DomainSherpa Review – July 31: NameJet Safe to Buy/Sell? Getting Uncomfortable w Shane…

DomainSherpa Review with Michael Cyger, Adam Strong, Ali Zandi and Shane CultraThis is the show where we get into the minds of successful domain name investors – people we call Sherpas – and talk about the value of specific domain names. By listening to the Sherpas, we expand our thought process so we can become more successful investors ourselves.

In this DomainSherpa Review:

  • We discuss the recent shill bidding situation at NameJet, and whether it’s a safe place to buy and sell domain names
  • We learn what the Sherpas bought or sold recently:,,
  • An investor’s portfolio is appraised and some tough love (and great constructive advice) is given…
  • Get your bids in soon for these NameJet auctions:,,…
  • Plus, much more!

We’re joined by three Domain Sherpas: Adam Strong, Ali Zandi and Shane Cultra.

Review (74:57): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Domain Lists

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Investor Submitted Domain Names Pre-Auction Listings

This Show’s Sherpas

Adam Strong
Adam Strong
Adam Strong is co-founder of, a consulting firm that helps companies create, acquire and manage their digital brand assets, such as domain names and other online markers.

As an internet entrepreneur, Strong has co-founded many online ventures including, and

More shows with Adam Strong »

Ali Zandi
Ali Zandi
Ali Zandi is the founder and senior broker at Starfire Holdings, a domain name brokerage and consulting firm.

Prior to Starfire Holdings, Ali was the director of sales and acquisitions at, a private domain name investment fund.

Based in Hawaii, Zandi boasts a wealth of knowledge and sales experience and has facilitated millions of dollars of successful transactions in the domain industry.

More shows with Ali Zandi »

Shane Cultra
Shane Cultra
Shane Cultra is a domain name investor and owner of the popular domain name blog,

Cultra is also a fifth generation owner of Country Arbors Nursery based in Urbana, Illinois, and has been a member of the PBS television show Mid American Gardener for more than 10 years, in addition to being a part of various gardening segments on CBS and ABC.

Shane also recently launched two new businesses, and, leveraging his online expertise with his love of nature and business acumen to create two exciting new ventures that are sure to be successful.

More shows with Shane Cultra »

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Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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MICHAEL CYGER: On today’s DomainSherpa Review, how to determine when your buying strategy is just slightly off and you’re buying crappy names, one Sherpa shares a really uncomfortable domain name purchase, and much more. Stay tuned!

Michael: Hey, Sherpa Network, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m Michael Cyger, publisher of, and this is “The DomainSherpa Review.” This is the show where we get in the minds of successful domain name investors using real examples so we can learn strategies and tactics to become better investors. We have three segments to the review: we’ll start off learning what the Sherpas recently bought and sold, next, we’ll discuss and value an investor-submitted domain name portfolio, and finally, we’ll preview some domains going to auction soon at and whether the Sherpas think they’re good investment opportunities for you.

Joining us today on “The DomainSherpa Review” are three past Sherpas and industry thought leaders. In order from left to right we have Adam Strong, co-founder of Evergreen, domain name brokerage firm focused on domain name acquisition, and owner of, the service to use to find comparable sales. Ali Zandi, founder of Starfire Holdings, a domain name brokerage and consulting service. And Shane Cultra, publisher of the blog and owner of the Country Arbors Nursery in Illinois. Sherpas, welcome to today’s show.

All: Good to be here.

Michael: Hey, so I wanna start off with a little chitchat. You know, I know we usually chat about what’s going on or what the Sherpas are doing, and I would’ve liked to hear about Shane’s vacation last week, where he fell way behind his daughter when they went for a run. But this week I wanna chat about the biggest issue that our industry has faced in a while — shill bidding. Two weeks ago, by the time this show airs, it came to life that NameJet confirmed that there was shill bidding on their platform. They owned the issue and implemented six changes so far. Number one, they prevented sellers from bidding on their own domains. Why they didn’t do this years ago, I don’t know. But suddenly, within a week, they implemented this solution, and it’s a good one.

Number 2, they suspended the next bid wins practice option, which means that basically if somebody bids up to $500 bucks on my domain, I can lower their reserve to the next bid, and then they will be the winner if somebody else does place a bid. Number three, they improved their bid tracking reporting to spot shill bidding. Number four, they updated their terms of service with additional rules — in case you’re one of the one in a million that actually reads those. Number five, they updated their on boarding process to make sure sellers understand the rules — which is a good one, especially if the rules are clearly stated. And number six, they created an email address to report abuse — and that is [email protected]. I bring this up because NameJet is a sponsor of the show.

If they would’ve done nothing, I would’ve thought twice about continuing to have them as a sponsor, but I sent an email to that [email protected] last night and I said, “Hey, you guys are sponsoring my show, I wanna see if anybody actually reads these emails coming in.” And within 10 minutes I got an email back from them. So they’re monitoring it, itlooks like they’re making changes. Adam, let’s start with you. Were NameJet’s changes enough to bring confidence to you to buy and sell on NameJet going forward?

Adam: Yeah, I mean it’s a tricky situation. I mean, it’s an industry that’s policing itself. I am a NameJet customer. I don’t buy as frequently as I used to buy on NameJet, but I have confidence in them handling the situation. I think if you’re a frequent buyer, you kinda get to know who’s selling what an kinda possibly dodge certain domains that are up for sale if you see’em up frequently, or you know who the seller is just by doing ‘Who is’ lookups and things like that. So I don’t typically buy from other domainers, and some other people that are caught up in this controversy or other domainers.

So I tend not to be buying from them, so I wouldn’t to be involved in those auctions. But yeah, it is…it’s a little sketchy and it sounds like they’re coming up with a solution to fix the problem. Again, I just read an article right before we came on the air here from Joseph Peterson over at DNW, and there’s…

Michael: Yeah, at, I read that too.

Adam: There’s a pretty big history for…you know, in this space, and it’s still the Wild West, no matter how we look at it. There’s a lot of things going on, and there’s a lot of money in this space, and it creates opportunities for people that might not have a very good moral compass. So yeah, so I think short of some sorta third-party, I think NameJet’s making the best move and trying to do what they can to fix this, you know, crappy situation they got put into, so…

Michael: Yeah, totally. Hey, Ali, in the whole long NamePros thread that came out, somebody threw in there, which I thought was ridiculous, that Drew was giving advice on DomainSherpa about…Drew Rosener, who is on vacation this week, I should’ve acknowledged, traveling with his family, gave some advice, and they suggested that he was contributing to the shill bidding, which is just BS straight off. And so, that is the point of this show, is to give individuals advice. Like, being able to get access to you three guys who have been…You know, Adam, you’ve been in the industry since the beginning, I think, right? At least 15, 20 years?

Adam: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah. And Shane, I know you’ve been online for just as long, and Ali, definitely, and been selling some great domains. So, the whole idea is that I love to get your input on this. On the top right-hand side of every single page it says, “Do your diligence. Know what you’re bidding on, know what you’re buying,” and then at the bottom I’ve got terms of service, just like every financial website out there, that’s like, you can’t take everything you hear. You don’t turn onto “Squawk Box” and hear crazy Cramer talk about, “Buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell,” and you’re just gonna do it because it’s…that’s what he’s saying on TV. So, you know, what do you say about people that, when it comes to due diligence and going to any auction site — NameJet, SnapNames, Flippa — about what they should…what kinda due diligence they need to do when they’re buying on an auction site?

Ali: Yeah, man, I mean first, the advice Drew gave, it’s good advice. I use it myself. I see an auction, I’ve bought plenty of domains because there was a ton of other bidders on it. I did my due diligence, looked at the bidders, saw there was nothing fishy and I bid on it and I won it, and I can sell those right now for maybe a 10% loss to what I paid for it. So there is a vice in bidding psychology, man. And a bunch of other people want it, it likely has value, and it’ll likely continue to have value. As far as due diligence goes, it’s not up to me, it’s not up to you, it’s not up to somebody else to tell you how to do your due diligence, you’ve gotta be aware of what you’re partaking in.

This is a industry where anybody can come into it. Whether they have the highest moral standing or the lowest moral standing there is, they can partake in domain name investing, so you gotta be careful on what you jump into. You gotta find comparable sales, you gotta look at the data, look at the history of the domain, you gotta see if it’s blacklisted, see what sites used to be on it, see who owns it, how long ago they bought it, what they might’ve paid for it. I mean, you really gotta jump into all the data and metrics behind the domain you’re bidding on, otherwise you’re going in blind and that’s…Whether or not there’s any fraudulent activity on the name, that’s a silly thing to do in general, right?

You don’t know if there’s a UDRP on it right now, you don’t know if it’s completely blacklisted out of Google. You know, shill bidding happens everywhere on every auction, it’s not just NameJet, so everybody needs to step up as far as the marketplaces go in that regard. But as an investor, you gotta do your homework before you buy something, because that’s your hard-earned money, man. Otherwise you’re going to pick up a pitchfork too and start blaming everyone for your problems.

Michael: That was a witch-hunt that went down. You know, I give NamePros a lot of credit for being the place where somebody can bring up something like this, because if we didn’t have NamePros I’m not sure people could’ve discussed it and we could’ve found that there was an issue. Because clearly there was shill bidding going on, and NameJet has blocked those people — NameJet said that there was shill bidding. I don’t know what accounts were actually blocked. Shane, regardless of whether accounts are blocked or not, one of the reasons I love to have your perspective is that I don’t wanna put words in your mouth, but tell me if you agree with this.

I don’t care if people are shill bidding or not, I understand the value of a domain name at wholesale value, and if I can get it at a good price, I’m willing to buy it. Would you agree with that or not? Clearly, shill bidding is wrong, but you get my point that you’re only bidding based on the value of the domain name, regardless of…

Shane: Yeah, and…

Michael: …what’s going?

Shane: …that’s the point that people who were shill bidding make. Where they say, “Hey, I’m only putting a bid up to…right before the reserve. So I’m not going to win the auction, and the people thta are making the next bid have a choice whether or not they wanna pay more. So they’re making a conscious choice to be the next bid, so I’m not affecting their choice.” And that’s where, five months ago I was calling bullshit, it’s an unnatural process. This industry’s still a lot cleaner than the stock market. I was part of the stock market, and I watch how that goes down, and that is some…

Michael: I’m glad you…

Shane: …You talk about…

Michael: …brought that up…

Shane: …getting taken.

Michael: …because almost every industry has these kinds of issues. This is not only a domain name industry issue going on.

Shane: It’s 1,000 times cleaner than the stock market. You’re getting fleeced every time you put in stock market. You’re getting taken by computers and you’re being moved left and right. But on the stock market…I mean, on the domain industry, I was a big part of the thread. I mean, that’s the only thing that upset me is to be…is a person that looks at these lists every single day — that’s what I do as part of this industry, is I build this list of names — I saw it happening, and I brought it to the attention, and they acknowledge it and said they’re working on it. But until the whole industry came about and said, “This is ridiculous,” then things happened. And I’m not gonna lie, I feel a little spited that I said all these things before, and I was dismissed.

And that bothers me — it bothers me a lot. But it doesn’t change how a bid. I love NameJet, I think they’re a great company, I love the people that work with it — Jonathan, Laurie, have been fantastic, and I think the world of’em — but they have a job to do. They have a real job to do, and it’s an important job to do, and if someone that they trust calls and says something’s happening, don’t dismiss that again. Don’t ever dismiss that. Because I mentioned it three months ago is, “If you do this wrong, not only would you lose your job, but NameJet could conceivably tumble.” And those are the words that I said before. And I think that they do care, and I do think that they don’t want shill bidding. But it doesn’t matter if just shill bidding, unnatural bids are bad for our industry, even if you’re setting up the next play, even if you’re…And I’ll say this last thing.

I think the biggest reason why this happened is the technology and the code on NameJet is archaic, and they don’t have the systems to go back there and do the checking that they need to. Michael Sumner and Travis, that work for me, have much better understanding of what’s going on in the backend to NameJet, than NameJet themselves. Michael in — I can’t say how long it took’em — but in an hour, had much more data and information than NameJet, I bet, had themselves. So that is the most important thing they can do is, build the code to check everything and deal with checks and balances. Third-party’s important, but at least have some information in front of’em. So, that’s what I think. I think nothing but positive comes out of this, I think people should feel safe, but when it all comes down to it, you should look at a name and decide, should I pay that price at this point in time? That’s really what it comes down to.

Michael: Yeah, definitely. Shill bidding is wrong, I’m glad NameJet is looking into it. I look forward to seeing them continue to develop their shill bidding spotlight, their filters to be able to do that. Big kudos to your partner at NameBio, Adam — Michael Sumner — who was able to bring data to this witch-hunt that happened over there, and to help affect that change. So I look forward to continuing to see NameJet improve the way they protect us as investors, people that are buying domains. Today’s show is sponsored by six awesome domain name industry providers that I’m gonna tell you about later on during the show, they include, Estibot,, David Weslow legal services, domainIQ,, and DNAcademy.

But before I tell you about them, we’re gonna start off with a segment called, What’s New, Sherpas? Where the Sherpas share one purchase or sale that they’ve made over the past few weeks, and we get to learn what they paid or received for the domain, why they thought it was a good deal, how many hyphens it may have had, how the negotiations progressed. I’m gonna lead you through the questions, Adam, and the other Sherpas will get to comment during the process as well. This segment will go Ali, then Shane, then Adam…Oh, I’m sorry, Ali, then Adam, then Shane. Ali, what’s one domain name that you personally bought or sold in the past couple of weeks? Tell us the domain name first, and not the price.

Ali: Okay, let’s see, I completely overpaid for this one.

Michael: Dude, you’re not supposed to start by saying that.

Ali: Well, here we are,

Michael: I’m sorry, say that one more time.

Ali: [inaudible 00:13:31]

Michael: I didn’t get the first letter, I’m sorry.

Ali: P.

Michael: P. P-O…

Shane: As “P,” as in “PAUL.”

Michael: …V-G. Okay…

Ali: P-O-V…

Michael: …

Ali: There it is, yep.

Michael: Shane, what do you think Ali paid for

Shane: So it’s Point of View Games, nondoubtedly, that says…

Michael: POV is point of view, right.

Shane: Yeah, and since he’s…we’re not talking porn here, we’re talking gaming…

Michael: It could be Porn of View.

Ali: It could be Point of View Girls too.

Shane: No, that’s true too, I didn’t even…hey. I don’t know if there’s money in there but there’s lots of content. Well, I know he likes those names and I know price is not so much of an issue when it…

Michael: He’s a little price…

Shane: …comes down to that.

Michael: …insensitive sometimes, yeah. When he likes a domain.

Shane: I will say $6500.

Michael: Wow. All right, $6500. Adam, what do you think Ali paid for

Adam: Ali, didn’t you just buy a name a couple weeks ago? I think I watched this show, where you bought something pretty high.

Michael: It was, like, V-R-G-D.

Ali: V-R-G-F.

Michael: Oh, V-R-G-F, yeah.

Adam: Of course, you’re on a similar thread here, I guess. I can’t remember what you paid for that one, but I’m gonna say…Shane, you said $10,000?

Michael: Sixty-five hundred.

Adam: Sixty-five. And he said he spent a lot, I’m going to say $10,000.

Michael: Ten thousand. All right.

Adam: Yeah, I don’t…

Ali: [inaudible 00:14:54]

Michael: Wow, all right.

Ali: I feel so much better now.

Michael: I know, right, Ali?

Michael: What’d you pay?

Ali: I feel so…

Adam: Well, he said…

Ali: …much better.

Adam: …he went high, so I went high.

Ali: I mean, I overpaid for it, yeah. Jeez. So funny thing is, the person I bought it, he paid, like, $250 bucks for it not too long ago. Maybe a month or something, two months, if I remember correctly. And he put it up on NamePros, and he had a $1500 Buy It Now, and somebody bid $250…or no, somebody bid $100, I bid $250, somebody bid $500, and I was just, like, “Forget it, I want this name, it’s $1500 bucks.” So technically overpaid for it based on the letters and what it had been selling for, it had been passed on for $250 bucks quite a few times, so… But now I feel so much better.

Michael: Yeah, right? Yeah, when these guys are shooting high. Fifteen hundred dollars, Buy It Now. Hey, lemme ask all three of you guys, because it’s a question that I have, I do not invest in short letters, short numbers, which are one of the…which is the primary shill bidding issue that we are facing at NameJet. They’re all, 90%, 95%, short types of liquid domain names. Now this one has the POV, the point of view, which makes it more of a brand potentially, but it’s a short name as well. Does that whole shill bidding issue and the fact that a lot of those domain names might have had unnatural bidding, in your words Shane, does that affect the pricing that we’ve seen over the past year of these shorter domain names — four letters, three letters — in your opinion? What do you think, Shane?

Shane: I think that it can, and that will always be the case, especially with a big portfolio order…owner, but I don’t think it affects it in the way you think it is. I think there are…is support of the lower end and middle…I know for a fact people that own $10,000 4-letter dotcoms will come in and buy the lowest at $200, $250 to bring it up, and maybe some middle. They’re not going…I shouldn’t say that’s not true it all. They’re going to buy some names to keep the price support up there, they’re not gonna let it drop too much. That’s how markets work, people support markets — I have no problem with that. If they wanna come and buy as many names as they want to support and prop the market, that’s not unnatural, that’s how all markets work.

Now shill bidding, that’s…I think it really comes down to is, who was the portfolio owner? As to what types of names. It had nothing to do with these names are worth less or more, it just so happens the person specialized in four-letter, people don’t know the value. I think that’s a lot [inaudible 00:17:34]. So I don’t think the prices are unnaturally high, I don’t mind if people crush’em. You know, the smart thing for me to say was, “These names are worth nothing,” because I actually like’em and I want the prices to go down, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Michael: Well that’s an interesting perspective, and I don’t have as much background in the stock market that you do, but I know that there are people that will buy if short or single-word .ios that are great brands are for sale, they’ll pick’em up at a base price. And these emoji domain names, which we talked about a little bit on the show a while ago, there is a support level for those as well, where people will just pick’em up. So that’s not unnatural, in your opinion. That’s just the market…

Shane: That part…

Michael: …being the market.

Shane: …is not. What’s unnatural is when we had, like, a one-letter, two-letter, three-letter .biz, that I think Michael Sumner or somebody…no, Raymond picked up on saying, “Hey, these things went for $50,000,” and they got put back in the same account that they were originally at, and it was all a fake auction. But it drove, for the next three weeks, that everybody said, “Look at these short .biz now are worth $20,000,” and that drove price up. That’s a totally different issue. But just general propping is…

Michael: Cool…

Shane: …not a problem.

Michael: …thanks for that, Shane. So, Ali, you bought it for POV being point of view?

Ali: Yeah, absolutely. Immediately when I saw it I thought Point of View Gaming, Point of View Girls. I mean, VG is also video games, visual graphics, PO is Portland, Pacific Ocean. I mean, there’s so many different potential acronym plays you can make on it, that somebody eventually will pay what I’m asking for it.

Michael: Awesome. And so, $1500 bucks, what kind of…is the wholesale price, basically. What kind of retail price would you expect if you’re gonna hold it?

Ali: I’ve got it tagged at 88 grand.

Michael: Wow.

Ali: And I’m just going to leave it up. Just sit there until somebody comes and either buys it now or makes a close enough offer. Yep.

Michael: Awesome. Do you just go into NamePros on a regular basis and look at the Buy It Now marketplace…

Ali: Dude, I look…

Michael: …or do you…

Ali: …at everything, everywhere…

Michael: Everywhere.

Ali: …all the time. I mean, from expired domains .net, to the auction houses, to NamePros. I mean, I’m always looking for some one…like, a similar name like this, that comes up, that’s priced well and I know I can sell, and I just pick it up, man.

Michael: Cool. But NamePros doesn’t have an interface, right? It’s just a discussion forum.

Ali: Yeah, I know.

Michael: So I know that DSAD will often put their…they’ll look for the gems in there, but they may not have seen POV being point of view, or Portland, or whatever. You know, all the different options. So you just go in there on a regular basis and check it out.

Ali: Yeah, so with this one, I went into ‘domain names for sale,’ then ‘liquid domains,’ and I sorted it by date to see if I can catch something before somebody else does, and it shows the most…the newest listed auctions, and this was fairly new.

Michael: Cool.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: All right, congrats, Ali.

Ali: Thanks.

Michael: Adam, let’s go to you. What’s one domain name that you bought and sold in the past few weeks? Tell us the domain name, and not the price yet.

Adam: Okay, P-O-V. No, I was just kidding. No hyphens this time around. Yeah, I think the hyphen market, I think I under…

Shane: Squandered [inaudible 00:20:49]

Adam: …actually inflated the hyphen market.

Michael: You went out at the top.

Adam: Yeah, I got out when it was good. I did actually have an offer on…a follow-up hyphen offer on the…I sold modelplanes…model-planes, and I got an offer on model-cars. And it turns out it’s the same guy, so…

Michael: Oh, yeah? That’s awesome.

Adam: No, I sold easyangle. So E-A-S-Y-A-N-G-L-E,

Michael: Ali, what do you think Adam sold for?

Ali: Man…

Michael: Easyangle.

Ali: …easyangle. That’s a tough one, man. And I don’t know your selling habits as well as I know these other guys, so I’m gonna go…I would probably price it at $4800 bucks myself and just wait for a Buy It Now. So that’s my guess, $4800 bucks.

Michael: Okay, Shane, what do you even think easyangle could be?

Shane: It could be any kinda…it could be a paintbrush to help’em paint a corner or something. But I also know Adam, because he loves to play these high/low games. One day he’ll sell for $12, the next one’ll be $212. He has no problem doing that at all, so I’m actually going to lower it because I think he’s playing the low game today, so I’m going to say $2,000.

Michael: Two thousand dollars. Adam, what did you sell for?

Adam: Well, to go back to Shane’s point, I don’t generally sell names that cheap, but this one I got $8500 for it.

Michael: Eighty-five hundred.

Ali: Nice.

Shane: Wow, that’s very good.

Ali: Yeah.

Michael: All right, so let’s back up. What would make you think that easyangle is a good brand for a dotcom domain name?

Adam: You know, I was just trying to do the history on this to see where I was when I bought it, and what I was smoking, but it doesn’t…And I’m not picking anything up, I think I did get it on a drop. But yeah, like Shane said, I think there’s a lot of difference…’Easy’ is a great starter for a brand, and it has a connotation that’s positive, obviously. And ‘angle’ could be just about anything, like a paintbrush or some sort of coursework or something that helps you get an angle on something. I don’t know. I mean, it’s empty vessel enough that you could apply it to just about…not just about, but a variety of things, so…

Shane: And those are the best names.

Adam: Shane you wrote something on…his blog the other day about two-word names and how some of these are experiencing some difficulty, but I think — and I know that he’ll probably back me up on this — but I think the two-word brand like this still has…

Shane: Absolutely.

Adam: …a lot of opportunity. And I think you had Logan Flatt on the other day, and I caught that interview, and smartmonday, I think, or smartmondays. What did he sell, the Monday or Mondays?

Michael: Monday.

Adam: Okay, so I’d looked at Mondays and it was available, so I thought somebody’s missing out on a potential opportunity there as well.

Michael: So you picked it up, then?

Adam: No, I did not pick it up, so somebody watching now will probably go buy it. Shane or someone.

Shane: [inaudible 00:24:12] you guys [inaudible 00:24:12].

Adam: Sombody’s [inaudible 00:24:13].

Shane: Nobody’s been watching it for a couple days — own’er.

Michael: So, I just typed it into Google, and there are 4 million results for easyangle. Most of’em are different types of rulers, or frames, or things like that, so it’s a great brand. It’s almost like the descriptor for some noun. Yeah.

Shane: Yeah.

Adam: And I think the company is a European company. I don’t know. I didn’t sign an NDA or anything, I don’t think, hopefully, but they do some sorta measurement type stuff, and I think it’s a medical product of some sort, but they…

Michael: Was it on a landing page on your website? Did you use a landing page from Uniregistry or Sedo? Was it a marketplace listing?

Adam: Yeah…

Michael: How did it come in?

Adam: …I think it was, I had my own landing pages and…but it was part…and I think there was a Buy It Now…or not a Buy It Now, but a Contact Us page and the company was using a intermediary. Like a European version of Evergreen, I guess. [inaudible 00:25:16] Evergreenism.

Shane: Whatever the hell that is.

Adam: Yeah, [inaudible 00:25:21]. But, you know, an acquisition company. So they came in with a pretty reasonable price point. Actually higher than I expected, so…

Michael: What was their original offer?

Adam: Actually, I don’t think they made an offer, I think they came at it like, “Hey, kinda we know who you are, and that your expectations are probably pretty high. We just wanna know where this particular name was.” So it’s a good way to start out a conversation with somebody who’s an experienced investor in domains and kinda open up that discussion that way. I think I may have shot the first price out, and they accepted, so…

Michael: Hmm, $8500 and they accepted.

Adam: Yeah, I think so.

Michael: Does that make you feel like you priced it too low?

Adam: No, I mean, I think in this particular case it could be anywhere. I mean, this could be a $50,000 domain or a $500 domain. This type of name, if it was in Mike Mann’s portfolio, the guy wouldn’t budge on $8500, no way, but an easy guy like me, you know… You know, this is one of those types of names that it’s kinda eye of the beholder, and I can sit and hold onto this name forever or I could take $8500 and go invest it in 4 more good domains. I’m not in a super fire sale type of mood right now, but I am considering offers more…and doing more negotiation than I have in previous years. I just, I don’t know, feeling old and wanting to take some money off the table, so I’ve been doing a lot of deals lately.

It was probably one of the busiest times of the year for me with sales lately, so that’s the one I picked, and I’ve got a bunch of others. And I actually had a portfolio in Numerex [SP] I just got rid of, and Shane did a little bit of help on promoting that. I don’t know if that…but that got me [inaudible 00:27:28].

Shane: Yeah, for financial reasons, he can’t say that I helped at all.

Adam: Yeah, exactly. Right, right. Yeah, exactly. You know, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries and offers from GoDaddy, a lot of stuff coming in through that channel, so I don’t know. I don’t know about anybody else but the summer’s been pretty good for me, and usually the summer’s pretty dry, so…

Michael: Yeah. Hey, one more question, when you sell a domain like this through your portfolio, does it…do you do a purchase sale agreement, or do you just use escrow? How do you typically handle it?

Adam: In this particular case, it was pretty easy-going, since they were a known entity and they purchased it with pretty open and honest approach, I just went with escrow and just…Yeah, we went with on this particular one.

Michael: Cool.

Adam: If I don’t know the entity, I’ll put together a sales agreement and send…shoot that over to him just to kinda…And sometimes it just kinda gives the buyer a little bit of reassurance as well, because, you know, you have a sales contract and it’s a piece of paper that they can feel a little bit more confident with. If it’s just, “Hey, click on this link and go to and drop 10-ish grand on something,” there’s a little bit of leeriness in a lot of buyers, so you just wanna ease that flow of the transaction. So it just depends on the situation. This particular one, they had it all handled on their end with their…Basically a buyer’s broker kind of streamlines that process, so it’s another reason to use a buyer’s broker. You know, it made this deal really, really easy for the company that bought it. They might not like the fact that they paid $8500 bucks, but it was a very quick transaction for them and they got the name they wanted, so…

Michael: Very cool. Congrats on that. Shane, let’s go to you. What’s one domain name that you’ve bought or sold in the past couple of weeks? Tell us the domain name, and not the price yet.

Shane: Well, I talked about it on my blog but I didn’t tell the price, and I don’t mind telling it, so I bought

Michael: Oh, nice. Yes, I read that — All right, let’s go over. Ali, what do you think Shane bought for?

Ali: That’s a good one, man. I’m gonna say, God, like, 12 grand.

Michael: Twelve grand.

Ali: Maybe 15.

Michael: All right, $12,000 to $15,000. Adam, what do you think Shane bought for?

Adam: Well I read that post. I think he would’ve gone higher, let’s just put it that way. That’s like, you know, what did I pay for [inaudible 00:30:08]?

Michael: Yeah, or That’s what I wanna know.

Adam: Yeah. …I’m going to go a little bit lower, I’m going to say $7500.

Michael: Seventy-five hundred. And if you haven’t gone over, I didn’t wanna explain what Shane wrote on the blog. If you haven’t gone over to his blog to read it, go type in site:dsad and you can read what… on Google, and it’ll pull up that one blog post where he talks about how he wants to get into public speaking, and how…and potentially writing, and how you need to put yourself out there. You need to be uncomfortable if you wanna grow as a person. So, Shane, having said that, this is your mantra for life. What did you pay for the number one brand in your lifelong journey?

Shane: Well, I’ve reached out to GoDaddy actually [inaudible 00:31:00] their NameFind portfolio. So I had reached out through Aaron Johnson, who was a writer for DSAD, at the time Domain Shane, and I said…so I’d given him some prices and he had told me, and I waited, waited. But long story short, we got it done for $9500.

Together: Nice.

Shane: Well, right in the middle of you two. And it’s one of those names exactly, like Adam said, that it’s a word I’ve used my whole life. It’s, that’s how you get better at something, is being uncomfortable. Your best moments in life, when you look back, are when you were a little nervous or a little scared and not in your happy place. Like I always said, I’ve been saying for 10 years, “If I ever write a book, it’ll be called “Uncomfortable,” and if I talk it’ll be uncomfortable.” And so I don’t really plan on reselling that at all, it’s gonna be what I go by. And people say it’s a negative word, and I don’t find it negative when you’re talking it…using it this way at all. And like I said, so I don’t mind sharing the price, and I think that was a fair…I thought $10,000 was a fair price, and Aaron giving me the friends and family discount through another $500 off that, so… A, Adam and I [inaudible 00:32:09] a little bit lately.

Adam: Was it priced at $10,000 or…

Shane: It was at $15,000, I think.

Adam: Oh, okay. Once you said NameFind, I was like, “Ohhh,” you know, because they…their prices are a little high sometimes, so…

Shane: Yeah. I bought through them, and you know, I’ve bought…I bought some bigger names. They’re there to sell names, and so if you’re in the five figures, even if it’s a lower end, they’ll move some names that I think are probably worth more. You know, your return’s not as good as if you get a $1,000 domain and sell it for $88,000, but there’s some good names. And I was going to use strong name, but…

Michael: It was a strong name. That was the portfolio that they acquired a year or two ago, right? GoDaddy acquired?

Shane: Yeah.

Michael: Is that right?

Shane: Adam may know. Yeah, do you know more about it? I don’t know when they got the portfolio.

Adam: The Marchex…

Shane: I just know there’s…

Adam: …portfolio?

Shane: …some good names in there.

Michael: The NameFind portfolio, was that the one that they bought about a year ago?

Adam: Yeah, that was Marchex’s portfolio.

Michael: Okay, yeah. So in a similar fashion to that, Shane, I picked up…

Shane: Through them?

Michael: …right after they did that acquisition. And I reached out through my…I think by GoDaddy rep as well. Yeah, [inaudible 00:33:23].

Shane: Yeah, they’ll sell. You reckon to lowball anything out, and like a car dealer, it’s good to be end of quarter, end of month, there’s always people trying to hit numbers, so I think there’s opportunity there. But they’re not really anything cheap, you’re not going to go pick up bargain…

Michael: It’s not…

Shane: …[inaudible 00:33:40].

Michael: …a fire sale. Yeah.

Shane: But, yeah, I mean, my botany was…I don’t remember what it was but it wasn’t much more than $10,000, and I know that got bought for $63,000 or somewhere around there, back in the day when it was a working website, by some guy. So, you know, there’s good names in there if you’re looking for’em.

Michael: Yeah. Well congrats on the acquisition, Shane. I can’t wait to see what you build out on that site.

Shane: You’ll say you need me when.

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Michael: All right, in the Domain Portfolio Review we take user-submitted domain name portfolios and provide honest and constructive feedback to the owners, so they can either cut their losses, continue to hold, or figure out a sales strategy going forward. Today’s portfolio was submitted by Stephen Wren [SP]. As part of Stephenson’s submission, he made a generous donation to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, to help us all find a cure for cancer. Stephen’s list of domain names starts with, and it ends with I don’t know why I spell it. I’m gonna bleep myself if I say it, but then, you know, I’m afraid that my kids are going to watch someday.

All right, so if you’re watching the show, this is the point where you should press the pause button on the show, review the domain names before you listen to what the Sherpas say. Like, come up with your own analysis on what you think the values are, what you think is worth keeping, what you think might be worth dropping. And then come back and listen to the rest of the show. This segment will go Adam, then Shane, then Ali. Adam, let’s start with you. At a high level, what’s your impression of the domain names in Stephen’s portfolio?

Adam: I’d say, you know, that we should thank him for his donation to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer thing, but you’d mentioned honest and constructive. Which would you like me to do first?

Michael: Let’s do the honest first, and then we’ll do the constructive after that.

Adam: Okay, honest — I think he needs to go back to the drawing board. I could probably give him some constructive feedback on what…for sure I could give some constructive feedback in where he’s kind of gone wrong, but these…this is what I would consider a very bad investment. And it looks like he’s trying, and he’s just missing the mark.

Michael: So he’s just off on the whole portfolio, and you would maybe just drop’em and restart.

Adam: Yeah. You know, that really the only one that kinda came out at me and I thought, “Well, maybe that’s something,” was canadianbourbon. And I’m not a big drinker, but apparently Canada isn’t allowed to call it bourbon, or there’s some kind of weird Canadian…Well Canadian whiskey, in general, I think is…from what I read, is its own beast, and so that there’s…There never will be a Canadian bourbon, so it’s kinda like, you know… So I thought maybe there was some opportunity there, but apparently not. So my constructive feedback, I think if this was a good friend of mine and they came to me with these, it looks like there is a lot of these ending with Z, there’s always an opportunity to kinda come up with a creative brand with a Z at the end.

In the domain space we had trafficz, and Mark Cuban [SP], one of the guys that’s been in the space for a number of years, brands himself with a Z at the end of his name. It can’t be all that bad. In these particular cases, though, they’re just kind of the wrong words. You know, — dotcom mighta been better. Casserolez with a Z — they’re not the key words that throwing a Z at the end would make sense or have the search volume or the use that a brand would want. I’ve sold a few with a Z at the end, but they tend to be a really popular noun that…Somebody’s never going to be able to buy, so hotel with a Z at the end might be a decent brand.

Michael: with a Z.

Adam: Yeah, cars. Car Z, yeah.

Michael: Something short, where you could just say, “It’s with a Z,” and people know…

Adam: Right. You know, I would tend to lean towards…and I have a few of these Z type names in my portfolio, so to…but I don’t expect them to sell very fast either. And I wouldn’t encourage anybody else to invest if they’re looking for quick sales and things like that, if they’re long-term holds. So I think that that brand angle that seems to be somewhere, or I’d say probably maybe 50% of the names are in that. I’ll leave a couple of the other maybe constructive things to the other Sherpas, but that’s kinda like…I’ll concentrate on the Z stuff and say that…You know, rezin with a Z, kinda…you know, it’s getting there, close, because if I can’t…I don’t know. Plural names with a Z, I would say would have to be something with extremely high search volume or something that is definitely a popular word, or I can’t think of…Dog with a Z.

But even dog has a search volume that’s high. But I can’t think of anything that doesn’t have a very high search volume that wouldn’t go well with a Z, but it works for a brand, probably not a…If I had cake with a Z in a dotcom, probably one of the better ones — he’s got the .net. I wouldn’t expect them to sell for much more than maybe five grand price range on those, maybe a little bit more if it’s a really, really high search volume noun, but yeah, so…

Michael: Okay, thanks for that input, Adam.

Adam: You bet.

Michael: Ali, let’s go to you. I’m going to assume that you feel the same way about the portfolio as Adam, so let’s just move on to the constructive criticism. Is there another tip that you would have for Stephen regarding his portfolio that would help him move from the current thought level of investing domains, to the next level?

Ali: Okay, so yeah, I think we’re all in agreement that he should just delete all these and let’em go. I see the way you’re trying to think, and I can appreciate it, but you’re taking the wrong path. What you’re doing is, you’re being the one trying to get creative and create something that you don’t even know if other people are gonna want. You know, if you look at it from a startup perspective, these people are getting series A fundings into the millions of dollars, man. They’re gonna hire a marketing team, they’re gonna hire a team to come up a good name for their company. What startup is gonna wanna be milkshakez with a Z? Who’s gonna wanna buy that? Like, nobody. There’s nobody out there who’s gonna specialize in selling milkshakez with a Z, and you’re never gonna sell it., different story. It’s a quirky brand, you can…you know, it’s kinda empty vesselish. I would stop buying domains and I would start researching brand psychology, I would start digging through every data point you can on every sale that’s ever been made. I mean, most of these are two-word dotcoms, so start looking at the types of companies that are buying two-word dotcoms and what they’re branding themselves as. You gotta think further into the future — and stay away from the trademarks. Jazzercise Inc., has, like, 25 trademarks for the word ‘Jazzercise,’ so you’re going to get hit with a UDRP on that. Just delete it and let it go. Names like chewticlez with a Z. I mean, even is a tough to sell, man.

Who’s going to buy that, let alone add a Z to it? Digitaltats — these aren’t brands, man. These aren’t empty vessels, these aren’t types of names that these companies are gonna wanna dedicate their life to promoting. They’re not gonna be proud to put on a T-shirt, they’re not gonna put it on their business cards. You have to think more from a marketing agency’s perspective, more from a brand perspective on what kind of product people are selling these days, and what they’re gonna wanna name it. For instance, easyangle — that’s an empty vessel brand. That’s why he got $8500 bucks for it because just about anyone from an architect, to a paintbrush dealer, to some quirky As Seen on TV product could use it. These are way too niche, way too specific, and even worse, they’re products that don’t make that much money and they’re not brands that you can sell.

And then on top of that, you add a Z to it, and you’re just throwing money down the drain. So yeah, do some data research. I mean, spend the next six months glued to researching data and what words are selling. Compile a list. Just get the copy of the zone file, man, and find out what words are happening the most frequently in the beginning of a two-word dotcom, what words are happening most frequently at the end of a two-word dotcom, and start putting together combinations like easyangle. Yeah, so just dump these, man. I mean, you’re not gonna even recoup your money. The best one would’ve been if it didn’t have a hyphen in it. You know, a lot of attraction stuff sells, somebody would’ve probably paid anywhere from $500 to $3500 for it long-term if it didn’t have the hyphen, but it does. Yeah, I don’t see anything else in there.

Michael: Thanks, Ali. Good input. Shane, any other tips that you have for Stephen regarding this portfolio, like specifically around the types of domains that he’s buying and how he could upgrade his thinking on those?

Shane: Yeah, I mean the easiest way to lose one in our industry is to be one-offs. To take some name that’s a good name and figure out a little past tense form of it, or add a Z instead of an S, or hyphen. That’s the easiest way to lose money because it’s so close, and so close doesn’t work very well in our industry. Adam hit it right on the head, if you’re gonna use a Z — and I think Z is fine, I think it is cool — but it’s gotta be a major word. with a Z — that’s a cool one. I can see wedding cake person being called all day with a Z, but throw in .net and you’ve one-offed it way down there. So, yeah, I agree with these guys, both of’em, I see what he’s trying to do.

I think it’s okay for someone to take something and come up with some strategy and attack it. Like we talked about a guy doing autonomous something. He went and got autonomous everything. If he’s right, he’s gonna be great, if he’s right in the space, he’s gonna be fine –but sometimes you get’em all wrong. And in this case, I think this strategy just doesn’t work very well, and yeah, I see…But there’s a strategy. That’s one better than what we had last week, where it looked like they just took a bag of marbles and threw it out onto the driveway and tried to see which one rolled in the drain. I think he does need to start over, I don’t think that was a good attempt, and I know he can do better. And Josh will write him a 42-page letter on how he…

Michael: Yeah, he will.

Shane: …can do better, and what names he can find in 2.7 minutes, but better than this.

Adam: Josh did a really good job on commenting on your blog.

Shane: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah, he did.

Adam: Yeah, I mean, he did a really good job of summing it up. I just did a really quick lookup on NameBio just to see how many Z ending names have sold recently. There has been two — two that are a word and a Z at the end. Truker with a Z, which I think is kind of a…makes sense. It’s probably a high search volume, I’m just going to guess, but that one seems good to me, and I think…I don’t look at the prices, I assumed that it’s a couple thousand. Headshot with a Z as well. You know, both of those, you’re probably going to spend 25 grand to buy headshot, or possibly more, depending on who owns it. And headshotz, probably another five-figure name, but with a Z, you could start a brand under that, I think.

Michael: Totally. I couldn’t think of any domains that would be good tacking on a Z, but that’s a nice brandable, where it’s a singular that you’re making into a plural, and if you’re a photographer and you do headshots, you do senior photos, you do things like corporate headshots…

Man: [inaudible 00:46:51]

Michael: …yeah, that could be a great brand.

Ali: Well that’s even a videogame term too, man, headshot. That’s huge in video games, man. So it’s a quirky brand you could get a few grand for, at least.

Adam: Right, right.

Ali: Yeah.

Shane: But that works, and maybe he was trying to head that way but he just [inaudible 00:47:07].

Michael: Yeah, exactly. You know, a lot of times, we sort of head that way and we just don’t quite get there. And so, coming up with examples is a great way to see how you just fell short. And so, yeah, that’s for bringing that up, Adam. I appreciate that.

Adam: Sure.

Shane: Obviously they don’t have a wife or a kid sitting in the back and I yell out names through a list. I mean, I don’t know if anybody else does that, I’ll just say…

Ali: I do, yeah.

Shane: …”This,” and she’ll go, “That makes no sense.” Like, “What are you talking about?! This is this.” And then I go, “Well, shoot, if I’m having to explain it, then I’m in that certain category.” So it’s good to bounce somebody off, especially live, when you’re just calling’em out. And I guarantee if you would’ve said, “Rezins,” my wife would’ve said, “Move on, no. No good.”

Michael: Yeah, and you know, I like my .ios. I just did a Q&A with Mike Carson over at the blog on, which I bought and sold within 45 days for 200% profit. And just, again, it falls short. If it were a singular, some developer may wanna buy it and may pay $1,000 bucks to have some cool clock app that he wants to…he or she wants to get out there, but clocks is typically a…you know, it’s a plural, so you’re gonna sell those, maybe, or somehow…It’s not a SaaS application, a product or service that a new entrepreneur is going to sell to another entrepreneurial type company. It just doesn’t fit. So in that case I would say the Estibot value of $13,000 is way off — never gonna get $13,000 for it — and I don’t like the plural.

Adam: If it’s clock, you know, it’s like, he’s got Z names and then he’s got an io name with a plural. You could start looking at all the parts and pieces that, if he had taken clock and it was .io, then we all would say, “That’s a pretty good name.” If it was clock with a Z dotcom — you know, not too bad. If it was, the best, as it would be a product sell name, would be more of a brand name, would work. If you start adding more than one negative to that potential brand, then you’re just kinda…like, Shane said, you’re just taking a little twist off of it, and it’s just…then it’s done.

Shane: Yeah, someone emailed me to buy for, like, $2000 grand, and they’re $2800 or something, and I thought, well, I own blowtorch, but blowtorch…I’m not selling blowtorches, that’s not my endgame, that’s a totally…Just two words and making it plural, or just making it plural changes the whole dynamic of what that is. Huge. They’re going, “Well, it’s just more of the same thing.” No, that’s not what we do.

Michael: Yeah, exactly. And back to your point, Adam. I think you nailed it on the example, because it’s .io, which already takes off one point for it, and then you make it a plural, it takes off two points. So it’s just too many things, you could only really have one negative, and the .io, let’s be honest, is a negative. Even though has some value, it’s not…never going to be worth more than $10,000, $20,000 on the best, highest and use kit…best and highest use case scenario. So, good input, guys. I really appreciate you looking through that and thinking through how Stephen could take his thinking to the next level on that.

Stephen, we hope this portfolio review has been helpful to you in your domain investing activities going forward, and thank you again for making your donation to cancer research. Before we jump into the domains going to auction soon, I’m gonna tell you about three of our other sponsors that support us in our educational mission.

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Michael: We’re going to move on to the marketplace list. This segment is sponsored by NameJet. We’ll be reviewing, I think 12 no reserve…Except for one. It’s 11 no reserve domain names going to auction soon, plus 1 with a reserve that I wanna get you guys’ opinion on. If you like one of the names below, click through soon, because once they go to auction, you lose your chance to put in a minimum bid and even just watch the results. The link’s below, go directly to They’re not commissionable links, they just wanna see what kind of traffic we’re sending them. For transparency reasons I always ask if any of the names listed below are being brokered or sold by you guys?

Ali: No.

Michael: Okay.

Adam: No.

Michael: All right.

Shane: I was going to make a joke about my friends bidding on’em, but… That was too easy.

Ali: Too soon, too soon, yeah.

Shane: [inaudible 00:52:47]

Michael: Too soon. All right, this segment we’ll start with Shane, then we’ll go Ali and Adam. Shane, from an investment perspective, what do you like on the NameJet list, and why?

Shane: Well it’s kinda like, they’re better than what we just went through, so I think that that’s…Nothing here makes me excited. You know, there’s been a couple names we’ve had on there where I go, “Aw, man, why’d you put that on there?” because that’s certainly a name that I’m gonna go after later.

Michael: Yeah, totally.

Shane: But there are a couple in there that I…one that I like, one that I…man. Anyway, so the one I like, I think soundtech is a good name. I mean, I think it sounds like a 1992 name. It’s like an old Alpine stereo. A place that you took your…you know, your car in the ’80s to get an Alpine stereo put in? “Yeah, man, I’m taking it to Soundtech, they’re the best around.” But that’s good sometimes. You want it to sound like an older company, that you’re experienced in what you do. I do like that one a lot, I think that that is gonna be an upgrade name for someone down the road. I use that…

Michael: So this is a…

Shane: …word all the time.

Michael: …segment where we’re looking to give advice to newer investors. So what you’re saying is that, that might be a good investment for a newer investor, if he can get it at the right price, right?

Shane: Yeah, I mean, and that’s where I think we’re at, these names with no reserve doesn’t always mean they’re going to be lower-priced sometimes. It means people just know it’s going to do well and they don’t even have to worry about putting in their reserve. And in this case I think that most of the names there just, whatever I get, I get, and I’ll take it home. Or it could be expired, I guess, but…

Michael: So if he did pick up soundtech, what would you price it at retail, and then what would you try and buy it at wholesale?

Shane: For soundtech, I’d like to be under $500 for a name like that. Again, I get these wrong all the time. Names that I think are going to be expensive, they go for nothing and vice versa, where I think I’m gonna go in and pick it up for $200, and at $2700 it’s sitting there. I mean, it’s a great name so I’d like to be under $500 but I’d probably guess it’ll be in the $700 to $1200 range.

Michael: And what would you price it at if you owned it?

Shane: For me, that’s a five-figure name. I’d put it out there because I think it’s a good…Any good strong tech name is got some money behind it, so I’m at $10,000, $12,000, $15,000 — somewhere in that range, depending on what I bought it for. But if I’m going to get under $1000, I’ll be…[inaudible 00:55:16] I can deal with. I know Drew talks about these high. I’m a little bit different, I don’t mind moving…But you’ll notice I haven’t said any sales lately on here, because I get a $1,000 offer every day on tons of names and I just…I don’t need to sell names for $1,000 right now, I have plenty of other things. So…

Michael: Sure.

Shane: …go back to the list, though. You know, incest — that’s a tough word, man. I think that’s hot thing. I was looking at, for domain purposes only, the top 10 search words in different countries for PornHub or one of those guys. So they had a list of the top 10 words, they were using a search for 30 different countries, and it was very interesting to see how different it was for different countries — but the incest, way up there. And I’m thinking, what’s going on with that? I mean, is it the “Joe Dirt,” “You’re my sister, you’re my sister.” Is that that big…

Michael: I don’t know.

Shane: …a deal?

Michael: I saw it on the list and I’m like, “I’ve gotta these guys’ opinion on this no reserve.” The bid was at $90, it’s got an $834,000 Estibot retail appraised value. Like, going to buy incest? What are you going to do with it?

Shane: It’s a porn search term, it is huge in porn. So that’s not my cup of tea, so I’m going to stay away from it, but I see… I bet you it goes for more than you think, and I guarantee, in a year when you look it up, I know it’s on that. So Adam, you can tell me when you find out what’s going on in that name. That Where Are They Now? segment right there. I know English spell stuff different, I don’t…I will say centrefun — I’m not really into the ones that throw the extra E or the English spelling on it, I think it limits the market. I’m sure there is a market that I’ve never done well, I’ve never sold anything of English spelling, so I stay away from that.

My favorite name’s definitely hybridbike. I think electric bike, hybrid bikes, cyclocross bikes are a big market right now, it’s changing…You know, I came from Colorado so I get to see all that, but the cyclocross and the hybrid and the electric bike are huge right now. I see these guys going up the hills with just a tiny little pack, they’re barely peddling, going straight up a mountain, I’m thinking, man, people in Colorado are fit. Nah, they got electric bikes, they got hybrid bikes that they’re peddling and [inaudible 00:57:35]. I don’t know why you threw that one in there, I don’t know how…

Michael: I threw that one in there because I thought it was a reasonable reserve, $1,001 to $2500. So assuming the reserve is $2500 and it meets reserve, do you think that that is a good investment opportunity for a newer investor?

Shane: I think that it’s not going to be purchased by a company, I think it is going to be a site that has to…I do think it’s gonna have to be a build out that discusses and sells in lead gen for the bike market. Maybe someone that’s in that industry, but I don’t see a lot…I don’t think it’s a strong enough term to set up a whole website, I think it’s gonna be, like, bananabikes or something. You know, that’s the other thing. People don’t realize, if you have a very descriptive product and it’s short, it’s really easy to throw in the name. So if you’re mongoose, and you can’t afford mongoose, they’ll buy mongoosebike, because bike’s not real hard to remember and it’s really to stick at the end.

So hybridbike, I think that that’s a fair price but I think…unfortunately to me I think that’s more of a build out type name, and you could do a hell of a job with that because it’s such a big market. Whether a company’s gonna buy it, I don’t know if that’s a category killer. I think that it’s a build out on that.

Michael: All right, cool.

Shane: I’ll leave it at that and let these other guys have some names to pick through.

Michael: Thanks, Shane. Ali, let’s go over to you. I wanna first ask you about hybridbike before I get your impression about what domains you like. Do you agree with Shane that no company would ever want a generic term like and might use it in their marketing materials, or things like that?

Ali: I wouldn’t say no company, somebody might, but he’s right, man. I mean, I did a consult yesterday and we talked about this very exact thing, is companies are looking for brands, where exact match…two-word exact match domains are kind of dying off a little bit. They’re looking more for brands. So if it was, like, hybridia or something like that, it makes it more of an empty vessel, I’m not saying that’s a good name, but if it was more something along those lines, I could see any kind of hybrid bike company kinda leaning towards it. I mean, look at Oculus. What does that word even mean, right? I don’t even know.

But they’re one of the biggest VR headsets out there, so they’re using more brands. But then you can get into one-word dotcoms, and that’s a whole different world, but with these two-worders, it’s a brand, it’s something they have to remember, it’s quirky, it’s colorful. Yeah, the exact matches are kind of dying off, but needless to say, I own some myself, so…

Michael: All right, so what do you like on the NameJet list, and why?

Ali: That’s a tough one. Starcross I kind of like, but I’m biased with the star names. Vapeguide is decent, if you’re a developer who’s into vaping. That exact match domain, it could lead to some SEO benefits for click-through rates if you could rank it and provide high-quality guides on vaping. I mean, even here in Hawaii, man, people are big into vaping, so…

Michael: So let me back up for a second. So if investors are watching, I’m going to assume that 99% of’em aren’t developers, so from an investment perspective, if you bought, you are…Are you saying that you would only likely be able to sell it to a developer? And would the developer not pay full retail price for it?

Ali: Yeah, you probably wouldn’t get much out of it, so as a domain investment alone, I wouldn’t touch it. But if you have your wits about you as far as development, content curation, and SEO and marketing, stuff like that, you could turn it into a profit-generating or revenue-generating website. You know, if I was gonna do that I wouldn’t even…I wouldn’t pay more than $350 bucks for it, it would just be a side project that I would outsource. As far as domains only, beyondink — again, biased, because I’m covered in tattoos — but as an investment alone, I don’t like it. Wholerealty is decent, but in my experience, kind of mom-and-pop and independent realties don’t like paying that much for domains.

And then of course the elephant in the room and its sister, It’s a high-value domain, man. Whether or not it’s a shitty word and whatever it means, I mean the adult industry doesn’t care. It’s got high traffic, I’m assuming high search volume, decent CPC — I mean, this is without looking at the stats — and you could sell it likely for six-figures one day if you bought it for a right price. Now, do you wanna sit on that domain? That’s up to you. I’m watching that auction just to see if I can get into the adult domain world cheap and just cash out on it, whether or not my beliefs are it…there or not. Let’s see, writingpros. Again, it’s a little too generic for me. I mean, it’s more on the brandable line of it. But yeah, there’s…

Michael: Okay, let me ask you…

Ali: …nothing really in there.

Michael: …about starcross, Ali. If you owned that, what would you price it at from a retail perspective?

Ali: Starcross, $2400 to $3800 tops. I mean at best, I mean it would be $1495 to $2400 [inaudible 01:03:07].

Michael: Somewhere in that order of magnitude, so then…

Ali: Yeah, yeah, so I’d try to get it for $100 bucks, $150 bucks, man, and just put a Buy It Now up and forget about it.

Michael: Yeah.

Ali: Yep.

Michael: Okay, awesome. Thanks, Ali. Let’s go to you, Adam. Any final thoughts on this portfolio? Any domains that these guys missed that you think are winners, or these guys mentioned that you have experience with and you don’t think are winners?

Adam: There was no hyphens in there, so I was little disappointed.

Michael: I know, sorry.

Adam: I want to come back to hybridbike because I’ve got some insight on that, but malepad, popdata, popngo, soundtech, writingpros — a lot of these are these 2-word brands that, if you can get’em for $100 bucks or low price, these are the type of easyangle names, you know? Some of’em are a little…like popngo has a little bit…it has some negatives, you know. It’s the N, it’s not popandgo — which some would say is probably not as good because it’s longer. Starcross is another one. I’m not big on things like vapeguide, I could see what Ali was saying about building a site on those, but I wouldn’t…I don’t steer towards those, I steered more towards the brands when I’m buying for a cheap price like these are at right now.

And then, yeah, probably list them for a couple grand or more, or not list them and wait for somebody to come to me. And that’s kinda where I’m at. Checkplus is actually…I think I have a name that’s kinda similar to checkplus and Im probably tipping my hand here, but I’ll probably bid on that one, just because I think there may be something else related to that, or something is clicking in my mind that has some positive connotations and might have some extra traffic on that name. Beyondink is the same way. Centrefun — the reasons Shane didn’t like it would be the same reason I don’t like it. It’s the weird spelling. Wholerealty I like, but like Ali said, I’m right in line with him — real estate agents don’t like to spend money on domain names.

They like to put their big face on a billboard and back of a bus or whatever. And then hybridbike. I actually own a few bike-related domains. Plural, which I think hybridbikes would be my choice over hybridbike. The reserve is at a reasonable price, but in my experience of trying to…actually doing some outbound with…I own BMX bikes, and in doing some outbound with BMX bikes, it’s proven to be a difficult market to crack. So I’m probably not doing NameJet at any favors, but hybrid bikes, you know, they’re kind of up-and-coming or newer thing. You know, they’re three grand for a new bike, so if you could buy this and develop a website there, and sell a couple of’em, and make some commissions, great, but I would not…Through my experience, that getting ahold of Trek or getting ahold of these other companies…Trek actually bought recently.

I think you’ll have a hard time convincing them of something outside of their brand experience, so…Unless there are some companies that have dedicated CMOs that get the value of a generic that’s dedicated to their…You know, it’s a product line of their brand, and they build around that. I mean, we’ve seen that with Fortune 500 companies, but the bike manufacturers aren’t Fortune 500 companies in a lot of cases, and so they’re going to stick with their brands and what they know best. So I think that one will be difficult, but I really could see…I don’t know who said it, but somebody said something about developing that one out and using that as a review site or some…

Michael: Yeah, [inaudible 01:07:10].

Adam: Yeah, I think that’s a really good use of that name. I could see that working out [inaudible 01:07:14].

Michael: And especially if you’re into hybrid bikes. Like, you’ve owned a couple, you wanna continue doing it, this could be a great way to maybe write-off an expense that you’re using towards a business, or what have you.

Adam: Totally. Yeah, like if I was into BMX bikes, I’d keep it. I sold my Haro a few years back and…No, I’m just kidding. But yeah, so I mean, if you’re into something, that’s the best opportunity is to…you combine your interests with your…your passion with your business, and it makes your business all the more easier. You get excited about going and doing your work, so…

Michael: Yeah, totally.

Adam: …that’s a good thing for somebody, so…

Michael: Yeah, awesome. Thanks, Adam and guys for that input on the NameJet auction. Some of’em coming to auction over the next week. We’re at the end of today’s show, I’d like to give the Sherpas an opportunity to share anything they want about names they’re brokering, opportunities they’re looking for, anyone they wanna give a shout out to. Let’s just go in order from left to right and start with Adam. What’s new, Adam?

Adam: Oh. I’m the right on my computer, but…

Michael: Oh, you’re on the left on mine.

Adam: Yeah, I don’t have a whole lot to talk about. I was just talking to Michael — you know, you had mentioned Mike, you guys mentioned The Machine — I call Michael The Machine.

Michael: That is a good name for him.

Adam: Have you seen the comedian that does The Machine? Google ‘comedian and the machine’ — it’s a hilarious story about somebody in Russia. But we’re actually coming on about 950,000 questions have been played on the NameBio game, and so we’re kinda coming towards the 1 million questions played mark.

Michael: Wow.

Adam: I don’t know, I kind of stopped playing myself, I kinda got a little bit…you know, it’s like with any app, you kinda get bored with it. But I think we’re going to be doing a promotion, Michael and I are still talking about it, but there might be a giveaway for the 1 millionth question, right? I guess.

Shane: A million dollars.

Adam: Yeah, a million dollars. [inaudible 01:09:06]…

Shane: What you need to go get…

Adam: …but I don’t know.

Shane: …an insurance policy. Get [inaudible 01:09:08] policy….

Michael: Exactly.

Shane: …[inaudible 01:09:10]

Adam: [inaudible 01:09:10] questions right.

Michael: And if the 1 millionth question is wrong, then you don’t have to pay out anything.

Adam: Right, exactly, that’d be awesome. But, you know, we’re still cranking away on that and we’re bringing in…All that data that Michael used for the whole NameJet thing, we’re still cranking in the data and building up NamedBio, so that’s going well. And I don’t really have a whole lot to promote other than that, so I’m always buying and selling, so I don’t know, [inaudible 01:09:41].

Michael: What are you looking for? What are you looking to buy?

Adam: Brands, I guess. I’m closing on one today that was a brand, it’s not a single-word but I’m still single-word…one-word dotcoms. I don’t know if I’ve promoted one-word dotcom on here, but we’re doing a little bit of work on…All our buyers usually come to us and want a one-word dotcom, so that’s really our focus right now, is to kind of working in that market and helping buyers with those type of names. So I’m always looking to pick’em up myself for projects that I’m working on as well, so…

Michael: Cool.

Adam: Yeah, so anytime a one-word is available, even if I don’t wanna purchase it, I’m sure the other two guys on this panel will buy it, or buy names like that too. But it’s kinda no secret that the one-word dotcom is sort of the…

Michael: Holy Grail, almost.

Adam: Yeah, the Grail. Yeah, and everybody’s looking for’em, so…

Michael: Yep, awesome. Thanks for being a part of today’s show, Adam.

Adam: You bet.

Michael: Ali, let’s go over to you. Anything you wanna mention or promote and give a shout out to?

Ali: Man. We’ve been killing it at Starfire, man. We’ve done $5 million in sales now, and just since I came back, so…

Michael: Nice.

Ali: Yeah, man, acquisitions and brokerage are killing it, we’re doing consulting too. Just head over to If you have a six or seven-figure name, we’re the ones that’ll sell it for you.

Michael: Cool. All right, and so you can’t tell us what you just sold.

Ali: I wish, man, I wish. I signed the wordiest NDA on the planet. One of’em we’ll reveal here shortly, but…

Michael: Awesome.

Ali: …the other one, I can’t say it.

Michael: All right, well thanks for being a part of today’s show as well. Shane, let’s go to you. What’s up?

Shane: I did $50 million in sales, but I cannot talk about it.

Ali: [inaudible 01:11:31]

Shane: No, uh…

Michael: And they’re all hyphenated XYZs.

Shane: Exactly. I wish I could tell ya’ because it would change the game, but…

Adam: Did you do’em all on NameJet?

Shane: Yeah, I don’t think the guy is gonna pay me now that I’ve figured out who it was, so… No, it’s really that it’s summer, things are…I’ve gotten more $1,000 offers in the last 3 or 4 weeks than I’ve ever gotten. I don’t know why that number’s coming about, but boy, when I go a little higher, it gets ugly. It’s amazing how quick they get to $1,000, you put $4,000, and they…the words they have for ya’, it acted like you shot their sister or something. But that’s the nature of it. Again, that’s the nice thing about this industry, is if…and anything. If you’re an unmotivated seller and you have good quality product, it’s gonna work out well for ya’ in the end, so… And after going to Colorado and seeing Vail, I gotta get something going.

My gosh, I’ve never seen so much money in one location in my entire life. I mean, the nannies are making more money than me walking along with the kids. I’m thinking about switching jobs. But yeah, DSAD, you get to meet the cast of characters with Josh and Travis over…You can see it’s a pretty fun group to work with, so stop by the blog, we have a good time. I probably open my mouth too much, but it’s always entertaining, and sometimes you learn stuff.

Michael: Awesome. Thanks, Shane. If you received benefit from today’s show, please, just take a moment, post a comment below. If you’re commuting right now listening to the show, if you are on your run, as soon as you get into work — you know you’re not working — just come to and scroll down below the video and post a comment, thanking these guys. I wanna be the first to thank Stephen Wren for submitting his portfolio and making a generous donation to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer research Center. We hope that feedback was useful to you. Thanks to NameJet for submitting that portion…the portfolio and sponsoring that portion of the review. And thanks again to our Domain Sherpas, Adam Strong, Ali Zandi and Shane Cultra, for sharing their experience and insights. We’ll see you all next time.

Adam: See you, guys.

Shane: Thanks, guys.

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35 Responses to “DomainSherpa Review – July 31: NameJet Safe to Buy/Sell? Getting Uncomfortable w Shane…”

  1. Thanks for informative show!

  2. George says:

    Hey guys,

    Once again thanks for a great and informative show! Always a great listen. Michael, is there a way to leave you a ‘tip’ for all the hard work you do to bring us this valuable content every week?


    1. Hi George,

      Yes! :)

      1. Visit
      2. Click the “Donate” button
      3. Tip me through Fred Hutch, and help us all find a cure for cancer
      4. Email me a copy of your receipt and I’ll give you a “shout out” on an upcoming show. Email me at michael at the domain name listed above.


  3. ezee says:

    Great show, priceless information, thank you!

  4. Howie says:

    Yes! I received benefit from this video ;) I truley did. Great review, thanks guys!

  5. Darko says:

    Great show! Thanks to all for the valueable insights!

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks for the informative video! It’s good to see Ali as a guest again. Good things to learn as usual.

  7. Saro says:

    Thanks for the show guys!

    @AdamStrong, every time you were on the show, you reminded me of someone but I couldn’t figure it out until now! Not sure if you are a fan of the show “Mr. Robot” (which is great), but you have to check out Martin Wallstrom who plays a character named Tyrell Wellick. Lookwise and overall vibe it’s uncanny!

    1. Adam says:

      Sorry for the delayed reply. I’ll check it out. Thanks !

  8. Dn Ebook says:

    Povg = Play Online Video Games ……. many thanks for the show

  9. Eric Jenkins says:

    Thanks Guys…….Great Show!!!!!

  10. Stephane says:

    Sherpa interviews are awesome, i learn so much listening to all of your guest.
    Thanks to all of you.

  11. ikehook says:

    Regarding the NamePro’s auction listings on, Eric Lyons sends the lists to me. I tried doing it manually but it took way too much time. Obviously Eric has the better view of what’s going on in the forum than anyone else.

    Here’s a project for some ambitious domainer: Make a site that pulls all the namepros auctions into an up to date searchable database. You could charge for premium spots and I think it would get decent traffic. In any case it would make searching for deals a lot easier. Oh and you would filter out all the crap names people list on the forum.

    1. says:

      Hey … one domainer’s crap is another domainer’s treasure!

      Oh no .. wait .. it’s actually the other way around! lol

  12. Tom says:

    I love Ali’s advice about the portfolio.

  13. Shill Gate says:

    Great show and I’m glad you’re taking this up as well. I hope you don’t mind me linking your show to my website. We need to keep this front and center so it doesn’t wash away so easy and a new ShillGate reoccurs.

  14. Andrew says:

    Great information thank you guys, as always look forward to the weekly interview. By the way, any update on when the user domain portfolio submissions will re open? Thank you!

  15. tldboss says:

    Thanks Sherpas for an informative show.

  16. Salman says:


    What did you mean when you suggested to the porfolio owner to study a zone file for 6 months??

    1. Tom says:

      I’d love to hear more about how exactly Ali studies as well.

    2. ikehook says:

      He’s saying to look at what’s being registered. What keywords are popular and trending. You can use Verisign’s, it’ll be a lot easier.

    3. Ali Zandi says:

      What I mean is to gather as much data as possible. You can gain an incredible wealth of knowledge studying the zone file.

      Just creating a database of all the keywords – both appends and prepends – and their frequency of use in domain names. It goes even further than that, you can build a database of ALL the domains ever reported as sold, and pull the same information.

      For instance, I know that from all the reported two word .com sales from DNJournal, that the keyword “The” is the most popular prepend and the word “Online” is the most popular append. On the same path, I know that the keyword “Smart” is the 7th most popular prepend in two word sales (from DNJournal) and the keyword “Solutions” is the 9th most popular append. With that information, I could buy a domain like, and HIGHLY increase it’s ability to sell. Not only is it a great brand, but it’s backed by hardcore data that both those keywords are in demand and have a history of selling.

      That doesn’t mean that any combination of most used keywords will work, but you can use that knowledge to register and/or buy more likely to sell brand worthy domain names.

      1. ezee says:

        Great Info Ali, Thank you kindly for sharing

  17. TK says:

    Thank you Sherpas for all you do. I love the advice in this show. It’s so practical. It’s not fluff that I read elsewhere. And for that I’m appreciative.

  18. Deborah says:

    Excellent job, guys! Great show.

    The whole schill buying controversy was new information for me. Good thing for we newbies to look out for.

    Thanks for your time and insights. Great start to my week, as always.

  19. nick says:

    Great Show!

  20. George says:

    Great show. I appreciate the discussion about NameJet and what’s going on there, cutting through the bull____ elsewhere. I just want the facts, and then I’ll make my own opinion. ::thumbs up::

  21. Andy McBean says:

    Great show guys. Thanks.


  22. RAHUL PATEL says:

    Very cool interview

  23. says:

    As for the rest of the show .. congrats to Shane on getting Uncomfortable. I’m looking forward to seeing where that goes! Also congrats to Ali for hitting the 5M mark with Starfire!

    While I do see as a good domain, never in a million years would I have put it nearly as high as 8.5k! Congrats on getting so much for this one Adam. I’m thinking this is one of those cases where the numbers game and law of averages comes into play though. I’m very curious what sort of price Adam would have set if the initial contact wasn’t the “Hey, kinda we know who you are, and that your expectations are probably pretty high. We just wanna know where this particular name was.” dream incoming request. I’m actually inclined to think that maybe the intermediary company actually didn’t want to buy it for cheap as they possibly got a percentage markup on the purchase like i think is standard with most purchases by marketing/advertising companies.

    I really like the comment from Ali, Shane and Adam on the portfolio in regards to the “one-offs”/deviations. It’s soooo easy coming into the industry to make the assumption that they will sell for a given percentage of the optimal .com domain. While that isn’t necessarily untrue, there are 2 very key points people need to consider:

    A) That not all “one-offs” are equal. Sometimes the plural (or singular) of the optimal/best related domain isn’t that far off. But most of the time they are far off. The classic example is that .net’s go for about 5% of .com’s (likely lower now, but just using that as an example).

    Having a plural version actually makes the comparison even harder as it usually turns a good “empty vessel” brand name with tons of potential end usage, into more of a keyword specific domain more suitable to the specific industry either as an eCommerce site, or as a directory/listing/wiki/lead generation type site.

    It’s critical to remember that the % reduction effect is multiplied for each “off”. That’s why I think today’s discussion was great as it touched on that quite a bit. So while “” initially might look good to some .. it has the following “one-offs”:
    1- .com to .net (2-5%)
    2- singular to plural (10-50%, with numerous exceptions)
    3- s to z (1-3%)
    So it’s actually a “three-off”. So while is likely a 6-figure end-user price domain, do that math and the compounded effect leaves you with as low as 0.002%. So even if you value at half a million dollars, that puts between $10 and $375 end-user. Other deviations are:
    4- hyphens (2-5%, unless it’s a .de)
    5- alternate spellings like color/colour or grey/gray (~20-75%, american spelling is higher, but better to avoid these words completely if possible)
    6- multiple words/terms (learning the actual deviation% here is really what becoming a better domainer is all about)

    B) The more “offs”/deviations from optimum you have doesn’t just affect price. It also reduces the likelihood of even selling the domain, in turn increasing your theoretical holding cost. Which again puts a hit on it’s value to you as a domainer looking to buy it with the intent of eventually reselling it.

    [Note that the numbers I’ve put are guestimations based on my personal perspective and observations .. and more importantly people need to remember that each domain is unique and needs to be analysed as such]

    As a new domainer it’s really hard to keep these principles and math at front of mind because getting or just are not realistically in our budgets.

    I think where the math makes sense is in good 2-word .com’s. Sure there is a huge drop in price and chance-to-sell between one word and two word domains. But as single words continue to leave the market to end-users, new companies and/or products/services and/or campaigns will have no choice but to turn to slightly longer .com domains or single word domains (NO deviations other than the fact they are not .com) in some of the better TLDs (.org, .net, .co, .tv , .io, or ccTLDs for local businesses/products)

    Anyhow .. good show .. thanks again to all involved.

    PS .. I just snagged SmartMondays just out of curiosity more than anything else .. lol .. I’ll report back here if anything ever happens with it (in the few minutes since I refused a $50 million sale because I refuse to sign an NDA .. lol)

    1. ikehook says:

      Ategy, did you start writing these before the show was posted? :)

      1. Shane Cultra says:

        It’s getting to the point that Ategy’s comments are actually longer than the transcript of the show :) But I love it. Can feel the passion……and the portfolio of 4000 crazy names.

  24. says:

    Where to begging with this show? lol

    First .. thanks guys for another great show .. although I was a little disappointed with the lack of Strong hyphens! lol

    I can’t believe Drew (Rosener) wasn’t here for this episode where you discussed the auction issues .. lol .. I read most of it (kinda gave up after about 50 pages as some posts were starting to get deleted) .. mind you .. if he was on this episode it probably would have ran over 3 hours long (actually not a bad thing IMO)! lol

    The reason why Drew was (wrongly) attacked is because he started brainstorming a more open auction system where people are actually allowed to bid on their own names (in full transparency, NOT in hiding). Instead of taking it an an idea to explore, people (again wrongly) took that as him supporting the current shill bids and as defending those that made those bids. When in fact even the more free-market approach discussed did not in any way allow for secret bidding.

    There actually is logic behind the allowing owners of domains to publicly bid on their own domains (check the 2 NamePros threads for specifics). Whether you agree or not is up to you, but at the end of the day it’s certainly something that should be explored with an open mind because as much as we’d like to think otherwise, the domain auction platforms are FAR from being as liquid and efficient as we need them to be.

    It’s just a shame that people turned the discussion into personal attacks rather than constructive discussions on how to change the rules or technical systems to make things better moving forward.

    However .. let me be very clear that the changes in rules proposed in no way justify or endorse the shill bidding and other unethical practices that have been going on.

    Good on Shane for the early heads up. Then Michael and everyone else who keep pointing out specifics and data so that issue didn’t just fade away.

    Whether or not NameJet has, is or will be serious about shill bidding .. at the end of the day there is no way to stop it completely .. and no way to stop anyone from doing it who really has the time/energy. So as Shane mentioned, the only way to limit the effect of shill bidding on you personally, is if you truly assess the value of a domain yourself to justify any amount you bid on it.

    It still bothers me that NameJet didn’t respond to some very key questions. But in their defence I think it’s also important to point out that at least they do have usernames we can track to look into and verify questionable bidding.

    As much as people are angry at NameJet .. domainers should be angrier at GoDaddy and other auction platforms that don’t even show any user data at all. This sort of thing could and likely is going on at EVERY other auction platform .. it’s just that because of the lack of transparency we actually have no way of knowing. So while I really haven’t been impressed with NameJet on this issue, you certainly do need to give them credit for having one of the more transparent platforms right from the start.

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