Domain names are increasing in value everyday. As the internet becomes an integral part of our daily life, businesses in the virtual world identify themselves with domain names. A good domain name is very important for a brand. People remember good domain names and are more likely to come back to a website which has a simple and memorable domain name.
Many companies try to acquire the .com name of their brands because their prospective customers visit those URLs. For example, Dropbox originally had GetDropbox.com but they purchased Dropbox.com later to avoid a competitor buying that domain name and cashing in on the popularity of Dropbox.
Apple bought iPhone.com, Google bought AdSense.com, Housing bought Housing.com and there are plenty of cases where companies have acquired .com names of their brands for hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes millions.
Usually .com names are the most preferred domain names for obvious reasons. Even with the launch of so many other TLDs (Top Level Domains), the value of .com names is only getter higher everyday.
I have invested in a few good .com names as well which we will explore in the next blog post. But today, I have a special guest in my blog: Aishwin Vikhona. He has been investing in domain names for quite some time now and he is reportedly one of the top 10 domain investors in India. In this interview, let us pick his brain for some ideas and tips.
He started his journey in 2011. His first purchase was a domain name for $5,500 which he sold for $20,000 within 3 months! Realizing the opportunity in domain investing, he learned fast, quit his job and became a full time investor in domain names. He owns more than 2,000 domain names as of now and he sells 100s of names each year.
As of today Aishwin’s domain name portfolio has names like Haz.com, CashSend.com, eWriting.com, PCassist.com, ShyDating.com & LimoQuotes.com, ResumeWriting.in and more. He also runs a small IT firm with around 15 software engineers and has developed tools like BulkWhoisFinder.com, TriedPassword.com and DomainSaleLeads.com
Deepak: How can someone with no experience in domain names get started in domain investing?
Aishwin: The first step for beginners to get started in domain investing business is to research. It’s a wise idea to get your research right because that will enable you to be confident with your purchases. When you start looking at what sells and what does not, you start identifying opportunities.
Deepak: Which are the best blogs and forums to learn about domain investing?
Aishwin: Ron’s DNJournal.com is the go to guide to find all the recent domain sales that are happening everyday. This list obviously have only reported sales but you get an idea. Visit dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm every Wednesday for a glimpse of the last week sales, Other site that I love being at is Namebio.com to find recent sales.
DomainSherpa.com is ideal for beginners who want to understand more about domains, they offer interesting video interviews and podcast. Few popular forums are dnforum.com and NamePros.com, they offer a free account and has a community that’s available 24×7 with gem of domains at peanuts sometimes. NameBee.com aggregates all domain industry blogs allowing us all to read all the top news of the industry at a single location.
Deepak: What if someone buys a domain and can’t sell it forever? Isn’t the domain investment business risky?
Aishwin: Yes, the domain investment business is risky, only if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you have done your research well, there’s a high chances it will sell. Most of the domain investors agree that they don’t sell all the domains they hold, but lot of the times few sales cover up all the expenses of the other domains. As a thumb rule, investing in keyword domains are considered to be little safer than the brand able ones.
Deepak: With the launch of more ccTLDs and gTLDs, do you think the value of .com and .net domains will go down?
Aishwin: This is one of the big question revolving around most of the domain investors and domain brokers. I feel that dot com domains will not diminish over the time and gTLDs is making it even more stronger, I have noticed every major player who moved to gTLD also had a dot com domain redirected to this gTLD and those who haven’t done this is losing lot of traffic to .com. Which I think makes .com even stronger.
Deepak: The domain investment business seems to be too crowded, do you think there is still some opportunity left?
Aishwin: Yes, there will always be an opportunity in domain speculation. With growing awareness in Domain investment business, the market is getting even hotter. I still see lot of success stories where the domain is bought a few weeks ago for $XXX and is sold for five figures. Which in a way assures me that there’s still a fortune to be made. Currently the domain industry is estimated at $850 million industry and is growing rapidly.
Deepak: Thank you for sharing your ideas and experience with DigitalDeepak.com’s readers. How can someone reach you for advice and tips?