My Current Strategy With Hand Registrations

I am feeling a bit more bearish about the short term domain aftermarket than I have in a while, so I’ve found myself hand registering domain names more frequently than in the past. Aside from privately acquiring domain names like,,, and in the last month, my  acquisitions  and inquiries have been fewer than in prior months.

Instead of spending significant amounts of money on domain names with plans of quickly flipping them, I’ve been focusing on hand registering domain names I think are pretty decent, and I’ve changed up my strategy on what I do with hand registered domain names once I buy them.

I am not aggressively looking to re-sell these domain names, but I am doing something passively that I haven’t done before: I am immediately listing them for sale at Sedo. I am not simply parking them with a message that says the name may be for sale. I am actively putting them on the market right from the get go.

I will likely begin listing these names on Afternic as well, since they have a pretty broad footprint with BuyDomains. The downside from my perspective is that the BuyDomains brokers generally prefer names that are priced, and I don’t want to go through the trouble of doing that yet.


Please help me raise funds for the  Ronald McDonald House

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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. I sold a whole bunch this winter and even until the end of Jan. but then things slowed considerably in Feb. It’s even slower now in March, but still making sales.

    It’s amazing when you see what some domain investors are carrying in reg fees every year and their portfolios are filled with such trash.

    If you look at BuyDomains portfolio for example there are many domains they own I would not consider worth even $1 , yet they have managed to make a business model out of it. It’s really a pretty crazy business.

    I with you though Elliot, bearish for a spell. Domain investing is at a strange crossroads right now, notwithstanding the economy and global happenings.

    • @ PPC

      I have maybe 400 names in my portfolio at the most.

      I am buying if good opportunities present themselves, but I am not actively seeking $20k+ names at the moment. I don’t want to hold $xxx,xxx in inventory that I want to sell. I still have good assets that I am monetizing and not selling, but not spending big bucks for flips right now.

  2. Like me-I take domaining as a game , a BS game, and having fun out of it,no pressure, yet I make good money.

    When you are serious about this and thinking of making big money, you are doom to fail-its gonna eat you alive.

    I hand reg domains that are for branding purposes not like those 3 words product domains . is good cos you can set up a company.

    -The name of your business is the name of the domain–simple as that.
    -Dot com is king

    When you have fun, you make money!!!

  3. Let’s say you hand register a name with the solely intend of selling it and you don’t find a buyer. What do you do with the name?

    This might sound like a funky question but I would like to know the answer 😉


  4. Nice to see someone finally mention the condition of the aftermarket. Some really decent names are selling for far less than they would have even a year ago. Some are not even hitting a low reserve. A great name like sold for under $700 today (not me). With gtlds coming and people starting to realize that with so many extensions, domains are becoming commoditized, the future is not all that bright. Not to mention the pathetic state of parking. The truly great .coms will always have value, but everything else is getting washed out. I think you are going to see a huge amount of non-renewals in the coming years once people realize that there is no great fortune to be made in domaining. If you are going to buy something these days, it better be good, real good, otherwise you are just throwing money away.

  5. the funny thing is there are great names being dropped every day. I use my site, ValueDrops to hand reg many of them. I recently started monitoring 3 letters/number and I am surprised, while true the .coms get taken, but a lot of nice .net/.org drop and are available for hand reg. Right they are not worth as much, but are sure worth more than the reg fee.

  6. @ Mike

    I don’t recall seeing any 3 letter/number combination name used in commerce in .com let alone .net or .org. IMO, there’s a reason they’re available to hand register.

  7. @Elliot

    you are right, they are not wiedly used yet, but all .coms are taken and more than 60-90% of .net/.org I beleive are taken also. While they are not used yet, there is a limited county of them and I think the prices will go up eventually.

    But let me give you some other examples:,,

    I hand reg’ed these, what would be your take on those?

  8. @ Mike

    Honest opinion

    – – what is a contact locator?
    – – decent, but I don’t see many dental websites and might be a very tough sell.
    – – what is a baby laptop? I assume it’s not a laptop for babies since that probably doesn’t make sense.

  9. @Elliot

    lol, I appreciate that you took the time to evaluate these. I agree with you, they are not perfect but I think I can get $$$-$$$$ for them and even estibot agrees with me. But that’s the nice thing about hand reg, even if they don’t sell, I’m not really out anything. Although, I am confident that I can sell all of these.

    lol, by the way, there are actually toy “baby laptops”, google, you’ll see.

  10. I hand reg –after that guy paid 200K for


    Love them all.

  11. Yo Elliot

    Can you give some examples of names you grabbed? You tend to buy good ones

    Is your price range going be 500 to 1500 range when selling ?

    Hearing this approach today from you it will probably remind you how you begun and how small flipping got you where your at now. Rinse and repeat.

    Hope you brought godadddy some business and there sales platform is powerful. Godadddy is king and moniker is a sinking ship since Monte left imo.

  12. Elliot,

    Always thinking. Great idea.

    As part of this hand reg and list for sale strategy, you may want to consider registering domains at GoDaddy then listing them for sale as a fixed price premium listings AND ALSO listing them for sale at Sedo and Afternic.

    I have actually been thinking about just this strategy. I have about 100 domains that should be good hand regs.

    So, for about $1000, I can have 100 “lottery tickets” listed for sale at GoDaddy and I would price them all at $495 each. That should be priced low enough for anyone interested in the domain.

    Two sales per year (2%) and I break even. Three sales and I net 50% profit. Lower the price to $295 and might work out to be even higher sell through rate.

    Set all to manually renew 🙂

  13. I hand register all but 3 of my domains. I let a few hundred drop, and will probably let another hundred or so drop in the next few months. I don’t mind because job and resume stuff worked out well.

    The job and resume domains are easy to build. I just hand registered pumice dot me. The connotation of the pumice me. Good one word me site to provide information on anything related to foot care.

    I slowed down my registration. I’m being very selective. Education domains produce nice clicks. 1-2 clicks is enough to cover reg for a year. There is money to be made on WhyPark. Flood the sites with custom content. You’ll get traffic. Thanks.

  14. well, your strategy is correct as there are some names not taken yet mainly on extensions like .us and .in but even .org, net. and .info. Dot com even harder to get it.

    however i think parking it is not passively selling the names as you say “I am not simply parking them with a message that says the name may be for sale”. Parking it is totally compatible with selling names in other web sites (i don´t like SEDO but i like Afternic, Bido, SnapNames, GoldRush a few of others)

    the question is developing ot simply leaving the parked site static with no connections to twitter, FB and others. I am selling through WhyPark (because that “Domain for sale” at the top) and haven´t to pay any commision as i already pay the fees to be parked.

    Thanks for your article and Good Week-End to you and your dearest

  15. @ Good

    Not going to post the names because I am still buying… Not buying a lot of names mind you, but more than usual. All have been .com.

    One example is

    Listing on Go Daddy is a good idea, too.

  16. In the last month I’ve hand regd over 30 .com domains, all related to 3d printing. I suppose future trends investment gives us hand reggers a potential profit return at some point in the future, as long as one’s hunch is correct. You could even go as far as to say the pioneers of Domaining back in the mid 90’s were the original future trend investors and look at the profits made there!

  17. I’ve seen success this year hand registering and flipping on Godaddy Premium Listings. Probably 10ish since January in the mid $xxx. The commision is high, but so easy. I’ve also disciplined myself not to register anything for less than 3 years. If it’s not worth $25, it’s not worth $8. Thank dot co for that lesson. There is also zero chance of renewal prices lowering.

    I love the Godaddy app, I tell my wife it’s my version of soduko, only it makes money.

  18. Elliott, can you please explain :

    “- – decent, but I don’t see many dental websites and might be a very tough sell.” specifically “I don’t see many dental websites”

    I think the value of that name is what an end user dentist would pay. My opinion is that you could get an end user dentist to pay about $600 to $900 for that name especially if you wrapped in free hosting for 3 years or something like that. Or allowed the dentist to pay for the name over time while retaining ownership.

    Of course you would have to outbound sell to get this.

  19. !
    posted a thread about
    the existance of the
    blog in a forum , a
    number of comments
    in fellow blogs and a
    post a day . After a
    month abandoned the
    blog due to lack of
    dainty visitors . My
    point is that, who is
    willing to take the risk
    to flush a buck to
    develop a site around a
    stupid name an alien
    coin ? not only they are
    selling even nobody is
    caring when they are
    freely available !
    I think it will be exciting
    if those dudes reveal
    sold hand reg domains .

  20. @ Larry

    I know several dentists and only one has a website, with the domain name being her name + DDS .com. In doing some research, I see dentists commonly use their names and/or their practice names for the domain name when they have websites. My dentist does not have a website.

    I do see dentists who specialize in elective treatments using creative domain names, good marketing, and Adwords… dentists who do implants, braces, teeth whitening.

    I do think it could be sold to a dentist for under $1k, but IMO, the time required to find a buyer (without a guarantee of a sale) would make it tough to justify.

    I also don’t know if there are regulations for dentists in terms of advertising that would prohibit a domain name like that. I am pretty certain lawyers and accountants are subject to advertising regs.

  21. Hand regging in .com is still feasible if you think thematically. For example, about a month ago I went with a mobility theme to hand reg the following:

    NOTE: poc = Point of Care and is a health care term. POC tablets are used by doctors, nurses, etc. as the record information on a patient or pull up information on a patient. Also, nfc = Near Field Communications, which is the technology that enables us to use our handsets to pay for items at retailers. A NFC scanner is needed by the retailer to scan the handset. “Glass” refers to a lightweight version with limited capability. The thinking is that for tablets to gain critical mass the price point must fall dramatically. The best way to do that is to make the tablet be essentially a ‘dumb terminal’ that simply is a web browser and not much else. All the user can do is surf the web and/or store files in the cloud, etc. But, that’s all they’ll need it for since more and more of what we do with the Internet becomes cloud-based.

    Yes, yes, says most of these are worth $0. But, cannot see the future when it assigns a value. Look around you — do you see tablets and mobile devices being talked about in the media and with your friends and family? Know anyone with an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or Motorola Xoom? If not, you will very soon. Was my $230 in .com hand regs worth it? We’ll see! 🙂

  22. While I hope the aftermarket kicks-up, part of what’s notable here is that there are still decent domains to be found by hand reg. by experienced domainers. That does not mean that typical end users will able to find them for their particular uses, but it means there are opportunities for people who know how to find the good ones. Yes, there are future value opportunities, but I constantly find domains available that Estibot thinks are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But I don’t grab them all… just the ones that meet my needs.

  23. Hand regging in .com is
    still feasible if you think
    thematically .


    What is:

    “Things New Domain Speculators Believe But Are Still Totally Wrong About”, Alex.

    “Theme Domain Registrations” – like what you see above with the guy registering all those worthless Tablet domains- if the playground of people who fail at this. 99.9% of the time they aren’t salable and when they are, it’s for very little money.

    Here’s a formula you too can employ.
    Go to Namepros.
    If anywhere in the general discussion forum there’s a thread that says “THE OFFICIAL (insert theme here) THREAD!”, don’t follow that crowd. None of those people are making money, but, given the nature of the internet, many of them say they are (usually as a result of private sales that are protected by a non-disclosure agreement)

  24. Mostly have already understand that Estibot and help to make an estimate price for a domain but failed sistematically since the main valuation is made by the market and particularly by the buyer.
    Last year i sold a domain that was valuated by a a few of $us for $750 (the currency was in euros). Everyday on Bido i see domains with .info selling very well and also three words domains, not only the so called premium, sometimes offered up to $200 or even less.

  25. Honestly, use your judgement correctly! Which of the following domains should be more valuable?


    What can really be done with Whereas if an established entrepreneur like Branson for instance used “” correctly, this domain could be a lot more valuable in my view. So the market is sometimes blind to discover potentially great domain names.

  26. Don´t know if Rod is directly asking to Elliot but i prefer I always prefer dictionary words. Overcoming can be used for nultiple categories, not the same as iinstigate.
    Well, it is an opinion.


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