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Warning and Info about Domain Lists and Recommendations

Located in General Domain Discussion, started by Ategy, Jan 17, 2020

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  1. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    Yesterday @Bob Hawkes asked me a question about the daily lists I share here and at NameCult, and then he also touched upon NameBio domains. I quoted his question and my reply here, but I felt it was an important enough issue to give more details and to start a conversation about not just my lists, but all daily domain lists in general ...


    First of all thanks to all who follow my daily lists and blog (and my ramblings about my squirrel-chasing adventures with my dog Steamie .. lol)

    That being said, I want it to be very clear and I cannot stress enough that you should NEVER consider domains on anybody's list as a "recommendation". For myself, I go through the daily master list of about 50,000 domains to create a list of about 500 of what I consider the most NOTABLE domains.

    There are many types of domains you'll regularly find on my lists that I only put because I know some people like to follow or track or invest in those specific types of domains. It does NOT mean I think you should acquire them. In fact, unless a domain has added attributes then I personally recommend domainers stay away from and do NOT acquire ANY liquid domains unless at a noticeable acquisition cost below the liquid price (including numerics and 4L .com's, etc).

    Other reasons I add domains to my lists are just because I thought the domain was interesting for any of a million possible reasons. I'll also add names simply because I think they are funny and want to give people who go through my list a smile/laugh. I could also add a domain because it's interesting, unusual, curious, odd or unique in some way even if it still has no value.

    I sometimes will also add names that I think could be of interest to someone I know or a NamePros member. Canadian/Maple related domains for @MapleDots for example, and I'll often try to tag people with domains I think they could use as end users or domains that are close to their usernames.

    On top of those, the daily master list of all expired domains going to auction at GoDaddy (about 50,000 domains on average) is long and boring (it's a LOT of work that people who make long manually curated lists do for you). Sometimes my mind goes numb or goes into zombie mode where I click at names I usually would not have for no good reason other than I'm tired. I'm also sure there are at least a handful of domains on my list a week that were added because I miss-clicked and actually intended to add the domain above or below it on master list.

    There are also times when the active imagination my inner want-to-be developer/entrepreneur kicks into high-gear and I start adding names that I think could be cool if someone wanted to start X Y or Z types of businesses. Which generally are the type of trap/pitfall domains I recommend against unless it's a name you're sure other people will think up separately on their own. Or sometimes I do deliberately add such names because they are cool (remember my list is specifically not just names I'd recommend acquiring)

    Then there's also the very simple fact that most domain list makers build their lists in advance. When obviously most of the bidding happens at auction at the last minute, so I may indeed actually have put a domain I "recommend", but only at a certain price or if there was no other bidder. Because I also feel strongly that you should never blindly buy good or even amazing domains .. EVERY domain you ever acquire should always be analysed not just for quality, but also for value, and the only way to assess value, is based on the actual current (up to the second) price. A domain I think is of fantastic value at $12, could be a horrible value at $100. So always keep in mind I do not know the final price the domain will actually cost you when it's on the auction list.


    Now that that is out of the way there are two other type of domains to be aware of ...

    TRADEMARKS:
    The first is domain potentially containing trademarks. On that I want to be extremely clear that I have ZERO policy when it comes to listing trademarks (marked with TM). Sometimes I actually will deliberately put a trademark domain in the list if the company is known to aggressively defend their marks and even take UDRP actions against domain owners. That reason I add these domains to my list is exactly because my list is of notable/interesting domains .. within which I consider domains that you want to see what happens to to see if anyone actually buys it.

    Beyond that, just because a domain is or includes a trademark does not automatically mean it can't be used or sold. Trademarks are a little too complex to start discussing here, but until you've informed yourself of trademark basics and how they apply to domains, you should not buy a single domain .. PERIOD. Stop buying domains and inform yourself of the laws and rules. NamePros is actually a fantastic place to start, and I recommend you search for threads and posts by @jberryhill who is experienced with many aspects of domain legal issues ... he and his posts probably are THE best assets of all of NamePros.

    I only mark some of the most obvious trademark domains. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I'm not sure, sometimes I don't bother because I think it's obvious, sometimes I don't add comments simply because I'm running late and it's not a priority to me specifically because everybody should ALWAYS do their own due diligence on EVERY domain they acquire anyways.


    TYPOS / ALTERNATIVE SPELLING:
    I sometimes mark domains that are misspells or typos with a "Sp" (short for spelling). But again, sometimes I miss typos, sometimes I think they are deliberate or obvious so I don't mark them. I'm also far from being the perfect speller. Also there are times where words are spelled differently in different country (color/colour). Always double check domains for spelling.


    I go through the master 50,000 domain list VERY quickly. Sometimes I even click on the wrong domain. Never EVER EVER buy a domain on my list because you think I recommend it. Let it be EXTREMELY clear that for EVERY domain on all of my lists you should search for trademarks, typos, investabilty worthiness, etc etc. I simply list what I consider are the most interesting domains. Particularly when it comes to TMs, I will probably miss most domains with trademarks. More importantly just because a domain has a trademark does NOT mean you can't buy or use it (same thing goes for typos I suppose). I only mark some of the most obvious ones when I have time .. but even then it could still be very safe to use, while others I didn't mark might be an instant UDRP. ONLY use my lists as a starting point. Consider it a first filter, and from my list you should filter several more times for various things before considering buying any domain. On that note .. have a great day! :)


    Credibility / Integrity:
    Finally it also should be noted that most people who share lists do so for a reason. When I started sharing my lists here at NamePros I didn't even have affiliate links for the first year. I was already going through the daily master list for myself and it was very easy for me to find names I felt were good, but that I didn't want for some reason or another. But you should all be aware that most people who post lists make some revenue from affiliate links (not as much as you think for most of us .. lol .. but it's not zero). So always be aware of that fact when looking at people's lists.

    For myself personally, I'd hope that the considerable time and energy I spend trying to be involved and help others in the many other areas of NamePros is a testament to my credibility and integrity, and that it's not just about the money for me, but for some people (NOT all) who make lists it is about the money and they might not care what you buy. Also, some others who make lists also might not even be good domainers or might not even recognise a good domain if it was staring at them in the face. I don't mean that in a bad way to say they are bad people, but actually the opposite in that they could genuinely be recommending you buy a domain without realising the domain is actually garbage or too expensive, etc.

    To be clear, while I've had domains for ages, I only made the decision to actively start domaining in late 2016 (a little over 3 years ago). Although I did make a nice little profit (in domains) in 2019, and I think I've absorbed enough information as well as have enough broad life experience and knowledge to get things right more often than wrong. But to get to the point, you definitely need to also look into who is creating/generating the lists you use. Many lists are simply automated bots or algorithms/programs that list domains simply based on numbers. For some of you that might actually be what you want .. I obviously do have some automation to help me get through the master list quickly, and there are certain categories of domains I never check (25 character .mobi's for example .. lol), but for the most part my lists are MANUALLY CURATED .. which means that I go in and actually access each domain one by one. It's obviously a very quick/basic analysis, but still, the end result is that I usually find plenty of names that automated lists miss .. which in terms can be the best acquisitions in terms of value specifically because relatively few other people see them.


    In the end it's also important to note that doing the list just for affiliate commissions would never be worth my time unless I had a much bigger audience like some of the others making lists many more years than I've been around. But I won't deny one of many reasons I do this every single day over and over is that I'd like to get there one day. However I also share the lists because as a domainer I was going through the master list anyways, so indeed some of the work is for the benefit of my own personal domain portfolio.

    Which leaves me to say that sometimes there are domains I leave off the list because I want to grab it myself. I'd think that was obvious .. but wanted it to be clear. When I started 2-3 years ago I kept back a large portion of my daily lists .. but as time has progressed, now I only hold back a small handful of domains a day .. on some days it's actually zero.

    While 2019 was good for me with domain sales, I was actually rather disappointed with the revenue from my lists. I keep going in hopes that changes and things get better. But I also want to be transparent in that for over a year now I've been thinking about also doing some wholesaling, and obviously having a couple hundred followers who like my lists would obviously help any wholesaling I eventually start.


    Ultimately .. as much as I hate to admit it .. if you want to be the most successful as possible, you should spend 3-4 hours a night going through the ~50,000 domain long master list yourself if you truly want to find the best names for your own preferences and portfolio.


    Although if you don't have that extra 25 hours a week and find people who make lists like I do helpful, please do remember to thank them:
    - If you follow them here at NamePros, definitely do click on Like or Thanks each time you look at each of their lists .. even if you don't buy domains .. it's not about thanking them for the specific domains .. it's about thanking them for their time and effort .. particularly those with longer and manually curated lists.
    - If you do buy anything, then please make a point of using their affiliate links. Remember that your purchase only counts for the last affiliate link you used. So if you use multiple lists, be sure to spread the love proportionately between all the lists you use based on how helpful they are to you. Also remember that if you click on our affiliate links but then pay on a different device or browser, we get nothing for our time.

    The same should be true for any web service you receive supported by ads or sponsors. Never deliberately click on something you weren't already interested in, but remember that when you click on the ads here at NamePros it helps pay for their servers, or to pay for the development of a new feature, etc. Similarly, when you click the affiliate links from us "listers", you help us pay for our time and effort .. you might think just one person won't make a difference .. you're wrong .. I speak on behalf of all content creators/provider .. every little bit counts and adds up.

    ... and on that note, on a more personal level, I just want to say thanks to all of you who click on my affiliate links .. and to those of you who click like/thanks here at NamePros as well as those of you who write me personally. I particularly love to hear from those of you who have made sales from names you found thanks to my lists .. please keep those coming! :)


    I hope this post helped give you all some insight behind all of us who make and share lists with all of you. If there's something I missed or something else you'd like to know, please feel free to ask! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

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    I personally do not follow your daily lists but the amount of work involved deserves some recognition (y)
     
  3. J Sokol

    J Sokol Top Contributor VIP

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    Thanks @Bob Hawkes for bringing this up, and thanks @Ategy for the clarification.
     
  4. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    Thanks @NickB .. although I did touch upon my routine and perspective, this post was really more about any and every list out there. If my list isn't your cup of tea of any of number of possible reasons that's totally fine, but if you are using someone else's list, then please make a point of clicking thanks or reaching out to them privately to thank them. Be sure to click those affiliate links to go to the domain listings sales/auction pages. If they have a separate blog, then take a few minutes to comment on their website! It might all seem trivial .. but as I said .. it adds up! :)
     
  5. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    Most all dictionary words are TM'ed under some class. If you say I don't buy, sell or exchange TM'ed domains, than domain investing is not for you.

    Show me a portfolio with no Trademarks in some class and I will show you.......well nevermind.😀
     
  6. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

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    I do things my own way, nothing against your lists.....actually chuckling to myself while I wrote this sentence because the last thing I would do is belittle someone like you who puts in all that hard work and contributes so much to this forum :xf.grin::xf.laugh:

    I personally do not use anybody's personal lists....just corporations and they are going to get a jack sh*t load of thanks from me except their small (or large, depending on your view) commissions :xf.wink:

    Totally agree with you, if people use a service that is created by the "little guy" (no insult intended) then they should show appreciation by thanking, clicking affiliates and in other ways they can....help the people that give their individual time and effort so others can benefit and provide some motivation to those (you included!) that put in work

    All the best with it!
     
  7. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    @Internet.Domains .. I think you missed the point of what I said .. lol .. the only takeaways from what I wrote above are ...

    1- Just because I comment something with a "TM" does not mean it can't be used or sold ..
    * AND CONVERSELY *
    2- Just because I didn't comment something with a "TM" does not mean it can be used or sold ..


    The same is actually true when it comes to whether trademarks are registered or not:

    1- Just because a trademark is registered does not mean it can't be used or sold ..
    * AND CONVERSELY *
    2- Just because a trademark isn't registered does not mean it can be used or sold ..


    Again though .. that's all a very different subject and beyond the scope of this thread (feel free to quote my posts and start a new topic if you'd like .. lol) .. the only thing to take away from this thread is never rely on trademark notes, comments or advice from long generic lists. Inform yourself of the basics of trademark rules .. and for anything else, seek appropriate legal council.
     
  8. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    @Ategy , do you have any kind of a disclaimer or warning indicated at the beginning (and perhaps also at the end) of each list about the TM, typo, suitability, and other issues that people need to watch for.

    IMO
     
  9. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    @oldtimer .. again .. I started this thread more about all lists in general .. so I really can't speak for the others, for mine it's right there in all my posts .. not sure how you missed it? lol .. Anyhow .. almost from the start I had something similar to what I currently have now:


    IMPORTANT: I highly suggest you double and triple check all domains for typos, bad translations, trademarks, IDNs and to confirm any errors in stats/data. Parking and traffic data from GoDaddy. Remember that the only person ever responsible for buying a domain is the person who buys it.

    These lists are intended as a tool and starting point to bring awareness to notable and interesting domains at auction (many of them should not be registered as a domainer, for others it depends on the price) .. from there it is up to you to do your own research to make sure everything is accurate and that the domain has enough resale value to justify purchasing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  10. hookbox

    hookbox Top Contributor VIP

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    It is totally ridiculous that anyone would even consider you liable for something like this UNLESS you were making the list and profiting off it in some way then you could easily be liable. I would add a disclaimer for the ONE asshole in the world that would possibly try to make you liable. The world we live in these days.
     
  11. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    I got it. Although, since TM's are mostly misunderstood, I thought I would mention my usual talking point regarding.
     
  12. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    @hookbox .. well .. I do have a "disclaimer" (see 1 post above yours), but it's really there more as genuine advice. I don't think anyone would think I'm responsible for TM's .. as discussed, whether a domain is or isn't registered as a trademark doesn't really equal if it can be used or sold either way.

    More importantly, if I'm liable, then so would GoDaddy for selling trademark domains in the first place (although they probably have better lawyers than I do .. lol) .. some of which are very clear violations (again though, don't want to turn this into a trademark discussion .. lol)


    Yeah .. The only thing I disagree with you there is that they are not "mostly misunderstood" .. as in fact they are "mostly VERY misunderstood" .. lol!
     
  13. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I rarely use any lists as I think of new ideas for domains on my own, so I wasn't exactly sure if you had the disclaimer or not. You provide a valuable service to domainers by compiling these lists, but people have to understand that the ultimate responsibility falls on them to do some research about the domains that they pick from your lists. As long as you have the disclaimer and as long as you don't intentionally try to encourage anyone to pick questionable domains then you should be okay.

    IMO

    Disclaimer: This is just my personal opinion on this matter and is not meant as any legal or business advice.
     
  14. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    lmao

    Yeah .. ultimately all lists should be used as a tool to help you find domains.

    Even more .. if people have the time, I suggest to forget about lists like mine, and take 3-4 hours a night to go through the master list .. that's the best way to find hidden gems that others have missed.


    Added for @oldtimer .. the lists for GoDaddy Auctions can be found at GoDaddy Auctions! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  15. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Perhaps you can tell where they can find the master lists to help the newbies who don't know. Although for the domains being filtered by an experienced eye such as yours can be of great benefit to them.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  16. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I thought maybe you were scanning the root zones and other files.

    Nevertheless it's always better for Newbies to work with a list that has already been filtered until they become more experienced themselves.

    IMO
     
  17. NameDeck

    NameDeck NotElected.com VIP

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    Ok... Got to finish a whole beer reading this post :)

    Just wanted to reply to thank you for sharing your lists. I checked it out once or twice and there were some good names on it.

    I'm not a list guy but from what I've seen there should be plenty of decent names on every list you publish. Worth to follow people!

    While we're at it, use his affiliate links when you decide to reg some ;)

    So, maybe I'm a bit off topic but thanks for putting in the hard work to help others for little monetary gain.
     
  18. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I will write a more lengthy comment when I am at a keyboard (but still short compared to yours @Ategy :xf.wink:), but just wanted to thank you for your ongoing daily lists and for this very complete commentary on lists in general. I really like your distinction that a list is a collection of noteworthy names, and not a set of recommendations.
    Thank you.
    Bob
     
  19. Jona4s

    Jona4s Established Member

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    Once you have a list of domains you are interested (that have pending delete status), I strongly recommend anyone not to use the whois lookup of some registrars, when waiting for a name to drop.

    Strangely enough, I found Dynadot caught the domains I was whois-spamming to check them before they drop. Maybe DD users have a panel were they get leads of whois counts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  20. frank-germany

    frank-germany domainer since 2001 / musician VIP

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    its a shame
    that after you put all that effort into our list
    you might have to worry about
    the legal stuff

    this is a domainers forum

    to think that domainers
    may be able to think
    and do their own due diligence
    and take responsibility for what they decide

    is that really out of the world?
     
  21. lock

    lock DomainUsed.com VIP

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    Huge effort explaining.
     
  22. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Thanks again for all of the effort you put into this, @Ategy. I really like that you took the approach of looking at expiring lists in general, and not specifically your own.

    A few points that stood out for me from your response were the following (in some cases maybe I am extending or interpreting what you said)
    • One should think of the lists as sort of a noteworthy selection, and these are noteworthy for a whole bunch of reasons. They should not be interpreted as a recommendation to buy list.
    • There are lists generated by different people. Each of these will illustrate thought patterns of that person. Also keep in mind the expertise of the person generating the list, or even if it is a person and not bot generated.
    • Really the best list for any person would be one they obtained from 4 hours work going through 50,000 daily names, but for many that is not practical.
    • A name on a list may be a worthwhile purchase at one price but not another. Obviously in expiring the person making the list does not know where the price will end.
    • Seeing a name on the list is obviously not enough to make an acquisition decision. It is a starting point for you to make your own detailed research.
    • Obviously the person using the list is responsible for their own decisions with respect to all aspects including TM and many others.
    Thanks again for the logic and clarity of your post. It is essential reading for anyone who uses lists, I think.

    Bob

    PS Just for clarity for readers, my original question was not in any way meant that list makers have any responsibility with respect to TM or any other issue. Users are responsible. Period. Rather, in the same way that some of us have questioned when Verisign include some apparent TM names in their monthly lists of popular registrations, I wondered with respect to whether to list or not some that might, or might not, have TM issues. In same way when I select some names to highlight in my daily sales tweet I have to decide whether to include a sale of questionable TM status, since it is maybe noteworthy to community just because it did sell. Or by me Tweeting it, might I be encouraging anyone to think maybe it is OK?
     
  23. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, NameCult.com TheDomainSocial.com VIP Gold Account

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    Actually .. while in this thread I'm talking about lists, but that warning should be actually much more broad in scope .. essentially nobody should take *ANY* list as recommendations .. and by that I mean that I even include a list of 1 domain from the best domainers in the business. Essentially always do your OWN due diligence. If there's an aspect of a domain you aren't sure of or don't understand, then DO NOT buy it.


    That's another huge and key point. I go through a list generated the day before. Then I TRY to go through domains with bids at the last minute to get a few I might have missed and to post the latest high bid amounts. But sometimes I'll see a good name because it has no bids, but then a few people bid and suddenly it's a $100+ domain .. at which point even if it was one of the few I'd recommend, it could very well be likely I no longer think it has good value at the updated price.


    Actually .. the most frustrating part of doing the lists is not just knowing that a lot of people don't use the links .. but also that of those who do (and send me their order numbers so I can confirm), many of their orders weren't tracked back to me. That's actually why I started the VIP in the first place, so that I could try to figure out the issues ... because ironically, as the affiliate, I'm actually not allowed to use my own links! It's been a couple of years almost now .. and I've pretty much gotten to the "whatever" stage now .. lol. Although every time I seriously consider stopping my lists, I get a few good days and decide to give it one more chance .. lol. Ironically January has been relatively good, although still quite a few missing orders unfortunately.


    I'm not really worried about that. Besides .. it's actually GoDaddy who sells and profits from the domains .. so if they're not worried about selling trademark domains, then I'm not particularly paranoid about just listing them! :)


    Honestly .. if everybody had a few hours a night, then nobody should be using lists (well .. not as their primary source of finding names at least).


    I added the answer to a post above, but just for everyone else, you can always find the upcoming expired domains going to auction at GoDaddy Auctions. For example, tomorrow there are over 42,000 (I think things are going to slow down a bit over next few weeks as domains are auctioned 35 days after expiration, and we're approaching the holiday season +35 days!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020

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