In one of the richest deals ever in domain reselling, www.cellphones.com was sold for USD$4.2 million in cash. The original owner paid USD$90 for the name in 1996
Why are domain names such big business?
“The secret has to do with what’s known as type-in traffic, or, in Wall Street jargon, direct navigation. Though it may seem odd in the era of powerful search engines, it turns out that millions of Internet surfers don’t use search at all. Instead, they type what they’re looking for right into the top of their Web browser.
Looking to buy candy? Type in Candy.com, a name Rick Schwartz bought in May 2002 for USD$108,000. A page filled with links to candy-related products comes up. Click on one of the ads and the advertiser pays Google, which in turn sends a share to Schwartz and the company that runs Candy.com. Some days Candy.com makes Schwartz USD$300 in profits; the site paid for itself in a year and a half. “ – via Business 2.0 CNN Money
Let me start by saying by no means am I a professional at domain speculation, but I have made a few quick investments, and have reaped some nice rewards including a recent sale of PotteryCourse.com for USD$200 (which I registered for USD$7)
I would also say that domain speculation is one of those online money making activities you can try for fun, but the risk is high, and success rate is relatively low, so don’t expect to quit your day job anytime soon.
In case you want to try your hand at this, here are a few quick tips.
1. Do the research:
You will want to get a feel of what’s selling on the market and for how much. Check out prominent domain resale and discussion sites such as DomainState & Namepros for a start. I found this this forum thread on Namepros to be particularly useful as it serves as a compilation of names members have actually sold, with their respective amounts.
2. Pick the name:
When deciding on the name you want to pick keep in mind these tips:
- Keep the name short and simple. Use as few words as possible
- Do not use separators in the domain name
- Buy the generic product category names
- Buy a .com whenever possible
- Don’t infringe another company’s trademarks
For more details you may want to read the full article on Critical Considerations for Picking Business Domain Names.
Another way to determine how popular your domain name might be, would be to check Overture’s free keyword suggestion tool – which tracks how popular a search term is, or Google’s own search results to see if your domain contains a highly indexed (and probably highly demanded) keyword.
3. Go Hunting:
Most registrars offer some form of a domain hunting tool to let you know if your desired domain is available. Some even provide suggestions for you if they are not. My favourite however is still Instant Domain Search which checks domain availability – as you type. They’ve even come up with a widget which I have embedded in this post so you can search for domains right from this page. (RSS/email subscribers – please click through if you have trouble viewing the widget in this post.)
4. Pick a registrar
- Picking who to buy from isn’t always about who’s the cheapest.
- Good support, to answer any questions you may have
- Ease of transfer is important to avoid any delays when reselling the domain
- Track record is important. Search the web to see what people are saying about them. Sites like WebHostingTalk and BestHostRatings offer reviews as well. If they don’t have good support for hosting, they probably won’t have good support on domains either.
Oh yes, avoid iPowerWeb like the plague. My short experience with them was nothing less than horrible.
5. Find discounts
Coupon Codes are codes that enable you to receive discounts, and a great way to purchase domains without having to pay full price.
Check out domain related forums, and members will sometimes disclose coupon codes to help the community in general. GoDaddy.com for example, publishes coupon codes openly on podcasts. If you plan to use GoDaddy.com you can type in Chris1, Chris2, Chris3, or Digg in the coupon code section to enjoy great discounts.
Now that you’ve dealt with purchasing your domains, check back soon part 2 where we deal with selling your domains. Speaking of which – What other things do you looks for when reselling domains?