I am not here to create a smoke screen or present an unrealistic picture about the domain name industry and the sales relating to some domain names. Although domain name sales come in many different types, values, and frequencies, good domain names at reasonable prices can take some time to sell. It happens.
17 years? Yeah, sometimes.
If you hand register a domain name for $10 and pay 17 years of renewals on it, you have invested $180. Not bad, really.
Sell it for $5,000 on year 17 and you clear $4,820. Take off any sales commission & taxes and you're still walking away with a decent profit north of $3K all things considered.
The bad? 17 years is a long time. Most people want to flip it in under a year, then rinse/repeat the process over and over at scale.
Domain name investors look at inventory all the time and it often includes “domain age” of some sort. Using domain metrics to find creation dates is very common, and finding them to be between 1996-2000 is even more common. What we are not used to thinking is 1996 was 24 years ago. 2000 was 20 years ago. 2003 was 17 years ago.
Although I report domain name movements almost every day on my Twitter feed, I often put little focus on the many facts that surround a domain sale. The other day I wrote in a tweet that the domain name had been registered since 2003 and for that made me realize, wow, that was 17 years ago.
I looked a little deeper and used DomainTools.com’s screenshot feature which has a nice, archived image directory of the domain name’s life span. The specific domain I was talking about lived its life bouncing around from one parking page to another until, on a glorious day 17 years after being originally registered by its original owner, it sold.
Would you pay 20 years of renewals on the domain names you are buying today? In most cases, 10 years is the max amount you can register at one time, but it is a question worth asking yourself when acquiring a domain name. It is also realistic to consider that the domain name you are buying today might not sell until 17 years from now or ever.
Thankfully, the internet is growing much more rapidly now than back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Even more so since April 2020.
Domain names can sell very quickly after changing original ownership in an expired domain name auction, for example. Consider if a business owns a domain for 15 years. The domain expires and is acquired at an expired GoDaddy Auction. The new owner puts up a "For Sale" lander on the domain (something that has never happened in the domain's history before) and somebody who's been interested in it for the past 10 years can see it's for sale and acquires it. That happens!
New phrases, words, and terms are invented, registered for the first time in history, and sell within months. That happens!
The real-world reality is: Good domain names can sit and sit even though they are priced fairly, and long-term renewals are sometimes necessary for it to shine and for any profit to take place. Newly-registered domain names can become a quick flip for profit.
Timing and patience are important, and luck can play a factor. Domain name ownership can be interesting and no two domain names are a like.
Domain name investing is not a get-rich-quick business in most situations. There are domain name flippers just like there are house flippers. There are long-term investors and investors who did not intend to be long-term holders but become so regardless. Happy domaining!