Update: LeadRefs no longer exists and has been taken down.
For those who like to do affiliate marketing, buying domains is a familiar subject. You never know what set of keywords will be the next big thing, so you buy several domains with several different combinations of keywords. Many affiliate marketers buy tons, and tons of these types of domains, and work to get those domains ranked in the search engines. Oftentimes, the domains can be used for highly targeted niche sites, and some can even be flipped for a profit. But then there are times when you own a domain that you can’t figure out anything useful for it, and you don’t have an immediate buyer for. This is the kind of problem that LeadRefs.com can help solve.
LeadRefs.com is a website that works to bring owners of expiring domains, and potential buyers together. When I first visited the website, almost immediately I was hit with this banner showing the site’s various promotional leads packages. This kind of turned me off since I hadn’t heard of the website before, and wouldn’t know whether or not the packages being offered in the pop-up banner would be worth the money. Once I closed the banner, I was taken to the main page of the website. At the very top of the page you can put in a URL to check to see if a domain name is available. Just for fun I tried “Facebook.com”. I got the error message “Our internal risk system has prevented us from finding leads for this domain due to its material”. This made me REALLY curious to see what I would find if I tried Google.com.
Doing the “Google.com” search came up with much better results. I was given a list of various websites that had “Google.com” in the domain name that were set to expire such as ratings-google.com, answer-google.com, and desktop-google.com, and also the email address associated with the domain name (please keep in mind that if the domain owner has set their “whois” information to private then you will just see a generic email address). It made sense that the domains that I came across would be set to expire since creating a domain name with the word “Google” in it is just asking for trouble. But the experiment did show some of the great features of this site. You can test out groups of keywords, and see if there are domains that contain those keywords that are set to expire.
Expired domains usually already have some search engine rankings associated with them, and also have some domain age as well which is great for SEO. At the present time, you can get 100 lead searches per day without signing up for an account. If you do decide to sign up for an account, there are three levels you can choose from – free 3 day trial, Search Package, and Expired Package. Signing up for these packages will give you the all the regular functions, and some added extras like being able to save your search history, get an email of your search results, and access to SnapNames exclusive leads, and GoDaddy pre-release leads.
LeadRefs.com has some really strong potential. There are lots of expiring domains that people would love to sell if they only knew someone they could sell them too. This particular website brings buyers, and sellers of expired domains together in one convenient place. I also really liked the “Yesterday’s Expiring List” section. With that said, here are a few suggestions that I would humbly like to offer:
— Change the number of searches you can do without signing up from 100 a day to 5 a day. Once that limit has been reached, take the site visitor to a new page where they can try out the service free for 3 days which gives them 100 searches per day, and also show them the other packages available.
— Rename the package levels to something other than Search Package, and Expired Package. Maybe Gold / Silver, or Expanded / Premium.
— There needs to be an “About Us” section. Just looking at the site, it is hard to figure out what the site is all about. A short intro video would also work wonders.
— Clean up the grammar on the first page. Ex: “Find premium Pending Delete expiring domains with the most Leads.”
— What does “Pending Delete” mean? It may be helpful to have an FAQ available on the site. Also, make it so that a site visitor could hover their mouse over a term, and the definition of the term would show up in a message bubble.
— Are there any wildcard characters? For example, if I am interested in a domain that starts with “internet-marketing”, is there a way to find these types of domains?
Website flipping is a hot industry, and getting into the expired domain name business seems like a good idea that has a lot of potential for profit. Hopefully, the LeadRefs.com website will become a well respected place to buy and sell expired domain names. If something can be done to give more information to explain to visitors what the site is about, I’m sure that this website will get much more traffic. With that being said, LeadRefs.com does give you a way to find out what is available among expired domains, and information in regards to getting in contact with the domain owner to possibly purchase the domain. With some work, this website can become even more in the future.