SnapNames, the leading domain auction, was bought today by Oversee.net. Fabulous is using registrars as a sales channel. Not that .info is one of the better extensions, but good ones no longer drop.
But I'm left wondering what the heck value is in a domain portfolio that gets WHOIS searches but no traffic or clicks. Long tails don't work that good in domains because of the reg fee. Or am I being stupid?
The value is in the ability to market the domain to those who are doing the WHOIS searches. Fabulous is launching a new program that will allow a central sales platform for all WHOIS lookups. For example, ChicagoHR.com may not have much in the way of type in traffic, but it is a natural domain for anyone in the Human Resources industry in the Chicago area. Godaddy provides a WHOIS lookup when the domain you are interested in has been taken. By adding a sales offer on the WHOIS page you could see a large boost in domain sales. As a domain seller you wouldn't have to make arrangements with all the registrars - just sign up with Fabulous and they will push your sales offer across all participating registrars. This could turn a mediocre domain portfolio into a small pile of gold.
The bad news is you may never see another decent name drop to auction. The registrars will likely keep all promising names and plug them into the Fabulous system.
Thanks for that lucid explanation, Nebraska. I agree there will be the odd ChicagoHR.com domain that someone is willing to pay a bit for. But for every one of those there's reg fee to pay on several thousand others. Maybe there's a net positive.
I accept I don't know this market very well but does the fact that someone did a WHOIS search mean a lot? What happens when someone does automated WHOIS seaches for nonsense words - would the registrars absorb all those domains as potential goldmines? And is that an easy way to screw with registrars?
>>By adding a sales offer on the WHOIS page you could see a large boost in domain sales.
I can see the potential in that.
I think domainers playing this model just have to make smart purchases, but there are many domains still available for reg fees that could come into their own in the next year or so. For example, the following names are still available at the time of this post:
These are top shelf marketing domains if you live in the above locations and build custom bathrooms or sell bathroom accessories. A simple WHOIS sales pitch will open up the domain sales industry to those who may never knew it existed.
There are thousands of domains left that fit the WHOIS sales model. For all those people who have complained (not directed at Yes or anyone else) that they have been left out of the domain industry by the big players - this may be your opportunity. It does take a little risk, guts and foresight, but that is what has always separated those who perform from those who complain.
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