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Creeping Expiration Dates, Liquidating the Losers, and One Bad Habit

September 21, 2012

One habit that has been bugging me lately is that I often let the expiration dates creep up on domains I no longer see the value in holding and intend to drop, until its really much too late to try to liquidate them.

Typically what happens is that I’m aware the domains are coming up on expiration, but as the weeks draw closer and eventually dwindle into days, It always seems that I’m too busy with other priorities to be bothered with trying to sell them at wholesale.

Despite the fact I’m dropping them, not all of the domains are losers in the sense that they may still have some sort of burn down value (a term I picked up on from domain investor Elliot Silver), meaning they could at least be liquidated to recover the cost of of purchase or several years registration fees that I’ve put into them, in most cases.

A number of the domains for example are descriptive .net and .org names which I hand registered at one time or another that I’m confident could have fetched $25 to $50 on any of the domain forums.  Even at such a price, that’s still enough to cover 3 to 6 .com renewals on the rest of my inventory.  When it comes down to it, money is money.

I recall Donald Trump once wrote that even if he received a check for $0.05 he would not hesitate to deposit it.  It didn’t matter to him that the paper the check was printed on was worth more than the check itself, nor that he was already a billionaire.  I believe he was making the point that a penny saved is still a penny earned.

I’ve been pretty well focused on cleaning up my portfolio this year, and so have been dropping a larger proportion of domains than I have in past years.  Looking through the 150 or so domains I’ve dropped so far in 2012, I would have to guess that at a bare minimum 25 or more of those could have easily been recouped at around $25 to $50 per domain.  At the end of the day that’s a potential $625 to $1250 which could have paid to renew 75 to 150 more domains or put towards the acquisition of one or a few good names.

Aside from wholesaling on domain forums, there are other options such as running a no reserve auction on Bido or CAX.  However none of these can be adequately done once a domain is within a few days from expiration.  By then its much too late to worry about.

At this point I’m trying to go over my portfolio months in advance to determine which domains I consider expendable but could still fetch something from other domainers.  Since I keep an Excel spreadsheet of my domains sorted by expiration date I highlight those domains with a yellow background.

In fact I’ve been color coding this way for some time, so its more a matter of staying on top of things to maintain at least a 30 to 60 day lead time to keep ahead of expirations.

While it’s by no means flattering to write about wholesaling domains at $25 a pop, I do it because it’s part of my personal experience and I only write about what I know. As you can tell I”m not one of those domain investors operating at the top tier making six and seven figure domain sales.  Hopefully that time will come but for now every dollar counts.

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