5/7/12

Geodomain & Domain Tasting Lessons Learned

I posted last month or so about my foray into geodomaining, and indicated that while it's been a time consuming learning adventure, it's not been too costly since I was exercising (or abusing) a little leniency from GoDaddy re: domain registration returns also known as domain tasting.  There's a little known policy that GoDaddy allows you to return a new domain registration within five days for a full refund.  Well, I did that for about 40 or so geodomains I hand reged that I didn't flip over the last two months or so.  Hehe... apparently that's abusing their return policy and I can see that.  Today, I received an email from their billing department explaining that since I was excessively returning new registrations, that:

  1. They would charge me $2 per refund now.
  2. Advised that at any point, they could opt to not refund me at all.
All this is apparently in their terms of service and comes down from ICANN - or so they described in the email and provided a lengthy link for me to educate myself with.  I did not do that... obviously!  At first, I was inclined to write a response.  I mean, how dare they?  No warning, just institute some obligatory fee?  Imagine if WalMart made you pay a restocking fee for those socks that were a little tight on your ankles?  Sure the analogy doesn't really apply and I get it - I was abusing the system, sort of.  I really thought I was just exercising the right to return the domain and if GoDaddy thought people abused the policy, then they wouldn't have it.  Right?
Pretty wrong! My quick research dug up this link from 2009 that basically calls an end to domain tasting through ICANN rules that penalize companies that excessively register and return names in a given month. There you have it! - based on that info and the somewhat guilty feeling I had when I domain tasted, I knew this day was coming.  I've decided to not reply to their email and take my medicine.  No more returns for me, I'll just have to make better buying decisions.  That's it for the domain tasting lesson.  I was wrong!
As far as geodomains, like I referenced above - I've bought 41 geodomains for $7.67 each.  That's $314.47 for those of you without a calculator.  I've only sold two names for $150 & $295 for a whopping grand total of $445.  Had I not domain tasted, I would only be ahead $130.53 - not to mention, the first name resulted in multiple other sales and a little domain brokering, so even if I paid the full way, I made more than I spent.  BUT, it certainly wouldn't have been as satisfying.  I haven't quite mastered the approach to geodomains because local small business owners are real hit or miss on understanding SEO.  I'll have to make wiser buying decisions from here on out since I'll be stuck with any name I buy for a year, at least!  No clear lessons yet on geodomaining other than - there's a lot still out there, but finding the right name and end user that needs it is a whole different story.  I would recommend anyone else try geodomaining with domain tasting, BUT don't go on a binger like I did.  If I could do it all over, I'd do one name a month.  If I didn't flip it in five days then I'd return it.  Hmmm... makes me feel guilty admitting that, but that's what I'd do as wrong as it may be.  At least until I got the hang of geodomaining.  Anyways, that doesn't apply to the abuser I am, so now I'll have to suffer (and possible make some spare change from parked geodomains) and hopefully you can learn from my sins...errr, mistakes!

 
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