Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
4th September 2011
Filed under: Domain Names — Ben @ 6:49 pm

Auctions for 1 and 2 letter dot co dot uk domains names started on Thursday 1st September 2011 after a surprisingly low amount of advertising.

Nominet are finally releasing some extremely short, and most likely very valuable, domains like g.co.uk, bb.co.uk and t.co.uk.

Previously the shortest UK domain length available was 3 letters, and these were all registered shortly after the beginning of the new millennium.

It’s too late to take part in these auctions now, applications had to be in several weeks ago. Also, you can’t watch the auctions, that’s a privilege available only to the participants.

The process was as follows:

(1) Find a registrar that would process your application

This was quite difficult. Several of the big registrars weren’t taking part at all. Of those that were, some were charging ridiculous amounts of money. One quote worked out at almost £200 per domain.

After ringing around the best fee was found to be £10 + VAT per domain.

(2) Submit application and await email from Nominet.

(3) Pay Nominet £10 per domain

(4) Await further instructions.

Nominet provided a very interesting “WHOIS” search engine that listed the applicants for each domain.

When the words “Facebook Ireland Limited” appeared as an auction participant for fb.co.uk it was obvious that only a monstrous amount of money would win that. Likewise with “Google Inc” and g.co.uk. T-Mobile, Huawei and 28 others were listed as bidders for t.co.uk.

The auctions started at 10am on Thursday for the domains ag.co.uk through to iz.co.uk.

Proxy bids weren’t used so it wasn’t like eBay. If you bid £10,000 when the auction was at, say, £500, the current highest bid would jump straight to £10,000. Obviously, care was needed.

After a bid the time left was extended to 1 hour. Once it got to 5pm the auction would halt and then continue the next day. Many auctions carried over to the Friday.

Below are some results from Thursday and Friday. These will be updated as the auctions finish.

Finish Prices for UK Short Domain Landrush Auctions:

ag.co.uk £2,600.00
ah.co.uk £3,000.00
ai.co.uk £6,000.00
aj.co.uk £2,800.00
ak.co.uk £1,850.00
al.co.uk £4,000.00
an.co.uk £2,300.00
ao.co.uk £2,100.00
ap.co.uk £3,800.00
ar.co.uk £4,000.00
as.co.uk £4,100.00
au.co.uk £3,500.00
ax.co.uk £2,100.00
ay.co.uk £1,501.00
bb.co.uk £25,000.00
bc.co.uk £8,500.00
bd.co.uk £2,750.00
bf.co.uk £3,500.00
bg.co.uk £5,100.00
bh.co.uk £3,100.00
bi.co.uk £3,500.00
bm.co.uk £5,100.00
bo.co.uk £2,800.00
br.co.uk £4,100.00
bs.co.uk £3,200.00
bu.co.uk £1,400.00
bv.co.uk £1,900.00
bx.co.uk £2,200.00
by.co.uk £3,000.00
bz.co.uk £2,100.00
ca.co.uk £5,400.00
ce.co.uk £2,600.00
cf.co.uk £3,200.00
cg.co.uk £2,400.00
ch.co.uk £2,850.00
ci.co.uk £2,150.00
cj.co.uk £2,700.00
ck.co.uk £5,100.00
cl.co.uk £4,000.00
cn.co.uk £4,600.00
cq.co.uk £1,200.00
cr.co.uk £2,700.00
cs.co.uk £4,900.00
ct.co.uk £3,250.00
cu.co.uk £3,500.00
cv.co.uk £38,000.00
cx.co.uk £1,800.00
cy.co.uk £1,200.00
cz.co.uk £1,500.00
d.co.uk £15,100.00
da.co.uk £2,300.00
dc.co.uk £4,900.00
de.co.uk £5,500.00
df.co.uk £2,600.00
dh.co.uk £3,300.00
di.co.uk £3,100.00
dj.co.uk £8,000.00
dl.co.uk £3,200.00
dn.co.uk £7,800.00
do.co.uk £5,400.00
dp.co.uk £3,400.00
dq.co.uk £1,201.00
dr.co.uk £9,300.00
dt.co.uk £2,800.00
du.co.uk £1,250.00
dv.co.uk £2,500.00
dw.co.uk £2,600.00
dx.co.uk £3,200.00
dy.co.uk £1,201.00
dz.co.uk £1,301.00
ec.co.uk £3,160.00
ed.co.uk £7,500.00
ee.co.uk £5,000.00
eg.co.uk £3,200.00
eh.co.uk £2,650.00
ej.co.uk £2,678.00
ek.co.uk £3,000.00
el.co.uk £2,600.00
em.co.uk £3,100.00
en.co.uk £1,850.00
eo.co.uk £2,200.00
ep.co.uk £2,100.00
eq.co.uk £1,700.00
er.co.uk £2,900.00
es.co.uk £5,900.00
eu.co.uk £4,200.00
ev.co.uk £1,700.00
ex.co.uk £4,700.00
ez.co.uk £4,000.00
f.co.uk £17,000.00
fb.co.uk £19,500.00
fe.co.uk £2,350.00
fg.co.uk £1,950.00
fi.co.uk £6,001.00
fj.co.uk £2,000.00
fk.co.uk £2,600.00
fn.co.uk £1,900.00
fo.co.uk £2,200.00
fp.co.uk £3,100.00
fq.co.uk £2,050.00
fr.co.uk £5,100.00
fs.co.uk £4,000.00
fu.co.uk £3,000.00
fv.co.uk £1,400.00
fw.co.uk £2,500.00
fy.co.uk £1,900.00
fz.co.uk £1,201.00
g.co.uk £76,000.00
gc.co.uk £2,250.00
gd.co.uk £2,700.00
gf.co.uk £3,800.00
gi.co.uk £1,950.00
gk.co.uk £1,750.00
gl.co.uk £2,300.00
gm.co.uk £5,800.00
gn.co.uk £2,600.00
gt.co.uk £2,700.00
gv.co.uk £1,201.00
gw.co.uk £3,400.00
gx.co.uk £1,800.00
gy.co.uk £1,101.00
gz.co.uk £1,201.00
h.co.uk £16,000.00
hb.co.uk £2,550.00
hc.co.uk £3,000.00
he.co.uk £3,750.00
hg.co.uk £1,950.00
hi.co.uk £6,400.00
hk.co.uk £4,000.00
hm.co.uk £10,000.00
hn.co.uk £2,000.00
ho.co.uk £1,850.00
hq.co.uk £6,900.00
hr.co.uk £22,888.00
ht.co.uk £2,450.00
hu.co.uk £1,300.00
hv.co.uk £1,700.00
hx.co.uk £1,000.00
hy.co.uk £2,100.00
hz.co.uk £2,666.00
ib.co.uk £3,200.00
id.co.uk £15,000.00
if.co.uk £15,101.00
ih.co.uk £3,050.00
ii.co.uk £7,911.00
ij.co.uk £1,101.00
ik.co.uk £1,750.00
il.co.uk £2,300.00
in.co.uk £6,500.00
io.co.uk £2,700.00
ip.co.uk £9,600.00
iq.co.uk £9,000.00
ir.co.uk £2,500.00
is.co.uk £4,600.00
iu.co.uk £2,000.00
iv.co.uk £2,500.00
iw.co.uk £2,100.00
ix.co.uk £1,700.00
iy.co.uk £1,201.00
iz.co.uk £1,100.00

The single letter domains ended up being expensive, as one would expect.

d.co.uk £15,100.00
f.co.uk £17,000.00
g.co.uk £76,000.00

Others were also expensive:

bb.co.uk £25,000.00 (Blackberry?)
cv.co.uk £38,000.00 (CV – obvious attraction)
fb.co.uk £19,500.00 (Facebook?)
hr.co.uk £22,888.00 (Human Resources?)
id.co.uk £15,000.00 (ID)
if.co.uk £15,101.00 (Intelligent Finance?)

None of the two letter domains went for below one thousand pounds, the lowest was hx.co.uk at one thousand pounds which when VAT was added would mean £1,200.

Domains containing the so-called “non-premium” letters like q, x, y and z were notably lower than others.

J to R auctions come next week and then S-Z and single number auctions the week after.

The proceeds go to charity and these auctions may net over £1 million. Some domainers have commented that the prices are lower than they expected, perhaps due to the lack of prior knowledge of these auctions taking place.

Looking at the DNJournal.com lists of sales for 2009, 2010 and 2011 so far, the lowest price a two-lettered dot com domain sold for was $80,000. If these are an indication of how valuable 2 letter domains can be in a good extension, the £1,200 paid for hx.co.uk could end up being a very astute investment.

12th August 2009
Filed under: Domain Names,Internet Marketing,Useful Tools — Ben @ 11:55 am

Big news this week as the popular URL shortening service tr.im announced it was going to stop forwarding links from the end of the year.

In addition, it stopped allowing people to create new shortened links and prevented existing members from logging in to see what links they had made.

For those people that had used the service extensively it was a huge blow because, basically, they lost a load of links at the click of a mouse. There was no way to discover what links they had made and where they pointed to.

The reason for the closure given by the owners was that they were finding it difficult to make any money and were feeling hobbled by the fact that flavour-of-the-month social networking site Twitter.com pushed bit.ly to its users rather than their site.

Predictably there was a bit of a backlash from tr.im users – many who had plastered their shortened links everywhere – as their links would become redundant at the end of 2009.

The decision to close the website was reversed yesterday due to the owner feeling “absolutely overwhelmed by the popular response, and the countless public and private appeals I have received to keep tr.im alive“.

So it looks like tr.im will live on for the moment. However, this whole show (whether staged or not) teaches us a couple of lessons…

Lesson 1: Never rely on a free service to provide an important function for your business. These sites can disappear with no warning – or just shut up shop as we saw with tr.im.

Lesson 2: Not every website makes money on the internet, even if it is very popular. Even Twitter doesn’t seem to have any kind of monetisation in place and it intrigues me as to what they plan to do in the long-term to make any money. At some point if they are still not making any profit, they are also likely to close…

18 months or so ago I launched a URL shortening service using one of my domains – kliq.com – which I thought was perfect for the task (kliq, it’s like “click“, get it?).

It wasn’t hard to get some software to run it, or to install it.

I didn’t even promote the site and yet still got quite a few people to use it.

One problem was that sites like this attract spammers. After all, they can simply use your site to shorten a website address and then send that address in emails to hide their real website address from spam filters and blacklists.

Another problem is that it’s very difficult to include any sort of monetisation on a URL shortening site.

You can provide advertising on the front page such as Google AdSense or banner ads but they don’t tend to attract many clicks as visitors are there for a purpose – to shorten a link.

Some URL shortening services include a short delay in forwarding where they show an advert. Not many do this though, as it tends to put people off using their service. Let’s face it, if I want to use a shortened URL, I want the person clicking the URL to go to the website I specify. I don’t want them distracted by adverts. This is why using frames will not work either.

If you try to use advertising or frames, you’ll suffer a loss in users because there are plenty of services that don’t inflict this on visitors.

In short (no pun intended), URL shorteners are a great idea in practise but apart from hoping for another company to buy you out, it’s difficult to make any money from them.

And if you’re planning on using one to shorten a link, remember that the link could be useless tomorrow if the service decides to shut up shop on you. In many cases you’d be better off creating a redirect link using your own website so you control it.

29th August 2008
Filed under: Domain Names,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 9:46 am

As somebody who has spent the last couple of years examining opportunities arising from expired domains, I feel confident that I can point out the glaring inaccuracies in Ewen Chia’s $97 product which he has named “Expired Domain Empire”.

Domain name trading has become a bit of a hot topic recently and so we have seen complete novices jumping on the bandwagon to try and make some quick money.

In the internet marketing industry that usually means writing a low-quality ebook and then selling it on using a hype-filled sales letter.

Let me get to the point – this ‘Expired Domain Empire‘ course by Ewen Chia, has some very misinformed content in it.

I’m being kind, here’s the truth – it’s so out of whack that I seriously wonder whether Ewen has done any research into the domain business whatsoever.

Let’s start with the sales letter:

“I’ve been quietly building up my domain name empire for the past few years with certain underground domain methods, ‘stealing’ hundreds of highly-profitable names many will ‘kill’ for… check out a few of the domain names I own… LoseFats.com… StrikeTheLottery.com… PinkOfHealth.com…”

Personally I wouldn’t go out of my way to call LoseFats.com and PinkOfHealth.com “extremely catchy, descriptive and brandable assets that fetches huge sums of money if sold”.

I’d be more likely to consider them worthless domains, especially ‘LoseFats.com’ which is a phrase that doesn’t actually make sense.

And what does the phrase ‘strike the lottery’ mean?

Still, I suppose somebody who falls for hypey sales letters may be impressed. I’m certainly not.

And so the sales letter continues, and Ewen ventures in to my area – short domain names.

“Other domain extensions like .org, .mobi, .net etc. will never have the power or profitability of a simple .COM.”

In most cases I agree, Ewen, good point.

“You can still get these domain extensions if you want to, and in 2 to 3 letters (for example I own l3l.net), it’s entirely up to you.”

l3l.net? That’s probably worth about $8. A short venture onto any domainer forum would clear that up for you in seconds. I thought we were talking about making money here?

3 character dot net domains are pretty much worthless – an appraisal would say “reg fee” meaning it’s worth the cost of registration, no more.

The sales letter isn’t impressive, what about the product?

The pdf is 21 pages of introductory-level theory – nothing even remotely advanced here.

The first two pages contain adverts for Ewen’s other products.

I found page 16 to be the most amusing – and it was this page that cemented in my mind that Ewen Chia knows very little about expired domains (and domain names in general).

Direct quote:

“The software also has the ability to search for all two, three and four letter domain name combinations… For the two letter combinations there are 676 possibilities. I’m just talking about .com’s [sic] here. All registered as of this writing by the way, but they could expire. You never know.”

No, we do know, Ewen. In fact, it’s one of the first things a domainer learns. Two letter dot coms do not “expire” in the sense you are talking about.

If someone decides to drop a two letter dot com, that’s it – it’s gone forever. You won’t be able to grab it from the registry, it is just deleted and consigned to the history books.

It’s a complete waste of time even monitoring two lettered dot coms because you will never get one, unless you pay somebody $100,000+ to take ownership of theirs.

If a 3 letter dot com drops then yes, that’s worth a lot of money and it would be a good idea to grab it. But if you think you’re gonna get it by popping down to GoDaddy on expiration day and registering it, you’re in for a shock.

There’s a whole industry set up to grab these domains because they will go for a minimum of $6,000 as soon as they go to auction. Thousands of servers are set up to hammer the registry as soon as an LLL.com drops – all hoping to grab it and sell it on.

As a single person, on one browser, chancing his luck with GoDaddy or NameCheap – you’ve absolutely no chance.

I’m embarassed that someone in the internet marketing industry would sell something of poor quality like this and try to pass themselves off as a domain name expert.

Please, do some research before releasing this stuff.

For those who are looking to get into domain trading, please don’t look at it as “easy money” no matter what you are told by hypey internet marketers.

There is an opportunity to make money, providing you are willing to invest real money and put in some hard work.

You’ll do yourself a favour if you steer clear of Expired Domain Empires, it isn’t a recommended read.

If you’re looking for a good introduction to domain name trading, try http://www.DomainProfitGuide.com – which is written by two UK domain traders who walk the walk. They know their stuff about domain names.

To get an idea about domain names and their worth, try browsing the NamePros forum at http://www.NamePros.com – people will give you good advice in that particular forum, and set you straight if you go in asking how to grab an expiring two letter dot com!

9th August 2008
Filed under: Domain Names — Ben @ 8:40 pm

I just got confirmation today that I won an auction for a superb domain name – ben.me

It was the end of what seemed like a very long saga.

Back in June I first registered for the dot me “Landrush” at DomainMonster. This was basically a pre-launch where you could order the domain you wanted before full registration was opened.

If you ordered a domain and no-one else ordered it, the domain was yours when the dot me was finally released.

If more than one person ordered it, you were all entered into a closed auction – whoever bid the most won the domain.

So, you can go see what is currently being auctioned here: http://auctions.domain.me

However, even if you really want to join in and bid for a domain listed there, you can’t. The only participants are those people who pre-ordered the domains between 6th June and 26th June 2008.

On the 16th July I got confirmation that the domain was going to auction and that the 3 day auction was starting on the 5th August.

I figured that the auction was ending at 4pm on the 8th August so I would bid my max bid (a 4 figure sum) at 3.50pm that day – leaving any opposition with the least possible time to respond to my bid.

So that’s what I did – I bid at 3.50pm yesterday and then the auction refreshed and showed me as the high bidder.

Problem was, the auction was extended by 24 hours because of my last-minute bid.

I didn’t know that was going to happen, and it scuppered my plans just a little! I had wanted to bid at the very last minute to avoid anyone beating me or pushing up the price too much but the auctions were set to punish auction snipers by extending the time remaining.

As it happened, one of my competitors did try to outbid me yesterday and pushed the price up by another $80 or so but today at 4:54:11pm I got an email:

“Congratulation! You won your auction!”

Final price was just 36% of my max bid so whoever was bidding against me certainly did not value the prize as much as I did.

Back in February of this year I made several 4 figure offers for a different “ben dot” domain with a pretty poor extension but the seller did not acknowledge my offers.

How glad I am that he didn’t as it forced me to act on the dot me landrush – and now I’ve got a great domain to use!

Not sure what I’ll use it for at the moment, apart from a pretty easy-to-remember email address. A blog perhaps?

7th May 2008
Filed under: Domain Names,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 7:36 pm

Today I want to talk to you about 4,000% returns.

Not make believe or “possible” returns but genuine profits I have made over the past year.

In fact, these are returns I have made since I had breakfast with two smart young guys at a seminar last April.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve become a little jaded with the business opportunity world and this is one of the reasons why.

Another is that I’ve come to realise that I’ve no real interest in copywriting or product creation or information marketing.

Which is what the vast majority of biz opps are about at the moment.

No doubt that info marketing is highly lucrative for the right person, but I don’t have enough enthusiasm for it.

What I have been getting into, more and more, is domain trading – domain name speculation.

Which is what has given me up to 4,000% profit in one transaction.

It’s also given me many smaller percentage profits such as 150% per domain over and over again.


Easy – grabbing expired domain names that the original registrant doesn’t want and then selling them on to others who do want them.

Or buying domains in auctions and then selling them on for big profits.

Best of all, whilst I am waiting to sell the domains I “rent” out the space for ongoing revenue.

Trading on the domain name aftermarket is a relatively untapped opportunity which I have been using successfully since I met Andy and Paul last year.

Why am I telling you all this now?

The answer is because they have just relaunched their book – The Domain Profit Guide and it’s better than ever.

It’s been very, very lucrative for me and I owe it to them to spread the word after they introduced me to domain investing.

You can check it out here:


Let me know if you have any questions.

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