As most readers of my blog already know, I often buy and sell domains on the side. One of the people who I often see whilst browsing for good domain deals on the various domain forums is cfguru360, aka Matt Wezgrzyn.
I’ve seen Matt around for a couple years, as we often crossed paths among the various domain markets out there. However, over the past year or so I noticed that Matt had quickly risen in the industry, flipping many prestigious domains, some for $50,000+.
Some of his past domains include: JF.com, Luci.com, Redo.com, ARQ.com, Ally.com, Gary.com, Jennie.com, Valerie.com, XD.com, VD.com, Oy.com, Occassion.com, Stern.com, and Arlene.com.
His recent enormous success in the industry had always left me extremely curious, and so I managed to catch a moment of Matt’s busy schedule to conduct the following interview.
TC: Before we begin, could you please let everyone know a few basic details about yourself (age, location, etc.)?
Matt Wegrzyn: Sure. Originally from Poland. Now I live in NYC (and have for at least the last 15 years). My name is Matt. I like to go by the names of “cfguru” or “ShytKicker” out on the forums. And I’m 19 years old! So you can say that I’m quite young, especially in the field of internet development and domain industry.
TC: You seem to have recently really skyrocketed in the level and quality of domains you buy and sell, with most of your larger domains selling for $50,000+. What, in your opinion, made your climb to such prestigious domains occur so fast?
Matt Wegrzyn: Well it’d be nice if I’d be able to identify just 1 key thing that made me climb in the domain industry so fast, but unfortunately, for the readers, it doesn’t quite work that way. Everyday I go to sleep completely exhausted of researching domains, reviewing domains for sale, talking to potential buyers, etc. And I always think to myself (atleast a few times per week), that I wouldn’t be where I was without dedication. It is really my dedication to my work that has gotten me so far. But that is only a piece of the pie. Obviously, along with dedication I needed money, time, and knowledge of the domain industry.
TC: From my experience buying and selling domains on the side, I’ve discovered that gaining contacts in the industry to be extremely valuable. Would you agree with this statement?
Matt Wegrzyn: It is funny that you mention it. Recently I was banned on a major domain forum, DNforum.com, where I normally buy and sell domain names. I was banned for something that I wasn’t supposed to. Fortunately, now I am unbanned. But for this brief period of time – approx 3 or so weeks, I had to depend on all my other resources in order to sell my domain names. What I figured out was that I was bringing in more sales outside of DNForum than I was within DNforum!
Amazingly, I was selling to contacts that I have had in the domain industry, but never really pitched sales to.After 3 weeks I completely forgot about the domain forum for my sales and relied solely on domain contacts, and it worked out quite well. I can even mention that I’ve sold a 2 letter .com, JF.com, during this time, which I struggled to sell months on DNForum and Namepros.
Although, the problem is that these contacts (or investors) are quite limited as of right now. Since the industry is expanding, we will hopefulyl see more investors and buyers as times goes by.
TC: Speaking of DNForum and NamePros (The two largest domain forums out there as far as I’m aware), what other resources aside from personal contacts do you use when selling domains? Online auction sites such as Sedo and Moniker are very popular, but I personally don’t understand why somebody would want to lose out on the huge commission (10%, I believe) that they take. Do you ever list your domains on such domain auction services?
The reason why I believe these are much better is because there are a larger amount of big buyers and since it is a LIVE auction it may pump up the prices just a bit. There are also no worries about commission, since you set your own reserve beforehand. Sedo is quite resistant to putting too many domains up for auction nowadays with a reserve. They rather you meet a reserve with a buyer and then roll the domain into auction, which may be a bad choice for the seller since the price may not go up much more once it is rolled into auction with a reserve.
TC: I think this helps illustrate again just how important having good contacts in the industry is; knowing people who have deep pockets and are willing to purchase domains makes things much easier. I’m sure you’ve probably sold a domain before you even bought it before, correct?
Matt Wegrzyn: It is very important to know your potential buyers. Keeping them updated with quality domains is just as important though. Knowing buyers with deep pockets really may not mean much if you are selling $3 domains. Selling before I buy happens all the time. But I always make sure that I have the transaction for the purchase atleast started with Escrow.com before I try to make a sale. I’ve done it on numerous occasions. And the funny part is that Escrow.com has that verification process at the end of each transaction.
And many times I have a domain sold, and the whois reflects my new buyer, but Escrow.com emails me since the whois is supposed to reflect me. So they always ask me to approve that I am agreeing to the transaction without being on the WHOIS. It is a funny scene, indeed.
TC: Without revealing all of your secrets, just how exactly do you obtain these premium domains? Do you randomly visit parked or inactive domains and then phone the owners through their WHOIS information and make them an offer they can’t refuse?
Matt Wegrzyn: An offer they can’t refuse. I look at their WHOIS. Find their address. Pay them a visit………hehe. Well, you can say I do something similar, only without the violence. To tell you the truth, many good domain sales can be found for sale on the forums. Especially domains with traffic and revenue, where the seller may have the domain un-optimized or at the wrong parking program where the domain doesn’t do well on. The key is finding these sellers or domains that are unfit for certain parking programs.
A few months ago I found a domain that was for sale with traffic and revenue on DNForum for 4k. It was for sale for 2 weeks and nobody bought it. I was thinking that it could be optimized and be worth much more. Well, after buying it I optimized it, and ended up selling for A LOT more than 4k. I’ll give the readers a hint, it was in the six figure range. Unfortunately, I cannot name the domain, otherwise if the seller finds out, he may be the one making me offers I can’t refuse and I’ll be the one signing contracts. No thank you!
TC: How much profit have you made from your domain-flipping overall? You do not have to reveal exact numbers, but perhaps give my readers a rough idea…
Matt Wegrzyn: From just buying and selling domains, you can say that I easily cracked the six figure barrier.
TC: What is the largest domain sale you made?Matt Wegrzyn: Well there are a few. But all my top domain sales are 2 letter .com’s surprisingly. I have sold XD.com and VD.com, which was publicly reported, for 210k for the pair. I’ve also sold JF.com in the six figure range. My other large sales included Gary.com and Stern.com.
TC: How about the most amount you paid for a domain?
Matt Wegrzyn: Well the most I’ve paid would probably be in the mid five figures for a 2 letter .com.
TC: Before I let you go, what advice would you give to other domainers trying to make it big like yourself?
Matt Wegrzyn: Actually, I don’t consider myself big at all! Although, I can give others a few hints on how to make it farther in the domain industry. First off, if you are starting off, you are probably going to be buying and selling domains that are worth anywhere from $20 to $500. When I started off, I followed a certain niche and studied it quite well. Then I registered or bought domains from others which followed this niche. In my instance, I was buying domains that ended with the word “forum”. So there were a few nice ones that I regged for $7 and sold anywhere from $20-$300. That would be my best advice.
After you have gathered approximately $5,000 – $10,000 in cash from buying/selling small domains and possibly from other sources (such as an outside job), you may start hunting for better domains which would include 3 character domains and the worser dictionary words that end in “ed” and “ing”.
Now these are quite specific tips. Some general strategies apply as well. You must be dedicated. Now there’s three types of ways people “dedicate” themselves to a certain area of work.
1) The truly dedicated
2) The non-dedicated
3) The people that believe that they are dedicated, but only in their own world.
The third one is the one that really amuses me the most. You must really truly be dedicated and want to make money online before becoming successful. And this probably applies to any industry. I have heard people tell me that they will try to find good domains and follow my rules for success, but they will do it on the weekend they tell me. And I say, “stop”. And I say “You don’t qualify anymore.”. Because once somebody says they will do it on the weekend, that already means they are not dedicated.
So yes, if you want to be successful, you can now start realizing that you are not going to hang out with your friends as much anymore. If you are single, you are now going to have to spend half the time looking for domains rather than for a new guy or gal. And that’s basically how it is. And if you have a wife, be prepared to have an angry wife at night when you have to stay up and try to sell a domain at 1 AM rather than be in bed with her.
To sum it all up, you must be dedicated, must allocate time, and you have to do your research before committing. Hopefully, after the readers have read this interview, they can be much more successful in the domain industry than they were before!
Before we end this interview, I would like readers to view my website, Bodis.com. It is a rather new parking program which should be live this week. It is a unique parking program where we offer 100% revenue to the people that monetize domains with us, and there are many other goodies and features that other parking programs haven’t even began thinking of.
Thanks for having me!