Domain Investment Strategy: Should you hand register domain names?

I recently read a thread discussing domain investment strategy. Members of NamePros.com were going back and forth on whether or not hand-registering domain names is a profitable investment strategy… The simple answer is yes, it CAN be. The more detailed answer is that 99% of today’s domain registrations are terrible. A large majority of people DO NOT make money on simply registering domain names, but some people with a disciplined strategy DO make money.

 

Although I rarely hand-register domain names (maybe 1 per month on average), I have sold a few already this year. So what’s the secret?

 

If I’m hand-registering a domain name, It will normally be either a short, made-up .com, or an emerging technology related .com. Below are two examples:

 

DroneSet.com – Paid $1.17 on 1/1/2015 – Sold for $888 on 03/01/2018

With 2 years of renewals, the total investment was about $18. In 2015 the drone industry was becoming more popular. Drones were more available to the everyday consumer and also gaining traction commercially with photography, agriculture and other industries. I’ve also sold other domains like DroneAG.com, and Helicams.com which were acquired for less than $100.

Tip: Stay up to date on emerging technology. There are opportunities to hand-register domains that will become valuable in the future.

  • Register the singular in most cases.
  • Try to combine popular or trending keywords. For example: VapeCenter.com. (The Vape industry is a booming market, and brand names ending with “Center” have always been popular)
  • VapeCenter.com is valuable, but VapeCenters.com is far less valuable and VapesCenter.com is less valuable again. VapesCenters.com is worthless… Get the idea?

Don’t expect to sell a hand-reg a few days or months after you registered it. It was available to register for a reason! (hint: nobody else wanted it). You have to be patient…Shout out to everyone trying to sell their hand-registered .app names for absurd prices.


SoloFi.com – Paid $4,99 on 11/24/2017 – Sold for $9,888 on 05/22/2018

This domain was sold just 6 months after I registered it, with a total investment of $4.99. I registered the domain because short made-up .coms have been trending and especially keywords that end in “fi”. Examples include BizFi.com, SoFi.com, ChooseFi.com, EverFi.com, BurgerFi.com, OmegaFi.com, RecruitiFi.com, CameraFi.com and many more.

Tip: To be successful in any industry, you have to stay up to date with trends. Not every startup has the budget to pay 6 figures for a 1 word .com. Memorable names like Solofi.com present a compelling alternative.

  • Make sure it passes the radio test.
  • Needs to be easy to remember.
  • Don’t venture outside of .com for made-up names.
  • Keep it singular
  • Shorter is better.

Again, don’t expect to sell a name like this quickly. I was lucky to sell the name in 6 months. Be prepared to hold a domain like this for at least a few years. 


 

So are there any other types of hand-registered domain names that have value?… The answer is yes.

There are various investors that have success with registering “Exact Match GEO Domains” like BostonBikeRental.com. These type of domains can be hand-registered or picked up on drop lists quite easily, however they DO NOT sell themselves. With exact match domain names, you’ll need to put together lists of possible end-users and use outbound sales tactics to make a sale in most scenarios. These type of names are typically sold between $100 and $1,000.

Long story short, there IS value in some hand registered domains. Unfortunately, most of the time new investors are uneducated in branding and domain strategy. Buying and selling domain names is not easy. You HAVE to understand what is valuable and what is not. If you want to succeed, it takes a lot of time and effort.

In my next blog, I’ll talk about the domain aftermarket where I purchase a large percentage of my domain names. As I said before, I register very few domain names, and my average acquisition price is roughly $500. For inherent value, you have to be willing to invest larger dollar amounts in acquisitions.

7 Comments

  1. Nice overview, thank you!

    But i don’t fully agree that EMD don’t sell themselves. I had quite a few inbound EMD sales recently. The price is low, here you are right ))

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