The domain MountainBikeShop.com is at auction, ending today and is sitting around $220 with a Godaddy Valuation just under $3k.
It seems like a good domain right? You know what it is, you could go to their store or website and know without a shadow of a doubt what they do before you get there.
On the surface it looks good, it has bids so if you were a new domainer you could bid with a certain level of confidence that this is a desirable domain that would sell, because others are bidding on it. :)
I think this domain sucks.
I don’t hate the concept of this domain, as a group of words bound together that make sense, and in the past I would have said it was decent. I’d even pay reg fee for the thing right now.
But this is the problem, Domains like this that look good but will never sell, well except maybe to other domainers. It’s hard to turn it down, I think it would probably be a mistake to pay anything above $10. It’s tempting if only because at first glance it looks like a domain that should have value.
This is why I think it’s a bad domain:
First, the whole point of the exercise is to buy names that have some chance of selling to an end user for some multiple of auction or registration price. Is it a name that a bike business would buy?
The name is too specific and there are too many alternative versions available for a business to pay a domainers retail price. More importantly, bike shops don’t name their businesses anything close to this. Here’s a list of bike shops close to me, right out of the Google SERP. They’re mostly brandables, GEO’s or Owner identity names.
Rails to Trails
Gung Ho Bikes
The Cycle Works
In Gear Cycling and Fitness
Holmes Cycling and Fitness
Downhill From Here
Lancaster Bicycle Shop
The Bike Shak
Green Mountain Cyclery
Roy’s Bike Shop
The Common Wheel Bicycle Shop
Jack’s Bike Shop
Era Ski and Bike Shop
All of these store are within 50 miles of me. None of them use anything close to this domain. You would think that with all the alternate extensions these small businesses would be fighting over keyword domains for their brand and websites.
They are not. According to NBDA.com, the national bicycle dealers association, in 2015 there were around 3800 Specialty bike dealers in the US alone. I assume that means small non chain bike shops. ( that’s not a pun, these bikes have chains)
While the number of bike shops is down from a decade ago, it’s still quite a few and that’s just in the us. You would think somewhere in the world there would exist a bike shop that would want this name or something similar to use as their domain.
If your still not sold on my idea, that this name won’t sell, let’s look at the past usage and alternate extensions.
The name has been registered since 1999, there is nothing in Archive.org to suggest that it was ever used for anything other than parking or had any content at all. The domain is currently registered in 7 extensions and here’s what they do.
MountainBikeStore.com Expired never had content
MountainBikeStore.se Registered doesn’t resolve
MountainBikeStore.be Registered doesn’t resolve
MountainBikeStore.online German, “configuration error”
MountainBikeStore.eu Registered doesn’t resolve
MountainBikeStore.co.uk Registered doesn’t resolve
MountainBikeStore.nl Redirects to a Dutch outdoor store
These were once registered but are now deleted.
You might make the argument that they’re buying it for “traffic”. Godaddy tracks and publishes those numbers and it’s showing none, no traffic at all. Let’s be honest with ourselves, most domains have little value for type in traffic, it just doesn’t work that way anymore, especially with longtails. Certain domains will provide diminishing traffic from old links, but no one is typing this name into the browser. I’m sure there are some short, common words or known brands that get type in traffic.
It all comes back to the domains ability to be used as a brand or an easy to remember website. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be an actual store, just someone’s idea or their dream of building a business, for it to work as far as we’re concerned. No one is dreaming about this name.
So unless you like collecting things that won’t sell, like a hoarder, or you think I’m being ridiculous and possibly bidding on the name myself, you should avoid bidding on names that won’t sell.
I reiterate my point that new domainers and also those who have trouble picking good names from the ocean of bad, probably shouldn’t be bidding just because others are bidding.
If your perception of a good domain is out of whack at the lower end it won’t suddenly improve by paying $200-$500.
Learn to recognize value, ask someone their opinion, or do something else.
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Names With Bids
Your LLLL.coms of The Day
LLLL’s that End Users Might use someday
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Godaddy Value BIN
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