How to find domain names

How to find domain names

There are numerous ways to acquire a domain name. It all boils down to budget. If you have a decent sized bankroll, you can jump in at the deep end (expiring auctions, for example). If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to look for bargains (hand reg, deleted domains, closeouts). In this post, I’ll give you some pointers, and some examples of where and how to pickup domain names.

Hand Register

This is where you visit your preferred domain registrar, such as GoDaddy, or Namecheap, and try your luck.

Pros

It’s cheap in comparison to most other options. You’ll pay $17.99/yr for a .com at GoDaddy, or $8.29 if you’re a member of the discount domain club (worth it if you plan on buying a lot of domains).

Cons

You aren’t going to score any premium domains for reg fee.

Backorder

If a domain is in pending delete status (as in, soon to be deleted from the registry), you can place a backorder at NameJet or some other backorder service, and if no one else backorders it, you’ll receive it for the cost of a backorder ($69 at NJ currently). If, however, there are numerous backorders for the name, it moves to a private auction, and you’ll have to compete with everyone else for it. TIP: Backorder your domain everywhere (there are numerous backorder services). This way, regardless of which one captures the name, you’ll be included in the auction. (In most cases, you’ll only pay if they successfully capture the name, so no upfront fees.)

Pros

You could score a quality name for under $100.

Cons

There’s no guarantee your preferred backorder service will grab the domain (which is why you should backorder it everywhere, as mentioned above). And if the domain is any good, there’ll probably be a lot of competition.

Expired/Expiring Auctions

This is where you’ll find some really good quality names. But it’s also where your costs will skyrocket if you want to compete for the best stuff. Most registrars now have expiring auctions, with GoDaddy being one of the largest and most well known.

Pros

Lots of great investment opportunities here. Lots of premium names to choose from.

Cons

It’s a little pricey. Anything remotely good is going to be well into the $xxx and probably $xxxx. Also, there’s a chance the original registrant could renew the domain, in which case, you’ll receive a refund. So no guarantees you’ll actually take possession of what you win 🙁

Click here to learn more about expired domain auctions.

GoDaddy Closeouts

It’s like a big bargain bin with expiring domains that did not receive a bid during the auction stage of their life.

Pros

Lots of bargains to be had. Pay $5.00 to $11.00 plus renewal per name.

Cons

Technically this is the leftover junk that didn’t receive any interest during the auction period. But one man’s junk is another’s treasure, right? 😉 As with expiring auctions, there’s still a chance the original registrant could renew the domain.

Click here to find out more about GoDaddy closeout domains.

Direct/Open Auctions

These are basically public auctions. The issue here is reserve pricing and the seller being aware of what they have and its value. If the auction ends at $500 but there’s a reserve of $1,000, they aren’t obligated to sell. It’s also unlikely you’ll find any great bargains here.

Pros

Unlike with expiring auctions there’s no chance of losing the domain to renewal. Once you win, it’s guaranteed to be yours (assuming reserve price is met).

Cons

Reserve pricing. The seller can set a reserve and if not met they do not need to hand over the domain. Not as many bargains to be had.

Marketplaces

Buy domains for a set price. There are various options here. Sedo.com. GoDaddy. Flippa. If the domain has a Buy It Now price, you can purchase it immediately. Some domains are offer only, which means you make an offer, and then the seller responds. They either accept or counter and the negotiation begins.

Pros

You buy the domain you want at an agreed upon price, and you’re guaranteed to receive it. You aren’t competing with other buyers and unlike with expiring auctions there’s no chance it’ll be renewed/lost.

Cons

Not a lot of bargains to be found. Domainers typically know the value of what they’re selling so there aren’t many bargains to be found. If you’re buying to resell you should probably look elsewhere.

Private Sales

This is where you deal directly with the domain owner. You email them or they email you, maybe you find them on a forum etc. You’re buying direct from them with no intermediary.

Pros

Quick and easy in most cases. And no commission fees to be paid.

Cons

A bit risky when first dealing with someone. You’ll want to make sure to use an escrow service at least for the first transaction or two.

Well, hopefully this post has been useful. I’m planning on doing some more in depth ones in the future.

Thanks for reading & stay tuned!

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