Learn from those who are successful! Makes darn good sense to me and I'm sure makes sense to you. Well, here is a tip on spying on the big boys to see what they are doing.

Lets take a large domain name company like BuyDomains/Afternic aka NameMedia. I'm sure they have a lot of smart people working for them. Me, well, it's just me! I'm also sure they have a lot of data I do not have, which greatly helps them decide on pricing, what names to purchase, what to price these names at and much more.

Well, using the free service from DomainTools, DailyChanges.com type in the DNS buydomains.com (this is the DNS they always use when they purchase a new domain name) in the upper right hand corner and click Search. Displayed are domain names that are on the move. New Domains are likely "newly registered" domains. What can we learn from looking at these?

Mainly all .com domains

Mainly two word domains, but some 3 word domains

Phrases, commonly heard terms

Those are what they are buying and these are all real world examples. Granted, NM is using its own domain name registrars to grab these domain names during the daily drop… but many of these can be grabbed but you and I using economy type methods (GoDaddy, BackorderZone.com) because NM can't catch them all.

Aftermarket. Transferred In tab is holding a fair amount of domain names that NM likely purchased in auction domains from SnapNames, NameJet, GoDaddy etc. These prices are often public with a little searching on the free service NameBio.com , so you should be able to see what they paid for them.

What are they selling it for? Do a search on BuyDomains.com or Afternic.com (best to wait a couple days after they purchase) and you will likely see the prices!

Look at some "stats" for the domain, Google the term: what do you see.

What does the "landing page" of the domain look like? (when somebody visits the domain) 

These are all little helpful tips to take a little bit of time and see what they are doing. Again, they are not perfect and buy some off the wall type domain names, but they do sell a lot of domain names every week and a lot of them are ones they own!

DailyChanges.com is an extremely great tool for snooping around. Don't be set in ways that prevents you from looking outside of the box. The above tip can work for a lot of different companies and the way you wish to spy on them. DomainTools.com is clearly another tool you can use to snoop and discover. Knowing the common DNS that specific domainers use, can open your eyes to a lot of interesting and new things. Give it a try!

Cherish them all really, because they can often be few and far between… and they can even appear to stop! The larger and more quality portfolio you have, the less likely this will happen but as your portfolio shrinks, so will the offers and sales! At least this is exactly what has happened to me!

I held around 500 domains at one point and am now nearing 200 and falling. As a portfolio grows, so does your annual renewal, so it is very important to be able to keep up with that. $10 domains doesn't seem that expensive, but 500 domains turns into $5,000 annual renewals. Add in the addicting buying of domains from $50 here, $250, $1,000 etc and your annual spending can easily hit five figures. Without "making some money" off of those domains, it can start to be an expensive investment if you are holding some bad apples.

Don't forget your "tool fund" that keeps adding up every month. Hosting, DomainTools and all the other fun little domain sites that charge a monthly fee like Estibot, Freshdrop and more.

Before you know it, if the sales stop happening, domain parking doesn't fill the domain renewal bill, things can start looking pretty ugly.

DotWeekly would easily pay the renewals on all my domain names and it also allowed me to invest in more domain names but it was never steady. 1 good month, 2 bad months etc. never consitant! Things happen in life and things change, so you deal with that. I ended up having a lot less time to blog on DotWeekly and as you blog less, you get less visitors, you make less money.

The snowball is rolling!

Renewal fees start getting tighter, parking seems to keep dropping revenue and you start letting some domain names drop! Next month, you let a few more drop and so on.

No new investing and that ball keeps rolling down hill. In my case, at about as bad of a time it could happen it did, DotWeekly went up in a big ball of flames during a hosting change and the entire site was deleted. Everything! About 4 years of work, archives and simply a site that still was bringing in about $400 a month with no new content was simply GONE! Also gone, that $400 a month that was really helping keep the bow of the boat above water.

To make a really long story some what short… I have DotWeekly back up, but it will take a year or more to get things back rolling. Maybe longer or never again as it was but I am trying!

My ship is sunk. I am getting domain name renewal emails daily, but no funds to renew the domains. It makes me sick really. Things are piling up and I can officially say the ship has sunk.

Cherish your domain name sales because they can go away. When they go away and no other income is happening, things can turn pretty ugly, pretty quickly. It has been sometime since I sold a domain, got an offer or even considered purchasing one and I really miss those days. Hell, I would even take a "low ball" offer and it would at least cheer me up a little bit!

I'm hoping I can reach the life boat and board a new ship, but one important thing that I wish I really did when they were happening…. was to cherish the domain name sales I had, when they were happening!

Afternic.com has just published a couple nice five figure sales that have just cleared.

ExtremeFitness.com sold for $25,000 USD

Follow.net sold for $20,000 USD

ExtremeFitness.com was "listed" for $45,000 so there was some going back and forth between buyer and seller. According to whois records, the new owner is a Steven Mandell of Ohio.

Follow.net was owned by Marchex and they appear to have sold it to Original Web Ventures around June/August 2011. Follow.net was listed for $25K, so not far off of the sales price. According to whois records, the new owner is a Wes Mahler of San Francisco. I wasn't able to dig up a sales price when it changed hand in 2011.

LinkPay.com sold for $9K

YouSolar.com sold for $9K

And the "fun" and "interesting" domain that grabbed my eye while flying through the recent sales at Afternic was…… FlyingLobster.com which took home $888! I never have seen a flying lobster before and likely never will, nor would have I registered the domain ;) It was registered 8/18/2012! This was likely a case of the past owner let it expire and likely didn't intend to and paid for it.

FYI: "Recently Sold" domain names are listed on Afternic.com's website when the funds are released to the seller and the transaction completes. Feel free to use the link and checkout some more recent sales via Afternic. As always, not "all" sales are published as many like to stay private and not have the price paid for the domain plastered all over the web ;)