Domain Tasting for the Little Guy

Advice for Beginners, Domain Tasting, Registering Domains January 18th, 2008

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My recent article, “How to Find Great Domain Names: 12 Super Tips” has proved enormously popular and has received thousands of views.

In one part of the article I wrote, “Ignore trends that may have a cult following but are not widely known. For example, I recently read about a new trend among photography hobbyists called lomography. I tasted several domains related to this trend but found that they got no traffic, so I let them drop. Instead look for trends that have the potential to be huge.”

One of my readers, “woolwit,” was intrigued by the mention of domain tasting and asked the following question:

“Excellent article and a great reference for creative domaining. You mention domain tasting in the article. I’ve always assumed that it was only the big bulk domainers who had access to domain tasting. Would you consider writing a short How-To taste domains for the rest of us? I’ve looked around on GoDaddy and not found anything. Can you recommend a registrar who makes tasting available one domain at a time?”

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, let me say first that I’m opposed to domain tasting. The big tasting companies use automated scripts and sneaky tactics of all kinds to taste domains by the millions, keeping the ones that make a few pennies and throwing the rest back. They’re very secretive about ownership and are generally located offshore. I think it’s bad for the industry and unfair to individual domainers, and I’m in favor of abolishing it altogether. In particular the practice of churning vast numbers of domains but registering none, keeping them in an endless trial period loop, is disgusting.

Until that day comes, however, I do make use of domain tasting on a small scale. I’m talking one or two domains at a time. I think that tasting in this manner is a reasonable way for a domainer with a limited budget to try out ideas without racking up a big credit card bill.

Last year I did a lot of searching, trying to find an affordable tasting solution for the little guy, and I finally found TastingGenie, which bills itself as “Domain tasting for the masses.” It’s run by a registrar called MindGenies.

By the way, this is not an affiliate link or paid post. I don’t get anything for recommending them. I’m simply helping out my readers.

At TastingGenie you pay $100 up front to set up an account. They have sort of a complicated pricing scheme with different plans to choose from, but what it basically amounts to is that you pay as little as 7 cents per domain to taste. They are partnered with, you’ll need an account there. Each domain that you taste is automatically configured with DomainSponsor’s nameservers, and you then go to your DomainSponsor account and add the domain.

The tasting period is 4.5 days. If you do nothing, TastingGenie will automatically drop the domain name. If you want to keep it, you must log in to your TastingGenie account and select the domain name to keep. At that point it will be registered at MindGenies for $7.25. That money will be taken out of your $100 credit that you started with.

I’ve been satisfied with TastingGenie’s service and I think it’s a good way to try out a few domain ideas every now and then without ending up with a lot of useless no-traffic domain names.