General Domain Information

Registering New Domains – Discovering Gems

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I have frequently seen people lamenting that “all of the good domain names are taken.” I think this defeatist talk is far from the truth. Yes, just about all of today’s relevant one word (and most two word) domain names are taken. However, there are still some targeted, high paying keyword .com names that have never been registered before, and they are just waiting for you to buy them. These domain names are hidden gems just waiting to be found.

A few months ago, I was reading about subprime credit and mortgage issues. I did some searching, and I registered SubprimeHomeMortgages.com. Just a couple of weeks ago, I sold it for over a hundred times my investment. Some people thought I might have sold it for less than full value, but why be greedy? Registering new domain names is as easy as keeping up on the news and following trends. Many people I know in the business enjoy the thrill of hunting for great unregistered domain names as much as buying 6 figure names.

A couple pieces of advice on registering new domain names:
1) NEVER register names with trademarks. If the company wanted it, they would have bought it. Also, if there was traffic, unfortunately a tasting company would probably have bought it already. You are just looking for trouble.

2) Always read various newspapers, blogs, industry journals…etc. Domain registration is about speculation. I saw that there is new insulin technology, so I bought DisposableInsulinPump(s).com. Domain names cost $7 – you have much better odds than the casino!

If you are a person who thinks all the good names are registered, here are a few that I just registered last night:
TruckDrivingInsurance.com
CheapToiletries.com
NewYorkInsurer.com
NewYorkInsurers.com
PeepShowBooth.com
PeepShowBooths.com

.NV.com Addresses – Subdomaining Success

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‘nv.com’ addresses draw strong response
I believe we are going to see subdomain sales more and more in the future. Owners of prime domain names similarly broad like nv.com may look to increase their potential revenue streams in the coming months and years. If a great generic domain name isn’t yielding the ppc revenue desired, why not sell subdomains? I am not a technical expert, so I don’t know how much work is involved in creating and managing subdomains, but I am sure it is “doable.”Not only is the domain registry generating $50/year in registration revenue (with a 2 year minimum commitment), there are plenty of upsell opportunities – hosting services, web development/design services, email accounts…etc. They can essentially print their own money since there are countless subdomain opportunities with each extension.

I have a couple of suggestions to help the .nv registry grow even bigger:

1) Incentivize owners to develop their subdomains. The more successful, developed websites there are in the .nv.com extension, the more other companies will want their own. Offering discounted web design services, long-term registration discounts or registration rebates may do the trick.

2) Open an office in Nevada and make it even easier for people to buy their subdomain names. Believe it or not, a majority of the people out there don’t know how to register a domain name – let alone manage it. If they make buying a subdomain a simple process with an easy to reach account manager, more people might sign up. Also, it would make more sense for the “Nevada Registry” to be located in Nevada.

3) Hire a staff of sales people to sell the subdomains door-to-door. Equip each of them with a laptop and wireless access to allow registrations on the fly. Set-up a sales booth at malls, fairs, or anywhere else that people may congregate in order to get the word out. The primary target audience is businesses in Nevada, but the sub-target should be citizens of Nevada.

The one downside to subdomains that I see is that doing this is a long-term commitment to this type of business plan. Once people begin buying their subdomains, it may be very difficult for the owner to change direction without litigious implications. However, if the ownership nv.com wanted to do this, it could conceivably develop NV.com into something else while maintaining the subdomains for their customers.

Buying from BuyDomains.com

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BuyDomains.com is one of the best partners I have in the domain business. They are one of the larger NameMedia properties, and they own somewhere around 800k domain names. When I first got into the business, I thought they were over-priced, and I never bought domain names from them. They were selling domain names at prices that I would sell domain names, consequently outpricing me and not allowing me to buy from them. Over the past few months, my opinion has changed, and I believe they can provide a good value to domain investors.

About a year ago, I found a few keyword domain names of interest. After inquiring about them, I was introduced to an Account Manager who was able to give me more competitive prices than what was listed. Since this original transaction, I believe I’ve purchased some great names from them at great prices, and I imagine they are happy with the business I have given them.

Just as any other business, cultivating relationships is essential. My Account Manager knows what types of names I like to purchase, and when she finds a name at a good price, she sends me an email with the name and the best discounted price. This saves me the time and effort of searching through their massive portfolio. Frequently, I will inquire about names I’ve found that they own, and I will almost instantly get a response with a price.

I believe domain investors frequently overlook BuyDomains.com when searching for domain names. Although their target audience is small business end users, they are happy to work with – and give deals to – domain investors. One tip for potential buyers is to inquire about domain names towards the end of the month. Just as in any market where the proprietor is willing to make a deal before closing, BuyDomains.com is sometimes willing to give the best deals at the end of the month.

More Steps to Buying A Non-Sucky Domain Name

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Stephen Spencer gives us “11 steps to buying a domain name that doesn’t suck” on the Cnet News blog yesterday. I agree that these are all important factors to consider when purchasing a domain name, and I would like to add a few additional factors that people should consider:

– Potential to Confuse Users – If you buy a domain name that has a number, some people might type in the actual number while others spell it out. Tickets4Less.com is an example. I bet some people type in TicketsForLess.com as a habit, so if you buy one you should buy the other.

Your Company Name – Although this is similar to one of the factors in Spencer’s article, the most relevant domain name to your business is the .com of your company’s name. If your business is Nashua Web Designers, you should first try to buy NashuaWebDesigners.com. Oftentimes generic domain names like this are already taken, but there is a good chance the name of your business is available, and that’s what your customers will want.

Shorter Version of your Company’s Name – With a company like Barnes & Noble, customers often refer to it as BN. The company was smart and owns both BN.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

Generic .com Domain Names are like Diamonds…

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Generic .com domain names are like diamonds. Sure you can buy a small or low quality diamond and your significant other with still love you, although she will know that you couldn’t afford better. You could also buy a synthetic or manufactured diamond that may pass for the real thing, and maybe she won’t notice (until she gets it appraised of course). However, if you want the most beautiful investment quality diamond, you need to spend the money and buy a beautiful, high-quality, real diamond.

With domain names, sure you can buy a low quality .com domain name with extra numerals, hyphens or other flaw, and people who know about your site will try to remember how to navigate there. You can also buy a non .com domain name such as .net or .info that may look good, but will certainly lose traffic to the better .com name. However, if you want to buy the most valuable, highest investment quality domain name, stick with generic .com names.

Domain Names – One of The Crown Jewels Of The Business

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The Crown Jewels of The Business

Matt Kramer of The Bulletin, a local Philadelphia newspaper, discusses the 15 most valuable assets a business owns that many owners don’t understand. Among assets such as Customer List (#1), Building (#5) and Trademark (#8) is a company’s Domain Names (#9). According to Matt:

“A client of mine bought hundreds of domain names that would attract individuals looking for a mortgage. As the mortgage market declined, so did his business. One day, one of the biggest mortgage banks in the country came in and made him an offer of millions of dollars for all of his domain names. My client knows that the mortgage business is cyclical, but the amount that was offered allowed him to retire.” –Source: The Bulletin

This writer is on point. With targeted generic domain names becoming more valuable over time, sometimes a company’s domain name may be worth much more than a company realizes. There are many examples of companies using their domain names simply for email addresses and not having a website. This may be due to the owner’s reticence to spend the time and money developing an online business plan. Whatever the case may be, the company is almost certainly leaving money on the table. While a domain name may simply be an afterthought to some companies, others are willing and able to use the domain name as the centerpiece of their business. This is the root cause of a domain name being an overlooked source of value for a company, but in reality, it could be a large part of its net worth.

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