Odys is expanding beyond SEO domains, allowing domain investors to list premium domains. Sean Markey spoke with Odys founder Alex Drew.
I recently chatted with Alex Drew, founder and CEO of Odys.global.
If you don’t know about Odys, here’s the 30-second overview:
Odys.global is a two-sided marketplace that sells aged domains powered up by a strong SEO history (meaning: there are existing backlinks going to the domain). They are well-known within the SEO industry and have done a good job of building a reputable brand.
Recently, Odys has moved beyond just SEO domains to also include listing premium domain names (with no SEO authority) on their marketplace. I thought this would be of interest to the domain investing community, so I emailed Alex a series of questions + follow-ups so I could share the new marketplace with you if you’re looking for more places to list your names.
A quick disclaimer before we get to the interview: I have done some work with Odys. Specifically I wrote a series of blog posts and have done consulting calls with their customers who needed advice when shopping for domains.
Sean: Can you give me an idea of the scale of Odys.Global — whether that’s revenue, monthly visitors, number of domains, sold, etc. Anything you want to share:
Alex: Odys Global consists of a team of 32 awesome people across 3 different continents and 4 countries, operating a marketplace of 900+ aged domains, 25,000+ members (and growing rapidly), selling thousands of domains each and every year. We started as a small aged domains shop and we now operate as a full-fledged marketplace, having recently introduced the Sell Your Domain (SYD) initiative which allows anyone to list their domains for sale with us, as long as they meet our strict quality standards. We sell and broker domains, host and build websites, consult our members on anything premium/aged domains and online marketing.
Sean: Why did you decide to make the jump to selling premium domains vs. just SEO domains? Do you feel that you’ve grown the SEO domains part of the business as large as it can be?
Alex: Not all aged domains have premium names, and not all premium names are powered by impossible-to-get authority links, making them SEO/aged domains. Some are just great names and this is how we’d market them. But the truth is we get lots of inquiries for just great names to launch a site on and not everyone is after an aged domain, especially when there’s no good inventory to pick from. Some need an awesome gardening domain for their next venture, but due to the scarcity of legit gardening aged domains, they will go with a really cool gardening name that’s not necessarily packed with link equity (maybe just a bit or none at all). You’ve got to start somewhere and if they already happen to trust Odys and do business with us, why get it elsewhere?
And yes, besides that we’re aiming to expand into other domain market segments, premium names being one of those. Since our members are online entrepreneurs who seek to build or grow a business, invest/diversify their hard-earned money, we want to provide all the means and tools to help them achieve that, from aged domains to premium names, from cash-generating parked domains with traffic to startup websites they can further develop or incorporate into their existing sites.
Sean: Can you share any details that domain investors might be interested in, such as: what percentage of the sale will you be taking, will you be doing anything like maybe some naming platforms where you hold name contests or retarget on ads across the internet?
Alex: Domain investors can learn more about selling their domains with Odys via our Sell Your Domain (SYD) here.
Sean: I’m a bit confused by its extension beyond just SEO domains, because your page states “Domains listed via Odys should be powered by a considerable volume of high-quality organic references from authority websites such as Forbes.com, BBC.co.uk, and others.” This seems to contradict the idea that it will accept Premium domains that don’t have SEO value.
Alex: The SYD page will be adapted to reflect the new type of non-SEO-focused Premium Names we will start listing in the marketplace. We’re launching a new version of the Odys marketplace by the end of the month. Above mentioned changes will reflect in the Sell Your Domains LP by then for sure.
Sean: Will there be restrictions on listings like there currently is on names with SEO authority? Will you deny names based on quality or priced too high, or potential trademark issues?
Alex: We will accept all quality domain inventory (either good names or good SEO, or ideally both), except domains with funky historical records (legal, trademarks, abuse, spam, penalties). We won’t be enforcing a price policy, only making recommendations. You can list DomainNameWire.com for $10 billion dollars and we will honor that, but obviously, the chance of it selling is 1 in 10 billion.
Sean: Why do you have to apply to join Odys as a buyer?
Alex: We view Odys as a community, rather than a service/marketplace open to everyone. Since we started with SEO domains and knowing SEOs are quite paranoid when it comes to their sites, we decided to add one extra layer of security, by NOT making the inventory available for just anyone. Besides that, our goal is to work with committed buyers/sellers, not just anyone. So far it’s working really well.
We might reconsider that for Premium Names.
Sean: Do you have to point your names at Odys (A record or NS) in order to list them there?
Alex: Yes, we do have our own landing pages like the one you can see on OnlineReporter.com. However, if the domain happens to have an existing site on it, we might ask you to keep it live and just have a Hellobar instead, advertising it is for sale via Odys.
Sean: I have to ask, as this will be read by many domain investors that will surely be thinking something similar: any plans to rebrand from Odys.Global to a more premium name? If we’re talking about the tenants of branding, Odys fails “the radio test.” I’m just curious. 🙂
Alex: No plans to re-brand Odys. I have, however, plans to sip some Odys cognac this weekend, maybe stay in the Odys Boutique Hotel in November this year during a short trip to SE Asia, buy some Odys jewelry for my wife and an Odys aviation drone/aircraft for myself 😉
Thanks to Alex for answering my questions.
If you have any questions about the new Odys “sell your premium domain” opportunity, put your questions in the comments and I’ll make sure Alex swings by to answer.
Alan Dodd says
I try to enter the verification code and it says sign up request not found?
Am I signing up as a seller or buyer?
At least I’ve now heard of dot global:D
Branching out beyond the SEO niche is a mistake. A very big mistake.
From the sound of it, they’re going to offer nothing not already readily available from well-entrenched, trusted behemoths.
1. Operating on a .global extension? .global? Really? No one knows it. No one cares. No one trusts it.
2. “Premium” domains, you say? Alex: Please tell us all how you’re defining “premium.” (Hint: It ain’t any .global domains.)
3. You’ll accept domains at whatever price a “seller” wants to ask? Really? Really?
Expand beyond the excellent SEO niche, Alex, and you’ll do nothing but dilute your message and your company.
Thanks for taking the time to share your views on this.
1. There are lots of close-to-bankruptcy businesses operating on great .com names and there are lots of profitable businesses operating on new gTLDs. Please remember any for-profit company has three main goals:
a) Make money now and in the future.
b) Provide a secure and satisfying environment to all its employees, contractors, and partners.
c) Give the market what it wants.
We’re going after all three, regarding if it’s .global or not. I like the name, really. We also own odysglobal.com and odysglob.al 😉
2) Our members perceive premium as short, pronounceable, brandable names. Our goal is to help our members kickstart their website faster, not debate terminology. Our members don’t care about terminology either. They seek solutions to their entrepreneurial problems and we offer them solutions, via the domains that we offer.
3) Yes, I don’t see a problem with that. Most sellers are requesting decent prices for their domains. We only get involved and recommend a slightly different price when they under-evaluate a domain that is obviously worth much more. On the other hand, if they exaggerate with pricing, the chance their domain will sell is almost none. Plus it won’t look good in comparison with other similar inventory available in the marketplace.
Everything that you pointed out is very good advice, except the fact that we serve our members and do not expect to directly compete with the big players. Odys is community driven. Take hosting for instance. We’ve launched fully managed hosting recently as a part of our market segmentation strategy. Nevertheless, our goal is not to compete with HostGator or LiquidWeb. We offer hosting to our members, to those who already trust us. Why would they buy it elsewhere if they already trust it and we’re offering an outstanding service? This is exactly what is happening right now.
Same for premium/brandable domains. When someone who already trusts us needs a new brandable domain for their startup they will most likely ping us and ask for help finding one or helping them pick one from our available inventory. This is the power of a community-driven business.
Thank you for taking the time to comment on this.
How can you, in good conscience, claim to be premium domain seller; when you dont own your own .com? Acquire Odys.com, and i would take you seriously.
Appreciate your insights on this.
We’ve been trying to buy odys.com for the last 5 years and the current owner is too emotionally attached to the domain to sell. Perhaps you could broker the deal. We’d definitely be interested.
On the other hand, I’m not a fan of the .com cult. I like .com and do consider it THE ONE and only extension that really matters, but at the end of the day, the goal of a business is to make money, be profitable and grow while offering an outstanding service to its customers and helping them achieve their goals, not worrying if it owns the name in .com or not.
Again, thank you for taking the time to comment, this means a lot.
I appreciate your insights on this.
Makes me more likely to use your service. Your class is second-to-none.
I just want the impression, you tried; your post on the attempts to acquire it and the owner being too sentimentally attached; melted my heart; i FEEL you!
Remember, i didnt criticize the content! looks amazing. Have a great day or evening, right back at ya; thanks for reply! Wish nothing but success on endeavor!
Thanks for your comment and for requesting access to Odys. We’re working on deploying a brand-new website and marketplace in the next week or two. Our UI is 2 years old. Big changes are coming. Everyone’s working hard. Stay tuned 🙂