Many “domainers” believe that drop catching is dead and doesn’t work anymore. Many of them think that other expensive domain backordering services like NameJet are the only way to get a decent expired domain these days. Well, what they believe is true to an extent, but things have really been that way as far back as I can remember. The idea of using third party API services (such as DynaDot or NameSilo) to drop catch premium domain names such as a “one-word dot com” is ludicrous. It will most likely never happen because the big dogs specifically target these premium domains and they always have. Most successful drop catchers today make their bread and butter off smaller end-user domain sales. What are end-user domains? For example, a domain like AustinLaw.com or NapervillePlumber.com would be considered an “end-user” domain. Why? The reason behind this is simple. If you were to take one of these names and plug it into a search engine you would come up with dozens of companies in the area who either A) Use that name in their title, or B) Use it in their actual domain name itself. Whichever the reason may be, this makes them a prime target to send your sales pitch email to once you’ve successfully caught the domain. What makes this method even better is that your end-user domain may have dozens of potential buyers out there – Giving you more people to contact and a better shot of making the sale.
The big dogs like Namejet and Snapnames will usually get the best of the best out of each days’ domain drops. To be a successful drop catcher nowadays you need to look for the domain names that won’t be targeted by the big dogs. The best way to increase your odds of successfully catching a decent domain is to follow the tips below and only go for good domains that big companies like SnapNames and NameJet won’t be trying to register. Trust me, with an average of 90K domains or so dropping every day – the big companies won’t be able to catch them all, and many good domains go without ever getting a bid at NameJet or SnapNames. The process takes time but can be rewarding once you start building a good portfolio of end-user domains. Check out my simple guide below and put it to the test. You may find some really good deleting domains and have no problem beating the big companies to drop catching them!
Build Your List Each Day – The first thing I like to do is scan a list of domains set to delete on the following day. You can do this from inside DesktopCatcher by selecting Tools – Expired Domain Search or by using one of the many free websites online that offers free lists of deleting domains. I prefer to build a list of 10-15 good domains from the deleting domains list that are worth looking into.
Check for End-Users – Now that you have a small list of domains set to delete on a certain date you will want to research them a little and see which ones have a good amount of end users. If the domain is AustinLaw.com then I would take “Austin Law” and plug it into both Google and Yahoo. Have a look at the first two or three pages of results to get an idea of how many other companies out there might be interested in buying the domain. If you come up with a solid five or more companies then this would be a good sign. Obviously, the more potential buyers the better. If the domain has twenty or thirty potential end users out there then it will only increase your odds of successfully selling. Remember to look specifically for companies that have their main domain showing up in the search results. So, if we Google Austin Law and see AustinLawFirm.com as a result this would be a great potential end user. However, if we see Manta.com/Companies/Texas/Austin-Law this would not really qualify as a potential end user. Visit the potential end user websites and see if they look old and outdated – or new. If the website is old the business may not even be around anymore and the odds of that person buying your domain is not very likely. If you only see one or two potential end users out there then the domain may also be worth skipping.
Look on NameJet and SnapNames for Bids – This goes back to what I was saying a little earlier in this article. Simply visit both NameJet and SnapNames and input the full domain (domain.com) into the search box to do a quick search. If the name is listed and there is at least one bid on it then you should immediately pass on the name and remove it from your list. Since at least one other person out there has bid on the domain through one of these big companies they will be going after it, and will most likely beat you to it. You will want to do this for each domain you added into your list from the first tip in this article.
Check for Previous Development – Now that you have checked for end users and checked for bids your list should be dwindling some. Instead of the original 10-15 domains you may now have only 5-10. The next thing to look for is what was previously on the particular domains you are going after. You can find this out quickly by doing a search of the domain name at http://web.archive.org. Once you do a search click on some of the results that come back for it. See if it was previously parked or previously developed. Previously parked domains might mean that the previous owner already tried to sell it, but with no luck. At the same time – if the domain was previously developed – then there may already be end-users out there who have been wanting the domain. Unlike my previous tip, don’t let this be the only reason you remove a domain from your list. This is just another form of research you can use to help make a better decision on whether the domain is worth chasing or not.
Check other Extensions – Take a minute and visit your favorite domain registrar. Type each domain in and see if other extensions are already registered. If you’re chasing the .COM version and both the .NET and .ORG are already taken then this a good sign. If one or the other is currently developed into business websites then you already have one or two really solid end-user leads to contact.
Keep Your List Limited – Your original list of 10-15 domains should now be fairly short. Ideally, after you have performed all of these checks you may end up with 3-5 domains left in your list, all worth trying to drop catch and giving you a pretty fair shot at getting them. A list of 3-5 domains is the perfect size because chasing too many may not get you any at all (if that makes sense!)
This can be allot to take in but don’t hesitate to re-read the article two or three times. It may sound like allot of work but the process can be much quicker if you have good sources to search and find daily lists of deleting domains. You don’t have to perform every step listed above but checking for end-users in the search engines and checking for bids at NameJet/SnapNames should definitely be done before you try to catch domains. These two tips can save you time trying to catch domain names you will most likely never be successful at grabbing (because they have bids at the big companies). Remember, look for domains that multiple businesses can use and look for domains that the big companies don’t already have bids on. These are the domains you will have the best shot at successful drop catching!
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