When I first got into Internet Marketing back in 2005, I was always told that private domain registration was the only way to go. As a result, it’s the only thing I’ve ever done. Since getting into website flipping, however, I have realized I may have been shooting myself in the foot and will never opt for it again. In today’s post I will explain what private domain registration and then I will tell you why it can work against you as a website flipper.
What Is Private Domain Registration?
When you register a domain with a registrar (i.e. GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc.) you will have the option to register the domain privately. Some registrars include it for free while others charge you a nominal fee for it. When you register a domain privately, your personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and email address is kept out of the public eye.
ICANN is a non-profit corporation that oversees the registration of all domain names. It requires every registrar to maintain a public WHOIS directory for all domains that are registered. That means all your personal information is available to anyone who conducts a WHOIS search. Here is an example of what a public domain registration looks like when doing a WHOIS search:
Here is what a private domain registration looks like:
Notice the difference? With private domain registration, your personal information is kept private. Now before you assume that’s a good thing, think again because keeping your contact information private can hurt your website flipping efforts.
Why Website Flippers Shouldn’t Use Private Domain Registration
As website flippers and Internet Marketers in general, I’ll bet most of you own several domains. And I’ll bet that a large chunk of your domains are parked or have half-baked websites on them. Regardless, your domains and websites – no matter how simple or complex those sites may be – are assets that can advertise for you 24/7.
There are buyers looking for domains and websites for sale all the time – and the savvy ones aren’t looking for prospects at Flippa only. If a buyer stumbles upon your parked domain page or your 5-page mini site you never got around to working on, and the buyer really has an interest in it, wouldn’t it be great if the buyer could contact you easily?
The best way to reach the owner of a domain or website is to do a WHOIS search and then contact the owner via the contact information provided. Right there the buyer has access to your email, address, and phone number. They can contact you directly to see if you are interested in selling. And the potential buyer doesn’t have to be a professional website flipper either. It can be the average Joe off the street or a business owner who must have your domain or website. You never know who might be interested in buying your undeveloped (or developed) asset.
By electing NOT to have private domain registration, you make it easy for anyone – professional website flipper or otherwise – to contact you to make you an offer for your parked domains and websites. I have several decent parked domains and mini websites floating around out there that all have private domain registration on them. Who knows how many prospective buyers I have turned away over the years!