Good Value Drop Auctions | DomainInvesting.com

Good Value Drop Auctions

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Cab CompaniesI just updated the list of top drop auctions on Snapnames. IMO, there are some pretty good domain names to be had, some of which have been selling far below end user values.If you are able to purchase commercially viable domain names at good prices, and you create a directory site or mini site on each, you can increase the value of them during the down market, while hopefully generating revenue.

I recently bought CabCompanies.com in a private seller auction on Snapnames, and I launched it a few days later. The website is a national directory of cab companies and limo companies. Although there isn’t much content (yet), it’s a decent starting point. I also paid less for the name and website than I think the domain name alone is worth.

I think my next project will be different and won’t use a database, I will find an industry with 5-10 industry leading companies that use affiliate programs. I will then build a site that discusses each company and provide an affiliate link for people to buy each company’s product or to visit the company’s website. When someone Googles “XXXXX companies,” my site will hopefully rank in the top 5 because it will be the exact match, and I will make money when people visit. It will almost be a ratings type site, but without the ratings :)

Anyhow, I am curious about what you think CabCompanies.com is worth as a standalone domain? Do you see any good domain auctions where you could build a site?


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and professional domain investor. Elliot is President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a domain investing company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Elliot is the publisher of DomainInvesting.com.

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Comments (31)

    US Real Estate

    Nice domain name but I don’t really like the website (sorry to be honest) it’s too simple and not effective for seaching, also you can’t monetize very well this way. for simple directory, I’ll suggest dot tel domains (easy to manage, no website, no hosting, fast, build for mobile) but if you want a real directory then go with phpmydirectory script (advertising, banners, coupons, MOD…..)

    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:40 pm

      Elliot

      LOL… How the hell are you monetizing your .tel? It looks like you are doing a good job of helping the .tel brand with the nice honking logo. :-) How your .tel site rank in Google? How are you going to make money with it?

      I agree that my site – which isn’t done yet – is too simple. There will be more content added soon. The goal is ultimately to build traffic and sell exclusive listings for cities and states. If/when I sign a couple advertisers, it’s all paid in full and everything else is gravy.

      BTW, mine isn’t ranking at all because I just launched it, but I expect it will begin to rank in a few weeks.

      August 22nd, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Ross

    Make the site mobile. Could have really used the site about 2 weeks ago lol. Also an iPhone app would really take off IMO if you can advertise the site right. Also nice name ;) !

    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Elliot

    For my purposes, I won’t sink more money to make it mobile friendly because that ezpenae wouldnt drive enough revenue to offset the cost. IMO, someone who wants to build a lead gen or other business on it should be able to do all that and be successful. I don’t have the time to devote to finding advertisers.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Jeff

    Elliot

    Like the directory side of this and very fast and easy to navigate. Your tropicalbirds.com needs a directory site imo as an expansion to what you have.

    Anyways the concept is clear and to the point. I would agree, it needs more content Elliot but its a very, very young site and that’s expected right now.

    I been hearing this a lot recently and everyone talks about designs and looks. The flip side of the argument is this, sometimes the most basic looking site or ugly sites works. I consider this the case, its easy to use and basic. Look at palmsprings.com, not the most eye appealing site there is, basic and parts may seem ugly but its about roi and return. Having a user friendly site imo, your site will get indexed well and content.

    As far as values go, I would think the name like this could be around 1500 to 3000 area in reseller market right now. End user, sky is the limit and its a nice name. All it takes one buyer and what they see it as.

    Keep up the great work Elliot and its projects like this that are exciting to watch besides just your geo names.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    George Pickering

    Cab companies is not a good lead gen category, it is best to leave this as a directory. Lead gen companies work for big ticket (remodeling, surgery) or recurring stream (pest control, insurance, fitness trainer) items. Yea, limos.com was able to build a lead gen site – b/c most limo rides cost a couple hundred bucks.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    mobisexul

    you shoudla bought the .mobi too.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Ross

    Just visited it with my Centro and TBH its pretty fast and clean the way it is. Even bookmarked my city for fast reference.

    I do agree that if you really have no desire to bring the site up to that light then putting the time and energy in to it will not be the best idea.

    I also bet you might even be able to pull in ads from big car/limo rental companies that are nation wide, just a thought.

    Good Luck

    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Patrick McDermott

    For whatever it’s worth, I really like your site including the look and design.

    Would it be possible to have a box where you can type in City/State
    so you can go directly to the results?

    I have 2 questions if I may:

    1.Since this a directory why does it need content?

    Wouldn’t content just get in the way of the sites purpose
    (from the User’s point of view) which is finding a taxi?

    2.How do you get content for a directory site?

    i.e. list of cab companies, hotels, airlines, plumbers, etc.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Jorge Martinez

    If anyone here’s a local New Yorker or familiar with the Brooklyn area, you know that it is quite a challenge to find a cab specially well into the night. A couple of weeks ago, I was in such a situation and a directory like this would have been useful.

    I think it’s a good start Elliot. Here’s a couple of things I’d like to recommend to you and anyone else building a site similar to this:

    → Localized Landing Page
    → Mobile Site vs Website
    → Useful Content vs Filler
    → Monetization

    → Localized Landing Page
    There are scripts out there that can pin point your location pretty accurately these days. Using this script, I as a guest on your site would have seen New York cab companies by default. The less I think and do on your site to get what I want the bigger fan I will be and tell others about it.

    → Mobile Site vs Website
    One recommendation to anyone developing sites is to think like the user of the site and keep things simple. I live in New York City and there are plenty of cabs ready to pick me up and take me to where I need to go. Most people who don’t live in areas like this already know of a cab company they always use. At least that’s a pattern I’ve always noticed. The only time I have seen people search for cab company numbers are when they are lost, traveling or in transit (ex: missed my connecting train and need a cab to take me the rest of the way home). Twenty years ago, I would have walked to the nearest phone booth and looked up a number in the yellow pages. Today, I would hope my web-ready phone is equipped to get me the info I need. For this reason, I would give building a mobile version of the site some serious consideration.

    → Useful Content vs Filler
    What kind of content would I find valuable while on-the-go? How much time will I have to take in your content? First establish where I am doing my search: at home/office computer or on-the-go. Next, remember I am either lost, traveling or in transit in most cases. What kind of content would I find useful at this time?

    → Monetization
    I can’t recall the name but there are scripts that allow people to bid on the placement of their link on a directory. As the weekend comes close, I wouldn’t be surprised if companies bid like crazy to appear as the number one search on the list.

    Get local businesses to advertise. If you’re servicing a college town, local bars and diners would be hot! One thing that might be interesting is finding out if there is an auto dialer script to hook up with the numbers. Click the number, auto dials with an ad maybe. you get a cut. It has to exist. Google it.

    Money isn’t everything. Sometimes being known as the company that simply does good for the community is the best you can ask for. What if you were THE brand that gave out free rides to people who have had too much to drink and should be taking a cab ride home?

    Hope you find my feedback useful. Good luck.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Elliot

    @ Jorge

    Some great advice in your post… thanks for sharing. How does your schedule look next week for coffee or drinks?

    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    US Real Estate

    Elliot, I want to reply to your comments when you wrote: “How the hell are you monetizing your .tel? It looks like you are doing a good job of helping the .tel brand with the nice honking logo. How your .tel site rank in Google? How are you going to make money with it?”

    Telnic will soon release the possibility of advertising contents, this is one way to monetize with .tel, also cabs directory is more suitable for mobile devices like someone suggest you above because when you travel and need a cab I doubt you open your laptop but rather use your mobile or open the yellow page at your hotel room but if you were stuck in a city, mobile phone will be the answer not your laptop. The honking logo of .tel doesn’t disturb me or users as far as they have infos they need. For Google ranking, like all new “websites” it takes time and seo (backlinks) efforts to rank well but I suggest that when you have a generic .tel you’ll have natural types in or promoting is a thing to do like any domains or website you launch and finally to make money from it, paid listing to get on top over others is a solution.
    Hope you won’t delete this reply as it’s my opinion.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Elliot

    @ US Real Estate

    I don’t generally censor comments unless they are disrespectful or abusive and yours aren’t. :-)

    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    US Real Estate

    @ Elliot

    Ok, here is one thing you can do: add a search field so it’s quicker to find a cab rather than clicking on subdirectories, I’m sure it will be great after you’ll finished all. Good luck.
    From a regular Elliot’s blog reader.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Elliot

    Thanks – actually my developer emailed me the same suggestion and I said no… BUT you happen to be right and think it’s a good idea.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Steve

    Elliott -

    When you say “my next project will be different and won’t use a database”; is this strictly because of the the monetizing-related reasons you explain, or were there other issues/problems you encountered when implementing the database solution for your site?

    Steve

    August 22nd, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Elliot

    @ Steve

    No issues, but after spending a couple days at Affiliate Summit, I want to try the affiliate route.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Anthony David

    Anyways there’s a few things people can learn about this site. First is Elliot understands a website’s heatmap and where to place the ads so they will receive the most clicks. The Adsense positioning is very good. Second, he knows that Google loves generics in a .com, the .tel isn’t a good suggestion for this type of site. This site is going to have a huge bounce rate, but what many dont realize is that high bounce rates are good for most Adsense sites. Consider this, the people who visit this site have something in mind, they are searching for something, a cab company. There isn’t much content so the user cannot get much from that, so they will click on the ads to get what they need. So after the page is loaded, maybe 20% of users will click on an ad, that will equal a high bounce rate, but he got what we wanted which was an ad click… and the site is profitable.

    Elliot Im curious if you run a dedicated server or not because you seem to have a lot of sites.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Elliot

    @ Anthony

    You are right on point.

    This one happens to be hosted by my developer. I use a VPS from Liquid Web for most of my other sites, aside from my blog. I love Liquid Web because they always answer the phone when I have any tech issues/requests, and I haven’t experienced any major troubles.

    August 22nd, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Steve M

    It’s an excellent site (built on a well-suited dotcom); and for as little as Kevin’s charging for it, an superb build-out/dev value as well.

    It quickly and easily gives you what you(‘d) come there for.

    Forget any more “content.” This isn’t a geo. And Elliot’s not selling physical products. It’ll just visually gum things up, slow people down, and turn ‘em off.

    And that’s bad. Very bad.

    When people want a cab, they want it. Now (or real soon).

    Which is also why mobile enablement would; as others above have pointed out; be a good idea.

    End user value (name + site); as is (w/out any contracted advertisers): $15k-25k.

    August 23rd, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Kevin

    @Steve M – Thank you Steve!

    @ Anthony – Yes it’s on the same dedicated server as this blog. Thank you for your comments.

    @ Jorge – I think with every site it’s important to balance the cost factors with the timeline objectives. With CabCompanies.com El wanted to start with a reasonable budget and then grow out additional features, if necessary or desired, as the site grows. I think that is a good strategy and I do the same thing for my own sites. Adding features on a one at a time timeline also enables you to best see what impact each new feature has on traffic, SE indexing and ranking, and revenue. Also “NEW” is a very powerful marketing tool. if you pop out new stuff on a regular basis users see you’ve got their interest in mind and are creating ideas for their benefit and it keeps the site interesting.

    Some sites you should have lots of content and some sites not and just keep it on mission purpose, short and sweet, like in this case when it’s mostly designed as a specific “utility” type site. I agree with mobile, but as I mentioned if you go crazy with tons of things the dev costs goe up.

    @ Patrick – Yes. I’d mentioned that to El and he is thinking about adding a search box.

    @ Ross – Thanks!

    @ George – Agree!

    @ Jeff – Thank you Jeff!

    August 23rd, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Jeroen

    Hi Elliot,

    Nice site. Have you thought about implementing an sms service so that customers can order a cab this way.

    I’m running a taxi site for an European city but using a slightly different technique to attract customers. In addition to a small local directory for this city, the site has a few pages of content to help it rank in google for the keywords Taxi [cityname]. People do call me to order a cab so I am going to redirect these leads to an affiliate and I will implement an sms service as well.

    cheers
    Jeroen

    August 23rd, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Anthony David

    The thing I like about your sites Elliot is they seem to be so “proper” Its like some people understand domains, and some people understand development, but no one understands how to do both. I came across your tropicalbirds.com and was really impressed by that site. You buy generics in .coms and then develop them all the way, not halfway.

    I heard Google indexed more than a trillion pages earlier this year, and I also heard ICANN wants to rollout like 100 more extensions next year. So what does this mean. It was reported earlier this year Google has 1 trillion indexed sites already, in the future this will probably become 100 trillion (why not?) and TLDs will just be more and more too. Theres really no “internet real estate” Real estate has limited space, the web does not. But generic names in a domain are limited, and .com has been the favored TLD for what, 20 years now, my guess is it will still be the top one for the rest of “this internet”. I say “this internet” because its possible someone could roll out a totally new version of the internet one day, perhaps using something other than TCP/IP protocol, a different kind of address other than http://www.., the lot! Its not to say theres anything wrong with other extensions, but Google for now has what, 65% of search, and they have a bias for .coms with generic keywords inside, so thats just the way the playing field is right now.

    August 23rd, 2009 at 9:44 am

    westside

    -Stand alone I think the name is worth $900

    -I like the layout a lot..obviously it just launched and I imagine 2-3 adsense blocks per page will not stay..will hurt ranking but you know that..

    -If the buildout goes well, revenue could be a nice monthly bonus..who knows..

    -Believe it or not, the real value may lie 5-8 years down the line..it is amazing to me how many local businesses still don’t get it with regards to web leads..so eventually, they will wake up on CabCompanies.com..I like the purchase and I think the directory if done right can get some major seo

    August 23rd, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Johnny

    Elliot,

    I really like the site and I don’t think your ad blocks will hurt your visits. Maybe in the search engines, but hey…put it on your blog. That’s good enough to get you plenty of exposure….

    Take care,

    Johnny

    August 23rd, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Leigh Ann Barrick

    Elliot,

    I agree with US Real Estate and think a search field would be an added benefit to the site. Also, the drop down menu is titled “State” however, with the web being the “world wide” information source, you should expand/rename the drop down menu to include all the geo cities. A good example of this would be that your site cabcompanies.com features a link to a Heathrow Taxi Company. I think you made an excellent buy with this domain Elliot. Look forward to seeing your next development project with affiliate focus.

    Leigh Ann

    August 23rd, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    George Pickering

    Possible affliate program for you – https://www.cabcabcab.com/Client/default.aspx

    There are some aggregators who will do nationwide limo bookings. I did a quick search for cabs and found this. There might be additional programs.

    Also limos.com has an affliate program.

    August 23rd, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Sergio

    Nice and easy! Cab and limo numbers for Portland, OR on my screen in less than 5 seconds. Congrats!

    August 24th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Sam Pfanstiel

    Nice job, Elliott and Kevin,

    Out of curiosity, what data source did you use? I develop database driven sites as well, and while affiliate sites may be easier to set up, the more unique the content, the more flexible you can be later, in terms of database queries or data mining.

    Also, wanted to let you know that your Google Maps integration is not working. It shows Kansas City no matter where you search. See below:

    http://www.cabcompanies.com/georgia-limos-taxis/duluth/americas-unidas-taxicabs/

    Good luck!

    October 20th, 2009 at 7:49 am

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