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Domain Names

Scott Carde's guide to achieving financial freedom by harnessing the power of domain names

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Posts Tagged ‘snapnames’

Drop Catching Domain Names

Drop Catching

Drop catching is my favorite way to acquire domain names. You will generally pay more for names through drop catchers than if you spent time scouting the forums or emailing owners directly, but the drop catchers are more time efficient, which matters to me. I don’t like to waste time going back and forth with clueless sellers or hand holding Escrow.com transactions, so I prefer the drop catchers. If you have more time on your hands than money, then scouting forums and emailing domain owners directly is going to yield better bargains for you.

First, set up accounts at the top drop catchers which include NameJet, SnapNames, Pool, and GoDaddy’s Domain Alert Backordering* (GoDaddy’s drop catcher is terrible – and only useful in rare situations – see full description below before using their service). If you invest in U.K. domain names, then you should also register for an account at DropSystem.co.uk. I don’t own any .co.uk names, and I’ve never used their service, but I’ve heard they are reputable if U.K. names are your thing.

NameJet

NameJet.com is a drop catcher that picks up Enom and Network Solutions dropped names. Enom’s ClubDrop.com merged into NameJet, so sometimes you’ll see mention of ClubDrop, but this is now NameJet.

Because it picks up Network Solutions’s drops, NameJet has some of the best names. But their auctions are very competitive. Domain professionals watch NameJet drops carefully, so good names can attract 50 – 150 bidders, and you’ll generally have to pay top dollar for a good name at NameJet.

My favorite thing about NameJet is that if I’m in a hurry and I don’t want to wade through drop lists and list filtering software, NameJet provides a great ‘shortcut’ for me.

Just go to their Pre-Release list and scroll through the names that have bids. If the name has a bid, it means it has been ‘pre-vetted’ as valuable by someone in the domain industry. It’s highly unlikely that domain professionals will miss a good name, so, if you’re looking for a short-cut, just work through the pre-release list that has bids on it and you shouldn’t miss anything.

Most of the names will look like crap. And most of them, indeed, are crap. But some of them have lots of value. When you reach the Valuation Techniques section below, I’ll explain what constitutes value, and what to look for when deciding to bid on these names.

Here is the link to the NameJet Pre-Release list:

http://www.namejet.com/Pages/Auctions/PreRelease.aspx

The Pre-Release list above is ‘exclusive’ to NameJet. This means no other drop catchers have access to these names. If you want these names, you have to bid at NameJet.

However, NameJet provides the same ‘cheat sheet’ for Pending Delete names. Pending Delete names will drop elsewhere and should be backordered at as many drop catchers as possible. This means that if you find a good name in the NameJet Pending Delete list, you should bid on that name at NameJet, SnapNames, Pool, and, in rare situations, GoDaddy Domain Alert Backordering (remember, GoDaddy’s Domain Alert Backordering service is terrible and should be approached with caution).

Here is the link to the NameJet Pending Delete list:

http://www.namejet.com/Pages/Auctions/PendingDeletions.aspx

SnapNames

SnapNames manages the drops for Dotster, directNIC, MelbourneIT, Moniker, Register.com, and a large number of smaller registrars. Like NameJet, they have domains that are exclusive to SnapNames. You can also backorder Pending Deletes.

You can find the SnapNames lists here:

https://www.snapnames.com/download.jsp

While SnapNames does not have the two easy ‘cheat sheets’ that NameJet has, they have something very close. Just go to their search engine and do a search with the search box empty, then sort the list by number of Bidders. This should give you a good sense of the most popular names that have been ‘pre-vetted’ by professional domainers with bids. My experience has been that you can get better deals on SnapNames than on NameJet. My experience has also been that SnapNames is the best at picking up Pending Deletes.

You will find the SnapNames Search Engine here:

https://www.snapnames.com/apps/search.jsp

Pool

Pool is my favorite drop catcher. They are not as well known as SnapNames or NameJet and they do not have access to and/or are not quick enough to catch the best names, but once a domain is picked up at Pool there is a good chance you’ll be able to win it at auction cheaply. Pool is used by fewer professional domainers so the competition for each domain that is ‘caught’ is much thinner. Domains often auction off at Pool at half the price you’d see at SnapNames or NameJet. Lots of times, if they can pick up the name, you’ll be able to get it without even having it go to auction. I do all my searching and sorting elsewhere, but always backorder Pending Deletes at Pool.

GoDaddy’s Domain Alert Backordering

GoDaddy is a horrible drop catcher and I caution against using them. They are just one step above trying to hand register drops during the drop window. The only good thing about GoDaddy’s drop catching service is that it only costs $18.99 to catch a drop. This compares to approximately $60+ at NameJet, SnapNames, and Pool. You have little hope of catching a good name at GoDaddy, but for more obscure names that will likely get passed over by the professionals, but that you don’t want to waste time trying to hand register, this is a good solution.

The worst thing about GoDaddy’s Domain Alert Backordering is that they make you pre-pay for your backorders. At the other drop catchers you can backorder hundreds of names, but you’ll never be charged a cent unless you actually ‘win’ a name. However with GoDaddy for every name you backorder, you have to pay the $18.99 up front. If you don’t catch the name, the money is refunded to you, but this is still a horrible service because it ties up so much cash. Backordering just 10 names will cost you nearly $200. That’s free at the other drop catchers, unless you win the name.

Feel free to neglect GoDaddy’s Backordering product, or at the very least, approach with caution.

Other Recommendations

One final piece of advice when purchasing domain names at drop catchers. Once you win a name, I recommend you transfer that name out of the new registrar over to wherever you consolidate all your registrations as soon as possible. If you don’t have your own registrar, I recommend GoDaddy, Moniker, and/or Fabulous as good registrars for consolidating names. Sometimes it can take months or weeks to get a name out of the smaller unknown registrars or it becomes easy to forget about the renewal altogether because your name is located at some random out of the ordinary registrar.