What Is Private Domain Registration and Should You Use It As A Website Flipper?

Private Domain RegistrationWhen I first got into Internet Marketing back in 2005, I was always told that private domain registration was the only way to go. As a result, it’s the only thing I’ve ever done. Since getting into website flipping, however, I have realized I may have been shooting myself in the foot and will never opt for it again. In today’s post I will explain what private domain registration and then I will tell you why it can work against you as a website flipper.

What Is Private Domain Registration?

When you register a domain with a registrar (i.e. GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc.) you will have the option to register the domain privately. Some registrars include it for free while others charge you a nominal fee for it. When you register a domain privately, your personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and email address is kept out of the public eye.

ICANN is a non-profit corporation that oversees the registration of all domain names. It requires every registrar to maintain a public WHOIS directory for all domains that are registered. That means all your personal information is available to anyone who conducts a WHOIS search. Here is an example of what a public domain registration looks like when doing a WHOIS search:

Public Domain Registration

Here is what a private domain registration looks like:

Private Domain Registration

Notice the difference? With private domain registration, your personal information is kept private. Now before you assume that’s a good thing, think again because keeping your contact information private can hurt your website flipping efforts.

Why Website Flippers Shouldn’t Use Private Domain Registration

As website flippers and Internet Marketers in general, I’ll bet most of you own several domains. And I’ll bet that a large chunk of your domains are parked or have half-baked websites on them. Regardless, your domains and websites – no matter how simple or complex those sites may be – are assets that can advertise for you 24/7.

There are buyers looking for domains and websites for sale all the time – and the savvy ones aren’t looking for prospects at Flippa only. If a buyer stumbles upon your parked domain page or your 5-page mini site you never got around to working on, and the buyer really has an interest in it, wouldn’t it be great if the buyer could contact you easily?

The best way to reach the owner of a domain or website is to do a WHOIS search and then contact the owner via the contact information provided. Right there the buyer has access to your email, address, and phone number. They can contact you directly to see if you are interested in selling. And the potential buyer doesn’t have to be a professional website flipper either. It can be the average Joe off the street or a business owner who must have your domain or website. You never know who might be interested in buying your undeveloped (or developed) asset.

By electing NOT to have private domain registration, you make it easy for anyone – professional website flipper or otherwise – to contact you to make you an offer for your parked domains and websites. I have several decent parked domains and mini websites floating around out there that all have private domain registration on them. Who knows how many prospective buyers I have turned away over the years!

  • Nice post and how to make domain private after purchasing vi godaddy?

  • What is the benefit of using the private domain registration it is having  any addition features?

  • Great information on the private domain registartion Your writing is good. In this I learned a lot! Thank you..This is good site to spent time on .

  • squatter hater

    Get a real job!

  • Another point to mention is that if you plan on using Escow.com, the (domain name registration) is what they look at to prove the domain is owned by you. Further on this is also what they use to prove you have pushed the domain name on to the buyer.

    So even though normally I use private registration upon initial sign up as Namecheap provides this for free. Upon entering Flippa and getting a buyer, I go in and change it from Private to Public.

    Just a note in case you use Escrow in your auctions.

    • Travis

      I have such smart readers! Thanks, Missy, for pointing this out. I would have never thought of that. So are you saying that you can’t have private registration on a domain when you push OR transfer it to the buyer when using Escrow.com?

      I always use SafeFunds.com (which is way cheaper with fewer restrictions than Escrow.com) so you can push or transfer a domain with or without private domain registration.


  • Am I wrong in thinking that they can still contact you via the email address in the protected listing?

    • Travis


      Nope. You are correct but the problem is depending on the private registration protection that some registrars use, the email forwarding may not work because you don’t have an email specified or the inquiry gets marked as spam. As a test, I sent myself an email to one of my domains that is privacy protected and it’s been a day and I have yet to get the email. I don’t know if I’ll get the email or not.

      I just think if you run a legit operation, there shouldn’t be anything to hide. And if you’re paranoid about having this basic information out there and you’re going to be registering many domains, then I recommend you get a business name and address (i.e. setup a basic sole proprietorship) and use that as your contact information.


  • As a website flipper myself, I never use the private domain registration just for the simple fact that I like to cut costs on each website that I sell.

    • Travis


      Good point. It’s especially important to cut costs when you’re flipping startups since the profit margins can be so slim to begin with.

      Some registrars offer private domain registration for free. NameCheap, for example, gives you one year of free private registration. Then after that it’s something like $2/year.


  • James

    Or you could simply have a contact form on any site you own, which you should probably have anyway.

    • Travis


      That goes without saying. You should not only have a contact form on EVERY parked domain page and website you own, but you should have a clear advertisement somewhere on the page that the domain or website is for sale!

      Even with a contact form, I still believe that you should go with public registration. Most Internet Marketers have several domains and websites that they launch and then never do anything with because they move on to another project. They usually don’t remember to add a contact form or an advertisement that their domain/website is for sale. If they do public registration, they don’t have to think about it.