A warning before you buy your next Domain name.

50 replies
I got permission from a professional marketer to post this email warning . . .

Today, a $15 domain turned into what, likely will cost me 100x as much by the time this is over... It was my dumb mistake.

Before you Search or BUY a domain name. READ THIS. And please tell others. I'm sending this as a bit of advisory and courtesy heads up. No "sky is falling" alarms but just some reality that you may have never considered either about buying Domain Names.

Details... Roughly 10 days ago, I headed over to a registrar (this one was GoDaddy but that's not really relevant) to search for 1 primary domain name and 3 more that shared the same elements (meaning, like ThisIsGreat.com, ThisIsWonderful.com ThisIsAwesome.com etc). And no, those weren't the domains. :-)

I ran my search, all domains were available. But I didn't buy at the time. Not sure why. It has just been a habit for nearly a decade to first check and explore domains to see if they are available and then flesh out the gameplan in greater detail.

Today I went back to buy them and 3 of them are purchased. 1 (the primary) is sitting in auction with a starting bid of $80.

The $80 would have been just a bit of "hey stupid" tax on my part. But it's in an auction... it's entirely unlikely that the owners (a German based registrar) would release it without a much larger price hike.

The irony... I don't even use GoDaddy primarily anymore. I fired them during the whole SOPA incident. Yet a primary domain now sits with them. And, at the end, will end up costing me hundreds (at least) to get the domain.

That's NOT the end of the world of course. Though I'm pretty sure my "hundreds" theory is rounding way down. It will be more.

A lesson was learned though: ONLY go to search a QUALITY and unique domain name in a registrar if you're ready to immediately buy it.


To read more and join the conversation... visit:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...2910.704861331


And in case you didn't make the connection... it wasn't everyday users who bought my domains from me "coincidentally". It was the guys monitoring the data and mining it for the best domain ideas.

Every industry has it's shady back-room dealings. Monitoring the domain queries data and buying quality domains is very real. Sometimes it's part of the corporate strategy (a very dirty one) to filter all the domain queries, find the best ones and immediately buy them and auction them to grossly jack up their asking price.

Sometimes, it's an employee cutting deals with other domainers and domaining firms to sell this same data.

One thing is for sure (and domaining friends ALL AGREE), you should NOT be using a registrar's search to just "check" if a domain is available if it's a remotely high value domain. If it's MyFavoritePurpleCandy.com, nobody will try to steal that from you. Or if it's your name JonJimijensson.com, you're safe.

But if your domain is unique and potentially high value... do not search it (ideally anywhere) on a registrar until you're ready to buy it. And, at the mere $10-$15 per most domains, if you think you'll want it and you think it's of value... just grab it instead of waiting. (Like the old habit of mine that I promptly broke today).

- Rob Toth
"The Genie" is also the author of this FREE report: I QUIT Internet Marketing ... Why I'm Quitting Internet Marketing After $920,000.00 In Sales... And What's Next? [FREE BOOK]

**PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT an affiliate or being paid to post this...just so you know!! It's just good information...especially for newbies.
#buy #domain #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    This practice has been going on for a long, long time. I have seen others complain about "domain snatching" for years.

    Worse yet, in my opinion, are those who "lock up" a domain for five days to see if it is profitable, or to see if they can flip it, and then release the domain if they can't make a profit from it (without having to pay for even a registration.)

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Bien Nino
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      This practice has been going on for a long, long time. I have seen others complain about "domain snatching" for years.

      Worse yet, in my opinion, are those who "lock up" a domain for five days to see if it is profitable, or to see if they can flip it, and then release the domain if they can't make a profit from it (without having to pay for even a registration.)

      Steve
      How do you even do this without having to pay for a registration? Is there actually a way of tracking this?
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Bien Nino View Post

        How do you even do this without having to pay for a registration? Is there actually a way of tracking this?
        I BELIEVE they got rid of the 5 day float, but they WERE talking about getting rid of it. It was for the 1st tier resellers(of which godaddy is one). They didn't have to pay until the 5th or 6th day, but had use of the domain and could return it. It was called "tasting the domain". YEP, TASTE the domain!

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author threezerozero
    Steve is right. This practice has been going on for a looong time. People can basically setup programs that can see what domains you're searching for and steal them right on the spot.

    How do I know this? Because I have a few friends that have done this.

    The advice given is right, DO NOT search unless you're ready to buy right then and there. If you search and then come back to it later....95% of the time your domain is gone.

    I've gotten lucky a few times where the domain is still available, but normally if I come back to it, its gone by the time I'm ready to buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vanilla Gorilla
    This has happened to me a dozen times. I now go to unpopular sites in order to search names.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by thriftgirl62 View Post

    (this one was GoDaddy but that's not really relevant)
    Rob is actually mistaken about that part: it is relevant that it was Go Daddy. It's absolutely notorious that this can happen when you search for domains there. There are many threads here discussing this specific issue as it pertains to that specific registrar. (But thanks for posting another one!).

    I don't suggest that the same can't ever possibly happen at some other registrars too, but it's certainly far from universal.

    The moral of the story is: be ready to register the domains you want to register, when you find them available.
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    • Profile picture of the author davezan
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Rob is actually mistaken about that part: it is relevant that it was Go Daddy. It's absolutely notorious that this can happen when you search for domains there. There are many threads here discussing this specific issue as it pertains to that specific registrar. (But thanks for posting another one!).
      Go Daddy Shares Insights On Domain Front Running
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Hugall
    Sounds about right. Can't blame someone for doing this sounds like a great way to make a quick buck : )
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    • Profile picture of the author angshuy2k
      Thanks for the update. This very true and over the last 7-9 years it has been the case.


      Kind regards,
      Swrajit
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    • Profile picture of the author thriftgirl62
      Originally Posted by thedanbrown View Post

      Wow I've never heard of this before!

      Thanks for the heads up.
      That's exactly why I posted this information. Even those who "KNOW" can easily get busy and forget. I wonder if www.domize.com really is private like they claim to be in their FAQ section:

      Are my searches private?

      Unlike many other domain name look-up tools, searching for a name at Domize is completely private.

      Your query is encrypted over SSL (the same technology your bank uses to secure internet banking) and more importantly never leaves our servers. No one can ever see what you are searching for. A small trade-off for this speed and privacy is that you may occasionally see domain names shown as available when they are in fact taken.

      Unfortunately we are unable to include domains that are suspended, in redemption or without name servers
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      • Profile picture of the author nkforbes
        I was not aware of this practice. I will keep this in mind from now on. Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roslyn Agosta
    Wow, didn't know this type of stuff happens in the 'background', that is really unfortunate for Rob. Wonder how they actually sort out the quality 'domains' using software, how does the software know what to look for in the domain?
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  • Profile picture of the author Vanilla Gorilla
    I had an awesome 1 word .com domain name I looked up mid day at work. I went home to purchase it and not only was the .com gone, but almost all of the extensions were snatched up too. Of course it was Godaddy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vanilla Gorilla
    Using Domize.com give you the date the domain was registered and a thumbnail of the site. I looked up the domains I felt had been snatched from under me and it turns out that they have been registered since the late 90's? Maybe Godaddy isn't as corrupt as we think and their search function is just jacked up sometimes.
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  • Profile picture of the author betterwtveter
    It sucks, but it is true when people sell these domain names and snatch them from your like pirates to resell the domain name when they get popular. Make sure you have full rights to that domain name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    I noticed this with daddy in the past...... I now use another registrar..... too many sharks around at the moment...

    Danny
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  • Profile picture of the author spujap
    Just wondering how can a ICANN accredited registrar follow such ill practices.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlmightyGreg
    wow interesting... I always felt I could be taken advantage off if I put in a really good domain name. Good info
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Blades
    This happened to me many years ago, when I first started. Since then I stopped using godaddy, even when they offer 99 cent domains... Only took less then an hour to lose a domain I found, I turned away to answer a phone call. I been using namecheap since then...
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Never had that problem with Namecheap, but I register my domains as soon as I find them. There are many stories of this happening with Godaddy, but it doesn't happen if you register them as soon as you find them.
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    • Profile picture of the author whland
      Originally Posted by icoachu View Post

      This is an OLD trick. Search POACHING.
      Yep. It's been going on for awhile.

      Had it happen to me a few years ago. It sucks big time. Be ready to purchase that domain up right away. Otherwise your gonna lose it.

      Chad
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  • Profile picture of the author Venkat001
    Mostly I use Domain Name Registration : Web Hosting : SSL Certificates : Domain Registrars : Register Domains : International Domains : Dynadot.com - Dynadot.com for my bulk domain checking and I have never encountered any of the listed type of problem. But yeah, don't try to search from the sites which you aren't aware because they might collect the search data and book that domain.

    Regards
    Venkat
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  • Profile picture of the author Joey Starkey
    The practice is called domain tasting or in some cases front running. I recommend that you use domaintools.com. go Daddy is the worst. Check back in a few days chances are tn.hey will be available again.
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  • Profile picture of the author igl0w
    Sorry to hear but this is known fact, godaddy does that often [not first time i hear it] but i even heard of worse situations.. Domai nsi ok to regiter, you register its failed, then you see that registraro owns it. Happened to some guy who almost got for 10$ a domain worth 5k$.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dazzling Content
    I think they're spying on what people are searching. Well, it's a business and I don't think that practice is illegal (probably unethical for some). That didn't happen to me since I use Domainsbot.com which provides real-time instant results.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Dazzling Content View Post

      I think they're spying on what people are searching. Well, it's a business and I don't think that practice is illegal (probably unethical for some). That didn't happen to me since I use Domainsbot.com which provides real-time instant results.
      Nope. Not illegal. It's a common practice for numerous registrars. You don't own a domain until you purchase it, so until then, it belongs to the first person to register it.
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  • Profile picture of the author satrap
    I experienced this a few times with GoDaddy. And although I wasn't sure about this whole thing, I kind of knew there was something fishy about it. So, I did a few "test" domain search and sure enough, 24 hours latter, when I came back to them, they weren't available.

    So, now I only search for a domain, when I am ready to buy it right then and there.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Campbell
    There are many registrars who sell real-time data to companies that engage in a practice called "domain tasting" for the purposes of building their domain portfolio. They have automated scripts that register domains based on that real-time data. If the domain brings some traffic or is analyzed and found to have potential for profit on flipping it then the system keeps it, if not the system dumps the domain within the 5 day period where you can actually cancel a domain registration. (though the timing may have changed to something less than 5 days, I can't remember now)

    I hope that helps you understand a bit. GD as a domain registrar DOES engage in this activity, as do many other registrars. NetworkSolutions for example is notorious for this and they have done it from the beginning.

    Namecheap (reseller of Enom) does not have this issue currently. Netfirms didn't have this issue prior to being purchased by Tucows (not sure if they have the issue now) and there are a good amount who don't do this. You'll just have to do some searching.

    Rule of thumb, if a domain seems too good to be true, just register it. If you don't use it, you can always flip it 60 days later to recoup your domain cost.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gavin Abeyratne
    Whoa, thanks for posting this I had no idea they were this sneaky but it makes sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author DBracey
    Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

    Rob is actually mistaken about that part: it is relevant that it was Go Daddy. It's absolutely notorious that this can happen when you search for domains there.
    Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

    From what I've heard, GoDaddy is notorious for this. I've never had this problem with Namecheap. Not once.
    This issue also happened to me on Godaddy a couple of years ago. I haven't been back since. It has never happened with Name Cheap.
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  • Profile picture of the author ReveryMarketing
    I had a similar story happen in back in the hay day. I was having a conversation with a friend and his buddy about this new business I wanted to start. Well my friends scumbag friends buys the domain that night and trys to sell it to me.

    The lesson here is careful who you discuss new business ventures. It might bite you in the ass.
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  • Profile picture of the author dalaw
    Thank you. Where are some good places to purchase a domain?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rbtmarshall
    I always wondered if this was true or not. And it has happened to me at godaddy a few years ago, I was pissed at the time because it was a good domain. I never checked back with it after that, I was unaware of the 5 day grace period.


    OP, just to be sure run a malewarebytes scan to see if it will catch any keyloggers, etc..


    I Like namecheap currently.


    When I first started using namecheap I remember doing a search on godaddy for a domain and it was available. Being tired of godaddy and their upsells, I opened a namecheap account, and tried to register that same domain, it was no longer available. that happened within an hour.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimK06
    Hi thriftgirl62! I hope all is well with you! I just want to extend my hand and

    say thanks a million for the heads up! Personally I don't search until I'm

    actually ready to make a purchase but I do know a couple friends in the

    business that do. So I will certainly relay this information to them.

    Kind regards
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  • Profile picture of the author datingworld
    never heard of it but its quite interesting to know such things can happen.. thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomwood
    So the way to check out potential domain names to see if they are available is a

    allinurl:

    search?
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris_Willow
      Originally Posted by Tomwood View Post

      So the way to check out potential domain names to see if they are available is a

      allinurl:

      search?
      You could do a whois check, but again - it depends on which service you use to do that because they can snatch the domain as well. Although it could be less likely to happen during a whois check as it's primarily used for different reasons.

      I've researched a lot of domains using dynadot.com and have even waited 2+ weeks before buying and have had no issues.

      Recommending people to immediately buy domains will just increase everyone's stash of unused (and in most cases, worthless) domains. That's why I wait a while before buying. I really want to make sure it's not an emotional purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author bloggerd
    Thanks for sharing this I will certainly be alittle more carefull where to check domains now.
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  • Profile picture of the author brunom
    Happened to me before but just once. I only search for domains when I'm buying now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joan Altz
    Your best bet for zero monitoring imo is to use what I use every day: Instant Domain Search.

    It shows availability as you type, so there is no monitoring, because you could be typing only a partial word leading up to the actual word(s) you are searching and it will give back "available" for the nonsense that nobody would register.

    So, for example, let's say I'm looking for a domain for brand marketing and just typing combinations "brandmarketingdynamo", before I ever get to the end of the 3 word domain, it will show all of these as available: "brandmarketi", "brandmarketin", "brandmarketingd", "brandmarketingdy", "brandmarketingdyn", etc...

    Nobody is monitoring that crap. So you can be sure when you finish with "brandmarketingdynamo" and it shows as available, you're not going to lose it to some GD or other monitoring scheme.

    Then just register it later.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
      Originally Posted by Joan Altz View Post

      Your best bet for zero monitoring imo is to use what I use every day: Instant Domain Search.

      It shows availability as you type, so there is no monitoring, because you could be typing only a partial word leading up to the actual word(s) you are searching and it will give back "available" for the nonsense that nobody would register.

      So, for example, let's say I'm looking for a domain for brand marketing and just typing combinations "brandmarketingdynamo", before I ever get to the end of the 3 word domain, it will show all of these as available: "brandmarketi", "brandmarketin", "brandmarketingd", "brandmarketingdy", "brandmarketingdyn", etc...

      Nobody is monitoring that crap. So you can be sure when you finish with "brandmarketingdynamo" and it shows as available, you're not going to lose it to some GD or other monitoring scheme.

      Then just register it later.
      That's not always true. Hackers could easily obtain information from search queries. That's why they have an option for encrypted search. If you're on the urge of coming up with a great idea then always use that (although it's a little slower).

      Plus just because it's instantaneous doesn't mean people can't find the end domain. You would spend 0.1 seconds on each letter while you're typing but perhaps 5-30 seconds when you're done. So they could easily filter it out. Don't believe that just because something is instantaneous people can't get your valuable information.

      Don't get me wrong, I use InstantDomainSearch all the time and love it. Just be careful because it could as easily sell information as any other domain registrar and perhaps even use it to their advantage.
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  • Profile picture of the author eugenedm
    I would go with a small registrar to check for domains, the one that is unlikely to steal your domains. For example, I've used Prohosting.com and they seem okay with not stealing domain names. By far they have not stolen any of my names even if I searched 5-10 days ago.
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