21 tips for selecting/getting .com domains. (Beginner advice, part #2)

Labeled as advice in Domain Beginners, started by twiki, Mar 3, 2021


  1. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    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: 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: 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. - 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) 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 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 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!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. jaleel khader

    jaleel khader Established Member

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    Valuable Information … Thanks @twiki
  3. DuDD

    DuDD Established Member

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    thanks for the article
    It`s meaningful
  4. Jeremiah88

    Jeremiah88 New Member

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    Thanks a lot for this valuable information
  5. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Thank you, I'm glad it helps!
  6. Samer

    Samer Top Contributor VIP

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    Hi @twiki,

    Nice Post.

    Accept Points’ # 19, and 20. Well deserved!
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  7. iAbhay

    iAbhay Established Member

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    Thank you so much @twiki This is great information for beginners like me.
  8. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    @Samer , @iAbhay , glad it helps!

    @Samer - The truth is this - the above have to turn into permanent habits. Then it works automatically. Spell it out in your mind, or better, spell it out loud. Sometimes the differences are tiny and hard to grasp but they really matter.
  9. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Side note I'm writing another post regarding pricing, should be live in 2-3 hours or so. You might definitely want to read that as well. Check the Domain pricing sub-section or just follow my posts for that.

    Edit: Pricing is likely the most important and trickiest part to figure out with domains.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  10. ddesigns

    ddesigns - Web Development and more... VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Excellent advice @twiki

    I have copy + paste this in my computer, so I can read it regularly and follow it before making any purchase or doing hand reg.

    Thanks ton..
  11. Super-Annuation

    Super-Annuation eMoneyToken -Superannuation - Brekky - SuperFunds

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    I was going to DM you in regards to this. The method of tweaking prices, and you mentioned frequently too which I thought was cool.

    Great read. I think people have a lot to learn from these words.
  12. TauseefKhan

    TauseefKhan Top Contributor VIP

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    really good points. Thanks
  13. TopSilver

    TopSilver Established Member

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    This is a great thread. Thank you so much for such valuable advice you've shared with us all. I also pick up expired domains from the site mentioned. I will keep in mind what you said about 2-word and 1-word domains in the near future. I appreciate you taking the time to write this.
  14. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Thanks @twiki for excellent list. I particularly like that you included examples to make the meaning crystal clear. While any list should be considered rules of thumb, and at times you should consider exceptions to the 'rules', this is a great set.
  15. NamesBond

    NamesBond Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Well done, @twiki! Some really excellent advice here for beginners, especially as regards domain length, word order, keyword strength and singular vs. plural names. I think many newbies would be wise to take your sage advice to heart - it will save them a LOT of grief (And money! :xf.wink:)
  16. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    True - these mistakes are SO common, you see them everywhere.

    I always sit and think over a selection of domains. Get through them several times, let them sink in. The true value usually appears after a longer weighting as you discover new things each time you pass them through the mental "filters".

    The truth is there are probably tens of such "parameters" that can be taken into account when evaluating a single domain, so no wonder most newcomers are so confused. (and I've been there when starting, of course)

    Domaining can be a lot of fun but it definitely ain't simple. It just looks so at first glance, but it's a tricky impression that can only cause failure if not addressed soon.
  17. PhongSGC

    PhongSGC Top Contributor VIP

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    ty so much, this is first post for newbie I read completely, others I just read some sentences then quit
  18. Duck_Duck_Domain

    Duck_Duck_Domain Established Member

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    The ‘Rule Book’

    these points (rules) guarantee success...

    Many thanks for this thread/post!
  19. justsand

    justsand Established Member

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    Thank you very much @twiki :)
  20. shabash786

    shabash786 VIP

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    Wonderful stuff ! Great piece of information for the beginners. Good job buddy !
  21. satyadeep singh

    satyadeep singh Established Member

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    Great post, Thank you.
    How can i track drop domain on and how can i see daily drop domains list
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  22. Buzritchy

    Buzritchy Established Member

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    Golden tip and value up there. Thanks for sharing.
  23. King

    King Investor & Creator VIP Gold Account

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    This was decent info but come on now, don't tell beginners to go to GD, that's cruel.

  24. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    I mean in the scope of what usual beginners can find as available 2-word .COM combos, for example drops that aren't snatched by DC or clearance sales etc. My post defines a scope.

    Of course there are great domains with only 6 letters out there. But in the sources I mentioned and the methods they use, unless it's a golden brandable hidden there that everyone missed, beginners won't be able to reach that. Edit: good .COMs of such length are long gone and owned, and if one drops DC will auction it for high $ like there's no tomorrow.

    With nTLDs where you can find great single-words at this length or even less, it's a different story.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  25. Domain Season

    Domain Season Established Member

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    Great post and thanks for sharing.

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