Buying Domain Names

Domain Buying Tip: Make a Realistic Offer

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It’s 2018, and virtually all domain names that have substantial value have been registered for many years. The best way to buy these domain names is either via broker or through private acquisitions. If you want to achieve greater success acquiring exceptional domain names, you need to make realistic offers commensurate with their values.

People and companies that own exceptional domain names have either owned them for many years or they acquired the domain names in the aftermarket. If a domain name has been owned by an entity for many years and it has substantial value, it is very likely the owner has turned down many great offers. If a domain name was acquired in the aftermarket, it is equally likely that a lot of money was spent to acquire the domain name.

Whatever the case may be, a domain name owner is going to need a significant offer in order to be enticed to

Make Sure the I is Not an l

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Depending on the font in an email or a website, a lowercase “L” can look an awful lot like an uppercase I. Someone could try and fool a buyer into thinking that they are selling a valuable domain name that begins with the letter “I,” but in reality, it is really a lowercase “l.” They may look the same in some formats, but obviously one would be a word and the other would not spell anything.

It seems like most domain name marketplaces and auction platforms make an effort to ensure there is little confusion when it comes to the letters in a particular domain name. Listing the domain name in all lowercase letters is helpful, and having the option to view the uppercase version is helpful as well. I think most of the major platforms and marketplaces don’t allow sellers to interchange upper and lower case letters. This isn’t foolproof because some people may not think the l is a L even though the letters are lowercase.

When it comes to email negotiations though, it is possible these two letters could be interchanged

Don’t Rely on Outlier Sale Data

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Every day, NameBio reports the largest public sales that transacted at domain name aftermarket platforms and auction platforms from the prior day. Nearly every day, I see at least one domain name sale that leaves me scratching my head a bit. “Why on Earth would someone pay $x for this domain name,” I think to myself.

A critical error a domain investor – especially a new domain investor – can make is buying or registering other domain names that look similar based on the sale price of an outlier domain name sale.

People and companies buy domain names that make sense to them but may not make sense to others. Perhaps the buyer is working on a marketing campaign or wants to secure a domain name for a project or rebrand. A domain name is a unique piece of Internet real estate, and sometimes a company or person needs a very specific domain name when an alternative will not work. If the domain registrant is unwilling to lower the price and the buyer has the funds, it can lead to a sale that stands out to others. This is obviously great for the registrant, but it likely doesn’t mean that similar domain names are worth any more than they were worth before the sale.

Here’s a fictitious example:

Determining the Viability of Non-English Domain Names

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I regularly see non-English .com domain names coming up for sale at auction. I took Spanish for a few years in high school, but my foreign language skills are quite atrocious. That being said, because there may be value in non-English .com domain names, it is important to know how viable a name is before bidding on it or agreeing to buy it.

The first thing I do is a Google translate search to see if the word or phrase makes sense. The term or keyword may seem familiar, but if the spelling is off, it might not be worth anything. Even if the spelling makes sense and the word or term means something, it might be uncommonly used, leaving it with little commercial value. A general Google search with the word or a quoted search for the phrase can generally show me whether this is a popular term or not.

One of the best ways to tell if the keyword or term is popular or commonly used is to search for it in the

SEC Filings Can Have Good Contact Information

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Whether you are looking to privately acquire a domain name or sell a domain name you already own, it is essential to have the contact information for prospective buyers. With GDPR in place, finding good contact information for a company can be challenging.

I have found that many consumer facing websites do not make it easy to find executive contact information. I presume many executives do not want to receive consumer complaint emails – or perhaps even more accurately – companies have expensive customer management and customer support teams in place that are better equipped to deal with consumer issues. These teams are not necessarily well equipped to discuss company owned domain names or potential domain name acquisitions. Contact emails about domain names may go through, but many may never be seen by decision makers or even returned.

One place to find good contact information is within filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or similar oversight organizations in other countries. Oftentimes, these filings contain the names, email addresses, and phone numbers for corporate decision makers. These people

$30k for a Domain Name? “It Was the Best Money I’ve Ever Spent. Ever. Ever.”

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Looking to convince someone to spend 5 figures on a domain name, but they are reluctant to make the plunge? Perhaps it would behove you to share this video of Scott Voigt discussing his company’s branding pivot from HomeBase.io to Full Story. In this tweet shared by Peter Askew, Scott Voigt discusses just how much his company benefitted from spending $30,000 to buy the FullStory.com domain name.

It’s no surprise really, but when some people are contemplating a major domain name acquisition, they tend to focus on the cost. Good domain names are very

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