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Entrepreneur John Rampton Acquires Due.com for $130,000: An Exclusive Interview

You may have read that Flippa facilitated the sale of the premium domain Due.com for $130,000 last week. In this exclusive interview, we talk to the buyer, John Rampton, about his passion for buying and selling domain names, the companies and products he builds with them, and his day job as a serial entrepreneur.  

Tell us about yourself and what you do day-to-day.

First and foremost, I’m an entrepreneur. I love building things that bring happiness to peoples’ lives. My daily life is all over the board: I write for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc and several other high profile places. I like telling people about things I’m working on, as well as failures and successes that I’ve had in the past.

I’m currently working on Due, Hostt and my personal site JohnRampton.com. These keep me busy as well as allow my wife and I to live the lifestyle we want in Silicon Valley.

In addition to working on my own startups, I invest in companies. Lately I’ve been investing in 4-5 companies a year. I get pitched around 10 a day, so it’s a bit of hard work. It’s something my wife and I love to do.

Can you give us a brief glimpse into how you started investing in domain names?

I started investing in domains back in 2002 when I purchased my first domain Adogy which I still have today. I purchased it to be used as an agency to exhibit all the work that I offered clients. Basically, it was a website to explain everything I did. Since then, I’ve purchased over $2 million dollars worth of domains. I’ve bought, sold, acquired, lost, bankrupt and everything in-between with different domains that I’ve been a part of.

I look at domains as my online real estate that I have to pay $20/year to maintain. I can buy a good domain and — if it’s really good — potentially sell it to someone that will pay me more. I once made $12,000 in 3 days flipping a domain that I purchased on Flippa. I purchased a good one and someone missed out on the sale. They came to me and offered way more than I purchased for it. I accepted, got the money and was happy.

I’ve been continuously buying and selling domains. I save up some money and purchase the next big one. I’ve gotten pretty good at negotiation and figuring out how much they are worth.

What influenced you to buy Due.com, and why did you choose Flippa?

I’ve been looking around to acquire a good domain. I saw the auction for Due.com a month ago and bid on it — I just wanted to see what it would go for. It’s a 3-letter domain name that people can relate to. I then checked the social assets, all of which are not being used (good sign if you want to claim them).

I made sure to quickly snag @due on Twitter as well as a few others. I then discussed with my wife (who recently purchased Buttercups.com on Flippa) — I run everything past her. If she says it’s ok, I go for it!

I watched the auction, talked with the seller and decided to pull the trigger. It was a good price and since purchasing I’ve had one offer above what I paid for it.

I’m literally on Flippa everyday, looking at all the domains. There are literally hundreds that I’ve bid on and 20+ that I’m watching right now. Flippa is the best place that I’ve found online to buy and sell domains and websites. It’s VERY simple.

What are you planning to do with Due.com?

I plan on building out a product that helps people invoice, pay bills and track time online. “The best place to pay bills, when bills are due.”

Anything else you’d like to share about your acquisition experience?

Start small. I see so many people making bad decisions when buying domain names. Don’t jump into something that you couldn’t lose altogether and be just fine. Get to know how it works and start small. Buy a smaller domain that doesn’t cost a lot — same thing with selling a domain. This will teach you how it works. Over time you’ll get really good at it. There are thousands of people that make a living buying and selling domains, are you one of them? ‘Cause it’s not rocket science, but there is an art to it!

I love connecting with other domainers — you can reach me here.

For a followup on the success of Due.com, you can continue reading here.