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iGoldRush Blog   December 2011

Acquiring Domain Names, Part II (Aftermarket)

December 13, 2011 in News




The domain name aftermarket may be my favorite place to acquire quality domain names at decent prices. Many outsiders and/or newbies may think, “Is there even such thing as a domain aftermarket?” I can imagine newer domain investors think about buying names from another domainer and assume they won’t get a good deal because hey, domainers want to make money on their names. The truth is that every day there are many domain investors just looking to get some liquidity from their portfolio, whether for the purpose of covering renewal fees, hosting bills or just to put some money in their pocket.

There are many places to buy domain names on the aftermarket, the most well-known being auction sites like Sedo, Afternic, Bido, etc. I’ve used most of the auction services, but I prefer buying names directly from registrants, which can be done most efficiently on domain name forums.

The two major domain name forums are DNForum.com and NamePros.com, both of which have very active domain marketplaces. I have completed hundreds of transactions on both forums, mostly on the buying side. Domainers list thousands of names every day for sale on domain forums. You will have to spend some time wading through a lot of ‘junk’ as you browse. That’s just part of the game though, as there are many deals to be had when buying on the forums. For sellers with large portfolios, it’s much easier to put a huge list up on a domain name forum and sell individually or field bulk offers than it is to list each name individually at an auction house. You will find domains for sale with fixed prices, in auctions, or without prices in the make offer sections.

New forum members should make sure they acquaint themselves with rules of the forums before jumping right in and transacting. Moderators and loyal members generally keep the forum marketplaces free of scammers and the iTrader systems work well to let you know reputations of members. However, you can never be too cautious. One general rule of thumb that has kept me from buying stolen domains on more than one occasion is to remember that old saying “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Here are a few additional tips for buying on domain forums.

  • Sellers may hate this one, but I almost always negotiate as prices are rarely set in stone. Forums are the perfect setting to make deals as you have direct access to the member by sending a private message and you know who you are dealing with based on their past sales or previous posts. Sellers that are selling their names on a domain forum pretty much know that they are dealing with resellers/investors, so they understand they will probably not make a huge ROI on a forum sale.
  • Try starting a WTB (want to buy) thread. There are “domain wanted” sections on all of the major domain forums. If you are looking for something very specific, like certain keyword names in a niche, aged names, etc. I would recommend starting a WTB thread. There are a lot of members with names that may match what you are looking to buy. The great thing about WTB threads is that you can set the exact criteria of what you are looking for (price range, age, length, certain words, numbers or letters). Most of the time you will get a response from members that have names you are looking for.
  • Do your due diligence. As I mentioned before, the iTrader system works great, but always do a whois lookup and verify the seller you are buying the name from matches who they say they are. I have been lucky enough not to ever get scammed on a domain forum and I’d like to think that’s because I am very careful and communicative with sellers.

Not all the inventory you may be looking for will be for sale on a forum. Auction houses such as Sedo.com and Afternic.com have millions of names for sale on their platforms. Acquiring names from the auction houses is usually pretty straightforward. Since auctions houses generally charge a sizeable commission, you can expect to pay a bit more for domains you buy as sellers usually take that commission into account when pricing their names. That does not mean there are not deals to be had! In fact, when perusing through DNJournal.com sales reports, some of the best deals I see come from the major auction houses.

Remember that when acquiring domain names from the aftermarket, you should generally be looking for great deals and negotiating the price whenever possible. Thousands of domainers-to-domainer sales happen every week, with lots of quality names being bought and sold. For me, buying domain names on the aftermarket is well worth the time investment.

Now that I’ve passed on some tips about buying in the aftermarket, look out for Part 3, coming soon! If you missed Part 1 in my series, you can get my tips on hand registering domains.

About Michael: Michael Law is a domain investor and an active blogger at NameTalent.com. Based in Colorado where he hosted the Rocky Mountain Domain Conference in February 2011, ‘Mike’ has been domaining for close to ten years and has sold his fair share of domain names. With the recent decline of PPC, his investing strategy has changed to quality over quantity and over the next few articles he will share some of his ideas and techniques with iGoldRush readers.

2 Responses to Acquiring Domain Names, Part II (Aftermarket)

  1. Pingback: Acquiring Domain Names, Part I (Hand Registering Domains) | iGoldRush Blog | iGoldrush

  2. Great post I have recently discovered that you can actually find decent domains for sale at a reasonable price on forums and even on Sedo.com. I find that most domains are junk on forums and overpriced on sedo but it’s all about finding that gem and one good domain can make your entire year.


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