Why I Love Picking Up Domains on SnapNames

Oct 03 2011

You know the scenario: You found a great domain on NameJet pre-release from Drop Day and you’re surprised it has no bidders. You decide to place a minimum bid on the name and cross your fingers that you’ll be the only one. A few hours later there are 10 bidders and the price of that domain just went up 3 or 4 times once it eventually makes it to auction. We’ve all been there, it sucks.

“What happened?” you think. The domain had been on pre-release for several days and nobody had taken notice, but once you placed a bid it seemed to draw a lot of attention. The answer is simple, lazy domainers piggy-backed on your find. You see, once you place a bid on NameJet, that domain will now show up with the few (compared to total available) domains that currently have bids. All someone has to do is sort the pre-release domain list by number of bids and the domain you found will show up somewhere within the first few pages. If the domain is a quality name, it will attract more bidders, guaranteed.

I have no problem that NameJet shows the amount of bidders that each domain has. From their side, it actually makes a lot of sense as it creates competition for the names and drives up the auction prices which is what NameJet is hoping for. It’s a good format they have there but it does make it difficult to really find that diamond in the rough.

That is why I love picking up names on SnapNames. SnapNames works a lot like NameJet except when someone places their ‘backorder’ bid on the domain, it does not show other users. If multiple users bid on one name, the domain will go to auction and only then will those in participation be able to see how many bidders there are. If only one user bids on a name, they are the automatic winner and pick up the domain for the minimum price, usually about $80. The best part is, there are usually several quality names on SnapNames that don’t get discovered by others. I usually pick up about one per week this way and I estimate that the domains are almost always worth 4-15x the price I pay. And, just like NameJet, if there ends up being multiple bidders, I’m under no obligation to bid higher than my initial minimum bid so I’ll never get stuck paying more than what I want to pay for the domain.

What’s the best way to find these names? Drop Day or Protrada is what I recommend. I have been using Protrada recently and it works great for finding these pre-releases, but that is for another post coming soon.

Picking up names this way on SnapNames is a good way to to get started for cheap and build a portfolio of some quality names that should pretty easily flip for profit. All it takes it some research, the ability to recognize a good domain when you see it, and $80. If you don’t have that to risk, you’re in the wrong business.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Richard Head

    Chris you can actually search and piggyback on snapnames auctions too. . . The reason you don’t see much of this over there is SnapNames interface apparently was a design collaboration with someone from Godaddy’s team 😉 Good luck figuring out how to do find names with bids . Namejet just has an easier interface. I think far fewer people use snap after the Halvarez debacle too

  2. Patricia Kaehler

    Shane …
    Thanks for sharing this info…
    I don’t recall every hearing about
    Drop Day or Protrada… I’ll check
    those out more this week…

    Then I’ll have to figure out a way
    to share a portion of my research
    on DG…

    I love you site Shane…
    You are a fun one to watch (smile)

    ~Patricia Kaehler – Ohio USA – DomainBELL

  3. Ron

    You can easily sort through Snapnames and see all the domains that have bids in them in descending order just like Namejet. Not sure how you cannot figure this out.

  4. m

    Huh, am I missing something here too ? Are you confusing pre-release expiring names with DELETING names ?

    You can’t see bids on snapnames DELETING names … maybe EXPIRING names in auction ……

  5. alan

    @Ron how do you do that for Snap “sort through Snapnames and see all the domains that have bids in them in descending order just like Namejet” ?

  6. Craig Calder

    Thanks for this post Shane.

    Just to clarify, for domain names that are deleting (AKA dropping), we do not display number of bidders. Those that place an order prior to the Order by date participate in a private auction or get the name outright if they are the only interest.

    However, for domain names that are Pre-Release (AKA expired names from our Registrar partners such as Moniker, Register.com and Tucows), we do display bidder count.

    The way to separate them is to use our Advanced Search interface select “Name Source” and choose Expiring (AKA Pre-release) or Deleting (AKA dropping).

    – Craig Calder
    Director of SnapNames Product Management
    craigc -at- snapnames.com if you have additional questions or feedback.

  7. ChrisWoodward

    Shane is going to hate me because I didn’t write ‘by Chris Woodward’, but this was my post.

    Yes, to clear up the confusion, what I meant was SnapNames does not display the amount of bidders on the ‘deleting’ domains, which are the ones that are displayed when I’m searching on Drop Day. I guess I could have avoided the confusion by not comparing it to NameJet’s ‘pre-release’ list, since it’s kind of like apples and oranges in a sense. But, it was really late when I wrote the post and didn’t really think of the confusion it may cause.

    So to clarify, when I’m searching drop day, and i find a deleting name on snapnames, it does not show how many bidders are on the name and those are the names I am talking about.

    1. Post author

      Your Christmas Bonus has dwindled to the Jelly of the Month Club since you forgot to put your name at the top. It also may be time for a new design so people can tell who’s writing.

  8. Jim

    Whilst on the subject of auction houses, what the hell is going on with Namejet?
    On the homepage you get the usual list of featured pre-release domains, but when you click on “view all”, you then have to browse through pages and pages of random 3 character domains, most of which are crap. This never used to be the case. Just wondering if anyone else finds this as frustrating as I do.

  9. David Williams

    I just hate the fact that when you buy through SnapNames regularly you end up with domains at loads of obscure registrars that are impossible to manage and very hard to transfer out in many cases. At least with NameJet most of the domains end up at either EnomCentral or NetSol and they can then easily be transferred out.

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