Mission: buy domains for $1K and sell for $73,087
First of all, a massive ‘thank you’ for subscribing to the Printbread newsletter, and warm welcome.
This newsletter is all about domain name investing, domain marketing strategies, memes, and the domain community.
Since this is the first issue, let me quickly get a quick introduction out of the way:
I’m a relatively new domainer living in Asia
I’m not here to pretend to be an expert, but I’m still excited to share the things I learn with you
I’m a self-proclaimed memelord
I think domainers do too much of ‘sitting around and waiting for stuff to sell’. I want to try some experimental methods of selling domains and share them with you here
This newsletter is not a one-way communication. Feel free to hit reply at any time and let me know what you think. Or DM me on X at @printbread
Now, for the ‘meat’ of today’s newsletter –
On X/Twitter, I shared how I bought around 70 domains for less than $1,000 and got approved to list a bulk of them for $73,087 on Squadhelp and Brandbucket.
I want to reiterate that I completely understand that it doesn’t really matter how much you LIST your domains for, it only matters how much you actually SELL them for.
And since they are fresh listings (many of them don’t even have their logos up), I haven’t sold any yet.
BUT – since BB and SH do serve as a sort of ‘filter’ for quality and a ‘benchmark’ for prices for the brandable domains market, I’m sharing what I think could be helpful for you to use as a reference.
Here is the complete list of domains (Google Sheets) that I hand registered (all of them for around $12 on GoDaddy) and submitted to SH and BB.
For reference, names were submitted to BB first, and then SH.
I intentionally separated it into two sheets —My suggestion would be for you to look at the first sheet and try to guess which ones were approved/rejected and for roughly how much, and then look at the actual results on the second sheet.
It could be a useful exercise to get a better understanding of what the platforms are looking for and how they value domains.
Looking back, I have to say that I’m quite proud of some of them, but there are some that I wish I never bought.
Hindsight is 20/20.
To learn from this and improve for my next domain buys, I looked for some patterns in the rejected vs. approved domains.
Patterns from rejected domains:
$12 + renewals is a fair price for something that I can potentially sell for $2000+, but that doesn’t mean that I should not be picking my shots more carefully.
The sample size isn’t big, but I can see a vague pattern among the names that were rejected by both SH and BB.
They are domains that are based on words with no obvious association to any main commercial industries such as finance, tech, hospitality, etc.
These domains are different from what I call ‘pure brandables’, or words that don’t have any meaning themselves (such as rendica.com or gummon.com).
Pure brandables are like a blank slate. Some companies are happy to buy them and ATTACH a meaning and brand to them themselves.
But the above domains are clearly based on existing words, but ones that can’t be linked to any major industry.
I can see why they were rejected, and I won’t buy these sorts of names next time.
Patterns from approved names:
A lot of my approved names were two-word .coms.
Looking at data from Squadhelp, the best kind of brandables are still one-word domains.
But I think many of my two-word names were accepted because of one main thing: congruency.
The two words in the domain joined naturally, and created a new kind of meaning when put together.
Plus, the meaning they created could easily be connected to industries like marketing, retail, software, F&B etc. Examples:
Subswell.com (subscriber growth)
There are some exceptions of course, like Sightloop.com.
Other domains that were accepted were short, and easy on the ears. Examples:
These are the ‘pure brandables’ as I mentioned above.
These insights might appear quite obvious now, but believe me I wish I had them before I bought all my domains!
How I picked these names
On X, I also mentioned that my approval rate was significantly higher than the site average, and that I would publish how I achieved this.
(My approval rates were 5X average on SH, and 2X average on BB)
I’m a little embarrassed to reveal what I did, because I think that a lot of domainers are very analytical people, and I took a completely different approach.
Many domainers look at things like backlinks and traffic and the age of the domain.
I mostly disregarded this stuff, and took a more ‘creative’ and subjective route to coming up with hand registered domains.
This technique comes from an old book I read a long time ago called ‘A Technique for Producing Ideas’ by James Webb Young, an advertising man.
I believe Napoleon Hill took a similar method to come up with the title for his breakaway book ‘Think and Grow Rich’.
Here’s how I adapted it to coming up with domains:
Fire up namecheap at night, before you sleep. Look at blogs, SH/BB, magazines, news articles, and try to identify naming trends and hot industries. Find inspiration.
Start typing in different ideas and combinations that come to you, and write down the ones you think might work in an Excel sheet
Go to bed, but fall asleep thinking about domain ideas. Consciously tell your mind to continue working while you’re sleeping
When you get up, you’ll usually have some ideas floating in your mind. Write them down IMMEDIATELY before they’re gone
Check to see if the names are available. Even if they are, do NOT buy them immediately
Look at the available names again the next day. Only buy them if they STILL look good to you
It’s very important that you don’t buy the names immediately.
That’s because it’s difficult to tell if the name is actually good, or if you’re experiencing a rush of dopamine from having found a name that is actually available.
Thinking back, most of the rejected names are ones that I bought as soon as I saw them.
This newsletter is getting way too long (future ones will be shorter), so I’ll leave you with a few differences between SH and BB that I noticed:
BB takes WAY longer to approve names (one whole month), while SH took about a week+
BB also takes much longer to create logos and publish the names
BB approved less names than SH
BB suggested much higher prices than SH on average
Of course, what is more important is which platform helps sell more names at better prices, not the listing experience.
But so far, I can say I prefer SH > BB.
I know it was a lot, but I really hope you enjoyed the newsletter and found something useful from my experiences.
If you can, please help share the newsletter (printbread.beehiiv.com) on X and other platforms, much appreciated!!
The marathon continues,