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Good Value Drop Auctions

Cab CompaniesI just updated the list of top drop auctions on Snapnames. IMO, there are some pretty good domain names to be had, some of which have been selling far below end user values.If you are able to purchase commercially viable domain names at good prices, and you create a directory site or mini site on each, you can increase the value of them during the down market, while hopefully generating revenue.

I recently bought CabCompanies.com in a private seller auction on Snapnames, and I launched it a few days later. The website is a national directory of cab companies and limo companies. Although there isn’t much content (yet), it’s a decent starting point. I also paid less for the name and website than I think the domain name alone is worth.

I think my next project will be different and won’t use a database, I will find an industry with 5-10 industry leading companies that use affiliate programs. I will then build a site that discusses each company and provide an affiliate link for people to buy each company’s product or to visit the company’s website. When someone Googles “XXXXX companies,” my site will hopefully rank in the top 5 because it will be the exact match, and I will make money when people visit. It will almost be a ratings type site, but without the ratings 🙂

Anyhow, I am curious about what you think CabCompanies.com is worth as a standalone domain? Do you see any good domain auctions where you could build a site?

Private Whois on Domains in Auction

I just noticed a smart move that is being made by Moniker and wanted to share it with you. I listed another batch of domain names for sale on Snapnames a couple of days ago. I logged in to my account, and I didn’t recognize one of the domain names that had received a bid. Fearful that I mis-listed a domain name I didn’t own, I did a Whois lookup, which is quicker than logging in to my Moniker account.

I was immediately concerned when I saw that the registration was private. I rarely privatize my domain names, and I have private Whois for just a few that I prefer not to be spammed about (no, this domain name and website are not for sale!). I immediately logged in to my account, and sure enough, the domain name was in my account (phewwww)! It also indicated that I had not selected the Privacy Shield option.

I went back to the Whois check and I noticed the listing said “Pending Auction” and “Moniker  Privacy  Services.” This is a smart move to prevent unscrupulous individuals from contacting domain owners and attempting to usurp the auction process.

One suggestion I have for Moniker is to add a link to the auction somewhere. Although many Whois lookup services won’t be willing to link to a competitor’s auction, there’s nothing they can do if the Admin Name is “Pending Auction: http://www.snapnames.com/domainauction123.php.” This will allow people who search for a domain name to see where the auction is. At the very least, they should change the Registrant to “Snapnames.com Pending Auction.”

When to Develop .org Geodomains

org over comThis advice goes against much of what I’ve said about geodomain names during the past couple of years, but hear me out. I am very interested to hear what David Castello has to say about my rationale – and I look forward to his comment, which I bet will happen soon. There is a time when developing a .ORG geodomain is a smart thing to do.

I will preface this by saying that I believe .org domain names are perceived by Joe Interweb as trustworthy, which is what you need for a website. The problem is that many people confuse .org with .com, and if the topic/content is similar, they are likely to just stay on the .com, patronizing the advertisers and making hotel reservations on that site. It’s easy to lose a potential customer due to confusion if you own the .org and not the .com, which is why I think many organizations own their .com, too, and forward traffic to the .org.

In any case, the perfect time to develop a .org geodomain is when the .com is a fully developed business completely unrelated to the city/town/region. If you visit Concord.com hoping to find information about Concord, New Hampshire, you will end up on Computer Associates’ website, and you will scratch your head and say, “shoot, I thought my buddy told me to go to Concord.com to make my hotel reservation. Shoot – what was that address again?   Oh yeah Concord.org!

If a person is looking for Lowell.org but types in Lowell.com, I hope that my site will give them more than enough information about Lowell, Massachusetts and they won’t even remember that they were initially looking for Lowell.org.

One example of a great .org domain name to develop is a name I am bidding on at Snapnames, but I probably won’t win. Worcester.org is up for auction (August 3), and I think this is a great domain name to develop because of what I said above. I am having a tough time managing 3 geo websites, so I doubt I’d have time to develop this, too – although I will be bidding less than I think it’s worth just in case.

So why is Worcester.org a great domain name to develop? For starters, I have tried to buy Worcester.com with no luck (even with a serious offer). The domain name is being used for its nameservers right now and doesn’t resolve. Worcester is a great city in central Massachusetts that’s home to a professional minor league hockey team, several colleges, many big companies, and is centrally located, making it great for conferences and events. The Worcester Centrum (now the DCU Center) hosts concerts and other events – I remember commercials for the Monster Truck rallies held their annually.

Anyhow, since it doesn’t appear that Worcester.com will be developed into a geodomain any time soon, I think the .org would make a great acquisition.

There are other similar .org domain names that are ripe for development.

Snapnames Summer Stimulus Auction Ending

The Snapnames Summer Stimulus Low & No Reserve auction is ending today, and there are many auctions with very low reserves still available for bidding. As previously announced, Snapnames and Moniker will be running monthly theme auctions on the Snapnames platform. This is the first auction of the summer.

Some names that I like that are open for bidding include:











Follow Up: Make 1,000% Profit

I want to follow-up to a post I wrote a few weeks ago called “Make 1,000% Profit.” In the article, I discussed how people can analyze what names are selling at auction at Snapnames, buy names for registration fee at Moniker, and then sell them on Snapnames. The jist was that you can register a domain name for around $8.00 and sell it for $80 (give or take depending on your starting price), for a 1,000% profit.

Since I posted that article, I went out and attempted to do what I had been doing, with then intention of writing up my results here. I had done what I mentioned a few times, and I wanted to prove that it is still possible, even after I publicly wrote up what I was doing.

In any event, the results aren’t as good as the title of my article, but as you will see, I am clearly still more than happy.

Names Registered: 204
Total Spent: $1,550.40

Names Sold: 91
Net Revenue (minus sales commission): $5,849

Total Profit: $4,298.60

All in all, I earned about 3x my investment in profit, and I have over 110 domain names left to sell. One thing that surprised me is that some of the names I bought actually get traffic and some are earning PPC revenue. I suppose with domain tasting being eliminated there are more opportunities to buy names that get random bits of small traffic, but I was surprised. We aren’t talking about a lot of money, but a little bit is more than nothing and shows that there is a value to these names and the buyer presumably knows this.

All in all, I think the test was successful, and I am very happy to have made over $4,000 in profit on this. I still have several months to go to sell the rest of the domain names, but any additional sales is just gravy.

As I said in my initial post as a caveat, it’s important to be able to distinguish a similar domain name to what is selling, and you need to be able to determine someone’s (or many peoples’) buying habits to be successful at this. If you are going to try and do this, I recommend starting small and scaling.

I am sure some people will criticize me because it’s not 1,000% profit as billed. However, I am not selling anything and not making any money from anything you sell, so there’s really no reason for criticism. The first time I did this, the profit margin was greater because some of the auctions had mutliple bidders, driving the price (and profit) higher.


Just as a “head’s up” I am leaving for a long weekend in Atlanta later on today, so comment approvals may be a bit slower than normal.

Lots of Domain Buyers

I know what Ron’s numbers are telling him (and us), and I know that many domain investors at all levels are publicly and privately saying that there aren’t many buyers (on the investment side) out there right now. However, I think there are still plenty of buyers out there, but it just takes extra effort to find them these days, and your pricing has to be reasonable.

Here are a two suggestions on how to find buyers right now:

Contact some of the new owners of domain names that recently sold (listed on DNJournal) if you have similar domain names. Distinguish between end users who bought a name because it matched their corporate branding from those who were buying to enhance their company’s online presence, and from those who are investing in domain names. Each type of buyer has different needs, and you need to be able to tell what their needs are before you contact them, otherwise they will simply delete your email.

Follow along with what is selling at the auction houses – even the inexpensive purchases – and contact those buyers as well. Send them similar names that you own and price your names reasonably. Remember, if you are contacting them with names that you’d like to sell, you should name your price upfront. You might make less profit per domain name this way, but if you sell a small portfolio of names, you will increase your profits, despite a tighter profit margin.

I have been finding that there are less buyers in the $10-100k range right now unless you are giving really great prices on your domain names. However, it seems that people are still buying less expensive domain names, which can still be highly profitable. Buy smart and sell smart.

On a side note, I plan to discuss my experience with Snapnames outlined in my post, “Make a 1,000% Profit.” I am leaning towards keeping it in the newsletter, so sign up if you’re interested. (If you think the weekly/bi-weekly newsletter sucks, it’s easy to unsubscribe since I use Constant Contact). The results I have have been very strong, but I won’t write my summary until the funds have been wired.

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