If you want to sell domains, turn domain privacy off

Advice for Beginners, Registering Domains, Selling Domains October 30th, 2013

Turn domain privacy services off to sell domains

By Wael Abdelgawad | DomainerPro.com

Domain name registrars like GoDaddy often try to push other products onto you when you register or renew a domain name. One of those products is domain name privacy, for which you pay a modest annual fee. Privacy services conceal your name and contact information on the domain name WHOIS, which is the public record that exists for each domain. The WHOIS provides details about the owner, including name, address, telephone and email.

If you have privacy turned on, when someone does a WHOIS search they will only see the name of the registrar and the domain expiration date.

Privacy services make sense if you’re an individual or company running a website with your own domain, and you don’t want salespeople using the WHOIS data to contact you and try to sell you something. I used to do exactly that when I worked as a lead generator for an IT consulting firm.

Also, keeping your info private keeps spammers from discovering your email address, and protects you from unscrupulous companies. For example, there are scammy registrars who will send you emails and even snail mail asking you to renew your domain name and charging exorbitant fees. They try to fool you into thinking that they are your registrar. In reality if you pay them you’ll be transferring your domain name to them and paying much more than you should.

But if you’re a domainer and you’re serious about selling domains, it makes no sense to pay for privacy services. If you have many domains you’ll be paying a lot of extra money. And you’ll prevent legitimate sellers from finding you. Even if you have your domains parked, some sellers don’t want to go through the parking service (for whatever reason). They prefer to check the WHOIS and contact you personally. I’ve sold many domains to buyers who contacted me this way, and I don’t mind at all because I don’t have to pay Sedo’s commission.

Yes I get some spam and some junk mail. But it’s a minor hassle considering the thousands of dollars I’ve earned from private domain sales.

Don’t waste your money on privacy services. Let the buyers find you any way they can.

Three Domaining Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Advice for Beginners, Domaining Mistakes, Registering Domains, Shady Domain Practices March 19th, 2012

Increasing CTR by DomainerPro.com

1. Dump Non-Performing Domain Names

Domain names are investments and should be assets, not liabilities. They should either earn profit through parking revenue (profit means covering their annual registration fee plus at least 50% more), or be built into profitable websites, or appreciate in value in a way that can be measured. If you are holding them for the long term and counting on appreciation, there should be enough liquidity in the domains to be able to capitalize on that appreciation when you choose, in other words, sell them.

If the domains meet none of these conditions then they are bad domain names and represent a bad investment, and should be dumped immediately. You could do this by selling them at a deep discount, or by simply declining to review.

Don’t get caught in the trap of holding dozens or hundreds of non-profitable domains because you think they are cute, clever, or somehow “brandable”.

Or both. If it does not, then it is a poor investment and should be divested as soon as possible in order not to incur more costs.

2. Transfer Domains Away from Exorbitantly Expensive or Even Unethical Registrars

There are domain name registrars out there that charge $30 per year, $50 per year, even $100 per year for a dot com that you could just as easily keep at GoDaddy or Moniker for less than $10. They are counting on your negligence. Maybe you acquired the domain at auction and it was already held by one of those larcenous registrars. You tell yourself you’ll transfer it out later, but then you forget, until bam, you are hit with a costly autorenewal.

Keep good records of domain name purchases and registrars, and if you have any domains with rip-off registrars, transfer them out immediately.

3. Focus on Your Money Makers

If you’ve got domains that pay very well per click (whether parked or developed), pay attention to them. Develop them further, add quality content, build backlinks, create marketing campaigns, always making sure that you stay profitable. The goal is to multiply the domain’s profitability by a factor of 10, or 100, or more.

Follow these rules and you can’t help but make a profit in the domain name industry, even if you started out with losses.

Dreaming InTheMiddleOfTheNight.com

Registering Domains May 6th, 2008

dreaming InTheMiddleOfTheNight.com

I had a dream that I wanted to register a domain name for a company that provided round-the-clock network security and emergency response.

I walked into a domain registry company owned by Tom Hanks, the actor. In my dream, Tom was a charismatic, well known figure in the domain name industry, kind of like Bob Parsons. Tom was famous for his incredible energy and customer service, and since I was a well known domainer he attended to me personally.

Tom met me decked out in a sleek, dark suit, with gleaming black shoes and sporting a goatee. He took me into an air conditioned circular chamber with large flat screen monitors on the walls. There was a smell of ozone in the air.

Tom shot a series of rapid fire questions at me, designed to discover the perfect domain name. As I answered the questions a technician in a glass-walled booth typed furiously, and domain names began flashing across the monitors. With each question I answered the number of domains on the screens diminished, until at last only one phrase glowed on the largest screen:

midday

“Dot what?” I asked.

“Dot com!” Tom shouted exultantly.

“I´ll take it,” I said.

“Sold!” Tom crowed, then he turned on his heel and walked away.

I thought to myself, How could midday.com still be available? Sure enough, the technician spoke up:

“Actually, it´s dot org.”

“I´ll take it anyway as an investment,” I said, “but I still need something for my business.”

With the technician´s help I tried a few alternatives, such as midnight.com – I liked this one as it conveys the sense that we, the network emergency response team, are up at all hours, ready to go. But of course it was taken.

Tom wandered back and saw that I had not yet found the right domain name.

“I can´t leave a customer unsatisfied,” he exclaimed. “Tell you what I´m going to do. I will give you – that´s right, give you – TomJHanks.com, my own name!”

“Thanks Tom,” I said, “It´s a nice gesture, but it really doesn´t pertain to network security, does it?”

Tom didn’t like that and left in a huff.

The techie and I tried a few other variations and eventually I settled on InTheMiddleOfTheNight.com.

I was quite happy with it and when I woke up from the dream – yes, real life now – I logged into my Moniker account and registered it. Yes, I know it´s six words and long as a garden hose, but it´s got a certain feel to it. You can almost see the network techs sitting before shining monitors in the dark of the night, hard at work. Problem is, I don´t really have a network security firm as a client.

Ah well, if it doesn´t work out maybe I can sell it to a Hollywood studio for a horror flick.

P.S. TomJHanks.com is available as of this writing. Help yourself. That really is his middle initial.

Domain Tasting for the Little Guy

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

domaining ebook

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 DomainSponsor.com, 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.

Free Domain Names, and the Question of Advertorials

Blogging, Registering Domains December 8th, 2007

Free domain names

A certain domain name blogger wrote a recent post titled, “Register a FREE domain name!” in which he mentions a service called DomainLagoon.com that gives you points for filling out web surveys, and then allows you to trade those points for a domain name registration. But is it really worth your time?

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