Is $2000 Too Much To Pay For A Great Startup Domain?

As an example to startups especially, I wanted to highlight this recent auction as an example of the kinds of domains that can be acquired for reasonable prices. If you’re getting ready to launch and are facing the difficult task of finding the right name consider enlisting my help. I know where and how to look for great names at reasonable prices.

I recently participated in a domain auction for the domain Penance.com. I actually have content that matches the domain perfectly. Previously I’ve hosted it on other URLs but I’ve been keeping my eye open for a better one. For my purposes you couldn’t have a better url than Penance.com, and with a ‘category killer’ domain like that it would be much easier to roll out more content in the event the idea started to get traction. But besides my (fun and basically no-profit) idea, Penance.com could make a great domain for all sorts of things (perfume, fashion, feature film title, etc. etc.) so, in my opinion, it would be a smart buy even as an investment- depending on the price.

I hopped in the auction, which was at Sedo. The domain was part of a collection being offered by a single domainer and all the domains were no or low reserve (meaning the owner was prepared to let them go for whatever the market priced them at).

Here’s what happened…

penance-Auction

Penance.com went for $2075, in my opinion a great price. A little over my head but a great deal for the new owner.
If you’re a developer I’m sure you see some obvious and interesting potential for the HockeyScore.com names.
Doodling.com strikes me as a good (not great) branding opportunity for an art related site or blog.
The point is, there are great domains out there for reasonable prices. If you could use a little help finding them, drop me a line.

“The First Man Gets The Oyster…

the second man gets the shell.
Andrew Carnegie.

Today marks the 4th year anniversary of My Trip To Domainland. 4 years ago I concluded a four figure deal on a domain name I’d owned for years. I bought it for a vanity video site where I planned to host my collection of off-beat backstage band banter and inanity. I’d invite other people to host their behind-the-scenes band craziness. It was named after a scene in Spinal Tap. It had absolutely NO generic value. In one of those Black Swan coincidences, a fellow had built a network of domains around one of the keywords and he needed my domain to flesh out his by now successful empire. Yesterday I did the math, and in dollars only, certainly not hours, it turns out I’m about $2k down from that initial domaining seed money. Apart from my domain flipping on Ebay experiment [Fail], I have not sold a single domain–the type of transaction that got me into domaining four years ago has never repeated itself. Certainly I’ve had a few offers, but they were LAME.

So am I getting out of domaining? Am I frustrated and miserable and full of loathing for Domain Kings, Magnates, Experts, Flippers, Whizzbangs and otherwise? Not at all! The fact is I still LOVE domaining! Really, don’t ask me why, I’m sure I don’t know. It’s got something to do with words. Something to do with collecting. Something to do with the potential for huge profits. Domaining gives my over-active imagination a productive place to play.

Which brings me to the question… Is Domaining (for me at least) a hobby? And am I okay with that?

Wikipedia: A hobby is a spare-time recreational pursuit.
“Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. ” Certainly in my case. “Examples include collecting, 300+, I like them all creative and artistic pursuits, Photoshop chops! making, tinkering, mini-sites! RSS feeeds and adult education I don’t think they mean that kind of Adult. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience Yes, but try to keep quiet about it at parties. However, personal fulfillment is the aim of course,  oh, and boatloads of cash somewhere down the road.
What are hobbies for some people are professions for others You know who you are. Generally speaking, the person who does something for fun, not remuneration, is called an amateur (or hobbyist), as distinct from a professional Elliot is a professional I’m not.

It is easier to turn a Hobby Business into a money making opportunity because the driver is passion and to some degree obsession. Turning your passion into a business say for example in arts and crafts domaining, a home studio internet connection and a credit card is all you need; a space to be creative exactly! Gift shops blogs, specialty stores SnapNames, galleries and arts cafes Sedo are the best avenues to exhibit and sell artworks, pottery, woodcraft, sewing craft domain names, web and  mini sites .

So maybe you weren’t hanging out in the (mostly porn and gambling apparently) forums back in the 90s and so didn’t get hip and grab yourself  a passel of generic category domain names. Don’t beat yourself up about it, relax!– domaining is fun, enjoy it.

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CombatTrainingGames.com CombatTrainingGame.com

Domain Names For Sale:
CombatTrainingGames.com
CombatTrainingGame.com

PRICE FOR TWO DOMAINS $6000.
From Stars and Stripes:
Not playing around: Army to invest $50M in combat training games

November 23, 2008 …Game development has become a multibillion-dollar industry in recent years, with large game studios employing thousands of developers and sales that compete with Hollywood’s blockbusters.
…In addition to the $50 million, the Army gaming unit has an undisclosed additional budget to purchase a state-of-the-art commercial video game system that will be fielded for training in February.

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And if the military develops its own games, wouldn’t they be freely released and have little or no copyright restrictions as in (I’m not a lawyer!) public domain? I found free games to download from the Army, Navy and Air Force. One could easily have CombatTrainingGames.com up and running as a download hub or directory for these and future games coming from militaries all over the world.
Or maybe you have an inside connection with the military. It was difficult to find those free game downloads. Might not someone in a position of power see the wisdom of having a one-stop download site for all the US Military’s various combat training games?
Hell, this always happens. By the time I finish researching all the possibilities around a good name, I don’t want to sell it any more.
But with all that money floating around combat training games, doesn’t it seem like $1000 is a reasonable price to ask for the category-killer domain name? What do you think?

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