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Hire a Domain Consultant

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A couple of years ago, I began domain consulting with a couple of small businesses and a few private domain investor clients, focusing on their domain acquisitions and sales. My clients were either looking to acquire a specific domain name, purchase a specific type of domain name, or they wanted to sell/value some of their domain assets. In the last several months, I’ve been more focused on my own business growth, and I only work with one client.

Hiring a domain consultant can be a very smart idea for a business. A domain consultant can help a business save money by getting the best possible price for domain names, especially when negotiating with larger portfolio holders with whom the consultant has done business with before. Domain negotiations are unique, and most professional domain consultants have the experience to get deals done privately and at the right price – both on the buy and sell side.

Many domain investors own domain names that are aren’t critical to their business, and selling them can bring liquidity without hurting the company’s portfolio. Knowing where to sell the domain names (auction, private sale, broker…etc) is important, as is setting the right price. Domain consultants can advise the domain owner about where the best place to sell a particular domain name is based on a variety of factors. Consultants know the market, know many of the buyers in the domain industry, and know how to open doors and close deals.

Underperforming domain names are also a problem for domain owners. A domain consultant may know where the best place is to park specific types of domain names, and the consultant may be able to help you better optimize your landing page. Some domain consultants can also help build you custom landing pages for your parked domain names as well. You may also be able to get a better revenue share with a parking company based on the consultant’s experience.

Although I am not looking for new domain consulting jobs or clients, there are a number of top domain consultants who may be able to help. Here are a few people that I know (this is not an endorsement):

When looking to hire a domain consultant, I recommend asking the following questions and evaluating the answers based on your own needs:

  • What is your experience with something similar to this project?
  • Have you worked with XYZ company before?
  • Have you sold similar domain names and at what prices (price may be confidential)?
  • Can you provide 2-3 letters of reference?
  • Do you charge hourly, by job, on retainer, what is your fee?

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (27)

    Rob Sequin

    Elliot,

    Thank you for mentioning my name among such a qualified list of domain consultants.

    Your article and directions to potential domain consulting clients are right on the money. You list many good questions and the client needs to “shop around” for the best fit for their project.

    Talk fit first then talk price. Give the consultant a chance to know the client and goals so he or she can honestly act in the best interest of the client. Then talk about commissions and fees.

    Some consultants specialize in brokering, others monetization, others sales to investors or sales to end users.

    Of course I am biased but I strongly suggest that people with limited experience and knowledge of the domain industry should hire a domain consultant that best meets their goals. Of course industry professionals need domain consultants too for specialized projects or high end sales and acquisitions.

    Each consultant has their strengths and weaknesses.

    Professional domain consultants can usually save you money, make you money and/or save you time and hassle.

    May 25th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      Jim Martin

      I am looking for someone to help me monetize my domain portfolio. Do you have any suggestions

      In reply to Rob Sequin | November 21st, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Martin Jim

      I would suggest selling them for more than you purchase them for.

      In reply to Jim Martin | August 19th, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Bashar Al-Abdulhadi

    Great article.

    I would consider myself one among the few (if any) in Middle east/Arab world to be as a consultant with the above.

    worked with many like Scott Ross he is a good guy too

    Best Regards,

    Bashar Al-Abdulhadi

    May 25th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    don

    Ive been contacted by 2 biz selling a similar service in the last 2 days, what I would categorize as related services…promoting the combination of geo/service domain sites with the promise of a first page ranking, so I think anyone working as a domain consultant today probably is leveraging the keyword importance for search rankings…

    May 25th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    larry Fischer

    very informative article, as always.

    larry

    May 25th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Jason

    @Elliot,

    From your experience, how much do domain consultants actually charge. Since my main goal is to write film, it seems domain consultants resemble agents.

    I feel that some of my domains are under performing, in terms of traffic and clicks. I even paid for a Go Daddy domain membership, but only made $7.96 in revenue the past 3 months. At Sedo, I made $10.75 parking domains. They don’t charge a dime.

    At Why Park, 50 domains pulled in $6 in the past month. One of my domains pulled in 900 unique visitors a month at Sedo, but I never received one click. After 3 months, I moved the domain over to Why Park.

    I assume the domain companies target different traffic. The 900 unique domain received the traffic from Italy. Another domain generated 800 unique visitors a month at Sedo, and now doesn’t receive even a 1/3 of that amount at Why Park. However, the traffic has lowered to nearly what it was when I first acquired the domain.

    At first, the domain had a 1 million ranking. After parking it, the traffic dropped to 9 million. Since then the traffic is at 2.3 million. I sacrificed a $1 revenue and 800 unique visitors to restore its traffic. I’m hoping to get it below 1 million. Sedo’s price suggestion suggested it to be priced at $2200. It has a Google Page Rank #2, as well.

    Every ad produces a different amount. I had a click on mediainfluence.net at Sedo, which generated a $1. At Why Park, I made $1.50 off of one click on DonateToStudents.com. I’m sensing that a video game or business link generated the $1 on media influence. It is quite possible a student loan or consolidation ad generated the $1.50.

    As for domain consultants, would it be wise to hire one if you don’t make that much money with your domains. I have a friend who paid money to advertise his business, but hasn’t made money attracting any customers. When you advertise, you want to get some results. There are free ads at some various websites.

    I feel that many hackers and crooks ruined it for the good people. This is the reason we have to spend money to advertise domains and to pay commission. There’s not much I can do to improve my outlook, besides maybe taking up on the offer to submit domains to the Kevin, or another person to determine how to make a sale.

    Reason I want to make a sale is because I’m looking to start a few websites. I have a vision, but will need money to make it a reality. When I try to sell domains, then end-user is more interested in my writing abilities. I’m not looking to write articles for a small amount of money. While these companies spend a fortune on advertising, they want to pay you a small amount to write.

    What businesses don’t understand is that Google charges them per click. What if 100 people clicked on their ad, and they received no business in result of the clicks? Now they have to pay for the click, but then lose out on business. I tried to explain that to a business, bu they seemed to be assume every person visits Google to locate information. There are other search engine on the web.

    This is the same reason I don’t attract that many people to my blog. While my blog is ranked 1.5 million, I don’t benefit from the advertisements placed on it. I received 10 clicks on affiliate ads, with no leads or revenue because nothing was purchased from the websites. In addition, I receive no leads on any of the Amazon ads I customize when writing an article on a various discipline.

    I’ve had this blog for 1 year now. I advertised it in the area, name dropped it, and tweeted on it. I also provide a new article on my Facebook. I assume a domain consultant may help me to choose the right keywords, to move certain domains to another parking account, and to pick the right templates. They can help me to advertise my two blogs, and to advise me on what disciplines to write about.

    It’s like I know what I need to do, but I’m wasting a grand opportunity to benefit from my writing abilities and my domain collection. I did, however, contact a auto place who doesn’t have a website. They’re looking to increase traffic to their company. We;ll see how it turns out. I was a bit dejected after last night. After reading the comments, it looked near impossible to make a private sale without having some professional backing.

    I never give up on anything, especially when I know it will lead me somewhere. Last year, I struggled to make it in an Economics for Managers course. I took the course three times, and spend $8,000 in total tuition due to the course. I received a W, F, and then an A.

    I contemplated whether to drop out of the program. I couldn’t find any help, considering I always help people out on their writing. Even my friends that knew the material couldn’t help me. Past teachers would turn the blind eye. I tried to obtain tutoring with no such luck. In the end, I never gave up, and eventually figured out how to make it through the course with hard work.

    I will be graduating next month with a Master’s in Public Administration. I have a BA in Film & Media Studies. and two AA degrees – Film and Liberal Arts. The domain sale aspect is similar to my academic and professional challenges.

    When I read newsletters about recent sales, and I watch bidders going after domains, it is dejecting. It’s like people are bragging about their success, while people like me put in the work to receive little ROI.

    I would benefit from a domain consultant. However, I can’t afford to hire one because I’m scraping to make a living. It is part of the reason I considered domain investing. I write a ton of articles on several of my hosted domains.

    I have two blogs – one new one and another which I produced 400+ articles and have good information on there. I produced 80-100 articles on another hosted domain. I parked over 400 domains. I haven’t made enough money to consider my venture successful.

    I’m sharing the downside of my experience. Maybe I’ll have a success story. I’m hoping that something in my collection generates interest.

    I assume AirForceBase.org and AirForceBase.co.uk have potential. TrackingLight.com, CharcoalSticks.com, LeatherManBags.com and Greenchalkboards.com seem to have marketability. GrantWritingJobs.com and PastryChefJobs.net appear to be popular careers. CareerOutlook.net and ScriptReader.net would definitely benefit a job or entertainment company. Maybe CasinoPatrons.com would spark some interest with a gaming hotel or online gaming business.

    Since I started reading this blog, I switched my domain approach. I’m only looking to acquire .com domains. However, I do have some good .net, .info, .us, and .mobi domains. I tried to push monocular.biz on a company who sells the devices. Again, I don’t have the leverage to make any personal deals.

    I believe there’s a better time to make a sale. I can continue to host the domains. I have my domains parked at Sedo, Go Daddy, and Why Park.

    Ebay has been a disaster. On Go Daddy, my domains are not even looked at. My Bargain Domain submissions are overlooked, as well. I thought animationprograms.us would spark some interest. I submitted loanjobs.net for the second time. I might consider putting businessleadership.us on there. I already added managerialaccounting.us on the site. There’s only a few days left on qwertykeyboard.us.

    I would be interested in a domain consultant, but I can’t afford to hie one at this point in time. If I can push a domain I won in an auction in January, maybe that will provide me with the funds I need to become more successful.

    Great article! Thanks again.

    Jason
    http://magicwriter.blogspot.com

    May 25th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Elliot

    @ Jason

    I hate being critical, but I don’t see any of those names that you mentioned as saleable. The more you buy, the more you spend, and the less focus you can have on selling one domain name. I would really study the market to see what’s selling before making any more of a financial commitment.

    I don’t know what others charge, but for consulting you can expect to pay up to $250/hour (maybe more depending on what’s needed). It may sound like a lot of money, but for me and many others, I am better off investing my time in my own business than someone else’s if it’s not at that rate.

    May 25th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Jason

    @ Elliot,

    I respect your constructive criticism. I’m not looking to acquire any major domains. A majority of the domains that sell are within $350 and under. At the cost of registration, you can be still make profit.

    When I purchased CakesNYC.com, I never knew it would sell for $300. However, I made a mistake on the price at Sedo, and ended up only getting $100 for it.

    I never knew I would get $320 for Pier39.info or $200 for Fight4Education.com. & years ago 4Chan would have been a joke. I think it is the work you put into the domain. Any name can generate value once it becomes popular.

    CamRolette.com is not worth $150,000. As I mentioned on your blog after the sale, chatroulette.com made it popular. ChatRoullett.com is not worth $1,888. But someone bought the domain. The same for sexroulette.org at $500. That was a 28 day ROI.

    I may never get my hands on a premium domain, but I can always turn one of my domains into something valuable. Whereas, the domains I mentioned many not appear saleable, I’m sure I can increase their value. I purchased charcoal sticks last year and produced may good drawings. I can add those drawings on charcoalsticks.com, and blog about where to purchase the utensils.

    ScriptReader.net target the actual position, a Hollywood Script Reader. It has film job sponsors and content on film writing. I already made half of the cost of registration back. I don’t plan to purchase anymore domains until I sell a few of them.

    CasinoPatrons.com can include information on how to gamble responsibly, and discuss strategies to make money. I have experience in that area.

    I have a few other .com domains that I will share later, that is when I fully develop them. I’m confident they will be popular. All I have to do is make another $1200 to break even. I have some one word .org domains, tons of .info on insurance and loans, and much more. The domains I listed are not my best.

    I may be able to move iquotes.us and eINS.us tomorrow. I have a meeting with an end-user. While I put a ton of work into researching the industry, I know that I don’t have the resources to acquire thousand domains. I’m fine with that.

    I know that I will never come across a one word or a 3 character .com. However, I have the ability to increase the value of my domains. I do have a skills that is readily in demand – writing and information in various areas.

    Essentially, my main goal is to become a professional writer. We all take different routes in life, sometimes the detours test our determination. I’m confident I can move enough domains to make a profit. I may have to put in a lot more work than people who have premium names that basically attract attention on their own.

    I think my NYC based domains can sell within the summer. If I price them right, I will attract attention. I already attracted attention a few months back, but my pricing was a bit off.

    The $250 per hour is fair if it’s only for one or two hours. I find that many consultants tend to milk time to make money. It’s like paying money to have a conversation about material that has nothing to do with the expected goal.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Jason

    May 25th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Elliot

    @ Jason

    I like gambling – especially blackjack. When I was younger, I also liked scratch lottery tickets. I would spend some money, and every once in a while I would win $5-20 on $1 tickets. I continued to buy more. However, at the end of the day, I still lost a lot of money. The small winnings were nice, but never consistent. I never won a big jackpot like some people win.

    It sounds to me like you have a lot of domain names that you bought and aren’t having luck selling. You are looking at anomalous sales to justify your acquisitions as well as a few of your sales. Just like my example above, you won’t make money by buying bad domain names. You might sell a few here and there, but overall you will still be in the red.

    IMO, you can’t just hope that you get lucky when you buy domain names. You need to have a reason to buy each of them and if you plan to sell them you should have a buyer in mind.

    Also, you should never have to explain why a domain name is good. A good domain name doesn’t need to be explained.

    May 25th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Jason

    @ Elliot,

    Many domains I see are not as appealing, especially when they never generated any traffic or were ranked. Domain investors ask ridiculous amounts, and buyers fork out crazy cash to get these domains. Businesses spend millions on advertising, making nothing in return. They make their profit through referrals.

    When people make a car purchase, the sales consultant has to build value into why the car is good. People have objections as to why they should not purchase the vehicle. It is nice to have a buyer knocking at the door, but most people are not that lucky. I don’t base success on luck, or did I purchase domains to get lucky.

    In the car industry, a BMW or a Mercedes sells itself. Right now, I may have a Kia collection, but I can turn it into a Honda. The names I mentioned don’t define my collection. While I know you have a good collection, I feel it is better to build nothing into something. I find that to be the most exciting part of the domain industry.

    I don’t hope to get lucky when I make purchases. I purchased the Pier 39 domains to resale, which I happen to move one at a good profit. I only asked for advice because my sale’s approach was struggling, as of late.

    In short, a car consultant selling a BMW should never have to explain to a customer why a BMW is a good car. They should already know, but there are people who still need an explanation. They wan to know they’ll benefit from the purchase.

    I had a reason to buy most of my names, well besides the reverse order ones early on. I don’t consider a two month slump a bad decision. A domain investor doesn’t have to explain a premium domain, but I’m not looking to acquire a premium domain. I would rather build a worthless name into a valuable one.

    Essentially, what you’re suggesting is that Valuate.com and Estibot.com are worthless websites. You feature Valuate.com on your front page, but they have no value in properly assessing the true value of a domain. 4Chan.org is worth a measly $350 on both websites, when in fact it is valued at nearly $4 million.

    I don’t believe the appraisals on neither of the websites, but I have used them to my advantage to track down various extensions which were still available. I pay attention to the popular keyword searches and other stats.

    Also, I didn’t even advertise 10% of my collection. I don’t consider my venture to be unsuccessful. My last sale was 7 weeks ago. If I go on this board and make up a sale, then it makes me look like I need the attention.

    As with many websites, testimonials don’t serve companies justice, especially when every website includes them. Why believe in the same ineffective ploys? At first I bought names based on long-term investment. Then later, I researched that you could turn a short-term profit. I trusted Estibot and Valuate, but then caught on later. These appraisal sites are worthless in terms of appraising a value, but have good information.

    If I don’t make a sale again for the rest of the year, and then need to renew the domains, then I made a bad decision to buy bad domains. For 70% of my collection. I had an idea in mind. I won’t be in the red when I make back what I spent. As I write more content, I’m confident I’ll be able to move my domains.

    Even if I move everything, I won’t need to gloat about what I sale. I’ll turn junk into something interesting. The industry is misleading, and only helps out those who know people and have money. The same goes for celebrities who get into trouble, but have money to get out of a problem, whereas others will have to suffer the consequences.

    Movie scripts are the same. I’m sure Michael Ardt didn’t care that executives laughed at Little Miss Sunshine. While he was a public assistant to Mathew Broderick, he knew he wrote something good. Movie executives laughed at his scripts, and even hinted about who writes crap like this, it’s bad. I’m sure the screenwriter may have thought about it when accepting his Academy Award, but he maintained respect because it motivated him to reach his success.

    When people are in sales, they have to build value into a product or service, even if it is top notch. Some people don’t have the ability to go out and buy $100,000 domains. It is not feasible for most people. Even if I had the knowledge back in 2004, would I have purchased cookinggames.com? Probably not. Would I have passed up on PayDayLoans.info several years back? I’m sure I would have overlooked the domain – it sold for $25,000.

    We never know what is going to be valuable. You may know because you have experience. You advertise your skill. Your blog is successful because you know what is valuable and who to contact. I read the content, and it helps me. I don’t think I have a bad domains, especially when I only added a few of them on the board. When I make a sale late on, I won’t need to validate or prove a point.

    I never hope to get lucky on anything. I’ve worked hard on every opportunity I’ve been given. I sat up in the middle of the night for years to write for others, only to make them successful, while I still looked for an opportunity myself. These people would score good jobs, but lacked the knowledge to do them.

    I may not be a professional domain investor, but I have some ideas that I know will work. I’m confident they will work. There are bad domains on Go Daddy and many other domain websites, but they have traffic. Traffic drives up the value of a domains. Estibot and Valuate are a joke when it comes to appraisal value.

    Domain vendors like Bargain Domains are able to keep in business because the two appraisal sites over appraise everything. They under value the domains which are actually worth a fortune. Your blog is worth $150 on those domain appraisal sites. Interesting assessment, especially for a website that generates 40,000 unique visitors a month and has a 23,796 worldwide ranking. Almost an insult for disregarding the value of traffic and page rank.

    I’ll build value into each of my domains. I have an idea to move every one of them, only keeping a dozen of them to build into websites. I’m not looking to make thousands, or am I gambling with my purchases. When the time comes, I will move them because I don’t buy into the poor information from some sites trying to extort people on the notion their domains are worth money, when in fact they are worthless.

    Thanks for the information. It doesn’t make me feel any less confident. I’ll move my domains. I don’t mind putting in the work to do it. It’s a good way to communicate with others.

    Jason
    http://magicwriter.blogspot.com

    May 25th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Elliot

    @ Jason

    I wish you all the best with your domain investments.

    May 25th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Stephen Douglas

    Thanks El-Sil for including my name amongst these very talented and capable domain consultants.

    I saw a question regarding whether it’s smart to hire one – and depending on where you want to go with this business, especially if you’re just breaking in, for probably less than $2000, a domain consultant can give you two to three years of experience, guide you in the right direction, and introduce you to some incredible people in the domain industry.

    To hire a domain consultant, you just need to be serious about getting into domain investing, because you can waste tens of thousands of dollars making mistakes on your own, even within a few months, and a domain consultant will most likely prevent that from happening.

    May 26th, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Rahul

    I have very low income, is there any possibility to hire a Consultant?

    I want a Consultant who can give advice time to time, any help plz?

    May 26th, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Rob Sequin

    Rahul,

    I offer an “Uncle in the business” type service where I offer consulting service by the hour in order to help people answer questions about the industry and, to some extent, give them some guidance with regards to monetization, sales, development etc.

    I charge $120 per hour. It sounds like I can probably help you a lot in one hour and I should be able to get pointed in the right direction. Then, we can talk again in a couple weeks and we can review what you’ve done and where you want to go.

    If you visit my site, find the Uncle in the Business link under Domain Consulting for more information.

    May 26th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Louis

    One type of domain consulting I have been thinking more and more about looking into (not “looking to get into”) is domain estate planning/consulting. I am looking for someone who can draft up and aggreement to act as an executor with fiduciary responsibily to maximize the value of my holdings, be it liquidation or on continued operation of profitale siites in the event I am no longer here. I have 419 domains and 288 live sites,many (domains) over 12 years old, and the thought of them dropping because noone in my family truly has a grasp on the scope of the portfolio can keep me awake at night. I would imagine I am not alone on this worry.

    May 26th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Deb

    As always, E, good post and resources. Thank you.

    @ Louis – GREAT comment & point! I’m trying to set up systems (lists, passwords, etc.) and explain to hub in the event something were to happen to me but his eyes just glaze over about 5 mins into anything domain related. 😉

    May 26th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Adam

    Thanks for the mention Elliot.

    May 27th, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Scott Ross

    Many thanks, Elliot, for your kind recommendation. Two brokerage calls and a portfolio management inquiry yesterday, including a big’un. Testimony to the power and readership of Elliot’s Blog.

    As a token of appreciation, Rob Sequin and I will be anointing you Ministro de Dominio (Minister of Domains) shortly after we wrest control of Cuba from the Castro regime. This position will give you exclusive registration rights to Burbank.cu. and make you mucho importante en Habana. Muchas chicas, también! But no tocas, señor! In the interim, please know that you, your wife and your American Express card are always welcome in Miami Beach.

    Thanks, as well, to Bashar for your kind words herein.

    Muchas gracias,

    ~Scott Ross~
    El Generalisimo Grande de la Shitto de Bull
    y close personal amigo de Presidente Roberto Sequin

    May 27th, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Stephen Douglas

    Hi Rahul,

    I offer a “Domainer Startup” package where you will learn everything you should know and things you want to know about the domain industry. It’s $500 a month for 3 months (total $1500 – about $100 an hr) and you will have me or my team at your service each month for a minimum of 5 hours by phone, email, or chat to answer all your questions.

    If you are my client in this “startup package”, I also will introduce you to the right people for the domain monetization paths that interest you the most.

    Initially, even though the cost might seem high, you will save yourself thousands of dollars in the long run and in fact, enable yourself to make the right choices to help you start profiting from your efforts quickly.

    Although my schedule is currently full, I should have a spot for you by June 7.

    May 27th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    PlayBookinfo

    Thank you for this article. I am not in this business, but am quickly trying to learn the value of three websites I own since RIM/Blakberry announced five days ago their new PlayBook. On Youtube, in five days there were 1.6 million hits. Any ideas on how to work this? I have com, info, and org. I guess I need a consultant?

    kristen

    kris10carmel@aol.com

    October 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Kevin

    @ Jason – You write way to many words to convey your points.

    Most people won’t even read a comment when it is a mile long.

    Keep it short and simple to get your message across.

    November 30th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

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