I Bought a Domain as an End User


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Last Tuesday while I was browsing Domaining.com I noticed a domain listed in bargain domains. Spypen.net was up for sale. I have always sold products I import from china on ebay and one of those products has been spy pens. They are pens that have a mini video camera inside them. They are one of my best-selling and highest margin products I sell.

The data behind the name might surprise you. The estibot is $5,600 and the search data really surprised me there are over 300,000 people searching monthly for a spy pen and over 90,000 exact people. The cpc is also over $2.50. I knew I was interested in the name, but first I took a look at my potential competition. The first site appears to not be working and the second one’s prices I can beat and the thirds is the same as the first and so on.

I have always wanted to build out a website into a online retail store and this is the perfect way to do so. It really is a combination of my 2 businesses and I am moving away from ebay which means moving away from fees but now I have to supply my own traffic. But I am up for the challenge.

Now that I knew I wanted the domain I set a budget. Normally when I buy a domain as a domainer I look at the cpc and searches and try and estimate how much I can make a month with ads based off how similar sites I have do I can get a pretty accurate estimate.

As an end user I took what I know about the market and tried to thing conservatively how many spy pens I could sell a month and figure out my profit per month. The I multiplied by 12 and that was my max bid. Thankfully I did not have to bid that high at all, I won the name for $550.

If I did not have the background in spy pens and did not have a retail plan for the name there is no way I would have paid that much for the name. It was really cool to see the process from and end user's standpoint and I really did not realize it was happening to me until I was bidding. I can now see how much more valuable names are to someone with a business plan and experience behind them.

This week I plan to get the first version of the site up to see if I can try and sell a few for the holiday season. I happened to have a few left in inventory and I just ordered more.

If anyone has a favorite wordpress ecommerce plugin be sure to let me know. I am going to try and take my readers through the whole process of starting an online retail store.

Related posts:

  1. Sample End User Domain Sales Call Transcript
  2. What to Do When an End User Stops Responding
  3. More End User Physical Letters Going Out

Comments

37 Responses to “I Bought a Domain as an End User”

  1. John
    November 27th, 2010 @ 10:25 am

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    A good wordpress plugin that I use that’s free is
    The WP Ecommerce plugin at getshopped.org.

    If you use it, let me know if you need any help.

    John

  2. Jeff Edelman
    November 27th, 2010 @ 11:18 am

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    Congratulations, Brian! I look forward to hearing how you develop it. Good luck.

  3. Johan
    November 27th, 2010 @ 11:25 am

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    Very interesting, looking forward to seeing the result as this is something I’d like to do as well!

  4. Ze
    November 27th, 2010 @ 11:31 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Great buy and great numbers for a domain to develop. – looks like the owner of the .com has it parked so it’s all green lights for you.
    – checkout themeforest.net – they have a few plug and play WP ecommerce themes that work really well. – you can also run a search for – “WordPress ecommerce themes” – tons of good stuff out there.
    Good luck!!

  5. Paul Krugman
    November 27th, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    You should use OSCommerce or ZenCart. They seem to be better for SEO.

  6. David Myre
    November 27th, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Interesting post. Wouldn’t it have made just as much sense to hand reg spypens.us since you will be developing the site, and building your own traffic anyways?

    How much more weight comes with the .net over the .us?

  7. Anil
    November 27th, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

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    Congratulations !

    Good & Informative post.

    Looking forward to information about building ecommerce website around this name.

    Best Luck with your new venture!

  8. TeenDomainer
    November 27th, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    @David I think people trust .net over .us and also people search for spy pen not spy pens so that will help in exact match search. But yes I could have gone that way I just felt this would be better down the road.

    Thanks everyone I will keep you updated

  9. Kevin
    November 27th, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

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    Sounds like a winner! Keep us updated on the developments of SpyPen.net :)

  10. David Myre
    November 27th, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    I really like reading the progress reports on your ventures. I will be interested in watching the progression with this one as well.

  11. Favorite Domains
    November 28th, 2010 @ 5:21 am

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    It was a great buy for your “spy pen” business. But if you could get .com as well, it would be nice.

  12. Muzi Mohale
    November 28th, 2010 @ 5:49 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    I highly recommend eShop theme from Templatic.com since you’ll be selling products online. It has all the frills of an online store and you’re ready to start selling within a short space of time.

  13. chandan
    November 28th, 2010 @ 6:07 am

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    chinese love .net so its worth imo for chinese market :)

  14. Carlos Martins
    November 28th, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    As a domainer and particularly as seller i always choose to buy those names with dictionary or social meaning on it. I recently sold Grandeur.info and jetbrasil.com and the first was taken by a family with grandeur in its name.
    I also have so many other like these as VintageHorse.com for horse owners that prefer the classic and renowed horses or HostonLadies.com for everything related with Houston and particularly with ladies.
    It was a good choice and calculation Mr. Teen.

  15. Attila
    November 28th, 2010 @ 7:37 am

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    Nice catch. If you want my advice, make a WP site, get it ranked, then link over to your main website (through banners) selling more then just spy pens. Anyone interested in Spy Pens will be interested in other spy products as well. Also check out BigCommerce.com for your main sites shopping cart. Its has everything (and no, I am not exaggerating either) and we’re using it (well, bigger brother version, Interspire) for geo ip, multi currencies and more.

    Its what we’re doing for our main electronic sites that ships from Hong Kong. So far we’re driving a little over 5,000+ uniques on a monthly basis just from the 15+ mini sites we put up on keyword domains. Though we just started this marketing technique 3 months ago, so most sites are still getting ranked and more.

  16. Ed Muller
    November 28th, 2010 @ 8:02 am

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    A nice grab, but you missed spypens.com for $392 at Namejet in Sept 2009. Maybe you could reach out to the buyer and get it relatively cheap if this is your new niche?

  17. Carlos Martins
    November 28th, 2010 @ 8:12 am

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    Thank you Attila for your advice. I am really follow it and think to add some of the BigCommerce Affiliate. Think that my web sites were not built for other solutions they have but i am using frequently the banner way in more than 250 sites i have (come are parked sites but completely developed including articles, youtube videos, hotel directory, music, adsense and much more.
    Thanks and Rgds

  18. Attila
    November 28th, 2010 @ 8:44 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Talking about NameJet and Spy names, I missed out on SpyKits(dot)com which ended for nearly $3k. I would of easily gone up to $5-6k. Sadly, I was on vacation, drinking like a fish with some buddies for 2-3 days straight and forgot about the time :-(

    Now the new owner (another big time domain investor with 4,459 domains under his belt) wants around $15k. I suppose at $15k its still a good price considering the infrastructures I have setup already in China and Hong Kong to make it into a major spy commerce site for both B2B and B2C type customers.

  19. Attila
    November 28th, 2010 @ 8:47 am

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    damn it, I hit tab and enter before forgetting to finish off.

    The ending was suppose to be, that even knowing he bought for $3k, I hardly want to pay more then my original 5-6k. Call me a cheap ass or un-motivated. Though its amazing how its always a domain acquisition that starts a new project and not the financial factors behind it :-p

  20. TeenDomainer
    November 28th, 2010 @ 10:31 am

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    @ Attila thanks for the comments I do also plan to sell a few other spy related gear on the site. But that was a nice name too bad. I like the method of driving traffic with minisites.

    Thanks everyone I will keep you updated

    I decided to go with Phpurchase for my shopping cart.

  21. Spy Pen
    November 28th, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    nice pick up Brian. I actually had my eye on that one as well, but missed the closing, and in any case you would have been able to max my budget anyway. But I have a developed minisite on a spy pen camera domain, and it’s one of my top adcents earners, so i knew it was going to be a good buy. let me know how the ecommerce goes, it might be something I want to try in the future.

  22. Jason
    November 28th, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

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    Good job with the purchase. You definitely far ahead of others that have an education, but don’t know how to put their ideas to work.

    I use MagicWriter.net as a forward to my Magic Writer blog at the Blog Spot. I’m closing the blog because I’m focusing more on my domain blogs. Magic Writer doesn’t generate any revenue.

    There are magic writer pens. I also have magicpen.us. I would definitely like to develop leathermanbags.com because the sites has produced 15 clicks in the past month on Why Park.

    You have 1000 times more developing and business skills than me. I know how to communicate with end-users, but I have been known to ruin a few deals based on providing too much information.

    I commend you for doing what I should’ve done instead of joining the military to help fuel a film writing career that never evolved in anything. It helps to have good decision making abilities, which is the reason you’re successful as a teenage domainer.

    Great work.

  23. Jason
    November 28th, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    I would revise my past post if I could. I discovered a few errors, which is common when I use the I-Phone.

    How often do you sell .net domains? A few of my .net domains are starting to produce clicks. I never had any success with selling .net domains. .us job sites are good sellers.

    I lost a few lot sales based on setting prices too high. That was when I depended on Estibot to appraise domains. However, I quickly learned to analyze the stats. I managed to pick up good domains on the drop using Estibot. I like their keyword data.

    I will definitely check out your progress on the spy pens.

  24. Carlos Martins
    November 28th, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    You probably are americans and i love you as a nation but i think you underestimated non-american like domains .de or .in or .eu. However i have some .de valuated by american web sites (domaining.com as for example), over 20,000 and i am selling it on my web site and most probably at the next Moniker/SnapNames (live and online) by $15,000 (negotiable) because is its a dictionary and encicloped one word.
    The domain it is periodic.de and it means manily the period atomic tables very execlent for universityies everywhere.

    In the meanwhile have to tell you Attila that i am now a subscriber of BigCommerce not as a merchant (as it is sadly for american people only) but as an affiliate or partner affiliation.

    Thanks

  25. Ify
    November 29th, 2010 @ 2:12 am

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    Hi guys,
    I think i am enjoying the posts here,am some how new to domain thing.i have PURCHASINGCART.COM,ITEMSSHOPPING.COM,ALGERIAS.COM,CUPS.CO.IN and many others,but i dont know if i should develop them or sell them off so that i can concentrate on my online dating scam site i wish to develop.i need your ideas.

    Cheers.

    Ify.

  26. LS
    November 29th, 2010 @ 4:20 am

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    Interesting post. I’m new to domaining and I just analyzed your competition for spypen.net. The site spy-pen.org seems to be on the first page for the keywords “spy pen” in Google, Bing, and Yahoo however it has a relatively high Alexa rank (over 7 million). If the keywords spy pen have over 90,000 exact searches shouldn’t someone on the front page of the 3 main search engines have at least 10,000 visitors a month? Please shed some light on this issue for me.

    Thanks.

  27. LS
    November 29th, 2010 @ 4:23 am

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    Just to add on, an Alexa rank of around 7 million only translates to about 1-3 visitors a day.

    Thanks.

  28. Attila
    November 29th, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    90k is broad search. What you need is “exact” search and it shows;

    [spy pen]
    12,100 – global
    2,900 – usa only

    I don’t think these numbers are realistic whatsoever as I have often researched several domains ranking number one on LARGE exact searches on a monthly basis and yet it only gets less then 5% or 10% of the exact search in USA.

    I think the system is flawed and domainers are using this as a metric to price domains. Its why I stopped buying non-sense domains based purely off Google Keywords Tools. However if you look at it from Teen Domainers view, he is setting up shop. So if he makes $15 a sale, he only needs a 30-40 sales to break even on the domain and 60-80 sales to break even on initial investment. After that, its purely money in the pocket.

    Just take this advice, Teen Domainer. When I was in my teens making money, I’d spend it on useless crap. The days would follow that an awesome opportunity would come by and I just wouldn’t have the cash to venture into it. So take it from someone that learned the hard way, don’t be a typical American, and try to save. Now, I am not saying don’t go and enjoy yourself…but know your limits.

  29. Attila
    November 29th, 2010 @ 8:59 am

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    I just realized all the trailing keywords after spy pen (97 to be exact).

    Here are just some that I pulled from the CSV download.

    KEYWORD – GLOBAL EXACTS – LOCAL USA EXACTS
    [spy pen] 12100 2900
    [spy pen camera] 5400 1300
    [spy pen video camera] 720 480
    [spy pen recorder] 880 320
    [spy pen voice recorder] 210 110
    [spy pen digital camera] 140 110
    [spy pen camcorder] 260 110
    [spy pen video] 210 91
    [spy pen review] 210 91
    [spy pen cameras] 260 91
    [spy pen camera review] 140 73
    [spy pen 4gb] 590 58

    Here are the three keywords advertisers are going for, as you can see to the CPC.

    [spy pen recorder] $2.29
    [spy pen camera] $1.76
    [spy pen] $1.06

    Just imagine, spypen.net/camera.html – then making title as Spy Pen Camera – H1 title the same and 3-4 paragraphs (300-500 words) that combine the keyword “Spy Pen Article” with 4-6% keyword density. Then these “top” keywords, get 30-50 “hyperlink” on that specific keyword to be placed in back links that get crawled. Then site back, wait. Don’t forget add site to Google Webmaster and Analytics. If the sites of importance, put it on a dedicated IP.

    SEO people who charge an arm and leg for such services or advice and will most likely hate me, but then again, screw them. I paid out the ass for SEO back in the day only to know they did a few simple things. Call it pay back :-p

  30. TeenDomainer
    November 29th, 2010 @ 9:37 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Thanks for the great advice, exactly I looked at it from a sales standpoint, I know how much I make per sale and I think I will easily earn my money back.

    I have already started with the seo advice thanks.

  31. Jason
    November 29th, 2010 @ 11:08 am

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    @Attila,

    You provided some great tips. I would like to know more about the example regarding the title and 300-500 words. I submitted many sites to Google, and verified them. I want better results. I’ll analyze your post more. Thanks.

  32. Danny
    November 29th, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

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    Cool pick up. I actually saw that domain on auction at Bargain Domains, and was thinking about it too. There really are some great deals there. I’ve bought two other well aged .orgs in the last few months there.

  33. Tyler
    November 29th, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

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    I didn’t know I could have heroes under the age of 18. Keep it up man!

  34. Ken
    December 1st, 2010 @ 12:30 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    It’s nice that you managed to experience the other side, Brian. That’s a great way to understand how people think from that stand point!

    I visited SpyPen.net and I just want to comment that the image rotator in the homepage isn’t displaying the slides in a sufficient time that I could read and understand the captions ;)

    GL with that site!

  35. Poor Uncle
    December 2nd, 2010 @ 1:41 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    @Brian – Do you have time to do your homework, or is that also outsourced?

  36. SpyPen.net My First Online Store Goes Live : Teen Domainer
    December 6th, 2010 @ 8:32 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    [...] you might remember my post about buying a domain as an end user. The name I bought was SpyPen.net for $550 on Bargain Domains. I have spent the last week or so [...]

  37. Soud
    January 17th, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Warning: Illegal string offset 'keywords_time' in /home1/theman37/public_html/teendomainer.com/wp-content/plugins/internal_link_building.php_/internal_link_building.php on line 103

    Just surfed there, looks great, congrats!

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