Those of us in the domain name reselling business are always on the hunt for new and exciting domain names. But anyone who has spent any all-nighters (prowling the domain name forums, eBay, and expired domains lists) knows as well as I do, that there is a ton of garbage out there. I’ve accidentally bought them a time or two, (or twelve… a year). In other words, I’ve made some mistakes over the years, and learned from them. I’ve learned how to spot the garbage names easily now. So, I thought I’d pass this on to anyone willing to listen, and maybe save someone a 12-hour domain name buying binge mistake.
Oh, yeah, I’ve done it, more times than I care to admit. It’s addicting, buying domain names. Especially after you just sold one for a nice, quick profit. And even more if you have an idea for a quick, easy website as soon as you see the name. I browse domain names for sale almost every day.
Typically, I’ll buy and sell about 30 to 40 domain names or websites a year. I’m a small-timer though. I usually buy a domain name for $1 to $15. And I usually sell it for $20 to $100, and occasionally I get lucky with a couple of $250’s and maybe a $350 each year. Once every other year, I’ll get that $1000 sale. $1250 is my record sale. Although, I currently own websites that I know are worth a few thousand (but I don’t want to sell those.) I keep the ones that make money, or the ones I know are worth it.
Notice I used the words domain name and website interchangeably? I didn’t mean to do that. However, the two go hand in hand. A domain name is obviously worth more money when it has a nice website attached to it. Too many domainers do nothing with their names. They just park them, or hold them for years, paying those registration fees, which let’s those names lose any rank they had. I always slap up a few articles at least. Or better yet, figure out something to sell on it.
How to spot a crappy domain name or a crappy website.
- Names that make no sense. Oh wow, look, a PR4 domain with a low Alexa rank for only $20… C4r59l6.net… Need I say more?
- Names that used to be a DNS. I’ve been seeing these a lot lately. dn0127.net or srvr5690.com. They have PR because they used to have 1500 websites running through their DNS- but that PR will be gone next update, and you’ll be stuck with a name that means absolutely nothing.
- Real words, but they don’t jive. A lot of domain name sellers live all over the world, so English is not their first language. They wind up with weird names and then try to sell them. Names like, constructionsbalance, or bestsproduct, or balloonquarters.
- Selling the name based on page rank. What good is a crappy name with page rank if it’s going to lose it next week when Google checks it and sees no website.
- The same seller has 100’s of PR domains. You can get lucky with some of these, so learn due diligence. But as a general rule, these only have PR because they link to it from their other site. They’ll take their link down as soon as you buy it. And the names don’t make any sense anyway.
You’ll see these all the time. Get used to spotting them, so you don’t waste your time or money. You’ll also have to learn how to spot bad sellers. They usually have a bunch of unpronounceable domain names with high PR for sale for $15 or $20 that they just registered last week. Or, they’ll have a bunch of websites for sale with 100 articles they just wrote yesterday, for only $39. Take a look through some of those articles- they’re all exactly the same, just a few words switched here and there (spun articles)- Stay away from that crap. And take a closer look at the domain name attached to that 39-dollar website- it doesn’t exactly fit.