Share a Vision to Sell Your Domain Name – With Michael “Zappy” Zapolin

Do you have a domain name that defines a product, service or industry – one that a company should want and buy from you if you could only reach the right person at that company with the right pitch?

Mike “Zappy” Zapolin is back to help you accomplish that task.

After walking through his methodology and the tactics he used to sell and for $6 million and $8 million, respectively, we discuss three domains that are not as valuable, but are more representative of the domain names many of us have in our portfolios:, and

Interview (76:12): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Sponsors | Read Transcript

Your DomainSherpa Interview

Playback Speed:
This interview is promoted through a media partnership with

If you like this program, please thank Zappy on Twitter (click here – opens in new window)

Your DomainSherpa Interview, Audio Only

Download Domain Name Interview in MP3

Note: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Or, listen on iTunes or in your favorite podcast app (here are the feeds).

Or, grab a feed for your podcast app, listen via Stitcher or listen on iTunes.

Michael “Zappy” Zapolin

Michael Zapolin: Zappy’s Proven Process to Extract Maximum Value from Domain NamesMichael “Zappy” Zapolin is an Internet entrepreneur, author and filmmaker.

Over the years Zappy has purchased, built and/or partnered on some of the greatest domain names in existence, including:,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Zappy is co-founder and CEO of He began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert, later joining Bear Stearns, where he became one of the youngest vice presidents in the 100-year history of the investment bank.

Follow This Domainer on FacebookFollow Michael “Zappy” Zapolin on Facebook
Follow This Domainer on TwitterFollow DomainSherpa on Facebook

DomainSherpa Advertisers

Please visit the advertisers that support DomainSherpa and make our shows possible.
Watch Ad

Michael “Zappy” Zapolin Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

Download/Read the Domain Name Interview Transcript in PDF FormatMichael “Zappy” Zapolin Interview Transcript in PDF Format (Right-click to Save As…) [View in Google Docs]

Watch the full video at:

Do you think you have a domain name that defines a product, a service, or an industry that a company should want to buy from you if you could only reach the right person at that company? Today’s guest is going to help you come up with a game plan to get that domain name sold. Stay tuned.

Three messages before today’s interview educates and motivates you.

First, if you’re a domain name investor, don’t you have unique legal needs that require domain name technical know-how and industry experience? That’s why you need David Weslow of Wiley Rein. Go search for David Weslow on DomainSherpa, watch his interview and you can see for yourself that he 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. David Weslow is the lawyer to call for Internet legal issues. See for yourself at

Second, managing multiple domain name marketplace and auction site accounts is a pain. Inevitably, you forget to sign into one and lose a great domain…or worse. Now imagine using a single, simple-to-use and comprehensive control panel to manage all your accounts. That’s Protrada. You can setup search filters, analyze domains, automate bidding, list domains for sale, and buy domains across all major marketplaces. Protrada also has a new semantic engine that builds Google-friendly websites with rich content and network feeds. Sign up at to get 20 free credits and start building and monetizing your domains today.

Finally, if you have questions about domain names, where should you go to ask them? The answer is Not only is DN Forum the largest domain name forum in the world, but it’s the best. You can learn about domain names and the industry, buy and sell domain names, talk about domain name news, and meet other domainers just like yourself. Register for a free DN Forum account and begin advancing your skills and knowledge today. And when you do signup, send me a friend request so we can connect.

Here’s your program.

Michael Cyger: Hey everyone. My name is Michael Cyger, and I’m the Publisher of – the website where you come to learn how to become a successful domain name investor and entrepreneur directly from the experts.

Today’s show is going to be sort of a master class on the topic of selling a domain name that defines a product, a service, or an industry. You have the domain name. You want to sell it. You know a company should be interested. If only the right person at that company knew about its availability and can see what your vision is. What do you do?

Today’s guest is a return Domain Sherpa. Michael “Zappy” Zapolin, an Internet visionary who, in the past, sold,,,, and other killer domains for tens of millions.

Zappy, welcome back to the show.

Michael “Zappy” Zapolin: Thank you. Good to be back.

Michael: So, for anyone that has not seen your previous show, Zappy, they owe it to themselves to go watch that. I pulled out a few comments from that show, and I don’t want to embarrass, Zappy, but I think anybody that has not watch it needs to go do that. Amanda said, “Best interview of the year. Thanks guys. Gold.” A reader named Fero commented: “Great interview. I will watch it again.” And then Cassie summed up the depth of the interview by saying, “Spectacular. One of the best interviews on Domain Sherpa. I listened to it three times in order to digest the many great ideas.” And that is why I wanted to have you back on here, Zappy, because you are full of great ideas. You have got a ton of tactics and readers love to hear them.

Zappy: All right, cool. I should just disclaimer those were family members, just so you know.

Michael: All right, I appreciate that. So here is what I want to do on this interview, Zappy. I want to start off with your sales process map at a high level. We talked about it in your previous interview, but for anybody that has not seen it, we will briefly discuss the sale again. Then I want to discuss three domain names of varying quality. One good one, one great one, and then like a mediocre one, because that is pretty much what our portfolios are. Some of us have great domain names and some of us have a lot of mediocre ones. And I want to get your input on what you would do to sell each of them if you owned them. And for those watching the show and thinking I am going to select only great names, watch and you will see. None of them are like or, like Zappy sold in the past. Sounds good, Zappy?

Zappy: Yeah, that sounds great.

Michael: All right. So, in your previous interview, you talked about the strategy for selling great domain names. I think I am going to boil it down to a three-step process. Step one is to build a website that shows people what a domain name could do for them. You put up a vision so that other people can see it, and that is step one. And you did that for Is that correct?

Zappy: That is correct. I mean I would say that if you did not want to go, let’s say, as far as putting up a placeholder site that is going to demonstrate to people what is there, there is probably a step or two before that that I do. Sometimes even before I am buying a domain, I will sort of analyze who the would be, could be acquirers are. So, to me, that is important as you are going in. Whether you plan to develop or not, it is really good to just have a sense of who could be the eventual buyer, and then, as you put that thing together, you might some of their buzz words or different things that would be of interest to those different people or companies into your poster for what this site could be.

Michael: Okay. So let me back up then. So let’s say step one is you are looking at acquiring a domain name. You want to figure out, before you even acquire it, who you are going to sell it to.

Zappy: It is a good thing. Sometimes, of course, it turns out that the last person in the world that you thought would have bought it winds up buying it. Sometimes there is some randomness to who you meet, who connects you with somebody else. But definitely have the top level players identified so that you can, number one, reach out to them at the beginning while you are building, while you are developing, and you are just going to have a dialogue along the way with these different people, which I think is important just to be on their radar at least.

Michael: Okay. So – if people want to find out how you acquired that domain name, they can go watch the first show. But let’s just say you owned So you did your research and, offhand, I would say every single beer manufacturer in the world would be on your list.

Zappy: Yes, and I do not know if I mentioned last time and kind of how that went, but that might be a good one to focus on because I am not sure how much we touched on it last time.

Michael: I do not think we did either, so let’s talk about then. Let’s flip onto that one. So, you had the opportunity to acquire

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: What year was that? Do you remember roughly?

Zappy: This was 1999.

Michael: Okay.

Zappy: And I was thinking: “What a great category.” You have De Beers all the way at the top of the chain that is mining these diamonds, and then you have all this process of cutters, and wholesalers, and finishers, and wholesales, and retailers – all these people. And I figured if that could get sucked out by the Internet, then this could be a really good category. And of course, at the time, people were telling me: “No, that is stupid. Nobody is ever going to buy a diamond on the Internet. Maybe they will buy like a fifty-dollar ring, but nobody is actually going to buy a real diamond on the Internet.” So, keep in mind part of what you should be thinking about is that, if you think you have a good domain that has potential, kind of block out whatever other people are saying because, if they got it, they would probably either own the domain name or be a domainer. You do not necessarily want everybody to get it. And I think a lot of times people go around polling people in the industry and you get these negative comments because they are looking it from their inside view or their niche view. They are not seeing it necessarily maybe from the company view or the domain view.

Michael: Right. Like if I am connected with all the people who have been past Sherpas and I ping a lot of them and I say, “Hey, what do you think about this domain name, or I was looking at this one, or this one crossed my desk, or I am interviewing this guy about this domain,” they will be like: “Well, That is okay, but I would rather have”

Zappy: Right. Right.

Michael: And so then I am like: “Oh yeah, Diamond is not as good. Wait a second.”

Zappy: Right. So do not let them get in your head.

Michael: Do not let them get in your head.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: Okay. So you had the opportunity to buy in 1999. You looked at it and you said, “I could go all the way up the chain from the people mining the diamonds to the cutters to the graders to the wholesalers to the retailers, and any one of them may want to buy it.”

Zappy: Yeah, and I thought, just anecdotally to myself: “De Beers sounds like an amazing buyer. Kay Jeweler. Some other jewelry retailer. There is a lot of margin in there. They may want to ultimately own it,” so I put together my list and, not being an insider in the industry, I really was going with top level players.

Michael: Yeah. How many were on that list roughly?

Zappy: There was probably about ten on the list. But what happened, and this is kind of typical, is your best leads are going to come from one of those groups that you identify and contact. So, of course you have to rule out. Once again, you call up, like I did, Kay Jewelers, and you get either the right person or the wrong person, and they give you some bad information like: “Oh, we will never use that, because we are Kay. We would never use that.” Meanwhile, months or years later, they call back, trying to buy it for millions more than they could have. But the point is your best leads may also come from that list when you get in touch with them. So what happened was we contacted De Beers originally and reached out to them and said, “Here is what we are doing. We own We are going to make a diamond portal,” because, again, when you do get the decision maker on the phone, you do not want to just say, “I own this domain name and I would like to sell it. Would you like to buy it,” because then you are going to get domain value and they know you want to sell it. So you want to approach it a little more like it is, which is: “I have this domain name and I have got an incredible opportunity in this category. We are going to build this opportunity out and we would like to have all the right partners and people aligned with us, but we think we are going to be really big and wanted to let you know what we were doing.” That is kind of like your first sort of statement.

Michael: So that is it. So, De Beers was on the list in addition to like nine other companies. You called them up and said, “We have got We are going to build a portal. We are going to go direct to consumers. It is going to be an enormous opportunity that is going to change the industry and we are looking for some key partners and we wanted to tell you about it.”

Zappy: Yeah, exactly.

Michael: So who do you even reach out to?

Zappy: So, there is another key element, which is you have to have a certain amount of arrogance when you have the domain name. You actually have something of value to this category. And I think that is like the most exciting thing because in the past, let’s say twenty years ago, if you wanted to get into the movie business or the diamond business, you really needed to be either an insider or have some one-in-a-million thing that they wanted. And here, if you have a domain name that is like a category, generic domain or a really good keyword domain, you have to know that they really, in the back of their head, need it and should want it. So you can have a certain amount of arrogance of saying, “Look, we are going to be huge. We are probably going to wind up being one of your biggest customers. Of course we would like to talk to you about maybe partnering or something like that.” As apposed to selling it maybe talk about partnering.

Michael: Sure.

Zappy: But you should have a certain amount of arrogance to be able to call up the CEO. Call the CEO’s office. Email. Find them. We can talk a little bit later about finding people on LinkedIn and things like that. But reach out. Call them up. Literally, I would just call. Get the number.

Michael: So you would call the CEO and, of course, you are probably not going to get to the CEO of De Beers. You are going to get to his secretary. And I want to go through that process, but before you even like put up anything on the website, before you get any press, before anything else you would call up the CEO.

Zappy: Yeah, because I want to immediately establish that here is what is going on and get some good leads from them.

Michael: What if they immediately say, “Zappy, it sounds great. Fly on out here, to Florida, and let’s talk about it”? Like, well, first of all, I am not going to fit the bill for like flying out to Florida and spending the time, and this guy could be yanking me. Like I don’t know. That is just me.

Zappy: Yeah, I mean look, if it was De Beers, who has enough credibility and girth, I would say, “Look, you guys book me a ticket to come to Florida and meet with you for a day or so, and let’s do it,” because again, to get in somebody like that’s hand, if they are willing to pay you to come, absolutely.

Michael: Okay.

Zappy: If it was anybody else, again, maybe Kay Jewelers or something like that, if they wanted to foot the bill, but you have to have a certain amount of arrogance as well that unless they are going to fly you down and take this thing seriously, you do not need them. You are just letting them know, at this point, what you are doing.

Michael: Yeah. So the whole idea is you just want to tell them that this coming and that you have a great vision, and you do not have to go into all the details, and you want to keep them in the loop and you want them to basically say, “Yeah, keep me in the loop.”

Zappy: Yeah. What I really want, because, again, it is probably not going to start with the CEO and end with CEO on that phone call, so what you are really trying to do is plant the seed with the CEO that this is an opportunity that is being important, but what you are trying to do is really get kind of a yes from the CEO, like: “Yes, this sounds interesting. Sounds cool. Let me put you in touch with the right person.” And then you are able to contact the right person and say, “A CEO told me to talk to you because this is such a big opportunity.” And anyone you ever talk to in that company, you can also reinforce the fact that this is coming from the CEO, and obviously they do not want to drop the ball because it is going to get back up the chain back to the CEO.

Michael: All right, so let me inject a little bit of reality in the situation here. If I call up the CEO of De Beers, I am not going to get the CEO of De Beers on the phone.

Zappy: Well, I am going to say first you are going to get the gatekeeper on the phone.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: His secretary, administrative assistant. If you are sufficiently positioned with a good name – a good domain – and you have the right arrogance of what you are about, they are going to respond to the fact that they either need to put you in touch with the CEO or tell the CEO about the conversation and maybe put you into the right person’s hands, but you would be stunned. We have gotten, just as a group of having these domains, I mean people literally like I do not want to say Bill Gates because we have never gotten him on the phone, but CEOs of fortune five hundred companies that you would know the name of. These kind of people are coming to the phone. In some cases, the secretary gives them the rap that you are on the phone and they take the call or they call you back. So I have gotten calls back in fifteen minutes from fortune five hundred CEOs who just want to know what is going on. It is a real piece of the business. They want to understand. They are going to take two minutes to hear what the guy is talking about because that is credible.

Michael: Okay. So, in this case, the domain is so good it defines the industry. That is enough with a little bit of cocky attitude to get the CEO on the phone with you.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: Okay. So, let’s say that you call up. You get the gatekeeper. His secretary/administrative assistant or her secretary/administrative assistant. I do not want to make any biases. And what do you say to the admin?

Zappy: So, if I was calling with, I would say, “This is Zappy Zapolin. I am calling from, and we are developing the leading diamond portal on the Internet. And I want to talk to the CEO about De Beers being involved with us.”

Michael: Okay, and that is it. That is easy enough.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: Okay. So, her or she (admin) knows to reach out to the CEO and say, “Some guy that is leading portal. They are going out to market and they want to talk to you about a partnership.”

Zappy: Yeah, exactly.

Michael: And the CEO is going to say, “Okay, that sounds important enough for me to talk about.”

Zappy: Yeah, and worst case scenario, maybe that administrative assistant gets back and says, “I briefed the CEO and she told me to talk to so and so who is our CMO – our Chief Marketing Office.” So, now, they hand me that information. That CMO knows that it is coming down from the CEO, and I contact that person and say, “Look, this is Zappy Zapolin. I am calling from We are creating one of the biggest diamond portals on the Internet. I know the CEO passed my information onto you and, obviously, like him, I imagine to you this is something that is super important, so I want to tell you what we are doing and I want to talk to you about how maybe De Beers could be involved with us.”

Michael: Okay.

Zappy: And what happened there was that kind of that process is exactly what happened with De Beers. I reached out to the CEO. Got contacted back. They said, “Here is the person who handles our branding. Our Vice President of Branding – a high person in the organization.” And so I contacted them and they said, “Look, this sounds really exciting. However, we are De Beers and we do not think we can go direct to retail anytime soon. We do plan to, but it may several years or more before we do, so it would make more sense for you to contact maybe one of our site holders who is a big buyer of diamonds from De Beers.” And in fact, he said, “One of them kind of stands out from what you are saying. This gentleman Benny Steinmetz. He is one of the largest buyers of diamonds from De Beers. He is an Israeli. He has got a deal going in South Florida. He has got a hundred million dollars in soft bank and here is Benny’s number, and I will let him know that you are calling.” So, what could be better than De Beers calling this guy, saying, “Hey, this is a great potential opportunity, Benny. Why don’t you talk to this guy?” And so, I called up Benny and he said, “This sounds amazing. Let’s get together. I do have significant funding. I do have interest in” And literally weeks later we had a deal put together where we were selling for a multiple of what we had paid in cash and equity in a company that had a pending IPO.

Michael: Okay, now wait a second. There is a big gap between talking to Benny and saying, “Yeah, come on down. Let’s talk about it,” and you sold the domain, because here he was thinking that he is going to become part of a portal and get a lot more sales and over here he is actually buying the asset.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: How did that transpire from point A to point B?

Zappy: Yeah, so that is, I think, the point of why you want to just do these reach outs and even I think we will probably talk a little bit, like we did last time, about putting press out, because I could not really in his head to know what it was that he was doing or was all about. I just had a couple of bullet points from De Beers.

Michael: Yeah.

Zappy: But what he said to me in that conversation where I said, “Yeah, we are going to build this thing and I think that diamonds on the Internet is going to be a real thing. And we are going to have the wholesalers and the retailers, and De Beers, and people buying, and all that kind of thing,” and so he said to me: “Sounds great, but let me tell you what I am doing. I have got a hundred million dollars. I have got an operating team. I have a brand, but this would be a better brand.” And so he said, “How do we work together so that we can be”

Michael: Got you.

Zappy: And then it was just a little bit of negotiation from there, but I would not have known what cards he was holding or how high his interest was if I had not just kind of thrown it out there. And again, like I said, I referenced some other players like Kay Jewelers.

Michael: Sure. You are going to bring them up because it just is a subtle pressure on him.

Zappy: Yeah, it is like a motivation that maybe this opportunity goes a different way and he does not want it to.

Michael: Right. Okay, so that makes sense. He came in with an entirely different vision and of course you are open to that because then you do not have to actually do any work, and he takes the domain and you get a piece of equity, and hopefully that equity will appreciate over time.

Zappy: Yeah, and there was cash involved too.

Michael: So are you at liberty to tell us what you sold for? I cannot remember.

Zappy: Yeah, we had bought it for a few hundred thousand dollars – three hundred or so – and kept the domain owner in for a piece, and we sold it to them for a little over a million in cash and we owned equity that, at that point, was equivalent to five million of stock at the same levels that they had taken investment at from soft bank and things like that.

Michael: Wow.

Zappy: Again, there was a moment where we could have taken the cash there and hindsight 20/20 probably of course would have taken the cash, but it seemed like a good gamble and you want to have your assets rolling in a bunch of different ways, and you want to have some really good upside potentially for your domain. So we did do a cash stock deal that seemed like a great thing at the time.

Michael: So you are saying, if you had to do it over again, you would have taken more than a million dollars cash for it and been done rather than take a million dollars cash plus five million in then equity dollars.

Zappy: Yeah, only because I have a crystal meaning the equity wound up not being worth much at all, and then they resold the asset for like seven million to Ice. So they did not get hurt in that process of buying it from us either. They made money on the domain too. But I could have, with that same point, taken six million in cash. But hindsight 20/20, I did not know what would happen with the stock or the Internet bubble or anything like that.

Michael: Sure. So, how long did you own that domain for? Was it a pretty quick purchase and sale?

Zappy: Yeah, months.

Michael: Wow.

Zappy: Yeah, really just months.

Michael: Okay, and so you sold it before the whole Internet crashed in late ’99.

Zappy: Yeah, sold it in late ’99 and got our cash and our equity. And the equity had relevance for a while. It was still moving along, but ultimately, again, they resold that domain name for seven million dollars.

Michael: So this one is interesting because all you did it sounds like was get on the phone. You did not have a website up. For all I know it did not even resolve.

Zappy: No, I put like the most basic website you can put without really having any functionality. It was like a logo that sucked and a how to buy a diamond, which you clicked on and it had the four S’s of diamond buying taken right off of somebody else’s site. Where to buy a diamond. It had Amazon here. Kay Jewelers. I just stuck some links. Auction sites on Ebay.

Michael: Oh, okay, so it did have some information. So, if the CEO of De Beers decided to fire up her browser and take a look, there was something there.

Zappy: Yeah. Yeah. It looked pretty crude, but there was definitely a site.

Michael: Yeah, and so today, if you redid that, would you pay somebody five hundred bucks to develop a beautiful looking logo that you would place on the page and buy a WordPress theme and get it up, and make it look really beautiful and professional, but just really thin and not have a lot of content?

Zappy: Yeah, I would do that. That is kind of what we did, but being 1999, there was no WordPress so you kind of just had a developer stick something up with some links. So, I would make it look. I would not do something that was going to take away from the domain name. I would rather have the domain name with a Coming Soon than something that is going to take away value from what they are going to see. What I put up I felt like was saying to them: “Look, I just took it over. This is kind of what it is going to be. It is going to be a portal. We are going to develop it out,” but that it is. It is how to buy a diamond; where to buy a diamond.

Michael: So what could you put up on that website that would have reduced the value of

Zappy: I think if I put up something that was just going to take away. I mean visually take away from that brand. Again, I am not claiming that logo looked good, but it looked fine. But I would not put up a site that had links and things all over the place and potential. You do not want to put any AdSense on there because, when you have a really good domain name, you do not want to have some AdSense thing come back to you. I have bought a few domain names since then where there were even some AdSense or ad links that I wound up getting a phone call from people, saying, “You did not take care of me like you said.” And I’m like: “I just bought this domain. What are you talking about?” And they were like: “Well, I clicked on a link on your site and bought something.” You do not even want to have that.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: So, you do not want to make it seem to De Beers like there is anything there, or anybody else, that they are going to have to undo, or is negative, or is branding this thing in a way that is too branded that they are not going to be able to just flush it down the toilet and put whatever they want. You want it to be in that mode.

Michael: I understand. Okay. So, that deal seems pretty straightforward, but on how did you do it differently? Last time we talked it did not seem like you reached out to the major beer manufacturers when you had acquired in order to tell them what you had planned.

Zappy: Yeah, in that case, I had two strategies to do it. Number one was I chose a partner to partner with to own that already had some of these beer companies as customers – as advertising partners. So I knew that, when we develop, I had access to these folks and we could tell that story. Number two was what we talked about last time, which was putting out some simple industry press about what I was doing. So I put out press in the industry geared towards the industry. Press release. Got picked up by the different trade publications and some local stuff, and wound up getting in like the Boston Business Journal or something like that at the time, and just small things. But they were seeing this stuff and they said to whomever in their marketing department, and McKinsey picked up on it in that case; is who contacted me and they said, “Look, there is a guy developing into a beer portal. It is going to be the biggest advertising portal in the world. We have to talk to these guys.” So, it is kind of positioning it by either contacting them yourself or getting them to contact. Ideally you are doing both.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: Like we talked about last time, my friend Jeff Taylor, from, talked about why he would buy companies at Monster. And he said there was some methodology, but sometimes he would just see it over here. He would hear about it from a friend, see it online, and then he would be like: “Oh, that is too many times. I am hearing about this too much. I have to go try to talk to them or get this thing.” So, if you could show up in a beer industry publication and then they get a call from their marketing partnering group that is associated with me about, now you have got like two hits already and you are down the road.

Michael: And so, you put up a website that said, “ is coming. It is going to be the largest portal, the defining point of the industry.” You got press on just your vision of what it was going to be. You did not actually build anything.

Zappy: Correct. There was a very thin site. Not quite as thin as, but pretty close. I mean it was like brew beer, rate your favorite beer, get a email – simple things that I could do with my one tech guy at the time and just put up in a matter of days so that, again, there was something there that referenced where we were headed. It did not necessarily do justice to where we were headed, but it exemplified where we were headed.

Michael: Yeah, I am going to try and share my screen right here, Zappy, and I want you to tell me. Was this the that you put up?

Zappy: No that might have been the last version. No, this is the first Labatt version that they did. This is not my version because the O in the .COM is a bottle cap that they wound up making, so mine is actually before this one.

Michael: Okay, so yours was before this one.

Zappy: Yes.

Michael: Okay. So this one – and I am going to flip to a separate tab here. Yeah, I could not even get it on the Wayback Machine what the site looked like, but it looked like there are girls, virtual bartender, beer mail – all different sorts of stuff.

Zappy: Yeah, that was our version.

Michael: Okay. All right, so let me turn off my screen share here. So that gave people an idea. It was thin enough where people could understand where you were going with it, but it was more than just a holding page.

Zappy: Yeah, exactly. It kind of looked like a bad version of that page you just showed that Labatt put up. It was more amateur than that, but at the same time it looked good. Any beer company that went there might not have said, “This is what we would do,” but they were definitely like: “You know what? Beer drinkers are going to like this thing.”

Michael: Right. Yeah, exactly. Okay. So then on, once you had it up, then you actually reached out to some of the major players in the industry and you contacted the CEOs or heads of marketing. Did you sort of take the same route that you did with, where you reached directly out to the CEO?

Zappy: In this case, once we put the press out, the phone started to ring. I mean I had not gone to my beer contacts yet, which were Miller and Budweiser and so forth. So, I had not really gone out to those guys yet before I got the inbound call from the press from Labatt.

Michael: Got you. Okay, I am just going to quit my Chrome right here because it is slowing down my computer majorly. All right, so in that case, you did your research, you put up the site, you reached out, and then you were able to start a discussion. At what point did the discussion move from: “I am coming out with this major portal that is going to revolutionize the industry,” to: “Do you want to buy this domain name?”

Zappy: What happened in the situation was they invited me to come up to Toronto. They bought me a ticket to come see them. They had a car service waiting at the airport. They drove me to the Labatt headquarters. Took me up to the CEO’s suite of Labatt. They had this private room off the CEO’s thing with like foosball tables and a bar, and all these cool beers and stuff. And they said, “Let’s just hang out and talk about what you are doing,” and kind of gave me the royal treatment. We wined and dined and so forth. And I told him what we were doing. I stuck to my guns about how big I thought we were going to be and why we were having a lot of fun doing it, and the fact that I had existing relationships through my partners to talk to the beer companies. And at a certain point, what I was not getting off of that, they said to me: “Okay, well, let’s discuss our reality as Labatt. You have been talking about developing this portal and generating ad revenue from it. And who knows? Maybe making your own beer one day and all this fun stuff. But the problem is, as Labatt, as actually inter brew, where we own all these different beers, the problem is it would be hard for us to partner because we might want to use this as a marketing tool where we are making money and doing eCommerce, and ad revenue from other companies is not necessarily what we want to do. So what would you want if you were going to sell this to us?” And so, again, instead of negotiation 101, you do not ever say the first number and you even do not react to the first number. So, I said, “I do not know. I have not really thought about it. Again, we are developing it because we think the Internet is going to be really big, and we are having fun, and we have got all these beer advertisers. So, it forced them to throw out a number, and so the guy, like I said last time we were talking, gave me the ‘we are big and you are a little guy’ and: “How about this? Why don’t we give you a million dollars and make you a millionaire and we will take” And I was like: “Eh.” That did not even sound good to me at the time, but it definitely was clear that they were interested and wanted to buy it. So I said to him: “We are not going to do something like that. That is not something we would do,” and the conversation kept going. And the guy is pushing for what would you want and wound up saying something like ten million or something like that. I think my partners would just like walk away from this thing. And so, it was a very short kind of thing where they came back. They tried to first say why it was not worth ten million and why it would be tough to get it to be worth that. And eventually they came back and said, “Would you go for five million?” And I was like: “Eh, that is not enough to really do anything, but I don’t know. I could talk to my partners and what not,” and wound up breaking for a minute and I think I called somebody or maybe even (Unclear 36:34.2) called somebody. And wound up saying, “How about eight million? Eight million we would do it,” and they were like: “Oh, no, not eight million.” And they took a break and went off and talked and stuff, and they came back and said, “How about seven million?” And I was like: “That sounds pretty cool,” and so I said, “Look, I can’t.” I did not want to jump on it because, once you jump on it too quick, then people start putting all these things on top of it, maybe trying to get you to earn it our or pay you differently, or something like that, if they think you like it too much in negotiation. So I said, “Let me talk to my partners. It is definitely legitimate and so forth.” So I wound up leaving, contacted them back, said, “Look, my partners would go for seven million and like a year supply of beer,” and the guy was like: “All right, we will do it. Sounds cool.” So it was kind of that not being too excited about jumping on that, which is a negotiation skill, but at the same time it is also a little bit of that confidence comes from having a good domain names.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: And being able to represent that as you do not have to sell it right now.

Michael: Now, in order for you to even come up with a number like ten million, when you were discussing your vision for what could be, did you talk about the revenue model and how much revenue you think you could generate with that vision? It is all just made up stuff, but does that sort of set the stage for the asking price?

Zappy: Not really. I mean we had talked about, between us, the fact that this could make us millions of dollars and the fact that we really did have some good potential advertisers in the can who could buy advertising. So, we were not looking to give it away. We did think there was an interesting and fun opportunity to develop, and really there was no precedence for selling a domain name really for seven million or something like that at that moment. So it was more just I was picking a number that was enough to give it up and go away and give up the opportunity, but if I said one hundred million, they would have like thrown me out of the building. So, it was like trying to come up with enough that is more than they probably wanted to pay, but enough to create real negotiation room.

Michael: Okay. All right. So, Zappy, here is what I want to do. Put on the breaks on these stories, which I love; and everybody loves to hear stories like this, but I want to bring it back to reality. I got three domain names that are not million-dollar domain names. They are the domains that most of us have in our portfolio. Smaller industries. Single-word or two-word domains. And I want to find out if the tactics that you have used in the past to successfully sell an eight million dollar and a million dollars plus another five million equity still work for these types of domains and what would change.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: All right, so I am going to throw out a couple of them, and so full disclosure. Sometimes I just make up words and I am not sure if the domain is in use or not, and so a lot of times I think about: “Well, what domains do I own that I might be able to bring up,” and I do not want to do it because I want to flip them and I do not really flip any domain names. I buy things that I think are personally interesting to me, except for one, which I am going to bring up third. But the first one is owned by me. The word is So, you know how people do market research and they do qualitative, which is like: “Hey Zappy, what do you think about this pen?” And you look at it and you are like: “Well, I like the shininess.” That is qualitative. The quantitative is like numbers. It is a systematic or empirical investigation of a social phenomenon – statistical, mathematical, computational; things like that. It is a domain name for people that do not know anything about it. It is a domain name that gets about sixty-six hundred exact match searches, in the United States, on Google per month.

Zappy: Wow.

Michael: And the average cost per click is $4.67. So, based on the search volume and the CPC and other factors, values the domain name at twenty-five thousand dollars.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: And it is a domain name that defines that sort of subset of the industry of market research.

Zappy: Yeah.

Michael: So, what would you do to start? Would you start with: “If I were going to sell that, who would I sell that domain name to?”

Zappy: Well, the first thing I would do is just re-shift my thinking about the domain name a little bit. And so, to me, if I have that domain name, I am like: “Quantitative analysis, for a data company, is a huge opportunity.” So, sixty-six hundred people who are coming each month are searching that term – some of those are huge potential clients to a business that is in that space.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: So, to me, this domain name – I would set in my mind that this is a six-figure domain name. Forget what EstiBot said. They are not taking into account that an actual sale in this category could be a multi-million dollar contract to some data company. So, that is number one. Number two: I think anybody who knows what the word ‘quantitative analysis’ is–

Michael: Quantitative Research.

Zappy: Oh, yeah, quantitative research.

Michael: But quantitative analysis, I am sure, is good too.

Zappy: They are both good names. So, quantitative research also same quality of name.

Michael: Yeah.

Zappy: So, anybody who is typing that in is a great prospect because they know that sophisticated term. So it is kind of like my example last time, where I would love to own, but I was very happy to own, because when somebody says that, they know that it is quotes and not insurance offers, or insurance prices, or something like that. When they say quotes. So, anybody that knows something like quantitative research is an amazing prospect for the company that owns this domain. So, I would do my research on, number one, who is buying the ad term. What companies are the largest companies in the industry that are doing this? And what is the ultimate client for QuantitativeResearch? And by knowing that, I am going to be able to contact those top players with the understanding that: “Hey, I have this incredibly valuable industry term. It is really important because of the focus of the term and the fact that these are several thousand people per month are coming, looking up this term, and some of them are spending significant dollars in this category.” So, by being able to reach out to those specific companies at the CEO level, they are not going to be as hard to get in touch with as the head of Visa or something like that. They may even be like a midlevel company that is doing really well in that space, and I would reach out them and I would say, “Look, I own this category. I am developing it out. I have got a team that is going to develop this thing out. We are going to be really the go-to place for people to understand quantitative research to find companies in the industry to work with, and we would of course love to partner with you and figure out a way to work with you guys on quantitative research, because we know that a customer that comes through here that is going to put in the key term ‘quantitative research’ is probably a really large client and somebody that you either would like to be working with or could be working with, or that your competitor wants to work with. So let’s figure out a way potentially for us to work together. We have not begun developing it yet, so it is early and this is a moment where you guys could help us to potentially direct how we are doing this or how we frame what we are doing.” And start the conversation off like that with the CEO. Let them give you some concepts or people that you should be talking to. And probably, done well, that domain could be sold for six figures to one of those companies.

Michael: Okay. Now, what if they say, “Hey, that sounds great. Go develop the website and then let me know when it is done, and we will plug right in and we will be your backend provider of all the quantitative research”?

Zappy: Yeah. So I would say, “That is exactly what we are going to do. What I would like to do is to keep abreast as we are going. We are also talking to Competitor A, Competitor B, Competitor C,” and all of their competitors by name. “And yeah, we are going to figure out what the best configuration is, so we will keep you in the loop as it happens.” And I would make that the first call. Again, not revealing your cards too quickly, but I would leave that impression. And next stage is once you have spoken to everybody in that category, then to potentially either put something up. Put some press out hopefully because, if you get a little bit of press going there about what you are going to do, then you send that press to each one of those CEOs and go: “I told you we were developing this thing and here it is,” and now they are looking at it in the press and they are going: “Wow, this is like really happening. And I see maybe somebody else’s name in here and this is something that maybe I have to jump on,” and now you have got another conversation with more touch points that you can talk to them about what the value is.

Michael: Okay. So, at any point, Zappy, do you think that, by going down this road and putting up a thin website and talking to the press and putting out a press release, your vision is going to inhibit other people’s opportunities for the domain? Will people say, “Zappy has gone too far down the road. I cannot buy it now because clearly he has got plans and making movement towards delivering this service”? Do you ever feel like you get limited?

Zappy: Yeah, I do not think you can do that. I do not think you could go down the road too far unless it was like a really negative road, like, again, you were putting up a super sloppy thing that was going to take away from the credibility of the domain. But whatever you are putting up is just a demonstration that you are kind of trying to move forward and may give these guys – and again, it may be that today that CEO just thinks it is good to know about; a month later he may be sitting a board meeting where the people say, “Okay, here is what is up. We believe that the best way for us to tact new business is to really focus on the Internet, and we have got a few domain name business that we would like to develop,” or maybe his ad agency is saying it. Or his internal marketing people are saying, “We think we want to do research or quantitative analysis.” And the guy, in the back of his head, is going: “Oh, you know what? I met somebody who is doing this and let’s consider that.” So I think you want to just move it along. If you want to try to shortcut the process at any point and say to the CEO: “Look, we are starting to get some traction here and I am about to hire some people and take the next steps and so forth. And we have got some other industry people that want to develop this, and I would like to give you the opportunity before we go down that road to maybe this develop this with your own intent on it. So, this would be the moment before we go. If you are interested in potentially buying this opportunity and taking it over, let me know. Now is really probably the time to do it before we go to the next step.”

Michael: Yeah.

Zappy: So that type of conversation can lead to somebody throwing out a six-figure offer.

Michael: Zappy, what do you say to somebody watching this show that says, “I just cannot lie about stuff like that. I am not a developer. I am not going to develop out the site and I do not want to mislead people and say that we are heading down this road. It just makes me feel uncomfortable”? What do you say to that person?

Zappy: Yeah, so I say that because that is a reality of something I am capable of doing and so forth, but I think you could just frame it differently. You could say, “Look, we are looking for partners to develop this domain with, and we were having conversations with different partners. We think that this would be a great tool or great portal, and we were talking to partners like yourself about developing this, and our intent is to find somebody to partner with.” If you did not have any capability to develop and did not want to claim that you did, I would say leave it at you are looking to partner with the right player.

Michael: Yeah, fair enough. What happens when you get the CEO or the Director of Business Development, VP of Business Development, or somebody that is in tune enough with how search engines work and they say, “Zappy, is an exact match domain and Google does not value them like they used to, and I do not think it is worth it. We are just going to pick a brand like Yogo and brand on that instead”?

Zappy: Yeah, so I would give them my bullet points about why I think more than ever domains matter. The fact that you have six thousand people per month that are typing in this exact term. So, if one of those turn into a customer each month, what is that worth to you? And if the guy says, “Well, our average client is worth twenty thousand dollars or a hundred thousand dollars,” it is like saying it does not really matter about all the other domain names. It does not matter about these other extensions. The reality is you could pick up six thousand people per month who know what this term is and have typed it in, and you are going to be matched. And I would give them some examples of the fact that conversion rates off of these key terms are exponentially higher than non-keyword terms. And the fact that: “Look, I was passed on to you by your CEO because he understood this and I am assuming you understand this that if a new customer is worth twenty thousand dollars to, if you got one customer per month, that is a hundred and twenty thousand dollars the first year you have just made on this, and you own this domain forever. And if you wind up getting two per month it is a home run.” And if you got into a negotiation and he said, “Well, I could imagine getting a couple customers per year,” then maybe you take a less than a hundred thousand valuation and sell it, but at least you could look back at them and say, “Again, sixty thousand people. One customer. What is that worth?

Michael: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. All right, so I am going to switch gears. I am going to pick the second domain name. This is a domain name that I do not own. The domain name is owned by past Domain Sherpa guest Eric Borgos. A great guy. Anybody that does not know Eric, you should go watch his interview. I am only sharing information that is public domain. The domain name has an value of $330,000. Did I say the domain? It is So, like dumbbell weights, barbell weights. And over on Mike Berkens’ site, he talked about the auction that Eric purchased the domain name at for thirty-two thousand dollars. So, public information. The keyword gets 12,100 searches in the US per month on Google for just that one word – weights. And when you type it in, you can see a whole bunch of advertisers selling weights, like Amazon and different shops. The average cost per click is $0.76. What would you do with that one?

Zappy: Yeah, so this is a good example because anytime there is a domain in the related category that has sold for a lot of money that is a lot of credibility and a lot of ammunition for you to use. So, in this case, I know sold for a hundred million dollars to Liberty Media. They developed a really nice site with all these products and eCommerce on it, but that is a great benchmark to be able to say to somebody: “Look, this is a huge category. Liberty Media owns They bought it for a hundred million dollars. This – – is an incredible opportunity to take a piece of that market share. Anybody who is looking up bodybuilding is searching weights and things at the same time. So, while it may be not as big as, we still think it is a million dollar plus domain name. Whether that is a million dollars or three million, or whatever it is, not clear, but here is this amazing domain,” and immediately you are going to have the credibility to take space in there. And what it means is you have got thousands of people who are already searching the term and you have a situation where, if you are doing television or you are advertising, to be able to put – a six-letter domain name .COM – that everybody knows what it means, that is incredible. That could mean that your return on investment on your print advertisements and all these things could go way up. So that means anybody who has got a gym, anybody who has got a workout system, anybody who has got a protein powder or something like that – this would be a great gateway for them to own to develop the site, and then, all along the edges, to be promoting their materials and their products and things.

Michael: Yeah.

Zappy: So, I would put some press out about what we were doing. I would definitely reach out to all of the top players in the category and give them the pitch that was a hundred million dollars. This is going to be a multi-million dollar. It almost has an inalienable right to certain piece of that market and it is going to take it. And people are already typing it, so you know that is true. So, this is what we are going to do and if you want to be a partner or something like that. And at some point, if you want to say to them: “Look, before we go ahead and develop this out fully into the next, if you have a way that you could better monetize this, we are open to hearing about it.”

Michael: Yeah, oh, that is great. I love that idea where you reach out to the decision maker or somebody that can potentially do a deal, and you are not asking them to do a deal. You are asking them for their input on how you could make this an even bigger portal or marketplace, or whatever, and how they could be a part of that. So you get them thinking about it without actually asking them to do anything.

Zappy: Yeah, exactly. And there is enough fitness magazines and blogs and things that if you crafted a story about was going to be – the official place for weights and weight-related products and services, and things like that – it is going to get picked up and you are going to have some press. That way now you either contact them with that story or contact them back with that story, and now you are like at second base and they have to consider the fact that this is a pretty good domain name and, yeah, this is a big category. And obviously Liberty Media paid a hundred million dollars for a good reason, so maybe this one is going to be worth tens of millions to them.

Michael; Yeah. Yeah, definitely. All right. So, in that case, you would probably follow the same sort of criteria. Look at the players in the marketplace, put up a thin website that talks about what the vision could be, get that story down, and then reach out to the CEOs and say, “Here is what we are planning to do. What ideas do you have? Let’s potentially work together on this. And oh, by the way, I am going to be talking to all these other players that you might be a competitor with or might be partners of yours, and we are looking to make it as big as possible, so let’s have a discussion.”

Zappy: Yeah, exactly.

Michael: And just see where it goes from there.

Zappy: Yeah, because who knows? Maybe their ad agency sat in a room with them a week ago, a day ago, or six months ago and said, “Hey, we need a really good targeted online strategy or we need a brand. Let’s try to figure out this year what that brand is going to be.” You cannot know that unless you have this conversation where they, all of a sudden, say, “Hey, you know what? We are actually doing a campaign on television that is going to be a significant campaign. Maybe this would be a good domain for us to work with. How would we structure something like that,” and then you are off to the races.

Michael: Yeah, all right. Third and final domain, Zappy. It is a domain I own. I do not buy a lot of domains. When I buy domains, I stick to the areas that I know. I am publishing on Domain Sherpa clearly, and then my main publishing site is We serve about half a million readers per month that are focused on a process improvement methodology called Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing – all those sort of methodologies. And so, when I pick up domains like QuantitativeResearch, it is directly ties to statistics and analysis and understanding the customer. But I get the drop lists from NameJet and I saw one come through and nobody was bidding on it. It seemed like a no-brainer for me, but it has like zero value, so I picked it up. The domain is, and immediately I thought of the flats that you get on your bicycle or your car, or things like that. The keyword phrase gets almost zero monthly searches. There are no companies advertising on Google. But there is quite a few tubeless tire products for tractors or bicycle tires, or that spray can that you can fill up a tire to prevent it from leaking. Heck, when my wheel barrow – the front wheel – went flat, I took it over to the hardware store and they were like: “Well, instead of repairing this, I can just sell you a no flat tire – a tire that has just full rubber. Never goes flat and you will be good for the rest of your life.” And so, I looked at it and I was like: “Well, it defines a very, very small sub-niche of the tire industry,” and so I picked it up. What would you do?

Zappy: I think it is a great name. I think it is a great, great domain. I mean I buy those products at least once a year. I buy one of those no flat or fix-a-flat. I mean I am sure something like Fix-a-Flat that gets a bunch or an instant flat fixer – whatever it is. But NoFlat is cool because it could be that, or it could be one of these tires that never goes flat. They have these run flat tires. But NoFlat is something that I could see tagging advertising from a tire company; certainly from somebody who has got a product related to flat tires. And there are not just those cans, but there are all kinds of sealants and all kinds of glues, and everything.

Michael: Yeah.

Zappy: So, again, there, I would not probably spend as much time on it as I would, if I was balancing my time, but there is no question that that is a brandable domain. A brand within the tire category. So, I would look at who is advertising those instant fix-a-flat products and all tire companies, and I would be reaching out to them, just saying, “Look, this is a really strong brand in that category. Some of the other ones like the keywords get a lot of searches – whatever the top keywords. This one is a totally brandable domain that nobody has ever done anything with and would be very powerful in a direct response campaign or to tag an advertisement with on television or radio.” And to me, that is a great market because those people really depend on direct sales or educating customers about what a no flat tire is all about.

Michael: Now, I would not reach out to a tire company. I do not even know how big the largest tire company – Michelin, Dunlop. I would not reach out to the CEO for a domain like NoFlat. Who might I reach out to?

Zappy: I think, in that case, this is good place to talk about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like an amazing place right now where you could almost find anybody and get in touch with them through a relationship that you have, or if you buy a premium serve of LinkedIn you can get access to them even if you do not know them. It is totally worth getting. So, in this case, I would probably look at who the marketing people were at the tire companies. Make a list. Get an email. Introduce yourself. The direct response companies. I would reach out to those companies to probably find their keyword domains and do a WhoIS lookup on who they are and say, “Look, this a great domain in your category. I would like to help somebody to use it as a brand and I am open to either partnering on it or letting somebody use it who is going to be able to maximize the value of this.”

Michael: So you would not even go to them and say it is for sale. You would just say, “I am looking for a partner or somebody that might be able to use it for the best branding opportunity,” and just let them come to you.

Zappy: Yeah. I mean if you say you want to sell it, again, you are inviting them to discount it down to the lowest common denominator and tell you that there is no search value and all that kind of stuff. So I think you have to position as you are looking for partners. You are looking for a best place to put this where somebody can fully monetize it and make the best use out of it. And we know that you advertise your product on TV and we believe this would be a great brand for your company. Let us know. We are talking to everybody in the industry, so at least there is a little bit of urgency in there.

Michael: Okay, so a little bit different tactics. You would not necessarily put up a website and put out press in the tire industry because it is such a small niche of the large tire industry.

Zappy: Yeah, I mean it might be worth throwing out a press release. I mean you can do that so cost effectively these days that if you just say is developing partnerships in the category of fixing tires and competitors like so and so are on television. So you really are kind of like getting yourself indexed into there; who knows? They all have Google Alerts for their brands and things like that.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: So they get a Google Alert that says, “NoFlat is developing. We are looking to partner in the space.” Your email or your phone number is on there. You might get an email or a phone call right off of that.

Michael: Yeah, and you would use [email protected], and then your mobile phone just rings you directly?

Zappy: Yeah, ideally that would be the best. If you did not even want to go that far, I think you could probably just put your information on there and represent that you are considering development partnerships.

Michael: Yeah. All right, Zappy, this has been a phenomenal interview, walking through real world examples and which ones would be more exciting and how you would tackle them. Here is the final question that I have for you. Actually I have two questions for you because I think people watching this show say, “What you are talking about makes perfect sense. I like the way you are going about it.” There is a saying that people that are going to raise money, if you ask for money directly, everybody always says no. But if you go to people and ask them for advice on your business, then they offer to give you money and offer to invest, and I think you are sort of taking the same sort of tact with these killer domain names. So the first question that I think people are thinking as they are watching this is: Man, this guy Zappy can sell. He knows all the right things. He is personable. Can I get him to represent me on my domain names? Do you entertain any of those opportunities, Zappy?

Zappy: I am not necessarily a broker per se, but obviously if somebody has a great domain that is worth spending time on and I can help them coordinate or help them to do the right steps, I do do that. But I think anybody, if they internalize the fact that, however it happened, they are in control of a really good domain name that has value in that category, they can elevate their stature to a point where they should feel as confident as myself to say, “Hey, you know what? I have something really good in this industry. I have something important and people want to hear about it, should hear about it, and I need to contact them and be really comfortable that they are doing these people a service.” And not being annoying or anything like that. It is like these people want to hear about this stuff just like I would want to hear about a great domain name that was in play. I do not get annoyed when somebody lets me know about it.

Michael: Right.

Zappy: I appreciate it and I think these people, in any industry, are going to appreciate knowing about some asset that can benefit their bottom line.

Michael: Yeah, great advice to sort of get into that mental attitude that you are doing other people a favor by talking about an opportunity rather than coming at it from the standpoint that I think a lot of domain name investors do, like: “I have got this asset. I want to sell it. What kind of offer do you want to make?” It is a lot different. So the second question I have for you, Zappy, is: for people that are watching this show, like me, that are afraid to pick up the phone and start having a conversation with a CEO about an opportunity – a vision – like this, what advice do you have for them?

Zappy: I think you can do a lot of this stuff now via email and/or via LinkedIn. I think it is something that you get more comfortable with as you do it, but I think you would be surprised. Even if you do not like being on the phone, if you take the right confident attitude that you do have something of value, you are going to be really surprised. When you call these people, they are not going to go: “Why the hell are you calling me? Stop wasting my time.” They are going to be really intrigued. And when you get a little bit of that feeling back from them that, “Hey, I have something here,” that is going to get you more confident. And I think most domain brokers and domain owners that wind up selling all sort of start a little bit shy and skittish about boasting or going out to people about what they have or calling people up, but once you do it a few times you are going to appreciate that you have something good. People want to hear about it. And obviously, once you make the sale, you are going to be addicted. But have confidence. All these statistics that we talked about where somebody might say, “Well, .COM does not mean so much today, or I have this other strategy, or I am going to get some other TLD,” that is not overly relevant, because all of these assets have a certain value to different players in the different industries and different companies. So, regardless of what they say, what you were saying has some value and you can really be strong about that. And I think the more conversations you have the more you are going to understand that you are going to bump into people who may have a great campaign that they want to do that relates to this that you had no idea, and that is the fun part about it; is you might think that you are going to sell this to some analytics company or some research company and, boom, you wind up selling to some totally cool startup that has just been funded, or a social media company in the analytics space and they are already rolling and they are hot, and you get some cool deal. Or the weights – it might be that it is some magazine that is coming out called You would have never known about it if you had not put the information out there and kind of gotten it out there. And I think just having that confidence that you have something of value to the right person. It may not be to everybody, but to the right group, you have value and you are helping them to take that value and build on it.

Michael: Great advice. Anybody watching, if you have more questions for Zappy that we could not address here and you want to post them in the comments section below the video, we will ask Zappy to come back and answer as many as he can. Zappy do you still prefer connecting through LinkedIn and Facebook?

Zappy: Yeah, LinkedIn is a great way to get to me. I have a public profile there. I think it has my email address, which I will share. [email protected], and you can get me there. I like hearing about really high quality things that are happening and opportunities, so just like the CEOs that you are going to be calling with your domain names, I am hoping to hear about them. So, I encourage people, if they have something of really high quality, let me know.

Michael: Great. Really high quality or if you just want to reach out to Zappy and say thanks for coming on Domain Sherpa a second time. Thanks for providing your insights, your methodology, and your mindset for how you have gone out and done these really big deals. Do reach out to Zappy and say thank you for that.

Zappy: Yeah, and vice versa. Thank you for doing this. This is a total service to the domain industry, so kudos to you for being very consistent and really understanding the space and the places. To me, Domain Sherpa is like the place that I go to kind of tune into what other people are doing, because you can always use that stuff. And the people that you have had on, I watch those things. Sometimes I watch for five minutes or ten minutes. I will pop around, but it is almost like I get a sense of what all these different people are doing and it adds to my methodology, so hats off to you too.

Michael: Well, thank you very much. You are kind to say that.

Michael “Zappy” Zapolin. Thank you for coming on the show again and sharing your methodologies and techniques for reaching out to CEOs and getting deals done, and thank you for being a repeat Domain Sherpa.

Zappy: All right, have a great day.

Michael: Thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.

Watch the full video at:

Leave a Reply

Comments must be respectful and constructive. Read our comment policy.


13 Responses to “Share a Vision to Sell Your Domain Name – With Michael “Zappy” Zapolin”

  1. Andrew Shaw says:

    Is this “zaptos” from DNForum? He looks very familiar.

    Very insightful. If this is indeed the same guy I am thinking about, he has helped me a great deal along my journey in the domain industry. Back when I started in the early 2000’s I remember talking to him a great deal. He was always respectful, patient, and very bright.

    This is awesome. keep up these videos. I’ve watched almost all of them and will continue to do so!

    DNF/Namepros usernames

  2. Michael deVry says:

    Very Insightful as always. Thank to all for putting this together. I’ll be referencing this for some time to come.

  3. CORNELIU says:

    Thank You, Sir Michael C.! You are for us!

    Thank You, Sir Zapolin!

    Zappy, You are the best ever Domainer/Sales Genius!

    May I send my portfolio, to advise me which domain name is the big HIT???

    You are the Greatest Gentlemen I ever seen/heard on…

  4. says:

    DomainSherpa has provided some great new insight into the domain name investment business. Additionally, Michael “Zappy” Zapolin has put an interesting spin on many of the challenges in the domain name space. Will definitely continue to follow their threads.

  5. HowieCrosby says:

    Zappy has put forward some interesting issues to enlighten the client into the use of a domain name, very good indeed. Thank you.

  6. John says:

    If you just started I feel sorry for you. This game is over unless you want to spend
    XXX XXX of dollars and buy a good domain

  7. Simple, yet brilliant. Great interview and great advice.

  8. Thank you so much to both of you for taking the time to enlighten us mere mortals =)

    I just started buying domains as an investment and the interviews here have made me rethink and re-value previous purchases.

    Again thank for you input and continue to keep it steady Michael.

  9. Chuck Wallant says:


    Great interview, great tactics. I’m a changed businessman.


  10. page howe says:

    so nice mike, great interview, ill rarely flatter but for me this is like hearing an interview with ted williams in his prime, when it comes to the reason we buy and envision great exits. ah to only focus on one name.. my new dream. sorry Zappy if your a yankees fan…

    thanks again

    page howe

    1. HowieCrosby says:

      Haha. Here here on the focus on one name. It’s just which one :)

  11. Arseny says:

    Thanks so much for giving such an amazing interview! So much great ideas! I’ve written down all the ideas and I think I’ll watch the show once again!

    PS. My hand aches after writing down all the ideas :)

  12. Kassey says:

    Zappy: All right, cool. I should just disclaimer those were family members, just so you know.

    I was one of the three commenters Michael Cyger mentioned at the beginning of your latest interview. Thank you for including me as your family member!.

    Seriously, thanks for the many ideas. I particularly like the one where you find out who the final users may be before you purchase a domain name. Great tip!

    If you can, I’d really like you to talk about your take on the new gTLDs. What kind of opportunities do you see?

    Thank you

Domaining magazine site recommended by
Copyright © 2010-2024 DomainSherpa. All rights reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.
About  |  Advertising  |  Affiliate Links  |  Disclaimer  |  Disclosures  |  Privacy  |  Terms  |  Contact Us