Advice on buying your next domain name

Notes from this comment for myself you may find helpful.


  • Start with www.buydomains.com… They have a MASSIVE database of domains for sale.
  • Before you pull the trigger on trying to buy the name (and, no, this isn’t legal advice) I highly recommend you take a quick visit to www.uspto.gov and do a trademark search for the name you’re thinking of.
  • You should also do a Google search with the name within quotes (exact match) to see what sorts of pages online are using that term and why.
  • Never use hyphens and avoid numbers if possible.
  • Type a possible name into your address bar (without going to it) just to see how it looks and feels.

Negotiating For Domains

  • Never do the “I have a little project I’d like to use it for… would you be willing to let it go?” People that are sitting on domain names don’t keep paying the registration fees every year for fun, even if they aren’t using the name. They know it has value. So don’t insult their intelligence
  • Many domain owners think that one day someone is going to come along and give them millions for their .Com no matter what it is. They are very reluctant to NAME A PRICE. Don’t start by asking them to name a price.
  • Rule #1: You must start out by making an offer in your initial email.
  • Rule #2: This offer must be high enough to get their attention and make them at least THINK.
  • The two magic price points I have found that work the best (they depend on how valuable the domain is) is either $1,000 or $2,500.
  • If it’s a great domain then $5K-$10K is usually the starting point. These amounts are enough to get anyone’s attention.
  • TIP: Always know your seller if possible. Do a Whois on who owns the domain, visit the domain in their email address or do some Google searches, etc. You’ll often find a struggling Web designer is sitting on a great domain. $1,000 cash to that person is a lot of money.
  • The key here is not to insult someone with a lowball offer, but offer enough to make them know you’re a serious buyer.
  • Let’s say you initially offer $2,500 on a great name and the owner counters with, “I couldn’t sell it for that, I’ve had higher offers. I would never sell it for anything less than $10K.”
    • First, you must IGNORE anything they say. You’ll get the “I’ve turned down higher offers” response a lot.
    • “While I do think your name is possibly worth $10K to someone, we just don’t have the budget for that much, sorry. I could probably get something more like $5K-$7K approved, but even that’s pushing it. Anyway, thanks for your time.”
    • That’s it. Cut them off. Trust me, they’ll come back to you 90% of the time.
    • Remember to always play up the SCARCITY. “That’s just too much for our budget… looks like we’ll just go with an alternative name that we’ve been negotiating for a lot less, even though we preferred your name. Thanks for your time and at least trying to work something out.”
  • FINAL TIP: It’s not uncommon to settle on a final price that is 30% of what their original asking price was. Keep that in mind as a general rule of thumb. I’ve had many deals for great names where someone “really wanted $60,000” and we closed the sale around $20K.