Does Your Domain Name Suck?

Al lot of people (myself included) look at some of their domain names and wonder why end user companies aren’t interested in buying certain domain names. Instead of thinking like a savvy small business owner or corporate titan, we think like domain investors, which isn’t always a good thing when it comes to selling domain names.

I think we must put ourselves in the shoes of our potential buyers. Ask yourself the following question about a domain name you’ve been trying to sell, and maybe you’ll see why you’ve been unable to sell it.

If I was in the _____________ business, would I want to pay a domain owner $x thousands of dollars to buy the _________.whatever domain name, when I can hand register ____________.whatever for just $10 from that company with the hot girls in Super Bowl commercials?

Many (if not most) business owners don’t tend to think of domain names as essential elements of their business. Not even business who predominately work online always think that a good domain name is critical to the success of their business. Most want to build a solid brand online, and that is different from using a generic domain name.

Think how a business owner would think, and tailor your sales pitch appropriately. You may find that your sales will increase.

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. Yes, the reality is that for most companies and small businesses, domains just aren’t that important. And if they already have one, why should they pay more than $50 for another one – even if it pertains to their business. In time I believe or hope that perception will change but many many hundreds of end user emails confirm my view that the general public just doesn’t give a ^&%$# about domain names until they are looking for one and cannot find anything available.

  2. Companies will buy domain names they need. It’s mainly how a domain investor presents the domain to the company. You have to be confident about what you sell. While most domainers don’t own $1000+ names, they can still make a profit selling names between $50-$400.

    Most companies do care about domain names. Cold calling them will usually catch them off guard. They will assume you’re like every other business that tries to push products and services.

    A company made an offer and bought a job domain from me last week. They wanted the name, made a offer, and purchase the domain. 5 days later the domain is already up and running.

    At one time I probably would have sold that name for $100. The buyer mentioned my name was probably worth $1000 when the job market was good, but they were more than happy with paying 40% of that value to acquire the name. The domain produces very high stats.

    Mostly companies will buy names that are specific to their products and services, even when elite domain investors consider them to be bad names. Every company wants to keep their spending within a certain limit.

    I don’t think it’s about owning bad names. Every investor owns a few names that are less appealing. When they make mistakes with acquiring the wrong names, they learn from it. They manage to improve their domain portfolio with changing their perspective.

    Most companies don’t have time to look for a new name. Sometimes it takes time for companies to close deals due to time. You can sell any decent name if you build value into it. Premium names are much easier to sell. I haven’t acquired a premium name yet, but I plan to work my way up to reach that goal.

  3. One the plus side for those of us, who know enough about domains and do want to develop domain names, market is great. I just bought a great generic name of profession and already developing it into the portal for that profession. It happens to be that there is no similar portal in existence right now. By getting that key name, i am given a chance to develop the nitch. We are talking about very popular profession, not some rare breed. I got name at fraction what i would have expected to pay considering the traffic on the term, and potential of this name are huge.

  4. Just to add to my last comment.

    That profession .com happens to be my grad school degree. Which once developed, even if dont make a penny on the site, it can help me get much much better position in the firm of my choosing. Since any company that looks for someone in that field and sees me as CEO of that profession .com will give me at least some consideration. If anything it is a great way to stand out. Just some food for thought.

  5. @Art,

    Sounds like you acquired a good education domain. You can probably write about how to make it through the graduate program.

    Furthermore, maybe you can work with an online job company to monetize the site. Good luck.

  6. Funny..all names suck until they are sold. I have had names for $100 or less that never get an offer, raise the price 4x and it sells in 24 hours, hard to gauge perceived value I suppose.

  7. The comments are getting a little off-track, but this post was really needed I think. Just like the offers we see for “I visited your site and noticed you are not on some search engines…” many of us tend to only look at a potential buyer’s domain from our own interests. You may think sucks, and it was the first expired domain I ever bought, but it is also the biggest money maker for us and has been for years.

    Would,,,,, or even the lenghty be better? Sure. But would it make more money for me or help in some other way, since my existing domain is so established? I don’t think it will, so why bother fixing something that’s not broken?

    Domainers have a lot of things working against them when making a cold call. The best approach might be to just find a reason to give a prospect a call and later mention that you sell domains. Otherwise you may be just another solution looking for a problem. 🙂

  8. I think rather than end user businesses, more of SEO/SEM and marketing companies would be interested in generic domain names, that too when they are priced reasonably.

  9. Domains need to be priced without reason and also feature a “make offer” option. While a certain company suggests that setting fixed prices increases sales, I disagree.

    If you set a price and include a make offer option, you will likely receive an offer. There are two fields that will increase your chance in making a sale.

    People seem more willing to pay 4 times the value than a low price for a domain. I don’t regret having a few dozen names I will never sell because I purchased other names during that time which sold. Take for instance; I spend $100 on lottery scratchers. I scratch and lose. On the last scratcher, I win $500.

    You can still package domains up in one lot.

  10. “…raise the price 4x and it sells in 24 hours…”

    I heard about this idea from aother trusted source last week. It sounds like as long as you don’t raise prices too much, you pull yourself out of the glut of <$200 domains and get in front of more serious buyers. Care to say at what marketplace you are seeing this work?

  11. the 4x thing is not always consistent, I’d be a millionaire domainer of it always work. But I have had it happen on sedo, ebay, via email. Probably 3 times at each venue, always leaves me scratching my head saying REALLY! probably turns many others off.

  12. Companies want keyword names. I completed a deal on a few domains that have keywords that are important to the company. I sold a domain to them a few months back.

    I assure you all that if you buy the right keywords, you’ll find a buyer. You have to be persistent. When the buyer prolongs the deal, you have to keep following up. I find that I have to work harder because most companies are busy.

    You have to be professional, and persistent. Think about product, service and information. Think about what drives people to this blog. I sold a few names that are less appealing to high rollers, but various buyers found them useful.

    I never have any luck with the .net. However, I still find a few good ones available. The .us has been a very good extension for me. It goes:

    1) .com
    2) .us
    3) .info
    4) .org
    5) .net

    if you put in enough work, you can sell any decent name. You may not like the extra time it takes to sell a domain, but you gain more confidence and experience after every sale.

    Investors may judge decent names as bad, but a company may be looking to buy the exact name in favor of reducing their advertising expenses. Names that have less than a 1000 popular monthly searches are still good.

    I know that i won’t be able to sell 50 of my NYC domains. However, my NYC approach is responsible for me buying two names back in February that ended up producing another 8 domain sales. If I don’t sell the NYC domains. I’ll let them drop. They’re all short names: NYC…com.

    You have to be confident about your domains. There are many that may not produce a sale, but maybe some of your other domains will carry your portfolio. All successful sales don’t always have to be more than a $1000. I find that companies are more willing to spend under a $1000.

    Bad names only suck if you put in a poor effort to sell them.

  13. The IP (Internet Protocol) refers to the set of rules used for internet and other networks. It is commonly referred as TCP/IP, Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol which were the first two networking protocols.

  14. Leonard Britt:

    Did you REALLY say these words?

    “the reality is that for most companies and small businesses, domains just aren’t that important”

    ROLF!!!! C’mon, man — are ya KIDDIN’ me?



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