LeadRefs Shutting Down – Immediately

I was surprised to find an email hit my inbox this morning stating that the Domain lead generation company, LeadRefs would be shutting down immediately. I have been a fan of this service since the beginning and have used it to successfully find buyers for a number of domains. It was sad to hear the service would be going away and a bit shocking to find-out that there would be no transition plan just a sudden and immediate end to the service.

Of course who knows what’s going on behind-the-scenes but something tells me that there had to be some issues with how they were getting their WHOIS data even though they cite “financial reasons” as the cause of the sudden shutdown. I have interacted with the owner of LeadRefs several times and it has always been a very pleasant experience so I sure hope he’s not in any kind of hot water.

Still, something tells me that this won’t be the last we’ll see of a service like this however it does sound like the model will have to change a bit. If anyone knows more about what happened please chime in and share it with the rest of us, below is the email I received:

Due to financial reasons, we are shutting down LEADREFS.COM immediately. We have just sent you a $33 refund to your email address via Paypal. This was the prorated share of what was left of your membership. We want to take this moment to thank you for your business and interest in LEADREFS.com. Please email us with any questions you may have.

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Abdu October 17, 2012, 12:38 pm

    My guess is that someone wanted to buy their domain name.

  • Adam October 17, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Definitely disappointed that they are shutting down. Hopefully someone else starts a similar service.

  • .ME of course October 17, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Reminds me of bido, they shut it down completely, then reopened under new management. Morgan, why don’t you buy the whole service?

  • Gnanes October 17, 2012, 3:30 pm

    The site is still active with no message about closing.

  • Tim Davids October 17, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Its believable that hosting costs were more than worth it.

  • Morgan October 17, 2012, 5:12 pm

    Update from Todd who runs LeadRefs. The reason they shut the service down was because they have other businesses that were doing significantly better than this site that they wanted to put their focus on.

    I completely understand this but told him in the future he should give users at least a few days notice. Shutting down a service immediately with no notice doesn’t make for the best user experience.

  • J S October 17, 2012, 7:07 pm

    Or why not sell the business? Seems odd to just shut it down.

  • Ron October 17, 2012, 8:15 pm

    I told this guy months ago, domainers do not pay big bucks for services, make your site affordable, and more people will use it, dude didn’t listen, can’t cost all that much to operate a site once it is built out, what a waste of everyones time.

  • Attila October 18, 2012, 2:16 am

    That is too bad. But like mentioned, domainers often times do not want to pay and expect everything for a very low price or even free.

    Running a SaaS type of business, it is extremely difficult. Customers are demanding. They expect you to be around 24×7 or else when something goes wrong, they’re on every message board crying their dearest hearts out. Having an Developer~Engineer around 24×7 is non existent for most small to mid size companies. Same goes for customer support.

    You just can’t win in a small niche market because a handful of people can easily ruin your reputation. They hide behind screen names and start these threads that get out of hand because of forum trolls that add more fuel into the fire.

    Most importantly, if the ROI doesn’t seem to fit the bill after a while, its time to close up shop or sell it off to others.

  • jayjay October 18, 2012, 12:35 pm

    @J S “Or why not sell the business? Seems odd to just shut it down.”

    This makes financial sense too! πŸ™‚ drop it into Flippa’s platform and with the right sales pitch regarding it’s branding though the domain investment community, it’s member base, potential ROI opportunity, and writeups on viral domaining blogs (like morganlinton.com πŸ˜‰ ) you’d think it would return a pretty penny or two. This makes better sense than just shutting shop on the severβ€” literally killing it’s value on the push of a button.

  • Jason Thompson October 20, 2012, 12:21 am

    That’s unfortunate. Back to estibot or collecting leads manually. πŸ™‚

  • Lance November 30, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Its obvious this is not the reason and suppose only truth is behind back doors. It is a shame though this was a very useful program harvestor. I found out when tried to use it today.

    I also miss dropdigger that was a huge loss

  • Mihailo Joksimovic July 21, 2015, 10:10 am

    Hi Morgan,

    Sorry for awakening this old zombie post πŸ™‚

    I just wanted to check if you would be interested in trying out a “LeadRefs on Steroids” tool that we were working on for last 6 months? We tried incorporating all of the LeadRefs’ functionalities plus added some extra features.

    I’d be more than happy to have you give it a try and maybe share some thoughts on your experience.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Mihailo Joksimovic
    Co-Founder @ Domainero.Com


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