Where I Buy Most Of My Domains

I got a great question from a reader yesterday that I thought I would share with the broader group. The reader asked, “Where do you buy most of your domains?” The answer to this question has changed a lot over the years as my business has grown and strategy has changed. If you went back in time 2-3 years ago the answer would be a solid split between hand-registered domains and expired domains, now the balance has changed based on my experiences since then.

In 2012 a majority of the domains I have purchased have been directly from their owners. I’d venture a guess that around 60% of the names I’ve bought this year are from end-users or directly from other investors. I used to just use Droplists as my source of quality .COMs however after a few great flips from domains I purchased directly from end-users this has become the norm for me.

This also means my process of finding domains has changed, and it’s another reason why Domain Tools is the tool I use the most on a daily basis. Now most of my time buying domains revolves around researching a particular domain, understanding who owns it, what’s been done with it, and what they might be willing to sell it for.

There are a lot of intricacies here that I will probably go-into in a future post as every domain is different, as is ever domain owner. I also buy in higher price ranges now which is pretty necessary when you’re buying from an end-user and when you’re focused on one and two-word .COM names.

Expired domains do offer a lot of opportunities and I’m definitely not dissuading anyone from buying expired domains. There are great opportunities in the expired domain market, but by doing a bit of research and combining that with a dash of patience and a commitment to negotiate you’d be surprised what amazing names might be within your reach.

Now it’s your turn, where do you buy most of your domains?

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Logan Flatt November 29, 2012, 9:12 am

    re: expired domains

    If there’s one thing to learn in life, it’s that you rarely get a good deal as a buyer in an auction setting. Typically, the seller wins, especially when there’s emotion and ego involved amongst the bidders as they bid higher and higher. In the end, the ultimate buyer may have paid too much and the seller may have received more than he otherwise would have outside an auction setting simply due to human emotions.

    Applying that to domaining, NameJet.com, SnapNames.com, and GoDaddy.com are the true winners in most expired auctions. What a wonderful franchise they have!

    In support of Morgan’s approach, better deals can and are found outside the expired auction setting. Plus, Morgan gets to feel that little zip in his step as he works more like a wheeler dealer striking successful deals than just another user sitting at a name drop site. 🙂

  • Tim Davids November 29, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Following the same curve as you Morgan. One of the keys to domaining is upping your game when possible. Bottom fishing works but is slow and labor intensive.

    It takes just as much “time” to make $10,000 as $1000.

    • Morgan November 29, 2012, 4:01 pm

      @Tim – so true, couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂

  • Arseny November 30, 2012, 12:43 am

    great inspiring article Morgan!

    but when and how you understood that you’ve grown up professionally as a domainer and it’s time to level up?

    because I think almost every domainer newbie have to make those first simple yet difficult steps with hand registering and drop catching dozens of crappy names. and I guess it’s amazing feeling to realize that you can run + dance + jump after you’ve made your first steps and have fallen so much.

    • Morgan November 30, 2012, 8:43 am

      Thanks @Arseny – really glad you liked it! As for when I understood this, I think it was after a conversation with a much more experienced Domainer than myself that made me really see the light.

  • Randomo November 30, 2012, 5:51 am

    “If there’s one thing to learn in life, it’s that you rarely get a good deal as a buyer in an auction setting.”

    So true. Generally, the person who wins a competitive, full-information auction is the one who values the item the highest … which means it’s likely he’s overvaluing it.

    I pick up some drops for the minimum bid price, but if a drop attract lots of bidding, I call it a day and move on.

  • Amanda November 30, 2012, 10:15 am

    Great post Morgan. Thanks for sharing. I buy from end users, other domainers and still find gems via manual registrations sometimes.

  • AbdulBasit Makrani January 2, 2013, 2:35 am

    Thanks for sharing the way you mostly buy your domains. Most of my purchases are from auctions like GoDaddy, Namejet. It can be either pre-release or expired one’s…

  • Nick November 13, 2013, 5:51 am

    Interesting article.
    Over the years, I have acquired several two word domains and truthfully I have had very little success in selling them. I have had some to the west ones valued and I am astounded at the different valuations each company applies. I have had one domain valued at $67 by one company and then $167,000 by another.

    I would love to contact someone who actually could sell some of my domain names as I seem to fail miserably at this. I have used go daddy, sedo and flippa.

    I do have to say that when I buy a domain name I use newcheapdomains.com as they are $7.99 for a dot com name.

    Any one out there that fancies making a bit of commission, let us know and we will contact you.

    Many Thanks


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