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.



14 Comments to “Domain Tasting for the Little Guy”

  1. Patrick McDermott | January 18th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Hi,

    You can also “taste” domains at Dynadot.com without paying any fee.

    Your tasting refund is added back to your account.

    You can taste at Moniker.com but they charge 25 cents
    per taste.

    Patrick

  2. Patrick McDermott | January 18th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Hi again,

    After reading your article again I would just like to point out that with both Dynadot and Moniker you have to
    cancel the domain(s) to get a refund within the alloted time.

    TastingGenie does just the opposite.

    Your tasted domains will automatically drop unless you take action to keep them.

    This would probably be a safer alternative for someone seriously wanting to “taste” and not “eat”.

    Patrick

    *****REPLY FROM DOMAINERPRO*****

    Thanks for your comments, Patrick. I was aware of Moniker’s tasting service and have used it, but I didn’t know about Dynadot.

  3. woolwit | January 18th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks W.H.!
    If I had read this post a year and a half ago I might have saved myself a lot of time and money! A new domainer might build a game plan around tasting domain ideas one or two at a time until they discover a ‘business model’ (as Mr. Gilmour at whizzbangsblog would put it). There’s probably an e-book in there.
    But it begs the question… What can one learn in 4.5 daysof tasting? With all the low hung fruit now very much picked and canned, most of us would be looking at ‘long tail’ or emerging tech types of available names. I think it doubtful that we’d find any traffic on those sorts of names. Which is not to say they might not prove valuable over the course of an entire year.

    I’ve since discovered that Pool.com also has a tasting service they call Catch and Release (http://www.pool.com/help/faq.aspx). The domain releases unless you specifically request it not to- at which point you register at rebel.com (don’t know much about them). You have to put a minimum $250 in your account, and it costs $.20 per domain.
    Best,
    ww

  4. Domain Tasting for the Little Guy | VIDN.net | January 19th, 2008 at 8:23 am

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  5. inna | January 21st, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    The topical article!
    Thanks for the available info.
    But in my opinion the testing of domains in this way is very over-priced.
    Thanks.

  6. Jay | January 25th, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Anybody have any luck with any other tasting services? There has to more out there than genie and dynabot. I have been considering both. I just wish dynabot had the auto drop feature that genie has…

  7. 2w | January 25th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    hi greeting ,
    kung hey fat choi
    gong xi fa chai ;;–^),

    could any 1 please tell me
    where to locate out ‘the
    automated scripts
    and sneaky tactics
    ?

    cheers ThANKye

  8. Bob | January 30th, 2008 at 3:14 am

    Domain tasting is officially dead read all about next week. The 5 day grace period was being abused by greedy domain tasters.

  9. Zulu | February 5th, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Btw : tasting genie does not require you to have a domainsponsor account.They just recommend DS.
    You can use any parking provider.You just need to provide the nameservers of your parking provider in your tasting account settings.

  10. Eric Werner | June 22nd, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Well please forgive the fact that we are just entering the world of domaining, and this question will surely expose that.

    What do you do to taste a domain. My impulse would be that by tasting it you get to see how much direct traffic it gets without you putting a site there.. Is that the whole idea or is there more to it?

    Thanks
    e

    ***REPLY FROM DOMAINERPRO***

    Yes, that’s right. Upon registering the domain you immediately change the DNS settings, usually to park the domain with a parking service that you have a membership with, such as Sedo.com or DomainSponsor.com. Immediately you will begin to see what sort of traffic it’s getting and the earning potential.

  11. Dave | October 27th, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for the tastinggenie site. I’m a microplayer in this and view picking up a domain like a scratch off ticket. Just a fun game. I like ebay – it’s like domain trading for kids. This sounds fun for a minimum of only $50. Cheap hobby.

  12. Dave | October 29th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    One problem with the tastinggenie.com site. There’s no tech support that will respond (at least for the past 48 hours).

    Once you keep a domain, they say it is registered with domaingenies.com. Once logged in, it’s not in your account. Anyone had any luck with it?

  13. Dave | October 30th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I apologize for hijacking the comments, I didn’t mean to. I did receive support from them, they were out celebrating Diwali. The service is actually pretty good once you get familiar with it. I never did domain tasting and learning it was the problem, not tastinggenie. Thanks again for the link.

  14. Cam | September 24th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Hello,
    I wanted to know whatever happened to tasting genie?
    have they disappeared? I lost over $500 with them.
    I had deposited that amount to taste domains and then
    all of a sudden they are gone and I have to way to
    get my money back and I have tried looking but cant
    find any contact with them. They have not replied my emails and I never registered a single domain only
    deposited funds through google checkout. Can you help me
    get this money back?

    Thanks

    Cam

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