Interview With The Expert – Ali Zandi 2016-03-14
1. Why and when did you get into buying and selling domain names?
I think it’s a similar story to most. Bored as @#$% with whatever else I was doing. Hated it. Surfed the web and found the holy grail or something like it.
I like it because I’m still not bored with it. Truth be told, I like to switch things up but this is the only industry that continuously challenges me. I need A LOT of brain stimulation to stay focused, I’m just wired funny. There are SO many things I can focus on at once in world of domain investing that I am stimulated enough to still maintain a loving interest in the business.
2. What are some key factors you look for before you purchase a domain name?
The most important thing I think about when I buy a domain name is value. Am I under paying? By how much? How soon can I flip it to make it worth my time? How much could I make? So on.
I sell my domains in just about every way I can, so I have to make sure that everything I touch, I can sell for a profit that is worth the time and effort it takes to sell it.
3. Are there any specific type of domain name you look to acquire and focus on solely?
The ones I can sell for a profit.
4. On an average day, how much time do you put into your domain business?
I put in an average of 16-20 hours +/- depending on the day. Some days I don’t even touch anything for like, an hour. It’s crazy.
5. What has been your greatest domain sale to date? Can you disclose the name? If not, can you disclose the overall profit you made on the domain name?
That depends, if we are talking brokerage I cannot disclose it, but if we are talking personal/fund domains; I still cannot disclose the domain name but it was around $50k in profit on the flip. My favorite domain sale to date though was the sale of SlowDown.com, very cool experience with the buyer.
6. Would you share your thoughts on the new GTLDs? Have you invested in any of them specifically?
I think there are too many segregating opinions on singular subjects. Rather, I think that theories on the intermingling and forward progression of the industry as a whole are what really matter.
Does Lamborghini lose it’s value just because Bentley comes out with a supercar? No.
Does a Toyota Camry lose it’s value because a Honda Accord exists? No.
Does a Ferrari lose it’s value if a new motorcycle comes out by Honda? No.
So then, why can’t a good domain name just be a good domain name? Why all the racket? Sh*t!
If I can sell the brand, I’m buying it. Whether it’s Graphic.Design, Cloud.net, Eternity.org, or Pota.to. If I think I can sell the brand to a company that can benefit from owning it. I will buy!
7. What’s your advice for someone who has a domain name and wants to sell it? Should they do outbound sales (contact potential buyers) wait for offers to come to them, list them on auction websites such as Godaddy, Flippa etc. What works for you and what would you suggest?
A few things work and most things don’t work. What works for me, likely won’t work for you, and what works for you, likely won’t work for me. The best thing you can do is experiment. If you already own a domain name, it won’t be your last, will it? If not, then experiment with selling it wherever you can.
Did it work? If yes, do it again.
Did it work again? If yes, repeat as many times as you wanna!
If no, try the other ways. You have to be able to catch a ball at a clutch moment in a heated game while taking a hit from a beast ass free safety before you can sit in the stands and call the receiver a @#%#$^ if he drops it.
Right? Did that even make sense? I dunno.
What I’m saying is, you don’t know what it’s like just by hearing, you gotta do and get real data. Then go from there.
8. We get a lot of new people who read these interviews looking for advice, if you had to sit with someone completely new to this business what would be the best piece of advice you could give them?
Create a domain name bank account.
Put $1,000 in it.
Do not spend that $1,000 until you understand the valuation of a domain name to within a small percentage of it’s true value.
Spend the next 6 months reading everything you can find on valuation. Learn. Learn. Learn. And every time you even think about buying a domain name, take the price of that domain name, and add it to the domain name bank account. Before you know it, you’ll be 6-12 months in, have around $3k as a bankroll, and you can buy your first domain name.
But don’t be in such a foolish rush to spend your money. In this business you don’t make money by spending money.
You make money by saving money when you buy the domains.
So relax. Learn first. Make money second.
9. What mistakes have you made that you can share with our readers to help them from making the same mistakes?
I think the better question is what mistakes have I not made? I slip up, buy typos, sell too low, sell too early, sell too late… blah blah so on. I’m half human… it’s what we do, make mistakes.
But the best piece of advice I can give you is to learn very, very quickly from your mistakes and never make them again. Otherwise, you can find yourself SOL!back