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discuss Incognito Domainer

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MapleDots

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Quite a while back I mentioned that I've put my domains to work and I have over 1000 domains forwarded to one of my online stores. So instead of parking income I'm harvesting the traffic and hopefully selling some items from my online store.

A few interesting things have happened during this time and it's not what you would expect. I'm selling more items than ever on the online store and I cannot say for sure if that is because of covid, or the increase in traffic, but that is another issue altogether.

What I really wanted to talk about with this post is kind of surprising...

Since I stopped forwarding my domains to a mapledots lander, and forward them masked (address remains in address bar) to my online store, the inquiries have shot up substantially. The clients basically email or call my business and ask for the person in charge.

The number one thing the email inquiry, or caller, says is "I notice you're not using the domain".

I say....
Ohhh, I forgot about that domain, I use it to drive traffic to my online store.

Client says...
Would you consider selling?

I say...
If the right offer came along but I'm really in no panic to sell.

Client says...
How much are you asking?

I say...
Never thought about it but it would have to be a genuine offer worth my while for me to consider selling.

Here is where it gets really interesting...

The dialogue is so civilized, there is nobody calling me a domain squatter, there is no name calling, nothing! It all seems sooo polite with me basically always repeating that it would have to be a significant offer worth my while for me to consider selling the domain.

Since I operate all of my businesses as a sole proprietorship I bill right through my online store and the end user has no idea that they ever did business with mapledots or a domainer.

I don't think I'll be going back to my previous way of selling domains anytime soon. I still use mapledots for my auction and marketplace activities, but for most inquiries I now use one of my regular business names.

Selling incognito is truly a refreshing way to sell domains. When the end user does not know they are dealing with a domainer the transaction is so much more pleasant.


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PLEASE DO NOT POST, OR DISCUSS, MY PERSONAL BUSINESS OR NAME IN THIS TOPIC.

Discuss the topic at hand without getting into the personal details of my business. - Thank You!
 
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MapleDots

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This looks very interesting.

Just want to be clear,
1 - [Domain A] has keywords totally unrelated to [Online Store Domain B]
2 - [Online Store Domain B] is a fully functional marketplace that acts as a real biz selling physical/digital goods
3 - Whois privacy can be enabled on all [Domain A] as long as there's contact details mentioned at the online store's contact page
4 - [Domain A] redirects to [Online Store Domain B] while remaining under [Domain A] in all URLs related to the online shop (in other words, zero traces of [Online Store Domain B] in the URLs when customer types in [Domain A])

Is this correct?

It's just set up for type ins so basically the typed in domain is visible in the address bar upon landing. Because the domain is a masked forward you can add any tags or descriptions to customize it if you want. I don't do that because I want it to seem like I am only using the domain to gain traffic for my online store.

So basically the domain name stays in the url for one keyclick and I have a java script loaded on my store which breaks it out of frames and loads my real domain address upon any click thereafter.
 
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Cannuck

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^ Ah, now I get it... kill two birds with one stone! (y)
 
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MapleDots

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You've inspired me in more ways than one @MapleDots (y).

This was actually my plan B from the beginning. The niche domains I currently hold just needed a focused lander as they already have organic traffic. I've noticed others doing similar, particularly in the real-estate industry. Correct me if I'm not wrong, it will increase SEO on the home page if you use A-record redirect vs domain forwarding.

I can't use A-record because I bulk forward over 1000 domains, I don't know how to do that with A-Records but in the next post I will disclose a little secret.
 
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MapleDots

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My secret #1

Here is a secret I have been using for quite a while and I will disclose it today...


GoDaddy has poor bulk tools and it only lets me change about 50 or so domains with forwards until it times out. I used to be able to forward 1000 domains in a few keyclicks and now it takes much longer.

How do I get around that?

I forward all my domains to domains.mydomain.com in the godaddy control panel so now I never have to touch it again.

My main business domain uses google domains so I go there and make a subdomain called domains.mydomain.com.

Now I forward domains.mydomains.com to my online store number #1.

If I want to change the forward of all 1000 domains to online store #2 then all I do is change the forward of domains.mydomain.com to my other store address.

So at any time I can change all 1000 or so domains to forward to any one of my online stores or businesses with a couple of keystrokes.
 
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MapleDots

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My secret #2

Here is another one of my tricks

Since my google analytics are loaded on the main domain it shows me exactly where each keyclick comes from, I can see when someone types in any of my domains and how many times it lands. If I switch back to mapledots I can also see how many keyclicks I get and how many times people land.

So I can direct all 1000 or so domains to numerous businesses and companies with one keyclick, let it run for a month and analyse my google analytics.

So far I get many more keyclicks when they forward to my online store and if only a few people poke around I might just pick up some business.
I also get more domain inquiries when forwarded to my online store instead of my domaining page.

It's called putting my domains to work instead of just sitting there looking pretty.
 
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Cannuck

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Using a Javascript solves the problem of "breaking out" under masking, and the time savings of forwarding to a sub-domain... solves the logistics problem and get both analytics plus a pipeline to direct sales to boot! No more 3rd party parking... genius! Nice work A++! :xf.cool:
 
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Cannuck

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That's some fancy dancing! I know now I've got some homework to do. Thanks for sharing! (y)
 
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eternaldomains

Established Member
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My secret #1

Here is a secret I have been using for quite a while and I will disclose it today...


GoDaddy has poor bulk tools and it only lets me change about 50 or so domains with forwards until it times out. I used to be able to forward 1000 domains in a few keyclicks and now it takes much longer.

How do I get around that?

I forward all my domains to domains.mydomain.com in the godaddy control panel so now I never have to touch it again.

My main business domain uses google domains so I go there and make a subdomain called domains.mydomain.com.

Now I forward domains.mydomains.com to my online store number #1.

If I want to change the forward of all 1000 domains to online store #2 then all I do is change the forward of domains.mydomain.com to my other store address.

So at any time I can change all 1000 or so domains to forward to any one of my online stores or businesses with a couple of keystrokes.

This reminds me a bit of the multi domain redirect tactics used by phishermen :)

Some more questions:

1 - is a subdomain necessary and why?

2 - is masking applied to the google domain as well? Or just the domains for sale?

3 - GA is on both the google domain and the online store as well?
 
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MapleDots

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This reminds me a bit of the multi domain redirect tactics used by phishermen :)

More questions:

1 - is a subdomain necessary and why?

2 - is masking applied to the google domain as well? Or just the domains for sale?

3 - GA is on both the google domain and the online store as well?

1. The sub domain is how I redirect 1000 domains with 1 keyclick, so I can change it anytime. You don't need it if you don't want to do that.

2. Masking is only applied to the forwarded domain not the end business domain. Remember I use java code to break you out of the frame on any keyclick. I can tell if you are staying and poking around my online store. In fact I can even see if I get a sale.

3. GA is automatically on all pages because it runs on my online store, so all forwarded domains will be logged and I will know from where the traffic is coming from. So if you were at godaddy auction and typed the name in the address bar I would see you coming from godaddy.

As for your main question...

There is in fishing involved, I'm simply directing the domains to where I think I can utilize them the most.
 
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SuperBrander

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Thanks for your previous response regarding the different marketplaces. I have another question if you don't mind answering- why mask the domain instead of just forward it to the business and show the business url? I imagine some unsavvy people who follow the redirect and end up on the business site might think the domain they were trying to see is being used as a business since they still see the url at the top and that might make them not approach you to inquire about the domain.
 
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eternaldomains

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1. The sub domain is how I redirect 1000 domains with 1 keyclick, so I can change it anytime. You don't need it if you don't want to do that.

2. Masking is only applied to the forwarded domain not the end business domain. Remember I use java code to break you out of the frame on any keyclick. I can tell if you are staying and poking around my online store. In fact I can even see if I get a sale.

3. GA is automatically on all pages because it runs on my online store, so all forwarded domains will be logged and I will know from where the traffic is coming from. So if you were at godaddy auction and typed the name in the address bar I would see you coming from godaddy.

As for your main question...

There is in fishing involved, I'm simply directing the domains to where I think I can utilize them the most.
1 - I mean if I want to use mydomain.com instead of subdomain.mydomain.com to do the middle redirect is this ok?

2 - what about masking/not masking the middle redirect domain (subdomain.mydomain.com)?

Another partly unrelated - don't mind sharing what payment processor do you use for your biz sales? Asking because I've been looking at payment processors and they tend to have very polarizing reviews
 
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MapleDots

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Thanks for your previous response regarding the different marketplaces. I have another question if you don't mind answering- why mask the domain instead of just forward it to the business and show the business url? I imagine some unsavvy people who follow the redirect and end up on the business site might think the domain they were trying to see is being used as a business since they still see the url at the top and that might make them not approach you to inquire about the domain.

So if someone types in bestdomain.com and gets to mystore.com I want it to say bestdomain.com. In a sneaky way I still want the person typing the URL to see it in use. Because I don't advertise my domains anyone typing it in is doing so only to find out who owns it which ultimately might lead to a sale.

If they see the site and want to know anything else they will click on something and that leads them to the real store URL. From there on there might be some curiosity as to who is using the URL so they might poke around and in a small percentage of cases I might even pick up a sale of product but that is not the real purpose. The real purpose is to show who is kinda using the domain, to the person looking it is obvious the domain is only used as a redirect so they naturally think.... hey maybe I can buy it.

On the other hand if the leads straight to marketplace site asking for 10k they will probably just click away because they think another squatter own the site. With my method they are not intimidated, instead they think the url is not in use and I may have a chance to purchase it. From there on the negotiation starts. Using my analytics I can tell you I get more inquiries when I use this method than when I forward to godaddy auction or my landers.

So remember I am not talking about sales, I am saying my method gets me more inquiries than my landers and from there on everything depends on my skills as a domainer. The results will vary for every domainer depending on their sales and closing skills.
 
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MapleDots

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1 - I mean if I want to use mydomain.com instead of subdomain.mydomain.com to do the middle redirect is this ok?

2 - what about masking/not masking the middle redirect domain (subdomain.mydomain.com)?

Another partly unrelated - don't mind sharing what payment processor do you use for your biz sales? Asking because I've been looking at payment processors and they tend to have very polarizing reviews

1. The subdomain is irrelevant, it is only used to bulk forward 1000 domains with a keyclick. No subdomain is required for masking, you can mask each domain to any address you want in godaddy. I use a middle subdomain so I only have to change the subdomain forward and all 1000 domains change and point to where I want them to.

2. Again this is not possible because the subdomain is only used in godaddy, nobody ever sees it.

I use Costco Elavon Merchant Services to process my domain sales up to 10k.
After that I use certified funds and I have had really good luck with that.

In Canada we also have e-transfer and I will often use that to transfer domain funds and a lot of my friends on namepros will tell you we deal almost exclusively with e-transfers among ourselves because it is free to use.
 
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Cannuck

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Agreed, someone who is serious about a domain will investigate more, and perhaps be willing to invest in a domain that isn't used directly, feeling that they might have the chance of getting a good deal since it is a secondary one to your main business. That's using psychology. It's an interesting and novel technique, one that GD certainly wouldn't want to share with their market, since it cuts their grass.

In particular, it works because you also have an online store, so forget the pay by click on 3rd party lander, not much money in that anyway. The domains actually work for you!
 
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creataweb

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1 - I mean if I want to use mydomain.com instead of subdomain.mydomain.com to do the middle redirect is this ok?

You could use a simple piece of code to redirect from mydomain•com instead of using a subdomain if you really wanted. I've done this for a few reasons myself in the past. Easy to do in bulk too because you can just change the URL inside the code for instant results.
 
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Brands.International

MarekTop Member
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The "incognito domainer" is certainly a very interesting idea :) For some people, it might work well. But for this idea to work well one needs to be very, very, very patient.

Honestly @MapleDots you have great domain names, you invested a lot of time and money to make a nice portfolio. Your names are generic, and clean when it comes to things like TMs, etc. It is a very good portfolio.

So in your case, why be anonymous or incognito? I would do vice-versa if I would be you, start doing more social media, be more visible. This will also eliminate any shady or unpleasant interactions one might encounter, as shady people like to operate in dark. Once you are kind of visible/public/direct, this ceases.

The thing is, that except .com names you have a lot of great ccTLD names. But those are limited only to 1 country with less than 40 mil people. This means this is a limited end-user pool, compared to 7 bil end-user pool .com names have (and for this matter also generic new gTLDs have when I am at it).

A limited end-user pool means slow action (low liquidity), particularly in case you have high demands on your ROI. This leads me to the conclusion, that either you will be very patient (and simply sit on your names for the next 5-20 years, which would be the best approach in your case as you are still very young, IMO, and it is really an investment for your future, so why selling now), or, if you want some action now, go to social media, promote, and be proud on what you own.

This "incognito domainer" idea will probably lead to a lot of lowball offers (tricky domain investors will try their luck), which can lead to frustration in time. Your tricky idea will attract other tricky people, who will try to trick you... I guess it is best to be very truthful in what we are trying to achieve, sometimes simple truth is the most effective.

This is just IMO and I might be wrong, and no damage is done if you test the idea of "incognito domainer", which is certainly very interesting. GL :)
 
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MapleDots

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@Brands.International it's always nice to hear from you but showrooming does not work for me. It might with your generic new tld's but someone looking for a red domain is not going to shop my site and say I'll take the green one instead and maybe the nice orange one. I can add fancy logos, which I did for years, and try to say how my domains are better than the next guys but none of that matters in domaining.

In your case if someone wants my.city there is no use showing him my.other because he already know what he wants. The only person that benefits from showrooming is the domainer. He can brag about his shiny website with lots of colorful domains but to the end user that is irrelevant. He wants the domain he came for and that is it. By not telling him I am a domainer I increase my odds of contact. I have been experimenting with this back and forth a couple of years now and my stats are clear, I get more interaction when the client thinks they are dealing with an ordinary joe.

I have all my files and can re-launch my logo website in 10 minutes if I want. It looks great, it's super fancy but nobody calls. I feel great looking at the website and other domainers tell me they are jealous of all the nice logos. Problem is.... it still does not make for inquiries other than on the domain someone is interested in. If I intimidate him and he decides not to inquire because he thinks he will have to deal with a squatter then I miss the sale.

So lets face it, we can call ourselves whatever we want, domainer, a broker, a virtual property manager, but in the end the majority of the public will still call us squatters. It's a perception that is hard to overcome, I have figured out how. I simply don't tell them... period, nothing else.
 
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Mytz.com

Domain [email protected] PITE.com GOZI.com JALI.com TOPU.comTop Member
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Is it really that good?
Could it be a coincidence?
And what kind of products do you sell?
I've always wanted to do that
 
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MapleDots

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Is it really that good?
Could it be a coincidence?
And what kind of products do you sell?
I've always wanted to do that

No its not really that good, it's just better for me. It did not create a massive increase in sales because I did not discount my domains. It did however increase the number of inquiries so if that is what you want then try it for a while. It took me almost two years to come to this conclusion so I did not make the decision lightly. I switched back and forth a number of times to make sure the stats were accurate before posting this.

What the site is I forward to is not relevant to the topic because any business or personal site would do as long as it's not a domaining website.
 
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CraigD

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I have considered redirects (without masking) but had read years ago that it downgrades Google (Larry) Page Rank.

Can you tell us anything about your experience with effect on PR on the domain you are forwarding too?
 
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For domains I do not want to sell either temporary (60 days locks), permanently, or simply do not want to sell at this time (and so there is no sales lander or forsale banners or links), I often receive solicitations from domainagents. It means that some folks do not want to deal with owner(s) directly and prefer to hire a "broker", searching for one in G - ppc links. Of course domainagents are instantly ignored, since I would not sell anything via escrow dot com which service domainagents is still using. So, an incognito domainer should be prepared to deal with this escrow provider. The situation with .ca domains (which I think are involved in the original post) may be different though - local buyers/sellers and locally acepted payment methods, etc.
 
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eternaldomains

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1. The subdomain is irrelevant, it is only used to bulk forward 1000 domains with a keyclick. No subdomain is required for masking, you can mask each domain to any address you want in godaddy. I use a middle subdomain so I only have to change the subdomain forward and all 1000 domains change and point to where I want them to.

2. Again this is not possible because the subdomain is only used in godaddy, nobody ever sees it.

I use Costco Elavon Merchant Services to process my domain sales up to 10k.
After that I use certified funds and I have had really good luck with that.

In Canada we also have e-transfer and I will often use that to transfer domain funds and a lot of my friends on namepros will tell you we deal almost exclusively with e-transfers among ourselves because it is free to use.
More questions...

1 - Have you tried redirecting your names without masking for this experiment? Was thinking that since most end user companies don't redirect like this.

2 - (Payment process) I noticed these seem to be US/CA companies/banks, any idea if it's available for international users? I just tried signing up on Costco's (Elavon.net right?) but encountered unknown errors.

3 - GA. Not sure how to ask this one. I did try using GA off and on but last I remembered I was only able to see 1 step before a visitor hits my website. Using on DAN was a complete fail. And from your post, it looks like you can see like 2-3 steps before a visitor hits your online store. GA can't be used directly on the redirecting domains for sale right? Don't mind letting me know how to go about this, or point out a tutorial elsewhere? Or is it actually so simple that I've totally overlooked some of the buttons/functions? Until today GA feels like a maze to me.

4 - Another not so related - which hosting service you use? I always worry about uptime problems and it seems yours can handle like 1k-10k visitors a day? (assuming that you get at least 1-10 type-ins per domain per day)

5 - JavaScript - Is it ok for you to share it (minus the names of course)? Is it a simple redirect command or something else? Total noob on coding, but still got to learn for the near future.

6 - These days, do domain customers ever use the contact details from WHOIS when contacting you, or it's all/mostly through the contact page of the online store?
 
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MapleDots

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More questions...

1 - Have you tried redirecting your names without masking for this experiment? Was thinking that since most end user companies don't redirect like this.

2 - (Payment process) I noticed these seem to be US/CA companies/banks, any idea if it's available for international users? I just tried signing up on Costco's (Elavon.net right?) but encountered unknown errors.

3 - GA. Not sure how to ask this one. I did try using GA off and on but last I remembered I was only able to see 1 step before a visitor hits my website. Using on DAN was a complete fail. And from your post, it looks like you can see like 2-3 steps before a visitor hits your online store. GA can't be used directly on the redirecting domains for sale right? Don't mind letting me know how to go about this, or point out a tutorial elsewhere? Or is it actually so simple that I've totally overlooked some of the buttons/functions? Until today GA feels like a maze to me.

4 - Another not so related - which hosting service you use? I always worry about uptime problems and it seems yours can handle like 1k-10k visitors a day? (assuming that you get at least 1-10 type-ins per domain per day)

5 - JavaScript - Is it ok for you to share it (minus the names of course)? Is it a simple redirect command or something else? Total noob on coding, but still got to learn for the near future.

6 - These days, do domain customers ever use the contact details from WHOIS when contacting you, or it's all/mostly through the contact page of the online store?

1. No you need masking because masking is used to retain the domain address I'm selling in the address bar. It changes to my store domain when anything is clicked.

2. Sign up at your local costco, you can also do it online by visiting costco web and then clicking on services. You can sell internationally no issues.

3. I have Google Analytics on the store lander and again on the store itself. Once you analyse your data over several months you get a clear picture. I have custom apps in my store back end that make the google analytics simpler but that depends on the software you use to run the online store. My landing page is pure blogger and google analytics are baked in there as well.

4. I use blogger as my business website, I have zero branding and 100% uptime for no cost. I also wipe the blogger template and use a simple blank page to host mapledots. I had a pretty complex site there before I stripped it down. People don't know that you can use blogger for free hosting and you can do pretty much anything if you strip away the blogger template.

5. The easiest way to break out of frames is to add this into the header of your html, no special knowledge needed.
Code:
<base target='_top'/>
I actually just changed added this a few minutes ago because some people use noscript addons in their browser and this will work better than a java script in those circumstances.

6. I pay no attention to my whois, most of them are obscured anyways, I rely solely on clients taking the contact info off the webpage.
 
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UncleBrand

Top Member
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@MapleDots thank you for sharing your unique experience

can you tell in number how much queries you got
and the sales you closed using this process

you can provide percentage numbers, if you don't want to let the cat out of the bag

keep up with the great work
 
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johnn

WeSellName.comTop Member
Impact
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Do you know that if you revealed a secret, a secret is not a secret anymore?
 
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