In a comment on my blog last Tuesday, Richard asked “It would be nice to hear a little more about your acquisition tactics – can you share how and where are you acquiring your inventory Elliot?” I thought it would be interesting to share how I buy acquire the majority of my domain names.
In terms of volume, I probably buy more domain names on the aftermarket via NameJet than anywhere else. I certainly don’t buy a whole lot of inventory, but I buy quite a few domain names each month. I primarily use FreshDrop to research names I want to bid on. I also search the NameJet backorders each night just before the bidding deadline, and I cherry pick names I like.
In terms of spend, I would estimate that I buy names privately more than any other venue. Most of these names are older registrations that I think would be good domain names for my portfolio, and I will send the owner an offer to try and buy the domain name. These negotiations can be tricky since most of the good ones have had multiple offers over time, and it’s often a matter of making the right offer at the right time. Oftentimes it also comes down to being able to contact the domain owner when others have failed. Sleuthing is key to this process, and I employ many techniques to finding an owner’s contact information.
I also buy a number of domain names via Afternic / BuyDomains. When I find a domain name at either aftermarket, I will contact my broker (Rich Green) and either submit an offer right away or get the asking price first. I’ve had luck reaching fair deals with BuyDomains, and so so luck via Afternic because private owners are sometimes firm with higher prices. In most cases, I am not the end user and won’t pay end user pricing on my acquisitions.
I make offers on Sedo-listed domain names, but I haven’t had much luck closing deals there. Sedo has a huge inventory of names, so I do spend time searching for good names at good prices.
As I’ve mentioned many times, I don’t spend a lot of time or money hand registering domain names. There is certainly money to be made, but finding good, unregistered domain names is time consuming, and I don’t think there’s enough upside for me. It is fun though!
Now that I’ve shared how I acquire domain names, I’d be interested in hear about how you acquire domain names.