5 Available Hand Regs Valued at over $500 Each – Can you Flip These Domain Names?

This post isn’t going to make you rich, but it demonstrates that there are still opportunities even if you are just entering the domain industry or only have a few bucks to your name.  You can take a few bucks and make it into a few more with some effort.  It’s not likely that anyone will come knocking your door down making you an offer for these names, but if you do your research, you could come up with a decent list of potential buyers.  If you are able to educate those potential buyers, you could have a sale.

First lets take a step back and note that automated domain appraisal tools are just that, tools.  They are not exact, they may be inaccurate, and they never factor in the human element.  That said, here are 5 names I found this morning, while drinking a cup of coffee, that have an estimated value of $500 or more according to Estibot.

estibot domains

In case the screenshot is too hard to read, the names are:

  1. UrinalDeodorizer.com
  2. CorkExtractor.com
  3. IrishMenu.com
  4. ChangeManagementCertification.com
  5. ConferenceCallSystem.com

I listed them in ascending order of estimated value.  I chose only dot com names.  You are welcome to register these, as I said, they are available for hand reg at the time of this posting.

A couple of observations.  First, what jumped out at me is that someone has registered the dot org version of ChangeManagementCertification.  The tells me there is at least one lead that might be interested in buying the dot com.  Why did he only register the dot org?  I don’t know and that could also mean he/she is clueless and won’t have any interest in the dot com.  However, Change Management is a hot topic in business today and there should be plenty of other potential leads out there.

valuate domains

The image above is from Valuate.com.  It uses the same brain as Estibot, but I prefer its visual display a bit more.  Makes it easy to compare domains and also easy on the eyes.  RetireeMeidcalPlans.com is interesting for a couple of reasons.  One is that I once owned it and let it drop.  The other is that someone has registered what appears to be the less valuable singular version of the name.  This was not the case, as far as I know, when I owned the domain. The singular points to medicare.oneexchange.com which appears to be a legit website and could be a good candidate for purchasing this plural domain on the aftermarket.  Look at the difference in the CPC!

There it is.  The world is your oyster.  If you decided to register any of the above names, leave a comment to let us know.  I’d be interested in following up with you to see how you do with these and share the story with everyone if you’re up for it.  Good luck.

With 3 Million Monthly Page Views, Finder is a Keeper

Fred Schebesta

As an author, blogger, award-winning digital marketer, media commentator, mentor and active member of the startup community, Fred Schebesta is a highly respected entrepreneur.

Fred is the Co-founder and Director of finder.com.au — one of Australia’s largest comparison websites. At just 26 years of age, Fred entered the comparison market – which is one of the most highly competitive online categories in Australia.

Fred’s entrepreneurial journey started well before finder.com.au. At just 22 years of age, while studying a Bachelor of Finance degree at Macquarie University in Sydney, he and Frank created Freestyle Media and grew the business into a successful digital agency that sold to a publicly-listed company in 2007.

Mike: Tell me about Finder.com and exactly what the site offers it’s visitors.

Fred:  finder.com is a personal comparison website that helps Americans make better decisions about their money. We believe that teaching people about finance will help them make better decisions and ultimately live a better life. Consumers can visit finder.com to compare and learn about credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, life and travel insurance, shopping deals, international money transfers and much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs. Our vision is to “compare everything”, we know that is going to take a long time, but that is ok, we are strapped into this rocketship!

My business partner and I started finder in our native Australia over a decade ago, and are now operating in 10 different countries around the world.

We’re not owned by an insurance or travel company (like some other comparison sites) and we aren’t affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so we are an independant team of genuine experts. Beyond comparing products, this team of experts produce thousands of guides, videos and research to help people better understand money and make informed decisions.

Finder.com

Mike: I have read in your bio that you founded Finder.com.au. Was this prior to Finder.com as mentioned above? Are there any differences in the sites other than geography?

Fred:  Finder.com.au was where the magic started. This is our domain name for the Australian site, which is the most visited personal finance website in the country. We then set our sights on global expansion, launching in the US with finder.com in 2015. Both domains have the same aim – of helping people understand their money decisions and providing local choices and empowering them to make “Great decisions”!

 

Mike: In your experience as a successful online entrepreneur, has it proven to be beneficial to use country specific TLDs such as .com.au to target your audience?

Fred:  In short, yes. Although there have been a lot of instances where we have found that being a .com has helped us target more global verticals. So it really does depend. I think there is still lots of value in country specific TLDs but I think the jury is out as to what is the best strategy globally.

 

Mike: I’ve read through some great articles on the site, including “The Financial Case for Sobriety, Calculate Your Savings” which was an eye opener. Do you have a staff of writers or do the articles come from outside contributors? How is this funded?

Fred: We have a team of writers based all over the US who are experts in various elements of personal finance including credit cards, personal loans and international money transfers. We also regularly engage with industry experts for insights and predictions such as this piece on how AI, blockchain and social media will impact cross-border payments.

 

Mike: Both Finder.com and Finder.com.au are killer names. Are you willing to share traffic numbers with us?

Fred:  Globally, finder receives over 3 million monthly page views and 2.1 million monthly UA’s.

 

Mike: How about acquiring the names. Can you tell me how you went about getting the names? 

Fred:  First, we reached out to the original domain owners. It took quite a few attempts to get through to them; I think around a year. It then took quite a lot of negotiating to get to a realistic monetary figure. From there we used an escrow service and then after that we made the trade. The actual purchase was relatively straight forward although the process to to get there took a very long time.

 

Mike: What is the business model here. How does Finder make a profit. Is it affiliate based depending on which deals people sign up for?

Fred: Finder is independently-owned and totally free to use. We make our money through the providers, rather than our users. When you click through to, or apply with, a financial institution or retailer on our site, they pay us a small referral fee for sending you their way. This means we don’t mark up any of the products on our site, yet can still provide a quality service. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or provider, so only serve the best options for our consumers’ needs.

 

Mike: This is not your first rodeo. You founded, grew, and sold Freestyle Media a decade ago. What advice do you have for average people looking to quit the daily grind and make a living online? What are some important considerations.

Fred:  Success will take a lot longer than you realize: many would-be entrepreneurs lack the patience to see a business grow. Even the best idea takes time to build. My business partner and I wanted to remain independently funded, and so that meant turning down other opportunities to focus on slow and steady growth.

Focus on achieving one thing well, before you move on to the next: natural-born entrepreneurs typically have many great ideas yet it’s impossible to do everything well at the one time. Taking a more focused approach is a much faster track to success.

Build resilience: even the most successful of entrepreneurs has had their fair of knock backs and downright failures. You can’t let these get you down. Take each mistake or slip up as a learning opportunity. It’s not meant to be easy.

Set and regularly redefine goals: there are many steps in between working for a salary to running your own business. Use goal setting to stay on track, focused and motivated. Sometimes the road will seem impossibly long, but chunking it down into smaller, short term goals en route to the big dream will make it feel more achievable. Remember to constantly go back and check on those goals, ensure they are still in line with your vision and celebrate the wins you’ve had along the way.

 

Mike: How beneficial do you think it is to have your business on a keyword domain name like Finder.com?

Fred:  I think it’s absolutely awesome and has been a crucial part of our success. We wanted to have a short name that was recognizable and easy to communicate and remember. I think domain names are amazingly important. A great domain becomes your brand.

 

 

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Is this the future of domain names?

names of london

James Stevens was born in Singapore, the son of a military chaplain. Educated at boarding school in England, James (who had always excelled in Mathematics & Physics) fell in love with technology when, in the early 1980s, the school acquired some Apple ][ PCs. He later took a holiday job writing accounting systems, on the Apple ][, for small businesses at an Apple dealership in the Barbican. Although, technically, his first paid work in computers was aged 16, selling games for the 8-bit home computers that had become popular in the mid-1980s.

James went on to study computer science at university where he first came into contact with Unix system and immediately was taken by their openness and flexibility.

After working at a software house and a relational database vendor, James went into freelance contracting working in the City of London, specialising in high-speed database applications and front-office trading systems mostly using Sybase on Solaris.

While at Goldman Sachs in 1994 he worked on a project to provide server monitoring and management using a web interface and could immediately see the potential of this new technology.

Leaving Goldmans he started a Linux research company specialising in network appliances, embedded operating systems and remote web management. That was sold ten years later to his business partner when he was offered the role of CTO at the dot-IO domain name registry – which also managed dot-AC, dot-SH and (under contract) dot-TM.

While there he jointly founded CommunityDNS (www.cdns.net) to exploit the security advantages of the then emerging Anycast network technology. Using his experience in embedded operating systems to design and create the hardened & encrypted operating system for the CommuityDNS platform, as well as implement a full rewrite of the dot-IO domain name registry system.

With his heart still in entrepreneurship, he left the CTO role to found Names.of.London Ltd to exploit innovative and imaginative new techniques in human readable domain names, made possible by the release of the wave of new top level domains.

 

Mike: I like the idea of what you are doing with names.of.london.  Tell me how you came up with the concept.

James:  One morning, I heard a radio ad for dot-LONDON on a local station and immediately realised there was an opportunity to run a second-level registry using “of.london” – I also thought it would be cool to own “mayor.of.london”

I was originally going to launch with “of.london” & “in.london”, but I wasn’t allowed “in.london” as “in”, for all the new-GTLD, is currently blocked by India as they fear confusion with dot-IN.

So I designed an algorithm to look for other combinations that would work, for creating three word phrases, and the one that came out head-and-shoulder above all the others was “for.sale”.

It cost quite a bit to buy, but it needs no explanation.

 

Mike: It reminds me of co.com. Have you collaborated or learned from the people behind that effort? What similarities and differences do you see?

James:  Those domains were/are all run by CentralNIC – they were one of the customers of CommunityDNS (www.cdns.net) while I was CTO there, so I know Gavin Brown, the chief techie there, pretty well.

I always liked the idea, but felt it lacked a certain something. It seems to be pitching itself as a second-class choice – you’d only buy it if you can’t get the dot-COM.

Clearly from a purely technical perspective they are basically the same business model, but I feel the additional concept of turning domain names into human readable phrases gives mine an edge. I feel what I am doing offers something quite different from anything else on the market.

As far as I know, nobody else is offering a similar service to me.
I’ve not spoken to anybody there about this project, or collaborated in anyway, but I have learned a lesson from the problems they have had with “gb.com” in terms of ownership and control of the parent domain.

“gb.com” is (was?) rented from a third party and when there was a dispute the original owner would disable all the names – this kills the reputation of /all/ their other domains – for this reason I would only sell from parent names I own directly.

 

Mike: How does Google and the other search engines treat the names? Are there any SEO benefits or penalties for this type of URL?

James:  They seem to be treated very favourably.  We get top-5 ranking on many terms where we clearly have absolutely no relevant content. I think this is due to the high levels of type-in traffic we get.

Most (55%) of the people using our phrases are under 35. They don’t remember the original dot-COM boom, so domain names mean something different to them.

This can make buying one of our names one of the cheapest ways to draw targetted visitors to your site – “pugs.for.sale” is $25/yr and will get you about 650 targetted visitors per year for your $25.

Although Facebook’s ad rates are pretty low, it would cost you quite a lot more to get that number of /targetted/ click-throughs.

 

Mike: Again, similar to co.com, are these second level domains in which registrations are at the third level?

James:  Right – but, as with “co.com”, my domain names can work exactly the same as any domain at the second level, if you want to use them that way – just like “co.uk”, which used to be the de-facto standard for UK businesses.

Where one of the names coincides with an existing brand – e.g. “links.of.london” or “just.for.men” – I see that as the most obvious use. I like the way the domain name is just the brand and nothing else, really makes it stand out.

However, with “phrases.for.sale” we’re offering a service more like bit.ly where you use the phrase to re-direct people to existing content – but unlike bit.ly our phrases are easy to read & easy to remember.

For example, if you have a Nike store on ebay you an use “nikes.for.sale” to redirect to your store – its much shorter & memorable than the full URL – but still clickable in Twitter and attractive URLs get 34% more click-through (according to bit.ly).

Or you could use a phrase like “break.from.work” to (say) promote a snack bar – linking users to online content offering a competition or coupon etc.

 

Mike: What does it cost to register a name with you?

James:  Like most new-GTLDs, it depends on the name. But all prices are capped at $300 new ($250 renew) and we don’t have a massive number at that level.

However, “.for.sale” has flat pricing, every name is $25 – about 10 are reserved – otherwise, if its not sold its available & $25.

If I thought it would boost sales, I would be happy to drop prices to any sustainable level, but I don’t think pricing is currently the barrier to adoption as we also have a 30-day free trial.

 

Mike: How many registrations have you received to date?

James:  Although I started the business about 18 months ago, it was only at the end of Jan-2017 that I left my “day job” to work on this full time.

So right now sales are slowly picking up.

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and I think I’ve been able to provide solid responses to legitimating concerns.

 

Mike: What are some examples of names that are in use?

James:  We have a Chinese buyer who has bought a few clothing related names, and some domainers who have bought some property and domaining related names.

One buyer has signed up for an affiliate program and has bought names to redirected to that, which seems quite an interesting business model.

e.g. domain.for.sale redirects to a Uniregister affiliate.

We’re getting over 600,000 visitors a year to our domains, which are often really targetted (like pugs.for.sale), so the lack of sales can be really frustrating!
Mike: Do you think this is the future? Are you acquiring other names to use in a similar manner and grow the business?

James:

Yes – I’m convinced human-readable domain names will be a big part of the future direction of the domain industry.

It feels like the time when we switched from the geeky old MS-DOS 8.3 files names to the freedom of full Windows file names – no longer were we tied to the computer code file names of the 1980s.

You can already see the human-readable combinations like “golf.club”, “coffee.club”, “diet.expert” fetching some of the highest prices.

The new-GTLD registries need to find new markets for domain names if they are going to sell in anything like the numbers they want/need. Naming websites is a limited market – they need to get a lot more creative and innovative.

I think that’s where names.of.london can come in – domain names can become like promo-codes that you can enter into any phone or browser to be taken directly to the content that relates to the promotion you saw.

We are also already seeing businesses rebranding to include the dot as part of the company brand. This started with some dot-COM, but is more common with the new-GTLDs.

I have a list of existing names I want to buy and, if the concept becomes universally accepted, registering my own new-GTLDs would be the eventual aim of the business.

I am aware its a problem, only being able to offer a specific range of endings. If a TLD was registered for the purpose of turning into phrases you could guarantee that any phrase ending in that word could be available to buy. Whether ICANN would agree to that is a different matter, but I don’t give up easily.

Right now I would buy a premium name that has good potential (I am currently negotiating on one), and I sometimes buy ones that are dirt cheap even where they have limited potential, but mostly my priority now is getting my sales up.

Its a myth that a good product sells itself – if nobody’s heard of it, no matter how good its is, nobody’s going to buy it.

 

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Passion and Grit over Profit

domain name investing

Ethan Schmidt is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of GymBull.com, a new online community dedicated to fitness. On GymBull, gyms, personal trainers, and athletes can easily search, share, and save workout and nutrition information. It is a great way for those in the fitness industry to boost their online presence and showcase their talents, and it is an extrememly usefull resource for anyone looking for a collection of varied and specific workouts and meal to improve their personal performance.

 

Mike: Ethan, tell me about GymBull.com. What makes your site unique from other fitness sites or social media platforms?

Ethan:  Mike, the short answer is that unlike other social media platforms, GymBull is specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts; unlike other fitness-related sites, GymBull is fully-fledged, even-level community. Whereas on Facebook of Twitter or Instagram, where many people still find fitness content, users must sift through millions of cat pictures and political screeds to find workouts and meal recipes and he content creators must fight through these same distractions to reach their audience, on GymBull there is no such noise; everything is exactly what you’re looking for from a fitness perspective. In that same vein, GymBull is a real community that crowd-sources all of its information. Other fitness sites are carefully controlled and curated content from only a few select contributors, and this severely restricts the themes of the content; users have to go to one site for good meal recipes, another for bodybuilding routines, another for interval training, and so on. However, on GymBull all these stream from various trainers and diverse gyms are in one place. On GymBull, anyone can be a leading fitness influencer by the nature and quality of their content alone.

 

Mike: Who is the end user of the site?

Ethan: As I mentioned above, GymBull.com is designed to connect two groups of end-users: the content creators and the content consumers. It gives gyms and personal trainers around the world a platform to connect with both existing clients as well as a wider audience. These trainers don’t have to hassle with setting up their own corner of the internet and fighting for views; it’s all here from them on GymBull in front of a user base eager for what they have to publish. As for the other half of the users, GymBull is designed to search, save, and share workouts and meals easily and efficiently on a mobile web application that you can take to the gym and beyond. Looking for a 12-week routine that gets you beach-body ready for summer? Follow one on GymBull; How about a single 90-minute routine that will focus on clean & jerk form? It’s here, too; Don’t know exactly what you’re looking for? Hit the “random” button as much as you like until something suits your fancy.

 

Mike: You mentioned that you coded the site yourself. What are the pros and cons of doing this? Were you a coder before you designed the site?

Ethan: I was not a programmer or developer before GymBull.com; I had spent six years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy. However, I have always been an avid gym-goer and was increasingly frustrated with how fitness information was being produced on the web. By building this application myself, I retained as much creative control as I needed to get it off the ground, but now I’ve opened up the source code on GitHub an consider all open-sourced contributions. In this way the community that uses the platform can build the platform itself , strengthening the engagement needed to make GymBull a lasting project. I do not think I could have achieved what I wanted by hiring an third-party development agency; certainly not for the price that I built it myself, which was absolutely free.

 

Mike: What went into choosing the name GymBull.com? What does it represent to you and to your users?

Ethan: I wanted a name that was unique, concise, and informative. I spent a lot of time thinking of one that also had a relevant, open domain-name and a relatively clear search results. GymBull relates a perfect notion of strength that inspires our users. It’s memorable, pronounceable, and easy to brand with our logo, a bull.

 

Mike: How do you make money on the site? I don’t see any paid subscriptions or advertisements?

Ethan: I don’t make money on GymBull.com; in fact, I’m out a few bucks a month in server hosting fees. Profitability is not something I have seriously considered yet; the first and foremost goal is to create a great place on the web to share fitness information. GymBull will always be centered around that focus, however, the fitness industry generates 80 billion dollars a year in the U.S. and carries a dedicated buy base. If in the future GymBull is stable enough to support sponsored and targeted content, that can be an avenue to consider.

 

Mike: Everyone wants to be fit, yet few of us want to put in the effort. What’s the best piece of advice you have for the general population?

Ethan: My best advise to the general public would be to have realistic goals and then just show up. Few people will ever go from a couch potato to an Olympic athlete, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t lose five to ten pounds. Maybe going from the typical American diet to full paleo-caveman is too daunting, but it’s still beneficial to cut out one thing, like soda, and that’s certainly more doable. The same little steps go for working out, as well; Don’t expect to run a marathon right away, but just putting on gym shorts and walking around the block a few times is a great start and may progress into something more formidable down the line. But you won’t ever get there if you don’t start now.

 

Mike: How have you been promoting the site and building a user base? Has this been a challenge?

Ethan: I would say that this has been the most challenging aspect of this project for me. Much of the modern web follows the 10% rule of content-creation; i.e. out of everyone who visits a site, only 10% will sign up for a dedicated profile, and out of those users, only 10% will publish their own content for others. Those are razor-thin returns on the demographics we need to generate enough content for entice others to join. However, we’ve fought tooth-and-nail for the users that we do have through online and print media, as well as more organic efforts like contributing to fitness publications and any other medium that potential users already consume. It’s a slow process, for sure.

 

Mike: Were you the first to register the domain name? If not, what was the process you went through to purchase it?

Ethan: I was the first to own GymBull.com; this was one of the primary concerns in deciding on a name in the first place. Domain registry, server hosting, and other aspects of of development operations can be a complicated journey, sometimes even more so than developing the source code itself. It’s another aspect that I have not ceded to an outside entity as of yet, because this ownership and control is paramount to me at this stage. Eventually, however, I would like to take a set back from the electron logistics and completely focus on the site itself, But I don’t see that happening for a while.

 

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Domain Emails – Getting Past the Gatekeeper

domaingatekeeper

Last week, I talked a bit about domain sales emails and I promised to tell you two ways to get past the gatekeeper when sending to end users.  That is, how to improve your chances of getting someone to look at your email, listen to you or otherwise improve the chances of getting a little bit further with your unsolicited sales pitch.  What I’m about to tell you is nothing new.  In fact, you already know this stuff, I’m sure of it.  You just need to keep them in mind when you’re looking to make a sale.

Method #1 – Spend more time on the subject line of your email than on the email itself.

It’s no surprise that the subject of your email can make or break the chances of getting the email opened.  I delete the majority of emails based on subject alone.  If your subject comes across as a pitch, has poor grammar, is irrelevant to the reader or is just plain boring, then it’s going to the trash folder.

“Use a subject line that would make YOU want to open it,” is the advice Mike Evans of Relevant9.com.  Mike provided me with the following example.

Which one of these would you open: “Get a FREE Website Audit!” or “Found a broken link”?

“If you were a regular person on their site and found a broken link, the last one is a subject line you might actually use. So when I write subjects, I try to think like the type of person that they would be interested to receive an email from.”

Apply that rule to your domain emails.  How you craft that subject is up to you and will vary from end user to end user and their particular needs.  I can’t write the magic words for you that will work in every situation.  It’s going to take some thought on your part based on the domain name and the research you have done on those you are targeting.

 

Method #2 – Don’t send the email.

That’s a strange one, right?  How are you going to make the sale if you don’t send out the email to begin with.  Try taking an old fashioned approach.  Pick up the phone.  This gives you immediate connection with no chance of being deleted.  Sure, you could get hung up on, but you have more opportunity to build some immediate rapport.

You wouldn’t open this conversation with the same words you would use in an email.  This is a more personal, relationship building approach.  Open with something they can relate to.  “I was in your club last weekend with some friends and we had a great time.”  Maybe complement the waitstaff.  Then mention how you could possibly help the club out because you own this great domain name.  You are more likely to be listened to.

Don’t follow my script.  Be yourself.  Say what you are comfortable saying but don’t make it all about you.

 

Good luck with your sales and let me know what works well for you!

 

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