Domain Names for Sale – What’s the Catch?


We’re starting a few more blogs and websites, so we’re in the market for some decent domain names. This time, we thought we’d check out some of the lists of domain names for sale, instead of trying to coming up with new domain names.

The problem with domain names that are on sale is that they’re more expensive than buying a regular, new domain name.

If you can come up with a good, new domain name that hasn’t been registered yet, it should cost you around $10 per year. If you need to buy a domain name that someone else is re-selling, then the initial asking price can be considerably higher. (But, after you buy the domain name, it will only cost $10 per year, or whatever your domain registrar charges.)

What does Domain Names for Sale mean?

When you see lists of domain names that are on sale, it means that either

  1. Someone owns the domain name and is now trying to re-sell it (premium domain name)
  2. Someone bought the domain name, let it expire, and the domain name is now getting re-sold (expired domain name).

If you’re the only person trying to buy that domain name on sale, then you’re in luck. You just need to meet the minimum (reserve) price and it’s yours. But chances are several people are trying to buy that domain name (especially if it’s a popular domain name or a one word .com domain name). These domain names usually get sold on auction to the highest bidder.

Where to buy domain names for sale

All of the major registrar websites will have lists of domain names for sale in their aftermarket section. Here are some things you need to know when you try to buy a domain name for sale…

  1. You may win the auction bid for an expired domain name, but if at the last moment the previous domain owner decides they want their name back, they win automatically.
  2. You may see premium domain names listed on several registrar sites. That’s because the domain owner has signed up with several domain registrars to sell it for them. They pay a cost upfront to open an account, and then they pay a yearly fee to renew their account.
  3. If the domain name you are looking for is taken, but you see the option to buy it on backorder, think very carefully. Usually the deal with backordered domain names is if the name expires or is cancelled by the registrant, then the registrar will try to grab it the instant it becomes available.

You’ve got 3 things going against you in a backorder.

  1. The domain owner might not let the domain name expire. They always have first shot at renewing it.
  2. If the domain name expires, your registrar might not managed to get hold of the expired domain name. (Remember, every registrar and company specializing in dropped domain names may be fighting to get that expired domain name when it is released into the public again.)
  3. If the registrar does get hold of the domain name, then you have to outbid anyone else interested in buying that domain name.

Bottom Line: Read the fine print before you sign up to buy a domain name on sale. It may be more trouble and money than it’s worth.


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