Tips Before Purchasing A Domain Name

By Kevin Quia  |  May 13, 2022

For some, it’s a matter of coming up with the perfect website name or one that matches that of their brand or brick and mortar business, and finding that the perfect name is already taken. For others, it’s an investment decision to buy a bargain price now and later sell it for much more.

Whatever the motivation, you’ve decided you want to buy a domain name. Here are the actions you should take before sealing any kind of domain purchase deal.

Consider Your Motive

Why are you so interested in purchasing a particular domain name? Is it for your own business or personal interests, or because you think the name has investment potential?

This might determine your strategy for buying a domain name. If you badly need a name because it reflects your company or brand name, you might try harder to secure a deal and be willing to pay more for it. On the other hand, if you’re looking to invest in domain names, it might be much easier for you to walk away from a reluctant owner or one who over-values their property.

Make Sure the Name is Marketable

Imagine cruising by a billboard at 70 miles an hour. There’s a short headline that strikes your fancy and a brief and simple website name as a call to action. You’re driving. You have no hands free. You can’t write down the website. Will you be able to remember it for the next hour or several hours, or even a day or two before you get around to clicking on the website?

If the name is that memorable, it’s the kind of domain name you want to own.

If the name is too long or one that’s complicated by hyphens or hard-to-spell words or too many words jumbled together, it won’t be memorable for the audience you’re targeting. That should be a deal killer.

Keep it simple. And short. One source states that the ideal character length for a domain name (the part before the .com or other extension) is 6-14 characters. A study revealed that the average domain name length for the top 10,000 websites was just eight characters. Consider Google.com, Amazon.com, Time.com, Facebook.com, and YouTube.com.

Granted, it’s harder to find a short, simple name now, with most of the obvious names taken. And you might have to purchase a longer name if it reflects your business or brand name. But buy one that’s as short and simple as possible.

Do Your Detective Work

You’ve found the perfect domain name. Someone else owns it. So now what?

Start by figuring out what the current owner is doing with the site. If you land on a page stating that the site is for sale, you almost always also see a phone number or a link to follow for more information.

If you find that the site is being actively run, and it looks busy and up to date, it either won’t be for sale or it’s likely to be very expensive. In this case, you’re usually better off continuing your search for a marketable domain name that’s more available.

Now consider driving by a house and instinctively knowing it’s abandoned. It just has that empty look and the grass doesn’t look like it’s been cut in a while.

Some websites get a similar look of neglect. You can see they haven’t been updated or freshened. References to pop culture or current events look dated. You might see notifications of Memorial Day sales even though it’s mid-winter. Sites like this might be ripe for a domain name purchase.

You can also get important information about a website from various sources. Whois, for instance, lists the owners and provides contact information for most websites. Then there are multiple free or low-cost domain appraisal services. Use services such as Epik, Sedo, or EstiBot to get a rough valuation of a site before approaching the owner to try to negotiate a purchase price.

Once you’ve found the domain name you’d like to purchase and the owner’s contact information, it’s time to make first contact. The best way to negotiate rates it to let the other side throw out a figure first. That way, you won’t overbid and pay more than the owner ever expected to get, or underbid and insult the owner totally out of the negotiations.

But there’s a better way of doing all of this.

Find a Valuable Partner

At Aftermarket.com, our only business is helping clients buy and sell domains. We’ll help you find and appraise domain names, contact site owners, and negotiate a deal.

Later, if you wish to sell your domain name, we’ll help you make your best possible deal at the highest possible price.

Reach out to us at Aftermarket.com. Drop us a line here or send an email to info@aftermarket.com. You’ll find us to be knowledgeable, highly responsive and a great partner to work with.