How to Do Due Diligence – Part One

I previously discussed the importance of doing due diligence before purchasing a domain name, and I want to offer some thoughts regarding how I perform due diligence. This post will cover aspects related to finding out about a domain name’s sale and listing history.

You’ll want to find out previous sales and previous sale listings to help with your negotiations. You might be prepared to pay $20,000 for a domain name, but if you saw it didn’t sell at TRAFFIC 2009 in the $5,000 – $10,000 reserve range, you know your offer is probably too high. Likewise, if you saw a name sold for $100,000 in 2010, you probably won’t have much luck offering $1,500 for it.

Here are some suggestions on how to find out if a domain name was previously sold:

– Search NameBio for the domain name. NameBio has tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of domain sales of all sizes recorded. If the name sold via public venue, it is probably recorded on NameBio.

– Do a Google search for “” and “domain name.” If the name sold in the last ten years and it was a high value public sale, Ron Jackson most likely reported it.

Here are some suggestions on how to find out if a domain name was previously listed for sale but didn’t sell:

– Search Google for “domain name” and “domain auction” to see if the name was previously listed at auction. Many blogs and various websites reported full auction lists, and they might be archived.

– Search for the domain name in your email if you have Gmail. If you don’t have an email service that archives all mail, I suggest opening up a free email account and sign up for all domain broker and domain aftermarket newsletters. This might not be helpful now, but in 5 years, you’ll have a pretty good archive.

– Contact a broker at Sedo, Afternic,, and other domain brokerages to ask if they can see if a domain name had past activity on their platform. I don’t know if you’ll get this information easily because it could be a time consuming search, but if you catch a broker who has some spare time, they might be willing to do a search for you.

– Visit various domain forums and search for the domain name. It’s possible a previous owner listed the domain name for sale at some point in time.

If you have other suggestions about how to dig up domain sales and past listings, I welcome you to share them here.

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. Not so much from the financial perspective, but I typically also do:

    * Is site deindexed from G?,

    * Trademark search:

    * Is domain found in respected legacy directories, ie. DMOZ, Yahoo dir, etc

  2. I agree with Nick that it’s always a good idea to check that it’s indexed in search engines. I also always search for “domain name” + “for sale.” If you want to see how much someone paid, you can sometimes find cached sale pages at Afternic and similar marketplaces with BIN pricing, if the domain sold in the last few months. It’s also helpful for bringing up message board posts, if the domain was listed in a forum.

  3. “Search NameBio for the domain name.”

    It only appears if it was sold for $100+. Anything below that is not recorded.

  4. check at moonsy dot com for the age. The higher the age the higher will be your search for related sales & domain usage.


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