Bob Hawkes

Hand Registering Domain Names

By Bob Hawkes, May 28, 2020

What percentage of your portfolio is hand registered?

  1. None. I never do hand registrations.

    20 votes
  2. less than 20%

    122 votes
  3. 20 to 40%

    41 votes
  4. 40 to 60%

    54 votes
  5. 60 to 80%

    63 votes
  6. 80 to 99%

    139 votes
  7. All of my names were hand registered.

    106 votes
Total: 545 vote(s)
  1. awwalmb

    awwalmb VIP

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    Surprise, surprise it's Bob again. Great piece (y)
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. CraigD

    CraigD Established Member

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    393 :astronaut:
  3. BrandPlease

    BrandPlease VIP Gold Account

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    Bob, I think adding another tier > 5% (prob even lower). Just a thought - or maybe your intentionally using 20% as the "filter" for having a handful vs. considering them investments?
  4. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Always a tradeoff between too many categories and getting useful information.
    I agree that having split the <20% category would have helped.
    But now so many have voted I think too late.
    Thanks for comment.
  5. Logo Designer Blue Account

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    Another nice post, Thanks @Bob Hawkes for sharing.
  6. Rich

    Rich Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Before 2018 when I had to sell half my portfolio just to keep the lights on, most of my names were hand registered. It was a little easier to slap two lists together and be able to pickup a gem or two through bulk searching. Or before drop catching was huge and I only had to worry if Berkens, Mann, Strong, or Rubin had the same list in their API catchers (they usually did and I ended up buying catcher). Was able to reg a lot of nice stuff on the drop in those days, like bomb// and seal//a// and many others. It's a little harder to find anything decent nowadays and I usually leave my hand registrations to just speculation on future/upcoming trends. Wish would make a comeback :P
    My portfolio is about 20% hand regs anymore, I only hold 200-300 domains at a time.
  7. BlueCar

    BlueCar Established Member

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    Many Thanks! Best advice and guidance I've ever had.
  8. jim h

    jim h Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thank you For Sharing.
  9. Somertonian

    Somertonian Established Member

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    Another well written piece as we have come to expect from you. It is good for newcomers and a timely reminder to the rest of the many factors needed to be considered before taking the plunge on hand registering a name. Looking forward to your next post. I wonder what the topic will be? Only guarantee is, it will be worth reading!
  10. ThatNameGuy

    ThatNameGuy Restricted (15-30%) Gold Account

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    Thanks Bob...i started several years ago with hand regs and I'll probably do it 'til the day that I die. Where else for $8.50 or less can you roll the dice with a chance to make a whole lot of money. My last hand reg listed on the reg of the day is/was DiscoverHygiene(y). While it took me a while to learn to spell hygiene, who in the world today wouldn't want to practice good hygiene if it might save your life.

    I doubt seriously anyone will be looking this name, but I'm pretty sure someone in the medical equipment business, or someone looking to get into an online business selling masks, soap etc. to defend against Covid-19 would luv to own this domain.

    Anyway, thanks again're a good friend and maybe we'll get a chance to catch up again some day for a little 9Time:xf.wink:
  11. Jv1999

    Jv1999 Spamming Exo: Dark Merc of the Exo-Tower VIP

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    hand reggae are kinda misleading :tightlyclosedeyes:

    It's easy to reggae 20 to 30 .coms during a $3 to $6 promo... But you forget that you probably need to hodl those for 2.5 years before a sail. So when next year comes around... Suddenly that shopping spree of 30 domains becomes a nightmare of $245 transfers to GD.

    Most people would probably drop... but that's how money is lost.
  12. Avijit Roy

    Avijit Roy Top Contributor VIP

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    One year back, i had 60% of my domains were hand registered. Now it less than 20%.
    Though i started hand reg Again...

    Lets see how it goes...
  13. arjun29

    arjun29 Established Member

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    Bob is a great guy. Be like Bob.
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I've been a little busy since I posted this, so have not had a chance to respond to the many comments and suggestions. First, and most important, thank you so much for all of the kind comments. I really appreciate them. I am still learning every day in domain names, and feel truly grateful to have the chance to share some of what I discover. I am grateful for this incredible community, so willing to share and help.

    To respond to a few of the specific comments...
    It is a good suggestion, although hard to answer definitively. I am working on some stats that relates to this, but at least a couple of weeks before I will have time to finish.

    Thanks for commenting on that in particular. My goal is primarily two things: a balanced and fair look at different sides (I know I sometimes fail) and providing the links so people can do their own analysis or research and make their own conclusions.

    Yes, when I first was hand registering a few two-word com I thought they were my unique creations. Later I discovered tools like DomainTools, DomainIQ and HosterStats, and now realize that almost all of my creations in fact someone had registered previously, and let drop. In his book @jmcc points out that a few names get registered and dropped a lot of times. Is that good or bad? I would say mainly good - it means that others who invest in domain names have seen worth in the name, so it is one indicator beyond our own that the name has worth.

    A very good point. It is definitely true that some types of names sell well to other domainers (fairly broad appeal, aged .com) so as you say odds are you can get at least a few bucks from them if you decide to drop. I also did not mention parking, but if you can acquire a name that more than pays for annual registrations, the pressure to sell it quickly is removved.

    Yes, you make a good point. While officially a hand registration is when the domain clock has been reset, it is a very tiny difference between getting it on closeout, a backorder, or having seen it on a list but wait until it actually drops and it is officially a hand registration again.

    I agree!

    I totally agree and admire those who do it consistently. The Report Completed Sales thread shows that certain members turn hand reg into good ROI over and over.

    Interesting you should say that, as the idea of asking yourself if you would feature this domain is maybe the most recent idea I expressed in the thread. I plan to try that test more myself moving forward.

    I did not even know Bernie was into domain names! :xf.grin:

    Everyone should feel free to suggest, either in comments here or by DM, ideas they would like to see written up. I have a number of dozen of partly finished ideas at any time, so it is not like I have run out of things to write about, but really, the NamePros Blog belongs to us all, and I want it to reflect what things are of most interest to the community.

    That is a pretty kind comment @arjun29 - thank you. In balance, I should add that I am working on becoming an expert in domain investing, according to this definition of expert (sorry not original but no idea of source - been using it for decades) "an expert is someone who in some area of study has made every possible mistake." So please don't be too much like me, people! :xf.wink:

    Speaking of which, even though I think most or all of the points made in the article have merit, I don't, even now, follow them. I just made a hand-reg yesterday that breaks a number of them, and I think about to make another now.:xf.eek:

    Thanks to all who have voted (275 as of writing). Results do not surprise me that much, but interesting to see how many hand registrations are in different people's portfolios.

    Have a great weekend, and thank you once I thought this topic would be of interest, but surprised a little that it has garnered so much interest and support.

    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  15. Ostrados

    Ostrados Entrepreneur VIP

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    interesting question..

    Excluding registration of dropped domains I have 11% of my portfolio hand registered. I only hand register brandable domains anything else I don't bother.
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  16. Fadi H

    Fadi H NamesMan VIP

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    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  17. Anees Ahmad

    Anees Ahmad Established Member

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    This is a must read for everyone who is starting out domaining.
    Thank you @Bob Hawkes for sharing.
  18. elevator

    elevator VIP

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    Bob ! This is very great. I thank you so much for those tools made available.

    Most of my sold names are hand regs even without using as much tools as these

    I will now try those tools to improve on my hand regs

    Thank you for sharing and cheers.
  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    So now somewhat more than 300 people have voted....
    • only 7 people (about 2%) have no hand registrations at all
    • but almost 25% have less than 20% of portfolio in hand registrations
    • about 16% are completely hand registrations, nothing else
    • a little more than 41% have at least 80% of portfolio in hand registrations
    Thanks to everyone who has contributed - as NamePros polls go this is a pretty high voting number.

    This poll was by number, and I suppose that had I asked by dollar value, the results might have been rather different. Like if you have a few low $$$$ acquisitions that is more than many hundreds of hand registrations, at least initial costs.

  20. franka46

    franka46 Established Member

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    I am not a big investor ,even after about 12 years domaining I still consider myself a hobby domainer..
    The most I enjoy is finding a good name myself ,handreg it and sell if for any profit .
    I have around 1100 domains but that does not mean that I keep them for long or renew them every year.
    If no interest in any of them ,I let them expire ,I lose $9 ....
  21. Brian L.

    Brian L. Top Contributor VIP ICA Member

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    I rarely hand register domains, but I often have a domain name epiphany and quickly search to see if it’s available. 99% of the time they’re already registered of course. How many of you search for availability anytime a domain name idea pops into your head?
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  22. franka46

    franka46 Established Member

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    I pick up names when i go for a walk ,see billboard signs ,or watch Tv ...or scan newsletters ...I reg'd DivorceSelfie.kom InHomeDeliveries.kom CutOutCustomer.kom [audience replacements at football envents]and more
  23. Reddstagg

    Reddstagg Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Good morning,

    I'd be what you could call an eclectic domain investor as I have just about everything apart from .kitchensink.

    I often think of something so leftfield I'm convinced I've found a winner only to discover that someone has beat me to it. Random does not do it justice.

    I currently have a maybe/standby list of names in the region of 1,850 names as I might be researching something completely unrelated when I might see something and I make a note of it in the modern way.

    I take a screenshot on my phone and update my spreadsheet when I am at my PC.

    It works for me but others may have their own methods.


  24. DpakH

    DpakH Established Member

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  25. manpreet

    manpreet Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for sharing yet another interesting article.
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