When NOT to Use LeadRefs.com

I’ve written an article about how I used LeadRefs.com  and a second article about another way to use LeadRefs.com, but today I want to discuss when NOT to use LeadRefs.com to sell a domain name.  The tool provides the email addresses of people and/or companies that  might be interested in buying your domain name based on a number of (proprietary I assume) factors.

I believe LeadRefs.com is a good tool to use if you have a very good domain name and are willing to sell it for a fair price.  If you have a crappy domain name, LeadRefs.com will not magically find you a buyer for it, no matter what your price is. Please be realistic when you use the tool. I assure you, nobody wants to receive emails for domain names that are either unrelated or just a crappy/hacked up/worthless domain name (they will consider them SPAM).

When you are the one approaching potential buyers, you must have a fair price. A pie in the sky price will probably not yield the best results with this tool. Generally speaking, domain owners get the best prices for their domain assets when a buyer approaches them to satisfy a need on their part. When a domain owner is seeking a buyer, the owner usually needs to make price concessions. I would be sure you have a fair price.

I strongly urge you to look through the email addresses of the lead results before emailing them. I recommend removing email addresses of known domain investors and others who would likely not want to receive your email. Although domain investors may want to buy a good domain name, you must keep in mind they likely receive other unsolicited emails and it’s annoying, especially when the domain names are crappy (see second paragraph).

You need to use some good judgment when using LeadRefs.com. Sending unsolicited bulk emails is likely not legal. If you are sending bad domain names, over priced domain names, or sending domain names to leads that won’t want to receive email from you, it’s a big risk.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Yeah that’s why we don’t show certain .COM leads for inferior domains as we are only showing the leads where our internal algorithm returns it as a good lead. Thus, we are making the call like the tagline says.

  2. Hi Elliot

    Quick Question, what do you do when you have more than 1 domain to sell in the same industry using leadrefs.

    For example, I have 4 Domains in the Bedbug pest control industry in:


    Using leadrefs.com, all the leads gen would be great leads for all the 4 domains.

    Would it be best to offer 1 like Bedbuglist.com with a set price & than offer the rest at the end of the email as other options? and if so, with or without set prices for the other option domains?

  3. NP Elliot.

    I was just a little surprised.

    You may not have much knowledge about the Bedbug and pest control industry, but Bedbugs are a big issue & the industry is a very good size.

    Anyways, take care


  4. Thankfully I’ve never dealt with bed bugs, but I think the biggest market for companies is where I live – NYC. I’ve heard a lot about them, and I still don’t think those domain names are great. “i” names tend to be better for technology related fields, and until bedbugs can be fought online or the services used online, I don’t think they’re great names.

    I’m no expert when it comes to bed bugs, but I am pretty good at evaluating domain names. For your sake, I hope I am wrong.

  5. “You may not have much knowledge about the Bedbug and pest control industry”

    You don’t need to know the specific business to know what domains make sense, what domains are searched for and will rank and therefore what domains will sell.

    Elliot has some half-way decent knowledge about the domain business though selling and I suspect you came here for that insight, not his insight in to pest control. The dude can spot a good domain and knows what sells in the marketplace. You should listen

  6. The industry may need a self regulatory organization that educates owners on domain names and the proper methods of emailing end users. Blasting emails out to tons of users that are non .com, have no search or CPC, brandable type names, etc are more than likely going to be a nuisance to end users. Most people will just play a numbers game trying to flip names playing a % game, which isn’t good. Domains aren’t stocks and never will trade like them being they are unique.

  7. @DomainerNamer
    The fact that you gracefully took this constructive criticism so well and humbly is very refreshing. There are a lot of domainers who could learn a thing or two from this alone.

    You came, you disclosed your domains in a public forum and received some advice which you probably were hoping not to hear, but now you are better informed.

    My advice, if I may offer it, would be to see if there are any companies that would be interested in acquiring bed bug related leads. If so, build out BedBugInfestation.org solidly and sell the leads direct to said businesses.

    Good luck with your domaining endeavours and well done for being smart enough to listen and not take offence.
    You’ve honestly made my day.

  8. “Sending unsolicited bulk emails is likely not legal.”

    True – but sending out emails individually, 1 at a time, to highly targeted potentially interested companies 100% related to the keywords in your exact-match domain is not considered illegal or SPAM.

    Under the CAN-SPAM act SPAM is defined as email that is both bulk and unsolicited. Targeted email that is sent individually, and includes valid contact information is not considered SPAM.

    Also, by being in business people have given their unspoken consent to be made aware of offers that would be of interest of them, a salesperson walking in their door and offering them new lightbulbs for the hardware section is unsolicited but if they have an offer which is going to reap both profit then that convention is allowed.
    When a salesman comes into a hardware shop and starts trying to sell bikinis and ice cream it is spam because it is unqualified. The salesman is there because he did no research and did not bother to even check if anyone wanted or needed his possible services.

    I think “qualified” is the pertinent word here, no one expects every leaflet dropped through a door to be unique to you, all it says is “to the homeowner” and leaves it like that. A qualified lead or email is one where someone has checked that someone has genuine need for their domain, custom or service.
    I have a injury domain name – now if I sent that out to thousands of solicitors in that particular field I wouldn’t be spamming because it directly affects them and their business, they would want to know about it, if however only 3% of the people I sent the offer to were lawyers then I might be in trouble as stated.

  9. what’s an ibedbug?
    Now i’m no expert, but I sure see a lot of crappy domains changing hands.
    My general rule, if you can’t envision an immediate (potential)
    buyer, don’t buy it!
    It MUST have commercial value.
    Now most of you domainers are more experienced than I, but
    domaining is a slice of life in the long haul, and I have had plenty of that.
    Just my thoughts………….Cheers

  10. @Leon
    iThanx for the Advice and kind words.

    These Domain names don’t make sense & seem worthless to many of you, and that’s OK. I’m not trying to sell or make sense of these names with everyone here.

    iThanx everyone
    Take Care

  11. This is the problem. You can talk until you’re blue in the face about what makes a good domain and what doesn’t. Yet, those who don’t get it (or don’t want to hear it) will simply assume it doesn’t apply to them. Normally, I wouldn’t care. If people don’t start to get it soon enough, they lose money and are soon out of the game.

    But now that I get a dozen or more end-user spam mails each day, I’m starting to see it from the other side. Too many of these spam mails, and the everyday end-user will start to immediately associate “domain for sale” with viagra and “get rich quick” in the spam awards race.

    I usually send out anywhere from one to 20 or 30 emails at a shot. I am sure that by not sending 1000 emails, I am missing some buyers – but my response rate is good at the lower number of highly targeted buyers. If I send out 1000 mails, its the equivalent of overfishing. We may all get more fish (more sales) in the short run, but in the long run, domain sales emails will be treated with contempt, and ignored.

    It’s one thing to tell people to think like an end-user, but many people who sell domains have no experience at all of running (or even working in) a successful business. Many are just kids. With little real world experience to draw on, how can they imagine what a business owner is thinking? Instead they just spam the world with awful domain names that never should have been regged.

  12. Elliot,

    I think your ‘no-nonsense’, brutality when it comes to appraisal domain names is okay, but DomainerNamer took it in stride, and that is a virtue.

    However, I want you, Elliot, to take a look at these two names, and try to evaluate the businesses built on them separately:

    http://www.funny-games.biz valued at over $2,000,000.00

    whereas http://www.funnygames.biz is valued at only $12,000.00

    That’s right, a dot biz with a dash is valued at over two million dollars, and makes thousands of dollars everyday, and rated higher than same name without a dash. Therefore, it may be time old timers such as yourself, Elliot, and others, stop pushing the mantra that domain names be rated the way they were before Google took over the internet. It’s time to exhaustively re-evaluate domain nomenclature and prices. We have to make room for Branded-names, and futuristic names as well. Anybody buying names today based on search, age, or keywords is going to be disappointed. There are so many elements that go into the panda search that it really means very little. So, adjust your thinking Elliot, just because you have a lot of friends, and people like you, that is why you are selling those names fast, and those people buying them will feel bad later. It’s time to base domain names on reality. Not what was the case 5 years ago.

  13. DomainerNamer,

    While I also agree with Elliot’s opinion on your “i” names, I actually think the .org is the one that might be worth your time developing instead of attempting to sell. There’s 1300+ exact matches. Not exactly overwhelming, but there’s something there. You can build a decent website using a .org – Just ask Morgan Linton. Granted, it would much easier if you owned bedbugs.org, but obviously not everyone can start at that level. My advice is to develop Bedbuginfestation.org and create a directory of exterminators who specialize with bed bugs. Reach out to them. It’s hard work, but you might be surprised just how many sign up for a listing with you – particularly if you offer the first 6 months or a year, for free. If the leads are solid then they will pay a cheap annual fee to stay. Or maybe sell them leads instead.

    I think by and large the advice you read from forums and blogs such as this is invaluable. That being said, I think it’s also easy to misinterpret an expert’s interpretation of a particular domain. You have to consider the source anytime you’re asking an expert’s opinion. Elliot consistently flips $10k-$50k names in which the development potential is pretty obvious and straightforward. However, that doesn’t mean that lesser names can’t be developed with a little creativity. BedBugList, for example could potentially be a list of places with know infestations. Sell these after they are developed and then buy yourself some good names.

  14. Recently I made a mid $xxx sale with the help of LeadRefs AND zfbot AND Whois tools AND by checking ‘live status’ of all the refs.

    LeadRefs is an excellent tool to generate a raw list of potential leads but I am still checking all the sites individually to make sure they are relevant and could benefit from what I am about to offer.

    Usually I am offering my domains in the low to high $xxx range. It requires a lot of labor for a sale but LeadRefs is a huge timesaver.

  15. Great advice by:

    “Devon Sheffield”

    That inspired me to make an “i” domain I own into a “Specialised Business Directory” and at this point I think it’s the best thing I could do with this domain of mine, whose name I won’t mind telling you about:


  16. @ Uzoma

    It makes giving advice better when the person accepts the advise without being too defensive. It’s the difference between a conversation and an argument.

    IMO, a company can build a business on any domain name. They are going to spend more effort and money to educate their customers on how to find them, pay for SEO so search traffic finds them, and then ensure they aren’t losing traffic by buying other important domain names.


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