It is important to have a great domain name for the success of a startup & it is most important when having a virtual business as it is both your company’s name and how people will find the you. Purchasing Domains are tricky and cannot be used with comparable sales or actual intrinsic values for your negotiations.
Overall your domain names should be easy to spell and say like. com, .net, .us, etc. Here, you have the step by step process for securing the domain you want.
#1 Brainstorm Names
Have a list of names with you because the better the name the more likely it is going to taken and will cost of lump sum. You can use Dot-o-mator, a tool used for looking up word combinations
#2 Initial Sort
If you get lucky, you can get your domain name by looking up DN Finder which allows you use the Bulk Upload feature. This feature shows you if there are any domains that is not be taken from the bulk list you provided.
#3 Hit the Auctions
#4 Shrink your List
Break your list of Domains into 4 categories
Real Business: It is difficult for one to get business domain names & will be efficient if you push this idea as your last list.
Squatter/Investor Pages: These are used to monetize location and are always on sale. These pages are used as links on other pages for lead generation.
Construction Pages: Construction pages are for people who are about to put up a business at this site or an amateur registered the site and forgot about this site or put it on hold.
Dead Pages: It is hard to draw conclusions from the names of the domain, at times the owner would not make money out of it or it would be put on hold.
#5 Contact the owners
After you finish locating the owner, you need to communicate with the owner. Communications can take a day, few weeks and even months.
See if you have contact listed on the site: Many sites have contact US or “this domain is for sale”. To look at old pages & contact details use Internet Archive& we found that success rates are higher if contact details are cited.
Use “Who is” Directory: If you cannot find the cited details of your owner, use www.domaintools.com/.
About 30 to 40% of the time, domain owner’s information is found.
Rest of the time, either the information is dead or private. In the cases, where private information is concerned, please write up an mail or letter. But in practice, we found this to be rare.
Try using the historical “who is” Domain tools, if standard “who is” does not work.
#6 Contact your owner asking if your domain is for sale
Tip: Don’t make an Offer
a. Contact Directly: If you are someone (student or first-time entrepreneur) who couldn’t get any information on Google search, then contact the owner directly. If you have documented success, then don’t contact directly as your price will be based on your status.
b. Hiding Your Information:
Unprofessional Way — You might look like a scammer, if you have not given any personal information and have a Gmail or Yahoo email address as John123@gmail.com. Thus, you would have a lower chance of contacting the owner.
Professional Way — You have two options
Option 1 — Use a Service: There are a few services that allow you to mask who you are to contact the owners, godaddy.com, networksolutions.com, etc, offer this. I have tried these services and have had zero success.
Option 2 — Use a small law firm or PR firm which has a website: Make sure that if you looked them up, this service should cost between $100 and $300. To find these firms, I usually ask friends for referrals or just go to someone local (every town has a small law firm). It allows the seller to see that they are being contacted by someone real and it does not jack up the price.
As we mentioned, it is difficult for one to say the actual intrinsic value or the comparable rates. Many times, you are dealing with an individual owner, and the domain is worth what they sell it for.
#8 How much to spend?
How many letters is the name
3–4 letter words are expensive. They can sell for anywhere between 5k-500k
5 letters and above start to get cheaper
How many words is the name?
1 word is most valuable, each additional word is less valuable
How easy is it to spell?
Is there a reason why people would type this word(s) in their browser?
You can get a traffic analysis on the domain from compete.com if you want to get the actual numbers
Do the words naturally go together like “Phone tag”, or are they random like “Micro soft”?
The less natural they are, the lower the value of the name.
If the domain has a “my”, “the” or other like word in front of it then it is going to be worth a lot less.
How will this domain affect my business?
A better domain is more viral, which reduces customer acquisition cost
What is each customer worth to you?
What is your current customer acquisition cost?
Here are the typical negotiation responses after you get in contact with the owner:
“I will sell it to you for $800,000” — When you get ridiculous offers, you typically go back with what you think they are worth.
“I don’t know, what do you think” — This person wants to sell. They are going to negotiate you up for sure. According to research, typically you should go in at 20–30% below your bottom range of your budget.
“$500” (when you think it is worth $5,000) — It is great that you find the price appropriate. But be careful though, if you just say “yes”, you might spook the seller, as they will think they underpriced their domain.
“$5,000” (when you think it is worth $5,000) — Use the information from second pointer above, but you do not have to be as cautious because you are close to market.
#10 Get them to agree
Get them to agree to your contract and if you get an yes, be quick in opening an Escrow Account. The faster you fund the account the better chance you have of the seller not being able to back out.