Latest Publications

Free Limited Experiment On A New Tool I Am Making

Hello everyone,

I am working on a new tool and would like to offer it for free for a limited time to readers of my blog. This tool is very simple & basically takes a list of up to 22,000 usa cities. It combines a keyword with a city before or after the keyword. Some examples would be:

chicagodentists.com
rentchicago.com
chicagoforeclosures.com

On & on.. The value of this tool is that you get to specify the keyword(s) & position. The end result would be a list of domains where .NET is taken & .COM is available. Allowing you to hand register the .com domain if you so chose to register the available.

I love crunching numbers & scripts & have found some decent domains this way. Some I have been able to flip for a profit rather quickly. I also notice that the .org & .info is often times registered. Other times, the same scan 3 months later has also generates new gems.

Just putting this out there & any feedback is welcome in regards to a tool you’d like to see out there. I have extra time in my hands & I can probably make it a reality. I’m looking to expand my tools selection & love automating as much of my busy work as possible.

Dynadot Offers A Backorder Service. News To Me.

This struck me out of the blue a couple days ago. I was visiting Dynadot.com & checking out the marketplace domains. I noticed something new, which seemed to be a pending delete tab which allowed me to backorder domains @ $11.75 USD a pop. I noticed that they have listed the entire pending delete lists & it was easy to place backorders on any domain of my choosing.

I backordered domains & was satisfied with with ease in it all. I also learned that when placing a backorder, you win the domain for only $11.75 if you are the only bidder. If there are multiple bidders on the same domain & Dynadot’s backorder service cathes the name, then you enter into a private auction with the other bidders.

As of writing the website states:

1.) You will not be charged until we successfully catch this domain for you.
2.) In order to place a backorder, you need an order history with one successful payment in the last 365 days. A completed prepay order will fulfill this requirement.
3.) If you are the only one request for this domain, an order will be created in your account using your default marketplace payment method once we successfully catch the domain
4.) If there is more than one request for this domain, a private auction will be held if we successfully catch the domain

I decided to give this a try & on purpose tried to chase some of the competition & premium drops. Very ignorant in my part, but I had nothing to lose. Especially since there were 0 backorders for the drops I decided to chase. I gave it a whirl & chased these drops today:

celn.com
pangtuan.com
bgjp.com
hhoz.com
qlzz.com

I noticed that the cutoff time for the backorders is up to approx 15 mins before the drops actually become released from the registry. This is nice for any last minute change of mind adds or removals. It’s also very easy to remove backorders from your account with a click of a button before the cutoff time.

So off went the experiment & as the drops became available, well – as you may have guessed, Dynadot didn’t catch any of these drops. Instead the regulars as in SnapNames overall crushed the drop catches.

I guess this service would be great for mid-grade domains that don’t catch alot of attention. Or targetted niche, service or product long tail domains that go unnoticed by the big fish. Still a great service for Dynadot to offer to it’s customers & I hope they keep building on with more real-time registrar connections.

Overall these are the pro’s and con’s in my opinion:

Pros:

1.) It’s a very easy to use system for entering backorder domains & tracking the progress.
2.) If you are the only one to backorder a domain, you win it for only $11.75.
3.) Dynadot is a trusted & respected company for never doing their customers wrong.
4.) Their support actually tries to accommodate things to fit your needs.

Cons:

1.) The number of total backorders is publicly displayed. Bigger drop catch companies can scrape this data & apply more horsepower to chase domains that grab backorder attention @ Dynadot.
2.) Dynadot needs to increase their price & drop catch capacity with more registrar connections to make this profitable for itself & it’s customers.
3.) I could not find documentation regarding – what if someone catches the domain using Dynadot’s API system. Who wins the domain then? It’s not technically a backorder – is the domain surrendered to the API account & the backorders are rejected? Or vice, versa?

Overall I am a big supporter of this system & would like to see how this pans out for Dynadot. Dynadot has been my preferred registrar of choice for many years now & I hope you find success with this new backorder service I stumbled across recently.

Determine Your Enduser Price. Not Wholesale Or Domainer to Domainer

Hello,

Everyone and their mom can sell something. But can you sell a domain name? YES.. But can you sell a domain name at the true value that an end user looking to buy your website url(s) may pay you?

Behind all that happens between a domain transfer, there are a few things to keep in mind. I think these variables are the hardest to face on a double blind end user sale. Us often considered squatters & cyber criminals have steady income in assigning names to the right people.

From dealing in selling my own domain names, I have found that:

First off, you have no real idea of what your prospect buyer will pay for your domain, website url, site etc – whatever they call it. You know your inventory & have to make a decision. Do you leave money on the table for a quick sale or do you start high up & lower your prices down?

I like to play it by ear & listen to my gut feelings. I am not out to exploit a domain name sale – but I also have been leaving a lot of money on the table following old domainer methods. The old advice that dashes don’t matter & .net is crap. Now my end user buyers are asking for .net – .network domains & Dashes “Hyphen” domains make sense. While I wouldn’t want to put the house for sale on Domain investing – there is a medium:

A.) What do I really want in the form of cash or trade for the website url’s I own?

B.) What will my buyer pay me? How can he use this website? How does it benefit him or her?

C.) Ok, I am ready for the B. sale above. However, can I perhaps make a little more cash if the buyer was someone else?

I can say that I am on both ends of the deal. On some sales I have been really shy & sold a regfee domain for $2K+ & during other times, I have sold a perfect match to an end user for $10 or so thinking it was crap.

This post is mainly to motivate everyone in their domain assests. Hope is out there & it’s near. You just need to be very motivated. Get off your chair, pick up the phone, call end users & sell your website url’s. Visit nearby places that can put your domain to use. You’d be surprised what you can get. Let endusers use the domains that fit a clear purpose for their needs.

To add something more into the list is this variable:

D.) Learn to negotiate better & understand your buyers. Leaving money on the table can be intense, and realistic for your current goals, but think ahead fast & that money is lost. An example was recent where I received interest in one of domains. The offer was $400. I felt the domain was worth over $1,000. I counter offered with $500. I lost the sale.

On D.) Above, I am glad I lost the sale. The domain name was actually: PayGram.com. I actually had plans to develop the domain & make an exchange site for various 3rd party services like paypal & moneybookers to unify a payment. I guess most anyone reading this would have taken the $400 cash via paypal. Lesson learned for other domains in my portfolio – but I keep the same plans for paygram in the near future.

To end this off, I will conclude by saying that you do end up getting out what you put in daily. Don’t lose hope. Keep reaching out further & further. Use as many Excel formula’s & web research you can to find the right buyers for your domains. When there is an opportunity – invest your time in your sales to flip this virtual real estate which is as real (or worth more) than real real estate.

I hate to admit this – but at the end, feel free to raise your prices a little. I have been known to be too generous & your competition will eat you up. If you don’t land the solid sale on your domain name – then then potential buyer will find something else or another to work for them.

Glad to be back posting on my blog after 1 year & 1 month away due to building development stuff. These end user sales are keeping me away from taking on further development stuff & concentrating on matching the perfect domain for more people who can put them to use. It’s become my new dream job.

Dan

A Realtime Domain Casino and Lotto Type Domain Games

Bridging domaining with the word: FUN again – has become the hardest task I have yet to beat.

I remeber my first days of drop catching used to be really FUN! What happened to those days? They seem lost in the chaos going on around us non-stop! As an insight to domainers, I declare we start the first ever public domain name casino! Not for fast cash, but winner takes a prize.

You may think – wait, did this guy just say: casino? NO, sorry I’m thinking more along the lines of PRIZES & It can become a ritual daily, weekly or monthly prize giveaway for domainers who participate in scheduled games for Prizes. The winner takes the prize. Perfect examples are: the winner of a hold ‘em tournament wins a LLL.com, 2nd place chip leader gets a poor LLL.com or a lesser grade domain, 3rd place basically gets a pat on the back for helping out eliminate the other hold ‘em players :P etc.. You get the picture.

In the past, I developed flash apps for lotto users & feel that instant gratification domainers need a pat on the back from our normal working habits. I miss the days when scouring the domain forums for the best deals was really FUN! I miss how I could pull the wool over a seller or buyer’s eyes. Well not really trick, but I mean consolidate nice deals in a friendly atmosphere.

I would tend to say that the auctions, drops & blogs are getting a bit overwhelming & it would be nice to simply mingle in a domain casino type lounge with your domaining buddies while playing a legit game of whatever.

In an effort, I have designed these mocks as illustration of what I had in mind:

Here’s a working lotto numbers generator that would work to dish out expiring domain name lists:

http://www.expron.com/lotto/

This can easily aggregate drop lists based on delimiters you can set within the game. If you’re into lotto numbers – give it a try & see what happens. The engine is ready and will help your odds.

Here’s a visual representation of what a domain name casino could look like:

casino

I admit that the visual can be a bit aggressive, but I believe the instant gratification users may feel will make this or something similar the next domaining “idea”.

Have fun chasing drops!

My “how to guide” on drop catching expired domains

I have been catching dropping domains for a few years now. It’s often times I see others going through the same struggles I did & this topic takes years to understand. There’s a lot of myths floating around the forums.

First off, the meaning of drop catching, drop catcher is a term to label the art of catching an expired domain down to the millisecond. It really is milliseconds for the valuable drops. I’ll assume that you already know how to calculate when a domain will drop & become available for purchase at any registrar. If you need a source for lists, I recommend estibot or dnmeter.com.

This guide covers my methods & how I perceive the entire system works. It’s how I understand it & what it does for me. I may stand corrected on some topics, but overall this guide should get the point across.

This guide will not work for the best drops. When a domain like a LLL.COM drops, there will generally be hundreds of watchers / bidders via backorder auctions. Snapnames, Pool & Namejet are notorious for promoting good drops to gather more backorders. This guide will work for domains of medium to lesser quality. For example, many two word domains & other variants go under the radar as dropped & get picked up by drop catchers that have good scanning tools. I have flipped many of these for good money. I have also caught hundreds of LLLL.com & the like. Sometimes you just get lucky too. Math & stats play a role & after you do something and follow a routine for a while, you will get some percent of success.

Let’s get started – So you’ve found a good domain in the drop lists. Great! Now what?

You’ll probably be at stage 1. At this stage, you’re learning the drop times, learning how to weed out the good drops & etc. You may have a domain registrar that you enjoy purchasing domains from. Well here’s my notes on the registrars I consider my favorite:

GoDaddy doesn’t allow drop catching to my knowledge. Their bulk checkout has a captcha that makes it slow to checkout. Their intentions are for you to backorder a domain through their service.
MonikerHas an API system & the manual checkout pages seem to catch some drops.
Dynadot - Has an API system & the manual checkout pages seem to catch some drops.
OnlinenicHas an API system & the manual checkout pages DO NOT catch some drops for drop catchers. It’s too slow. The API is faster
DirectiAs per their TOS, drop catching is not allowed
Name.com - Is working on an API & the checkout pages catch some drops.
ENOM – Is selfish & has recently blocked API access for drop catching .com & net during drop time.

That’s just to name a small handful registrars. I tend to use ALL of the above and more at the same time. You don’t have to. I have excessive funds at some registrars that haven’t caught anything for a while. It depends how serious you are & the resources you choose to utilize.

Stage 2

You’ll find some success trying to hand reg domains – but will get beaten because others are a wee bit faster than you. You’ll also find yourself spending a good amount of time researching & trying to drop catch, but maybe at the wrong time.

Stage 3

After burning myself out manually refreshing checkout pages at various registry’s using laptops & desktop computers, I decided to macro my drop catching. A macro is a script. Every computer has macros pre built into the operating system & products like microsoft office have help tutorials. You can see my tutorial on making drop catching software here.

You’ll find that automation will soon become your best friend. While you’re doing other things, you can have robot scripts doing the drop catching work for you.

Stage 4

You’ll notice that the way domains drop – they drop in a certain order. This is where you start to target your drop catching since you have an upper advantage. You learn that a single domain stands a better chance than 50 in a bulk checkout.

Stage 5

Since there’s a scanning solution in place, a drop order & catching automation – you’re basically at the furthest point you can get without becoming your own Registrar which costs over $20,000 USD per year & requires you to have serious cash $xxx,xxx+ in a “trust bank fund” in case something happens since you’re liable & a registrar.

To rephrase Phase 2 requires a lot of checkout page refreshes & whois checks – It will be common to have 2 browser windows or computers side by side because one will be trying to purchase domains while the other checks the whois status of your drops.

In a nutshell, that’s the stages I went through. I’d like to also address things I’ve found to be true out of personal experience.

1.) Domains that have the most backorders require backorder services to put more emphasis on that domain. That’s why LLL.com’s that drop always get picked up by the backorder services. They will literally exhaust all their server connections on one domain. If a good name drops & there’s 0 backorders, it will remain available for minutes. I have seen this.

2.) There is a registrar drop pool. From my understanding, this pool works in batches & it gives registrars a chance to make special calls to verisign. No API can touch this pool & usually the backorder services will compete for the premium drops. This pool supposedly runs seconds – 1 minute ahead of the drop list. I don’t really believe this is in place. During a comparison of a LLL.NET drop, I examined it to drop just like any other domain drop in order – as per dnmeter.com.

3.) Partner registrars will attempt to catch domains for the backorder systems. To my understanding, when the domain drops, it’s available to anyone – including you! Don’t let this term scare you. They usually bump heads & if you are after a domain, you can occasionally beat out the partner registrars.

4.) Dog eat dog – I have seen trickery going on. From whois changes to the registrar renew a valuable drop while in pending delete. You may notice a drop quickly change hands often. Pretty much anything goes.

5.) Yes, it is possible to beat godaddy, snapnames, pool & namejet at drop catching. The problem is that not enough of us do it to actually put them out of business.

A myth that is floating around:

Myth – You can never compete with snapnames, pool or namejet. They use thousands of connections. While this is true, the central registry can only accept x connections per registry & everyone still holds a chance. I believe they serialize the connections which then determines who got the domain.

Last time I checked, Snapnames employed between 400 – 600 registrars that they owned. That number is said to have grown to about 900

Advice – If you plan to drop catch, it would not be wise to backorder the domains you target. Unless if very valuable & you have the cash to spend, If you backorder domains, it will draw attention to your picks & you will add on more competition.

Advice – Stealth mode & common sense play a huge role in this game.

Advice – Instead of trying to catch 25 or 50 domains at once daily, learn the pending delete drop order. Go after only one domain at a time. After it drops, switch flow to the next drop.

Here’s a real customer reply I recieved from one of my drop catching titles:

Hi Dan,

I’m happy with the results. I beat oversee domain management today.

Peter

Common sense helps a lot too. I’ve seen drop catchers catch dirt & flip domains while others silently grab the pot of gold. It will take a good understanding of which domains are valuable. Then attempt to compare who grabbed the domains you wanted & learn on how they grabbed the names to make your system better.

Here’s a break down of drop times collection I have:

.com 1pm cst 1-2 hours drop window
.net 1pm cst 1-2 hours drop window
.us 1pm cst 10 – 20 mins drop window
.org 9am cst 30 mins drop window
.info 3am cst – haven’t verified in over 1 year
.in 2pm cst 1-2 min drop window
.co.in 2pm cst 1-2 min drop window
.ws 9:30am cst – haven’t verified in over 1 year
.mobi 9:30pm cst – drop lasts 2 mins

Good luck drop catching!

Premium LLL.net domain hits pending delete

It’s rare, but does happen. The domain name: PGR.NET has hit pending delete & is scheduled to drop on: Feb 3rd – Tomorrow! It will be interesting to see who snags it & what the final bid price will be. I’m guessing Pool or Snapnames grabs it. Maybe namejet. It’s a loss for the owner & onlinenic.

Domain Name: PGR.NET
Registrar: ONLINENIC, INC.
Whois Server: whois.onlinenic.com
Referral URL: http://www.OnlineNIC.com
Name Server: NS2.ONLINENIC.NET
Name Server: NS3.ONLINENIC.NET
Status: pendingDelete
Updated Date: 28-jan-2010
Creation Date: 19-nov-2001
Expiration Date: 19-nov-2009

According to DNMeter.com, the domain will drop around (+-5mins): 2:09 PM CST on Wednesday.

Apple Computer Announces iPad Tablet Today

Apple’s Steve Jobs today unveiled the iPad. iPad is Apple’s latest revolutionary take on what a Tablet PC should be like. Jobs states that the new tablet is best for reading books, watching video & playing games.

new_ipad_tablet

One of the things that caught my eye was how the tablet doesn’t have a keyboard. You simply use the screen as a touchpad. Very much similar to how the iphone works via a touchpad screen.

While competitiors are rushing to keep up, Apple’s ipad is truly innovative. Job’s panned the idea of merging the newton with a tablet PC. The iphone, ipod touch and the new ipad are all combinations of both ideas.

The Apple iPad tablet price will start around $499 USD. It depends if you purchase the ipad bundled with a wireless carrier. There’s also talk about offering premium TV channel / movie broadcasts for about $30 USD per month extra.

ipad_tablet

Similar products such as the kindle, smart phones, netbooks and other technologies on the horizon will need to act & think fast to keep up these news. Apple being an innovator has set a new pace for the tablet community.

Experts doubt that Apple will fail with this new ipad. Even if Apple does fail, it will open the road to introduce more products that will trailblaze what the ipad started.

Onlinenic Domain – Flikr.net Dropping Tomorrow

Onlinenic.com has had some past with copyright infringing domains. In the upcoming drop lists, the domain name: flikr.net has managed to be one of the drops that caught my eye.

I have been working on a new tool & monitoring the spikes of views on the drop lists. Sure enough – as far as I can tell, this domain will be dropping on Tuesday December 29 2009. It will be funny to see what happens.

Note, this is a typo of flickr.com – but people have issues spelling it.

Here’s a snapshot of the whois:

Registrant Details

Domain Name: FLIKR.NET
Registrar: ONLINENIC, INC.
Whois Server: whois.onlinenic.com
Referral URL: http://www.OnlineNIC.com
Name Server: NS1.PARKED.COM
Name Server: NS2.PARKED.COM
Status: pendingDelete
Updated Date: 23-dec-2009
Creation Date: 10-aug-2005
Expiration Date: 10-aug-2010

Interesting Details:

Words: flikr
Appraisal: $27,000
Search Results: 2,810,000
Search Ads: 0
PageRank: 0
Overture: 2339
Alexa Traffic Rank: 12,340,774
Alexa Trend: 10,974,303
Dmoz Listed: No
Avg. CPC: 4.22
Avg. Search Volume: 90,280

Another one that caught my eye was: GeoCitys.net:

Registrant Details

Domain Name: GEOCITYS.NET
Registrar: ONLINENIC, INC.
Whois Server: whois.onlinenic.com
Referral URL: http://www.OnlineNIC.com
Name Server: NS1.PARKED.COM
Name Server: NS2.PARKED.COM
Status: pendingDelete
Updated Date: 23-dec-2009
Creation Date: 20-jul-2004
Expiration Date: 20-jul-2010

I remember the old geocities.com, but not sure I would spell it like that. Maybe something else was in their train of thought since the names are aged.

Unfortunate however, the domains will lose their age upon drop on Tuesday at 1pm CST & it will be a mystery who picks them up if anyone, or if they are returned – until it happens.

Drop Catching For Friday December 4th

I captured these 3 domains today:

wedlin.com
gazeboes.net
permissions.us

That’s all I was chasing for today & managed to grab 100%. Wedlin.com doesn’t look promising at all. My hope is to sell it to an end user. Perhaps someone with the surname Wedlin may become attracted to the domain or was waiting for it to drop. Maybe not.

Gazeboes are popular & the domain should at least double reg fee in a year minimum based on sponsored advertiers / ad spots – weather parked or developed. Permissions I picked solely based on the Estibot appraisal which was over $500.

I really thought about two other domains expiring: grades.net & rangers.net. However, last minute I pulled these out. Looks like at least one was backordered & secured. Both were instantly taken nonetheless.

Drop Catching Report For Today.

I was able to secure these domains on the drop today:

berrettas.com
pewits.com
sarsens.com
gleets.com

Probably not the best selection, but for reg fee @ Dynadot.com, I’ll keep them & see what happens. The quality in the drops just seems to get better by the day :)

Have fun drop catching!