- Lean Domain Search
Caroline: 00:01 Welcome to the winning was Shopify podcast with your host, me, Caroline ambulance for the podcast that everyday people who want to fast track their way to more sales, more profit, and less work using automation and the latest strategies without needing to be tech savvy. I’ll be interviewing experts in online marketing business specialists, Shopify APP developers, and also we’ll be providing you with case studies and marketing methods that will have you winning with Shopify. Don’t forget to check out ECOMMERCE marketing lab.com/podcast for show notes with information about each episode. So let’s get straight into today’s episode. Hi. Well thank you for being here. Every one. I’ve actually got Andrew on the line today. So Andrew, my pronouncing your last name correctly. I,
Andrew: 00:54 I think I’m pretty darn good. You know it gets pronounced differently in different parts of the world, but that’s right.
Caroline: 00:59 It’s a bit like mine. No one knows how to pronounce it but I don’t care. Just use my first name and that’s fine with me. So I’m really glad to have you here. So Andrew is from domain name wire and Andrew, let’s just say you’ve, he doesn’t know something about domain names, I don’t think it needs to be known. Andrew has had Domain Name Wire since 2005. He has been cited in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Bloomberg, every major media place that you could imagine. And we’re going to speak to Andrew today because I have a lot of burning questions about domain names and I know that a lot of people out there do want to know a little bit of information about this. So Andrew, do you want to just introduce yourself and let it run a little bit about you?
Andrew: 01:45 Sure, absolutely. So I have been a, what we’ll call it, domain investor or a domainer for gosh, almost a couple decades now. So I buy and sell domain names, but one of the big things I do is I run a email@example.com or dnw.com for short. That is all about what’s going on in the debate name business. So people that buy and sell domain names will read my publication to learn about the latest sales things. They need to think about it from a legal perspective, um, ways to make more money from their domain names, ways, ways to sell more that, that sort of thing.
Caroline: 02:20 Wonderful. And look, I have a little stash of domain names myself and I’m just hoping that you weren’t one of those people have bought one of those domains one day that I always wanted a ignore sitting on it yourself.
Andrew: 02:31 I’m sure that everybody had to sell it.
Caroline: 02:34 Wonderful. Well let’s get into a few questions. I do get asked quite a few questions from my clients and people in my facebook group. So let’s go through a couple of other things that are sort of burning questions for people that with ecommerce stores. And the first thing that a lot of people want to know when they’re starting up or even if they’re already in business is do domain names still matter? Because a lot of people are out there saying, well I’m, you know, found on Google search and found on facebook. So does the actual name really matter?
Andrew: 03:03 This is a very common question and the answer is a definitive yes, your domain names still matters and it matters for a number of reasons. One of which is word of mouth is still a very common way that people will find your website, yes, are going to find you through Google and it might’ve been searched for your company name on Google, but you don’t want to count on being that top search result in Google. Even when someone searches on your domain name, you definitely want people to have an easy way to get directly to your site. And so having a good domain name matters there. And especially when it comes to ecommerce, credibility is really important and a good domain name will give you kind of instinct credibility, right? If you own a plumbing.com, people are going to trust you more than if it’s Jack’s plumbing in Austin online.com, right?
Andrew: 03:52 There’s just a credibility factor there. And yes, you might not need to own a very valuable, uh, expensive name, but having a one to two word domain name that establishes that credibility is very important. And another thing I think about is no matter what your business is, if you have an online store, you’re certainly still sending email and that domain name is going to be in your email address every time you send or receive a domain name. And I’ve talked to people that have a, a bad domain name or a long one. And every time they give their email address to someone, it’s complicated and a lot of times people will send them an email meant for them and it ends up in someone else’s inbox because they, they misspelled it or they didn’t remember the domain name correctly. So domain name is definitely still matter. And it’s the only direct way people can get to your website as opposed to going through an intermediary like facebook or Google that can change their rules and their algorithms at anytime.
Caroline: 04:51 So let me just ask you, I want you to let us know what is a good domain name. But I just want to give you a scenario which I have from a few people. People come to me and they say, I want help, I don’t know why I look at any sales, and then I look at their business name and I’m like, ah, you know, business, they really does not match what you’re selling. Now let’s say that they needed to change that domain name. So some people probably listening going, none of this is relevant to me because I’ve got my domain name and I don’t need to change it, or I’m not buying a new one. But is it worth people thinking about changing it? Let’s say they’ve been in business three or four months and their domain name just doesn’t suit their business. Is it still possible to change it?
Andrew: 05:30 It is. And I’ve talked to lots of companies that have changed domain names. It’s getting easier to do that as well. Uh, you know, I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it’s not as hard. It’s easier. And so there’s some examples of very large companies that have done this. There’s a company in us that is now called home advisor that was called service magic and they, they really needed to change their domain name and there are public companies, so you were actually able to see results and there was a downturn in traffic for awhile, but they recovered and they’re better off for it and I mean that. That was a page website that might’ve had tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of pages. So I would say the sooner you rip that bandaid off and make that change the better. And if you’re just three, four months in, that’s a perfect time to do it.
Andrew: 06:18 And I think it’s gotten a lot easier for a number of reasons. You know, a lot of people have changed. They’ve added SSL certificates, which obviously every ecommerce stores had, but they’ve added that to their site and Google’s may kind of the process of signaling to it that, hey, I’ve changed from http to https easier and they’ve done the same thing for, for date domain names as well. And I’ll be sure to talk about today. Well, what makes a good domain name and while you’re listening to that, think about your domain and if it has those characteristics, because if it doesn’t, then I would certainly consider switching your domain name. So let’s just talk about what does make a good domain name. So one of the first things I ask people is, does your domain name past the radio test? And well, people, I guess listening to this don’t believe in, in spoken voice, right?
Andrew: 07:07 Radio and podcasts. But a lot of people again get back to that, oh well people are going to find me online. It doesn’t matter if, you know, if I tell them what my domain name is, if they can understand it, listen to it and then type it in. But it’s extremely important. I mean, there are lots of cases where, uh, such as on a podcast where you might tell me your domain name or I tell you a mind domainnamewire.com. And if people can’t spell that, it’s gonna be very difficult for them to find a website. And I see a lot of people dropping vowels from their domain. Names are dropping letters and getting cute like that. That is what we call it, the painting that will fail the radio test. If you’re at a restaurant and you say, go check out my site, it’s a, it’s um, walls.com and it’s not spelled like walls.
Andrew: 07:53 DOTCOM is w I l s.com. Something like that. That’s going to be a problem. They’re going to have difficulty finding it. So what I tell people to do here is ask five people, call them up on the phone and talk to them in person and say, Hey, I’ve got this new website. Um, this is the name of it. Spell that out for me and see if they can spell it out. You might be surprised. Sometimes even regular words pushed together. It can be confusing to people. So that’s one of the first things I consider. Does it pass the radio test? Uh, easy to remember is important. You know, Amazon Dot Com. A lot of people, yes, they find it through search, but they remember to go back to it and it’s easy for them to type in Amazon.com. So shorter matters when it comes to also being easy to remember.
Andrew: 08:40 I think one to two words is great. Maybe adding a prefix or suffix onto that. Once you get beyond that, it can be kind of difficult. People can sometimes forget the word order of the words in that domain name. So shorter definitely matters. Uh, and then there’s the question of descriptive versus generic and this is where you get in. And actually one of those topics is, should I change my domain name? Sometimes people start a store or a website that’s very specific in nature and the domain name describes what the site has and then they morph, right? So let’s say you sell t shirts and u of t shirts and your name, but then you go on also shall sell pants. Well now if people are looking for pants, your domain name, if it’s just t shirts online.com or something like that might not make sense.
Andrew: 09:27 So think about that. When you come up with a domain name and you want it to be somewhat broad, unless you’re absolutely sure all you’re going to do is focus on one thing. You don’t want your domain name to restrict you there. Uh, and then another common thing that people talk about is what we call the top level domain names. So in a domain name, there’s the part to the left of the dot. So ecommerce lab.com, that’s technically your second level domain name. The top level domain name is the parts of the right of the dot. So most people are familiar with.com and there’s a question out there. Should I go with.com? There are lots of options out there right now. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of options, many of which might make sense for ecommerce like that shop in that store. There is though the question of does that create confusion amongst your customers? They already have to remember the second level domain. Do you want them to have to remember that top level domain as well? And that might depend a little bit on where you are in the world as well.
Caroline: 10:26 So I think something like that, if there’s a.com with the same name, like for example in commerce marketing lab, if there’s a.com and then there’s a shop, then people might just automatically assume it’s a.com and then go to your competitors. So that can also be a problem as well.
Andrew: 10:43 That’s absolutely right. In fact, I get a lot of people I own over a thousand domain names, most of them.com and I get a lot of confused people that are looking for the.org or something like that that ended up on the.com.
Caroline: 10:55 Yeah, that’s interesting. And how do people find domain names besides the thousand that you owed? How could they go about finding domain names?
Andrew: 11:04 So a lot of people get frustrated here and, and I understand especially if you’re focused on.com domain names that are are something like $130 million registered dotcom domain names out there. So it can be frustrating to find a domain name that works for you. One of my favorite sites to go brainstorm is called lean domain search.com. That’s Lena l e a n, and this is a site that actually the company that owns wordpress automatic bought a few years back and what it does is it takes a key word you period, and then it adds the most common prefixes and suffixes that people use in domain names, the most common words that people use, the domains and it creates all these. It spins it, right? It comes up with all these different combinations and you can see which ones are available. You can also see which ones are taken, so that’s one of my favorite sites are a bunch of other sites out there that will help suggest domain names and in fact a lot of the big domain name registrars, which are companies like Godaddy, where you go to buy a domain name if you plug in a domain name will give you some suggestions.
Andrew: 12:06 In our case, we’re going to show you some.com domains. It might show you.net and some of these new extensions as well as. Especially if they’re relevant. I mean there are extensions now, there are hundreds of these are things for for just about everything. There’s a bike extent been for example, so maybe if you are selling bikes or bike parts, that might be something to think about as you look at domain names, but lean domain search.com is one of my favorites and it’s also free to use
Caroline: 12:32 and the extensions like the dirt bike and the.sharp. Are All of those available on places like go daddy or do you have to go to specific places to find those ones?
Andrew: 12:43 For the most part, they’re all available on the popular registrars. There are some domain names that have strange rules or they’re extremely expensive and so not every register like go daddy will will handle the domain name and offer the domain name, but there are a lot of popular registrars out there that you might use name.com, name cheap. Even Google of course has it’s own domain name registrar now, so if you don’t find it one place you can usually find it in another.
Caroline: 13:09 That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. So can you explain that? So I use go daddy. So you’re saying that if it’s not ongoing daddy for $3 than it might be on the Google one for $3?
Andrew: 13:19 Yes, but, but let me clarify there. If it, if Godaddy shows that it’s taken, you know someone’s already registered at, you’re not going to go find it on at another registrar, but go daddy, there’s certain domain names that for one reason or another, it doesn’t carry in. This includes both these new top level domain names that they do carry.bike, but I don’t believe they carry a.tattoo for example, because of different company kind of creates those domain names. You also find this a lot on to let her top level domain name. So I know.io is really popular right now. M.co.ai. These are actually domain names that are controlled by particular countries that have been kind of remarketed to mean something else. And a lot of times one registrar will carry some of those but not all of them. So if you don’t find a domain extension or the top level domain you want at Godaddy or whomever your registrar is that you like to use, it might be worth going to check out a different registrar to check.
Caroline: 14:16 Wonderful. That’s really great to know. And what if the domain name that you want really badly is actually taken what is the best process?
Andrew: 14:25 That’s where I come into the picture. That’s where people like me. So like I mentioned to 130 million plus.com domain names are registered. So odds are if you type in something that’s one or two words or even up to three and four words, sometimes someone already owns it, but that’s not the time to stop your search for that domain name. If you have a domain name that you think is really interesting, then you want to go out and see if it’s available for sale. So there are tens of millions of domain names that people have registered and aren’t using that they want to sell and you can figure this out in a number of different places. One of my first stops that I recommend people to go is domain tools.com, and if you search for a domain name there, they look at all the different marketplaces where people list domain names and see if it’s listed for sale.
Andrew: 15:13 So a couple of the particular marketplaces that are very popular are called after nick and cdot. That’s a f, t, e R N I c Dot Com for after nick and cdot is s e d o Dot com, and so domain tools will tell you if it’s already listed on one of those marketplaces. Of course you can go search at the marketplaces individually, but that’s a good way to find out if it’s listed for sale. Sometimes people will have a sale price listed there. Other times they’ll say, hey, make me an offer. Another way to find out if one of these domain names is available for sale is to just go to a registrar and they will oftentimes syndicate these listings. Go Daddy, for example, if you type in a domain name that’s listed for sale on one of these marketplaces, they uh, well I should say they own after next.
Andrew: 15:58 So if it’s listed on after nick, they will tell you it’s for sale and you can actually sometimes by those domain names, just like registering a domain name like you normally would. So if it’s for sale for say $2,000, you can just go buy it with your credit card and instantly get it into your account. Um, so that’s another way to look for those domain names. Usually if a domains listed for sale as well, if you just type in a domain name, there will be a form on the page where you can inquire about buying the domain name. So the important thing to understand here is that a lot of times these domains aren’t very expensive. The median price for these already registered domain names, they sell for one to $5,000 typically. Now, obviously good ones and depending on who owns it, it could be a lot more money, but don’t give up just because the name is already registered.
Andrew: 16:47 And look into if you can buy it from the current owner, so don’t give up and think about, you know, if you could go buy a domain name for $3,000 and you’re starting an ecommerce site, this is a, you know, a site that you plan to own for a long period of time. Think about amortizing that cost across. I mean this is, this is your store front, right? This is the key. This is the name of your business and spending $3,000 on something that you plan to use for five or 10 years. When you think about that as a marketing expense, it’s, it’s really not a lot of money.
Caroline: 17:17 A good way that I like to describe something like that is I say to people, it’s like having a shop in a shopping center. You want to get the best shop at the front rather than in one of the little alleyways down the back near the rubbish bins where no one goes down there. And that’s the same as having a good domain. Yeah. If it’s a good domain, you’re front and center and really helps you. And if you’re not paying for a shop front and there’s a lot of money that you’re saving anyway. So having a good domain name can make a difference.
Andrew: 17:43 Yes. This is not an area that I’d scrimp on. I mean, I really think about it. Get the best domain that you can afford.
Speaker 3: 17:51 Yeah.
Caroline: 17:51 So what I always say, that’s why I tell some people change. That’s why that was one of the first question. Should people change if they, uh, don’t have a good domain name? Yeah, I definitely agree. Changing the domain name can make a big difference. And choosing the right one in the first place is even better. Yeah. So tell me if you have multiple domain names, some people are buying the, um, say the Dotcom and the doc shop and things like that, or they might have slightly different names or hyphenated and things like that. Can they send all of those domains to the one domain, other pros or cons? What do you recommend that?
Andrew: 18:27 Sure. So a lot of people do this if there are variations of their, of their name for it. For example, at domainnamewire.com. I also own dnw.com and I forward that to domain name wire so that makes it easier for people to type in the web address and get to the website. I also see companies do this if maybe their, maybe their name doesn’t quite pass the radio test, but they were able to get the variations that other people will use. For example, if you have a number in your domain name like the digit four, can you also go by f o u r and replace that in there and in forward that. So I highly recommend getting several domain names that people might use in several extensions and forwarding them. Now it’s easy. It’s easy to do that at registrars. It’s free to do that as well.
Andrew: 19:13 There’s also the question of do I want to buy some say descriptive domain names of the products and services I sell and for those, you know, I’m not an SEO expert. I know some people do some some search engine optimization around that, so I’m really not sure there, but I definitely think it’s a good idea to get variations of your domain names and and I do this on every business I started, I think about how people might misspell it and then I’ll buy that misspelling if it’s available and send it to my website and plurals and singular is. This can also be an issue as well, which is one thing to think about when you’re selecting a domain name, if there’s also a plural that someone might else might own and earn a competing business, that could be an issue for you. Right. So those are some of the things I think about when it comes to multiple domain names.
Caroline: 20:03 Okay. On your point about Seo, I do actually know the facts on that. So people listening, I will get an actual specialist onto talk about that because that is actually just a whole nother topic altogether.
Speaker 3: 20:14 But okay.
Caroline: 20:15 From what you were saying, I do remember quite a few years ago though, the last time I looked into this, that Google was actually against people having too many domains forwarding to the one domain. So do you know anything about that?
Andrew: 20:28 Yes. You know, it’s, it’s interesting because some of this, and this might be something to ask your, your seo person, but on the Seo side, you know, there’s once they started basically letting the search juice go through because of the https, the move to get everyone as an Ssl, I think they relaxed the rules a little bit. I don’t see any reason that Google will be to a lot of domains pointing to one place though because a lot of big companies out there, you know, Amazon has tens of thousands of domain names and most of these are for protective purposes and they will forward those to their products and services. So I think trying to capture traffic that way isn’t a problem if you’re trying to game it, think about why you’re doing it. If you’re trying to game the search engines then that’s an issue. But if you want to go out and buy, say descriptive domain name that people might be typing into their browsers and forwarding it to a product page on your website, I don’t see any reason that they’d have an issue with that. And I haven’t heard about any problems.
Caroline: 21:23 No, no that’s good. Because I do know that, you know, and I’m talking a five slash six years ago when I remember it, it was like if it was more than three then it was a problem and I didn’t know it was like these sort of gray area. It was when that whole black hat white hat started to become more,
Andrew: 21:37 well certainly, you know, blackout, like cloaking, you know, creating these little landing pages that didn’t forward to your site that that’s obviously an issue. And again, you’re doing that to trick the search engine. So I always think about what I do and is my goal to manipulate something like a search engine. And if it’s not, then I feel fairly comfortable doing it. But caveat there obviously to talk to an expert on any on any given topic, but I haven’t heard any issues there with people pointing a lot of domain names to any particular side
Caroline: 22:07 and I’m sure you know, people will let her in a lot of domain names. So I think that you’d be an expert in that area. Yes, yes. And so talking about different domain names, what about people who are just using the Shopify domain name? So they’ll have at the front dog collars, dot Shopify.com, for example, as their name, rather than buying the dog collars.com, they just use the Shopify domain instead of what is your view on that?
Andrew: 22:35 Well, that’s a problem for a couple reasons. First of all, is that credibility. Now, I know Shopify has lots of credibility, but if you go to a store, you want to think that, hey, this is a, this is a standalone business, this is a good business, and if I see that someone doesn’t even pay the minimum package to get a domain name connected to it, that’s a red flag to me. I was helping a company manage a store a couple of years back and this was when Shopify required that you could use your own domain name, but then when you went to actually check out and moved over to Shopify.com, and I mean that, that that was an issue, right? Because people were like, wait a minute, now I’m on a different website that did my browser get hijacked. You know what happened here? And thankfully they changed that, but I think that applies here.
Andrew: 23:20 I’m not going to trust someone who won’t even pay the $10 a year or the whatever packages required on Shopify to have their own domain name. So that’s a big part of it. The other thing about it is that if you’re using a subdomain of Shopify like that, you’re ultimately sending all your search traffic, all the links you have out there on the web to Shopify as domain name, not yours, and if at some point you decide that Shopify isn’t for you or Shopify changes its terms, maybe you can no longer sell your type of product on Shopify. You want to be able to easily put that somewhere else, and if you own your domain name and you’ve been sending all the traffic and all the links to that, then you won’t lose that by switching to a different platform. And this gets back to that issue of you don’t want anyone to be between you and your traffic.
Andrew: 24:08 The more you can get people to come to your domain name directly in, remember that domain name specifically, the better off you are. And you know, there’s so many businesses on facebook, uh, that created, you know, they went out there, they told everyone like us on facebook, we are fan even paid facebook to get more fans and in facebook changes their algorithm and says, ah, you know what? Actually, if you want to keep using a, if you want to get in front of those fans, you have to pay us even more money. And so that’s what I think about when I think of a, a domain name as well and why it’s very important to have your own domain.
Caroline: 24:40 Exactly. And talking about subdomains. Another thing that I’m seeing from some people is that they’re only selling products. It’s different if you’ve got, you know, different services and different businesses around it, but these people that have only got an e commerce store and they’ve got their home page, so they’ve got [inaudible] dot com and then when you click on the shop now it goes to shop dot [inaudible] dot com. So they’ve got a subdomain set up for it, but they have no reason for it. It’s only because their developers been too lazy to set it up properly, really is what I’m saying. So you mentioned something just in that people are getting a little bit confused. I have I been hacked or hijacked by going there. Do you feel that that’s the same inside your own website when it goes from at the main domain to a subdomain?
Andrew: 25:29 I think that’s less of a concern there. But uh, you know what I mean? People, if they see a subdomain on your main domain name, I think that’s okay. But I would fire that web development, uh, and, and, and that gets into Seo, which again, I know you’ll have someone come on to talk about that, but if you’re sending some of your traffic to your, your second level domain name.com, and in that subdomain, which we also call a third level domain name, Google historically has treated that kind of like a separate website. Right. And so now you’re splitting where you’re sending your search juice. Now there might be reasons to do it. I decided I worked with had a good reason because they had a, they had retailers that they sold through and then they also had their own online store and so they wanted to. They weren’t doing ecommerce only. Right. So they had a reason to do that. Or if you have a big information site, you know, on, on your main website and then you want to send people to your online store, that might be a reason to do a sub domain. But if you’re just selling stuff online, I, I would, I would avoid doing that sub domain.
Caroline: 26:36 Good. I’m glad that I got that right because that’s exactly the way I say, you know, if I’ve got members dot and then my website because it’s a membership area, but like you said, for Seo Purposes, I’m not sending people over there so it really makes no difference, but it’s a really good point that you make up. It’s so that you made was the fact that if you’re sending traffic to your domain and your shop dot blah, blah, blah, that is two separate things for Google. So then you’re actually losing your traffic along the way. And I think that makes a really big difference.
Andrew: 27:06 Yes, yes. I agree with that.
Caroline: 27:09 And I wanted to ask. I’m sure a lot of people are sitting here thinking, oh, okay, this is very interesting with the whole domain thing and what can I do? And a lot of people that, um, I work with and that are in my group actually at doing this whole thing with ecommerce because they really just want to have a business where they’re doing less of the actual work. They’re not having to worry so much about working harder. They’re working smarter, so you keep talking about owning domains to sell and to do things with. Do you want to give people a little bit of an idea of having buying domains to actually have as another income stream and what they can do with those domains?
Andrew: 27:47 Yes. Uh, so, so this is exciting. This is, this is what gets me excited in the morning. I look at the main names like digital real estate and so there are a lot of people out there that go buy a buy real estate in town. Maybe they have tenants that they lease it out to or they try to sell it. Maybe they try to put together a few of the better parcels of land and sell it to someone who wants to develop them. I do the same thing, but it’s for domain names and so I will look for domain names that I think could have value to people that are say, trying to create an ecommerce store or a website and I buy those domain names and then I hold on to them to sell them. Now, the nice thing about domain names compared to fiscal real estate is there really aren’t any property taxes.
Andrew: 28:31 You have to pay your 10, $12 a year, whatever to renew the domain name, but but that’s your holding cost and you can do something with it in the interim. That’s pretty easy. Maybe you set up an ecommerce store and if someone comes along and they want the domain name, you can sell it to them or maybe your story is taking off and you could sell it to them. So there are lots of people that buy and sell domain names and a lot of them are probably your listeners. They don’t think of themselves as domain investors, but maybe they bought a few domain names here for a site that they didn’t end up doing. You know, everyone has that bright idea. At midnight they go registered the domain name and then they don’t end up using it, but then there are other people that that really try to make a go at this and register.
Andrew: 29:10 Hundreds of domains are thousands of domains or even companies that own hundreds of thousands. There’s one actually owns millions of domain names and uh, they, they look for certain characteristics of domain names. Uh, the, you know, for example, if other extensions of other top level domain names are registered under that domain than it might be worth more if it’s short, if it’s simple, if it’s easy to spell all these things that I mentioned earlier in this podcast that make a domain name good and they, they buy these domain names and a lot of people look at this and they say, well, okay, I’ve heard about people that registered domain names in the 19 nineties and they got rich, they sold them for millions of dollars, but now it’s too late to do this. And I disagree with that for, for two main reasons. One is that they’re always trends that are popping up that become popular, you know, the term cryptocurrency.
Andrew: 30:00 It didn’t mean anything even a decade ago. And now that cryptocurrency.com would be worth a million dollars less. Um, and so there are always these terms coming up. Even the term blog didn’t exist when I started buying domain names. And then in the nineties, so there are always opportunities to find new trends and get domain names around that. And the second thing is that you can buy domain names that were registered early on but have expired. So there are lots of sites you can go to the capture these expiring domain names. Godaddy has this phrase called Godaddy auctions where if any domain name expires from go daddy and several of their partner registrars, they’ll auction it off on Godaddy auctions when it expires. Another popular services called named jet, and they do the same thing. They either partner with different registrars or or or capture these domain names when they expire, when someone forgets to renew them and so you can go buy domain names that were registered originally in the nineties or 10 years ago that have value now.
Andrew: 30:59 And so that’s where most of the time I’m buying domain names. That way I also reach out to people that own domain names that aren’t using them. Maybe they did use it previously for an online store, a or for an online sites in their business. Shut down and I’ll try to buy those domain names as well. So the opportunity has passed now that said it, it can be tricky and I don’t want to give the impression it’s a get rich scheme at all. You need to get in there and educate yourself and that’s what a lot of people come to domain name, wire to do. They see which domain names are selling and they see little tricks that you can use to find the right domain names to buy. Uh, and, and that, that’s important. I see a lot of people rush out and buy hundreds of domain names and then they send her domain portfolio to me and say, what do you think? And I’m like, well, I think you just wasted a thousand dollars because those, those names, why would anyone buy those from you? Right? So, uh, so it is important for people to educate themselves and there are a lot of great resources out there. Obviously mine is one of them, uh, but to, to really get into the business of, of domain name investing.
Caroline: 32:05 Wonderful. And do you think that there is like a sort of an amount of money, the minimum that people like you, someone buys one domain name, then they can get away with that if it’s one good one or should they be looking at buying a couple at a time? Is there sort of a minimum?
Andrew: 32:22 That’s a great question. And there are different schools of thought. One of my peers says, hey, I would go out there and buy one pretty good domain name and then try to sell it to other people. But maybe you’re not a great salesperson and you also have all your eggs in one basket. I prefer to go out and buy a lot of expired domains for between $15 and a few hundred dollars. And then list them for sale. You know, I mentioned earlier, you can find domain names that are for sale on Godaddy and so you can go ahead and buy these expired domain names and then listen for sale on go daddy or cdot and put up a page with an announcement that is for sale and uh, get, get inquiries that way. So I prefer to spread my chips around a little bit. There are plenty of people who got into this business with say a thousand dollars.
Andrew: 33:09 Then the head of sale, they took that money, they reinvested, it got slightly better domains sold that sold one or two of those reinvested that money. So I don’t think there’s necessarily a minimum, but buying just one domain name is pretty tricky and that’s putting all your eggs in one basket. And I also want to clarify too, because I see people do this when they first get into the business, you don’t want to be what’s called a cybersquatter and that’s someone that buys domain names of existing brands out there and tries to sell them to those. That is a, of course, everyone’s all over the world, but it’s pretty easy for companies to get those domain names back. They can and they might see you and get extra money from it as well. So you want to invest in domain names that have value to a large group of people in and they aren’t trademarks.
Caroline: 33:54 I think it was Madonna that the first big case for the celebrity, um, years and years ago that I remember hearing about where someone bought her name,
Andrew: 34:04 there a lot of celebrities that have done it. Uh, a lot of big companies have had to recover their domain names and it’s fairly inexpensive for them to do that. It can be fairly expensive for you if you’re the owner of those domain names. Now there are names that are generic in nature and trademarks only covers certain goods and services. Um, so, you know, we could go down a big rabbit hole there. I would just say avoid, avoid big brands that, you know, when you buy these domain names, you definitely want to look for domains that you think have appeal because there are a dictionary word or they’re descriptive of a type of products and service where it might make a good brand, right? Maybe the word doesn’t actually mean anything, but it’s easy to spell and it’s short. You want to go after those names, not ones that are trademarks of brands.
Caroline: 34:48 Yeah. So going off to something like Puma shoes for women is probably not a good idea.
Andrew: 34:53 That is a bad idea.
Caroline: 34:56 Wonderful. Andrea, you have been absolutely wonderful with your advice. I think that anyone listening to this is going to be blown away with understanding in very, very simple terminology, exactly what they need to do now and if they have to make changes or maybe they go away and they come up with another income stream and start a new business by buying some domains, but I think from here on out, I think people can go and look at your website domain name, wire.com. Is there any other way that they can contact you and get in touch with you if they want to touch base with you?
Andrew: 35:28 Yes. The best way is on twitter. I’m at domain name wire and I should also mention that I have my own podcast and you can find that on on itunes and wherever you listen to podcasts like this one, but you can also go to dnw.com/podcasts and you can check out some of my recent podcast episodes that kind of go more in depth with certain people about how they’re investing in domain names.
Caroline: 35:51 Oh, wonderful. That’s fantastic. I’m definitely going to jump on there and listened to some of those because now after today’s interview, there’s definitely some ideas that have sprung up in my mind. Excellent. Thanks, Andrew. It’s been wonderful having you here and thanks everyone for listening and I look forward to having everyone on the neck
Andrew: 36:08 show. Thanks so much airline. It’s been a pleasure to come and talk to you today.
Caroline: 36:12 Wonderful. Thanks Andrew. Bye. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. For more information on the episode, head over to ECOMMERCE marketing lab.com/podcast, and don’t forget to join my free facebook group, ECOMMERCE marketing lab to sign up for my 14 day free instagram challenge, instant sales. For more sales with instagram and also you can ask questions in the group to me, my team and other Shopify store owners. Until next time, keep smiling.