On Godaddy Auctions, I'm usually looking for a great domain to hold for 5-10 years, or a domain we can develop and monetize. And every once in a while, I still buy domains names because they're cool, like a totally undisciplined investor.
On Flippa and Sedo, I'm looking for websites that are already monetizing, or occasionally a domain will catch my attention, and it's usually a higher ticket domain than the ones I'm looking at on Godaddy. Usually above $1,000, where on Godaddy, I'm usually bidding in between $12-250 for domains only.
On Sedo, I saw cybernet.com and it immediately caught my attention and then I saw the seller was only asking $150! I bid $100 since I had already placed some other bids. Later, I saw my bid was accepted, and I went to Estibot and Godaddy Appraisals, learning that this domain was valuable! Appraised at ~$9,200 and ~$20,000, respectively. Wow! Awesome!
I submitted payment and began researching more on what to do with my new asset. But, every interaction I had with Sedo just didn't feel like they weren't watching out for me, nor were very responsive for this being my first purchase from Sedo.
Here's an image of a ton of information only available in their portal, hidden behind an equally long automated block of text email message. I actually missed it for a few days, and if I wouldn't have been excited about this purchase, I likely never would have even remembered to login and submit payment, and may have lost this valuable domain name (Kicker: I did lose it anyway).
Next, they tried to talk to me about obtaining the 'project details,' which did not apply to my purchase I thought. I understand 'project details' to be the website, and could easily also include about a dozen other portals (google analytics, affiliate accounts, updating contact forms, phone system management and more). They said to let me know when I receive it like it's a simple .pdf, so I definitely did not like that process. That means I don't think I'll buy a website off of Sedo because that is unstructured and Sedo doesn't help and is only interested in 'when I have received the contents.'
Luckily for me, I was only interested in the domain name cybernet.com, and when I checked the website was down. I checked on Sedo to see if it came with anything else came with my purchase, but the description of the project details said "--". So I asked if we could move on with the domain transfer.
They, promptly refunded my $100, but I'm still really bummed about the domain I thought I had bought! Look at it's values according to Estibot and Godaddy Appraisals!
Ironically, even after my disappointment, I am spending more time on both Flippa and Sedo. I also had a call with Empire Flippers. Empire Flippers has online businesses that net more than $1,000/mo in net profit and generally sell for $20,000-30,000 at the minimum. I think I need to buy more lower ticket domains and websites before I start getting into the big boy leagues with Empire Flippers.
Anyway, the take away is to be careful when acquiring online assets. Coming from a real estate investing background, I like to think of the internet/technoloogy as ... you guessed it: real estate. Domains names are the land, and websites are the house/storefront you build on the land.
But, the internet is not a century old industry like real estate, so there are not a lot of laws or structure on how all this works, but of course the more high quality land you can acquire now, the more it will be worth later!
Learn more about Sedo here if you want to try to buy land, at least they'll refund you if they don't own the land you make a formal offer on!
Or, contact me directly if you have questions or need help when it comes to domain names.