I Am Always on the Hunt for Domains

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With my business model, I need to regularly buy domain names  on the aftermarket. I do this by making private purchases, buying via domain brokers, and winning auctions at various websites. I thought it would  be interesting to share how I come up with  domain names to target for private acquisition. I don’t think there is anything revelatory here, but I have been asked this question quite a few times.

I am always thinking in terms of domain names. When I read news articles, see billboards, go shopping, ride the T… etc., not only am I looking to see how domain names are being used, but I am also thinking about domain names I might want to buy. I think one of the ways someone knows he or she is involved in the domain business is that we are always thinking about domain names.

Typically, I will see a word and think it would make a good / valuable  domain name. I regularly look up the .com of that word to see if it is registered and used. Sometimes I use Whois searches and sometimes I simply visit the domain name to see how it is being used. This cursory research can show me if the domain name is owned by someone I know, listed for sale, and lets me know  if there are any indicators that the domain name might be worth pursuing.

In addition to searching for information about one particular domain name, I also think of derivatives of that word as well as  similar words. I then go through this relatively quick  process of searching for intel about the domain names. Sometimes I will see a word somewhere and I know the name is developed or used, so I will immediately think of other words that would be desirable in the .com.

For the names that look like there is a chance of buying, I will put together an offer and try to contact the owner or decision maker at the company that owns the domain name. I apologize, but I can’t really share any usable insight into how I come up with this offer because I think it’s more of a gut feel based on my experience and observations in the market. I think this is one of those business aspects that is learned after a while rather than taught (sorry).

Ultimately, I think the biggest thing for me is that I am always thinking about domain names and thinking in terms of domain names. If I see a domain name that could potentially be acquired based on its usage (or non-usage) and various other factors, I would try to put together a compelling offer and get in touch with the right decision maker.

I don’t think there is anything  revelatory here, but people regularly ask me about how I go about buying domain names, and I thought I would share some thoughts on the topic.

1 COMMENT

  1. Elliot,
    Thaks for the aricle. May you can tell us some interesting stiries of the domains you attempted, any one tgsg you remember well. How did it start? What fif hou think of tge dimain? What was its potential use? Hiw did you reach the owner.? How was his response? That would make it an interesting read.

    • It might be interesting, but out of respect to sellers (or even non-sellers), I don’t think it is fair to share stories.

      I wouldn’t want someone analyzing my negotiation unbeknownst to me.

  2. Does your wife humor / tease you regarding your preoccupation? Has she come up with any good one-liners? I’m certain she’s mildly amused except, perhaps, when – in the throws of passion – she finds you sneaking in a quick WhoIs search. 😛

  3. Reading your post, one important aspect of a domaining success becomes quite prominent: linguistic skills.
    It helps greatly, especially those starting with zero experience.

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