I've decided to write yet another post (2nd) with some tips for domain beginners. This time focusing on selecting .com domains. But first I need to add some context as well. Why .com: I have addressed this in previous post, but shortly: As a beginner your best bet is to deal with coms only, until you gain experience. Chances are you will get weak or crappy domains at first; in fact that is almost guaranteed. Well if they are .coms chances are also you will be able to sell them later and recover your investment. Important: Listening to this advice (stick to com only) has saved me a lot of investment, first year in domaining and probably my whole domaining career itself. I need to also mention that I'm primarily a 2-word .com domainer, although I hold a ton of other tlds' as well in both 1 word and 2 word. This is to understand better where I come from. Mostly meaningful domains, sometimes with a brand-ish touch but not necessarily brandables. I dont' sell on brandables marketplaces - but feel free to do so if you want. Now to the point, here are the tips in no special order: 1) Finding drops and hand regs: expireddomains.net is great for this, although I use my own tools nowadays instead. But have used this site long time and many still do - no problem with that. However I wouldn't personally add anything to the watchlist. It's simply that I don't trust anyone else with my data, what I plan to get. Hand regs: I stil create, invent, brainstorm domains on a regular basis. Due to having experience, they're rather good and sell quick. But I don't register a ton. The most I ever got were about 50 at a time, after filtering many thousands of intermediary results, or perhaps even more. You can/should always use Namebio to search for prices for words that are included in your domain. There must be a paying niche for those words. However do your due diligence. Just if a word is sold often, it doesn't mean your combination will also sell. 2) Length. I focus on domains from 7 to 12 letters mostly. These sell fastest. 6 letters is often too short to be a quality domain. Longer domains do sell well however if the combination is very good. I have however found that anything up to 17 characters in length is also good if it makes a ton of sense. 3) Words 1 and 2. You have to always be careful which words you select. A good 2-word .com must include: a) a "niche" word, and b) a "quality" word. Example: FreeCheese.com is a valid domain (cheese being the niche). RapidFast = not really a good one. Sometimes these weirdos sell (esp. if they sound brandable) but overall you need to stay out of those. 4) For the niche word, I always look at hot/high value or established niches. Crypto for example is a hot + high value niche. Other example, I also sell "survivor" domains for good money (say SuperSurvivor .com, fictious example); well this is NOT a hot niche, but an established one. It has their fans. Established niches sell less often, but they are sometimes safe bets as they do not tend to disappear quickly. You pick your own side in this regard. 5) For the quality word, stick to the singular and no modifiers. PerfectCrypto is perfect. PerfectioningCrypto, not so much. You get the drill. 6) Always think if it is, perhaps, the reverse combo. CheeseFree is by far not as good as FreeCheese. They sell sometimes, but for far less money. I never buy or register reversed domains, unless I somehow missed that by accident. 7) Think of this: Does this sound like a business name? If not, drop the idea of getting that domain. Ask yourself, would I name my own business like this? And the answer should be a big YES; if not, drop that domain right away. 8) 3-words: My advice is, don't. I have a few of them but I don't recommend them, unless the combo is VERY good and you are willing to sell them for cheap so you dont' risk renewals. Currently not getting any 3-words whatsoever and no plans to do that in the future personally. 9) Invented single words: risky business. Leave this for later. Cryptonificationists.com - I wouldn't, although some very weird names do sell. Sometimes. Mostly not. 10) Dashes and numbers: Nay. Really, nay. They sell sometimes, but the thing is, sales ratio drops a lot below 1% so... overall you lose money with these. Domaining is indeed a numbers game. 11) Buying domains: Well don't head directly to DropCatch cause chances are you're going to deplete your budget fast and buy overpriced domains. Here are some places where you can buy good domains for cheap: a) NamePros. Great domains are often sold here at wholesale (low) prices. I often buy and sell stuff here myself. b) NameLiquidate.com. Prices drop to $9 and if you are constantly checking, you can get some goodies. c) GD closeouts. Not what it used to be, but you can find some xxx range domains there. Not my favorite but I do buy from there sort of regularly, depending of what's in stock. d) GD auctions. You'd be surprised to find out what you can buy often for $100 or less. I basically sold out each domain I got below $100 at auctions, and rather quick. I suspect some dudes might have also missed the end of auction and they come back to you to get the domain for 2x or 3x the price as a quick flip. Do your due diligence though. And don't get heated and don't overspend. You'll get a better name for cheap next time instead. 12) Reg suggest tools - there are a ton of free and paid tools in this line out there, pick some. Sometimes suggestions are good. WHOIS availability checks: One bit of advice though, don't use major registrar bulk whois search cause with many of them this might result in your domain being snatched by someone else at the same registrar (yeah, happened to me several times). This is called frontrunning and is still a wildly active problem. Rather use a good paid service for this. Estibot is good, never had frontrunning issues with them while I used them. But there are others as well. Again do your due dilligence. 13) Don't reg on impulse, or you'll get crap. I use to keep my reg list for 12 hours at least, and get back to it a couple times. Each time I delete more from the list cause I see other angles and why those are not good. Result is, I take only the cherry on the pie. Always aim for that. 14) Quality - never quantity. 15) Venues: I sell on Afternic, Sedo and park with Dan. You can park with Afternic or Sedo instead - that's fine, whatever brings you best results. Test, test test. 16) Tweaking prices. I tweak prices a lot. Weekly, and sometimes even daily, Sometimes I sell for cheaper, but each sale brings valuable information that I can use to finetune future sales. 17) Retail vs market price: If you have solid budget, sticking to full price (say 3k) is good. If not, prices like 499 or 750 or whatever might be your best ones, as you will sell faster and keep cashflow afloat. 18) Negative conotation - your domain for example does it has negative conotation? Speak them out loud. Does it sound like something else, perhaps even dubious at times? I would not register SneakyBankers for example. Not a good business name. 19) Radio test/grandma test - if you tell the domain to your grandma, she should be able to write it down correctly. If that doesn't happen, you have a problem right there. "Fozzy" is not "fuzzy", people will type fuzzy and never reach that domain. For such reasons domains don't sell cause buyers most often see that. Buyers are the best critics out there. 20) No calls needed. Domains sell without you talking to them buyers. Don't worry about that. If domain is good and price is right, they'll hit the BIN or send you a decent offer. Unless you do outbound, which is just fine. I don't do outbound. 21) Use tld-list.com to see which registrars have the best .com offers and also watch the coupons and offers section on Namepros as well. This will save you a ton of money. As a final note, there are a ton of great domains expiring daily. Many are missed for hours. I only get some goodies here and there but I see a ton of valuable domains still available even 1 hour after they dropped. They might be below my threshold but I know money can be made on them. And you don't necessarily need to backorder. You can save a ton of money if you simply wait for it to drop. If DropCatch gets it, well, in most cases you might be overbid anyway so you haven't lost anything, really. Most regular registrar backorders are slow so a quick hand reg might do a better, and cheaper job. Some backorders trigger hours after drop time has ended. Stuff still available after drop: Also no experienced domainer has supercow powers so we all will be missing/skipping some very good domains since we are all different and aiming for different thing. So there's always a LOT left. Your expireddomains.net account is a good source for those. These are often better and far cheaper than clouseouts and you can pick similar and even better domains at drop. Oh, I sometimes get domains that have expired 3 months ago and they sell quick. Reason is - I see the value there but other missed on that. So there's always hidden opportunity. Good luck!