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SnapNames.com Aftermarket Review

By: Gabriel Meierotto

Company Overview

SnapNames.com, Inc. was founded in 2000 and was acquired by Oversee.net in 2007. Based out of Los Angeles, California, Oversee.net employs over 200 employees and owns approximately 600,000 domain names and specializes in monetizing domains through SEO and advertiser based consumer portals.

SnapNames.com is considered by many to have one of the top domain aftermarket platforms in the industry. They are also the largest source of deleted and expired domain names on the internet. In 2007, more than 10 million expired domain names passed through SnapNames.com’s auctions. According to DnJournal,the largest sale ever to take place through SnapNames.com was Porn.net, which sold for $400,000. A couple other high dollar sales which have taken place over the last few years on SnapNames.com are:

  • Bookmarks.com - $300,000
  • AR.com - $225,000
  • Photograph.com - $195,000
  • Jasmin.com - $310,250
  • A1.com - $260,250
  • MovieRentals.com - $100,249

Domain Aftermarket Services

When a domain name expires and becomes available again as a new registration it is a race amongst companies to capture these domain names first. SnapNames.com is one of the first companies to employ a successful system of securing newly expired domain names through exclusive partnerships with domain registrars. So when a domain name expires, all their partnered registrars simultaneously send requests to the registry in an attempt to acquire a newly expired domain. Because they have so many domain registrars making this attempt for them, they have a higher acquisition rate than other companies. Typically, SnapNames.com only attempts to acquire domain names that their customers have placed back orders on. And when that domain is acquired, they sell it on their auction platform. This acquisition and auction process is what SnapNames.com is most known for. However, they have recently started offering their members the ability to sell their own domain names through their auction platform. SnapNames.com now has three different types of domain listings:

In Auction:
This auction type is open to everyone and can be joined at any time.
Available Soon:
This auction type is open to people who place back orders or bids on domains prior to the start date of an auction. . This type of auction format is preferred because it attracts only serious bidders. Keep in mind that this is contingent on SnapNames.com's ability to acquire the domain name from the registry. If they are unable to secure the domain, the auction is off.
Buy It Now:
SnapNames.com also offers domains in an instant purchase or Buy Now format.

SnapNames.com does not offer any type of domain appraisal service at this time. Their sales representatives can help you determine a starting price and while this is an option; it may not be the best option because their perception of what the domain name is worth could differ from the owner of the domain name. The parent company, Oversee.net, also owns Moniker.com, who offers a domain valuation service.

Aftermarket Costs

SnapNames.com is free to join. They do require that you have a credit card on file in order to create an account to hold you financially responsible for any domains you're bidding on. Other than the cost of the domain name, there are no fees involved with buying domain names on SnapNames.com. However, if you are selling your domain names as part of the SnapNames.com Daily Online Auction” there is a flat 20% commission fee that is taken from the domain sale proceeds.

Buying and Selling Process

Buying - SnapNames.com allows their members to pay with either credit card or PayPal. If you purchased domain listing through the Buy It Now feature, the domain name will automatically be transferred to you within a few days of making payment. However, if you pre-ordered an expired domain name and SnapNames.com is successful in acquiring it, you will be instructed to login to one of the following partnered registrars where your domain name will be managed: NameKing, 0 Cost Domains, Domain Monkeys, Nominate, NameSecure, PacNames, domaindiscount24, 4Domains, Domain-it!, PlanetDomain, NameBay, 1dni, Webagentur, pairNIC, Nominet.uk, Annulet, Denic, Nameshare, GetYerName, BestRegister, StarGate, NeoNIC OY, AlohaNic, SimplyNamed, Name.com, Domainsite, PLISK, Encirca, Nicco Ltd, Fiducia LLC, or 625 Domains. If you are an active buyer on SnapNames.com, then managing your domains can prove to be a difficult task as they will be split up among the different registrars listed above.

Selling - Before selling domains on SnapNames.com, you are required to transfer your domain names to either Moniker or DomainName.com. There are many domainers that have domains already registered with Moniker but for those who don't, this process can be tedious. On the other hand, if you sell one of your domains through their platform, the transfer of the domain name takes place automatically. This can prevent a lot of lost time and potential headaches. After the domain name is automatically transferred to the buyer, SnapNames.com will automatically give the seller credits that they can use to purchase more domains from SnapNames.com. Seven days after the buyer has paid for the domain, the seller may request payment be sent to them via wire transfer, cash, or PayPal.

Aftermarket Usability

At first glance the SnapNames.com seems pretty easy to use. Their domain search tool is fairly straightforward. They have a basic search bar on the homepage that allows you to search by keyword. They also offer an advanced search feature that allows the visitor to narrow their search criteria down by:

  • Auction Type
  • Domain TLD
  • Order By Date
  • Minimum Bid
  • Domain Length
  • Hyphens
  • Numbers

Compared to other aftermarket sites, SnapNames.com does not offer as many options to select when searching for domain names. Nevertheless, most users will find the features sufficient enough to find domains. But if you are looking to find detailed information about the buying/selling process and have specific questions, you will most likely not be able to find them because SnapNames.com lacks content. The FAQs section only answers a few simple questions briefly without getting into details. SnapNames.com could improve their site and possibly cut down on support calls if they added more detailed information about everything they have to offer.

Conclusion

SnapNames.com is one of the most popular expired domain marketplaces in the industry, receiving a 47% popularity vote amongst domainers in a survey conducted by Domain Name Wire. According to Compete.com, SnapNames.com gets about 70k visitors per month. While this number is not 100% accurate, it does show that they get a decent amount of traffic when compared to the other aftermarket sites. Just like other domain aftermarket sites, there is pros and cons to their platform.

Pros:

  • Very large customer base
  • Flawless auction system
  • Oftentimes successful at backordering domains

Cons:

  • Difficult to manage purchased expired domains (too many partner registrars)
  • Selling domains requires your domain to be registered with Moniker.com
  • 20% sales fee

Overall, SnapNames.com is still one of the best auction platforms online. The technology behind SnapNames.com's auction platform powers Monikers Live Auction platform as well. SnapNames.com is great for those who are looking to find great expired domain names. They are also a great place for those looking to sell domain names.

 

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