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WEB/DIGITAL Advice for E-Entrepreneurs (Domains)

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MJ DeMarco

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For anyone considering a web business, I advise this: Buy domain names for all your ideas, regardless if you ever pursue the idea.

Since 1997, I've been "collecting" domain names for e-business ideas that I sporadically think of. To date, I have dozens of domain names of value; all in the top-level domain "dot-com". Now, none of these names are developed into any business however they are now worth $1000's and I paid a few hundred dollars for them.

Anytime I had an e-business idea, I brainstormed, found a name, and registered it.

Domain assets, specifically DOT-COM names of value, are going to start rapidly appreciating. Like land, .COM names are a scarce commodity that is ever declining in supply. DOT COM is the BoardWalk of top-level domain names. No matter how many .this and .that they invent, .COM will always command a premium price.

Years ago, there were plenty of names to be picked up on the cheap. Nowadays, it is really difficult to find good, brandable Dot-Com domain names.

I'm not talking about "The-great-store-online.com" which is garbage, but short, memorable, phrased, and brandable names which can command a value in the future.

If you have an idea, think of a brandable name, and buy it -- assuming its available. If it is, it won't be available long.

Last year, I thought of an idea and went to register the name "FastForSale.com" -- to my surprise, it was available. Instead of immediately registering it (I was at my GF house when I did the search), I waited the next day. It was gone the following day when I went to buy it. :bgh:

In a few years, the secondary markets for decent dot-com domain assets should start rapidly appreciating. A $30 investment could turn to $30,000. Moreover, you really want to secure a name for your idea with the possibility that you might develop it, or someone else might come along and offer to buy it.

Cheers,
MJ
 

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Peter2

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Do NOT search for a domain name until you are ready to buy it, especially on GoDaddy. There are many ways for people to intercept your search and register the name before you can do it. It happened to MJ, and it happens every day to many people.
 

Z5 FILMS

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Aug 13, 2007
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Also search for short names that have recently expired. A lot of people do just as described above, but get lazy, don't renew, or don't update their credit card info and they lose the domain.

I recently grabbed GROSP.COM looking through a list of recently expired 5 letter domain names.

It's not really memorable, but's a word, it would pass in Scrabble, and it's short.

My example is not the greatest, but you get the idea.
 

cantwait2

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grosp.com I love it :D

check out grosp for all those...you know those...things...the...

:leaving: oh never mind.
 

LightHouse

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Also search for short names that have recently expired. A lot of people do just as described above, but get lazy, don't renew, or don't update their credit card info and they lose the domain.

I recently grabbed GROSP.COM looking through a list of recently expired 5 letter domain names.

It's not really memorable, but's a word, it would pass in Scrabble, and it's short.

My example is not the greatest, but you get the idea.
is there a way to search for recently expired domains?


I was acctually just searching domains for future parts of my company and nothing was availible and the owners contact info on whois.net isnt valid anymore.

Does anyone know if its woth it to backorder domains? seems like a waste of $18 to me.
 

M-M

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Aug 27, 2007
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I know opinions vary wildly, but what's a good site to register names? Some swear by GoDaddy, others hate them.
 

Shawn

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Aug 14, 2007
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Do NOT search for a domain name until you are ready to buy it, especially on GoDaddy. There are many ways for people to intercept your search and register the name before you can do it. It happened to MJ, and it happens every day to many people.
that's horrible..
 

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Andrew

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Aug 8, 2007
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is there a way to search for recently expired domains?


I was acctually just searching domains for future parts of my company and nothing was availible and the owners contact info on whois.net isnt valid anymore.

Does anyone know if its woth it to backorder domains? seems like a waste of $18 to me.
Best out of the box solution is Domain Research Tool, http://www.domainresearchtool.com/. Basically you can download the entire database of soon to expire domain names, and then place a filter for what word(s) you are looking for. However, most domains do not just drop anymore, they go up for auction. Expired domains that are valuable can go for anywhere from hundreds of dollars to $100,000+.

As for domains being taken after you search for them, there is a common practice known as domain kiting. When a domain name registrar registers a domain name, there is a grace period of a few days where they do not have to pay for it. This can be automated, and then the domain is "kited" along for free. Although its not really free because the registrar has to have money on deposit, which is why I think no one has put a stop to it. Last I heard this accounted for 80% or more of domain registrations.

If you want to get an idea of recent public domain name sale prices, check out http://www.dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm. Most domain name name sales are not made public.

A big part of identifying good domain names is just common sense. Single words are worth tons of money, multiple word phrases are also worth a lot if they are regularly used. For example, if you were in the tanning industry -- tanningbeds.com would be great, bedtanning.com, not so much. Non .com's take a big discount, but if you can get them dirt cheap they can be worth it.

Finally, use a domain name registrar that is trustworthy. There are huge conflicts of interests with many companies now. If your domain gets traffic, its often more profitable for them for you to lose it -- because then they park it and cash in on your traffic, or it goes up for auction. Just parked they could be making more a day off of it than a year's registration profit. I use Moniker.com now after bad experiences with every other big registrar. Its only $7.50 a domain if you deposit $1000.

And if you don't read anything I just wrote, consider this. Huuuuge online casino, bodog.com just lost their domain name from a default court judgment (plaintiff was in the US, they weren't.) My guess is that this is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars a day in lost revenue. Your domain name is the foundation to your online business. You really, really, don't want to lose it. Trust me, I've lost more than one.
 

LightHouse

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Thanks Andrew, just registered with Sedo to sell some of mine to raise capital for my brick and mortar business. i will check out the links you posted.

rep speed added
 

WheelsRCool

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Aug 12, 2007
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Best out of the box solution is Domain Research Tool, http://www.domainresearchtool.com/. Basically you can download the entire database of soon to expire domain names, and then place a filter for what word(s) you are looking for. However, most domains do not just drop anymore, they go up for auction. Expired domains that are valuable can go for anywhere from hundreds of dollars to $100,000+.

As for domains being taken after you search for them, there is a common practice known as domain kiting. When a domain name registrar registers a domain name, there is a grace period of a few days where they do not have to pay for it. This can be automated, and then the domain is "kited" along for free. Although its not really free because the registrar has to have money on deposit, which is why I think no one has put a stop to it. Last I heard this accounted for 80% or more of domain registrations.

If you want to get an idea of recent public domain name sale prices, check out http://www.dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm. Most domain name name sales are not made public.

A big part of identifying good domain names is just common sense. Single words are worth tons of money, multiple word phrases are also worth a lot if they are regularly used. For example, if you were in the tanning industry -- tanningbeds.com would be great, bedtanning.com, not so much. Non .com's take a big discount, but if you can get them dirt cheap they can be worth it.

Finally, use a domain name registrar that is trustworthy. There are huge conflicts of interests with many companies now. If your domain gets traffic, its often more profitable for them for you to lose it -- because then they park it and cash in on your traffic, or it goes up for auction. Just parked they could be making more a day off of it than a year's registration profit. I use Moniker.com now after bad experiences with every other big registrar. Its only $7.50 a domain if you deposit $1000.

And if you don't read anything I just wrote, consider this. Huuuuge online casino, bodog.com just lost their domain name from a default court judgment (plaintiff was in the US, they weren't.) My guess is that this is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars a day in lost revenue. Your domain name is the foundation to your online business. You really, really, don't want to lose it. Trust me, I've lost more than one.

I'm a bit confused by this, but do you mean to be careful with who you register your domain name with because if it's a crappy service, someone could steal the name from you?
 

1320Trader

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Aug 14, 2007
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I own these two sites...think they could be worth anything?


thelivesite.com
onlinesoda.com
 
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MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

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Lets just say if they expired they'd be scooped up pretty quick. Decent names, short, no chance for confusion, dot-com. I'd hold on to them.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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OnlineSoda.com is a very brandable name.
 

Andrew

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Aug 8, 2007
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I'm a bit confused by this, but do you mean to be careful with who you register your domain name with because if it's a crappy service, someone could steal the name from you?
Yeah, I had a bunch of names with Registerfly.com, which was a domain name reseller for enom. There is a whole big story behind Registerfly I won't go into, but basically the owner was not spending enough money on customer service or programmers to maintain his business.

I lost 2 domain names for websites which each conservatively were worth $10,000. I had renewed the names through the site, and it told me they were renewed, but they were not. Right now, enom (one of the biggest domain registrars) is cashing in on domain names (Registerfly was put out of business by both enom & ICANN earlier this year.)

The company that now owns enom -- run by one of the original Myspace investors and plans on developing a huge internet real estate empire based off domain name traffic. Talk about a conflict of interest :smx4:
 

LightHouse

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If you have really good names, you should try getting them into the next Moniker Domain auction: http://marketplacepro.moniker.com/auction/index.html

If you do this, all of the big domain buyers will at least see your names.
but what if they dont reach a price point I want? same as ebay?

In contrast i have

vaentrepreneurs.com ( started as a forum but no help led me to shut it down)
and quiltforums.com ( was planning a stay at home mom forum with more than enough means to promote, no time)

what do you think?
 

S928

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Aug 7, 2007
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What's the best place to register a domain name? I'm about ready to purchase a domain ...was available last time I checked... but I want to get a all-round good deal. GoDaddy has the name available for about ten dollars a year, but how can I get exclusive rights and a good price for many years to come? Thanks
 

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Z5 FILMS

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In my opinion, GoDaddy sucks. Well, they may not "suck" but I can't stand how they operate. They are too "spammy" for me and are contantly in your face trying to upsell you hosting, more domains, etc. Others make like them (sorry MJ :) ), and they are cheap. But I just don't like the "spammy" operation.

I use Register.com They are more expensive, but not "spammy" at all. Nice clean layout and no upselling. Simply buy your domain, get some hosting somewhere and change the DNS info and you're go to go.

Also, don't buy your hosting from a register. ESPECIALLY GoSpammy....I mean GoDaddy. Get hosting from a hosting company.
 
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MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

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Andrew great info ... speed++
 

Andrew

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hahah, this rep speed thing is starting to feel like a drag race to 100.

but what if they dont reach a price point I want? same as ebay?

In contrast i have

vaentrepreneurs.com ( started as a forum but no help led me to shut it down)
and quiltforums.com ( was planning a stay at home mom forum with more than enough means to promote, no time)

what do you think?
quiltforums.com, yes; vaentrepreneurs.com, not sure. If they don't reach the point you want, you can decline the offer. As I recall more $$$ in declined bids occurred in the first Moniker auction than accepted. Most owners of great domain names are holding and still acquiring.
 

LightHouse

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I dont know what something like this would go for however. i will take a look around today and see what i can accomplish, thank you for the advice.
 

WheelsRCool

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In my opinion, GoDaddy sucks. Well, they may not "suck" but I can't stand how they operate. They are too "spammy" for me and are contantly in your face trying to upsell you hosting, more domains, etc. Others make like them (sorry MJ :) ), and they are cheap. But I just don't like the "spammy" operation.

I use Register.com They are more expensive, but not "spammy" at all. Nice clean layout and no upselling. Simply buy your domain, get some hosting somewhere and change the DNS info and you're go to go.

Also, don't buy your hosting from a register. ESPECIALLY GoSpammy....I mean GoDaddy. Get hosting from a hosting company.
Okay, now I have found a couple of .com web addresses perfect for my ecommerce site and they are not taken yet (or it seems like they aren't)---now should I only type them into register.com's feature that checks the availability of addresses the moment I am ready to buy them so that no one will intercept and steal them from me?
 

LightHouse

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Okay, now I have found a couple of .com web addresses perfect for my ecommerce site and they are not taken yet (or it seems like they aren't)---now should I only type them into register.com's feature that checks the availability of addresses the moment I am ready to buy them so that no one will intercept and steal them from me?

just buy them if they are availble. its cheap.
 

LightHouse

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I just bought 10 more, prob gunna think over night and get a ton more tomorrow. not to resale but to use.
 

Peter2

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Aug 2, 2007
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Okay, now I have found a couple of .com web addresses perfect for my ecommerce site and they are not taken yet (or it seems like they aren't)---now should I only type them into register.com's feature that checks the availability of addresses the moment I am ready to buy them so that no one will intercept and steal them from me?
Yes, don't search for names until you are sitting with your credit card in front of you, ready to buy.
 

WheelsRCool

Contributor
Aug 12, 2007
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Coolbeans, when you guys say "buy" though, is that the same as registering? Like, if you buy a screename, it's permanently yours, or is it the same as registering and you have to renew the registration each year?
 

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