Buying And Selling Domains: A Quick Guide

By on December 22, 2007

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Domaining is becoming a very popular investing and business opportunity. Although the business of investing in high quality domain names has been operating quietly for almost 10 years, it is now gaining notoriety. Recently there have been many articles in highly respected newspapers and magazines regarding the practice. In the past year I’ve become an amateur domain investor and although I’m not an expert I’ll share with you what I know so that you don’t have to make the mistakes I made.

What makes a domain name valuable?

1. Keyword Generic. Domain names like www.phone.com or www.cellphone.com are great keywords because they tell you exactly what the site is about and users are likely to type in that name directly into their navigation bar. Also if you create a valuable website you’ve made yourself an instant authority on the subject.

If you can’t get a 1 word generic then try and find 2 or 3 word ones that are relevant to the subject you are searching. Like Self Defense – www.selfdefense.com is obviously taken, but I found www.selfdefenseinstructor.com was available and I’m creating a website on it.

2. Length. The shorter the domain name the better because users are more likely to remember and directly type in the name instead of searching for what they need on Google.

Pretty much all of the valuable domains are taken if not all.

Example: www.Phone.com.

  • a. 1 word domains are premium domains
  • b. 2-3 word domains are good but not the best
  • c. 4+ words are not great quality domain names and you should avoid them.

3. .Com is King – Although .net and .org are not bad when it comes down to it the highest value is always given to .com. It’s simply the extension that everyone is the most familiar with.

4. Buying and Selling Domains – High value domains are almost always sold at auctions that bring out investors that have deep pockets. Some of these auctions include: Moniker.com, t.r.a.f.f.i.c., Afternic.com and Sedo.com. However, there are a lot of private party sales that no one knows about and those are mostly done through contacts that sellers have with investors or are able to find end user buyers for valuable domains.

For example if you own: alcoholtreatmentclinics.com, which I do, it’s probably not that valuable to an investor. However, to an alcohol treatment center it could have great value.

    a. Warning: Don’t buy trash domains in webmaster forums. If it’s a quality domain name then great but otherwise don’t even think about it. It’s not worth wasting your money. There are too many wannabe investors regging crap domains and reselling them to ignorant wannabe investors in webmaster forums. I’m speaking from experience and am looking to let a lot of domains go when its time to renew.

    b. Now that I’ve said that there are honest opportunities in forums to buy and sell your domains. Just be wary of what you are buying and selling. Some forums are: www.namepros.com, www.dnforum.com and www.forums.digitalpoint.com.

To rap things up I would say that this advice is simply for those who want to invest or purchase and develop high quality domain names. I know for those who are developing for SEO may disagree but this post is not addressing those issues and many domains that a domainer would not find valuable can be very profitable by an experienced SEOer.

Another hybrid form of Domaining is a SEOmainer, or one who invest in and develop quality keyword domain names. I am personally trying to become an SEOmainer as the domain market seems to be slowing and is for more long term investors at the current state.

This was a guest post by Aaron Kuroiwa owner of a Website Translation service that improves SEO and Tattoo Translation service for Chinese and Kanji tattoos.

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.