A few days ago, I wrote about 3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Domaining. One of those things was to forget the hand registrations and save your money for a premium domain. I mentioned that there was one exception to that rule, and that’s what I want to talk about today.
The exception to not hand registering domain names
The one exception, in my experience, has been geo-business names. While you may not find many keyword, generic domain names still available for hand reg, you can certainly find some geo-business names with dot coms. Let me first define what I mean by geo-business names. A geo-business name is a name that uses a geographic area, like a city or town, in conjunction with an industry or trade name. ChicagoAccountant.com is an example of the type of name I am referring to.
Now, using big city names like Chicago, New York, or Boston will make it difficult to find any names worth your time. But if you look to surrounding cities or less populated areas, you’ll likely find some great names. That’s exactly what I did.
What should I charge?
Before I go any further, I’d like to mention that a couple years back, I made a loose agreement with myself that I would never ask more than $200 – $300 for a hand reg. I felt that was a reasonable number that I could live with without feeling too weird about charging someone for something that I paid $10 for (granted you’ll also have some names that never sell). As it turns out, I have found that as a fairly easy number for end users to swallow when they are presented with an unsolicited offer for this type of name.
What types of businesses should I target?
My first attempt at this was a using the name of the town I live in along with “Plumber.” I sent out about 10 emails to local plumbers and hoped for the best. A day or two later, I had my first bite. A local plumber was ecstatic to see this name available. He had been paying for the keywords on AdWords for months with little to show. I tried to repeat the strategy with other local plumbers but had no additional luck. I thought it was a fluke. Then I tried a different industry… Chiropractors.
Again, I started with the town I live in and registered “AlgonquinChiropractor.com.” That one was snapped up after just a few emails went out. A couple of days later, after I had already sold it, I got another offer to buy it. I happened to own the plural and ended up selling that one to the person that made the second offer. I tried another nearby town with “chiropractor.com” and again, it sold within 10 emails. Many of these sales have resulted in repeat buyers, scooping up names of neighboring towns to corner the market on their business.
It’s not fool proof and there have been a few that I haven’t been able to sell even though there are high number of chiropractors in those towns and/or their competitor has the plural. Surprises me, but you just never know.
“Chiropractor” has worked well for me while “plumber” has not. I suggest you experiment and find out what works best for you. There may be some names that are hot and others that are not. “Tanning” names worked well for me for a while but then went cold.
What do you think?
I want to hear how this works for you or if you’ve applied this same strategy in the past. What are some of the industry names that have yielded results and which ones have not?