Domain Buying Tip #2

It’s two for the price of one day today. I want to share another domain buying tip that has helped me, and judging by a number of the names I saw on this article, I think it can benefit some of you, too 🙂

When you are buying a domain name, if you have to explain what the domain name actually means to a friend or significant other, it’s probably not worth buying. Sure, it could have meaning to someone else who thinks like you think, but what are the odds that the other person who “gets it” will also understand domain names and want to pay you a premium for it? Probably slim, and each year it will cost you another $10+/- annually.

Yes, the domain name you found may have value, but it’s most likely only valuable to someone who inquires directly to buy the name. That means you will have a difficult time selling it to someone else via outbound marketing methods. If the domain name had not been previously registered in the 15+ years of Internet history, there’s probably a reason.

There are certainly great unregistered domain names out there to find, but again, if you have to explain what a particular domain name means, it’s probably going to be confusing to others. One other small tip is that it helps to have someone like a significant other or friend give a domain name a once over before buying it.

Everyone has some interesting domain names in the portfolio (ie a Saturday at 3am registration), but if you can limit the number of questionable domain names, you will strengthen your domain portfolio and cash position.

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. Hi Elliot,

    Great tips. I have noticed on your blog you get lots of interaction with your followers and was curious if you could list the Sedo and Afternic weekly sales like some of the other blogs do. The reason I say this is because your followers comments on these sales lists could possibly be invaluable to us all. I just looked at the list from Afternic and would love to know what others think about this list of sales and the fact that basically this whole list is keyword style brandables or plain brandables and only a couple handfuls are generic or exact (sorta) match domains out of the 100s and 100s of names listed. This could be a nice addition to your weekly posts.

  2. Looks like someone is trying to redeem themselves with some content, rather than selling headlines with no content.

    Content is king, Fake headlines are spam.

    Your not the only person who knows how to buy names, and send emails. Not rocket science.

    • Been out all day, so I haven’t kept up with the news, and tips always make people happy.

      I certainly am not the only person who knows how to buy and sell domain names. However, I don’t think there are many people who started in 2002, live in the US, and make their living almost entirely by flipping domain names (not entirely if you count blog and other ad revenue from my sites, but the vast majority of my income). Yeah, there are people who make their living selling domain names, but it’s probably fewer than 100 who weren’t original investors – like pre-2000. There are plenty of people who enjoy their jobs and want to keep domain investing as a hobby, and there’s clearly nothing wrong with that route either, but I went a different route and offer insight based on my experience.

      For the last 5 years, I’ve been mixing it up with advice, news, commentary, and other insight. You’ve been coming back for a while, so either you are bored out of your mind or there is some information that you find valuable.

      BTW, have a look at the 199 comments on the other blog post with the top 5 domain names of readers, and you’ll see that although this business isn’t rocket science, there are many people who don’t “get it.”

    • Check again…

      As for elliots comments:

      Been out all day, so I haven’t kept up with the news, and tips always make people happy.


      These posts are probably written months in advance, and are streamed just to keep sponsors happy, and bored domainers hopeful of better days to come.

      Just being honest man, if you don’t agree it is good. I feel you have more skill, and can write better quality stuff, if you are going to take money from sponsors give them their money’s worth.

    • Most days, I am on my laptop from 9 – 5/6 researching, negotiating, and just messing around (ie reading news, sports reports, domain boardroom…etc). When I see something that looks like it would be interesting to post/discuss on my blog, I write it… simple as that.

      “These posts are probably written months in advance, ”

      The first revision of this post was “19 October, 2012 @ 20:37 by Elliot Silver” so your assumption is wrong. Dan’s first draft to me was sent October 19 at 6:39 AM and I told him I didn’t want to post it on a weekend.

      Point is, unless I am going on vacation, I have nothing scheduled in advance. I should probably schedule some articles in advance because I am moving into my new home in a couple weeks and won’t have much free time. Tips like these can be written in advance, scheduled or saved, and posted for the future, but I don’t do that…. you can see this screenshot to confirm (I even added a scheduled test post so you can see where those would be):

      “Just being honest man, if you don’t agree it is good. I feel you have more skill, and can write better quality stuff,”

      Thanks… When you are the only writer for a blog that has daily posts, sometimes more than one, it’s not always easy to post great shit every day. There are also people at different levels of involvement in the domain business and from different countries who read my blog, so there will always be things that are interesting to some and annoying to others. Honestly, if I was a blog reader, I would find posts like today’s annoying because it’s stuff that I know and use. One reason I read Mike Berkens’ blog daily is because he posts about news (like that huge bankruptcy auction) that I hadn’t heard about or read elsewhere.

      “are streamed just to keep sponsors happy, ”

      Here’s the bottom line though in terms of keeping sponsors happy. Although Alexa isn’t necessarily accurate, it’s a decent way to compare traffic of similar websites, and my blog is likely one of the highest trafficked blogs targeted this very small niche: 3 month 21,214 – 3 month 22,206 – 3 month 23,449 – 3 month 28,406 – 3 month 30,594

      Sometimes articles I post are interesting to many, and other times they are interesting to few. I try to post articles that are interesting to others, but I generally only write things I think will be helpful to the majority or interesting to people who are similar to me.


      PS: Rick Schwartz called… he wants his all caps back. 🙂

  3. Is this Ron, uh, Sazo from Carlito’s Way?

    Great tips, thanks. The same holds true for dashes. They always require explaining. I wish someone told me that is 2007 when I registered 200 of them…LOL!

  4. Is parking dead? Anyone care to say which parking companies are the best? And is it possible to make a living from the parking revenue from hand-registered generic names?

  5. “If the domain name had not been previously registered in the 15+ years of Internet history, there’s probably a reason.”

    Yes, thanks for the tips. However, I have to disagree with the above, there is a lot of opportunity with newish names, albeit if your talking 50 grand profit, then no there isn’t.

    • @Howard – ??? ..Well if a name is ‘newish’, then ‘that’ may be the reason why it wasn’t previously registered in the 15+ plus years, not because an ‘opportunity’ was missed!

    • @ Kevin M. Understand, but don’t believe it was posed that way. My reason being is, for instance I bought some 3D names in 99, yet it has been possibly to buy a good 3D .com in contemporary times.

    • To be honest, I think you have been rubbed up the wrong way today by some of the replies against you.

      However, in response, the list are my personal favorite. I Sold all of my good .coms some time ago. I left domaining and have recently

      Keep it intellectual rather than malevolent:)

      Best, Howard.

    • Nah… I have a thick skin and it was only one guy who posted negatively.

      Lots of people talk about how well they do and they don’t seem to like to share facts. Instead of trying to be humorous, I should have followed your “are you serious?” comment by simply writing, “yes, I am serious.” There are 2,000+ posts on Mike Berkens’ blog with shitty 3D domain names, and I don’t know many people who actually made real money with those types of names.

      I guess I am tired of people making claims and not backing anything up when pressed. I am in a position where I have to post truthfully or people will demand that I prove what I post, but most commenters aren’t held to the same standard.

    • I’m gaining thickish skin in my 41st year.

      I don’t understand why some of your subscribers have to be toxic with their views – decent manners are still free.

      I fully understand and respect your views, the ones I sold were years ago and are beyond history (and nothing to brag about).

      I don’t have any other claims in the webname industry other than nearly being sued by Disney back in the 90s. Live and learn. Cheers.

    • Gotta take your lumps to learn and make money in this space. I received a couple of email notices from TM holders when I started out, and I learned from those mistakes. I was lucky I suppose.

    • “I Sold all of my good .coms ”

      Just to expand, the small amount sold were short names. However, nowadays, I believe I am selling good niche .coms (with high Google word counts).
      But certainly not in Elliot’s league.

      I understand this is subjective. The .com’s I’m sellin now suit a certain profession, rather than being prevalent, and the fair prices reflects this.

      I am also optimistic with keyword .Me’s etc. And relevant keywords in a few of the new gtld’s.

    • Thanks… haven’t watched the local news in a few days and hasn’t mentioned anything. It’s pretty cold here, so I would think the storm would be very weak if it makes it.

  6. Hi,
    I know that you are not keen on hyphenated domains in the USA,but the hyphen is far more prevalent in European grammar. Just consider Stratford-upon-Avon as Shakespeare’s birth-place and Stoke-on-Trent . Then the biggest brand in Germany is Mercedes-Benz, with a hyphen. Russia, Scandinavia, France, Germany and UK have hyphenated place-names. Their combined population is over 370 million……more than the USA.[ which has about 310 million].
    What do you think? Germany is very wealthy and loves hyphens.

  7. There are 2,000+ posts on Mike Berkens’ blog with shitty 3D domain names, and I don’t know many people who actually made real money with those types of names.

    i for one have made some money from these names not enough to grant me retirement but sales all the same its unfortubate that everyone who had no experience in domnaining went out and tried to make it buying up silly names which would never sell but there is a small percentage that even now will sell would you knock back or i doubt it not every name registered in 3d is useless there is a few exceptions. you have my email if you want proof of sales i wont post them as they are private sales but yes this is one guy that will back it up

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