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.