Don’t Buy Brandable Domains Just Because a Company is Buying Similar Names

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I wanted to share an email I received without identifying the person who sent it or the names mentioned in the email. The reason I’d like to share it is because I know more people think like this, and I would like to offer my advice.

Elliot,

I just registered the following super-domain names: SuperXYZKeyword.com, SuperXYZKeyword.com, SuperXYZKeyword.com, SuperXYZKeyword.com, SuperXYZKeyword.com.   Do you think Supermedia/Idearc would want to buy these domain names from me? I think they are valuable.

I’ve said it many times, but I want to reiterate it. Just because one company is buying a particular type of domain names, does not mean similar domain names have any added value – especially when they are “brandable” domain names. It’s more than likely that the company went out to acquire the names they were interested in buying, and they opted to not buy others.

I personally do not believe “Super” keyword domain names have any value aside from the value added by SuperMedia when they choose to develop them. Likewise, similar brandable names bought by other companies might not have value if the company doesn’t want to buy them.

Before you go out and register names like these, you should ask yourself why the particular company didn’t think of these domain names before, when they were buying their other names. It’s likely they just weren’t interested and/or had a specific plan in mind for specific domain names.

If you do feel the “need” to take a chance and buy them, don’t buy more than just a couple. Before you know it, you will own dozens or hundreds of names with similar backgrounds, and it’s likely that you won’t sell them.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot, your post makes great sense, and is probably excellent advice in 95% or more of cases.

    But, in spite of that, I’ve decided to bet a few hundred bucks that there is some money to be made on these names. After you published your original post, I checked out SuperMedia’s site, and came across their SuperGuarantee program: http://superguarantee.com/services/ which lists the types of services that they will guarantee. Doing some whois lookups on the most generic, highly searched terms listed as services here would seem to confirm that this program may be why they’re buying names like “super” plus electricians, painters, plumbing, mechanics…etc. I see that they also own SuperHomeInspectors.com and SuperCarRepair.com

    So why not grab a few names like this at reg fee knowing that you might have to eat them? After all, SuperMedia/Idearc has a market cap of 5.7 Billion (I see they an earnings report this afternoon NASDAQ:SPMD). If they decide to throw some really big advertising dollars promoting “super” plus “some widely-used local service name”, then, even if they don’t pick up the names that I try and pitch them, the names themselves could get traffic just from the awareness of the advertising. Also, “Super” is not a bad prefix for a very generic, widely used product or service. I would think a lot of small businesses would pay a couple hundred bucks for “super” plus their specific service .com domain name.

    We’ll see if I have to eat my words. I’m reluctant to post this, because I don’t want to encourage anybody to buy a lot of “super” junk. Don’t waste your money, this is gambling, not investing.

    Just another 2 cents from the peanut gallery.

  2. If you see one entity buying up those brandable type names, and you buy a bunch of similar names to resell, you are limiting yourself to one interested party. If they are not interested, then what is your plan B? The more potential buyers for a domain the better, and if it’s a name you can develop to some degree in the meantime, even better.

  3. I believe Elliot to be spot-on…if you want to speculate here, then have a small plan…go ahead and gamble say 2-5 reg-fees for possibly 3 yrs so you take $100 approx total and see what happens. If you have not been contacted in 3 yrs, consider dumping. We all know 99% of just “superANYTHING.com” is worse than owning supercrap.com. This strategy only works for SuperMedia and overall, seems a bit unfocused for such a major directory player.

    I think the sellers got SuperLucky.com, yet I hold 9 “super” domains — so maybe they are on to something. Or maybe I was buying crap long ago and just can’t let it go…I doubt they will ever want SuperHangman.com or SuperStrollers.com or SuperKites.com (WTF and I doing) but I have a chance with Newspapers and AutoDealers.

    Grab a few though if it keeps ya in the game. Nothing like 00 on roulette.

  4. Sure if you want to bet or don’t mind holding the names for a while it’s not too bad. You can even build them out and maybe mitigate the cost you spent on them.

    If you’re looking for a quick flip, i think you’re off the mark though.

  5. You know for the seven or whatever dollars you spent on them it is not a big deal. Even if you turn around and sell them for $20 or $30 you still made money on them and hey, you never know you might just get a lot more then that.

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