“Meh” Domain Names Are The Toughest to Acquire

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Because of the niche nature of the domain investing business, I am regularly asked by friends of friends for advice about buying domain names. I don’t do any domain consulting, but I will try to give some advice if I think I might be able to make the acquisition process a bit easier for them. Buying registered domain names is not always easy, and it’s nice to be able to help someone if I can.

Friends of friends usually find me after they’ve made an effort to buy a domain name but failed. Sometimes this happens when they can’t get in touch with the domain registrant and other times it happens when they could not close a deal. Either way, the acquisitions I am called in to help on aren’t usually as simple as buying a domain name via GoDaddy or Sedo.

The toughest types of domain names to acquire – not counting those that are being used – are the “meh” quality domain names someone really wants to buy. By “meh” quality, I mean the type of domain name a domain investor would hardly consider buying. They seem to have very little worth to a domain investor. If you saw this kind of domain name on a list, you would probably either pass right over it or take a flyer on it with a minimum bid.

A domain name may have little obvious value, but to someone who owns it, there could be intrinsic value. They bought this domain name for a specific reason, and they don’t really have a desire to sell it. From a valuation perspective, the domain name is worth very little. To someone who has owned a domain name for 10, 20, or even 30 years though, there is value.

In addition to the sentimental reasons, there are also logistical obstacles. Educating someone on how to sell a domain name is not an easy process. If there’s the potential for a windfall, perhaps they will put the time in to learn how to sell a domain name and open the account(s) needed to transact.

Selling a domain name can be easy, but it can also be a pain in the ass. A seller using an escrow service might need to be KYC’d. There could be a purchase agreement to review. They might need to sign up for a platform to list their domain name for sale. It can take a bit of effort and some industry knowledge to sell a domain name. An unmotivated domain registrant probably won’t put the time and effort into the process to sell their domain name for a couple grand.

On the other hand, it’s tough to advise a friend of a friend to offer $5,000 – $20,000 to motivate the registrant of a “meh” domain name to sell. $5k is real money, and they would be vastly overpaying for a “meh” asset to get a deal done. Sometimes it takes an offer that is beyond what a domain name could ever be worth to get a deal done. It’s tough to advise someone to overpay to secure a domain name.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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

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