NEW YORK, NY – It takes a lot for a guy like me to give-up on a project or otherwise throw-in-the-towel, especially when I am not even sure how hard I really tried to begin with, but I like to be two steps ahead, and I like to work smart, not hard. That’s why I told Uniregistry to keep the Find.cars URL domain – forget it, let it expire, I’ll just re-brand as FindCarsforSale.com.
Here’s my thought process and how it all went down; hill.
Two years ago, when .cars domains became available (January 20th, 2016), I was just as excited as the next guy, or at least the ones who did get excited about new gTLDs being released, especially the cool new automotive ones. (I am fully aware that sometimes to get the upper-hand you have to act fast), so I scooped up a few .cars domains even though the price tag was $2,800.00 each. In fact, I grabbed three of them and wound up finding a discount registry which allowed me to get my grubby little hands on them for $2,100.00 each at Name.com (they were running a special). At the end of the day, I spent almost $7,000.00 on three of these .cars URLs. I happily purchased Find.cars, LI.cars, and LongIsland.cars (being that I am on Long Island).
Last year, when renewal came up, I was looking at another near $7,000.00 just to hold onto them all. (To maintain a discounted rate, I had moved them all to Uniregistry). So being that it was a full year later, I wanted to see who had purchased NY.cars, and NewYork.cars and no one had been using them or even purchased them (how horrendous, they are still available). At the time, I was surprised, but with such a large registration fee, you would have to be crazy (like me) to buy them. I figured if no one has interest in owning the larger state domains, why should I bother holding onto the smaller regional ones, so I let them expire last year and renewed only Find.cars.
This kept my total investment in the .cars URL under $10,000.00.
So another year later it was, yet again, time to evaluate the future of .cars [and what it means to my business having one], at least in my opinion, and whether or not it was going to be worth it (to me) for another round of renewal fees in the tune of $2,100.00. (I mean, these guys at Uniregistry, and I think they are all great people, I do… Frank and his team, they are all good people, and I am sure they all work very hard, but they should be paying me to keep this site live and be a showcase – I probably should have asked about this.) Well, anyway, this time, not even Find.cars passed the sniff test. Something that came to mind was seeing Cheap.cars, which I think is potentially a better name, failed to find a bidder over $100.00 on Flippa last month.
To add more fuel to the fire, I thought I had till January 20th 2018 to make the final decision, but for some reason Uniregistry processed the renewal a month early (no idea why) and I could not get a refund unless we deleted the domain entirely from our Uniregistry account. So that was the final nail in the coffin – I didn’t get a chance to fully think it through and I wasn’t going to be forced into a renewal beforehand, so the domain was deleted from our Uniregistry account this morning and we will not be using it any longer. We will simply re-brand as FindCarsforSale.com, at a reasonable one-time acquisition fee from HugeDomains.com and nominal and ordinary renewal ($10.00 bucks).
Here is why I feel it’s just better to stop the bleeding now:
- PRICE: The price of the .car and .cars URLs are ridiculous. Even at a discount, if you are lucky enough to have one, the domain is not worth what is being charged for registrations and especially yearly renewals and this has likely resulted in many drops and will continue to result in drops if this is not done away with eventually.
- ROI: No one is using the domain names and I continue to see lack-luster results as far as future potential. I like my investments to mature within a reasonable amount of time, say 5 to 10 years – tops, not fifty years, which is what this is beginning to look like for these new URLs.
- BRAND: After using the site, having sales people discuss the site, printing cards, folders, materials, etc., it’s not sticking with consumers and I am likely fighting a losing battle, sending traffic to FindCars.com, which is a complete waste of effort. It’s just not smart and we’re not seeing enough of a buzz-factor to keep it going.
- PRACTICALITY: Although people seem to find interest in the name, and it seems to raise some eyebrows here and there being that it is new and fresh, and it make sense when you really think about the left and the right of the dot, and the key-words and all of that – however, at the end of the day, the URL acts more as a conversation starter, a novelty, and is less a practical way to conduct serious business.
So it is deemed, at least in my opinion, better, smarter and cheaper, to move away from the novelty of Find.cars, and begin re-branding the service, as FindCarsforSale.com – Why Search When You Can Find®
So that is my story of the day. Hopefully some readers can benefit from my experience and learn something from my $10,000.00 mistake. You win some and you loose some; that is just the way it is. But it is better to be in the game and have the opportunity. However, you need to know when it is time to cut your losses and walk away. Enjoy and have fun out there.
About The Author: John Colascione is CEO of Long Island Media Inc., an Internet ad agency and publisher of the largest group of Long Island New York based websites and one print newspaper collectively reaching over one million people per month. He specializes in Website Monetization, authored a ‘how to’ book called ‘‘Mastering Your Website’, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his holding company Searchen Networks®