Are .COM Values Increasing; Outbound Sales Calls; ICANN Passes the Buck; Long Marriages…

DomainSherpa Discussion with Michael Cyger, Andrew Allemann, Michael Berkens and Page HoweWe’re joined by three Domain Sherpas: Andrew Allemann, Michael Berkens and Page Howe.

This is the show where we discuss industry and Internet news, what the news means to you, and questions from the audience.

In this DomainSherpa Discussion:

  • Are .COM values increasing or decreasing as a result of the new gTLDs?
  • Should you be doing outbound sales calls by telephone on inbound inquiries by email?
  • Not all .COMs are taken and Verisign proves it
  • ICANN Passes the buck to the FTC
  • Judy Berkens makes a special guest appearance and shares the secrets to 29 years of marriage
  • And much more!

Discussion (68:10): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Sponsors

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39 Responses to “Are .COM Values Increasing; Outbound Sales Calls; ICANN Passes the Buck; Long Marriages…”

  1. Tom says:

    Michael raised a very valid point in this interview. One of the biggest impacts on domain name values are amateur domainers who don’t value their holdings and are pricing their names too cheaply with Fixed Price aftermarket listings in seek of “quick flips” on desirable names that a right buyer is prepared to acquire for a fair price for both parties because they understand the value in it, and this cheap pricing does impact us all as domain investors.

    I’ll give a perfect example of how it affected me personally just a couple of days ago. I own a domain and received a $500 dollar initial offer on my landing page. After negotiating with the prospective buyer and attempting to probe a bit as to their use for the name which he explained was just “dabbling” in the apps industry for the first time (which is true from my research) I attempted to negotiate the price up a bit higher since I found that he could have afforded a lot more and the name was worth a higher price.

    I counter in low $x,xxx based on strong data and that they were *still* getting a great deal based on past sales of similar names, search volume and desirability. They responded on a positive note and said they would get back to me the following morning after talking it over with a partner. I was expecting a sale or a counter. Come to find out, they purchased the plural of the same name for “$198” BIN and will test the waters on that name first. Not only did the other domain holder lower the general value of this type of domain in my prospective buyer’s eyes and if the eyes of others but they potentially blew a 4 figure sale for themselves with their cheap pricing, simply because they don’t value their holdings themselves.

    This “business model” is bothersome. It doesn’t matter if you have your domain listed for $xxx or $xxxx, it’s a waiting game for the right buyer to come along who is going to purchase the name for either amount and your pricing isn’t speeding up your sales unless you’re in the market of flipping to other domainers. Nothing positive comes from it for themselves or the industry. Don’t do it.

  2. There is a public voting process for the domain names via social channels. I guess after that the top domains are sent to the judges. I didn’t realize they are part of the process for a majority of the contest though. I thought they only made a decision once the final 15 were chosen. The contest is a combination of public voting and what the judges deem is a quality domain.

    Appreciate that Michael Berkens liked and thought it was good out of these 5. I’ll be curios to see what the other 10 domains in the contest are.

    Kind of surprised my name was a first prize winner but I was quite happy to win $5k! :D

  3. Ruben says:

    This is correct: “Not all .COMs are taken” And the best way to go around the not taken ones is using a lot of creativity and market knowledge!

  4. saeed says:

    Great Show again!!
    I like to ask Sherpa team if they can put some light on names at twitter if there are selling or not and is there any web site where you can sell them. Let’s say [email protected] is gone and taken by some one else. How do i buy it?

    1. Hi Saeed,

      Twitter doesn’t provide email addresses.

      Are you talking about Twitter handles/usernames? Like @Saeed?


      1. saeed says:

        that’s what i am talking about.
        I own these two twitter accounts like


        I remember long time ago some body was selling buy @ twitter for over $100,000 dollars and he was saying there is secret market for those names because once buy on twitter is gone no one else can have it.

        1. “You may not buy or sell Twitter usernames.” (Twitter Rules:

          Tweetexchange used to operate as a marketplace for Twitter usernames, but they don’t appear to be in business any longer (

          You can get creative in “acquiring” a Twitter username:

          I do know people who have purchased usernames, if you can figure out how to contact the owner of the username you can make them an offer. Just don’t publicize it as it’s, again, against Twitter rules.

          Good luck.

          1. saeed says:

            Thanks a lot Michael for sharing all the info and it will definitely benefit lot of folks here in this forum.

  5. Ty says:

    If i was to purchase a name that is available yet has a flag that suggest this name has been or still is trademarked, would it be wise for me to purchase this particular domain that displays this “flag”?

    Trademarks typically last in 10year intervals, does the trademark still exist even though the previous owner does not own that particular name anymore?

    1. Multiple trademarks can exist for a single word or phrase. If you have intention to use it for a business in another, unregistered class, in good faith then you shouldn’t have any issue. But there are too many factors for anyone to consider without knowing the exact situation. So I suggest you watch this video:

      After watching the video, call an attorney. If the domain isn’t valuable enough to warrant calling an attorney to put your mind at ease, then consider not purchasing it. There are plenty of other domains to consider buying for investment.

      Here are a couple of additional resources for you:

      Good luck.

  6. Jahfree says:

    As always thanks sherpas!

    Michael I have a question!!!

    I saw that sold for $11,000 recently. The owner said it was easy to sell because of ‘link authority’ This is one of those names that the sale wasn’t based on the domain name.. The domain looks to have a valid PR7 and DA and PA80+.

    My question: What the heck does this mean? I hope you can do a show about ‘link authority’


    1. I’ll look into it, Jahfree. Where did it sell?

    2. albert says:

      PR7 and DA and PA are what acronyms (I believe PR stands for Page Rank dubbed after Larry Page) that Sear Engine Optimization “Experts” use to describe industry language.

      I suggest you look at, and sites like these for more information.

      Obviously, you want to be carful in implementing advice from these type of websites for, well, obvious reasons.

  7. albert says:

    Why is not in use?

    1. Good question. I believe I know who the buyer of the domain at the NamesCon auction was, and I believe that he purchased it for one of his customers.

      I cannot say why it’s not in use. Perhaps they’re still developing the business model and relationships? I do know that building a business takes time.

      1. albert says:

        Thanks Mike.

        I have a lot of friends that I try to turn on to your show but they are very skeptical about the whole domain business. I’m not trying to make money off of them, I just tell them what I do and they think I am stupid for renewing a bunch of names.

        Having said that, one of them pointed out the big hoopla after was sold and three months later, there is not even a coming soon or under construction page.

        To be honest, that did seem kind of odd to me as well. Over six figures spent (not sure what the renewal rate is going to be) and not even a coming soon page to at least try and capture emails(?)

        At any rate, love the shows and keep up the good work.

  8. Leonard Britt says:

    I believe an interesting discussion would be to gauge the health of the domain aftermarket by TLD based on:

    -number of domains registered by major TLD including the top ten new TLDs and top ten CCTLDs
    -estimated number of registrations in each TLD held for speculative purposes
    -estimate of number of sales by TLD based on available DNJ reports, and estimates of unreported sales
    -estimate of percentage of speculative holdings by TLD which result in sales annually (presumably around 1%)

    It has been said the average portfolio yields about a 1-2% turnover. If parking revenue is insignificant for many portfolios, what turnover ratio is necessary at different price points and renewal costs to generate a positive cash flow?


    100 .COM x $10/year renewals = $1000 renewals (yes many of us get pricing under $10); 1% sales turnover would mean excluding parking income after commissions that one sale would need to net $1000 just for a breakeven result (who invests in anything to merely break even?)

    100 new TLDs x $25/year renewals (some less, some more) = $2500 in annual renewals; if turnover is less than 1% on new TLDs, are end users really willing to pay enough for a new TLD to justify holding a portfolio of them when quite often the annual holding cost is so high?

    The registrars may not encourage such discussion but I believe those new to the industry need to be aware of the challenges.

    1. Great example of registration costs and renewal fees, and what’s required to only breakeven (just for example purposes).

      Are you investing in new gTLDs?

      1. Leonard Britt says:

        I have “enough” .TV domains with $25-$30 renewals to understand the challenges of covering renewal fees when renewals are much higher than the sub $9 .COM renewal costs one gets with Godaddy’s Discount Domain Club. I have sold three .TV domains in the last six weeks at Godaddy Auctions but we are talking about pricing under $500 each. I believe investors need to understand the typical low turnover and high portfolio maintenance costs of holding new TLDs.

        1. Hi Leonard,

          Good point. I know Page Howe has a good amount of .TV domains as well. Maybe we can figure out how to do a show about this type of topic, as it can relate to any of the new gTLDs.


  9. Samit says:

    Happy Anniversary Michael!

    I’m so glad I took your advice and stopped fixed pricing names a couple of years back, sales revenue is way higher even with a lower number of sales.

    newgtlds shot themselves in the foot, the best names worth having in most extensions are not available to register.

    I still haven’t found a single newgtld that I have to have.

    Thanks guys, good show as usual, cheers!

    1. Great to hear your feedback on pricing too, Samit. Thanks for posting it.

  10. There aren’t too many places I would spend an hour of my time on but I spend the time to listen to your show. Always great advice by some of the best in the domain industry. Nice job and I can tell the time an effort you all put into your show.

    1. Thanks, Michael. You are very kind. :)

  11. Brian Bonito says:

    Lots of good information on your site. It’s a great resource for domainers.

    1. Appreciate that, Brian.

  12. John T says:

    Fantastic show this week.

    Thanks to all SHerpas and you Michael Cyger.

    Happy anniversary Michael and Judy.

    1. Thanks, John. I appreciate it.

  13. Dayne says:

    1 hour is the sweet spot for me. Nice show.

    1. Thanks for your input, Dayne.

  14. Noor Manji says:

    Another great show guys, wish it was much longer.

    Page – Great comparative analysis of the industry and great advice for domainers.
    Andrew – Super blog, heard the podcast with Jeff Gabriel, that was fantastic, wish he would have mentioned some tools they use to find end users, but I can understand why he wouldn’t want to share that.
    Mike Berkens – Happy Anniversary, wish I would have worked for somebody like you for a few years, my business would have been at another level.
    MIke Cyger – You are the ultimate host, great questions and a very well scripted show.

    Thank you all.

    Noor Manji

    1. I loved Page’s analogy about seedlings and mature trees too.

      Thanks for submitting a question, watching and taking the time to comment and thanks the Sherpas.

  15. Tom Durby says:

    Loved today’s show, and the way you started with questions from the audience.

    The length was perfect for my commute (just as another opinion as to the length).

    Off to work now!

    Thanks guys. Happy anniversary, Michael.

  16. Shahil says:

    I think you should really shorten the length of the videos to 20-25 minutes maximum by keeping the discussion to the point…


    1. Thanks for your feedback, Shahil. The length of the program is an issue I wrestle with a great deal.

      We’re working to upgrade our video player so it can play at 1.5x or 2x the speed, so maybe that will work for you when we launch it?

  17. fizz says:

    Happy 29th anniversary Judy and Michael.

    I lost audio near the beginning when Michael was answering the question about still going out on dates.

    1. Sorry to hear that Fizz, did it come back on?

      1. fizz says:

        Yes it did come back on when I tried watching again just now Michael. Thanks for a great show.

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