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Adam Dicker Dishes on Domain Industry and DNForum

DNForum founder discusses the state of domain investing and his popular forum.

I last interviewed DNForum owner Adam Dicker over five years ago. A lot has changed in the domain industry since then, so I thought it would be a good time to connect again.

DNW: Bring readers up to speed on how big the forum is now in terms of users, visitors, etc.

Adam: Dnforum.com is now up to about 106,000 members and that number grows by over 250 each day. We have over 1.7 million posts on a variety of topics. Dnforum.com is continually voted the best domain community on the web by your readers.

DNW: When I last interviewed you, you said one of the draws of the forum is that it’s a “forum where people go to do business”. Domain sales have changed a lot over the years. How have you adapted on the forum?

Dnforum.com has had to adapt to the changing industry with the focus still remaining on educating community members so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes others did when they were just starting out.

We started showcasemanager.com, a marketplace designed to offer domainers the chance to sell as many domains per year as the want for $69. Previously domainers were paying anywhere between 10%-30% of their sale price just to have a link on their parked page that said ‘this domain may be for sale’ and that’s way too much. From my experience, none of the current marketplaces are working hard to promote more eyeballs or retail customers to the their domain sales path so why pay the commission when you really don’t have to. Showcasemanager.com hasn’t even officially launched yet but we have over 300 portfolio owners signed up in the first 48 hours. We are also looking at the possibility of adding leasing domains as a feature of showcasemanager.com and I believe no other marketplace currently offers this.

Now by no means am I suggesting you don’t list your domain names for sale on other marketplaces. You should list them wherever you can to maximize exposure. The one thing I do suggest is you keep commission in mind when listing at all marketplaces.

For example, if you want to sell a domain for $1000:

You should list it at $1,000 at Showcasemanager.com because the commission level is 0%.
You should list it at $1,100 at Sedo because the commission is 10%
You should list it at $1,150 at Go Daddy Auctions because the commission is 15%
You should list it with Afternic at $1,200 because the commission is 20%
You should list it on Go Daddy Premium Listings for $1,300 because the commission is 30%

This strategy always guarantees that no matter where it sells you will get the $1,000 you want out of it.

There are three areas that seem are approaching a slow death: domain parking, domain brokerage and minisite development.

Domain parking revenues have dropped across the board to the point that if you are not making domain sales on a regular basis you will be forced to go look for full time work again soon and just do domaining as a hobby.
Domain brokerage seems to have dropped as well with everyone claiming to be a broker but it takes a real salesman to approach an end user and negotiate a sale and this industry has very few people capable of accomplishing such a feat.

With many people consolidating portfolios, there has never been a better time to invest in good solid domain names. My own personal strategy of late has been to sell three or four lower end names and spend half the revenue and get a good generic name. I am a firm believer in the .com and .ca marketplaces while most other tld’s are just domainer pipe dreams that make the registrars money.

A positive area that is taking off quickly is our expansion into selling websites through dcg.com, these are fully functional, original content websites created for the purpose of selling or promoting a product or service. Each site includes ten custom written articles that are submitted to article sites bringing back valuable targeted traffic. Some examples of sites are liberationtreatment.com, gout.ca, limo.ca and igolf.ca.

With focus on our new content development we are offering with custom content, SEO promotion and features we are generating a lot more income on our own domains through PPS then parking. Within 1 month of launching Limo.ca we began receiving over 15 real leads a day on limo rentals and receiving a 25% commission on each sale.

DNW: There were only a couple domain blogs around 5 years ago. Now it seems like one is popping up every other day. Do these new outlets for news and opinion change what people come to DNForum for?

Adam: I recently started a controversial string on dnforum.com called “Newsflash: just because you can install WordPress you are not a domain expert!” and I believe this to be true. Too many people are starting blogs and giving advice without a proven track record and the advice is dangerous and somewhat misleading to those just getting started out in the business. To this day, I read very few blogs and the ones I read all serve different purposes. Some of the best blogs are written by people that I would say are reporters turned into domainers and that includes dnjournal.com and domainnamewire.com.

As far as the effect these new blogs have on Dnforum members, I would say that it is minimal. People come to dnforum.com because they can expect to get an honest appraisal or valuation of a domain or business idea they may be thinking of starting up. Dnforum.com continues to offer valuable tips and direction to those starting out in the industry as well as seasoned veterans that sometimes need a dose of reality, sometimes we all need that.

DNW: You’re a successful domainer who also spends a lot of time running this successful forum. Yet you’ve also worked for a couple domain companies, including IREIT and then Go Daddy. With all this on your plate, what attracted you to work for these companies at the same time?

Adam: I was attracted to both companies because I wanted to share the passion that I have for this industry and make a difference where I could. Both companies have great people yet they were very different and so were my experiences. The experiences and perspectives I gained from working at both companies have helped me tremendously in my current and future endeavors.

DNW: What are some of the bigger initiatives you’re working on that forum members should look out for?

Adam: Dnforum.com will be releasing an iPhone and Android application by the end of June that will make it more convenient for our members to browse our forum easily.

Both Dnforum.com and Showcasemanager.com have great affiliate programs that allow our members to earn 25% on sales they generate.

As this industry continues to consolidate down, Dnforum.com will continue to grow and add new services and partners to benefit our members.

We have many partnerships in the works that will benefit our members both short term and long term that will be announced in the coming weeks.

I would say I still work 18 hours a day but — when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

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  1. Fatty Acid says

    “the advice is dangerous and somewhat misleading to those just getting started out in the business.”

    Is this Adam Dicker’s e-book? http://www.domainebook.ca/

    “If you are looking for a no-risk – no worry method of making a living online, it just doesn’t get better than this. With domain flipping, you can literally take a $9 domain name and flip it for $90, $900, even $9,000 dollars quickly and easily!

    It’s no wonder that so many people have ditched the high cost business models to pursue the domain flipping industry.

    With domain flipping, you work only as much as you want to, and can consistently generate HUGE paychecks every single day, just for a couple of hours of your time. Imagine waking up each day knowing that your bank account is a bit fatter while you were off spending time with family and friends.

    There are no risks or high investment required,”

  2. RKB says

    Quote:
    ———————–
    For example, if you want to sell a domain for $1000:

    You should list it at $1,000 at Showcasemanager.com because the commission level is 0%.
    You should list it at $1,100 at Sedo because the commission is 10%
    You should list it at $1,150 at Go Daddy Auctions because the commission is 15%
    You should list it with Afternic at $1,200 because the commission is 20%
    You should list it on Go Daddy Premium Listings for $1,300 because the commission is 30%

    This strategy always guarantees that no matter where it sells you will get the $1,000 you want out of it.
    ——————————–

    That is a big mistake.

    How will you get NET 1000 if you follow that advice?

  3. Alexander says

    Adam is giving beginners a big picture with that pricing suggestion, I guess. If you want the exact number, to get $1,000, you’ll have to sell at $1111 at Sedo, $1250 at Afternic …

    If you actively promote and sell domains yourself, it’s a good idea to use Showcase Manager and save big. It can add up to savings in thousands of dollars a year when you don’t have to pay commissions.

  4. Nima.Co says

    Great advice from an industry thought leader. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Adam’s work and aspire to be as disciplined. A big thanks to domainnamewire.com and dnforum.com for the service they are providing to the industry.

  5. Adam Dicker says

    Like I said, I think most get the point but here are the actual numbers to net $1000.

    To achieve a $1,000 return means:

    10% would mean a sale price of $1,112 was required

    15% would mean a sale price of $1,175 was required

    20% would mean a sale price of $1,250 was required

    30% would mean a sale price of $1,429 was required

    Also of course, some of these sites have minimum commissions in some instances you can sell a domain for $60 and only get $10 from the sale!

  6. page howe says

    i joined dnf in march 2003, glad i did and thanks to adam for the forum and energy he’s brought all these years, his 10/20 things you should be doing now is still the bible for whats next, and its 5 years old. wish i could find the link.

    thanks adam.

    thanks andrew for the interview

    ph

  7. Tony Bellows says

    Any domainer that bashes other people in public, whether true or not, is classless in my book. I signed up for a DNF account in the past, but I’d never use it now. There are other sources out there that do a much better job than the random people on his forum. I’d much rather trust Elliot, Adam or Michael than him any day. Good bye and good riddens.

    Andrew, I’m surprised you’d say something like “You’re a successful domainer who also spends a lot of time running this successful forum.” What proof is there? Is this good journalism? To me, I’d like to see why Adam thinks he’s expert enough to look down on everybody else in the industry. (Then I’d knock him off his high horse.)

  8. Rob M says

    Adam, great work and DNF is hands down the best domain business center on the web! I have been a member since 2004 and my domain holdings / sales have been very lucrative and the majority of this has been conducted with the army of domain experts at DNF. Great site, powerful resource!

  9. Whoa says

    @Randy Strauss, it’s not a ripoff. Both showcasemanager.com and ketmo.com use the same script made by smartscript solutions (google them). I would say both of them should have spent a couple of dollars more to invest in redesigning their pages. Cheapos

  10. 1-800AUCTION.COM says

    Nothing new in this. Why dicker with it?

    Adam should stick with forum running, I don’t think he is an expert beyond that. I like his forum, but the most you can sell domains there is under &50, give or take.

  11. Raider says

    “Then I’d knock him off his high horse”

    @ Tony;

    That high horse is what we call; “Arrogance” And the poor boy has plenty of it.

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