Expired Domain Catching/Warehousing – My Practices And Advice

I am a domain name investor and keep a warehouse of domain names available for purchase. In this article, I’d like to go over my experiences and methods I use to keep my inventory manageable and consistent to attract buyers. Most of this experience will date back to a few years, in the past I managed my own portfolio which held 800 – 1,000+ domain names. Nowadays I only warehouse a couple hundred domains, but plan to expand that number soon.

Warehousing domains wasn’t a challenge at first. I think the real challenge came a little over a year after I started warehousing domains. The domains I warehoused were dropped domains that had expired & I picked up via drop catching software, hand regging during the drop or backorders. Everything was smooth sailing until I started getting hit with renewal fees. The renewal fees were adding up fast & on top of that, I was still catching 10 – 20 domain names each day. Obviously this system needed work because the sales I was making clearly wasn’t going to cover the costs of my expenses.

So I paused my acquiring  activity & developed a system which has really worked out well for me. While I was trigger happy to capture domain names into my portfolio – I wasn’t having much luck selling any. So I took a little time off from acquiring new domains & focused on the warehouse of names I owned. This led me to develop a system where I could:

  • Keep track of my domain name assets easily.
  • Search my inventory to match a buyer’s keyword or niche
  • Consolidate my domain names into one registrar after the 60 day Registrar lock
  • Have alerts for domain names coming up for renewals
  • Have a system to sell my domains & find a buyer
  • Stage the domains into four stages for finding each a new home
  • Maintain a spreadsheet of domains, registrar, price paid & pricing to buyer

Basically you’re dealing with a spreadsheet at this point. While the spreadsheet was working ok for me, I had to juggle domain renewals and pushes on a nearly daily / weekly basis. I was finding that I was losing a lot of time on adjusting the warehouse inventory, price the inventory & then work on selling the domains. This is where I started to find solutions. These were the solutions I developed and used to rotate my inventory and become successful at the end. So far, my findings have strengthened my discipline and make it more profitable.

These are the things I did to fix the common mistakes I was repeating and focus more on the upsell division. The more info I could stock about offers coming in, the better I can focus more on liquidating my warehouse.

  • I stopped chasing less desirable domain names. I changed my drop catching discipline to a short list of what I can really get. Do I want to pay the backorder fee of $59+- or do I want to drop catch the domain. Maybe a godaddy backorder. This cut down my list from 10-20 domains a day to about 1-3. The focus was more on the quality although regfee domains via hand chasing or api software seemed to gather more fetches since the $9+- per domain price (.com / .net) seemed like a better idea.
  • I started to consolidate more domains into a few or single registrars I trust. So the spreadsheet was looking something like this:
Domain Price Cost Registrar Expiration Purchased Offers Offer Offer Source
domain1.com $449 $9.15 ENOM 03.13.2018 03.06.2013 Y $900 Domaiin.com
domain2.com $279 $9.75 MONIKER 09.17.2015 03.06.2013 N null null

I like focus more on the Cost, Offers & Expiration columns because as mentioned above, There is a bigger table that gets digested in the system. It begins to look like this (shortened version):

Domain Price Cost Registrar Expiration Purchased Offers Offer Offer Source Last Contact
domain1.com $449 $9.15 ENOM 03.13.2018 02.12.2013 Y $900 Domaiin.com 03.07.2013
domain2.com $279 $9.75 MONIKER 09.17.2014 02.12.2013 N null null null

So the Quarterly break up would then become to look something like this: Offers = Y/N condition for Expiration vs Purchased & offer price if any equals a vested yearly renewal or not. likely if you haven’t gotten an offer within a calendar year, the domain is probably worthless. However, there is an upturn to domains that require patience as well. So take this advice like a grain of salt in the selling division. Let’s get back to it.

The best advice is to keep things as simple as possible. I feel like i’m in a loop for domain warehousing, doing the right thing today,wrong thing tomorrow – as trends change.

  • Focus on any leads the domain name has received. Even if it’s a small lead, get the sale completed. Don’t waste time speculating, the more you do – the more the renewal costs start hiking up
  • Try to consolidate your domains into a single registrar after 60 days of acquiring (if it’s another registrar)
  • Maintain records, or a spreadsheet to look up upsells. If you own one nice domain & it sold, it can become very easy to sell up another domain to the same buyer, possibly better or more than you’d think it ever sell for wholesale.
  • Stick up for yourself – if you believe in your domain name, rock it out. Harness the sale price to what you think is just. Try to lean into the offer amount instead of just accepting the deal. Worst case scenario, you already have a solid offer you may be ok with to fall back on.
  • Make sure all domains that I catch end up with the proper DNS or a parked / hosted (or redirect)  page with clear instructions to purchase the domain right now – such as SEDO’s buy it now option.
  • I try to reach out to prospect buyers within three month intervals. It can be a cycle for each domain such as Stages 1 – 4. Each stage is broken up into three months. I try to pitch the domains for sale at first making awareness about the domain and ending with a discount price in the last email if I don’t plan on renewing the domain. I try not to contact the same person, but may choose to contact someone again after 6-9 months.

In a nutshell, the more diverse my system becomes, the more activity it receives. When I first started, it wasn’t as intricate as it has become.  Just sharing some of my experiences and alerts I use for my warehousing practice & how it’s working out for me ok.

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8 Comments »

 
  • Jagan Jag says:

    Thank you for the info. I am right at the place where my I need a system to build upon. Your advice is very helpful. Can you recommend any good parking, redirect provider & API provider, even personally to my email? I also notice that you do not name Godaddy anywhere. Why so ? Thank you in advance.

  • krishna says:

    Good post. It is almost like my personal experience. Even though I never bought so many domains in a single day. I am also dropping low quality names but acquiring high quality names in small number.

    DomainName sales platform will help you to do lot of this work with more sophisticated tools and data.

    But, I do not agree with this sentence “if you haven’t gotten an offer within a calendar year, the domain is probably worthless.”

    Most of my sales occured after 1 year period.

  • hashif says:

    Hello,

    I am looking to capture some pending delete Domains, what is the best software avalaible?…

    Regards,
    Hashif

  • admin says:

    Hi Hashif,

    You should look into the drop catch software available at dropking.com. It’s my software that I have published, but it does work well for capturing PendingDelete domains.

    Dan

  • admin says:

    Hi Krishna,

    I agree with you about waiting over a year for a sale. You must use your own discretion as to which domains you keep after a year or drop. As I have gotten better at warehousing, I am also getting better at keeping or dropping domains. I agree that a domain sales platform is needed, but I have yet to find a good one. Most are very basic and amaturistic for the needs a real domainer requires.

    Dan

  • admin says:

    Jagan,

    For parking, most will do like Fabulous, VOODOO or SEDO. It’s the ones that offer an option that states “This domain is for sale” that seem to drive the sales in. I don’t mention GoDaddy because the offer I receive from them are very distant from the frequency of offers I should be receiving for the domains I own.

    Dan

  • At first I want to say thank you for sharing with us. I think this post will be effective for all.

  • admin says:

    Thank you, I hope others can also benefit from this article.

 

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