Of course coming up with a list of domain names and then looking to see who owns them is only one way to find good domain names. There are several other methods that have become standard in the industry. Online auctions, name listing services, and domain brokers are all great ways to find good names at bargain prices.
Appraisers and consultants can be very useful when you’re buying or selling domain names. Their expertise in the industry could save you thousands of dollars when considering a domain. But beware – no matter what an appraiser says, your domain is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Many domains appraise for hundreds of dollars, but really aren’t worth much at all (perhaps not even the registration fee) simply because there isn’t a market for the name. Novice domainers often go through a phase where they buy several such non-valuable domains only because an appraiser or automated appraising service (which we recommend avoiding) told them that the name was worth a sizable sum.
It’s important to choose a good appraiser that won’t try to inflate a domain price just to promote other services, such as domain brokerage, escrow, or listing services. The position of an appraiser who doubles as a broker has a very precarious relationship with his/her clients. It is very easy for an appraiser to give a potential buyer a higher price than a domain name is actually worth. While there are a number of variables that consistently help predict the value of a domain name, there are just as many unpredictable factors, and therefore it’s virtually impossible to come up with an accurate price.
Using our previous example, if the owner of the domain name carparts.com has the site listed on SEDO for $10,000 and you want to know if the domain could be worth much more before investing the money, use an appraisal service other than Sedo. Sedo will get a percentage commission for the sale, so the higher the sale price, the more money they stand to make. Check out our resources section for recommended Domain Appraisers.
While an appraiser can help you bring down a domains price while negotiating (or help you confirm a domain name’s value), they can also hinder your negotiation strategy. If an appraiser has convinced a seller that a domain is worth more than your offer, you will have a much harder time convincing that person that your offer is reasonable.
Sometimes the easiest thing to do in such cases is use a brokerage service, which will be discussed later.
When using an online auction (or even an offline one), try to keep in mind that while you can get lucky and find a great bargain, it’s just as easy to over-pay for second-rate domains. Auction goers can get into bidding wars where pride suddenly becomes more important than their search for a bargain. As a matter of fact, an appraisal company recently published results showing that people paid up to seven times more than a domain name’s market value in one of the industry’s most popular auctions.
At the same time, there are plenty of domains that go virtually unnoticed at such auctions and can be purchased for very reasonable prices. If you’re hunting for domains at auctions, make sure you remember you’re there to get a quality domain for a good price. Don’t chase a purchase if it gets driven out of what you consider to be a reasonable price range.
Domain Listing Services are a great way to pick up good domain names, but they are also full of worthless domains that you must sort through. Use precaution before jumping into an expensive sale and remember what you’ve learned about what makes a good domain.
Once you’ve learned how to discern a good name from a bad one, searching through a listing site’s directory will pay off. You might find one or two good names someone has had listed for a long time and make a low offer. This is a great way to get decent domains with minimal investment.
Now that you know how to buy domains, let’s look at ways to sell domain names.