Case Study - Don’t replicate my domain leasing faux pas

My plans for world domination ran into erm…… a bit of brick wall this week, if you want a laugh then I suggest you read on ;)

This is on the subject of leasing domains and my previous post where I talked about becoming an internet landlord, if you remember that post I mentioned a domain I was going to test it out with, I had spotted replica weapons on Sedo and I had bought it for £261. I liked this product related domain.

I gave the domain a simple homepage and gave it a few backlinks to get it spidered, within 2 weeks it was indexed and showing up at around No.7 in for ‘replica weapons’ nice!

replicaweapons.jpgI noticed yesterday that it moved up to 3rd place for the main keyword phrase so decided that was a call to action and time for me to send some emails out to see whether I couldn’t get this baby leased out :)

It will dawn on website owners in the future that just because they have one website it doesn’t need to stop there, if I owned ‘Scott Jones Replica Replica RankingsWeapons’ I would like to think that I would be smart enough to realise that having more than one website is a good move, why have just one storefront? So I started emailing any websites that were ecommerce related that ranked below mine.

8 emails were sent which were short and sweet and went something like this

Good afternoon, I own, this domain is ranked in the top 5 in Google for ‘replica weapons’ and is available for lease if you were interested in adding an additional storefront to your internet presence for only £100 per month. It is an excellent generic domain already ranking for it’s main keyphrase so can therefore pay itself back every month.

Job done, I was quite happy with this one, nice ranking very quickly, nice specific term and I would move a bit on the monthly fee to maybe £70 per month if needed so I waited for the replies, and then they came.

First Reply:
Thank you for your email. I would certainly have been interested, however with the ban coming into force on replica firearms dated from 1870 onwards, we have decided not to develop Historical Firearms, so spending £1200pa would be out of the question. Thank you for your consideration.

Oh dear, replica guns in the UK it seems are going to be outlawed :( still the domain is general enough that maybe it could be used for swords and the like, and then email number two came through.

Thanks but sadly we will have to close our weapons site soon, as i have had a visit here in Scotland from our local trading standards officer. The sword ban (which is imminent) will be taking effect from the end of this year. This also includes certain replica weapons, i have been told it will effect my web site too.

Gulp!, you have to laugh…. I guess, something tells me this term will get even easier to rank for next year :)

Dear oh dear, the misses did see the funny side of it, actually from sending out 8 emails to get 2 replies was good, just that they kind of killed of the future of this domain, still that will teach me, lesson learned!

So when researching possible domains for lease as well as looking for:

  • longevity
  • something that won’t go out of fashion or incoming technology
  • something product related 

I now also need to add ‘something that won’t get banned’ to the my list. Still I am undeterred - if it wasn’t for that damn ban I feel I could have been talking numbers with someone today that would have paid back my investment a few times over in one year so I’ll glory on a little bit wiser, I could always use that domain to give information on the ban which could save it.

I am also in talks about a larger lease deal but it may take some time to come off and I have my next domain in mind that I am buying through Escrow this week which I intend to work on over the next few months ranking it specifically to lease it out so hopefully I can revisit this subject with better news of success at some point.

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.


  1. Nice one Scott! Made me chuckle, at least its shows with other domains you should have a market.

  2. Maybe transform it to ;)

  3. Oh Scott do you not watch the news?
    well you made my morning :D

    • Wouldn’t be so bad but I discussed it with my brother and some friends who all thought that it sounded a really nice domain and had legs, I’ll have to be less insular and read more I reckon…oh yeah and watch the news!

  4. That sounds like my kind of luck! What about throwing some information about the ban on the site and allow users to comment. Minisite? That could be a short term option, not sure how well that would convert though.

  5. lol, I guess you should have done a bit more research on the niche!

  6. How about making a mini site all about the ban on replica weapons in the UK :)

  7. A minisite it will probably have to be now, unfortunatley that will never likely give me the return that leasing it to someone could for an ecommerce venture.

  8. Man, that had to be a blow. I appreciate you sharing your bruises along with your success.

  9. Replica weapons banned? Ha!

    Here in the US I have the REAL version of the SIG on your homepage. Actually, I have the P229 in .40 S&W, which is similar to the 226 on your site (a shorter barrel is the main difference).

    A handy guide for the legality of topics:

    USA : Guns = good
    drugs and porn = bad

    UK & Europe: Guns = bad
    drugs and porn = good

    We can sell guns by mail order in USA. No skulking through alleys with members of the underworld to get a military type weapon (not full auto unless you have a permit).

  10. what are your plans for the current domain though?

    leave it to expire?

    why not get a professional writer and add some articles on it and leave it there.

    • It is No.2 in for ‘Replica Weapons’ now and has had 130 visitors from search engines in the last few days so it is still valuable Abdul, certainly wouldn’t let it expire or sell it off cheap, just that it can’t be used for what I had intended or if it were to be leased possibly for a lower amount.

  11. Thanks thats funny :) I nearly made a simlar mistake the other day searching around the keyword supply most popular is “tractor supply” So I’m starting to think on creating a store with tractor parts till i mention it to friend & he explains “tractor supply” is the name of a very large store ;)

  12. We use Tractor Supply all the time, great products for the ranch. This is the tricky part of getting into certain search types. Great concept, so will keep watching for it myself. Inventions is rating high it seems, and many people are finding my new domain: problem is, I need to build an actual website to go with it (and find the place to change the current settings to moderate it some.)

  13. I’m not sure if there’s really a market for domain leasing (of course there may be a booming one, I haven’t looked into to it).

    This reason I say this is because I would be very skeptical about leasing a domain. One reason being, I wouldn’t really want to spend the time and money working on a sites search engine rankings if the domain is not mine. The domains owner could always decide to cancel the lease.

    • My angle would be to already have ranked the website/domain myself, therefore a business could benefit from existing rankings and traffic. While the domain is not leased you can earn from PPC until you find a suitable tenant to lease the already high ranking domain. Businesses that actually sell the products can make more than affiliates so there lies the attraction for them and I would get long term secure income.


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