A nugget of gold

Finding Gold at Domain Name Auctions

Domain Names are big business. Very big business. Just to put this into context, according to an article published on DN Journal; The Domain Industry News Magazine, between Monday 9th and Sunday 15th March 2020, sales of two domain names fetched over US$1million. Yes, you read right. In fact, to be more precise, US$1,029,940. This was for domains OA.com and 151.com which sold for US$614,940 and US$415,000 on Sedo and DomainBooth respectively. So what exactly makes these domains fetch so high a price? In this article, we shall share tips on what you should look out for when it comes to finding gold at domain name auctions.

The Age

Good domain names become more valuable with age. This is one aspect you should always look out for and, it is also a helpful indicator of why a domain name might be priced so highly. An older domain is more likely to have already been indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, these being the major ones. Indexing is a helpful attribute for further development or resale; you won’t have to work so hard for the search engines to pick up new articles or posts on your purchase. Anyone who intends to buy it from you will look out for the age and make an offer based on how recently your domain Castle Real Estatewas registered and so it is important that you pay attention to the same.

One way to quickly find out the age of a domain name is by using the ICANN; Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Domain Name Registration Data Lookup page. This is a free resource and it should provide you with valuable information like the domain names; date of creation and registry expiry as well as the current Registrar (Owner).

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important indicator of how wanted or attractive or relevant the information the domain name on sale currently offers. In other words, they are the mark of a high quality content. The higher the number of backlinks, the better for you as a buyer. This is because search engines will rank websites with more backlinks higher, and as such, your new acquisition will always be on top of the search results if it has more backlinks than its competitors.

The next step would then be how to check for the number of backlinks a domain name has. Fortunately, at the time of writing this article, there was a free resource ExpiredDomains.net. I would advise that you sign up for a free account so as to access more options with the search filter. Once you log in to the Member area using your free account, you can then enter the domain name without the extension and look out of the BL column. By clicking on this column, you can sort your search results by the number of backlinks.

Traffic

This is another important aspect that ought not to be ignored. Domain names with a high number of visitors are good for business. This is equivalent having a brick and mortar shop with a high number of walk-ins; the more the merrier. Websites with a high number of visitors are also likely to sell more products and if they are parked or being used as a landing page, very likely to generate you a good amount of Pay-per-click (PPC) revenue. Peak Traffic

For example, using results from Google AdSense, the Insurance niche was determined to be the most profitable in the US, UK, Australia and Canada for 2020. According to an article published on SEMrush in November 2019 about Top Paying AdSense Keywords and Best Adsense Niches for 2020, Insurance topped all other niches with an average Cost-per-click (CPC) of $17.55, $6.86, $8.39 and $3.57 for the US, UK, Australia and Canada respectively.

So it is important that you choose look out for a domain name that has a high amount of traffic as you scan the auctions. One free resource that you can use to check traffic is ExpiredDomains.net. You can then click on the Alexa column to sort the results by traffic; the higher the figure, the better. Other tools you may use to check out potential traffic by niche is Wealthy Affiliate’s Jaaxy Keyword Tool or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Both options will require you to sign up.

Number of Characters

Domain names ought to be short and memorable in order to stand out. Therefore, the fewer the characters in the domain name for sale, the better. That’s the general rule of the game although, this doesn’t imply that domain names with more characters haven’t in the past fetched a good price. According to NameBio.com, HealthInsurance.com, a fifteen-character domain name sold for a record high $8,133,000. The all-time sales record however belongs to Voice.com that sold for a record $30,000,000 on 30th May 2019. So I guess you can spot the trend.

What happens when you can’t compete?

Auctions can be competitive and depending on how popular the domain name being auctioned is, the price could quickly climb way above your budget. The next best thing is to look out for alternative top-level domains (TLDs) that can meet the four-letter priority. These could be Country Code (CC) TLDs or any other.

For example, at the time of publishing this article, Sedo’s auction of four-letter domain names had less than 24 hours to close. The top five slots belonged to avvv.com, umgo.com, rniy.com, mgct.com and zyyt.com going for 750 EUR ($820), 510 EUR ($558), 309 EUR ($338), 301 EUR ($329) and 280 EUR ($306) respectively.Brainstorming

However, using Wealthy Affiliate’s Site Domains Platform, you can purchase .global extensions of all the above domain names for $62.99. You can also purchase .io extensions of all above mentioned domain names apart from umgo (which is already taken) for $44.99 on the same Platform.

It all comes down to innovation

I hope that with the few and by no means exhaustive tips shared above, you will be able to find that domain of choice on your preferred auction platform. And in the event that your preferred domain name is above budget, try using a different TLD or even CCTLD. However, it is important to do your research with each variation. Always try to estimate how much your purchase would fetch by going to NameBio.com or any other free resources and entering the same characters or keyword in the search bar. For example entering “wedding” as a keyword brings domain names as expensive as $50,000, the cheapest being $100. That should give you an idea of the value of domain name you are purchasing at the auction.

In the event that your desired domain name is already taken, a popular alternative is to combine the keyword of your unavailable or overly priced domain with a location. Using NameBio.com as our case study once again, we see that whereas phoenixweddings.com is already taken and selling for $1,125 greshamweddings.com was available for $13.99 on

Wealthy Affiliate’s Site Domains Platform at the time of writing this article. Gresham is a city with a population of about 110,000 in Oregon.

I hope that with the above pointers you are better positioned to secure great deals at domain name auctions. Please feel free to drop me a comment in the section below. I look forward to receiving your feedback. Keep innovating and keep shining.

52 thoughts on “Finding Gold at Domain Name Auctions”

  1. Hello,

    It is a great job you are doing delivering such articles. By reading the first phrase of the article, I have been forced to read the entire article from top to bottom and it has been more than informative.

    But, whuuuuu, more than $2M is really sounding so good to be true though I have agreed with it after completing the entire article.

    Now, look at this like OA dot com, hmmm!

    Otherwise, fantastic content!

    Reply
    • Hello and thanks for your comment Cybersharph. I’m glad that you read through to the end. Domain auctions are indeed big business and those who have been in the game longer have reaped the benefits. I hope that my article has inspired you to conduct even more research on the domain names niche.

      We are Blessed

      Reply
  2. I’ve done domain auctioning before. It was quite the process. My domain name sold for a reasonable amount. Overall it was a happy sale. But there can be some downside to domain name auctioning as well, but only if you don’t go with a good reputable company. A friend of mine went with a now-defunct organization, lost the domain name, and didn’t make any money.

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting and sharing your friend’s experience Eric. Sorry about their double loss! It’s always safer to pay a little commission to the established companies that use Escrow than go at it alone and lose out totally. Nevertheless, the experience you’ve shared offers valuable advice for all those getting into the domain buying and selling game.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  3. Nice post. I didn’t realize domain names sell for that kind of money but I guess it makes sense. It is hard to find a snappy domain name these days unless as you point out you are willing to pay some serious money for it. Businesses don’t want to wait for a website to mature. So they throw money into an existing domain name to shortcut that waiting game. Nice idea about using different extensions. I’ve always gone for .com but I think it’s worth considering.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment James. As our interest in any niche deepens, we tend to realize how much we had initially undervalued how much money changes hands therein! Established brands will always seek invest in assets that give them an added advantage and domain names are quickly becoming one quick way to achieve that. True, .com is always the preferred extension but when you cannot play ball with the big boys, the newer ones might be a good alternative.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  4. This article is pure Gold!  Was actually what immediately caught my attention.  There is really a lot of information to observe, and I kept getting pulled into it as I was reading.  You can sense the reward is waiting as you think about all the money to be made with domain names.  One of my domains was valued at over a 1000 dollars just because it had the word harvester in it.  Imagine that!  Having domain names that roll off the tongue, and intrigue visitors is very important.  Thank you for all the tips.. You really provided us with excellent value!  

    Reply
    • You are most welcome Patrick. I’m glad that my article captured and sustained your attention. Thanks too for sharing your personal experience with the valuation of your domain. That’s a valuable tip for anyone else who will read these comments. All the best with fetching great value for it!

      We are Blessed. 

      Reply
  5. This is a great article filled with information on domain names. I have learned so a lot about traffic and back links. This is information that anyone that has a website or is thinking about starting one should look at. As for the rest of your site it does not disappoint. I will be coming back to visit over and over. 

    Thank you putting together such an informative article. 

    Reply
    • Thanks too for your comment Russ. I’m glad that you found the information applicable to more than just buying domain names at auctions. Looking forward to your future visits and comments.

      We are Blessed. 

      Reply
  6. This text is amazingly structured and easy to read! I really enjoyed reading about finding good domains, and domains are really just like real estate. The value of domains will rice as time goes! That’s why it is a good investment to buy a domain.

    Amazing work on the review and good job! Keep working just like this and you will succeed!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the compliment Ragul. You’re right on that one; great domain names just like great properties appreciate in value with time. All the best with your endeavours too.

      We are Blessed. 

      Reply
  7. Not sure if I completely understand this properly, but it sounds like “domain names” is a niche unto itself. I understand the need to have a short, easy to remember domain name for my site, but I never imagined that these can be bought, sold & traded like a commodity. This journey is amazing and I learn something new every day. Is this something that you do regularly? Do you cultivate and grow domain names in order to sell them to others that are looking for an established domain name in their respective niche?

    Reply
    • You got that right Bob. Domain names are a niche unto themselves. A very profitable one at that as per some of the sales I captured herein. We are indeed all on an amazing journey of discovery and I’m glad that this article has pointed out yet another possibility for you. The cultivating and selling of domain names is not something I do regularly owing to a demanding work schedule. I however drive traffic to these sort of marketplaces as an affiliate, for now.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  8. This is a very great informative article I must say that. Domain auction is one of the long life paying business for those who have been in this for long can testify to that. It’s amazing how when I started reading this I got the urge to continue and dig deep into it.

    Reply
  9. Thank you for your post. It is useful for me. I started online business for a while now and during the process I have been creating a lot of websites. My time is very limited and I intend to focus on few websites and plan to sell most of them.

    Your article provide guidance on how to improved my website values, which are very important for me to maintain my websites and prepare my websites for sales. I guess that website traffic is one of the most important parameter for people who would like to buy websites. I will try to work on my websites one by one.

    It is kind of you sharing this useful information with us.

    Reply
    • You are welcome Anthony. Thanks too for your kind comment. I’m glad that you picked a few tips to help improve the value of your websites before you sell them off. All the best with that!

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  10. Thanks for breaking down how to spot a winner of a deal at a domain name auction. It is important to know which metrics to look out for in order to find the gold nuggets that are out there. Age, backlinks, and traffic are definitely good indicators of the value of a domain name. Shorter domain names have always seemed better, but it’s interesting to note the high price of the examples you shared as well. Those are some pricey domains, but potentially worth the cost!!

    Reply
    • Yes they are Aly. The prices some of these domains fetch is quite insane! Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you picked some pointers.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  11. When I see these domain name auctions it is like I’m looking at yet other missed investment opportunities. I remember sitting around with tech-savvy friends, drinking coffee back in the mid-90s when the idea of registering interesting domain names as an investment for the future was first in the air. I remember thinking at the time – oh that sounds interesting. Sadly I did nothing about it. Back then I would probably not have known enough to pick some obvious ones. But how great would it have been to have bought Healthinsurance dot com when it probably cost a few dollars. I recall there were some early scandals or at least legal tussles since some enterprising individuals had gone and registered domain names using company brand names. It was a bit like the Wild West in some ways. How different now. Thanks for an interesting window on an area I’d pretty much forgotten about. Best regards Andy 

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading and commenting Andy. And sorry about your missed opportunity. It’s now a whole different ball game now! HealthInsurance dot com would have been quite a hot property on today’s market and trust the early birds to catch the biggest worms as the actual brands napped! That’s a no-go-zone today. I’m glad the article made for some good reflection.

      We are Blessed. 

      Reply
  12. You know, about a year ago, I read about this topic somewhere online and I didn’t take it so seriously, today I regret that I didn’t. I wish I read through and took advantage of it. I have two websites currently with a standalone domain name and I’m thinking of putting one of them up for auction. It could sell at a very good price and I can make some money of it. I will try it out.

    Reply
    • Hi Riley, I’m glad that this article reawakened your interest in the topic of domain name auctions. Thankfully, you are better informed today than you were a year ago and I’m sure you’ll make a tidy profit from the sale of your website. All the best.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  13. If we were to calculate the time it will take to build up traffic for a good domain name and the resultant effect of using that time to achieve more than that then we can realize why people would want to pay almost anything for their ideal domain name. i have learnt a lot from this article. thank you very much.

    Reply
    • You are most welcome Kirkman. Thanks too for leaving me a comment. I’m glad that you found the article helpful.

      We are Blessed. 

      Reply
  14. It feels good knowing that the domain business actually fetches so much money too. Wow! With proper planning efforts and taking the the right way , I believe that a lot could be done. I think domains that could drive very large traffic would sell so high and make enough for the owners. This is an eye enlightener here

    Reply
    • Yes they are Ella. Domain names are big business for those who’ve found their footing. I’m glad you found the article enlightening. All the best.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  15. You have address everything that we need to put into consideration when we want to go into the auction for domain names. there are really a lot of things here but the detailed way you have placed them will help me utilize them well. now i can go and fetch my domain name. thank you

    Reply
    • You are welcome Smoochi. I’m glad that the article addressed everything you sought to learn about domain name auctions. It can be quite daunting looking at all the prospects especially if you don’t know where to start.

      We are Blessed. 

      Reply
  16. Thank you for some golden information.

    I have never looked at domain buying and selling before. For some reason I just assumed it was for experts! The prime domains would be gone long before the man-on-the-street could have chance to buy them at a reasonable price.

    Of course, I was wrong. The world moves on all the while and therefore domain names that meant nothing yesterday could be prime names tomorrow.

    You intrigued me that much that I went away and actually checked out covid19 (.com)  Sure enough it was gone. Not surprising considering I am late in the day with this one. But interestingly it was only created/registered on the 11th Feb, according to whois!  Surely a goldmine for whoever grabbed it on that day!

    Thank you again for the information. It is now ingrained in my mind and I will certainly be looking out for opportunities in the future.

    Reply
    • You are welcome Lawrence and thanks too for sharing your thoughts and experience. Business trends and niches are continuously evolving and it’s so hard to keep up with all of them, especially if your are gainfully engaged elsewhere. Now that you’ve got the formula, all the best with your future purchases.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  17. That’s interesting and easy to read. I hope you are planning on adding links later on. 
    I have been looking for domain names myself and always contacted by an agency asking thousands of dollars. I see the market. Article is great. Very well written and informative.
    I am interested to see how you make money with affiliate links. Great job. 

    Reply
    • Thanks too for commenting. I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. I actually do have some affiliate links to Sedo, Wealthy Affiliate and SEMrush therein. I’ll have to change my template soon so that they don’t appear as ordinary text. They are currently in bold.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  18. Great post! Although I am currently not looking to purchase another domain name just yet. I found this article to be a helpful guide to improve my own website. You even threw in a bunch of free tools, much appreciated! Backlinks is one thing I’m focused on right now. Ill be able to utilize the backlink resource you have added to analyze my site’s backlinks. Thank you for putting this helpful article together.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment CeCemorgan. I’m glad that you found the article useful not just for the domain name bits but backlinks as well. All the best with your website improvement.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  19. Thank you for such an informative article. I see that there are a number of elements that make a domain name valuable. The traffic, number of backlinks, age and number of characters are all things to consider in when competing for a domain name at an auction. This is really good information to know as I have a blog site and am building up content with backlinks. Knowing this is considered valuable makes it all the more worthwhile. As my web site ages I hope that it will command a high price when I sell it in years to come. Thanks your for this article. Jennifer

    Reply
    • Thanks too for your valuable input into this discussion Jennifer. I’m glad that you’ve gleaned some valuable tips to help boost the value of your blog. All the best!

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  20. My first thoughts was I’ve clicked on to a website selling gold. But wow was I wrong.  Your post told me stuff I never knew, I knew websites can become valuable but I didn’t know there was so much importance on backlinks and even I knew that, I didnt have a clue how to check them out! You post had given me a workday of information,  that I didn’t know existed.  Thanks great stuff. 

    Reply
    • You are most welcome Derek. Thanks too for your kind comment. I’m glad that the gold nugget grabbed your attention. 🙂 Here’s to using all the knowledge we come across to improve the value of our websites.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  21. I have heard of doing Domain Auctions before – but was not until I read your post that I finally achieved an understanding.   I also understand the value of backlinks, your  ExpiredDomains link is exceptional, hadn’t known that I could get so much for info for a free account.   Let’s say that you have gotten your hands on a domain with all of the potential profit-making potential characteristics that you described – what do you do with it then?

    Reply
    • Hello Steve, I’m glad that my post helped you to appreciate domain auctions better.

      After you’ve identified the domain name that meets all your requirements, you can go ahead and purchase it with two purposes in mind.

      1) You could immediately put it up for sale on another platform or

      2) You could develop it further by writing a few articles with great SEO, or if it has high traffic, add a few pay-per-click banners or paid adverts that will make you some money. In the event that you choose to sell the website, it you could fetch a higher price and earn you a tidy profit. I hope that’s helpful.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  22. Thank you, Mark, for making this rather puzzling theme a bit clearer to me! It’s nice synchronicity that I’ve come across your article, because just this morning my husband and I were talking about our idea of selling domain names. (We love to play with words and come up with some crazy stuff! 🙂 But I’d really appreciate it if you could clarify one thing to me: (And please excuse such an ignorant question..!) If I come up with a great domain name, do I have to register that domain first, and then try to sell it at an auction? OR – can I simply offer the name to some platform that would buy the idea of me..? Many thanks for your explanation.

    Reply
    • You are most welcome Lucie. I’m glad that the article touched on something you and your husband were discussing. I’m only happy to answer your question and so you need not apologize. In the event that you come up with a great domain name, it is in your best interest to purchase it first before you can put it up for auction.

      Most genuine platforms would turn down the request to buy your idea because they hold large portfolios of their own domain names. However, the more cunning ones would simply take your great idea and sell it as their own. You’d have a hard time proving that it was originally yours, especially if it is not in registered to you.

      I hope that makes things a little clearer for you.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  23. Hello there thanks for this helpful review. No doubt Domains are a cool way to make money online. Buying of your own domain is one thing and then developing it or maintaining it is another thing as it can only be renewed yearly. And also the choice of having a domain depends solely on your point of interest 

    Reply
  24. Hey nice article you have there, I have derived a lot of benefit since I registered for gold domain, I have the opportunity to diversify, explore the internet and most importantly my domain is placed on an international server, provinding an under-construction page for my gold domain, for as long as required. 

    Reply
  25. Wow I am really glad I got to see these article. I was searching through the net. When I saw your website I am Really amazed with all your contents. I really didn’t know you could purchase a user name and shorten it. Wow I will surely do some recommendation. Thanks for sharing these information with us

    Reply
    • Thanks too for your comment. I’m glad that you found the article helpful. I didn’t make any reference to purchasing a username and shortening it. However, the rule of the game is that shorter domain names are more memorable and fetch a higher price at auctions. Thanks for the offer to recommend the article.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  26. Hi Mark, interesting article thanks. I noticed that there were some really expensive domains listed when I was looking for one a few weeks back but I had no idea that could sell for half a million $’s!! I just wanted to ask your advice on something, do you still think a .com domain is better than a .tv or .co for instance? Thanks, Justin 

    Reply
    • Hi Justin, I’m glad that you found the article interesting. Thanks too for leaving me a comment.

      Well on the .com vs .tv or .co, I think the only thing the .com extension has going is that it’s the most popular and easily recognizable of them all. Besides that, what ideally makes your site better is the well-written content you publish thereon (observing all SEO tips) and the work you put into promoting that content. A .tv or .co site with constantly updated, well promoted content would beat a .com counterpart with hardly any updates or optimization any day!

      I hope that helps to answer your question.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply
  27. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading. There is really a lot of information to observe, and I kept getting pulled into it as I was reading. It is important to know which metrics to look out for in order to find the gold nuggets that are out there. I guess that website traffic is one of the most important parameter for people who would like to buy websites. I will try to work on my websites one by one.

    Reply
    • Hey Prithvi, I’m glad that you enjoyed reading the article. Website traffic is a very important metric for both sales and improving the overall value of our websites so we definitely ought to pay more attention to it. Thanks for the comment.

      We are Blessed.

      Reply

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