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A Year of Profitable Flips without NDAs – with Braden Pollock

Braden Pollock, as a legal marketing expert and a domain investor, shares a year’s worth of profitable flips without NDAs. Since most larger domain transactions are under NDA, it’s unique to receive one perspective on a  single portfolio’s sales over a year.

Any domain investor interested in making profitable flips will benefit from today’s show!

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Braden Pollock
Braden Pollock
A frequent speaker or moderator at domain industry conferences, Braden Pollock is a serial entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and domain name branding expert.

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Today’s show is a super cool, casual, unstructured chat with domain investor, Braden Pollock. He has no NDAs on his sales. So for a change, you get to see one investor look at a year’s worth of sales and really discuss the trends he’s seeing, the different, um, options that he had in selling and see a bigger perspective from one person’s point of view. Enjoy the show!

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Hey, Sherpa network. I’m Tess Diaz, executive producer of domain and today we’re joined by Braden Pollock. Hi Braden. How you doin? Love the energy you bring, was fabulous to see you and your lovely wife, Lisa and Lisbon and on the beaches of Portugal. What a great conference.

Braden Pollock: Yeah. And beautiful, I’d never been to Portugal and Lisbon is awesome.

Really. You guys travel a lot.

Yeah. But never made it in Portugal. It’s kind of difficult to get to. It’s like flying to Africa. It is. There’s no direct flights from here, from LA. Oddly, uh, at least none that I found. So it was like 20 hours door to door.

Yeah. It’s all a long haul,

but worth the trip. I mean beautiful and, and surprisingly inexpensive for a coastal European city.

It’s actually the, uh, the cost of living is the most affordable for a capital city in Europe. Um, just spectacular. Everything. Yeah.

You can, you can, you know, we Ubered everywhere. And an override that was maybe half an hour. It was like five-year-olds.

Yeah. Yeah. And the, and as you’re both vegan, right. And you just had like unlimited, amazing food. Right. And restaurants in Lisbon. Yeah. Um, a lot of great Facebook posts will bring. That’s the really unique thing about you is that not only do you have to touch charisma, but you’re really open and sharing what’s going on. And that’s really what’s happening on our show today to, you know, most, um, most mean transactions at the higher level are private for a variety of reasons. But you are uniquely situated actually in that domains. First of all is not your primary business, but you’re still a top expert in the domain business. You got a lot of smarts there, bud. Um, um, I don’t believe it for a minute. Um, but on top of your expertise, you also, I suppose with your extensive legal background, you prefer, um, all your sales be public. So let’s talk about them, especially the bigger picture, you know, on dementia. But all the time we have people who may share one sale and sometimes they’ll share the specific domain. Other times they’ll say, you know, it was a three or a short one word, dictionary word. Um, and so this is really neat that we can see a scope together of what’s been going on more or less the last year from one individual’s perspective. This was really special and I think, um, again, thank you for your openness in educating, uh, the domain community. Um,

when I, uh, when I do deals, a lot of my, my six figure deals, it’s just the lawyers talking and I always get this contract back, Neo side, there’s all this confidentiality and I just strike through all those causes and send it back. And then inevitably they’re like, wait, what, why are you striking through the confidentiality? And I explained to them, look, I’m a domain investor and you know, if these sales are private and we don’t have comps and we need comps from industry. And I said, this is what I do and you know, I need to give back to the industry and, and so I want to provide these comps. And you know, they, it ruffles, feathers, um, but they, nobody’s ever gone away. No one has said to find them. We won’t do the deal. Now that said, there are some times there’s slivers of confidentiality. So there might be, what we’ll do is I can’t announce it for 30, 60, 90 days. I can’t announce who the buyer is. Well, I don’t care about that. Right. That’s, that’s not relevant. A little delays, no big deal. And who the buyer is. Usually you find out who the buyer is anyway, eventually when to the website. I’m going to go to their website, sometimes not my, my Q. Dot. Org sale. I don’t think anybody knows who that buyer is.

Yeah, the letter, the one letter Q. yeah. Org. Yeah. You sold.

Yeah. So, so that, that, for example, I don’t think you can figure out who the buyer was that I dealt with and that’s, that’s fine. Right. But the price is still out. The sale is out there. And so now we have that con. Um, so, so those are kind of this livers of confidentiality, but that usually is a work around to kind of a NDA. [inaudible]

do you think it’s because of your legal, I mean, I feel like you, um, are, how many offices do you have? You have dozens of employees. You’re in the middle of buying your fifth office.

Uh, um, fourth. So we’re opening our fourth office. Um, so we have two in LA, one in New York, one in opening, one in, in the Bay area. And, and those are, uh, direct companies that I, that I control. And then there are of course offices for companies that I’ve invested in, but maybe I own 35% as an example. I really count those. I don’t, crap those staff does that staff and then,

huh. Well, um, uh, I’m wondering, do you think when people are dealing with you that they’re aware of your legal expertise and they, and that factors into why they agree or do you think that anybody who just really sticks to it, people will work?

I don’t, I don’t know if they Googled me or they know. I mean, it doesn’t really matter. Um, particularly if it’s lawyers dealing with w, you know, I have a lawyer that will deal with their lawyer. Um, but I, I’ve read a lot of contracts and negotiate a lot of contract. And so, you know, that’s, that’s, those are my terms. Um, and I mean, look, at the end of the day, if someone said, we’re walking away from this half a million dollar deal, then you know, maybe I would cave. But so far in my entire career selling names and I’ve sold, you don’t know how many hundreds and hundreds of names it hasn’t happened.

Okay. Alright. Well, um, what’s the vegan term? Cause I think it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes. Yep. You have a term for that. I don’t know.

A tofu and a lead. It can be beyond me.

Alright. Um, so you sold, and again this is your really an ancillary business for you and something that I think is just,

it’s kind of a side hustle. I mean, I don’t, I I S I spend, um, I dunno, maybe 15 minutes a day on average. That’s mostly just reading the blogs. Um, I’m always bidding on names. Um, and uh, of course try and I, and I answer my own, uh, inquiries, but it’s all template responses. It’s pretty quick. Um, so I don’t spend a lot of time with, certainly spend much more time on, on everything else. So yeah, it is a side hustle.

Alright, well not too shabby for a side hustle. And I know what a passion project is for you. You know, someone commented when you were, I forget if you were, I think you were speaking not moderating, um, at the conference and uh, this summer and Lisa was there watching you taking notes and it was just really neat to see that even though this isn’t your primary thing, how much of a passion it is for you and how much it’s, uh, it’s a part of who you are, I think. Um, so super cool. No question. I wear Morgan’s hashtag demeanor t-shirt proudly. I love it. Um, shout out to Morgan, um, who suggested this interview for us. Um, thanks Morgan. Although I didn’t get a tee shirt. Well I’m not kidding, but um, okay, tell us who time. Um, so tell us, um, let’s hear it. What, um, you know, so it’s kind of, and a few too. You want to go Q two to Q2 or just one loss. Now this is the time to sales. You want to talk about,

you can talk about last year. We can talk about what I’ve done the first half of this year.

What would you like? Yeah. What is the biggest sale that you’ve done in the last year? The biggest sale that has a closed cause I’ve got some deals that are fire,

so I’ve, I mean I’ve got an [inaudible], I’ve got an option on a name.

It’s an $800,000 sale.

Um, but it hasn’t, um, they’ve only, they’ve only paid about 10 grand for the auction, so they’ve yet to really purchase the name. Okay. So that’s not listed anywhere. And in my sales course,


I do list a sales that have payment plans. Okay. They’ve, I’ll wait until there’s some significant payments that have happened. Um, and then I’ll, I’ll list them. Um, I don’t always announce them, you know, necessarily email it to Ron yet. Um, but to the biggest biggest sale last year was, I just mentioned it was

I’m at 500,000. Okay. And tell us about that real quick. Um,

what can I tell you? Um,


I paid 20 grand for that name

and I had it for

a year and a half.

So pretty good. I, you could buy a one, like in the last two and a half years for only 20 grand.

Um, if you buy, well, I bought a large portfolio names. They weren’t all, they weren’t all 20, you know, Q is a, is not the best letter necessarily. Um, but I, but I bought a portfolio including some single character that orgs that were six figures.

Okay. Are there 26, um, you know, one letter dot orgs out there? Yeah. Like one one There are only three. And um, I bought them from the registry. What? I bought them directly from PIR. So they were not yet released. Oh, the whole package of what you bought? Yeah, so I’m the original registrar. Well, that’s a big deal. Okay. And then, um, and then you’ve sold it on all your sales are inbound inquiries, right? You’re not,


Okay. I’m not willing to work that hard. Yes. Yes. We’re going to say lazy. It’s fine. I’m not shopping them around. I don’t, I don’t shop

them and I don’t have any brokers that are working in, my name’s Ida. Okay. All right. And the reason the of strategy behind it. Wow. And I, and I, and I, I’m not gonna say that this is the best strategy because there’s certainly people like, like drew and people that are turning names and they’re making a lot of money doing outbound. And, um, certainly there’s a possibility of finding a buyer that would pay the price that I, that I want for a name. Um, however, I see domains for the most part as appreciating assets. And so I wait, I wait for the inbound offer and if it doesn’t sell this year, it might sell in a few years, but it’s probably me worth more than a few years anyway. So like I said, not necessarily the best strategy for everybody, but this strategy doesn’t require much work. So I go with it.

And for this being, you know, something on the side that you do with so many other projects in the fire, it makes sense. I could, I could give a brokers and I’ve had some conversations,

uh, about a couple of names. We with brokers that, that want to represent that particular name. Um, and, and I might do it. Um, certainly if a broker brokers reach out to me all the time because they have buyer requests, um, certainly they, they, if they have a request for my, a name that I own, then by all means, um, I’m not paying a commission in that case. But if they, if they have a buyer request, they want, you know, I don’t know a FinTech name or a, you know, Oh, jury shot to me and it’s like, uh, pet company or something like that, looking for names. And, uh, I said I have great name. Right. So, so he’ll pitch that so that, that happens all the time. Um, but that’s still kind of inbound, right. A broker reach out to me. What names do you have that fits this kind of category?

Yeah, it makes sense. Okay. So Oh, I’m so sorry. Yeah, Um, what, um, anything interesting about the negotiation?

Okay. Uh, yeah, actually it happened really fast. Um, the opening offer was 150,000 and, and I responded, uh, no thanks. That’s too low. And that’s it. And he came back with, well, what were you thinking? And I said, 500,000. And uh, he immediately reply, this is all within minutes. He replied with, well, I’ve got a approval at three 50. Uh, let me go back to the board and, and see if I can get you a 500. Are you willing to hold it for 24 hours? Not that they’re flying off the show, these names. Right. Um, so I said, yeah, I think I can hold on to it for 24 hours. And, and he got back to me in the morning. He said, you know, I got your 500. And that was it. It was a day. It was like four emails. It was super fast. Then the lawyers and the contracts and negotiating, negotiating the contract itself and the terms. So that took a little while.

And what were the challenges in negotiating the terms? No work, that thing, that legal mumbo jumbo.

You put two lawyers in the room, you’re going to, you’re going to get five opinions. So, um, you know, the, the, the buyer’s lawyer drafted an agreement, sent it to my attorney. There was some back and forth, which I don’t know if I was copied on it. It was sent to me for my signature. I struck the NDA, sent it back, and then I had a little conversation with,

so no sticking points, just the usual stuff? No. Okay.

It was, it was pretty easy.

Interesting. And your strategy, I will say for anyone listening you’ve said before in terms of dealing with buyers is that you don’t really care who they are or research into that you just have the price in mind that you know you would sell it for and it doesn’t really matter on your buyer itself. Correct. More or less.

Yes. Although if I get a high opening offer, I will do some research on that buyer if I know who it is, because I want to know if they’re serious because there’s, I’ll tell you every, every, uh, buy it now, six figure name that someone’s clicked through to buy the name right at the six figure level, not a single one has, has gone through. Right. It’s because people are are confused. They don’t read and they’ve been information to hip hop now and then it’s never funded. Um, and you look at it from Nigeria or you know, something like, you see a lot of that, you know, I can, I’m gonna assume it’s not going to go through, but all the time, you know, I mean, I get messages, I just got any, I got an inquiry today. Somebody offered me $200 for Oh, I own

I’ve gotten a number of messages. People asking if they can be picked up in Nairobi and dropped off somewhere else. They’re not reading it. So a lot of those people will hit buy it now and, and then of course don’t fund. Um, so if somebody comes in with a, with a substantial high offer, I want to see if this is legit before I continue going back and forth. Make sense? Yeah, for sure. Okay. Um, so after, uh, what’s, what’s the next one you want to talk about? This is really all you, you, um, pick your list and tell us everything. Okay. So last, last year, um, I sold food for two 50. I’m on a payment plan. I sold for three 50. Okay. Um, I sold a couple of legal names of package, um, Texas DWI lawyer in Texas, DWI for 60,000 [inaudible]. That was a good sale for that name. Um, I sold a total of 19 names and some of those were a couple of grand a piece. Um, is there some legal names that are, you know, DUI attorney It’s not that great. I sold it for 2300 bucks or something. Um, okay. My spreadsheet, uh, I sold for 15,000 trumped time for 15 K. very interesting. Um, and then, and then there’s a bunch of small steps. There’s 19 names total of four. Oh 1.2 million. Just, just shy 1.198.

Okay. So that’s, so that’s gross. Um, after commissions and my costs and my basis on that 1.2 was $79,000. Wow. Um, that is significant. That’s, I think that’s the information that people, but other investors would like to know. Yeah. I think for the kind of spread. Yeah. So $79,000 you invested into these domains. Right. Then of course, that’s not what I spent last year investor the last year. That’s just the, that’s the basis for those names, those 19 names. Okay. And what’s interesting to me, braid, and a lot of times when we talk, I don’t feel like these are names that you bought and you know, uh,

in like, you know, 2002 and you’ve been holding them these 19 names. How, what would you say is like the average of how long you’ve owned them fresh?

Yeah, I can tell you. So, um, I sold for three 50 last year. Um, I had it for two years, two years and two months. Uh, food trucks. So that in June of last year I had that for third, no, sorry, 11 months. Wow. Um, [inaudible] a year and a half. Uh, less than a year and a half. Other names, some legal names I’ve had for a long time. Um, the smaller dollar ones, right. [inaudible] dot com I sold for, um, I sold the set for, for 60,000. And um, one of them I had for two years. And the other one, I don’t know. I don’t know. Okay. A little bit longer, but you know, not, not that long.

Not at, not at all. Yeah. And for 19 names, you know, that’s like, forgive me for saying this, but that’s not a ton of work for 1.2 million gross. Um, now it’s a lot of expertise that you, you’ve built your skillset over so many years being involved in the domain industry,

it’s a matter of buying, right? Yeah. I make a lot of offers and I pass on a lot of names. Um, and I turned down a lot of offers. Um, but yeah, and certainly not a lot of time went into those 19 names. I mean, frankly a handful of those I’ve got, I’ve got names two of them sold on name jet. Um, you know, a few of those were were by it. Now names on afternoon. Um, dot wine like alcohol. Wine. Yeah.

Okay. Oh, um, I, I just, you know, the way it’s coming through and for our podcast audience, I wasn’t sure if they think it was something else.

Yeah, that one. Um, and so, um, da wine are, what are your, you sold two of them this last year. Let’s talk about those real quick. Um, last Lester. I sold four of them. Okay. Let’s see. Yeah. Four [inaudible]. Two on name Jett and to, to end users.

Really. And can you share what the names were and their prices?

Okay. Yeah, a served at wine and five-star dot. Wine, both on name jet, the left, the number five, uh, no spelled out.

Okay. So really that, um, what’s that phrase? People use to show that they match the left of the dot and the right of the dot. They go together. It’s a synergy, we’ll call it a synergy. I mean definitely that, that makes sense. It’s a logical combination. Right. And then five Those both were on named jet. Nice sales. How much?


Okay. All right. And what does a new doc,

I paid 30, so you know. Okay. This is not user names. I was, I bought a whole portfolio about six or 700 dot line names before the release. And I didn’t, frankly, I did not do what it was a loss. So I, I sold a bunch of dope on name jet and then, and then dropped the rest and I had very few end users sales. Okay. Even though you’re in California? Um, yeah. I had someone that was working on it with me and, and they, they were gonna do outbound and didn’t, yeah.

Okay. Yeah. I think a portfolio like that would need outbound, especially for the new TLD. Interesting.

A lot of luck with, with uh, with the new TLDs. I’ve had a few sales, but I mean, I haven’t purchased many, but it’s not been great. It’s on a couple acquisitions for companies.

Okay. Um, um, what were the two that you did sell?

I still beautiful. Dot wine. Oh. And and I got 500 each for those.

Okay. And they both came to you two separate end users while they seem like very separate, separate segments, separate thought processes. Um,

I think there was one this year. Oh yeah. This year, uh, there was started out line that’s sold for 4,000.

Interesting. Um, for 4,000. And where did you sell that? Directly through you inbound. Okay. And that star. Okay. Oh, um, interesting. So, um, tell us more about, um, about a negotiation you think we should hear about SA. Maybe the, um, the one that you said was a payment plan or, um, yeah.

Okay. So here’s, here’s one that, um, since we’re talking about new Cheetos, GTLD is one that probably many have not heard of. Dot. Earth. Dot. Earth. Who knew? Uh, so it was an inbound, somebody needed it. They needed new dot. Earth [inaudible] had to have it. The name of his company, he was in, I think he’s in LA and he was getting on a plane that night to fly to Amsterdam or something to give a speech about his new company that was name of his company. Had to have it before tomorrow. Oh no. And I said, well, I don’t know anything about this name. You know, it hasn’t been developed so it’s probably for sale, but okay, I can, I can try but you, you want it live because he wanted it live point to his site by tomorrow. And I said, all right, well what’s your budget? And he said his budget was, uh, was 18, eight, I think that was with credit card feeds. I was like 18, five or something like that. Um, so we agreed on a number that he, well, he was willing to pay and I think he might’ve gotten a quote and that’s, that’s why it’s not number. I don’t, I don’t remember.

And so I said, okay, well you’re going to have to pay me now. Like you’re going to need to give me your credit card number. I’m gonna need to run it so that I have the funds that I can go buy it for you. If, if I can’t get it, I’ll give you the money back. But this is the only one I’m not going to, I’m not going to acquire it on your behalf without you paying me first. Right. And so he said, okay, give me his credit card number on the phone you ran it went through. And then I contacted the owner and I negotiate with him back and forth and I ended up paying 12 five.

Okay. 12,500 for new Scott earth is, especially in an I, you know, I think any finger

honestly is a lot for that name, but I needed to get it for this buyer today. I needed it right away. And so I, I got that done. But like I made $6,300, you know, that day.

Yeah. And how, did you have any concerns about, you know, the, um, about the intentions of this buyer about, um,

it was through somebody, he was referred to me. And so, you know, I, I talked to the person who referred them and he said, you can trust this guy. Okay. So, I mean, if he would’ve done a charge back, I could have shown them email exchange and, and the, the, uh, name had transferred. Okay. But it wasn’t an issue. Never. And he was, he was thrilled, right. Because I, I literally had the name when I agreed to the terms with the seller, I said, do me a favor, I need, I need this right away. So can you point the DNS to this website right now? Well, sure. And I’m like, look, if something falls apart, you can change it tomorrow. Hmm. Um, and so we did. And so I emailed my buyer and you know, it was like an hour or two later, like check it out.

Right. I had, you know, and I’m like, click the link and um, no point his website. So he was thrilled and you’re saying, yeah. Yeah. That was my, um, quick fix in case that [inaudible] DNS didn’t, didn’t propagate quick enough because we had that redirect. Brilliant. Yeah. So he, he was good the next day. And you know, I think that’s a big deal when, um, you know, when something is time sensitive that they can know that you can get it, that a broker can manage that differently than you can on your own. It sounds like this was for, you know, a pretty, from what I’m looking at about, you know, what was up on the site, um, which has been taken down, but that there’s a reason for that from what I’m seeing. I haven’t looked at it since, but he, he certainly doesn’t understand the process.

Who he could not, even if had done the deal directly himself, he [inaudible] could have saved some money, but he wouldn’t have gotten it done. [inaudible] right. And so I felt like the money that I was making, I could provide the service for him. Yeah. Especially, I mean, so you really, you know, for your normal 15 minutes a day of domaining, you really dedicated some time to that stuff. Yeah, I put in more time. Yeah. But, you know, I, and, and, and we got it done. So he was, he was, uh, very happy. I mean, there’s, there’s value. Um, I don’t know. I don’t consider myself a broker. Of course, I’ve done some acquisitions. I, you know, one or two a year. But, um, there’s value in, in hiring somebody that knows what they’re doing because it may not be just a clean transfer and you have plenty of time. [inaudible]

I was hired once by law firm too, as an expert witness. There was some, um, Cybersquatting, but it was really somebody that had registered a whole bunch of domain names, um, that we’re infringing on some of these. Mark [inaudible] pisses insurance companies. So we registered a bunch of domain names. Oh. And the, uh, insurance companies sued him. And, um, but the, the corporate from that, the insurance can be hired, didn’t know anything about domains. And so they were referred to me. And, um, so I, I wrote up, um, what was called an an expert report. And so I wrote my report and the five domains that they thought he had, he had dozens. So, and I found the dozens. Oh no. And then found everything that he had published with their name because he was, he created a web ring and all these websites. And so he was doing a lot, he had a, a marketing company, digital marketing companies.

So he had done all kinds of stuff and I found all of it. And so, you know, they, I found much more than a VA ever would’ve found. Right. They found five names. I found a lot more because they hired somebody that knows what they’re doing. Then, um, they, I had given him some, um, advice on what should be done, I don’t even remember now with a few years ago. And, um, ultimately the insurance company decided that they wanted me to write the demand letter because of all the other things. They, they were just trying to get these names back. And I’m like, well, you got to take down all this content from these websites. You need to undo all that. So I wrote the demand letter for them. I’m sure that law firm punched it up. But um, so we did that then and then they folded immediately. I was like folded. And so they, the law firm came back to me and said, the insurance company wants to hire you as a consultant to make sure that everything gets transferred to them and everything that in your report that you say should be done, it actually gets done.

Yeah. It’s difficult if, if, if you don’t know what’s happening there. Yeah.

Essentially hired me like three times. It was all one billing but, but for three separate things, because I knew more about about this area than they did. Right. Cause there’s a corporate firm that doesn’t do this, this sort of work. So the thing is that’s the value in, in, in hiring somebody like me or, or another domain broker that understands this, this area.

Yeah. Yeah. And when you can combine your expertise with your domain expertise, that’s just a slam dunk. And that’s what they say, you know, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are now. Um, you had mentioned, Braden, um, in Lisbon a, um, how you’ve helped corporations to map out retiring a domain. You want to go, do you want to finish those sales and do this year or you want to be, let’s finish the sales. What, what are you holding out on? Uh, no, just just this year. Okay. I can just quickly go over it if you want. Cause you, we,

we teased it at the beginning of the top of the show. Um, our, so let me, let me pull up, uh, 2019 purchases. Okay. Or sales rather. Um, our, so sales thus far this year, uh, 612,000.

Alright. You’re right on track.

Uh, last year. Yeah. So it’s about, about the same as last year. Um, there are only two, six figure sales, uh, which is a pant [email protected], uh, for one 50 back in January. Okay. Yeah. Everything else is cash. And then there’s some five figure sale. They’ll get rope dot at 20,000. So six, 612 and sales. And my basis was okay. Okay. Uh, 63,000,

63,000. Wow. Um, and how many domains? 1111 domains. Okay. Similar to last year. Very, very similar. Um, so so round, I think we talked about on a Sherpa already. I’m actually really interested in these three. You said the three five figures. You mentioned velvet rope, um, love letter. Oh, I guess I’ve got to love that. And what was the third one you said? Rough chick breath check. Like what is, what is that like a like drunk driving breathalyzers? So that actually,

yeah, so I had um, an ignition interlock company, which was, which are, um, um, car breathalyzers. You have to blow into it. So when we first start, I sold, I had ignition and um, and several hundred interlock domains. I sold that portfolio a few years ago. Uh,

and w was there a website and a business that went with it? Yeah. Which is why I didn’t report it, but, but I did get a million and a quarter from that portfolio and the website separate from the business and the website. That’s neat that you, you pieced out the sale like that so you can really see. So you got a million and a quarter really for tax purposes or the domain names. Yeah, completely for tax purposes.

Um, but yeah, so that was kind of parsed out, uh, because I wanted to hold back the domain portfolio and they said no, they wanted the portfolio as well, which makes sense. So I have uh, acquired a couple of names for them over the last few years. Um, and so they came back to me and they want a breath and I said, what’s your budget? And they said, we’ll pay 20 grand for it. Um, honestly, I, I’m sure I can get it for under 20 grand. It was a, it was at uni registry and, um, so they just sent me, since I have a long ongoing relationship, they just sent me the 20 grand and actually took me a few weeks to get the deal done. And, but I paid 14, five, but they knew it. They, they said here’s 20 grand, if you can get from 15 grand, then you make five. Um, and so anyways, I work with Jeff Gabriel on it and he, he got it down to 14, five. And so my spread ended up pretty good on that one. Um, for an acquisition.

Yeah. Yeah. Well done. So, um, on acquisitions do or you note or, or just in general in sales, are you noticing any trends as you look at this, you’re seeing looks like certainly, um, similar RLI and sales volume. What, what are you extrapolating from this as a whole

for acquisitions?

No, just for all your sales. Really.

Okay. Alright. Cause I’m not, I’m not the person for acquisition, so don’t, I don’t do that many. Um, I see the value of, of two or dotcoms going up and I think one, one I think our increasing man, they took a huge hit. And there, there is a lot of competition for from because of all the GTL DS out there. Um, so it used to be 10 to 15% of and I don’t think that’s the case anymore, but I sold some, some dot nets for five figures, um, that I paid a couple of grand for. Um, so, so a decent margin for me, but, but the two are dot-coms, you know, they’re strong, they’re strong. They’re, they’re typically not six figures, but I think there’s this 25 to $35,000, um, category for, for two or dotcoms. I see kind of several buckets.

I see a 2,530 $500 bucket, right? Lot of names. Most names are sold in that range. 25 to $35,000 range, uh, where you’ve got two words and, and And then you, then you go up there, you got this two 50, three 50 range, which is most one, fall into that category. And then, and then there’s a lot of sales in the two, $3 million range, right? A lot. It relative, uh, is a relative term, um, relative to other seven figure sales. Um, but most of those not reported because the buyers aren’t in the business. That’s, you know, a part of the marketing budget and you know, in the business doing something else. Right. So they don’t want to release that information.

You did not tell us any of your dotnet fails. What you got, what’s your holding out on?

Um, so this year I sold a to, I sold divorce Um, and, and that was, uh, sold through uni registry. It was a buy now and I got the email in the morning and it sold for $9,750. When I sold that off, Lee cheap. Why did I buy, sell and sell? Cheap? First thought was mistake. It wasn’t. I had had it, um, a year and a half and I paid $500 for it and I checked my notes. I had, I got it cheap so I thought, you know what, I’m going to put it back on the market cheap and someone’s going to pick it up and that’s what happened. No work went into that one. Um,

yeah, that’s an an incredible price.

Well, here’s one. This is a couple of years ago, I paid $1,700 for it. I sold it for 12 and a half thousand and inhabit that long, I want to say less than a year. Wow. The buyer called me some months later, business went under, asked if I would buy it back. I offered him $1,500 and I was, I was nice about it. I said, look, you know, I can’t give you anything close to what you paid cause I’m gonna have to resell it. I’ll give you $1,500, but try sell it yourself. You’ll get more money if you can sell yourself. And if you can’t, then come back to me and I’m good for $1,500 and a he, he tried. So a couple weeks later he called me back. He said, I can’t find anyone to buy it. So I give him $1,500. I bought it back. And then you sold it again. No, I still have it, but I’m in the good.

You sure are. Yeah. Maybe it’s time to list it with a divorced or doing so well. So is it two word dot nets as well that you’re seeing? Um,

Not really with legal names there. They’re typically two and three word. Um, and I sell those. When you’ve got, um, with legal names, you’ve got to, typically it’s appended with your lawyer or attorney. Uh, but you’ve got practice area and you’ve got geo, right? Steve got a divorce. So you would divorce versus, um, I don’t know. Real estate. Real estate is not as developed as not as popular of a practice area in divorces or DUI or, or criminal or employment or, so there’s other proxies that are, that are bigger, worth more, you know, bankruptcy lawyer is worth more than, um, patent lawyer. Um, so, um, I look at the practice areas and I look at the geo, right? So, so Tallahassee is not going to be as valuable as Los Angeles when you’ve got a good practice area and a good geo or no geo at all, which makes it broader. Um, then you can carry

Okay. And you’re coming from, you know, a lifetime of legal experience and legal marketing. So maybe not for everyone, but you found what works for you in your area of expertise. And I think our audience can do the same for themselves. Now what about, um, GOs in general? Any thoughts, comments? Um, what, what are you seeing on GIOS outside of the legal field? I mean, cause most people do, you need a lawyer, you need a lawyer for that specific jurisdiction, right? So there’s a reason for the geo, sir.

Right? You need one within the state, but people typically you want not just in the state, but local.

Yeah. But then so are you seeing geo, do you have any comments on geo outside of the legal field?

I know you’re talking about like just cities specific, like Woodland I’ve been with my house.

Sure. Or you know, um, I dunno, Woodland hit home,

but if it’s, if it’s, you know, Los Angeles, uh, I mean, I think those are still good. Um, because there’s, there’s still plenty of plumbers. People search for Los Angeles plumber, right? Or wood plumber, right? Local service I think will always work. [inaudible] I mean, you’re going to get clobbered by Yelp and Thumbtack and all those kinds of sites. Right? Um, but you know, if you’re, if you’re a plumber, that’s a good name, right? That’s a really good name to use. Particularly if you build a website and do a little work on it.

And if you have a, and if you have the ability to call a handful of plumbers and sell it, that’s really where you want to test it before you buy and excessive volume. Right. So, okay. All right. Good to know. Um, what else do you think we should know about your sales from this past year?

Um, I think everything else, they’re, they’re all small. A few thousand bucks a piece, um, that we’re all buy it now, which, which is what I do with, with kind of that 2,500 to $3,500, um, range. Just I just list them and it’s cheap enough for people to click and buy. You know, they’re searching at night and they have an idea and they’ve had a glass of wine there. They’re more likely to click click the buy it now and put in their credit card number. Okay.

Right. And names in the 25 to 35 K range, are those mostly, you know, offers that came into

you and what are those negotiations more often? Like how do they progress the 2,500 or 25,000 thousand? Like I’m looking at velvet rope and love ladder. So love letter was actually buy it now and that was the, that was the biggest bias now that I’ve ever had. Okay. Where on what platform? After Nick. Okay, shout out to after Nick. Well, um, and then velvet rope was direct. Breast check was a, what is it? Acquisition and then everything else is, um, four figures. Okay. So then the two, six figures this year. Okay. Okay. And you find that the ones that are inquiries are pretty much just like your six figure inquiries where you kind of vet them in the beginning and then, yeah. Yeah. I mean we’ve had, so last year there was a bunch of more, a legal name that’s sold that if they weren’t by it now their inbound and my, my assistant handled it, um, because all my names are priced and so it’ll come in to her and she’ll okay.

Show, quote the price and say agree. She’ll show also up sell them. I can see here, last year she sold four names to one person. Um, senior, senior abuse attorneys and abuse attorney. Wow. Um, because you know, they’re all the same category, so she absorbed the guy, Jarvis reached out about one of them and on her go alley go alley. Now that’s a great opportunity on, um, on asking about portfolio management. How many domains do you own, Braden? More or less? You know, I’m, I’ve been trying to call the list. Um, I’m down to about 3000, maybe a little bit less. Okay. So you have 3000 domains. They all have prices and clearly they have categories. Um, yep. And how often do you press them? You know, I’ll go through, probably not as often as I should. Um, I’ll go through them maybe once a year.

Okay. Um, probably not as often. I’d say it’s probably less than that. Okay. I’d like to say is once a year, probably quite as frequent as that. Okay. Huh. Um, yeah. And, and look, my, my, my buy it now, prices are higher than what I would sell direct because I have to, um, I have to include commissions. Sure. Okay. Hmm. Um, and do you feel like you found your sweet spot at 3000 demeans? You said you weren’t calling that list? Um, I still have a lot of illegal names. Okay. So, and I’m, I’m happy to, you know, I don’t buy them like I used to. I’m happy to sell through those. Um, buy them like you used to. Um, okay. Because they don’t sell that fast and they don’t suffer very much. Typically believe they sell for a few thousand dollars. And I’d rather focus my energies on $300,000 and a three that long. Sure. And now the ones I have are starting good. And so I’m keeping those right. So I’m not, I’m not dropping them, I’m just not replenishing that inventory. I’m replenishing my, my one word, two word, mostly one were. Dot. Dotcoms I still buy two words.

So I’ve been wondering as we’re talking here, um, how much you’ve reinvested this year and last year in domain.

Okay. That’s great. That’s a good question. Um, volume of domains and dollars. Okay. So this year, um, okay. Not a lot this year. And that’s that student inventory. I’ve made a lot of offers and have not picked up. So I spent about 200,000 this year. Invested I should say. Um, yeah, because I just can’t, not much, not much out there. Last year, uh, she purchases 500 Favo 1-850-500-LAST year. Um, 2017 was 406. Okay. Um, so actually I guess, I guess this year is pretty much on track. Okay. But actually here in, in, in, um, 2016, I spent 695.

Okay. And are you concerned that this year you’re not finding as much or your, it sounds like your offer percentage is more of a challenge. Um, do you think that’s a reflection of what’s going on in the market?

You know, the, there’s, there’s just not a lot of inventory at that level that is on the market. I mean, is on the market right now. I reached out and they already have an offer North of 500,000. Well, you know, that’s end user. Right? So I’m not going to buy it. Is it worth more than that? Maybe, maybe not. Right? I mean, is it a 700 800,000 odd name? Possibly. But I’m not going to spend 600 to sell for seven or 800. I’m tying up too much money. I, I’d rather buy a bunch of 40 or 50 or $60,000 names because there’s more, it’s more likelihood that you can turn those four, five to 10 X. um, but there’s just not a lot of those on the market. Um, there’s, um, I mean there’s, there’s a few I’ve purchased this year that I think are good names. I bought, um, at the name Jett auction in Lisbon. Uh, but there’s just not a lot, uh, out there. And those are, you know, third, they’re good names, but they’re not, they’re not monster names. It’s not, you know, or which is on the market.

And you bought those at prices that you feel will, um, give you the same ROI percentages that you’ve been looking at in the past. All of them are in the five figures. Okay. Wow. Those do not sound like five figure domain names. Well they’re not one on, don’t tell them I need to buy him an investor. Pricing. And where do you find those names? Well, I know all the brokers,

so the brokers let me know what they have. Um, the, the, they come up on auction. Right. So whether they’re at CDOT or wherever. Okay. I’ve put in put in grids. But

you no, I get out there. Yeah. Do you buy any domains directly?

Uh, from end users?

Almost. I have,

but very, very rarely. It typically comes through a broker who is either representing the name or has already acquired the name or is representing another investor. Um, that’s almost always how I get my names. Interesting. And you know what, frankly, that’s, that’s fine because if I spent the time I had the time and I can go out there and go fishing all the time looking for these names, reaching out to all the end users, I could pick up some names and save some money. However, if I know that the broker is making 10 or 15% of that transaction, and frankly I would rather, let’s say as a name, I could’ve gotten it for 30 grand, but now it’s with a broker and I gotta spend 30 3030 4,000. Well listen, if I’m gonna, if I’m going to sell it for 350,000, what difference does that make? Yeah. Right. And we save all that time.

Yeah. The difference is your, your time investment. And that’s really valuable. I know I’m paying a little bit more, but this fund is also part of the ecosystem. Right? So you gotta do the brokers need to yeah. Well you have always been, um, as long as, you know, almost 15 years now that I’ve been in this industry, you have always been a fabulous contributor to the ecosystem. And I think that this show today really is just a reflection of that really, really insightful for who don’t know what’s going on or don’t know a bigger picture or a whole portfolio that’s been put together over a year or sold over a year. Um, really, really interesting stats. Great numbers. I do want to ask you next time about, um, retiring a domain, but uh, not today. Um, and thoughts before we head out. No, I think,

I think it’s helpful for, for people to see you a deep dive on a portfolio because when you hear about these one off sales, you don’t really know what went into that. Was there a lot of outbound? They spent hours and hours outbounding how much did they spend? You see like Mike Mann’s portfolio and people are thrilled when they hear about is, you know, $100,000 a month sales or his, his uh, you know, whatever. You get $20,000 a day, whatever numbers he’s doing. And you guys got 350,000 names, right? So just do that math, right? He’s got $3 million just in red fees, roughly, right? Not to mention staff and programs and everything’s right. So he’s doing a lot of top line. I’m Amish bond, Lundy’s doing and I’m not trying to take anything from him. He’s been as business a long, long time and he knows what he’s doing. But you have to consider how many names people have, what goes into it. So do you see people selling everyday? Like Mike, man, it’s because they have 350,000 names. Of course they’re going to sell every day. I get inquiries every day. Don’t I’m scales every day. Most of those inquiries are meaningless, right?

It’s a lifestyle. And, and the business strategy I think, and the way that you, that each individual combines them for themselves. Um, and I mean you just, you do it beautifully.

Let me look at like a unit registry as another example. What do they do? 50 million or something like that and his sales last year, how many brokers do they have? 65 63 something like that. Right? So it’s a lot of malice to feed. And those were brokered names. I mean, some of those obviously are Frank’s names, so I don’t know what the net is on that because you don’t get to do a deep dive, right? Bruce, you get on here and talk about his millions of dollars in sales. He’s told me, I’m obviously not going to share it, but you know, it’s a very small distributed staff and he does millions and sales, right. I’m sure that his margin is way better. And then Mike, man and and and Frank

cause the overhead, yeah, overhead can make a huge, huge difference. And I think the time that you got into domaining makes a big difference. And that is to me the most valuable part of deep dive, Braden that most of these names you’ve acquired and sold within a two year window to know. In fact, I think I’m gonna, I’m gonna, you know, when I tick the different boxes for where I’m listing this within the domain Sherpa website, I’m gonna include profitable flip because you just covered like [inaudible] profitable flips domains that you bought and flipped within 24 months or way, way less. And that I think is important. People new to this industry, it’s easy to assume all the good domains are taken and you do have a unique skillset, um, and so many years of experience. But the way that you’re approaching it, anybody could really do that. If they, it’s not too late to get in talked about it, educated themselves, you know. Um, I regularly get emails from people who are, like, when I started domaining I just went through pages and pages of domain Sherpa videos, one after the other after the other, you know, and obviously, you know, DeAnn Academy is amazing and there, there are resources out there, but I don’t see why someone else couldn’t do the exact same thing that you did. Um, today, right.

There’s no, there’s no reason. As long as you have access to capital, that’s it. Cause it’s, it’s capital intensive. Right. Particularly with the bigger names. Yeah. So, so you know, how many $50,000 names can you purchase and wait. Yeah. So that’s not, that’s not for everybody, which is why a lot of people buy the $500 names and wait and they’ll buy, you know, 10 of those and hold on to them. Um, so it really depends on, um, how much, how much capital you have or have access to and then, and how much patient you have.

Yeah. Good. Paul. Good call. Yeah. Well, um, thank you. You new forced investing 15 minutes a day and domaining and you give an hour to demeaned Sherpa. I would say at least once a quarter. That’s a big deal. Um, thank you. An extra thank you. Um, what, what a statement that is, um, about you and, Oh, Braden, you are just a special kind of person, you know, professional kind of person. I don’t know. Um, but, uh, thanks. Thanks for always coming on your sport. My pleasure. All right. See y’all next time.

Bye. Bye.


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11 Responses to “A Year of Profitable Flips without NDAs – with Braden Pollock”

  1. Tess and Braden,

    This was a very enjoyable show as well as highly informative. Over the years Braden has always been quite generous with his time and sharing his vast knowledge of the domain industry along with his legal background in a very articulate and intelligent manner. This is a huge asset to all newcomers and the industry as a whole. So, I personally would like to say thank you for your time and for being such a humble ambassador to the domain community.

    Tess, you are clearly quite comfortable in the driver’s seat now and it has been fun watching you grow into this position. Thank you, Drew, Michael and DomainSherpa for providing a wealth of information to the domain community as well. DomainSherpa has made Monday a day I look forward to instead of dreading.

    Great job to you both,

    John Magavern
    Juanadomain, LLC

    1. Braden Pollock says:

      Thank you for the kind words. You’re very welcome.

  2. Platey says:

    Brilliant interview

    Especially for me as my domain name investor strategy is the same

    Having spoken to a few brokers and got nowhere

    I’ll just sit on my domain name portfolio and renew and wait – I much prefer this investment strategy

  3. Platey says:

    Domain name investors should offer a discount for non nda sales which would make more domain name sales sold prices available

  4. Mike says:

    Thank you, Braden, for sharing, and being so transparent. It helps our industry. And thank you, Tess, for a great interview!

  5. What a nice pleasant guy Braden is and ofcourse Tezz always cute .
    Just like to ask Braden if he ever has handregistered a Domain name .
    I have 1000 domains and 99% are HR’d only ever bought 10 domains

    1. Braden Pollock says:

      Very rarely but it’s happens. Sometimes I’ll buy a name and then look for the plurals or matching net/org and get lucky. Sometimes I’ll read a term that someone has coined related to new tech and look it up. Doesn’t happen often.

  6. albert says:

    Always great to see Braden on and have Tess do a great interview. Thanks to both.

  7. Unbear says:

    Thank you Branden for being open and humble.I enjoyed the interview.

  8. Rod says:

    Excellent show. Congrats on the success Braden. This was extremely insightful. And thank you for sharing your sales.

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