One of my favorite domain names I own is Sleuth.com. I have received numerous inquiries to buy the domain name, and several have come from private investigators and operators of investigation-based businesses. I received an inquiry to buy Sleuth.com this morning, and it got me thinking about the business of private investigations and domain names.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a change at Escrow.com that has implications for people living in or doing business with entities in Russia, Panama, and even in the US state of Alabama. In short, an American company can no longer use Escrow.com to buy or sell a domain name to a counterparty in Russia, Panama, Alabama, or elsewhere on the exclusion list. Because I use Escrow.com on many of my private sales, this could become problematic for me.
Generally speaking, my largest and best domain name purchases are private deals. More often than not, I spend quite a bit of time and effort to close a deal. These private deals are worth it when buying higher value names. When it comes to standard inventory, though, I would much rather buy at auction than from a private seller.
When I buy a domain name at auction, the only effort I need to make once the name is on my radar is to place my bids. Sometimes I follow along as the auctions close and sometimes I let my proxy bid ride. I can bid higher if I feel like it, but as prices continue to rise, I can also drop out and focus on other inventory. Beyond the research, there is not much effort needed to win an auction.
A blog reader emailed me this week and asked if I would publish an article to ask other readers what they are currently buying. It’s been a little over a year since the last time I asked this question, so I thought now was a pretty good time to ask.
Last time I shared what I am looking to buy, and it still holds true today:
People regularly ask me what type of domain name I buy. My portfolio is fairly diverse at this point, but I am always on the hunt for positive and meaningful one word .com domain names. The ideal type of .com domain name I want to buy is pretty simple to describe though. I want to own domain names that could simply use an image and people would immediately know what the domain name is.
When negotiating to buy a domain name, I have sometimes made a “best and final offer.” This offer is typically the most I am willing to pay for a domain name at the time, and the idea is to induce a sale because the domain registrant believes he will lose a deal if the final offer is not accepted. I don’t think this is necessarily the best approach for me.