£200 per week for every reader

It’s going to be a tough year for many, I know of a few friends paid off and others that have had to take other jobs on less money so while today’s post is nothing new I think it’s worth going over to point out that you can make a couple of hundred here and there and for many that can mean the difference between paying bills and not.

Simply one idea is to hand register domain names and sell them for a couple of hundred, try not to presume anything, don’t presume all product names are registered, don’t presume nobody wants to buy and don’t presume it’s a waste of time. With a budget of less than £50 and your time you could research, register and sell domains to very happy people.

As usual when I tried this to test it I stuck to UK domains, more opportunity in CCTLD’s
I would suggest finding a source of ecommerce websites, again for me this would be UK based sites, you could probably use DMOZ as a source. Pick a subject like ‘mobility’. Then find the product pages of the sites and check the names of their products again the whois – with a bit of luck you will very quickly find products available as I did, mobilityvans.co.uk & mobilitywalkers.co.uk, the latter is now part of a £50 per month lease. For example on this page you can see they sell a car caddie and that domain is available. If you chose instead home improvements the first site’s description says “Online store for supplies of timber, sheet materials, specially treated woods and ancillary products” A quick check and you’ll see treatedwoods.co.uk and sheetmaterials.co.uk are available or the 8th company on this list sell temporary window blinds which I remember seeing on Dragons Den, surely temporarywindowblinds.co.uk isn’t available that has to be worth £100 and as I write it is available. Don’t get bogged down with search volumes or other unrelated data – your selling the domain only, the name of a product that companies sell.

It’s important to be courteous and reasonable, point out that you own it and are selling it for a fixed price of £100 or £150 or whatever your number is, a fixed price lets them know your not out to rip anyone off and gives them a very clear decision to make, I don’t think it would take long to get a bite, you really don’t have much to lose apart from your time.

By keeping the price low and fixed you increase your chances of making quick sales, now is not the time to put your head in the sky – deals can be done even at £50 your well in profit, I did this with solarcover.co.uk today to a swimming pool company, sending 5 emails and one came back and paid £200 within the hour and asked if I had any others product names he would be interested, also had one other person reply looking to buy it but they were too slow so I could have sold it twice. It’s simple and it works, yes there are going to be some you can’t sell off or find a buyer for initially but build some stock and try those again in a few months time targeting offline businesses. Anyway I’m feeling skint just now so I may just go do it myself next week unless you get in there before me :)

Edit: Got bored so did it again, starting in Dmoz at A = Alternative within 5 minutes  discovered spiritualcrystals.co.uk which was available, quite a nice one, sent 8 emails and just had a reply saying someone will buy it for £75 all within 30 minutes, resisted the urge to register hedgewitchery.co.uk

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. Who do you send your e-mail to?
    Where do you find those people? What is your criteria?

    Thx!

  2. Do you have a draft email for such proposals that you are happy to share?

  3. This is an excellent post. It’s easy to see that getting into domaining needn’t be a huge ordeal, and you don’t have to sit on a domain for years to make a profit. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I love all your posts about domains, but I’m somewhat unsure of the value being placed on keyword domains here. They don’t seem to rank commonly on searches – at least those that I’ve investigated over the years – and the amount of type-in traffic is crazy low on all but the most generic .coms.

    If I were to request any post here, it’d be one that explains how these domains really have any significant value (of course, you might have already done it :) ). I know you’re making good money from this leasing, etc, but I can’t see why long-term a company with an established brand in selling, say, “stair lifts” would pay good money for something like “cheapstairlifts.co.uk”. How are they going to turn that into a good value?

    I have clients who register 101 domains with me in an attempt to grab them before someone else does.. but is that all the value there is? Or is there something beyond that to turn these generic domains into a gold mine?

    • In this case I’m avoiding type in value or search volume, these could be classed as purely vanity domains. If you were the ‘Edinburgh Handcrafted Soap Company’ and you were offered Handcraftedsoaps.co.uk for £75 in this example I am saying it can be desirable for them and an easy way to make some money with both parties being happy. The argument for prime generic domains is a different one that usually is aimed at start-ups rather than established businesses. When we had 4 TV channels branding was easy, less so today, hence a prime generic domain like TVs.co.uk is more memorable to get the most from your advertising budget, further if your starting from scratch and want to tap into the hundreds of thousands of searches for TVs each month then your going to want to rank organically, that means getting people to link to you with TVs in the anchor preferably for now, that’s a lot easier and more natural to do on the generic name than it would be on a made up brand, on top of that Google does give a boost and rewards exact keyword domains.

  5. Let’s test this strategy :)

    Good afternoon,

    I am selling the domain name OldTattooDesigns.com for a fixed price of £50, if that was of interest to you please let me know as I shall be emailing a few people.

    Regards
    Bogdan

  6. Just to be clear this about product keywords offered for little money & for those that need a couple of hundred to make a difference, people selling domains for £50-£300 direct are making a killing right now in a time when a lot more small guys are going online in a desperate attempt to make something happen, there are a few people doing this and making quite a few thousand a month all from domains hand registered to happy end users.

  7. Just in case I wasn’t clear, I wasn’t taking a dump on the concept. I think it’s really cool :) I just wanted to get “behind” the concept and see what the motivation is here for the buyers.

    At the prices involved here, there are many who would take a punt and quite like to own generic domain names related to their products.. a bit of a land grab over digital real estate which has value on its own :)

    That said, my question somewhat tied in to some of your other posts where you talk about leasing reasonably generic names for quite sturdy sums. I’m still intrigued as to what people actually “do” with these names. So treat this more as a “I’d like to know more” future blog post request rather than someone playing devil’s advocate, because I honestly do find all these posts very interesting! :)

  8. Great and valuable post, Scott. Thank you very much.

    Can you supply a little information about the mechanics of the deal and the transfer of domain ownership? How do you arrange the customer paying and you transferring ownership?

    I really want to do this.

    Thanks for your help.

    Bill

    • On the couple of deals I have done, one paypal one bank transfer (which is why it helps to deal in the same country) I know paypal is not safe for intangible goods but the risk/transaction value is very low, convenience is high and you approach them so it’s not like the buyer is out to scam. Domain transfers for UK domains are done online through Nominet and are instant so can all be done within minutes from your desk.

      • Thanks Scott

        It all sounds quite straightforward. I am in the UK and want to do .co.uk, so all your comments are spot on.

        Cheers

  9. Such a simple but great idea! Thanks for sharing Scott.

    I’m sure DMOZ is going to have a lots of visits today!

    Adam Dempsey’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

  10. BTW Scott, which Registrar do you use to register your .co.uk domains?

    Also with the transfer, aren’t .co.uk domains transferred through nominet direct and not through the registrar like .com etc? Or I am wrong?

    Adam Dempsey’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

    • I reg through my own tag but you can use any registrar like UKreg.com
      Yes Nominet give you an online account once you register a UK domain to do any transfers through them not the registrar, they are very helpful so you can always phone them at the start which may seem a little complicated but once you do one it really is a breeze once you have your online account.

      • I use 123-Reg. There control panel is basic but easy to use and you can pay via paypal. 1&1 were a pain when trying to cancel a domain, so I stopped using them.

  11. Hi Scott, how do you transfer them quickly? I don’t seem to get welcome emails anymore and it takes a long time for the paper certificate to come through.

    Thanks.

    • You may need to contact Nominet to get your online account with them setup, then any new domain you can add into your account & transfer. https://secure.nominet.org.uk/auth/login.html

      • The Nominet interface is pretty easy. Once you have an account set up and you use the same email address for new registers, you can merge them into your account without any paperwork.

        Dan @ PowerDosh.com’s last blog post..Breaking the Block – Finding Motivation

      • Scott, I have lots of domains registered with 123-reg. I just logged in nominet, and I have one account per domain! And I also registered another domain a couple of hours ago, but it isn’t available in nominet yet. Do you know how to speed up this process?

        And could you please clarify how to use the TAGs? I read about them on nominet but can’t quite understand what they are and how to use them.

        Don’t know why they complicate the process, with .com domains at Godaddy (for example) is far more easier. If you could give me a hint to speed up things I would be really appreciate.

        Javier’s last blog post..It Is Hard Not to Love Motorized Scooters

        • You can merge the accounts into one through Nominet, as soon as you login click on merge accounts – you may also see any newly reg’d domains that way, I usually do.

  12. What about registering variations and plural versions of a domain, for example:

    woodtables.co.uk
    woodtable.co.uk
    woodentable.co.uk
    woodentables.co.uk

    Would you register them all and then sell them as a package or just get one of them?

    Adam Dempsey’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

  13. Have you ever tried selling domains with the format of
    [service] in [location].co.uk?

    As in, something like lawyerinlondon.co.uk?

    Justin Cook’s last blog post..When digital theft is a good thing!

    • Not personally, I’m not sure that would have the same desirability as a main product name but could appeal to services rather than commerce so it’s certainly an option.

      • well, it would have a much more narrow focus, appealing only to businesses in that city, but it may easily be worth more than a couple of hundred… quid

        Justin Cook’s last blog post..When digital theft is a good thing!

      • If you’re able to prove that the potential buyer will benefit from this domain, you’ll be welcomed, I think. For example, you can even make a site and do some SEO with the domain and get some search traffic there, so you’ll be selling not “just” the domain.

        p.s. Scott, sorry for messing up the comments. Please, delete my two previous comments here.

  14. Another good post Scott !

    Do you include nominet transfer fee in your price or add it on to sale price?

    Do you have to do any hand-holding for businesses that are new to domains? Don’t they want to know what to do with them/ who to reg with etc?

    re: sheetmaterials.co.uk example – funnily enough, I used to work as a developer for a s/w company that developed order processing systems for builders & timber merchants. Arnold Lavers (the entry in dmoz) were a former client! Sheet materials (like plywood, MDF sheets) is a very common industry term (though not highly searched by the looks).

    John Cronin’s last blog post..Whats Nearby?

    • Thanks John, The buyer pays the Nominet fee (£11.50), I inform them of this before payment. No hand holding, it’s a simple transaction, quite often even small businesses or mum & pop sites have someone techy to help them get to where they are. As you say I wouldn’t concentrate on search volume more a vanity purchase so your right in that as long as they are familiar terms they may appeal to an end user, especially when it’s for a nominal fee.

  15. Scott, do you end up needing to explain why they might want that domain?

    Dan

    Dan @ PowerDosh.com’s last blog post..Breaking the Block – Finding Motivation

    • Not at all, they could see it as a vanity purchase or business one but when it describes their product exactly for such a low price point it’s not a big deal can be more a gut reaction.

      • I have a client who’s a pioneer in a certain market and they’ve had me register perhaps 50 domains over the last couple of years, all variations of their product types.

        I didn’t really get it at first, but on further inspection it seems they’re not interested in using the names, but they just don’t want anyone *else* getting them.. :)

        Unfortunately I’m not elaborating on who the client is because otherwise all you lot will be trying to sell them lots of domains you’ve found, lol ;-)

      • I’m giving it a go with some domains I already hold. Going to see if anyone bites. Just emailed 13 spy shops for a great pair of spy camera domains. Already had one “no”, but we’ll see how it goes.

        Dan @ PowerDosh.com’s last blog post..Breaking the Block – Finding Motivation

  16. I’ve tried this several times without success with credible domains eg, FireHoses.co.uk. Where I’m going wrong!? :>(

  17. I think I’m gonna do a £75 quid experiment, shall let you know how I get on…

  18. I sold a pair (single + plural) reg fee domains for £100 and another one for £250 this morning which are now paid and transferred to the new owners.

  19. I bought a set of four domains the other day and emailed about 20 companies, not heard anything back yet though, might try finding some more to contact later.

    Adam Dempsey’s last blog post..Happy New Year!

  20. Just got to say this post has been a revelation for me!

    Spent Saturday afternoon sending loads of emails (9 domains, 5-10 emails per domain). This morning I completed the sale of one of them for £200 and have already had another reply showing interest for a domain at £250.

    I’ve got dozens of product-related domains just sitting there, think this post was the inspiration I needed to get them making me a profit! Thanks Scott!

  21. Nice post and good of you to share some money making ideas, especially in these troubled times! Goes to show that with a bit of work there is money to be made.

    Jon Essex’s last blog post..Preparing for a Loft Conversion

  22. This is probably the most important post i ever read from this site.

    I will test the idea and report back as soon as make sale.

  23. Great post… I think I will put your advice to use after I get back home from my day job.

    MFK

  24. I had no idea that so many people were running on such tight budgets. Luckily I’ve never had that experience. But it’s great that you can help them to get through the hard times with these little tips. Maybe they’ll start to change to working for themselves once they see that they actually can make money online.

    Mikael’s last blog post..Hvis niche Adsense websider skal være din vej frem

  25. I think the appeal of the post is it shows how with a relatively small investment, in the scheme of things very little work; you can see positive ROI.

    For a lot of people this is lot more actionable than other website that might reccomend ‘write good content’ etc…

    kelvin newman’s last blog post..Setting Strategy, Goals and Targets for your Corporate Blog

  26. Thanks Scott, Just waiting on payment for two domains totalling £260!

  27. I just tried this idea and sold a domain for $180 in 20 minutes. Genius.

  28. Sounds like a nice wee business. I´ve always wondered what it meant when it said a website was “domain parked”.. So we can search for these domain names, buy them and sell them on for more to companies with relevant businesses? NICE! Don´t tell too many peope or there will be no domains left to buy! :-)

  29. kelvin newman says:

    think i’ve made my first sale on an domain i didn’t really fancy developing, think of got a sale for £100…

    In the nominet login is it change registrant?

  30. This is a pretty good idea. Next time I have a couple spare hours I am going to give it a go.

  31. Giving it a go as well, have sent a few emails and waitng for a response.
    Takes time but hey who is going to knock a few extra hundreds pounds a month if you can get it??

  32. 57 comments! – this post is proving to be very popular! Is this the most commments you have had on a post?

    John Essex’s last blog post..Preparing for a Loft Conversion

  33. Scott what sort of success ratio have you had with this method? I guess a rough percentage would be good.

    I suppose if you’re selling them for about 20x what it costs to register, you only need a 5% success ratio to break even.

    • It’s not something I have much time to concentrate on, more an idea for others to help out, I reg’d around 12 for this purpose and I have sold 5 of them, when I get time I will go back and send some more emails to see if I can clear more, I wanted to do enough to prove to myself it can be done before putting it here for others to try.

  34. my buyer seems keen but wants me to begin the transfer with nominet before paypaling, am I mad to consider this or is escrow the only safe option?

    kelvin’s last blog post..SEO needs a Hall of Shame

    • That happened to me & also to someone else I know who tried it, I went on the assumption seeing as I contacted them – they are unlikely to be on the con, more so suspicious of the person contacting them out of the blue so on one I did the transfer before payment Kelvin and so did someone else without any problem.

  35. Hey Scott,
    How can you sell the domains for free besides emailing the related people?

    I’ve tried looking for the whois of a website and they’ve hidden their info. So do I need to pay some service to list my domain for sale??

    • I think unless it’s a killer domain you need to market/email to sell them to end users using their contact forms or email addresses,Sedo.co.uk is full of millions of domains that yours will only get lost in by listing it unless it’s top notch so rolling up your sleeves and making it happen is the main/only way imo.

  36. I tried this with 4 domains with no luck yet. I’ve tried different prices and subjects but couldn’t make a sell.

    I see some are selling them for $75, others for $250, etc. How do you come up with a fair price?

    I’d like to hear how the rest of you are doing, and if you have any tip to share.

    Javier’s last blog post..It Is Hard Not to Love Motorized Scooters

    • For me it depends on the value/possible markup on the product, if it’s a low value item then £250 may be too steep for a buyer to consider it worthwhile so I worked from £75 to £250 and sold at both ends.

  37. Well, I tried the whole week, registered 6 domains, sent like 15 emails per domain and got not even one reply.

    Obviously I must be doing something wrong.

    Javier’s last blog post..It Is Hard Not to Love Motorized Scooters

  38. Stunning post I must say. If I had any spare cash flow at the moment I might well risk some of it trying this out. The theory and logic are spot on. Incredible to think how `just` £200 a week from one sale would match the weekly take home pay of probably 70% of workers in the UK.

  39. Hey guys, this is a great post. You might benefit from taking a look at this site http://www.freshdrop.net/ . It allows you to search for expiring domains.

  40. Great post, Scott. I know .co.uk domains are best, but do you think this might work with keyword rich .org.uk domains?????

    Ray’s last blog post..Domain development 101: Development options.

  41. Interesting thread here. I know this isn’t what you have suggested but I think it’s worth poiting out that people should steer clear of trademarked brand names.

  42. Are you still doing this Scott? Or are you now focussing your time on buying established sites?

    Have you noticed any difference in terms of success in doing this practice of selling domain names since you started? Specifically with regard to people willing to buy given the current economic climate?

    Zath’s last blog post..SteelSeries’ WoW Facebook Competition!

    • I mentioned in the post that I wanted to test it before posting about it once I had some success but no it’s not something I am concentrating on – I have a fair few good domains so not actively seeking out new one’s – I am actively trying to find & buy sites with traffic to build that side of my portfolio which is lacking really. I think businesses feel buying a product domain for low £xxx is still a good investment and many feel they are getting bargains just now so I see no reason for anything to have changed.

  43. great post, iam a newbie and just learning about e-bussines, it will be some alternative to make profit on e-bussiness

    indira@pool covers’s last blog post..Fiberglass Pool

  44. Very inspirational post, great info. Do you fancy getting some ROI on the cost of your contract? I read you paid GBP300 to have a proper one drawn up? Maybe offer to sell a few copies of that?

    Also, regarding Nominet – don’t you have to wait 60 days from date of registration if moving the name to a different registrar? Thanks !

  45. Well, I decided to give this strategy a try one more time.

    I registered a couple of domains (2 are quite good) and sent between 20 to 30 emails using this method using even different templates, but got no luck.

    For those that had success with this method: can you suggest any tip that worked for you?

  46. Some good advice here. I think it’s also worth saying to newbies that it’s important not to get carried away to begin with, so don’t buy too many domains before managing to sell your first one.

  47. I’ve done this twice now, sold both for £75 each. Nice tip Scott!

  48. Sorry to dig up an old post, but just wanted to say this post got me into domaining.

    I’ve sold three domains, all were free to register, two went to end users and one to a reseller for a combined total of 255 quid.

    Cheers buddy, keep up the good work.

  49. Kyle Scott says:

    Can you give some more examples of products / websites that might sell and a brief description of why they might sell over another choice?

    I had an old domain name called hikebikerun.com and I did a google search and there is a small company that owns hikebikeandrun.com and a bunch of others with hike bike run keywords.

    I’m just a little bit lost on what products / websites I should be looking for.

    Thank you,
    Kyle Scott

  50. You know Scott, I posted about this very subject today on my own site. This post has really provided me with some food for thought and I think that you made many important points. In fact, I wish I’d seen it before posting my own post.