Your Domain Name May Not Be Investable

I am almost always looking to buy good inventory. I primarily seek out great one word .com domain names, but I also regularly participate in auctions for generic terms in the .com extension that would make a good investment. People also regularly send me domain names they want me to buy. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are not investable for me.

Just because I pass on a domain name buying opportunity doesn’t mean the domain name is worthless. There are plenty of names that are worth a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. Even domain names I can’t imagine selling to anyone can sell to the right buyer. When I pass on a domain name it generally means I can’t see the value in buying it with the hope of making money any time in the near future. My portfolio is filled with “flyers” that may or may not ever sell. I am not going to pay a premium price for these flyers though.

People try to sell a domain name to me on a daily basis. The vast majority are domain names I would never consider buying. Off the top of my head, I would guess at least 80% are domain names I wouldn’t even consider hand registering. That said, I don’t have perfect domain name vision. A domain name may sell for $1,000 or $2,000, but I am not going to make an insulting offer to someone who thinks I would pay even half of what a domain name is potentially worth. I am also not going to go through escrow and a potentially annoying transfer process on a low value domain name unless I really want the name. That rarely happens when people submit names to me.

I do not have a good purchase valuation model. I don’t think that is even possible. When I buy domain names, I try to buy them for a smallish percentage of where I will price them and then I can adjust accordingly. Even with some outbound sales, I don’t think I generally sell more than 10% of my portfolio in the average year.

When you are trying to sell me (or another domain investor) a domain name, they might not be passing because your domain name is worthless or sucky. It simply might not be investable for them.

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. Elliot,
    Can you give an example of a domain that you didn’t purchase, that later sold for more then the price you might have considered?

  2. RE: I don’t think I generally sell more than 10% of my portfolio in the average year.
    10% sell-through is huge – about triple of what seems to be the industry average…

    • I’ve never been someone who relies on sales volume, so the % doesn’t really matter all that much to me. I don’t track this percentage but can sort of eyeball it I suppose.

      The complicating factor is that I am always buying and selling. Here’s a very hypothetical example to illustrate why this is tough for me to calculate.

      Let’s say I start the year with 600 domain names. If I sell 60 names during the year, that’s 10% of my inventory from the start. However, I may have bought 120 names during the course of the year. Some of these names might be re-sold within that timeframe. So if you look at it from the start and only count portfolio size vs. sales, it could be 10%+. If you count acquisitions made during the year, my portfolio has actually grown. I am almost always buying (private buys, auctions, and hand registrations) a larger volume of domain names than I am selling.

      This makes the percentage of sales very difficult to calculate, and the figure is not all that important to me.

  3. Hi Elliot

    I would like to enquire from you an experienced domainer, where to buy domains (esp from where the registrar will not suddenly keep “the domain” which was on pre-release & suddenly just dusapoeared before the deadline please.

    I am a newbie & hope to make it a full time job of this, but recently when I tried to check on the domain i had listed, it just disappeared from the registrar befire the deadline, so would aprreciate very much if you could tell me where in that I would be able to really successfully buy one domain. I read from some domainer also commented that it could happen this way, while they bid for it, it will just dissappear before the deadline.

    I woul like to find out where exactly I would be gauranteed to buy a domain & able to make it a full time business please especially in the, or maybe there are some other sites where i can buy domains/sell domains please.

    Thank you so much


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