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Tips for Buying an Existing Domain Name

egX Group is holding an auction through Moniker.com to sell their domain name www.investment.com. The auction however, is taking place offline in Miami, Florida October 9th to the 13th. According to Domain Name Journal, as of September 23, 2007, Moniker sold five of the top ten domain sales this year.

Domain Name Journal says domain names that have sold for the highest prices recently include: LicensePlates.com for $54,666 on GreatDomains and Surabaya.com for $50,000 at Sedo.com.

I’ve been more interested in this topic lately because I bought some domains that I’m ready to sell. My domain names www.myfuturepresident.com and www.political.ly had grand plans. Especially political.ly. However, I didn’t get into politics. So selling, not buying, a domain has been on my mind.

Since it’s tough to find a good domain name that’s still available you may be in the market for an existing domain name. Jim McCarthy, the CEO of Goldstar, a site that sells tickets gives some tips. MarketingSherpa interviewed him about buying an existing domain name.

Here are some questions to consider:
How might the purchase impact traffic to your site?
If people are mistyping your domain name or can’t find you, it’s probably a good investment to buy a better one. And a better domain can raise your Google PageRank.

How much should you spend?

McCarthy gives this guideline: “You may find that the price of the domain name is equal to a week or two of total salary for your company or equivalent to the cost of two medium-sized marketing campaigns.” Use that as a benchmark and weigh the long-term value. Is it equivalent to a couple of marketing campaigns or a week or two of payroll?

How do you open up negotiations?
Find out why the owner of the domain has it. Is it for their business or for an investment? Were they planning to use it, but like me, changed directions? Tell them why you’re interested in the domain. Ask about previous offers or attempts to sell the domain.

Whatever happens don’t get emotional or react strongly if you think the seller is asking too much. Just explain the financial constraints you have. “Explain why you may be the most likely—or only—legitimate buyer in the marketplace,” says MarketingSherpa. Prices for domain names are not sky high as they were in past years. There is always a counter-offer.

What sites do you consult to buy a domain name? Here are some that have been recommended to me:
www.NamePros.com
www.DNForum.com
www.DomainState.com

Have you bought an existing domain name for your business or as an investment? How did your experience compare to this one?

  • http://www.paul-buchhorn.de Erfolg

    nice tipps.

  • http://www.ourthoughtleaders.com Daan den Hollander

    Here another nice article about the same subject.

    http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.html?ident=30148

    Kind regards,
    Daan

  • http://www.audiomecca.com/music-software/ Music Software

    I personally am averse to the idea of buying a domain name. It could give me some advantage, but I would like to bring my own domain name to reflect me and what I wish to project about myself.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    Working with group that has recently purchased a domain name. Saw some major dips in traffic over the first 4-6 months, but things are stabilizing now.

  • http://ilmaistro.com il maistro – tecnologia

    I don’t get what Music Software is saying, you don’t wnat to buy a domain name? What if you don’t find the domain that best suit your business? Sometimes it’s woth the money.

  • Aaron

    Is there a website where domains are offered for resale which isn’t a slag heap?

  • Dom Aina

    Great advice. Definitely interested in acquiring some top domain names soon and I’ll definitely come back to this article when I do so. I could use your points to buy aged domain names at DomainKa.com like a pro!