4.cn Interviews Andrew Rosener

By | August 12, 2016

Today we have a guest post by our friend from 4.cn, Auld Gold, that’s how he wishes to be called, so whatever. Andrew Rosener was recently interviewed by Elliot at domaininvesting.com as well, it was excellent! The information Andrew shared was priceless! Personally, I think Andrew is the best broker I have ever encountered. Sorry other guys, but I really mean it. And now Auld Gold, a Chinese editor, interviews Andrew. Let’s see what chemistry will burst out.

Q1: First of all, you are known as the CEO of Media Options, which is an industry leading Domain Brokerage firm. Before that, you were a “seafood man”. So what makes you move from a traditional industry to a new internet industry ? 

– First off, thank you very much for the invitation and opportunity to do this interview with 4.cn. I think it has been close to 7 or 8 years since our firms started to do business together the first time.  In fact, I believe it was only shortly after I left my career as a seafood broker/dealer to become a domain investor and domain broker that I first learned of 4.cn and started our business relationship.   For me it is all about sales. Whether I was selling frozen seafood or premium domain names, it all comes down to hard work and sales.  I realized very quickly that even though I had a successful career in seafood, I could make much more money buying, selling& brokering domain names.  I also realized that I could work from anywhere in the World.   I think it is one of the best jobs possible. You have unlimited income and earning potential and you can work from anywhere with only a laptop and a good internet connection.

Q2: I love your words saying “We are not a huge company, but we do huge things!” For many years,  you’ve kept it on your website. Is it your company’s culture? I think that must has to do with the reason why you founded Media Options.

– People should have multiple responsibilities and work hard to make the company a success, because if the company succeeds, then everyone succeeds. With this attitude, you can have a relatively small company but still do a big business. We are only 5 people, but I know that we are doing more sales than almost any other brokerage firm in the West.   With 3 brokers, we are doing tens of millions of dollars per year in domain sales.   And almost all of that is outbound sales. We are not like many other brokerage firms that rely on inbound inquiries.  We are doing outbound sales for our clients. Finding end users that want or need the premium domain names that our clients own.  It is hard work, but it has made our company successful over the years.  I’m very proud of that.

Q3: As an investor and CEO of a domain brokerage platform, how do you treat the status quo and  development of domain industry ?

– For me it is very exciting to see how much the domain industry has grown and evolved over the last ten years that I have been actively involved. I think when I started out there were probably only 500 people or so (I think I heard Frank Schilling say that at a TRAFFIC conference many years ago) that worked full-time in the domain industry (for themselves). Domain investors. Now I believe there are thousands. Perhaps tens of thousands when you look at China & India. This is exciting and I think we are only getting started in the next generation of the domain industry.   But at the same time it also scares me.  There are a lot of new people who are following the wrong path.  They are making many mistakes.  Losing money.  Causing problems for domain investors and domain brokers by doing things that make the industry look bad to businesses and outsiders. I still believe that domain names are one of the greatest investments and one of the best industries on the Planet. There are few other things one can do with their life that will pay back so greatly both in wealth and lifestyle. But I think there is a lot of bad information in the market.  I think people are losing track of what actually makes a domain name valuable.  But it is a phase.  And it will pass.  And when it does, the premium domains, especially .com, will continue to rise in value, maybe faster than ever before in history.  I still believe the best domain names are highly undervalued.  2 Letter .com, 3 Letter .com, 4 Letter .com &premium one and two word .com domains, especially strong brands.   These assets are irreplaceable and will only continue to become more scarce but in higher demand. I think in 5 years from now we will look back most certainly and won’t believe how cheap these assets were being sold. Even end-users prices.

Q4: There are many distinguished 2 and 3 Letter domains and extraordinary single word domains listed on your website. You must have strict check standards for listing those domain names. Is it difficult to list one’s domains on your website? And any new valuable domains listed  ?

– Yes, in the past Media Options sold some of the best domains for both the Western & Chinese market.   We brokered the sale of Sou.comWan.comYoushi.com11.com50.com & more than 20 LL.com domains!  Many of these sales were are cord at the time. We have become very selective about the domain names we broker.  We are only looking for the best.  Media Options has developed a strong reputation with domain owners and with end users as well. Over the years we have done business with an incredible number of large corporations Worldwide.  As well as Venture Capital firms, start-ups &incubators. We are beginning to shift our brokerage model a bit.  We don’t want to work with the people who want us to sell their domain for a crazy price in 30 days. Our target clients are the people who understand that we will do the absolute best job to sell their domain name for the highest price the market will allow, and they understand that might take 90 days or it might take a year.   But they are aware that there is no better place to list their domain for that period of time and so they hire us and give us their domain to sell with absolute confidence.   Our sell through rate (the number of domains we sell compared to the number of domains we agree to broker) has never been higher.

Some recent domain names which we are now selling are:  JL.comCT.comHost.comWin.comRain.comSingle.comVaporizer.com,Reggae.comStockPhotos.comMarcoPolo.com & more!  Youcan see most of the domain names we are brokering for sale at our website: http://www.MediaOptions.com

 Q5: You’ve done a lot of great deals which are milestones in domain industry history. So did  you make more great deals recently ?

–  My favorite domain name that we sold recently is Q.net.   There are only a couple of single letter .net domains!  Actually only two! And we had the honor and privilege to sell one of them.   We had many buyers from China interested, but nobody wanted to pay the price and in the end it was sold to a Western buyer because of the unique and historical nature of the domain.

In general it has been a very good year, I think for most domain investors and brokers. The past year has been a record year for us, even better than last year which was already a record year.  Actually, Media Options normally does not share any of our sales data. But I am going to give 4.cn and exclusive look at some of our biggest recent sales.  Some of the domain name sales that I can mention, from the last year or so are (although we don’t release prices,many of these were to end users, especially the keyword domains and LL.com:)

Q.netZS.comNR.com,PX.comEO.comEG.comIE.comTN.com472.com742.com1865.com1965.com6613.com1150.com4015.com2910.com1804.com,5310.com3130.com6842.com2107.com1349.com4801.com7259.com4802.com00001.comror.comxdj.comerx.comvvv.commux.comcip.comkhn.comrcb.compwl.comcpt.comhac.combbf.comigp.combcx.combfd.comzlt.comexw.comsfv.comcji.com,afj.comexn.comgxe.comkaq.commye.comiqm.comszv.comsre.comnmg.comsie.combqi.comdgt.comoex.comiqm.comjii.comjrg.comjzv.comxpr.comprm.comdge.commdi.comgvt.comhdn.commnc.comMuMu.comYup.comScoop.comEssential.com,Common.comPodium.comHop.comSay.comSef.comblf.comnjs.comPerspective.comjcm.comrje.comgrx.comzbv.comzcv.comzdv.comzfv.comxgv.comxzv.comrqh.comNug.comStuff.comBigData.comReputationManagement.comSafety.comBlood.comSelfieStick.comVR.netRE.netRobe.comMarin.comGirlfriend.comEven.comBhang.comSwag.comSalinas.comFrisco.comAnnuity.net,Rochester.comHigherEducation.comDisrupt.comBrew.comZipLines.comAmericanWest.comStrawberry.comDeadbolt.comToil.com,Tantra.comPug.comBoobs.comWillow.comImportant.comTuck.comContentMarketing.comBeard.comParagon.comMostWanted.com,Beth.comLiveJapan.comBusinessAnalytics.comClearlake.comBadger.comShrooms.comAmbassadors.comTheNet.com & many more!

Q6: You have many titles, which means you have a lot of work to do everyday. Do you spare  time to invest in domains on your own now?

– Yes, we participate in auctions almost every day and still buy domains when presented with interesting opportunities.  We are mostly focused on buying 2L.com3L.com, premium 4L.com & one word .com domains. Sometimes very good keyword 2 word .com as well.   Some recent purchases we made are:  PWL.comSMR.comPTY.comCPT.comTPX.comDragonfly.comCrutch.comFlawless.comCrumb.com,Entree.com & Extract.com.   But most of my time is focused on growing our brokerage business and getting our client’s domain names sold.

Q7: As a fore goer, do you have any methods or experience to share with us? Like how to negotiate with others, how to judge the potential value of a domain?

– I think the most important advice I can give people is always do what you say you are going to do.  Follow through.  And work hard.  People think domaining is easy money.  It is not.  You have to work hard.  Today you have to work even harder because you have some very smart and very aggressive domain investors now in China, India & all over the World, all competing to get the same domain names.   When you look at domains, think about the end-user.  Who would buy this domain?   How much money do they have? How much do you think they could afford to pay or are willing to pay?  If you can’t find a good answer to those questions then probably it is not a good domain name.   I think there is too much speculation on bad domains. New gTLD’s, meaningless combinations of letters and number, etc…  People should focus their investments on premium .com domains.  .Net &.Org I think are also undervalued right now.  When a company (end user) wants a domain, it is always the .com.  There exceptions, but you can’t make a business out of the exceptions in most cases.

Q8: You are famous in China, many of our top guns have made deals or contacted with you. Any words to Chinese domain investors?

– The Chinese domain investors continue to impress me.  They are willing to work very hard. They spend many hours to find the best deals.  They negotiate very strongly.  I think it is not long that China will really control the domain market.  We had a taste of this last year in 2015.   Now the market has slowed a bit for China.   But the smart investors are taking advantage of lower prices and buying the valuable assets.  I think the future for China in domain names is very bright.   I hope that Media Options can continue to do more business with Chinese domain investors and the other brokers in China.  We would like to.



4 thoughts on “4.cn Interviews Andrew Rosener

  1. Christian

    Thanks Eva and Andrew, great interview!

    I think Andrew is spot on in his assessment of .com valuations. I keep being amazed at how great domain names are being sold to end users for what amounts to peanuts in the corporate world. Yesterday Elliot Silver reported that Heritage.com is for sale for 300k. In other words one can buy a phenomenal global brand for less than the price of a nice condo. It is mind boggling! As an asset class domains are extremely undervalued and this situation will probably not last for much longer.

    1. Christian

      Thanks for the great interview Auld! I forgot this was a guest post.

  2. Andrew Rosener

    Thank you so much for the interview opportunity and the kind words. It is my pleasure and I hope people can find value in the content.

    Keep up the good work with all the new domain industry content!

    Exciting time to be a domain investor!

  3. Ian Ingram

    “There are a lot of new people who are following the wrong path. They are making many mistakes. Losing money. Causing problems for domain investors and domain brokers by doing things that make the industry look bad to businesses and outsiders.”

    I’ve been thinking about this and it seems to have gotten much worse over the last few years. I hope it’s a phase and that it will pass, but I’m not sure it will.

    I’m basically laissez-faire when it comes to governmental regulation but I wouldn’t mind seeing some sort of code of ethics detailing the standards of practice for those in the domain industry. Maybe even a license, exam, or accreditation. Something that lessens the likelihood of the industry being seen as a bunch of get rich quick peddlers & solicitors on the same level in some people’s minds as door to door salesman, telemarketers, or much worse.

    We have The Domain Name Association, ICANN, other non profits, people selling guides or offering classes on how to invest but I’m thinking more along the lines of a Series 7, CPA exam, real estate license, or even something basic which shows you have at least some knowledge about the industry and how to conduct yourself. Something that requires a small annual/biannual renewal or which requires an update or re-certification every now and then and has a ruling body that would sanction or discipline/educate someone when violations occur.

    Something that also imposed some simple rules… that you will not register domains that contain obvious trademark violations, that you will follow the CAN-SPAM Act and abide by the Do Not Call Registry, that you will not hand register a domain today and email a thousand people tomorrow asking for 7 figures (or some other ridiculous number), that when an agreement is made you will follow through, something that says you WILL uphold some basic rules and regulations and that you are willing to put your name and integrity on the line in doing so, that you will not discredit or otherwise harm the industry, etc…

    I’m not sure how this could be implemented & admittedly, I haven’t really weighed all the pros and cons, but if someone has serious plans to do something like this and needs input or suggestions, I’d be happy to discuss it further.


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