Advice for New Domain Investors

When it comes to domain investing, there are relatively few barriers to entry. All it takes is around $10 and a credit card or Paypal account, and a person can consider himself or herself a domain investor. Compared to investing in physical real estate or the stock market, the cost of entry into this business is very low.

One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to not just buy one or two domain names when they are starting out. I’ve noticed that people seem to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on hand registered domain names without much experience. Chances are good that this will make the domain registrar rich rather than the domain investor.

My advice is pretty simple. If you or someone you know is exploring the domain name investment space looking for opportunity, spend time doing research before buying. Spend some time looking at DN Journal and NameBio to see what is selling and for what price. Look through the domain forums like DN Forum and NamePros to see what people are discussing.

With the new gTLDs coming out within the year, I predict we are going to see hundreds or even thousands of speculators spending millions of dollars on new domain names. Many people will think they’re going to strike it rich with their investments. Most probably won’t do much research on domain investing. There are going to be people who lose a lot of money.

My advice is pretty simple but important. Do your research before spending your hard earned money on domain investments. Yes, there are relatively few barriers to entry when it comes to investing, but as countless people will tell you, there is a steep learning curve to profitably investing in domain names, and learning all about the business of domain investing before spending money is a good way to flatten the curve.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Sir Elliot-

    The only way to learn this business is to “Lose” money.

    You won’t get it right until you lose.

    The more failures you go thru,the more you will learn and in the end you will get what you wanted.
    It is all about persistence, patience and life experiences.

  2. Successful domain investing is a capital intensive business. And if you don’t have the stomach or the wallet for it, it’s probably best to stay on the sidelines. As they say here in Panama, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

    I threw about $300,000 in the toilet before turning our domain investment business into a profitable venture. But the return on that “education” has been priceless.

  3. At least buy what you like and know. Always think about development and a business model rather than registering a wide variety.

    Also, if it is available for hand registration today, it’s not worth any more than that now.

    Buy to invest. Don’t buy to speculate.

    Talk to a domain buyer broker to help you buy quality, not quantity.

    • I think people will see new gTLDs as opportunities since there will be lots of unregistered inventory. Probably not a wise move, although there will be seasoned veterans speculating. I suppose there is much more margin for error for someone making 6 or 7 figures investing in domain names. It’s somewhat of a hedge.

  4. Here is a basic beginners list

    1. In the beginning you want to keep it simple so register all of your names at Godaddy. Have all of your names in one place where you can keep track of them and sell them on the auction platform. Godaddy has a very simple platform for beginners.

    2. Use Godaddy promo codes. You can literally buy about 50 domains for under 100 bucks by using promo codes with a brand new account. Become a member at Namepros and visit the Godaddy promo codes section. Start at the last page and work backwards so you can use all of the activated promo codes. (if you start at page 1 they are inactive)

    3. This one may sound crazy but list them for sale. I know it sounds crazy but you have to list them to sell them. 3 main sites to sell are Godaddy, Sedo and Afternic. Unless you have an old aged portfolio of names nobody is going to email you about your names.

    4. Stick with dot com in the beginning and stay away from hyphens

    5. Stay away from trademarked names. Check trademarks at (trademarkia)

    6. Put realistic prices on your domains. If you just handregged a name for a dollar with a promo code don’t ask 5 grand for it. List it for sale for a few hundred dollars. If it sells at that price you know you are on the right track and if it doesn’t regroup and rethink your name process.

    7. Make sure the name makes sense.

    8. In the beginning spend a few hundred bucks on hand registered domains. This will help you get excited about domaining and ask others on Namepros and DN forum what they think. Most are willing to help and will give their honest opinion. Change direction if you receive poor feedback.

    9. Watch the videos on There is so much information in these videos.

    10. Become a member of and follow the auctions. Study which names have lots of bids and why. There is tons of learning to be had by just watching the auctions. Once you have a decent feel for the process than this is when you up the ante and start investing more money in single domain names and one of the best places to buy them is at Namejet.

    11. Visit daily for the latest domaining news and become a religious reader of,,, and and learn the basics from Go back through the archives at these sites for lots of great info.

    12. Don’t get caught up in the new GTLDs. Stick with what works right now.

    13. Don’t get discouraged in the beginning and have fun.

  5. The new TLDs could turn out to be opportunities for the best keywords long term – but no more so than great keywords in .CO or .Info or .TV or .ME which are not easy flips to end users or even domainers. So any speculation in these new TLDs needs to be viewed as a small portion of one’s investment portfolio. I already have plenty of alt TLD domains so why do I need more in extensions which are not going to gain recognition for years at best. Regardless, it will be interesting to observe.

  6. I think one of the biggest mistakes new domain investors make is they try to do everything themselves from the get go, instead of utilizing the minds and/or services of proven professionals who have tons of valuable industry knowledge, contacts, and skills that you can learn and profit from.

    There are plenty of brokers and highly successful seasoned investors for example who despite being very busy doing prospecting work, buying and selling, and making deals every day, will gladly take the time to provide free advice, investing strategies, valuation opinions, networking introductions, etc., to others who ask for help.

  7. Hi guys iam fairly new to domain investing i recently purchased the domain name can you guys give me some insight as to if this was a good purchase and what do you think the value of the domain name is and also is it a good flip candidate?

    • @R Shaw,

      The way I see it as is, the value is not that good as a flip candidate for several reasons.
      1. It is a new hand registry
      2. According to Google Adwords, it has 0 searches, competition, and CPC.
      3. It is not really a name you can market to the masses.

      As is, you may be able to sell it on Flipa for about $60 – $120 at best.

      This type of site would be geared toward a small number of people who may be interested in learning more about the Optometry Technician field.
      If you want to flip it, then you need to put up a site and build value with content, backlinks, and drive some traffic to it. Have you registered the same name with all the social sites? It is better to sell it as a package. Names such as these are a dime a dozen. The best way to flip it or earn any other amount of money on it is to build value with it. Watch all of the videos on and I think you will learn a lot. The key is finding a high value keyword domain that you can also brand. If you can’t band it, then change the wording slightly such as place an x at the end of the name. Anyway goodluck.

    • hi thanks for your response but you are searching the wrong keywords in Google adwords its “Optometric Technician” (sorry i forgot to put the “i” in the technician)if you search again you will see that these keywords get 880 exact match searches and a cpc of 7.44..also this is not a new hand registration the domain name was registered in 2007 i bought it in an expired auction.

    • Ok. Yeah, that does make a little difference, however, and you may know this, but it is preferred to have at least 1000 exact match searches if at all possible. However, again, it is limited to those audience who is interested in that field. The amount you can sell the site for is the amount someone else sees value in it resulting in the amount you will receive. It seems to me, at least what I’ve observed on Flippa, is that people seem to be willing to pay between $250 to $350 for crappy domain names with a crappy site thrown up and content that does not make sense. Since this domain has already built some value with the age and keyword relativity, I would tend to think you could get around $300 by itself and maybe $500 with a quick site thrown up for one of those buyers on Flippa. Of course if you put up a nice site with good content, etc., you can sell it for much more. Hope your not offended by my personal synopsis, however, don’t take my word for it, go to the auctions and read the forums and you will see for yourself that you can buy very nice quality names for a mere $10k to $20k right now. If you hold on to it a few more years, these new Gtld’s will help to drive your .com value up more.

    • so basically you are saying i wasted my money on this domain because it is not broad enough and it pigeonholes me to a particular niche and that i cannot realistically expect to get at least $1500 for the name alone without having to put up a site on it? (which i don’t plan on doing at the)…i mean i have seen crappy domain names without sites selling for 3k and more i don’t get it?

    • Most of us hold our domain names in high regard as if they are worth much more than they really are. I have over 200 names and can say only a few are really good and could sell for what they deserve where as most of mine could not. Most domain sells right now are selling for only a third of their true value unfortunately. My advise is to market your domain to a specific audience that may hold a more valued look at your domain such as the Optometry vertical. Market to every business and and everyone that work in this industry. Start with your local market and send emails to the various verticals and work your way out. I picked up a domain that is valued at $47k on Estibot for only a couple hundred. I’ve sold some of my domains for $200 and some I felt as equal in value from my perspective for only $60. It’s hard to do sometimes. I don’t want to sell it because I think it sounds nice, but it’s not making any money for me so I let it go. I still made money and use that on my other sites. If your not in a hurry to sell it, hang on to it and list it on all the auction sites with a starting bid price. I wouldn’t say you lost money on it, unless you spent a lot. A domain is valued at what someone will pay for it.

    • Thanks for your advice..i found a company who owns the .net alternate to my name it seems like they maybe using the site for some form of lead generation i will be contacting them to see if they are interested in owning the dot com version also

  8. hey el,
    so there is this thing that you can not sell/transfer a domain name until after 60days from the day that you’ve registered the domain name. So, what do i do if i am lucky to get a customer who likes the name just after let’s say a week after i’ve registered the domain name. what do i do??
    thanks man!!

  9. “I threw about $300,000 in the toilet”

    Andrew, I thought your first sale was a group of ham-related domains for $5,000. You were very successful in your first deal, unlike many new investors. So, how did you throw 300k in the toilet? I just don’t understand.

  10. It’s NOT just newbies who register worthless domain names, it’s also people who have been in this industry for years and even decades, Look at all the “experts” who invested in dot mobi, registering hundreds if not thousands of them, only to let them drop 2 or 4 years later, And rather than acknowledging that it might fail, they chose to fabricate all kinds of reasons why it will be successful, fooling not just themselves but misleading newbies in the process. I also saw a prominent domainer who we all know post about 100 .XXX domains asking for an appraisal, the consensus was they were crap, even for the .com TLD.

    Instances like this are far beyond learning by our mistakes, domainers who make newbie mistakes like these really have NO business dispensing advice on what and what not to register.

  11. Nice points Todd.
    I tried to pre register through godaddy but the domain name has already been taken. If its already been pregistered by someone else , so does it mean that no other can pregister the same domain name.
    Or is that because of any trademark issue that domain will not be available for registration by common man. Isnt a generic term.


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