mike mann

Mike Mann drops 50,000 domains

Mike Mann and his company DomainMarket.com has dropped almost 50,000 domains in the past few months. He started dropping them at about the time the coronavirus pandemic started unfolding in the US. I don’t know if this is a coincidence or not.

I checked domaintools.com to see how many domains his nameservers have and confirm this. NS2.DOMAINMARKET.COM has 300,794 domains. I guess he might have dropped a few more that aren’t deleted yet from his database. (And I am sure that a few of the domain he has sold still have his nameservers.)

He went from having 350,854 domains at his peak on March 5th to 301689 yesterday. That is a period of 3 and a half months.

So Mike had about 350k domains. If these domains are evenly distributed over 12 months then 29,237 domains would expire each month. So over 3.5 months he would have 102,332 domains expiring.

So if and only if his domains were evenly distributed over the course of a year then it would appear he dropped almost half his domains in the past 3.5 months.

These 50,000 domains saved him from a $400k annual bill. Is he trying to improve his profitability and/or preparing for an acquisition? It is not a secret that Mike is looking to sell his portfolio (and repeat his BuyDomains sale) and there is only one big active buyer in the past 2-3 years: GoDaddy.

BTW Mike’s portfolio consisted of mainly .com domains. So mainly .com domains were dropped. The truth is that he had a lot of low quality domains that had a small chance of selling.

It would be interesting to see how the trend continues.

Here is the list of the 50,000 domains.

Here is Mike Mann’s portfolio size progression since 2016:

17 June 2020 301689
12 June 2020 315383
07 June 2020 317044
29 May 2020 317168
04 May 2020 328911
09 April 2020 331478
16 March 2020 340926
06 March 2020 340373
05 March 2020 350854
03 March 2020 348335
02 March 2020 347820
01 March 2020 347660
26 February 2020 346531
21 February 2020 346449
04 February 2020 344784
18 January 2020 344379
05 March 2019 335788
18 November 2018 329316
27 February 2018 306968
21 August 2017 293055
04 September 2016 265992

Those of you that are regular readers of this blog you know that I have been keeping track of Mike’s domain sales. See here the latest report and links to all the previous reports.

If you want to further understand Mike Mann’s pricing and sell-through rates read here: A few important details on Mike Mann’s domain sales.

If you feel the need to say something about Mike’s sales being fake or whatever then first read this: “Casting a doubt on all domain name sales“.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. Culling the herd. We did it this year, but nowhere near that extent.

  2. Do it all the time myself. Almost never regret any, but on a few occasions have. Especially since I’m more an end user than a domain seller.

  3. It would have been very informative to know what kind of names he dropped, like length, number of words, age etc.

    I personally buy names I am happy to hold for long time, as each name requires considerable time invested to analyze if it makes a good brand for a startup. So dumping them wouldn’t be saving on renewal, but rather writing off lots of hours of work.

    I drop less than 1% of my folio every year.

  4. He’s been trying to “get investors” and/or sell for a long time. I’d would be very surprised in that portfolio was really very profitable.

    He’s probably on his own in terms of trying to raise funds. Also think there is very little to made in trying to put a portfolio together to try and sell out, the names will likely sell for a large discount compared to drop prices.

    4-5x profit seems to be the multiple that portfolios are getting if the quality is high.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      Profit is not so clear cut. You can lower the prices for a year and make twice than last year and then sell the portfolio.
      I would only purchase a portfolio based on the domain quality only. So I probably wouldn’t buy a large portfolio.

      • Profit is very clear cut. Halving prices will increase the number of domains sold but I don’t think it will do a lot for profitability.

        If the quality is low then it will be a lower multiple than 4-5 years profit.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        First of all I didn’t say to half the prices. Anyway I don’t agree with you on many things and so many levels it is pointless to argue with you.

  5. Well, sorry to read this. But I think it is good to focus on quality. Personally, I do not drop anything from our domain porftolio, really very few exceptions there … there is simply no need. And as new gTLD investor I am paying much more in renewal fees for some of my names, comparing to .com names.

    Maybe it is time for some older domain investors to get into high quality new gTLDs as well, and modernise the approach, at least a bit 🙂

  6. maybe he is finally getting rid of obvious tm domains after the problems with facebook.

  7. Mike dropped domains so that he can buy bitcoin with that money and get back his loss on domains.

  8. Okay so HD, DM and even BD (via NJ) are dropping/liquidating a bit.

    The question is – are they making a mistake? What are the criteria they are using to drop?

    It didn’t sell for 10k for five years, you dropped it to 2k for a year, it didn’t sell, so you drop.

    But what about price range $388-$1288?

    So, we need to find out the actual economic elasticity of this commodity. I’ve meaning to do this for a while so this blog post is making me inquire into it.

    According to an article which I truly don’t understand, the price to maximise profits is:

    P = MC x (#/#+1)

    p;price – mc;marginal cost; #;price elasticity of demand.

    Hopefully Snoopy can explain it!

  9. Konstantinos Zournas

    Here is the list of the 50,000 domains.

  10. Anonymous people are always idiots

  11. Konstantinos Zournas

    I added 2 lists of available or very soon to be available domains:

  12. Please see MikeMann.com which has links to my charitable work, books, companies, videos, and best practices.
    The reason it is extra difficult to make money on selling domains is because the system is a huge scam, and some of the people. Some are a lot like Wall Street scammers (they have suits), but from a more tiny and opaque industry; and with more of a DC and Boston connection than New York and San Francisco.
    Even if the system were not a scam, it would be very hard to make a profit, as in any evolving high-tech business. Most people quit or retired, or sold out super cheap due to monopolistic and illegal practices of others. (Which leaves me in a great position to dominate the future; weak competition and the most skilled team)
    This article explains the situation pretty well http://www.circleid.com/posts/president_of_buydomainscom_responds_to_wls_issue
    Also, this video:

    The contracts for Verisign/NSI, and the auctions are no competition monopolies; the auctions are fraudulent on their face, and then some of the employees and customers in them have done shill bidding and other scams for ages unhindered, and not prosecuted (yet).
    Everyone is being taxed exorbitantly on .Com and other traditional domains by monopolies with uncontrollable prices, and NO COMPETITION.
    Friends in DC long ago got campaign donations, along with other insider scams. NTIA/Sen. Warner/DoC/ICANN, etc.
    I visited and spoke to the Justice Department and various congresspeople to lobby about it with Paul Stahura (before he went to the dark side of gTLDs).
    ICANN is an enormous scam that was supposed to help domain owners, not take mega-millions for themselves.
    .Org seems to have gone south in a similar manner, but the CA attorney general is stepping in apparently.
    Trump people, what happened to draining the swamp? How did you miss this? How did every other tax get deferred and scam get exposed except domains? Those big companies want you to lose the best domains and not get paid anything, so they can auction them, or just steal and sell them. They work together on it.
    Suffice to say nobody is happy about me talking about it, and none of the other “domain press” want to go there because: A. They are too nice, and see the players at fancy conventions constantly B. They need the advertising dollars and financial relationships.
    If you know me, you’ll know that I don’t play any games.
    Speaking of not playing games, don’t be like weak competitors. If you want to play follow these concepts, and let me know what I’m missing.
    Buying domains:
    Only buy .Com, it’s hard enough to make money here. The gTLD system was a big lie, never going to gain traction; you wasted your money. Some are good and may sell, but there are so few, and they are controlled by insiders, I can’t imagine how an amateur could make any traction.
    There over 100 million .Com already registered. There is no point in registering more unless you know something I don’t know. The object is to buy the best ones that exist already at the lowest prices possible, and sell them at the highest.

    So make filters; and use software, programmers, existing web services, and consultants, etc.
    -Clear English
    -Make sure many companies could benefit from its exact spelling usage; study it in Google; always use Boolean operators to make sure you filtered for the correct best stuff. + – “ “ etc.
    -No trademarks or porn or typos, or bitcoin
    -If other companies have other domains with the exact string it implies the domain is better
    -If it’s medical, finance, high-tech related, may be better
    The more qualifications it has simultaneously the better.
    The good news is they are way underpriced in general for the best stuff. Other stuff is worth $0 given the maintenance cost, so it’s overpriced out of the gate.
    A great domain could be worth $5,000, or $50,0000, or once in a while $500,000 for example, but extremely hard to sell at any fair price regardless of its intrinsic worth to a company; because premium domain names are an illiquid marketspace; the potential buyers have been told domains aren’t worth much and they have no way to distinguish between a great and useless domain, nor do they care on average.
    So, this sucks, except you can usually buy those same domains for less than a thousand dollars, sometimes $10. If you have a lot of money and time and filters and programmers; and buy enough of the very best .Com domains at the very lowest prices like I do, then you will likely build an extremely valuable domain portfolio (Google: Frank Shilling, Mike Berkens, Yun Yi, Kevin Ham to see what they did) …..unless you screw up.
    Even if you do perfectly, it will be very expensive to maintain the portfolio; or sell your company at a fair price given all the scammers and taxes; keeping in mind traditional investors or lenders have no interest in domain names.
    My competitors have mostly been offshore, and not hiring US employees or paying US taxes, or other US laws, so it has been a financial competitive disadvantage for me and other law-abiding Americans.
    Selling domains:
    -The trick to selling domains at a decent price is leaving the correct appraised price listed publicly for a long time, so the potential customer knows they weren’t singled out; and if they negotiate a discount they’ll think they are kings.
    -Make sure to use the popular brokerage services, keeping in mind the who owns them though.
    -Make sure you have the right price by using my service AccurateAppraisals.com, because if it’s priced too high it will never sell (but you still have to pay for renewals and other expenses); and if it’s too low you’d end up losing your potentially large upside.
    -Set up your own web site and sales process;
    -Make sure every domain has an SSL landing page with some good information about domains, and the subject matter of that domain too.
    -Set up social media sites and make some noise like me
    -Delete domains that don’t show any demand from potential buyers, or traffic, or enough Boolean based matches in Google
    -And read my book, MakeMillions.com for the best sales practices all around for any growing business.

    That’s about it. Follow me on Social and LMK if you have any questions. Be safe. Peace. -MM

    • • “what happened to draining the swamp?”

      People were duped and didn’t realize that was a con, like that episode of The Twilight Zone where it turns out to be a cookbook at the end.

      “Drain the swamp” never meant what people were conned into believing. It meant draining the swamp to find the creatures at the very bottom to install in the cabinet and other important positions of power, including war criminals and the like. The swamp was already drained, and drained well.

      • “Suffice to say nobody is happy about me talking about it, and none of the other “domain press” want to go there because: A. They are too nice, and see the players at fancy conventions constantly B. They need the advertising dollars and financial relationships.”

      Yes, exactly what I’ve been talking about for years, and why it’s good and important for blog commenters to be able to post anonymously who feel more at liberty to say things which need to be said but won’t be. Someone like you doing it is simply a very rare anomaly and there’s not nearly enough.

  13. Interesting post my Mike

    However, I think he missed a couple of things

    Firstly like any sale, you have ot think of the benefits to the potential new owner, could it help them with credibility, do they own the .net or .org and would a .com give them more authority on Google. Is the domain age a factor, that will help them rank.

    I create a spreadsheet of my domains, I then write in cells to the right what they might be used for; for some I will arrange a private bidding opportunity, sometimes I will offer the largest player in a market an opportunity to buy the domain pre-auction or else let it go to the auction. The auction runs on sealed bids, they send the best price they are prepared to pay.

    I had one domain that was a very well known brand in the UK, but the company had gone bust, so I went to all their competitors, the best they were prepared to offer was $1000, so I stuck it on Sedo (I know I am lazy), two years and $17 in renewal fees later I got an offer for $10k. It was a company in a different field and they were prepared to pay for that brand which worked well for their business.

    I had one domain that I bought for a blogging network, I was about to dump it and checked the other TLD’s they were all owned by one company, so I offered them the .COM, they offered 200€ I ended up getting 2500€

    Turns out they wrote a game app named with my domain name, the name was shit to most people something like ABC65.

    The way I look at inventory is “Who could use this”, then I get in touch with them.

    Even if you sell a domain for $500, it is better than dropping it, if you can establish the value to the right market then you never know how much you will get.

    I have about 20 domains that are suitable for a business and will earn them $3k a month, so then it becomes down to how much will they pay or you accept.

    If you look at the tripe ready made websites on Flipper and research the highest selling you can find what you need to do to a domain to make it worth money.

    When I looked at Mike’s domains I think he must have just had information overload or it just was not worth his time to renew them.

    I am getting out of domains because I see something coming, my local shopping mall got flipped twice my private equity companies, they whacked up the rent twice and sold it with these tenants paying huge rents, they did not tell the buyers that the big brands has vacated and been replaced by a few new players offered rent free for a year.

    So what happened, before the pandemic retailers started going into administration and renegotiating rents with their landlords (the smucks who bought from the PE companies), the landlords will not have a decent ROI for 50 years and the pandemic has just accelorated the demise.

    So when I see PE companies coming after TLD’s I think, no way, it will not only kill the domain market but the real businesses that happen to have a domain but no trademark.

    Sometimes in life the writing is on the wall, you just have to read it.

  14. Domain Dabbler

    Seems like someone who’s been at it for too long, in one mindset.

    1) Buy clear English domains only. Really? Because the biggest investors are trending English. No. English is a very strong and dominant market, but it’s not the only one.

    2) No typos? So Lyft, Zillow, etc have no value as brand names? Sure they wouldn’t fetch as much when they were starting out but interesting strong brand names will always have value given the strong seller focused on right niche-customer.

    3) “Make sure many companies could benefit from its exact spelling usage” Many companies. Ok. SmallMary.com – AnneOnline.com – SteveCopeland.com – These might (might) be useful to someone, somewhere, but in looking at the list, more than a few of those domains wouldn’t benefit “many” companies.

    4) No porn domains? As that is becoming one of the fastest growing corners of the net. Not my cup of tea, and they won’t make you rich overnight anymore but they do still sell. Faster than AnneOnline, I’d guess.

    More and more keyword domains are the realm of investors, and investors rarely want to pay much if it’s more than four characters, brand domains are the realm of big business.

    I ascribe to domain buying as investing, in the truest sense. If I can take $5000 in a year, buy up some domains and sell for a 20% (or more) profit, then I’ve improved my return vs putting it in the bank. Plus investing in a few brand ready domains to hold for the right opportunity. If you’re buying hundreds of thousands of domain names hoping to strike it rich, that’s not investing, that’s speculation.

    If you wouldn’t use the domain yourself, don’t buy it. That’s smart business.

    All depends on what game you’re playing at the end of the day.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      I say go with your native language first and then English (if you know English good enough).

  15. It is not funny at all when you are a startup with a country domain and you find out that when you are going international your domain.com costs more than 9000$ because a speculator has nothing better to do rather than hunting domains on the net. There should be laws protecting real business from this crows.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      Would you prefer that someone had it and would not ever sell it? That is the only alternative in capitalism.

      • What you said has no sense. If you buy a domain use it, if you don’t use it and someone can show a legitimate interest on it, there should be a law to protect the rights of those who want to create something from scratch. Speculation doesn’t create anything, only problems. About capitalism, it is changing. Regulations will arise or we all will die victims of egoism: there are no resources to sustain this.

  16. There should be a law against stupidity and jail for idiots

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