I had a reader email me this week and ask if there was one essential tool I could not live without, it didn’t take me long to answer and I thought I’d share my answer with all of you. For the last couple of years I have used DomainTools every single day and in most cases many times per day. I didn’t start doing this until I upgraded to a pro account and really saw what the tool was capable of.
I’ll be honest, before I upgraded to a pro membership I thought it was too expensive, $50/month for a WHOIS tool? However I can tell you from experience that this $50/month has made me tens of thousands of dollars and now I’d easily pay $100/month or more for it because I really can’t live without it.
First, it’s not just a WHOIS tool, but, that being said, it does have the most powerful WHOIS tool on the planet built-into it. What DomainTools has really created is a swiss army knife of tools that can help you research domains and domain owners in a way that you can’t with any other tool on the net, period. Some of their research tools include:
- WHOIS History – incredibly useful when you’re trying to understand how a domain you want to buy was acquired
- Hosting History – understanding where a site has been hosted can give you a unique view into its past
- Screenshot History – I’ve had people try to trick me into thinking they used to have some super successful mega-site on their domain, screenshot history helps me really determine if they’re telling the truth
- Reverse WHOIS Lookup – this is by far my absolutely favorite feature and I use this quite a bit when I’m selling domains to better understand who it is that is making the offer.
Along with the domain research tools there are also network research tools and monitoring tools. The monitoring tools are great because you can put some of the research process on autopilot, a few of my favorites here are:
- Domain Monitor – there are a number of domains on my wish list and this is a great way to monitor them, you never know when a domain will change hands and a new owner could mean a new price expectation.
- Brand Alert – this is an awesome tool you can set on autopilot and see if anyone is trying to squat on your brand.
There are many more tools built-into DomainTools but these are a few of my favorites. So how has DomainTools made me more money? I’ll give you one great example.
I was recently contacted by someone who said they wanted to buy a domain from me for $2,000 but that they couldn’t go a dollar higher. Using DomainTools I was able to find out some of the other names they had bought, when they bought them, and then cross-referencing this was able to find-out what they paid. I found out that $2,000 definitely wasn’t their max as they had paid over $30,000 for a domain only a few months ago. I was able to use this data to close a much bigger sale, an increase that could pay for a pro membership for 5+ years, and that’s just with one transaction.
I also buy a fair amount of domains from individual owners. I use this information in a similar way to better understand who the owner is and what their real price expectations are. When someone tells me they’d only take $50K for a domain but I see that they sold a similar name for $5K only a few months ago, I know I’ve got some wiggle room.
DomainTools was critical for me when I bought Summon.com for $3,500 which then flipped for $17,500, that’s a $14,000 profit or 23 years of a Pro Membership 🙂 Like I said above, I thought $50/month was expensive, until I started using DomainTools and making good money thanks to the data it was providing, now I think it’s probably the best value for any service I use, heck I pay $80/month for HD Cable TV but so far that hasn’t made me a dime. Just think of the last time you went out for dinner/drinks, I’m sure that was more than $50 but you didn’t complain that it was too expensive, did you? It was worth it for the experience, right?
So if you haven’t yet tried a Pro Membership on DomainTools, give it a shot, it’s definitely the one tool I couldn’t live without. Oh and for those who think this is a sponsored post, it’s not. While DomainTools is an advertiser they don’t ask me to write posts and they have no idea I’m writing this. Instead this is a service that I use so much and am so passionate about I felt I had to write this.
As always I’d love to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!