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Riches in the Niches: A Newbie’s 2 Profitable Flips in 2 Months – With Chris Reams

Chris Reams started domain investing just a few months ago, pulling from his skills from years of antique picking and vintage tshirt sales. By applying his experienced perspective that “the riches are in the niches,” to domain name investing, Chris already had 2 successful flips.

Chris takes us through his stages of domain investing: educating himself, antique picking previously owned dropped domains, buying brandable expired domains and his first 2 profitable flips. We touch on the tough topics of frontrunning and GoDaddy expired auction changes, plus the 4 letter word of domainers, CALL- with Chris’ current 100% success rate on phone calls!

Within 3 months, Chris flipped one of the first expired domains he purchased, ItalianWeddings.com, for an $8,000 profit. He utilized Estibot’s Lead Generator tool, set up a for sale page, and even scoured Pinterest for potential buyers, reaching out within the wedding niche until finding his buyer.

For his second flip, Tigra.com, Chris used a different approach. He purchased the expired domain for its short, brandable qualities, for a mere $5,500. On this domain, he received an inbound inquiry and judged that this one would be best negotiated by an experienced broker, who finalized the sale for $28,500.

*A note from Tess: thanks for your feedback & patience as I settle into this fantastic role. This show is one of the first filmed, and we’ve figured out the microphone issues and I’ll learn to get to the point faster! Enjoy the great nuggets and all our SherpaNetwork- you and me- will get grow throughout 2018! Much thanks to Mike Cyger for his ongoing mentorship and faith in me!

Interview (60:09): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Transcript Coming Soon

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About the Interviewee

Chris Reams
Chris Reams
Chris Reams started a successful career in antique picking and vintage tshirt sales while still in college. With varied online presences as well as a real brick and mortar shop, Chris' experience with retail sales prepared him for domain investing and flipping. By applying his experienced perspective that "the riches are in the niches," to domain name investing, Chris has quickly become a domain investment pro.

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Tess Diaz: Serious about online trading? Secure your funds, keep your merchandise safe, and use a company that keeps the buyer and seller protected the whole way through. That’s Escrow.com, payments you can trust.

Finally, if you’re a domain name investor, don’t you have unique legal needs that require a domain name technical know-how and industry experience? That’s why you need Stephen Lieberman of Greenberg & Lieberman or Jason Schaefer of Esqwire.com. Go search for Jason Schaefer or Stephen Lieberman on DomainSherpa, watch their interviews, and you can see for yourself that they can clearly explain issues, can help you with buy-sell agreements, deal with website content issues and UDRP actions, and even help you write your website terms and conditions. Stephen Lieberman and Jason Schaeffer are the lawyers to call for internet legal issues. See for yourself at Esqwire.com or APLegal.com

Tess: Hey, Sherpa network. Thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Tess Diaz, and I’m the Executive Producer of DomainSherpa.com, the website where you can learn how to become a successful domain name investor or entrepreneur directly from the experts. This is the DomainSherpa show called Profitable Flips. In this series, I invite domain name investors to share all the details of how they bought low and sold high, and in doing so, reveal some of the mystery around domain name investing. Today I’m pleased to welcome, Chris Reams. Welcome, Chris.

Chris: Hey, everybody. Hey, Tess.

Tess: Hey, thanks for coming on today, Chris. So you’re really new to the domain industry, right? How long have you been investing?

Chris: That’s right. I’ve been investing in domain names for about two months now, yeah.

Tess: Okay, that’s pretty amazing that we’ve already got you up here on Profitable Flips. That means you’ve had some success. But your background startled me. Tell me a little bit about what you’ve been doing in the last 17 years.

Chris: I have been making t-shirts. I’ve been slinging ink and slinging t-shirts, coming up with designs, and printing them, and selling them retail to my website, you know, Skip N’ Whistle. And, yeah. So I have my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, but I’ve been doing t-shirts for about 17 years now, yeah.

Tess: Really interesting. You know, Chris, those two things, a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and t-shirts sound like they have absolutely nothing to do with domain investing and would give you, you know, forgive me for saying, they sound like they wouldn’t give you any skills that would be useful skills for domain investing. And yet, in talking with you, it sounds like just the opposite. Tell me more about, you know, you’re not just printing t-shirts, coming up with cool ideas and printing t-shirts, although you are, but tell me more about your background, your beginnings in antique picking and t-shirts and what they have in common, and how they make money.

Chris: All right. So when I was in college, I started, you know…I was hustling, trying to make money any way I could. So I’d find things that were cheaper that I could sell for a profit. It didn’t matter what they were, whether they are antique flashlights or whatnot. I mean, I worked at Barnes & Noble for a while, and I would get the employee discount at 25% and sell them in eBay for full price. And, you know, that’s how I started with that. And then I stumbled upon eBay and started going to, like, flea markets and antique stores, picking, you know, old flashlights or an antique photographs, things like that, buy them for cheap.

Tess: Around what year was that? How old was eBay?

Chris: eBay was probably only…Well, PayPal, I was on eBay about a year before PayPal was invented. So, yeah, I don’t even know how long. That was probably almost 20 years ago, I guess. So, yeah, I was in the beginning.

Tess: So you’re a broke college kid hustling to make some money, just putting it like a Band-Aid until you get out of college and go into your profession. And then what happened?

Chris: Yeah, well, I started making so much money, you know, picking different things, whether it’s antiques or vintage t-shirts. I’d go to Goodwill and I’d start finding t-shirts, you know, like old vintage Harley Davidson t-shirts or Western Pearl Snap buttoned-up shirts, buy it for, you know, $2 and sell them on eBay for, well, $100, $50, whatever.

Tess: Really?

Chris: Yeah. Like, you know, an old Harley Davidson t-shirt from the ’70s or ’80s, back when, you know, there’s a lot of manufacturing in America, the t-shirts were really soft and they’re really cool and threadbare by now because they got so much sun and wearing in motorcycle. You buy it for $2 at Goodwill or a garage sale and you could sell them for $200 to, you know, anybody who’s got a fashionable, you know, tastes, like…I mean, if somebody is willing to pay $300 for a pair of jeans, they’re probably wearing a, you know, $200 vintage Charlie t-shirt. So, yeah.

Tess: All the sudden, that sounds like real skill that can be applied to domains. Do you have any examples in the office, something to show us, an old vintage something and…

Chris: Yeah. You know, see, check this out. So here you go. This is the coolest vintage sweater in the world. Tan-made, hand-knitted to creep out your friends. But it’s, like, from the 1970s, you know. But, you know, if there’s a tag, I mean, it’s probably backwards in the video but, you know. This is probably made in mid ’70s, early ’80s. And it’s worth, you know, it’s worth over $1,000 easy.

Tess: Over $1,000 for that tan?

Chris: Yeah, I think I paid $500 for it.

Tess: Really? And you’re hanging on to it because nobody has bought it?

Chris: Oh, yeah, it’s a mascot. I have it, you know, normally tacked to my wall in my office.

Tess: Really?

Chris: So we’re a lovely Christmas sweater business. So it’s good inspiration. Fits my hat.

Tess: So from t-shirts, you’ve expanded, Christmas sweaters, what else?

Chris: I’ve got a lot of interests, the Renaissance man, I guess. So let’s look at it like the riches are in the niches. Regardless of what you’re doing. So, you know, whether it’s antique picking or you’re in the clothing business. So, for t-shirts, if somebody’s got an interest in a particular idea, like, say motorcycles or they’re vegetarian or something like that, well, if somebody’s got that hobby or somebody’s got that interest, you can print it on t-shirt and you can sell it to them. It’s cool that way. And, yes, and it kind of falls in line with domain investing.

Tess: It really does. Because, certainly, in my experience, we see so many people who have a background maybe in the medical field, or in real estate, or in, you know, so many different areas, and then they apply that knowledge either to invest or as end-users that they’re trying to do something in a particular niche. So you’re right. Yeah, interesting.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. And it’s, you know…You don’t have to be an expert in that particular field. You just have to think about it, put yourself in a position of if you were in that field, you know, would you pay, well, you know, would you pay for it, what would you pay for it, and does it have value, could you trade it for a service, worst case scenario? So you bought a domain for $1,000 and maybe you didn’t get any takers when you went out doing outbound marketing or something, make sure you wouldn’t get stuck with it. You could just trade it for a service, like, I don’t know, some kind of massage name or something like that.

Tess: Have you ever done that with your t-shirts or your other investments, trade it for a service?

Chris: I traded it. Yeah, I traded it, you know, vintage t-shirts, things like that. So, like, if somebody wanted one of our new shirts and they had some vintage t-shirts, and I would take that, and trade, and then flip it down the road. But I haven’t done it with domain names because…I mean, I’ve got 520 domain names that I’ve accumulated in the last several months, but I only sold them, you know.

Tess: I wanna hear a little bit more about the t-shirts before we jump into the domain specifics. Because, really, this is the background skillset. And what I think is valuable for our Sherpa network is each person in the Sherpa network has a background and skillset of their own, but sometimes it can be a challenge to see how to apply that to being successful with domain names. So you were telling me earlier, sometimes you would even fly to England. Tell me about that. And all these trips were paid for in the profits you made from what you purchased over there. I’m just blown away.

Chris: Yeah, I think it’s very connected. And, yeah, domain names, they are an item that can be bought and resold. And I think it’s got so much in common with antiques. So back in college, before I had a family, I mean, I would travel back and forth to London and France to go to antique photograph conventions. So, like, I would go and I’d buy daguerreotypes or tintypes or, you know, antique postcards, and things like that.

Tess: What’s daguerreotype?

Chris: I could show you one. But a daguerreotype is the very first photograph that was invented back in the mid-1800s.

Tess: Okay.

Chris: Yeah, it’s only, you know, it’s captured on a silver plate and there’s only one. So, yeah. So I could show you one, but do you want me to?

Tess: Sorry, I didn’t mean to throw you off. So how did you…You’re in college flying to London and France. How did you hear about this or know about this, and what made you willing to take the risk?

Chris: Okay. Well, yes. So I was buying antique photographs locally and I’d sell them on eBay. I’d buy them for $1, $2 and then sell them on eBay from $50 or $100 or something like that. You know, I bought a lot of photographs of old Civil War soldiers and things, you know, for cheap, and then I’d flip them. But then I realized, well, if you go to Europe, things are really really old, and there’s so many old things that people don’t really appreciate them like they do around here.

So I’d go to England. I found out about some photo conventions and how it’s a big deal out there with Sothebys auctions and things like that. And so I would go to some flea markets and conventions really about twice a year. Plane tickets are only $400 so I would go there with $5,000 in my pocket, stock up on photographs for $1 apiece…or £1 a piece, and, you know, I bring them back and I put them on eBay. Sometimes, though, I would put on eBay while I was over there, sell them to pay for my trip to, like, Amsterdam or something. That was really cool.

Tess: You’re not kidding?

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

Tess: And you did this on your own?

Chris: What?

Tess: And you did this on your own?

Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Tess: And your friends weren’t saying, “Hey, Chris, you got all this cash. We want in on this. What are you doing?”

Chris: No. My friends, they didn’t…Yeah, you see people’s eyes glaze over when you start talking about certain things. I mean, I don’t know. I thought it was cool.

Tess: Domain names?

Chris: Yeah, right, right. I’m like, “Yeah, whatever,” you know, internet real estate. But yeah, you know, I went to Amsterdam. I finance my trip to Amsterdam from London. I bought some antique ice skates in Amsterdam at a flea market for $5 apiece, sold for $50 apiece on eBay, and hung out in Amsterdam for a little while. That was very cool.

Tess: High five.

Chris: So, yeah, you know.

Tess: Wow. Okay. So, then, when you started in domains, so first, you bought your first domain, Ichabods.com. Like, Ichabod crane in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Chris: Right.

Tess: And that was just…I mean, I’m thinking now. You’re a college kid probably hanging out in Sleepy Hollow Inns and kind of drinking beer, right?

Chris: Right, right, yeah. My first t-shirt shop was in a little Sleepy Hollow off of a bike path in Covington. It was a terrible location but…

Tess: Covington, Louisiana?

Chris: Yeah, Covington, Louisiana. So I was like, you know, “We got to come up with a name for this business.” So I was like, “This thing, this Sleepy Hollow.” And Ichabod Crane was a teacher and, you know, I just thought was cool. And I was like, “Ichabod.” So I named it Ichabod’s before I bought the domain name. But because it wasn’t really that important to me at the time, I was on eBay, and I didn’t really know much about domain names. But I ended up buying…

Tess: So eBay was your only selling platform. You didn’t also have a website.

Chris: No, I don’t.

Tess: Because that was, it was, what, 2004? It was earlier than that, right?

Chris: Yeah, it was real early. I don’t even know…You know, it was really difficult to design a website back then unless you were already experienced in coding and things, I think.

Tess: Sure.

Chris: And eBay was great.

Tess: Now, I just wanna catch real quick, you said the location, it wasn’t a good location. And that’s an unusual thing to hear. It sounds like your primary location really was eBay. Is that accurate? Why did you have a brick-and-mortar shop in a place that wasn’t a good location? Were people coming in and out of it? Was it worth people driving to? Or did you just need a place to warehouse all the clothes he had that you’re selling on eBay?

Chris: That’s the one. I needed a place that it wasn’t my apartment or something like that. So, yeah, I needed a place that we can work out up. And in the process, we opened the doors because people would see us in there, and they would come on in and buy. But our main sales venue was eBay.

Tess: Okay. Neat. Really neat. So in 2004, you’re in Vegas at a t-shirt convention?

Chris: Oh, by the way, I own BadLocation.com, I think. Yeah.

Tess: No, that’s funny. All right. We’ll have to check it out. So 2004, sorry, you’re in Vegas at a convention, a t-shirt convention?

Chris: Yeah, yeah. It’s called MAGIC. It’s the largest fashion trade show. It’s in August and February, yeah.

Tess: All right. So you’re there, and what happened with Ichabod’s, Ichabods.com?

Chris: Well, I realized we needed a website. And so I looked online and saw that Ichabods.com was for sale. So it was for sale from a broker. I forgot exactly how much it was. I think it might have been somewhere on $1,800 but I bought it.

Tess: So what made you realize that you needed a website instead of just depending on eBay?

Chris: Everybody else had one.

Tess: Okay.

Chris: You know, at that time, that’s really what it was. People were like, you know, “What your website?” You know, and I think I had a Hotmail address at the time, and it was still kind of, you know, it was still kind of new for me so it made sense. You know, more and more people are getting into that.

Tess: Okay. Well, I just wanna dig a little deeper, challenge you a little. Because it sounds like, in college, everybody else wasn’t flying to London and France and buying ice skates in Amsterdam. So I don’t think everybody else had one is your style. So do you feel like there was some awakening within you of, you know, realizing the difference between your online location depending on eBay and your physical location? What was that like having these three different concepts of what a sales location can be?

Chris: Yeah, there was that too. And it’s even more true today. You know, back then, it was sort of like, you know, when you have all your eggs in one basket, like eBay, you know, you played by eBay’s rules. They’ll turn you off, you know, for whatever reason. And then they own all the power. So when you sell retail through only one channel and you don’t have your own brand to control or market and basically curate, you’re at the whim of everybody else that you depend on. And that’s not a really good…that’s not a safe feeling, and it’s not one that you should have for very long. So soon as you’re able, you need to basically, you know, fly on your own instead of just, like, you know, depending on somebody else’s marketplace to make you money.

Tess: Yeah. It sounds, too, like maybe you’ve been in it seven years or so by then, and that you’re expanding your perception of, you know, where your dependencies lie and how you wanted to keep expanding or grow a brand instead of just growing, you know, someplace on eBay that people know they can get stuff instead of your brand as someone that that consumer has identified with and wanna come back with, right?

Chris: Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, the winds of change blow fast. So, you know, if you don’t fly with them, you’re gonna get left behind.

Tess: Yeah. Yeah, that’s true enough. So you went from one domain, which I think it’s really interesting. You just bought it from a broker, you just think because that name that you wanted was available from a broker, and so you just figured that’s how it’s done?

Chris: That’s how it’s done. Yeah.

Tess: Okay.

Chris: If somebody’s got something, I got to pay for it.

Tess: Yeah. Did you go she ate on the price, do you remember, or you just buy it?

Chris: No, I didn’t negotiate. No.

Tess: Were you aware you could? Because you sound like you’ve been hustling your whole life.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. It was a fair price. I figured I’d pay it. And, you know, I’m surprised it wasn’t more. I remember being surprised it wasn’t more because, you know, if you want something bad enough, then you’re usually willing to pay more than the person’s asking for it, I think. So, yeah, it was a good price.

Tess: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Okay. And then over the years, you just have the one domain, but then you’re telling me that t-shirts really, much like domains, again, really develop by these distinct niches within. So you had all sorts of different t-shirt domain names, right?

Chris: Yeah, I come up, you know…So when you come up with a t-shirt, a lot of times…Okay, there’s two ways I could go about this. Like, one of them, a lot of times I’ll think of an interesting name and then I’ll design a t-shirt around that name, or I’ll come up with a t-shirt idea and then they go, “Let’s come up with a cool name for marketing purposes.”

Tess: All right.

Chris: So, like, one Halloween, I came up the name Dracula Spectacula, which is a terrible domain name for investing. But, you know, about DraculaSpectacula.com where some Halloween stuff, I don’t know, we might have used it and forwarded things to our website for a little while. I don’t even know if I owned the name anymore. But I got, you know, I got the purpose out of it.

Tess: So you used it, you were advertising with DraculaSpectacula.com?

Chris: Yeah, right. I wasn’t planning a building a brand around that name, but it was kind of cool to…it was memorable or [inaudible 00:21:09], I don’t know.

Tess: A quick, memorable marketing campaign. It had its use and then you moved on. We still see corporations and small businesses doing that today.

Chris: Yeah, about $8 so, you know, why not?

Tess: Yeah. Okay, so you accumulated a bunch of t-shirt domains, but you still didn’t see domains as an investment? Do you just saw them as, you know, another piece of your regular t-shirt business?

Chris: Yeah, I mean, I was basically hoarding junk. You know, I’d come up with a name, and everything was hand-registered except for Ichabod’s for years and years. And I come up with a name, and then I’d buy it, and then I’d renew it and renew it. And then one day I just say, “Yeah, I don’t need it anymore.” And, you know, we’d drop off. But I never…

Tess: But you don’t consider yourself a domain investor at that stage?

Chris: No, not at all.

Tess: You’re buying t-shirts and hat, or buying and selling t-shirts and said, “These might be ancillary to my business.”

Chris: Yeah, I could use them sometime, maybe. Yeah, so I just buy weird names and holding onto them and, you know, yeah.

Tess: Okay. And then what changed?

Chris: I had to clean out the junk room basically. This year, I started looking at things going, “Man, I really should try to sell some of these domains that I’m not using.” So I started looking through my GoDaddy account trying to see, you know, if there’s anything of value. I knew Ichabod’s is worth something just because of all the bars and burger joints called Ichabod’s, but everything else was really jumped. But I wasn’t sure. So I started kind of researching how am I gonna figure out the value of these domain names because I don’t wanna give anything away. So I jumped down the rabbit hole of research, and then I discovered the DomainSherpa podcasts, and lucky me.

Tess: Yeah. So how long ago was that? How long ago did you jump down the rabbit hole?

Chris: Okay, so I guess I started…I listened to the DomainSherpa podcasts probably for about, I don’t know, you know, don’t hold me to it but I guess it was probably about a month and a half, maybe two months, just listening to every podcast so they could. I mean, I was spending 40 hours a week listening to the podcast easy.

Tess: Right. So, hang on. You made for, like, you’re cleaning out your closet basically to 40 weeks listening to DomainSherpa. That’s a change.

Chris: Oh, yeah. Well…

Tess: What happened? You just thought it was amazing?

Chris: I like money and I like cool things. So to make money doing a cool thing, there’s nothing better in the world. So whenever I stumbled upon that, and basically a community of guys who were talking about cool things that they are finding, and flipping, and making money on, and, you know, just basically it’s right up my alley. But I don’t know what I don’t know. So I wasn’t about to pull the trigger on a $5,000 name or whatever else like that until I kind of knew what I was doing. And it’s not like I can go down the street and asked a neighbor, “Hey, man, how do you buy domain names?” I don’t know anybody else that invest in domain names personally unless they’re online. But, yeah, so I educated myself fully. I mean, I’m not kidding. I go 35 hours a week easy and listening to the podcast going back years starting with the newest ones and going back in time. And then once I figured out I had kind of a decent grasp on things, I started spending money.

Tess: Okay. So I think it’s really fascinating your first purchase is a little different from a typical investor’s first purchase, right? And maybe you could say those years of dabbling and buying the t-shirt means, you know, where your first purchases. But, Chris, you’re a really, like, go get all-or-nothing kind of guy, you didn’t go and buy five domains one day, which…

Chris: Okay. So I spent $1,500 on a both registered lists through GoDaddy bulk registration. But in order to compile that list, I started going through domainIQ and I’d find a solid domain name that I knew was active and worth some money. And I would research it. I find out who owns it. And then you could…I have a subscription so I would be able to see every other domain name that was attached to that person. And so then I’d, you know, download the CSV file, copy, paste it into the GoDaddy book registration system to see what was available. And most the time, there’s a ton of names that are still available for a registration but, they’re still attached to that owner’s profile. So I figured, you know…Huh?

Tess: So you’re antique picking still. At this stage, you were doing what you knew and looking at what did someone who’s been successful with domains, what have they thrown away, what have they let go of that’s available for a new registration. So these were not expired names, they weren’t, you know, your typical hand-reg you just think of an idea. But you’re seeing, well, if some big shot used to own this then it probably has some value to me.

Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah. I didn’t wanna buy something hand-registered because I figured, I mean, if it’s available for the first time, it’s probably not very valuable. Unless it’s, you know, some modern, you know, some technical name like, you know, Bitcoin or something. But, yeah, I figured, you know, there’s a phrase, you know, “the bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean.” So, you know, I’d look through all domain names that somebody had owned. At one point, that person had some value in it, and I figured that their opinion was worth something, worth more than mine because I was new, and they weren’t new. So I basically picked up the bread crumbs, you know.

Tess: Yeah, I like that, bread crumbs, yeah. So you bought $1,500 worth of domains like you said, you know, PhoenixPoliceDepartment.com, HouseMinorityLeader.com. But they were something that someone used to own, they let it go, no one else bought it, and then you picked them up. And then what happened with that group? What did that do for you? How did that…

Chris: Oh, no. Well, they’re just sitting on the shelf right now. I realized pretty quickly that most of them are probably garbage, but, you know, that was my tuition. Fifteen hundred buck’s tuition was not bad, and, you know, you better keep rolling if you’re gonna do it. So, you know, I’m very, you know, no regrets. I’ll probably, you know, dump them somewhere else and some next guy can learn from me.

Tess: What do you mean dump them? Do you think you’ll sell them or you think you’re gonna let them expire?

Chris: I mean, if they don’t sell within a year, I’ll let them expire. So, I mean, I figure I could get my money back on at least, you know.

Tess: Yeah. You know, I think that I I’ve seen over the years, many investors who get excited and don’t have the same perspective that you do that this is a cost of education and, you know, you can try, instead of sticking to your original goal that this domain is gonna, you know, make an impact on your financial situation, instead recognizing it’s impacting your perspective of domain investing, and you’re learning how to do it. And then it’s really hard to let it go. But if you can’t sell them, I’m gonna look it up in a year and see. If you can’t sell them, are you gonna renew them or are you gonna let them go?

Chris: Oh, no, no, no. You can’t get sentimental about things. And I’ve learned that from the t-shirt world. I might come up the cool t-shirt design that I think is just the boss, but if nobody’s gonna give me a dollar for it, then it’s not boss. I don’t care what my mom or my wife says, you know. It’s worthless. So I’m not gonna…

Tess: Do your mom or your wife like that clown shirt sweater?

Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah, right. No, they know it’s valuable so, you know.

Tess: Yeah, yeah. That’s funny. Yeah, okay. So that was kind of like stage one of domain investing. Then what happened next? Then?

Chris: Well, I learned quickly and I found out about ExpiredNames.net, ExpiredDomains…

Tess: It’s ExpiredDomains.net.

Chris: Yeah. I have to say I never typed it into the URL, yeah. So, yeah, right, ExpiredNames…What is it again?

Tess: This is funny on a domain talk show. ExpiredDomains.net.

Chris: Yes, right. That’s the one. I go to that every night.

Tess: Okay.

Chris: Once I found out about it…I heard about it through, I think, one of the…I don’t know. I think I might have heard about it from one of the Profitable Flip interviews where somebody else is talking about it. So I got on there and I saw that, gosh, I mean, well over 50,000 names are dropping a night where they’re going to auction a night. And just started…Oh, man, I jumped down the rabbit hole and started researching and buying, you know. Well, I didn’t just start buying willy-nilly. I would I would buy solid names in the beginning after that first initial, you know, drive-by where I still have money out the window.

Tess: So how did you redefine your criteria?

Chris: Well, the cool thing is, on that website, it lists the names sort of with a estimated appraisal value. So you can kind of get an idea. Now, obviously, with anything, you don’t wanna trust a bot to evaluate the name. But, you know, if it’s in the ballpark, cool, go for it and then use your own gut to figure out the rest, and, you know, find the median value. And, you know, if you can cut the… My idea was let’s say a name at an appraised, somewhat appraised value of $5,000. I’d cut it in half and say, “Okay, it’s probably worth half this or maybe, you know, 25% of this value.” And that’s how much I put down for it, or I just trust my gut, and then sometimes I pay more than the appraised value because I knew that it was just a bot and it didn’t know anything. So that’s good for brandables. You can’t trust the bot to appraise a brandable name.

Tess: So were you buying brandables next?

Chris: Yeah, right. So, yes, I was mostly buying brandables. Those are the cool solid names, yeah, because if they can appeal to one person, then they will most likely appeal to a bunch of people. Or if there’s lots of trademarks out there on a name, then you can have multiple people interested in it, or they, you know, they bid on it, or you just have a better chance of making your money back.

Tess: I’m sure we have some kind of disclaimer we say about trademarks. Like, we don’t recommend anyone purchase trademarks or talk to a lawyer first or something.

Chris: Yeah.

Tess: I’m just throwing that out there for our Sherpa network because that can really be a painful lesson for sure. But, anyway, that’s okay. And you’re right, though, especially when anything is being used by multiple parties, preferably not a trademark, but, you know, a common saying, or like you said Ichabod’s, right? Because you’ve since have brand that…

Chris: Right, that’s what I mean. Yeah, Ichabod’s.

Tess: And in that process, you’ve learned tons of other brands use Ichabod’s.

Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah. Ichabod’s Tavern, you know, Ichabod’s Burgers, you know. Those are the kind of brandable is I’m talking about. And if there’s a trademark… You know, there’s a lot of people who use variants of that particular name or… Yeah, you know.

Tess: Yeah, that’s pretty gray area that I know that we’ve had prior shows about that with, you know, lawyers. So we’ll leave that part for now.

Chris: Sure.

Tess: So you really like the brandable ideas, like LegCandy.com. Was that an inspired name?

Chris: Yeah, LegCandy.com. That was one of the names that I bought about a year ago. I came up with an idea…I came up with the name in my head, and I was like, “Oh, man, this is a cool name. It should be something.” So I bought the domain name. I bought that domain from a broker too for a few thousand dollars, I think. And then we built our legging. We have a yoga leggings line that we started. So I also have a sewing factory. So we’re basically creating sewing jobs and we got into the yoga legging business. So, that’s lucky me. So, yeah.

Tess: Yeah, so you like brandables in your business and you carry that over when you’re choosing expired domains.

Chris: Yeah.

Tess: So let’s talk about our first of two profitable flips we’re gonna talk about today. Let’s talk about ItalianWeddings.com. Because you bought that as an expired name.

Chris: I did.

Tess: Tell me more about that. And how long ago was this?

Chris: How long ago?

Tess: Mm-hmm.

Chris: I don’t know. Maybe three months ago, something like that. It was one of the first names I got. All right. So since I am used to the hustle of antique purchasing, and picking, and whatnot, you know, I go to estate sales and things like that and find things. So I realized quickly that the auctions, specifically GoDaddy at the time, you could be the winning bidder for a domain name but it doesn’t mean you’re gonna get it. Because the person who’s letting that name expire can renew it after the auction is over, which is basically…it was free research. It’s kind of like…I would see that there is interest in a name, and, wow, I’m gonna call the guy and just ask him if he’ll sell it to me, and maybe he doesn’t know the name is expiring. So, yeah, that’s what I did. I called the guy and he’s like, “Yeah, I don’t want it anymore. You wanna buy it?” I was like, “Yeah, sure.”

Tess: So you’re saying sometimes you did on GoDaddy auctions, the expired auctions, and then you wouldn’t, even if you were the winning bidder, you wouldn’t get it because it just wasn’t available anymore or something. And it turned out that either they had renewed it or something else was going on in the…What are you saying there?

Chris: Yeah, so it’s called front-running. And basically I started losing so many names at auction. I would be the high bidder, and then I found out, “Man, I don’t have this name anymore/ I thought it was gonna drop into my box.” And then I found out, oh, okay. Just because you win an auction doesn’t mean you get the auction because somebody can renew it. So I started realizing that, well, it’s weird. Because there’s guys who are letting their names sort of expire because they wanted to get appraisal values for the name through auctions, and then they renew them, and then they put on a NameJet a week later. So I was learning and seeing…

Tess: Really?

Chris: I was, like, yeah.

Tess: Okay. So you think people were doing it to test the market. I mean, because to renew it at the last minute costs like, you know, it’s called the redemption. It’s usually about $80 at GoDaddy. So that’s kind of, you know, expensive for an appraisal but it is a real market valuation, so to speak, wholesale.

Chris: Right.

Tess: And then it sounds like other times maybe the people who had a domain that was expiring, someone was reaching out to them around, circumventing the auction system and either getting them to renew it and then buying it, or they would say, “No, I don’t wanna renew it but I didn’t realize this was worth money. I’m gonna go list it on NameJet.”

Chris: Right.

Tess: Okay, all right. So then you basically decided to jump in and kind of do that…

Chris: Yeah.

Tess: I mean, so, you called this…You like the Italian Weddings, you called them up and said, “Hey, this name is expiring. I wanna buy it.” And he said, “I don’t want it?”

Chris: Yeah. He’s like, “No, I don’t want it anymore. I’m just gonna let it drop.” And he had owned it for years and years and he didn’t want it any more. He was a wedding singer, I think, and he’s a musician. You know, I offered him cash for it. And he was so thrilled. I mean, I made his day. And to me, that was a pretty good deal. Karmacally, I had nothing to lose, you know. If he was like, “Oh, man, I didn’t know it renewed.” I mean, “I didn’t know it was expiring. Thanks for letting me know. I don’t wanna sell it.” I would have hooked the guy up with some information and, you know, I’m great. Good for him oh, you know, whatever. But he said, “No, man, you can buy it.” And so I PayPal in the money. And I paid at PayPal him the money first because I trusted him. I looked him up.

Tess: Trusting him to do it. Okay.

Chris: Yeah, I mean, I looked him up on Facebook, you know. So he was a family guy. He looked just like me. And, I mean, you know, I’m not gonna screw somebody over like that, and I trusted that he wouldn’t either. So I gave him the money, and then he gave me the name.

Tess: Wow, that’s a risk. But, you know, you do have a long background in negotiating a lot of deals like that. So you probably have a great gut instinct.

Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Tess: So you sent him the money, he sent you the domain, and then what happened? So you paid how much for it?

Chris: A thousand bucks.

Tess: A thousand dollars even for ItalianWeddings.com. How long ago?

Chris: About three months ago.

Tess: Three months ago. Okay.

Chris: I believe.

Tess: All right.

Chris: And I started doing outbound marketing, outbound sales calls, basically. Just started reaching out to as many people as I could. I have, you know, something in my email called Streak that lets me track email opens, make sure people are actually getting the email. Because, you know, I mean, if you’re reaching out to people who might be interested in buying the name, and they don’t reply, you’re not sure if they got the email or not. So that’s a helpful thing.

Tess: Can we back up a minute, Chris. You just said a four-letter-word for domain investors. You said, “I call.”

Chris: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, I called.

Tess: Really? Now tell me, one time you called the lady, and what did she say to you?

Chris: One time when I got a…Oh, yeah, right, okay. So, yeah, another…I call people all the time to get names, you know. Get somewhere on the phone. You’re human. You sent him an email, you could be a robot. You could be some weird guy from wherever. And most people don’t answer the email. So I call on the phone, “Hey, you know, I’m Chris, the t-shirt guy. You got a cool name. You wanna sell it? I wanna buy it.” And I have 100% success rate for the names I go after.

Tess: A hundred percent. Wow, that’s amazing. And, you know, you’re pretty new at it, I’ll say that. But I wanna check back in a year and hear about that. So you have a 100% success rate over the phone. I’m betting you don’t have the same success rate in email.

Chris: No. No, no, no. No.

Tess: I’ll tell you, you know, I know our brokerage firm as well, you know, we find phones make such a big difference.

Chris: Oh, yeah.

Tess: And so I just thought it was actually pretty typical from my experience what you mentioned to me earlier when we were talking that one woman, when you called, she said, “I’ve received hundreds of emails. No one has ever called me.”

Chris: Yes, exactly, yeah.

Tess: I mean, all these people who are working so hard to come up with a clever subject line, and kudos to them, you need a good subject line, but you could just pick up the phone. It takes less time than coming up with a good subject line, you know.

Chris: Absolutely. Yeah. I actually been very very surprised at why would so many people go…Why do so many people buy things at auction when you can just call someone on the phone. Ask them to sell it to you. I mean, you know, you’re losing money. You’re blowing money. Why? Because you’re scared, you’re shy? Well, you got nothing to lose. What, you know, they’re gonna say, “No, thank you?” Oh, man, that’s not gonna…Move on to the next one. You should have a hit list, you know. Start today. It’s better than a cup of coffee. You get rejected? Oh, man, that’s good. So it makes you try harder so you don’t get rejected the next time. And then at the end of the day, you get a big solid, awesome purchase, and you flip it. Man, I mean, that’s something to wake up for early in the morning. That’ll get me going. Yeah, that’s success. That’s fun.

Tess: And, you know, a lot of times success is thinking differently. And just like in college, you thought very differently and found a lot of success at 17 years, you know. And now, with this, you’re thinking differently making these phone calls. And it is, I think, in a lot of ways, the domain industry is very isolated. Like you said, you don’t know another person that you can sit and talk with. And you feel like these Sherpa things are like to sitting, having a beer with your friends.

Chris: Oh, yeah.

Tess: You know, I feel the same way. And I think that connection with other domainers is fabulous. If you go to a conference, or get on a forum, or, you know, sit in these Sherpa rooms to hear and soak up this this knowledge and little nuggets. But I’ll tell you, call, four-letter-word. That is a nugget right there.

So, anyway, so you call people, then you also email them. And you use Streak. Is that Streak.com by chance?

Chris: Yeah, I think. Yeah.

Tess: Okay. I used a different one. Yeah, there are lots of them but it’s great to have a software where you can track people’s email opens and get an idea, you know, somebody never get this so I got to look for a different email address, or somebody’s open this 49 times, might be time, you know…or I sent something three months ago and they just open it a bunch of times today. I wonder maybe all the sudden they’re needing cash or reconsidering, right?

Chris: Yeah.

Tess: Yeah. Okay, so…

Chris: [inaudible 00:45:09].

Tess: So you call and email people. So ItalianWeddings.com. You’re calling and emailing your hit list.

Chris: Yeah.

Tess: And what happened?

Chris: So I was going after wedding planners and whatnot trying to, you know, “Hey, I’ve got this name.” And I would also go to EstiBot, not for the appraisal, but EstiBot has got some kind of thing where it’s sort of generates outbound lead ideas…

Tess: They have a lead generator, yeah.

Chris: Yeah. So I would kind of see…It would pop back, you know, somebody’s got ItalianWeddings.net or .us or, you know, inferior domain names extensions. And so you kind of make a list that way. And, you know, I would just start reaching out, and I find people in Pinterest that were wedding planners, and they were kind of doing…And I sent out probably 20 different…I contacted about 20 different people and not one of them reply. And they all open their emails, multiple times, and they forwarded those emails because of the locations. You can see what city they opened them in and whatnot. But nobody replied. And I wasn’t gonna start doing outbound calls, really. I mean, if I really wanted to, I could have, and I would do that today where they want to sell. But at the time, to say I was new, I would just email those folks and nobody got back to me. So I said, “Okay, I’ll just keep buying, and eventually I’ll sell it.”

I put it on, you know, UnionReg marketplace so that it went to a landing page. This name is available, make an offer. And I got contacted by a wedding planner in Rome. And he wanted it.

Tess: How soon after you put up a landing page?

Chris: Surprisingly quick. I think it’s probably two or three weeks after I bought it.

Tess: Oh, you’re kidding. So you bought it. Immediately, you research some buyers and reached out just via email at this point. And I did catch that on Pinterest. I think most domainers do not look for possible buyers on Pinterest. But especially for a niche like weddings, that makes sense.

Chris: Sure.

Tess: So you reached out to a bunch of buyers, got nothing. And within a couple weeks, you said, “Okay, I’m playing B in this,” and put it up on Union Registry and got an inquiry. Boom.

Chris: Done.

Tess: Wow.

Chris: Yeah. And since he was coming after me, you know, then I knew the price was solid so, you know, I held at my number. And he’s like, “Can you go down?” I was like, “Nope.” So, I mean, you want this. You came to me. So there was no reason to negotiate because I figured, even if he didn’t like the price, then, you know, there’d be another guy who would think that price was worth it too.

Tess: Well, that’s true. Situation is different if your outbound selling or receiving an inbound offer. It makes a difference in where you stand. So you put it on a price, you bought it for $1,000 even, and you quoted him. Did he reach out with an offer or he just said, “Hey, are you gonna sell us?”

Chris: He’s like, “What’s your price?” I said, “$9,000.” He said, you know, “I think it’s worth more like, I don’t know, $3,000 or something.” I was like, “Well, the price is nine if you want it.” And he’s like, “Okay, $9,000 it is.” And, I mean,, you know, I looked him up. I did my research. It wouldn’t have mattered to me anyway, but I knew that he was, you know, he was legit. He was a real wedding planner in Rome. And nice guy. He had a successful business and, you know, $9,000 to him is nothing. But, you know, maybe I should have asked for more, but I was happy to get it. And, yeah, sold it to him. He wired me…

Actually, and he trusted me on that one. So I didn’t use Escrow.com. He wired me the money. And once the wire went through, it took a long time from Italy, but, like, I think it took about 10 days to get the money. And then once I got the wire transfer, I push to his GoDaddy account.

Tess: So you practically owned this domain the same amount of time as it took you to close the sale on it. I mean, you owned it for two or three weeks, and, you, you know, it took 10 or 12 days to close this out. That’s unheard of. That’s really amazing. It sounds like you just have a good eye for picking and for negotiating. I definitely honestly would not recommend to our Sherpa network to not use some kind of safety measure when, you know, transferring domains and funds. But like I said, you just have a different skillset and background down, and sounds like a nice little touch of luck.

Chris: Oh, yeah. I’m Irish.

Tess: So where did you come up with…Why $9,000? You bought it for $1,000. It was probably not publicly available information to the buyer, but you knew he was, you know, did you look up currency exchange, did you look up how much does a wedding planner in Italy make? I mean, definitely, you know, he’s got some money, or if he’s trying…right? I mean, he’s not looking whatever the word is for weddings in Italian. So he must be selling Italian wedding products, services to foreigners, which I assumed would be pricey.

Chris: Yeah. No, he owned WeddingsItaly.com, I think, which is, you know, it’s not a search term. But if you type in “Italian weddings” in Google, that is a search term.

Tess: Yeah.

Chris: I mean, I don’t know, I would have love to get a $100,000 for it, but I just pulled it out of thin air. I mean, you know, nine times my money was pretty cool. I mean, go big or go home. So, I mean, 9 seemed big to me at the time.

Tess: Yeah, I mean, 9X in three weeks is fabulous. And it’s not worth $100,000. You’re not gonna sell to anyone for $100,000, you know. But for $9,000, it sounds like you were just pulling from your gut feeling of what this gentleman was willing to pay, you know, and engaging, that is what is a fair market value. And really, if you’re gonna sell ItalianWeddings, you know, who are you gonna sell it to? An Italian wedding singer, wedding planners, like, you were saying, in the U.S. with Italian theme, really, who’s making the most money off Italian weddings? It probably is someone in Italy marketing to foreigners. And that would have been really hard to find outbound.

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

Tess: But to get that inbound, sounds like just a real stroke of timing.

Chris: Yeah, it worked out really well. I was happy. And, you know, it was good. Because, you know, I was buying a lot of names. I was buying a lot of names because the time to buy something is when you see it. And so I was watching all these expired auctions and I was buying them. I wasn’t buying names and waiting to sell them before I bought more because those opportunities will not be there tomorrow. So, yeah. I mean, it was nice because I got that money and then I bought some more and kept on rolling with it.

Tess: Okay. So GoDaddy, within the last few weeks, changed change things so that it’s not possible anymore…like, now, if you win an auction for an expired domain, you get the domain. That this kind of front-running isn’t happening anymore. Because it sounds like it affected you and probably everyone in the industry a lot of ways, I think, you know. You win it and then you didn’t really win it, and then…or you lose it, but you turn around and call somebody or…

So it sounds like that change is gonna create a lot more, just kind of stability of expectations. And probably budgeting, too, because if you think you won something at auction, then don’t maybe bid on the next auction that’s winning in three hours…or that’s ending in three hours because you just spent your cap for the day. So I think that’ll really help with investor confidence in GoDaddy auctions. So I’m glad that you brought that up. And I’m glad that GoDaddy made that change. So we’ll see now, you know, what the next, you know, the next big step is. So, okay. So you sold ItalianWeddings, and then you bought Tigra.com.

Chris: Yeah, yeah, Tigra.com.

Tess: This is your second flip, Tigra.com. So ItalianWeddings.com, $1,000 purchase, $9,000 sale about 3, 4 weeks later. Tigra.com. Tigra.com. That makes me think of, like, power like a tiger, right? What’s that make you think of?

Chris: Yeah, right. I mean, I thought it was the name of…I thought it was, like, a Spanish name for tiger or…but, I mean, it wasn’t. But I thought it was a cool name. There’s a tennis shoe called Tigra, I think. I just thought it was a cool name. I mean, it could be used for anything. And I go to comic conventions and, you know, just kind of go down artist row and look at the comic artists, and meet them, and buy stuff from them. So I like the name…

Tess: So you could see this on a vintage t-shirt, Tigra. Like, you could feel the brand power, and it’s a five-letter, pronounceable, spellable, dot-com.

Chris: Yeah, I thought it was something, absolutely.

Tess: Yeah. And this was an expired name as well?

Chris: Yeah. It was expired. It was owned by… Yeah, I went back to Archive.org, which is you can look at, you know, it’s going back in time to look at websites, where they were at any time in their existence, really, if they were indexed. So when I looked at Tigra.com on Archive.org and I could see that it was owned by some guy. He had, like, some kind of fetish female wrestling website. It wasn’t porn but it was just female wrestlers from the ’70s and ’80s, which is, you know… But he had been using some other name and…

Tess: Sounds like a great t-shirt.

Chris: Yeah, right, right. So, you know, I didn’t reach out to that guy because I didn’t…I don’t know. I didn’t want…I don’t know. But, anyway, I bid on that name. I was…

Tess: Okay, so you bid on the name and you won.

Chris: Yeah, I got, yeah. I paid $5,500 for it.

Tess: Okay, so $5,500 for a 5-letter, really, you know, one-word dot-com maybe not really a dictionary word. But Tigra.com, $5,500 sounds awfully low. So when was this?

Chris: I mean, everything has happened within the last, really, two months. I think I…yeah. So I’ve done all my moving really in the last two months. I’ve made a lot of money in two months’ time just hustling. But, yeah, that was a cool name. I couldn’t believe, you know, since I’m new and there’s so many people who’ve been doing this for so long, I was very surprised that nobody else bought it. But I’m not gonna doubt myself because nobody else bought it. It just happens to be maybe they were buying a bigger name at the time and their budget was tied up, and they only had so much money to spend that week. But, no, trust your gut. Buy it.

Tess: What do you think you would have paid? Did you have a high bid entered in that was higher? What do you think you would have been willing to pay for it?

Chris: $10,000.

Tess: Yeah.

Chris: Yeah, I would’ve bought it for $10,000. I mean, I think I had a proxy in for $10,000.

Tess: Okay. So you got it for $5,500, and then what happened? Then did you do the same thing, make your hit list, and this time make some phone calls? No? What’d you do?

Chris: No. I knew if somebody would come after me. So I put it on Union Registry with a landing page and got an inbound inquiry from, I guess, you could say a Tigra.de, which is a German tungsten carbide steel company. And it’s like…

Tess: So the exact same domain but it ended with .de for Germany instead of .com.

Chris: Yes.

Tess: And they’re reaching out to you. You kind of know [inaudible 00:58:23]…

Chris: There we go. We got to know. It’s like the…

Tess: So how soon did they reach out to you after you bought it?

Chris: Oh, wow. That was quick too. I really wanna say it was about a week later.

Tess: Really? So that sounds like maybe they’ve been watching it, or maybe they saw WHOIS changed and they didn’t know. You know, a lot of companies don’t know about expired auctions or don’t know about WHOIS. Because if the last person owned it, they could have just done a WHOIS search.

Chris: Right. I know.

Tess: Interesting. So there can be some real value in having a website that shows people “This name is for sale.” Not just, you know, figuring they’ll know to look it up on the WHOIS. Especially I mean, most corporations are gonna assume Tigra.com is taken, right? I think it is taken. Just, you know, you would assume and that it have a site and a business on it because it’s great, great name. Okay, so they reached out with an offer or…

Chris: No, they asked me what my price was. And I knew that was out of my league. I knew it was as a high-dollar price and I wasn’t comfortable, you know, just basically saying, you know…I knew from ItalianWeddings, it’s, like, I need help with this one. So I reached out to a broker.

Tess: Okay. So you have a quote you really like, Matt Damon in…

Chris: “Rounders?”

Tess: Yeah. What’s the quote?

Chris: Yeah, that’s that poker movie. “If you’re sitting at a table and you look around and you don’t know who the sucker is, it’s you.” So, yeah. So I’m not gonna give a name without finding out about it. So, yeah. So I asked for help on that one.

Tess: Okay. You know, that takes a little bit of experience probably, getting burned, doing it the other way. Good for you. So what’d you sell it for?

Chris: Twenty eight thousand five hundred.

Tess: Wow. So you’re willing to pay $10,000 for it, you bought Tigra.com for $5,500, and within a matter of a week.

Chris: Yeah.

Tess: Wow. I mean, that’s not normal, you know. But this can happen today. This isn’t, you know, all the people got the good domains 20 years ago. This this happened in, you know, November?

Chris: Yeah. Yeah, November, yeah.

Tess: You sent me the receipt, I’m sorry.

Chris: Oh, yeah.

Tess: Mike Siger [SP] would know of the day. Sorry, Mike. Okay. So in November, you bought it and reached out to a broker, sold it for $28,500. So, I mean, that’s a $23,000 profit in a week. Then ItalianWeddings, so you had an $8,000 profit in a matter of a couple weeks. And what are you doing? You’re just reinvesting that? Are you getting cocky thinking you can buy everything, or you’re gonna be the next French Shilling or what?

Chris: Yeah, right. No, I mean, I’ve sold two more names too, you know. I sold one in GoDaddy, Afternic, and one on BrandBucket. But, yeah, I bought a lot of names and I’m gonna keep buying names, but I’m also put some in Bitcoin.

Tess: Okay.

Chris: Lucky, yeah, so I’m happy about that.

Tess: So you really, it sounds like, you’re a serial entrepreneur in all these different businesses that you’ve mentioned, you know, on this show or otherwise, and you’re using the same skills that you have, are serving you, while you’re finding industries that you can make a profit with the skills that you have. That’s really neat. Because a lot of people think they need to go into a new industry and get new skills, which that’s certainly valid, and you can do that. But, Chris, you have an extraordinary skill, and you’re putting it to great use.

So what’s next for you? What have you bought lately that you think you’re gonna flip? You know, your LegCandy, what else you have that you’re thinking of developing with other brands that you think are highly brandable?

Chris: Well, we’ve got the we’ve got the yoga website. So that’s LegCandy.com. That’s in development. I have a coming soon page on that one. But, I mean, I wanna go to…I’m gonna go to trade show next year, the Domain Trade Show. I mean, I’m gonna keep buying names. I’m gonna keep doing cold calls for names. I have a hit list. And, you know, you can still front run. You just have to download the directory of names that are dropping. I mean, there’s a list of every names that’s registered in the world, I think. Well, the dot-coms anyway.

So, I mean, this is fun. I like to wake up and hustle from, you know, morning to night. And then, you know, when my wife and daughter go to bed, I’m still online. I’ll either get on ExpiredDomains or, you know, or GDAX and start trading Bitcoin or Litecoin, which is good. During the day, I run the t-shirt shop, the screen printing. We’ve got the sewing factory. I mean, life is short. And if you don’t make the most of it, you’re wasting it. So, you know, we should all be so lucky to be able to do things that we want to do, that gets fired up. And I love to talk about things that fire me up. And maybe I inspire somebody else. I mean, I think it’s given. I got my brother-in-law into…Well, I got him into, you know, Bitcoin, and he’s happy and grateful. As of today, December 11th, he’s grateful. But, you know.

Tess: That’s a good clarification there.

Chris: Yeah, right.

Tess: And real quick, what does your wife think of, all of a sudden, you’re spending 40 hours a week educating yourself about domain names. You’re buying ItalianWeddings, have nothing to do with you. T-shirt business, what does she think of all these?

Chris: Okay. So here’s the deal. When I started, I did not tell her what I was buying. Because she knows that I’m good at what I do, but I didn’t feel like it was necessary to tell her until I had a sale. And I’m confident myself. But I didn’t want to have her worrying while I was building something up. Because you don’t go ask…For anything you do in life, if you know you’re golden, you don’t go out and ask other people’s opinion until you’ve gotten to where you wanna be. And then you’re, like, “What do you think of this?” Because if you ask for too many people’s opinion, then you’re not putting enough faith in yourself.

But my wife knows me. We’ve been together for a long time. So once I sold something, I told her. And she’s like, “Well, how much have you spent?” And I told her, and she’s like, “Okay, well, you’ve made more than you’ve spent. So go for it.” And then she’s like, “Have you thought about Bitcoin?” I was like she’s like, “Eh.” She’s like, “Well, you ought to start thinking about Bitcoin.” So I was like super happy, man. She’s solid. Yeah. So she’s supportive, and she’s like, “As long as you keep making the money, go for it. Have fun.”

Tess: That’s fantastic. That’s great. And so even though you’re not really interested in asking other people’s opinions or sharing what you’re doing at the very, you know, cusp of it, you’re spending, you said, you know, I forget what you said, 35 or 40 hours a week listening to Sherpa reviews and, you know, testing out ExpiredDomains.net and domainIQ. So you’re educating yourself and surrounding yourself with people who know more about it even though you’re not ready yet to, you know…

But now you’re ready. You got these two fantastic sales, a couple others, and I’m really excited to see what 2018 brings for you, Chris. You really are an asset to the industry with your enthusiasm, your research, and your…I just think you have an instinct that’s really unique. So, thank you. Thank you for coming on, sharing with all our network about what you’ve learned. I think there are quite a few takeaways here, insights into the industry and insights into perspectives for running business in general. So I hope our Sherpa network found it valuable.

And if our users want to contact you, is that okay? Do you want them to reach out to you through…I mean, they certainly can comment below in our video, or do you wanna share any contact info of your own or no or…I should’ve asked you that earlier.

Chris: I’m always open to meeting cool people and talking about stuff. I mean, I’m not gonna give all my information because if they’re solid enough, they can find it through domainIQ, right?

Tess: Fair enough, fair enough. Make them work for it. All right. Okay. Well, Chris, this was really fantastic. Thank you so much for being here. And to our guests, if you watch this show and you have questions that maybe I didn’t ask Chris about, please post them in the comments below this video on DomainSherpa, and I’ll ask Chris to come back and answer as many as he can. If you found educational benefit from this show, learn something new, or simply just felt inspired by Chris, please take 10 seconds to either, you know, post a comment below this video or, you know, share with your network. This is about developing a Sherpa network. We want a community who is excited about doing investing. So, you know, like it on Facebook, share it on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

But, anyway, Chris, thanks again for coming on the Domain Sherpa show, sharing all the details of your two phenomenal profitable flip sales. And thanks for being a DomainSherpa for others.

Chris: Thank you, Tess. It’s great to know you. And I feel like I’m in great company. So, perfect. Thank you.

Tess: Hear, hear. All right. Well, thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.

Watch the full video at:
https://www.domainsherpa.com/richard-dynas-hatred-flip/

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18 Responses to “Riches in the Niches: A Newbie’s 2 Profitable Flips in 2 Months – With Chris Reams”

  1. albert yemenian says:

    Great interview and Congrats. on the quick flips.

  2. Dan Beck says:

    What a great interview, supercool guy and I love the idea that there are so many transferable skills . Inspiring stuff.

    Thanks so much to both of you.

    Dan.

  3. Vaibhav says:

    Inspiring, awesome interview.

  4. Vito says:

    Tess and Chris,

    Awesome Show!

    It always amazes me whenever listening to anyone in domaining, the different strategies, the different styles, the different niches, It always seems there is something else to learn from each and everyone in this biz.

    Here is a great video to show anyone that there IS money in domaining if done right. So many people say we are too late to the party, that all the old rockstar domainers in the 90’s gobbled up all the good domains and that there is no money to be made anymore. Bullshit. You proved right here that is incorrect.

    I have a friend for 30+ years that has heard me talking about domaining for the past 10-ish years and he never really had any interest in domaining. So just this past weekend for the first time ever he became interested after me telling him I just got back from NamesCon. He actually looked up NamesCon and still couldn’t figure out what it was about. Now he has interest. So he actually wanted to hear more about it. We talked for over an hour and I think he is very interested now since he has a bit of time off from his regular job throughout the year and wants to supplement his income from home.

    Having this video fresh in my mind, I sent him this video. I think it is an incredible video to show new people the right way to enter into this Business/Hobby/Industry.

    I like the fact that you don’t have any old habits either. You are paving your own way based on what you feel works best for you. I am a believer in phone calls as well. I am more of a believer in face to face but that is not always possible. But getting someone on the phone, hearing a real voice, a real story. I feel like that human connection is always so important.

    Congrats on all of your side hustle success ($1.00 pix in Europe, and Ice Skates in Amsterdam – Classc) and I hope we get to hear more from you in the future. You are already an asset to the domaining community Chris. Thanks for sharing brother!

    And Tess, Thanks for interviewing Chris. You really are very natural and engaging and I look forward to all of your future interviews. Another great show, keep up the great work. Really appreciate it!

    P.S. To my friend Jon4, I wanna see you on here one day! :)

  5. tldboss says:

    Thanks Tess and Chris for a great show.

    Congrats Chris, great sales, well done.
    I am impressed with your skills, especially the fact that you are just starting out and you are already buying solid names, thus amazing.

  6. Thanks Tess and Chris for this interview. It was really nice and informative to me as a domainer.

  7. albert yemenian says:

    Tess, what a great interview. This and the development of websites that perfectly match the domain names are exactly what the Sherpa community is craving for.

    Chris, thanks for your techniques and it goes to show that even if you are new to the domain name industry, there is still money to be made.

  8. Ategy.com says:

    Great informative show guys! :)

    Congrats on the sales Chris!

    Now everyone repeat after me (and Tess) …
    … CALL CALL CALL CALL

    And since Drew owns Sherpa now .. let’s use a 4 letter F-Word too …
    … FONE FONE FONE FONE

    OK .. now that that’s out of the way .. just a little note to help all of you out with regards to the GoDaddy changes touched on in this interview.

    It *IS* still very possible to not get a domain you won at auction on the GoDaddy Auctions platform. GoDaddy has sealed most of the holes when it comes to expired names that were from GoDaddy accounts. However people need to remember that GoDaddy also passes expiring domains from other registrars their their auction platform. All those other domains still are bound by their respective registrars terms of usage. If that other registrar allows 40 days .. then the original owner can go into their account at that other registrar and pay to renew their domain and you will never receive the domain in your account.

    To compound this issue .. I’ve noticed GoDaddy masking the WhoIs information on some (possibly most/all) domains at auction .. so even if you look at the whoIs info, it sometimes isn’t clear if it is a GoDaddy domain .. or one from one of their affiliated registrars.

    I’ll be first to say I love GoDaddy auctions because of their huge selection. But those who know me also know how I feel about their platform. It’s extremely buggy, inefficient and often spits out emails or pages with imprecise information and flat out wrong pricing, etc etc .. I’ve reported so many bugs and errors .. and it’s just constantly “handed to the team” .. then no follow up and the bugs persist months and even years later! (I lost a domain a couple weeks ago while on vacation because of a perfect storm of THREE separates bugs/issues .. did I say the GD platform is a mess? lol .. to be fair .. it is a giant platform of many overlapping parts glued together .. probably impossible to be perfect even if they had the best coders in the world .. they need to work with power users who actually know and see all the little corners of their platform … anyhow .. back on topic .. lol)

    So … according to GoDaddy .. within their contracts with the other registrars .. part of the agreements they made in getting the right to auction those names, is they are not allowed to distinguish GoDaddy names from Non-GoDaddy names. That being said .. there’s at least one bug and a few loop-holes where you can find out .. even ahead of time. Don’t bother asking .. i won’t post bugs on a platform I actually use myself .. lol. Bear in mind .. that even if a domain expired at a non-GoDaddy registrar, the chances of it getting pulled back are rather low.

    Suffice to say .. while the chances are now much higher you will get a domain you win .. it’s far from guaranteed .. the only way to be sure 99% is when it’s in your account. And I say 99% .. because even then sometimes there was a bug or problem .. or even a legitimate mistake somewhere along the line where they have taken domains from people’s accounts (admittedly rare .. but it’s never 100%)

    One opinion I hear on why some domains are pulled back .. is that the old owners deliberately let their domains go to auction just to see what kind of demand and how high the bids go. Obviously there’s also he situation where people like Chris try to get the domain from the original owner.

    Thanks again for a great interview! :)

  9. Eric says:

    This was an excellent show! Many great points, I will probably watch it again. I too am into antiquing, although mostly for my personal collection these days. I think it’s the thrill of the hunt along with the fact that you have things that others desire. I get the same feeling when buying a domain that’s awesome as I do with an antique item.

    I’ve been playing the domain expiration game with some of my domains, mostly to gauge interest, but I did lose two of them because I wasn’t paying close enough attention with ~500 domain names, so even though they weren’t very valuable, I left some money on the table. The bottom-line here is that I didn’t really get much insight by doing this…I’m really only interested in end users, that typically don’t troll expired domain auctions.

    With respect to trademarks and names, there are legitimate and legal uses for them , but you do have to know what you are doing, however for the average “domainer”, probably best left alone.

    Also, interesting to note that both of these sales went to end users in Europe and they wanted .com and not “dot whatever”, which would translate in antique terminology as a “repro” or “knockoff”.

  10. Logan says:

    Very informative show Tess and Chris!

    Congratulations to Chris on his demonstrable domain investing skills in only a few short months — much faster skill development than most investors, including me.

    Tess, great job. Your interviewing skills are coming along nicely.

    Regarding trademarks — be sure to use USPTO.gov and/or http://www.wipo.int/branddb/en/ before bidding on or buying any domain name to help mitigate potential trademark risks and potential costly legal expenses that could lead to a negative ROI for your portfolio quickly. Just steer clear!

  11. Carl says:

    Thanks Chris and Tess for the excellent show! Cheers!!

  12. Jeff says:

    Hi Chris, great interview. Very informative, thanks.

    A couple of questions if I may.

    1. When making phone calls, did you have a script… and If so can you share?

    2. Same as above but related to emails you sent out… Did you have a template… and if yes can you share?

    3. Regards compiling your contact eMail list. How did you compile your list… I ask as I understand you can’t get eMail details from whois anymore. How did you find your eMails contact?

    And obviously answering is optional… you have already given a lot.

    Once again… big thanks for sharing, most appreciated.

    And related to not asking too many people for feedback. Totally agree… maybe some close people who’s opinion you value. But for the most part, I don’t like to be asking others to score my card.

    Thanks again.

    And thank you Tess for putting this together.

    Jeff

  13. Nick says:

    Thank you for the show

  14. Saro says:

    Great insights and tricks!

    Thanks guys.

  15. brand says:

    Thanks to everyone for a great show, keep up the good work.

  16. Great show Tess and Chris.

    Congrats on the sales and continued success.

    Doing a great interviewing job Tess- keep it up :)

    1. JB says:

      Thank you, I hope they can fix it.

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