Chasing ambulances domain style!

AmbulanceNot everyone has money for a traffic domain, the size of the domain industry that has quickly built up around dropcatching is startling, using services like pool.com can cost $60 to secure an expiring domain, competing at snapnames.com means you may well get priced out of the better one’s which regularly sell for $x,xxx.

It seems to me from my uneducated look in that expiring domains are very much a popular and well developed art that does not lend itself to the bargains that once were. Buying from resellers on forums or sedo means they have to turn a profit, sometimes I never get past the first few offers when trying Sedo.

I offer $200 – they come back with $9800, I offer $220 they come back with $9780 and soon I grow tired and quickly realise there is no bargain here, I love a bargain me so apart from my brief flirt with an LLL.com I usually am happy to spend more time sending emails than I am negotiating through Sedo with a domainer who has already done my job of finding a good domain.

Which wayThe alternative
The last and possibly best route for domains, generics, LLL.com’s and traffic domains is to contact the owners before they expire. Using services like Snapnames & Pool you can find future deleting domains that have are pending renewal or deletion. In this type of case you can do research on the previous owner by googling the domain and using archive.org to see if you can find names/different contact email addresses.

A quick search on Snapnames.com shows a few LLL.com’s deleting soon including MPU.com
Record expires on 26-May-2007
Pending Renewal or Deletion
There is a grace period where the domain can be renewed by the current registrar, I think if you contacted to make a deal direct you may be able to get the previous owner to wake up and renew the domain before it lapses hopefully making a deal with you in the process to buy it from them, that’s the theory anyway and I have been trying that with no great success so far but worth a punt I’d say 🙂

The ambulance chase
Red CrossThe other method is more ambulance chasing I am afraid, a term normally associated with accident specialist lawyers preying on a rich source of new business. Businesses fold, cease trading, go bankrupt and into liquidation all the time. These can offer a valuable source of opportunity for picking up a domain name that could immediately be ripe for a website or mini site.

The domain may have been heavily promoted offline and or online, have traffic and history and if you can find them and buy them before they get close to expiring then you may have a use for a domain that the present owner does not and get to avoid the expiring domain industry!

Methods for ambulance chasing would be

  • Google keyphrases such as “we are now closed” “ceased trading “closing down sale” etc
  • Set up Google news alerts for stories in particular niche interests, for example “furniture store liquidation” you can get these alerts emailed to your inbox from Google news everyday and would only be limited by your imagination

Finding a domain for a large retail outlet that is closing down could offer you an earning domain from day one that gets targeted traffic and you would be looking to buy from someone who more than likely would be selling, I have done this but a word of warning, if the company went bust you may get emails for some time asking why you took their money for a deposit knowing you were going out of business and why are you trading again!?! I’ve had some angry emails  from customers who had been burned from the previous owner of a furniture domain. ouch!

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. I haven’t had any luck on Sedo either. It seems that everyone is holding out for that ridiculous deal. If their domains were that strong they wouldn’t be selling them. Oh well, thanks for the alternate search ideas.

  2. Well scott I think this post has clarified a lot of things to me.

    However I wanted to ask you something, I am developing http://www.domainleft.com/ to be a place where people pay a monthly subscription for access to ready to register PR domains.

    Do you have an idea on how I can get daily reliable contents?

    thanks again for such an amazing post

    • Oddity offer lists of expiring domains with PR, you could also search manually through Google directory or possibly if you had funds pay a coder to create a script that could search through all the sites with PR in the directory and flag sites that gave certain errors like 404 page not found if the domains are no longer used and look to buy them cheap.

      • problem with oddity is that most the names get picked by snapnames and pool and have a low PR by the time they drop.

        however I like the idea of the spider and I might start working with it

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