A few lessons learned buying and selling .IO domain names

I have been pretty bullish on .IO domain names for the last couple of years and while they still represent a small minority of my portfolio I’m always surprised at the level of inbound offers they receive. Still, I think it’s safe to say that I’m still learning the waters with .IO and right now and part of learning means making mistakes.

What I’ve always appreciated about blogging, and most of the blogs I like the most, is the chance to learn from each other about what’s working, and what’s not working in your business, life, etc. While there are some bloggers who sensationalize domain investing like it’s a great way to “get rich quick” I’ve tried to stay realistic with the real challenges that exist making money with domain names.

While I’ve seen solid results buying and selling .COM domain names, I like experimenting with other extensions as well and .IO has been one I’ve been more active with lately. That being said if you’re new to domain investing I’m not sure I’d recommend experimenting too much since this usually means losing more money than you make in the beginning.

I’m happy to say that buying and selling .IO names has been a profitable path for me, but I’ve learned a few lessons along the way I thought I’d share with all of you to maybe save you some money if you’re thinking of experimenting as well. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…and like most things in the domain world, it is subject to change so please check the date on this post when you read it, if it’s a year from now things could have changed dramatically.

  1. 3L .IOs have very little liquidity – I bought around 15 three letter .IO names, ones that I knew could sell for five-figures in .COM so I thought they could easily sell for low four-figures in .IO. I was wrong, to-date these have been the worst performing category of .IO names for me both in resale price and number of inbound offers.
  2. Brandable domains get the most inbounds – I get the most inbounds on my brandable .IO names and it’s safe to say that the vast majority of these inbounds are from end-users not other investors.
  3. Nobody knows that .IO is a ccTLD – if you’re a domain investor you might know that .IO is actually a ccTLD but I can tell you that most people out there in the real world think this stands for “Input/Output” and that it’s an extension geared towards developers or dev tools.
  4. My .IO names parked at Park.io get the most offers – I’m always amazed how well the simple make offer landing pages that Park.io puts up on my domains perform. They are super simple, no crazy bells and whistles, and prospective buyers definitely like them.
  5. .IO renewal pricing is all over the board – be careful where you keep your .IO domains, renewal prices really can span a pretty wide range. Make sure you aren’t paying way more than you actually have to to renew. .IO is not like .COM where there’s a reasonable amount of consistency in renewal prices between registrars.

I’m still learning every day and who knows, next year 3L .IOs might be hot, for now this is what I’ve learned. As always I’d love to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton