number, the two eights together actually are more valuable than one eight by itself. So, that is the way the Chinese look at it. As a matter of fact, even multiples of that are more valuable to the Chinese.

Michael C: But at what point does that rule break down, because I could have – how many characters can be in a URL?

Monte: The rule I am hearing from some of the Chinese experts is that there is like five. Consecutive or mixed consecutive numbers that make sense in their sayings and their word alphabet. HD.TV, which was submitted by the .TV registry. I think that is a kickass name. Everybody has an HDTV. It is going to be huge during the holidays and after. Jet.Ski, which is one of the new TLDs. Jet.Ski. Water.Ski. Snow.Ski. Those names are going to be awesome in the auction too I think. And nobody really knows about the .SKI names yet, but there is a huge industry there for that.

Web.Hosting, which is a crossover name, which Mike mentioned. I like Fitness.Club, which is another one of the .CLUB names that .CLUB submitted. Commercial.Loans is also a really good dead-on keyword that is in the auction too. One of the existing domain names, which is used by millions and millions of people, which is WorldClock.com. If you ever need to see a time zone somewhere around the world, you go to WorldClock.com and it tells you the time zone and how many hours you are behind you. We have that whole domain name up for sale and the website, which is killer. The owners have another side business and they are just not interested in running it anymore. And so, that is a great buy also and a great domain name. And I like Consignment.com too.

Michael C: Oh yeah. Yeah, Consignment is a big one. Which is better: Consignment.com or Auctions.com, Monte?

Monte: Well, I think Auctions is a more valuable name, but Consignment. There are a lot of consignment shops and it is also a growing industry too, so it is a great name. It is priced less, but I think it is a great name.

Michael C: Yeah.

Michael B: I like Real.Property too. I know RealProperty.com one of Mr. Schwartz’s names.

Monte: Right now it is Frank’s name.

Michael B: No, RealProperty.com.

Monte: Oh, I am sorry. Yeah.

Michael C: Right, but Frank Schilling’s UniRegistry has Real.Property. So, there are a lot of great new gTLDs in this auction.

Monte: Yeah, hats off, by the way, to UniRegistry and Frank because he put in 20 to 30 names at no reserve. Premium names out of several of his registries, plus a lot of .COM names out of his own Domain Sales portfolio. All at no reserve. He did not put a reserve on any of his names.

Michael C: Now, did anybody else follow suit? Are these .SKIs and the HD.TV no reserve as well?

Monte: HD.TV has a small reserve. I would call it small compared to what the domain name is worth, but yes, there are a couple of .SKI names that are no reserve. You can see that when you go into the bidding. I think Jet.Ski is one of the no-reserve names, for example. We encouraged every one of the new TLD registries to put in some names at no reserve to help spark up the market. If you remember last year, Wine.Club, which was not a no-reserve name, but it was the second biggest seller name at 140 thousand dollars. We expect a lot of activity like that in this year’s auction too on some of the new TLDs.

Michael C: Yeah.

Michael B: .CLUB put names in at no reserve.

Monte: Yeah, Night.Club and Strip.Club are at no reserve. Stock.Photo is at no reserve. E.Gift is at no reserve.

Michael C: Nice.

Monte: 2.Sexy is at no reserve. Every name from UniRegistry is at no reserve. Half the names from .CLUB are at no reserve. Radix is putting names in. They have a couple at no reserve also. And .SKIs put names in. And Right Side has more names coming in. They are excited about the auction, so they are adding names actually, so holding some slots out for them, and they are going to have names at no reserve too.

Michael C: All right, guys, I want you to look in your crystal balls and tell me what you think will be the best deals. What are going to be the best deals at the auction? In other words, put yourself into a newer investor, somebody that is in the market for a year or two years. They have got a small portfolio. Maybe they have got a few thousand dollars, maybe 20 thousand dollars that they want to invest. What do you think that they could buy at the auction, then hold for a few years, and get a four-time multiple retail sale price, let’s say? Monte, let’s start with you. What do you think the best deal names are and why?

Monte: Well, I do think that the new TLDs are the best deals because many of them are at no reserve, and it is still an untapped market and it has the opportunity for the fastest growth, in my opinion. So, the names from the registries that have the biggest financial commitment and marketing budgets and who are dedicated to those particular strings are going to be very successful. .CLUB has proven itself already. Frank obviously has all his chips in on his TLDs and he is going to do everything he can to make sure that they are in use and well known, and so is Right Side and Radix as well.

So, I do believe the new TLDs that are in the auction are great opportunities for everyone. If you are looking at a three to five-year hold, you should see an increase in value on those. An uptick of four times I would think is fair, if not conservative.

Michael C: Yeah, and Frank was just on the Domain Sherpa Review a few weeks ago. We looked at a new TLD portfolio submitted by an investor and he said these are perfect. These are the kinds of domains that are like wines that are bottled this year. You hold them for a few years. They age. They improve with age. Other people are understanding how these new gTLDs work, and then they are going to have a higher value. Do you believe that sort of analogy, that these new gTLDs need some time to ripen in age and increase in value?

Monte: Of course. If you just flash back 15 years ago to the .COM world, it is the same thing. No one even knew that .COM names would be as valuable as they are today or they were five years ago, or whatever. When I first got into the business in 1995/1996, people thought I was crazy. There was no advertising. There was no Google or Yahoo, or anything, and same thing with Michael. Look what he has been able to accomplish with his investing.

Michael C: Yeah, but 20 years ago, if I bought a three-word domain name, it still would probably be worth registration fee today, so clearly buying better domain names.

Monte: Well, we do not have three-word domain names. I do not think so. Well, not too many. We have dead-on keywords, and then we are following a lot of the new, Chinese investing stuff, so you will see in the list another great option. If you move off of new TLDs and you go to .COM again, you will see MLBB.com. All letter, letter, letter, letter at no reserve. PXFF.com. These names that are four letters and three letters. Some of them at no reserve that are good investments because they are going to increase in value over time too because they are .COM and there is only so many of them.

Michael C: Yeah, and the prices on these four letters shot up to three thousand. Then they crashed and they came down to 16 hundred, and then it came back up to two thousand I think today or yesterday. If I buy one of these domains, like MLBB.com, for two thousand dollars, do I pay an extra auction fee or is it all in, in the price that I am bidding?

Monte: It is all in on the price you are bidding, and the commission is taken out before the seller is paid.

Michael C: Yeah, makes sense. So, Monte, of these new gTLDs then that you think are the good deals, the domains to buy at value now that in the near future – a few years from now – will have increased multiple times, which ones do you like best? Which ones would you put your money on if you could bid?

Monte: Well, I can bid if I want, but I like Commercial.Loans. I like Stock.Photo. I like Fitness.Club. I like Web.Hosting. Names that to the left and the right of the dot are industries, are products, are services. Those makes a lot of sense to me rather than obscure numbers and letters, which may be popular in the Chinese market, but only in .COM today and maybe some other extensions. But I would rather put my money on something that I know will be an industry name or a product and service in the future or for years to come than I would something I am not sure about.

So, HD.TV. We are going to have HD.TVs for a long time. Jet.Ski. Those types of names I would invest in.

Michael C: Yeah. All right, Mike, what do you think? What are the best deals in your opinion?

Michael B: Well, I mean a lot of the ones that Monte mentioned would be on my list too, and let me speak to a couple of things. Obviously we talk about utilities. And as you recall from the year plus that we did the Sherpa thing, I have always said that the new gTLD stuff would be a little bit. You are going to have to wait a little bit for the rest of the world to catch up to you, but as a long-term investment, you sort of are in a place that we were a while ago with .COMs. So, I think gTLDs could be maybe equated to .MEs in a lot of ways and the tide of .MEs that I bought back when that launched five or six years – time flies for me.

Monte: We held the first auction for those, before they even came out to market.

Michael B: Right. Right. So, the Meet.ME and the Love.Me and the Date.Me. Those kinds of names are the kind of .MEs I bought. I did not buy RealEstate.Me or Flowers.Me. So, I did not buy the keyword.MEs. I bought the naturals, and so I like the naturals still. I still like the Night.Clubs and the Web.Hosting. There is Buy.Cars, is one that Monte has not mentioned.

Monte: Oh yeah.

Michael B: That is in at no reserve. That is a phenomenal brand and a phenomenal name. So, I like all of those and I think there is a huge upside to them. So, I would definitely pick the natural new gTLDs as the best opportunities to make the most money.

Michael C: And you are saying that the natural, like your Love.Me or Date.Me, which you have owned in the past, is like Buy.Cars or Night.Club or Stock.Photo. That is the natural phrase that just spans the dot.

Michael B: Correct, those are the names that I have and bought, and actually I still own those .MEs that you mentioned too.

Michael C: They did not sell to GoDaddy.

Michael B: No, not those.

Michael C: Because I was wondering if your .HORSES sold to GoDaddy.

Monte: Michael did sell Meet.Me for a lot of money that he owned to Omar and Rick.

Michael C: Right, that is the one I was going to ask you about.

Monte: It is a perfect example. So, again, that natural flow of a word that has left and right to the dot meaning. They are just natural response names that you would think that would be a good investment. And it is not self-serving for us because those are names that are priced less than some of these killer .COM two-letter names, but I think those are the best values and the best options to buy in the auction that will increase in time.

Michael C: Yeah, exactly.

Michael B: Jet.Ski and the Water.Ski, and the single letters. I mean it is hard to go wrong at no reserve. There is like I.Rent or I.Link or I.Click, and those are really good brands.

Monte: .SKI just put in E.Ski, so just the single letter stuff could stand for any number of things. That is at no reserve by the way. That was put in at no reserve. It will be up on the upload by the time this airs.

Michael C: How do I know what the renewal fees are going to be on these new gTLDs? A lot of people are worried that they are going to have thousand-dollar renewals per year.

Monte: We did not put in any names with premium or normal prices, so everything that is bought is what is considered the standard renewal. Now, obviously some names are at higher renewal prices than others based off their registry pricing.

Michael C: But I can go over to UniRegistry.com or GoDaddy.com and type in Whatever.Ski and it will come back with like 49 dollars per year or 39 dollars per year. Somewhere in that order of magnitude.

Monte: That is correct. We did our best to pick out names where somebody is not going to have a sticker shock after they bought the name and all of a sudden they end up with a five-thousand-dollar renewal. As a matter of fact, we had to pull some names out that got slipped in recently, so we just pulled those out, which had a higher reserve price on an annual basis. We do not want anybody to feel like that.

Michael C: That they are being taken, yeah.

Monte: Got taken in any way. Not that that is not a bad model. If you go over ten years, not the value of that name is not the ten year value of each name that you bought that for, but we feel, in an auction, that is not the right way to present that; that it should be a one-time fee, plus regular renewal fees.

Michael C: All right, I see both Degree and Degrees.com in the auction. Typically, investors look at the plural of a noun and they think that they are selling those. Like Apples.com. I am going to go buy apples at that location, whereas the singular is either the object or maybe it is a brand. In this case, do you agree that the singular, Degree.com, is worth more than the plural, Degrees.com? Why or why not, Monte?

Monte: Well, here is the interesting thing. The registry wanted to put those names in together, who submitted those. That is Daniel (Unclear 50:13.5)’s names by the way. And package them up. Just from history, we feel that by splitting them up: people do not buy the bundle and then value each name at the same value as if they were separate. And they do sometimes mean different things to different buyers. So, we split them up on purpose, along with all the other bundle packages. There is nothing really together. There is a couple things that are together, like 1800Foreclosure.com comes with the 800 number and a handful of other names that are related, but we do not list them that way. But in this case, because they are two super premium names, we wanted to divide them up.

And obviously Degree meaning get your college degree or get a degree online, or temperature degrees or degrees of effort. There are lots of different ways to use those names, so that is why we split those names up. In the case of what is more valuable, if you are University of Phoenix, Degrees might be more valuable than one Degree, so the plural might be more valuable. So, to me, it is a toss up. I know that the singular shows more valuable than the plural does in this case, but to me it is a toss up and both names are similar in price. One is a little bit lower than the other.

Michael C: Do you agree with that, Mike, or do you have a differing viewpoint in the valuations?

Michael B: I think they could be used for different. I agree with Monte. I will start with that. I think there is definitely Degree has some other uses that may not be educational related, but the best use probably is educational related. But Degrees is probably definitely educational related, and I kind of like Degrees if it is for education. If you are offering various degrees, which you would be, it makes more sense, but I mean they are both great names.

Michael C: Yeah. You just mentioned 1800Foreclosure. That one sounds really familiar. Was that in the auction last year?

Monte: No, but it was sold in one of our auctions years ago and now it is put up for resale after it was turned into a business.

Michael C: Yeah, I like that one. Does it come with the business or it is just the domain name and the phone number?

Monte: It is the domain name and phone number, and about six or seven related names, all with 1800 next to it.

Michael C: Yeah. See, I did not even seen that looking through the NameJet list, so that is the kind of thing that you need to look through every name.

Monte: Yeah, you cannot display. NameJet, unfortunately, is a great system, but it does not allow the bundling or to give descriptions of each of the domain names, so we are going to have to do that on the side or mention it on the side when they look it up, or they are going to have an explosion page that gives more information on it. But it is a great name. It is a great name and it is a name that has been established for a while, so it has good search results and so on, and of course the foreclosure business is not going anywhere.

Michael C: No, it is not. So, if I love one of these domains – let’s say Degree.com – and I bid on it. I win it. Is there an escrow process or does Right of the Dot act as the escrow agent, where I send the money to you, and then you transfer the domain name to me, and then you transfer the money to the seller.

Monte: The good news is it is all operating through the NameJet system, so it is using NameJet’s escrow process and NameJet, through us, is going to be doing all the collection and change of ownership. So, because NameJet is part of not only Web.com and also Right Side, they have access to of course NetworkSolutionsRegister.com, Name.com, and eNom. So, any one of those registers can be used to change ownership. They prefer eNom because that is integrated more in their system, but we can change ownership at Name.com and other registrars as well if we have to.

Michael C: Yeah, makes perfect sense. And there is not an additional escrow fee again. It is just everything is all bundled into the price that I pay for the domain name.

Monte: It is bundled in. We do not want to have any surprises. We do not want to have any hey, I did not know about that fee or anything like that.

Michael B: Any other name but NameJet. Any other option.

Michael C: Now, what happens if I show up and I bid on Auctions.com. It has a reserve that is probably mid-six figures. I bid 300 thousand. I am the high bidder. It does not sell because it does not hit reserve. Is there an opportunity to negotiate a payment plan after the auction or a different price that might be lower than the reserve, but above my number? Is all of that in play after the auction?

Monte: Yeah. Yes. Yes. As a matter of fact, we sell lots and lots of domain names in that after extended auction process, and some actually sell for more than the reserve and some sell for less. What happens is, even though we do our best to have as much PR and press and social media, and all of our partners that have submitted names are doing the same thing, some people get to the table late. They did not know. They were on vacation. Messages end up in spam boxes and whatever, and they come back after the fact.

So, as with the past, when my Moniker days we did tons of transactions after auction, and if the market spoke and a name just did not hit reserve and the seller sees the opportunity to pull the trigger, we will do the negotiation and we may take a little bit less on commission to get the deal done and make it a win-win for everybody if we can.

Michael C: Yeah, all right.

Michael B: We have also sold a name before the auction last year.

Monte: Yes.

Michael C: Pulled it out of the auction because it just sold before.

Monte: Well, what happened was it was HomeCare.com, so it was a really good name. The buyer paid a premium to pull it out, so they paid over reverse. 50 thousand or so over reserve, and it was up to the seller to say yes, I will take it and take it out of auction and be done with it. And so, that can happen too. Some corporations just do not want to participate in the auction, and if they are going to pull something out of the auction, they have to pay somewhat of a premium to do that and obviously the seller has to agree at that too and just take the money off the table and go. So, we started last year’s auction with a 360-thousand-dollar sale out of the gate.

Michael C: Yeah, wow. So, let me ask you about due diligence. Clearly there are a lot of generic words that are domain names in the auction. Do people showing up to bid on these domain names need to do some amount of due diligence, or are they all prescreened? And I will give you an example. Toxic.com, which I love that as a brand, for instance, has eight trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I did not even go search other trademark offices around the world. I will open it up to either one of you. Who wants to take this?

Michael B: I will take it. I mean yeah, as we know, almost every word is trademarked somewhere and many words have multiple trademark, and trademark and domains. The law basically deals with not only the trademark, but the usage of the name, which is very important, so yeah, people need to be familiar with what they are buying at our auction as they would at NameJet every day and look at what they got and what their plans on to use it. If they plan to use Toxic for a website that would directly infringe on a preexisting trademark, they should definitely carefully consider that. If they are going to use it in a way that is not affected by any of the trademarks, any of the categories that are listed on the trademark applications, then they should feel much better about that.

Monte: And it actually makes it more of a sellable opportunity for people because if there are a lot of trademarks on a generic term, those are potential buyers in the future too as they become bigger organizations. So, obviously, like Michael said, every single dictionary term has a trademark on it somewhere. So, it is not about what the word is. It is about how you use it. So, at auction, it is not in violation of the trademark. At the point of purchase and if you use it and you are not looking on how you are using the name and you violate somebody’s trademark, that is at your own risk, just like any piece of property and any intellectual piece of property you would buy, whether it is a domain name or not.

Michael C: Yeah, very good point.

Monte: To me, the more trademarks there are, the actual more valuable the name is, because that is potential buyers and users of the name.

Michael C: Right.

Michael B: Since you raised the issue, I just want to point out real quick, is that, as I mentioned earlier that this name, which is not in our auction. That is just at auction at NameJet, is JG.com, which is still at 751 thousand dollars for tomorrow. I have had a quick look since you mentioned trademark. I see ten. A lot. There are a lot of trademarks.

Michael C: Yeah, a lot of companies could want that domain, just as Monte said. So, yeah, if you are bidding on it, you need to just educate yourself on the process. Clearly having a lot of trademarks means that there is a lot of potential companies that may want it and more companies in the future that may want it, but it also could mean a UDRP gets filed. Even though you are in the right, I recommend you go watch David Weslow’s interview on Domain Sherpa about the three criteria that anybody needs to prove in order to win a UDRP case, and then make sure that if you buy a domain name, that you make sure not to tread on those three criteria.

Monte: And we are also, by the way, hitting the trademark database and soliciting the names for sale there too. So, we had six or seven buyers from the trademark database last year.

Michael C: Oh, interesting.

Monte: From names that were listed in the trademark, and they all know that they cannot have claim to a generic term like that.

Michael C: Well, some of them know. Most of them know.

Monte: But again, it is about usage and not whether the word is the word.

Michael C: All right, gentlemen, I want to end this interview with a challenge. I would like each of you to look through the domain list and tell me three domain names that you are confident will sell in the live auction. So, I know you sort of have to guess which ones are going to go to the live auction and then which ones are going to sell, and then you have to come up with a price. I am going to look at which domains actually sold, total up the sale prices, and then announce a winner between you two, but first let’s revisit what you said last year. Do you remember last year we did the same sort of show? Mike Berkens said 877.com is going to sell for 375 thousand dollars.

Michael B: It would have been a bargain.

Michael C: No sale. That would have been a bargain at the time, right? FoodJobs.com you said was going to sell for 50 thousand dollars. No sale, but Wine.Club you said was going to sell for 150 thousand dollars and it sold for 140 thousand dollars, so that was pretty close there. Monte Cahn, do you have any memory about what you said was going to sell? No.

Monte: No, after looking through so many names, I do not.

Michael C: Right. You said Agree.com would sell for 70 thousand dollars. No sale. You said Paperback.com was going to sell for 40 thousand dollars, and it sold for 12 thousand. That I thought was a great deal. And you said Rates.Vegas, because we were going to Vegas, was going to sell for five thousand dollars. It sold for a measly four hundred dollars.

Monte: Okay. Well, it looks like (Unclear 1:01:21.2). Thank you.

Michael C: Well, I do not know who to declare as the winner for you guys. Mike only got one of the three. Monte got two.

Monte: I got two names that sold, but Michael came closest with his Wine.Club sale.

Michael C: I do not know, so it is a toss up. All right, so let’s look through for this year, guys. Pick three domain names. They may or may not go, but if they do not go to auction, then you definitely do not get the W on that one. So, let’s start with you, Mike. Give me three domain names and what you think the sale prices are going to be.

Michael B: Well, if we are going to count it based on how many right we are going to get, I am going to start off.

Michael C: Whoever I say is the winner. You guys tied last year.

Michael B: We are going to start with OAH.com.

Michael C: OAH.com.

Michael B: Right, which has already reached reserve at 25 thousand dollars. So, that is going to sell.

Michael C: But what do you think the price is going to sell for.

Michael B: I think it is going to sell for about 40-ish.

Michael C: 40. All right, 40.

Michael B: 40.

Michael C: All right. What else do you think is going to sell?

Michael B: Well, I am going to go with another .CLUB since I won last year with a .CLUB. I am going to go with Night.Club. Definitely going to sell. I am going to say it is going to sell somewhere around 25 grand.

Michael C: 25K.

Michael B: 25K.

Michael C: And you know it is definitely going to sell because it is a great .CLUB. We love the .CLUB registry, and there is no reserve.

Michael B: I think there was a reserve, but I think it is already over reserve.

Michael C: Cool.

Michael B: So, reserve has already been met on that name, so that is sort of cheating in a way, but that is okay.

Michael C: No, that is okay.

Michael B: But I go first. I am going to go with FreshFood. That is the name I mentioned earlier. I think I really like the name. I am going to go with – I do not know – 25 grand.

Michael C: 25 grand. So, FreshFood.com. Mike, if you owned that in your most wanted domains portfolio, assuming you did not sell it, that would have like a 60-thousand-dollar price tag day in and day out. What would you price it at?

Michael B: It would be more.

Michael C: More.

Michael B: I would take more. At least 75.

Michael C: 75.

Michael B: Yeah.

Michael C: So, you would price it at 75. You think it is going to sell in the auction at 25, so you think that might be a good bargain for people.

Michael B: Yeah, I like it. I like the name for sure.

Michael C: Cool. All right, there are your three prices. Monte, Let’s go over to you. What do you think is going to sell and what price?

Monte: I think HD.TV is going to sell at 18 thousand dollars.

Michael C: 18 thousand. All right, two-letter .TV.

Monte: I think 218.com is going to sell for 450 thousand.

Michael C: 450, all right.

Monte: And I think Genetics.com is going to sell for 210 thousand.

Michael C: Wow, that is pretty specific. 210 thousand. So, we just talked about Genetics.com on the Domain Sherpa Review a couple weeks ago and all the Sherpas loved it. They thought like that is a million-dollar domain name if you wait long enough. One of these companies is going to come around and say genetics for family tree. Genetics for diagnosis. Genetics for curing some sort of disease or something. And they really liked it.

Michael B: Spending 23 to me is spending a fortune on that specific one.

Monte: That makes that another great investment opportunity then because that name is going to sell. It is not at reserve yet, but it is close.

Michael C: Yeah. What is it at right now? Do you know?

Michael B: It is at 85,500.

Michael C: 85 thousand.

Monte: With 28 bidders.

Michael B: Yes.

Michael C: Yeah. Boy, if that one sold for like 150 or 180, that would be a steal, wouldn’t it?

Monte: Yeah, probably. I mean I am saying it is 210, but I think it is one of the more valuable names on the list, like I mentioned before.

Michael C: Yeah. All right. Well, they are set. We will find out who is the winner after the auction that is taking place January 11, 2016 at NamesCon in Las Vegas.

Michael B: You want my game picks, Mike. You want to go on record. You want to pick three.

Michael C: Do I want to make my picks?

Michael B: Yeah.

Monte: Yeah.

Michael C: Oh, jeez. I have no doubt.

Monte: You are allowed to buy too.

Michael C: I know. So, here is the problem that I have. I do not know if the reserve is higher than what it should be, and I have to click through on every single one of these NameJet auctions in order to see the reserve range, so it would take me a long time to figure out which ones are going to sell and which ones are not.

Monte: I did not look at the range when I picked mine.

Michael C: All right. I am going to go with Pregnant.com. See, I guess it will go into auction because it is a good domain, right?

Monte: Well, it depends. It depends what the bid interest is, but no, it can count in the extended auction too. Just as long as it sells during the live or extended auction.

Michael C: Well, I was saying live only. All right, I am going to assume that it goes to live auction. I do not know what the reserve is. I am going to say that it sells for 85K. I am going to go Won.com. It fails the radio test, but who does not want to win things? And Won could be a lottery. It could be a giveaway site. I like Won. Plus, it is three letters. It is a word. I think that one is going to sell for – what are the three letters going for nowadays?

Michael B: A lot.

Monte: Without vowels and without the letter V, quite a bit.

Michael C: What are the Chinese premium three letters going for?

Michael B: What are they going for?

Michael C: Yeah, what is the range?

Michael B: I see them going at NameJet in the 70s, I think.

Michael: Yeah, they are in the 70s. So, a real word with a positive connotation in sort of a giveaway, lottery sort of area, even though it fails the radio test, I think it is going to go. Won. Let’s go with 150 on that one. And then.

Michael B: Is there a time limit on this?

Michael C: I know. Text.com. Let’s go with Text.com. Four letters. Big market. I am going to say 180 on Text.com. How did I do, guys?

Monte: Well, some of your guesses were under reserve.

Michael C: All right, that is why I do not play this game. All right, if you are watching this show and you have questions for Michael or Monte, please post them in the comments below this video on Domain Sherpa ASAP and I will ask them to come back and answer as many as they can. They have got a million things to do between now and when the auction is taking place, but if you have logistical questions or something that will help clarify the auction process, please do ask your questions.

Michael Berkens and Monte Cahn, thanks for coming on the show, sharing with us information about what is coming on at the upcoming auction, and sharing your picks and your likes and everything that has gone in. I know it is a major endeavor and I cannot wait to attend it live.

Michael B: Thank you, Michael. See you there.

Monte: We are looking forward to it and seeing everybody at NamesCon. And if you have not signed up for NamesCon, please do so. It is going to be a great conference. Great show irregardless of the auction. And so, we will see you there and meet you there.

Michael C: Definitely. Thanks, guy.

Monte: Thank you, Michael.

Michael C: We will see you all next time.

Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/rotd-namescon-2016-auction/

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19 Responses to “Berkens’ First Interview Since Selling His Portfolio + NamesCon 2016 Auction Deals”

  1. Ebenezer says:

    Hello Michael,

    Great interview again. I like the way you dig into the skin, to find out the sale price.
    Very informative and covered much about the Namescon conference. Looking forward to the live auctions.

    Ebenezer

  2. Lucas says:

    Hello,
    I posted another comment on 3.January, it might not have stuck because of the URL link to TheDomains.
    Here is the comment without a URL link:

    by the way, as reported at Michael’s TheDomains “We Are Sorry To Report That Domain Investor Anthony J. McDermott Passed Away”
    A fellow domainer passed away. Anyone who knows how to contact his family and wants to help feel free to get in touch, on the comments I put an email address to contact.
    Best Regards

  3. Lucas says:

    Very interesting talk.
    Happy new year to all!

  4. Tom says:

    Someone should stream the auction live on YouTube!

  5. Great interview Michael! Merry Christmas to you & your family, and For Michael B and Judy, and for Monte and his family too.

  6. Steve says:

    Great video, look forward to watching the auction. Happy Holidays!!

  7. Noor says:

    Awesome show, thank you Mike, Mike and Monte.

    Noor

  8. Another Awesome Show! Seasons Greetings to All.

    NamesCon Auction is looking good. We put a ” .Hockey” domain in and believe it will gain traction. It’s a great sport domain that should appeal to a broad audience in North America and Europe.

    However a Virtual Reality ” .Movie” domain name didn’t get into the ROTD Auction at Namescon, What? Virtual Reality is poised to launch / release multiple consumer headsets we believe a Virtual Reality “.Movie” domain name would really kill it.

    We are going to put this domain up for auction elsewhere and will see what comes of it.

    Domain Sherpa has been an awesome resource and we look forward to seeing what 2016 brings.

    Best Wishes and Happy Holidays

    Brendan & James
    JustThe.Domains
    Vancouver Canada

  9. Jonathan says:

    Good discussion, Just saw that Alibaba Communication Technology (Beijing) Co have the reg for
    八8.cn what’s the difference in 88 and 八8 ?

  10. albert says:

    Congratulations to Michael Berkens on the his portfolio sale.

    Great show guys and good luck with the auction.

  11. Michael……Great show as always!!

    Mr. Berkens….Congratulations on your sale!!

    Monte……Thanks for taking the time to share and good luck with the auction!!

    Merry Christmas to everyone…..

    Eric Jenkins
    http://www.SpringCreekMedia.Com

  12. FX says:

    great show fellas, i fully enjoyed it !

  13. FX says:

    HD.TV ??
    Well all TVs are HD now !!

  14. Phil Buckingham says:

    Hi ,The 3 Ms .That was a great and informative show. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
    I have clients who now would like sell names @ http://www.namejet.com/featuredauctions/liveauction.. Is that still possible . Can we specify a reserve ?. Is there still a chance that the two names ( valuable .com generics) could make the Live Auction List.

    Thanks,

    Phil

  15. Mike Berkens looks younger. So that’s what it look like if you sell your portfolio to Godaddy :p

  16. Zac Zarev says:

    Another fantastic show Sherpas and Michael!

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  17. Dr Domainer says:

    Great show! I think it would be great
    if auctions would have a buy ultra premium
    bulk portfolios added to every high profile auction.
    I know the price of portfolios like Michael Castello is very high, but imagine if they did find a buyer. It would
    be a WIN WIN for both parties. Also it would help
    auctions because they would compare prices and
    realise they are getting a great deal compare
    to ultra premuim bulk portfolios like Michael Castello.

  18. I believe this is the first time I see a DS show with Mike Berkens somewhere in front of a palm tree instead of inside his office :)

  19. Jay says:

    Great Show Mike / Sherpas, Congratulations Michael and Merry Christmas to all.

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