Domain investing has been a profitable side project for me. It began back in 2007 when I sold a .org domain for nearly a year’s salary. It was an eye-opening experience and inspired me to invest further. Since then, I’ve grossed $35,126 in sales; this year has begun surprisingly well, as I’ve sold two domains for more than $5,000 already. But of course, annual registration renewals reduce the net profit moderately.

I thought I’d openly share historical sales from my domains (aside from the initial .org sale which has a confidentiality agreement associated with it) so you can see the types of returns domain investing can create. I created a for sale landing page for my domains which links to a full inventory listing. You can see it here at PopCloud.com. And, I wrote a how to park, list and sell domains tutorial earlier. But, certainly I’m not the best example. I’d encourage you to browse elsewhere on the web as well for other stories and expertise.

Here’s a history of sales for me since 2008:

You can acquire domains for $10 – $30 if they’re not yet registered, and back then, there was still availability in the market. Over time, my inventory of domains grew to 100. These days, it seems like almost no .com’s are available anymore. The expansion of the domain extension industry with generic top level domains (gTLDs) has opened up new opportunities in some areas without slowing the .com domain inventory very much.

Honestly, as my life has progressed, I’ve stopped buying many new domains and I’m actually trying to gradually liquidate my domain inventory. I’ve dropped renewals on a number of less valuable domains and selling at lower prices occasionally, when opportunities arise. Some of my more valuable domains, like popcloud.com and newscloud.com, I’ll hold for a long time to get the best price.

My most valuable domains aside from the .org sale have been WhistlerPlaces.com, MsGreen.com, MedNotes.com, CustomLife.com, WarmGun.com, Reorder.us and Snowboard.io. I’ve turned down an offer of $16,000 for popcloud.com which would have been my second most valuable sale.

I’ve definitely had the most return from that .org and generally .com domains but .io domains have proven profitable, and I think they are cool! E.g. I think marriage.io (currently for auction at Flippa), cycling.io and gardening.io may turn out to be highly valuable for me.

Here’s a summary of my domain sales to date. It’s turned out to be a nice background investing project that takes only a small to modest amount of time.

2008
mednotes.com: $5,400

2010
warmgun.com: $1,750
reorder.us: $1,350
totaloasis.com: $750

2012
whistlerplaces.com: $7,500

2013
churchbase.com: $250

2014
Snowboard.io: $1,000
Therapy.io: $500
SonicPlanet.com: $499
ZenEye.com: $339
UnitedKids.com: $299
Lead1.com: $275
ActiveChristian.com: $250
Newscloud.net: $239
bitsurf.com: $199
fwb.io: $199
identitycircle.com: $190
surplusretail.com: $190
RadioDna.com: $69

2015
CommonRoad.com: $749
MainStory.com: $719
Acupuncture.io: $479
MaryJane.io: $299
herbs.io: $175
Cloudmail.io: $158

2016
msgreen.com: $6,549
customlife.com: $5,000

Often, people reach me directly via my domain landing pages. But, I’ve also sold domains via Afternic, SEDO and Flippa.

By the way, the most I’ve ever spent on a domain name myself is $1,800 for Geogram.com which I was using for a startup at the time.

I hope you’ve found this useful and intriguing. If you decide to begin domain investing, start slow and best wishes to you!

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest. Try scheduling a meeting with his new startup Meeting Planner (https://meetingplanner.io), simpler, faster scheduling for work or play and read his series about building it). Follow @reifman on Twitter.