Check out these recent ‘colossal’ domain name sale prices! Massive Profits are well and truly back in the news. (Truth be told, they’ve never really been out of it). With ‘big’ money at stake, it’s no wonder the Domain Name Barron’s prefer to keep an extremely low profile. Here are 10 Hot Tips to turn ‘your’ domains into dollars.
Tip 1. (More a ‘revelation’ than a tip). Did you know that there are now businesses specially set up to ‘finance’ those looking to buy domain names? Were you aware that there are multi-million dollar companies, whose sole activity is buying, selling, parking or leasing domain names? Why is this relevant? Well, these ‘major players’ are not in it for fun. They know (for sure) there’s ‘big bucks’ to be made from domain names.
Tip 2. When it comes to turning domains into dollars, names ending in .com are still ‘king’. The two word domain name DataRecovery.com went for a whopping $1,659,000.00 in the first half of 2008, whereas the one word Fund.com when for a simply staggering $9,999,950.00 in the same month / year. OK, your chances of getting hold of a good ‘one word’ domain are slim, but bear in mind that, as the price of such exclusive domains increase in value, a knock-on effect occurs. Down the road, sales of this magnitude can influence prices paid for good ‘two-word’ (and even ‘three-word’) domain names.
The best domain names are those consisting of generic terms / expressions (and ‘keywords’). ‘Anti Virus’ is an example of a generic expression, as is ‘Poker Tournament’.
Tip 3. Understand, it’s not just dot com domain names that sell. There’s money to be made from other Top Level Domains (TLD’s) too. i.e. .net, .org, .info and .biz.
FilmSchool.net and WallStreet.info sold in 2008 for $49,501.00 and $25,500 respectively. If you had discovered either of those examples as an ‘unregistered name’, you would probably have been asked to pay no more than $10 to secure your prize!
Perhaps more appropriately, numerous sales in the $0000 and $000 price range occur every month.
If the .com version of a domain name is already registered, you must take care to avoid identical domain names (with different name extensions) where ‘brand name’ or ‘trademark’ infringement might be an issue.
However, if the dot com name is a pure generic name (e.g. Christmas Tree) then it may be safe to snap up one of the other TLDs or a Geo / Regional version of the same domain name as (to the best of my knowledge) it’s still the case that obvious ‘generic’ terms cannot successfully be protected by trademark registration. (But don’t rely on this, always investigate and take professional advice).
Tip 4. When it comes to domain names with ‘country’ or ‘region’ specific extensions, exciting 6 figure sales are occurring. Don’t believe me? Well note that FreeCreditReport.co.uk sold in 2008 for a very healthy $300,000. (Wish I’d turned that domain into dollars).
Tip 5. Domain Names don’t have to be short and memorable to warrant a fantastic 6 digit purchase price. Demand is steadily increasing for sensible names, comprised of one or more words that clearly describe a marketable product or service. Why? Every year the number of businesses goings online increases dramatically. (Work it out for yourself).
Tip 6. Don’t for one moment think that ‘flipping’ (i.e. buying in the hope of immediately reselling) is the only way to turn your domains into dollars. If you acquire several domain names, you should investigate developing some into websites that you can then sell, along with the domain name. Doing this can add a lot of value to the domain. It also gives you more opportunities to make a sale, as you can look to attract not only those looking for a good domain name, but also folk simply seeking a website with a decent name.
Even if you know nothing about website development, you can get a freelance to build one for you quite cheaply. Web Developers frequently advertise their services through elance.com, guru.com (or a whole range of other Outsourcing Websites).
Many domain names are suitable for ‘Free Parking’ via services willing to share revenue generated by visitor traffic. Simply type ‘Domain Parking’ into your favourite search engine, then compare offers. Such services effectively host your domain name for free, and can make your domain look more appealing to a prospective buyer.
If a Free Parking Service makes you just $5 each year over and above the annual cost to register your domain name, you’re ahead of the game. OK, $5 a year is not much (unless, that is, you’ve got 100, 1000, or 10,000 domains that are all earning you a $5 profit annually). Do the math! Decent domain names will increase in value overtime so, by parking names to cover their renewal costs, you can afford to sit back and wait for a decent offer. (Win, Win!)
Tip 7. While there are no ‘absolute’ rules, consider carefully before you buy an ‘already registered’ domain name that contains a hyphen, a numeral, or both. In some instances, you can come out on top, but in most cases you’ll be wasting your money. Also, beware of those offering domains that appear to be really great one or two word names until – that is – you realize that the person who registered the name (not necessarily the seller) has used the number ’0′ (zero) rather than the letter ‘o’ as part of a word. There are other text variations that can create a misleading impression. (So be careful!).
Tip 8. We’ve touched on this point earlier, but it’s very important you avoid names that have been trademarked or – through passage of time – come to be recognised as ‘known brands’. Just because a dot com name is available, don’t jump to the conclusion that the fantastic name you’ve identified is a safe bet.
OK, you may well decide that – for the risk of just a few dollars – you’ll register it while you can, and investigate later. (That’s probably what I’d do!). But subsequently, always remember to do your ‘due diligence’ before using such a name, or offering it to someone else.
Bear in mind that some business may (for whatever reasons) chose to go with the .net, .org or some other extension. In many cases where this applies, those businesses will have taken the sensible precaution of purchasing the .com version too. But not always!
So, irrespective of the extension of any domain name you might be thinking of buying (e.g. .com, .net, .org, .us etc) check to see if anyone has registered / is using the same domain with an alternative extension.
Also bear in mind that there are still some businesses without an internet presence, who may be using that fantastic name you came up with ‘off-line’. Where this applies, they may well have Trademark or similar rights over it.
You can also get your fingers badly burn if you register a deliberate misspelling or ‘sound-a-like’ of a famous brand name. My advice? Don’t bother (or check with your lawyer first!)
Tip 9. When it comes to using ‘brand creation’ as means of converting domains into dollars, some businesses deliberately choose (or dream up) domain names with a vague / nebulous quality. This means that, later, they have the option to change what their business does, or move into additional fields, without having to alter their name.
For example, although we all associate Amazon or eBay with what we currently known them for, there’s a chance that – in fifty years time – they could have morphed into new enterprises (which may have nothing to do with the activities we associate them with right now).
You might sometimes be offered, or dream up, domain name ideas that don’t describe or indicate a specific business or interest area. Such names can be valuable if you can locate someone with cash, who agrees with you. However, more often than not, they will prove very hard to sell, compared to those that give a clear indication of what an internet user might reasonably expect if he / she decides to visit a website with that name.
Tip 10. In this article it’s only been possible to uncover the tip of the iceberg as far as domain name ‘buying & selling tactics’ are concerned. Tip 10 is to realize that, in order to buy and sell domains like a ‘pro’, you need to get serious about increasing your knowledge, and start planning your strategy. Invest some time and energy in learning all you can from ‘experts’ to give yourself that essential ‘edge’. Then formulate a campaign to turn those domains into dollars.
For anyone looking to get a head start I can do no better than point you in the direction of my recommended Knowledge Base
Never forget, just one good idea gleaned from an ‘expert source’ can make you a great deal of money if applied wisely. I take the view that – with a bit of luck – the profits I stand to make by arming myself with ‘inside knowledge’ should more than compensate for any up-front investment of time or money I might choose to make in my future.
Even if you decide that the ‘Knowledge Base’ mentioned above is not for you, you’ll probably pick up some great insights, just by reading the introduction.
In my ‘Resources Panel’ – which immediately follows this article – you’ll find a link to my website (dedicated to the subject of domain names). Once on my site, you’ll find links to a vast number of useful domain name resources that you really ought to be aware of.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Now it’s time for you to turn those domains into dollars.
Author Max Tyson is both an experienced participant and knowledgeable observer of the Domain Name Aftermarket. He currently manages numerous Websites, including the ever popular Domain News Hub. Gain a ‘strategic edge’ over your Domain Competitors by visiting: Domain News Hub.