Enjoy unlimited access to all forum features for FREE! Optional upgrade available for extra perks.

Advice for newbies

Oct 31, 2004
Reaction score
If you view domain purchases or registrations like lottery tickets, then expect to lose money as you would with other forms of gambling.

With rare exceptions, the days of easy money are history. There is no substitute for observing and understanding the market, then making reasoned decisions.

To see a financial return from domains you need to find buyers, willing to pay a significant margin (profit) over and above your total costs.

DomainLore is a convenient market to buy domains, with regular sales and no negotiation. An arduous alternative is to track down unused domains (not held by resellers) and try to buy them.

Customers (end users) are elusive and hard to find. A good domain with parking page will attract enquiries over time, but it may take months or years to manage a sale.

Buying a domain with defined target market (customers) followed by active marketing can achieve a quick turnaraound, and healthy profit.

Admin demonstrated this recently turning a £50 DL purchase into a four figure sale, the next day.


There are rewards for experience, effort and risk.
Adding to this, if you are new to domains, don't expect .co.uk's/.uk's to follow the same pattern as .com's/.net's; they won't.

Also, consider each time you find a 'free to register' domain, why it hasn't already been registered. The industry is full of professionals that check daily.

Before you register a domain, work out the potential first, and the benefit to an end-user, or as a project. If you struggle, leave it.
Some great advice here!

I'd add: If you've found 20 valuable free to register domains in the first hour of looking, they're not valuable. If you've found 10 free to reg domains in the first hour of looking, they're not valuable. If you've found 5 free to register domains in the first hour of looking, they're still not valuable! I'd even suggest that if you've found 1 in your very first hour, it's not valuable...

Bluntly, there are hundreds (thousands?) of people fishing in the same sea - many of whom have been doing this for years or decades. That doesn't automatically mean that any one of them is right, but broadly you can assume they're "collectively right" so if something's still free to register there's likely to be a very good reason (trademark infringement, not a term used in the UK, no commercial market, too specific/minor a niche, no obvious customers for it, etc. etc.) why the domain's still available.

So the best thing you can do coming into the industry is keep your credit card locked up in your wallet. If you want to prove to yourself you know how to pick "winning" domains, then set yourself a very, very low target (e.g. 5 or 10 domains) and don't register any more names than that until you've made your first couple of sales. Because anyone with a credit card can register a domain name - there's literally no skill required since the only hurdle is the registration fee. But not everyone can sell them - that's down to picking the right domains!
Oh, and "brandable" appears in the domain dictionary next to "worthless".

Some of the highest sales have been on brandable domains, but they're almost impossible to market proactively since you don't have any way of determining which companies might be in search of a brand. So it could easily stay on the shelf forever while you wait with fingers crossed for a buyer to approach you.

That's fine if your overall business model covers the cost of carrying hundreds or thousands of names year after year, but if you're relying on brandables to pay the bills it's a dangerous game.
Finally, there's no such thing as a generic domain that you have to explain.

It's either generic - in which case anyone reading it will instantly see the product/service/market it's related to, and understand it - or it's not.

If you find yourself having to explain what it means, that's a huge clue that the domain's not in fact generic at all.
The bigger the portfolio of domains you have, the higher your average sale price needs to be. Think of domaining as a warehouse business, and your names as stock on the shelf. Each one costing you £3.75 of rented storage space every year

Some domains will be like fine wine. You'll only sell them rarely, but you'll get a good price when you do. (You won't have any of these unless you buy or catch them)

Others will be popular types of name that you shift more regularly, perhaps with outbound sales, but at a lower price. (You might be able to hand reg a few, particularly if you have specialist knowledge. Mostly you'll probably catch them, or buy them on here or DL.)

Then you'll have the dross that just costs you money, but that'll never sell. It's best never to register these in the first place, but we all do. So the next best thing is to be critical at renewal time.
If you disagree with a domain appraisal, then prove the appraisers wrong. You don't do that by arguing with them (an appraisal is an opinion, so it can be accurate or inaccurate - it's not an exact science). Instead, prove them wrong by selling the domain name for more than anyone suggested it was worth. In other words, use the appraisals to fuel your desire to make the sale...

(Note: there's no need to come back and gloat about it afterwards - all that will do is annoy people. Quiet smug satisfaction plus a bulging bank balance should be reward enough!)
Almost all the best domains have already been registered many years ago, so be realistic with your aspirations.
Buy domains really slowly.

Quality is everything.

Start marketing your domains as soon as you own them. This will tell you early on if you are any good at this or not.
If a domain has any value, then that should be apparent immediately. If you need to say "This domain would be perfect for doing XYZ and you could monetize it by doing this, that and the other", it's probably not worth much.
Don't quote Estibot in sales threads! It's like having a huge neon sign over your head saying "totally clueless newbie - ignore me". The same goes if you're trying to use Estibot as a justification in an appraisals thread (we've already seen that it's better not to argue at all, but definitely not armed with Estibot figures!)

In fact, don't even look at Estibot - the temptation to believe its absolutely nonsensical valuations will be too great.

Also, if you must quote Google Keyword Tool monthly search numbers, it's essential that you specify "United Kingdom" as a filter or you'll end up with another neon sign blazing away overhead.

The Rule #1

Do not insult any other member. Be polite and do business. Thank you!

Members online

Featured Services

Auctions Ending - Flip.uk

Sedo - it.com Premiums


Premium Members

Register for the auction
Acorn Domains Merch
MariaBuy Marketplace

New Threads

Domain Forum Friends

Other domain-related communities we can recommend.

Our Mods' Businesses

*the exceptional businesses of our esteemed moderators
Top Bottom