launches “startup-friendly” Domain Marketplace

The two most common complaints I hear from startup founders trying to buy domain names is usually either:

  1. The owner won’t respond to me
  2. The owner wants a ridiculously high price

A new domain marketplace, is looking to change that with a “startup-friendly” marketplace where people are responsive, prices are reasonable, and flexible leasing options can help make a deal happen. The leasing option is a big one IMO since many startup founders often have small budgets now, but will have bigger ones later down the road so spreading out payments can make a meaningful difference.


I’ve often only seen lease deals offered on domains above a certain price but on Cheap Domains you can even lease a domains priced under $2,000 which is something I haven’t seen very often. This means that you could pay a few hundred dollars a month and get a domain that was once totally out of your budget.


The founder of Cheap Domains is startup founder and a long-time domain industry veteran Ken Lawson, who actually started buying domains back in 1996. Ken is the founder and CEO of DDC and also runs Townsgate Media, a venture fund (see portfolio companies) that makes early-stage investments in startups.

It’s something I’d like to see more of, a domain marketplace run by a successful startup founder that wants to make it a little bit easier for startups to buy domain names.  There are a few other marketplaces out there that are also run by successful startup founders, Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry Market is probably the best example of another startup founder and domain veteran that has also made a “startup-friendly” place to buy domains.

What is really comes down to is the fact that startup founders are busy, and spending months trying to get in touch with a domain owner only to find out they want $400,000 for a domain you had a $3,000 budget for isn’t a great way to spend your time. Knowing what the price is upfront, and having the option to lease it if it’s not in your budget makes a lot of sense and so far it looks like they have some pretty solid domains on the site.

Congrats to Ken and team, looking forward to following along with the adventure!

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jamie Zoch April 11, 2016, 9:34 am

    Not sure this is a “marketplace” problem. Isn’t the real problem the startups for wanting to be a short, one word name and simply under budgeted to be it? Not the market place or why a domain owner won’t reply when $1K is offered for a $400K domain.

  • Marian April 11, 2016, 12:24 pm

    You´re absolutely right, Jamie …
    We at also offer leasing and payment plans via since about 3 years now and start-up founders are purchasing more and more domains using this alternative payment options.

  • Joseph Peterson April 11, 2016, 4:55 pm

    I wish Ken Lawson the best of luck. Any market place offering end-user domain buyers a more streamlined experience is evangelizing on behalf of the whole industry.

    Still, I agree with Jamie. People who are chasing a particular domain with an unrealistically low budget will still find that the owner doesn’t reply or responds with a higher asking price. No amount of cheap domains, however accessible they may be, can change this.

    • Morgan April 12, 2016, 10:29 am

      @Jamie and Joseph – agreed, and good points!

  • Adam April 11, 2016, 11:34 pm

    Your answer to both statements “Shut your mouth, open your wallet.”

  • Adam April 12, 2016, 1:26 am

    Cheap Domains ? That definitely targets a specific niche of entrepreneurs, unfortunately most of those guys are looking for $100 domains. I’m not seeing things as being cheap over there and I’ll agree with Jamie that it’s mostly the uneducated/cheapskate entrepreneur who is looking for a quick deal for a low price. You’re not getting quality quickly without paying. Unless you’ve been at this business for a long long time, you usually can only get 2 of the 3 of these characteristics : Cheap, quick and great quality domain.


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