30 Crazy Ideas For Domain Investors

It seems that many domain investors are scaling back domain acquisitions these days. This may be because of economic uncertainty, a possible drop in domain sales activity, or profits from parking, or simply because the renewal increases have used up funds that might have been available for acquisitions.

I conducted a poll on NamePros, and of those who responded at time of writing, about 17% were not acquiring names at all right now, and another 48% were acquiring fewer names than a year ago. Just under 20% were acquiring more currently. To see the current numbers, or to vote or comment, go to Are You Spending More or Less on Acquisitions.?

Results were somewhat more positive among the 132 who responded in a similar poll I conducted on X, but 48.5% were spending less on acquisitions now, compared with only 35.6% spending more currently. Given that wholesale prices continue to rise, the number of names acquired would probably be down even more.

If you are spending less time searching, buying and listing domain names, odds are you have a bit more time now for other domain activities. This article is a checklist of some ways to productively spend that extra time.

Little Things May Matter

One nice thing about SquadHelp is they give you regular feedback on how your names are doing. For each premium listing, you know how many views, and how often the name was shortlisted. One thing that surprised me, is that a name may get hundreds of views, and be on dozens of shortlists, but never get selected for purchase.

In most cases, it is probably because a marginally better name was available. Quality of the name is paramount.

But those names that are getting repeatedly shortlisted are in the running with multiple sellers. In some cases, there may be small things you can do that just might give the edge to your name.

Darpan Munjal, Founder SquadHelp, has commented several times on how their internal research shows that small things, such as using camel casing in name presentation, or having a well-written description, or the right keywords, can all make a positive difference.

This article is about those small things to slightly bump up your chances. By the way, while I used SquadHelp in my example, the ideas apply to any market where you have data on views or shortlists, and ability to change presentation aspects.

The Steps To Your Name Selling

This is just common sense, but let’s be clear on the steps to your name selling:

√ The domain name is strong and useful.

√ The name is easily found. The name gets viewed. The name gets shortlisted by potential buyers.

√ The name is selected over other shortlisted names and purchased.

The first item is a separate topic – you may find last week’s article helpful: Questions to Consider During Name Acquisition.

Helping People Find Your Name

Now some time ago, I wrote a NamePros Blog article The Many Ways People Might Discover Your Name. The more ways people can discover the name the better.

For names that potential buyers are likely to come up with themselves, having a working lander, being on one or more major marketplaces, and being cross listed at registrars by being part of the Afternic, Sedo or Dan networks is probably sufficient.

If your name is unique and creative, it is far less likely that someone will stumble upon it through a lander or general marketplace listing. You can increase the chances by using carefully targeted outbound inquiries, listing it at a brandable marketplace, use of social media and networking, or possibly advertising or employing a broker.

Some Small Steps That Might Help

So you have a few hours to invest. Here is a checklist of some ways you might profitably use that time.

  1. Get Listed More Places. If you have the name on only one marketplace, why not, if the rules allow, list it other places. If you are worried about simultaneous purchases, you can use buy-it-now at only one marketplace, with make offer at the others.
  2. Check that Your Lander Works Perhaps you have a script or use a service to help with this. If not, it is easier to quickly check your names if you make them hyperlinks in your portfolio spreadsheet. In Excel you can do this with a right click on the cell, and select hyperlink, or use command-K or the Insert menu. You need to enter http:// before name for it to recognize as an external hyperlink. With Macintosh Numbers with the name highlighted, command-K will insert a hyperlink in one step for most TLDs (for some you will need to paste in the link).
  3. When allowed, make sure that your name is displayed in Camel Case format. SquadHelp now automatically apply camel casing to listings, but at places like Dan and BrandPa you can do it yourself. Unfortunately, Afternic and Sedo do not support CamelCase in marketplace listings. That tiny change in capitalization clarity may make the difference between your name being scrolled by or added to a shortlist for a second look. Fun fact: It is called CamelCase because the periodic capitals in the name looked like humps on a camel’s back!
  4. Tweak Keywords At SquadHelp you are allowed to specify 12 related keywords, while at BrandPa you can set up to 10. These will be used in directing sellers searching for names, so it really is worth your time to optimize these.
  5. Add or Improve Descriptions SquadHelp have indicated that names with descriptions correlate with a higher sell-through rate. If your platform allows you to include descriptions, consider spending some time making sure they are optimum. While AI-generated descriptions are strong, I find a bit of editing, usually making them more concise, results in a higher impact. Also, at times the AI has overlooked an important way of viewing the name. Remember that a number of places allow you to generate AI descriptions now, including Dynadot and Prokbun marketplaces, as well as SquadHelp.
  6. Activate Fast Transfer The 60 day lock period, and the ways different registrars seek approval for registration network, means it is easy to accidentally miss out on some names you intended to have on Afternic Fast Transfer, Dan Network or Sedo MLS. Dynadot make it easy to activate and see the Afternic and Sedo network status, while with other registrars it is not quite as clear. I took a Deeper Look at Domain Name Fast Transfer Networks in the NamePros Blog last year. Remember that the Sedo MLS network supports many more TLDs than Afternic transfer, but won’t get you on GoDaddy.
  7. Submit Some Names to Curated Marketplaces This is a good time to consider submitting some names to curated marketplaces such as BrandBucket, SquadHelp or BrandPa. Research the type of names that each marketplace typically list. SquadHelp provides AI tools to help evaluate the chance for success prior to making an actual submission. BrandPa will give an instant, but automated, decision. These curated marketplaces will bring extra eyes to your names, although also come with, in most cases, restrictions on listing elsewhere, and higher commissions.

Offer or Change Lease-To-Own Settings Lease-to-own

(LTO) payment plans are probably not right for all sellers and all names, but for many they will help you improve sell-through rates. When a prospective buyer sees a monthly amount offered, they may give additional consideration to a name that at first seemed beyond their budget range.

Also consider changing the number of months offered. Keep in mind that with both Afternic and Dan the LTO period will affect both your effective commission rate and the markup over base price for the buyer. Learn more at: Lease-To-Own Domain Name Payment Plans.

Decrease Prices Periodic reconsideration of prices makes sense. Sometimes a slight decrease will bring a potential buyer to the table. If you just want a temporary price decrease, SquadHelp allow you to automatically or manually offer reductions. Increase Prices Perhaps counter intuitively, SquadHelp research shows that a scheduled price increase seems more effective than a decrease in resulting in an improved probability of sale.

So why not schedule an upcoming price increase on a few names? While you can’t schedule price increases on other platforms as far as I know, you can do it manually. For example, at Dan you can add a note in the description that a price increase is coming.

You can use bold text to highlight the impending increase. Change Visual Image On SquadHelp names, as well as at Dan and BrandPa, you can change the visual image that is displayed with your name. The visual image, or logo, is the first impression someone has of your name. It may play an important role in your name getting a second look.

Add or Change Logo Are there some logos that you think are holding back your names from getting on shortlists? Depending on your SquadHelp benefit level you may qualify for a number of complimentary logo redesigns each year.

You can upload logos you generate yourself to Dan, or purchase a new logo for a name at BrandPa. Remove Incorrect Listings Maybe this won’t help you directly sell names, but please do remove outdated listings for names you no longer hold.

Check for Expiring Names Sure we all have a portfolio spreadsheet, database or other way to organize our records, but sometimes names slip through getting listed.

So it is a good idea to every now and then go to each registrar you use, organize names by expiration date, and make sure that there are not some upcoming expirations that you had overlooked. A lost name is like losing a potential sale. Check Auto Renewal Status While at your registrar, it’s a good idea to check renewal status.

Sometimes a pushed or transferred name will come in with auto renewal that you overlooked. My preference is to leave none of my names on auto renewal, but I do renew many well in advance. Especially for names with high renewal rates, make sure you are not caught by auto renewal and charge to your credit card.

Others prefer to have auto renewal on for certain names at registrars that they trust will have competitive pricing. Consider Outbound for Some Names While I don’t personally do any outbound, many domain investors find it a way to sell names more regularly. Use the search function at NamePros to find the many articles and discussions contributed by those with expertise in outbound techniques.

Browse Domain Buyer Requests at NamePros It is a good idea to periodically browse the Domain Buyer Request section here at NamePros. While most of these will be buying at wholesale prices, they do provide a free and easy way to get your name in front of some potential buyers. Make sure to read the description of what is wanted carefully, and only submit names appropriate to the request.

Decide which names you plan to renew While this may not directly push sales, it will help you with pricing and listing decisions, and also plan your finances to make best use of your funds. Set up a column on your portfolio spreadsheet and simply indicate Y or N for renewal intentions. Leave ones blank that you are not sure about. This also will highlight names you want to liquidate. Liquidate Some Names Some use liquidation of names they don’t plan to renew, while others feel it is better to keep retail pricing to the very end.

Only you can decide, but if you are intending to liquidate, it is usually best to do so about two months prior to expiration. You can liquidate names here on NamePros through auctions, bargain bin, make an offer, or fixed price listings. There are also platforms such as DNWE or NameLiquidate if you feel comfortable using Epik.

The registrar marketplaces are low cast and easy ways to liquidate names registered at those registrars, with GoDaddy auction listings, Namecheap, Dynadot, NameSilo, Sav, and others. You can list names registered elsewhere at Sav auctions, but they require 60 days prior to expiration. DNWE has changed and there is no longer a subscription fee to list.

Check the rules, but you can do wholesale transactions at SquadHelp to other sellers, or through the Slack channel for BrandBucket. BrandBucket also will buy out approved names at 1% of approved price minus the renewal cost. You can also transfer names to SquadHelp if you no longer wish to keep them and have not been able to sell them wholesale.

Check Out The Competition For a few names, spend a few minutes seeing what similar names are available, and how they are priced. You may change some of your prices as a result. Be sure to check out big sellers like HugeDomains, DomainMarket and BuyDomains, as well as the main marketplaces