Linton's equation to find your annual domain sales

Digital Pandit

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I was talking with a new domain investor this week who asked me the question of all questions, “how many domains should I expect to sell this year?” which of course was followed by, “how much money am I really going to make doing this?”

Whenever I hear this question my typical answer is, “well – it’s impossible to give any kind of realistic answer. The domain name world works in mysterious ways and you could have a great year where names sell all the time and for more than you expected, followed by a down year where nothing sells.”

I tried that answer but he pushed me to give him something. He said, “can you give me a way to just get a rough estimate? There has to be some general assumptions out there right?”

So I thought I’d take a stab at it, and since I don’t have a crystal ball, the best I could do is buy an image of a crystal ball and put a cartoon of my face in it. My point is, this is not an exact science, or even a science at all, but it is a way to get a rough estimate, which I guess is better than having no idea…or worse, setting unrealistically high expectations which I think way too many investors end up setting.

My estimation magic here is based on two assumptions that we’ll need to just roll with in order to move forward.

Assumption #1: the average domain investor sells 1% of their domains a year (or less, but let’s try to be optimistic here)

Assumption #2: you’re only going to be able to sell your .COMs

sorry but there’s just not enough proven repeatability with any other extension so you’ll have to consider all those non .COMs as gravy (and as MUCH riskier investments)

So here’s what you can do to get a rough estimate of how many domains you’re going to sell this year. Take the number of .COM domains you have in your portfolio and multiply it by 0.01.

If you own 100 .COM domains, selling 1 domain per year should be your expectation. Own 500, expect to sell five. Pretty simple right?

Well of course it’s not that simple. The reality is you could sell less because what you’re not accounting for is the number of domains in your portfolio that are junk. Since it’s hard for you to consider any of your precious babies as ugly, you might think none of your domains are junk, but trust me, some are.

Here’s what I’m going to use to filter, some of you are going to like this, others are going to hate it, but let’s give it a go. Take all of your .COM domains and plug them into Estibot, we’re not going to use this to get estimated values, instead we’re going to use it as a binary junk detection machine.

Consider any domains in your portfolio that Estibot values less than $20 as junk and subtract them from the number of .COM domains in your portfolio. Now take this new number and multiply it by 0.01, and that’s probably a more realistic estimate of how many domains you’re going to sell.

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