Originally I founded NameHero as a domain registrar (actually DNSHero.com at that time) to give me a place to register and store all the domains I registered for investments.
I don’t consider myself a professional “domainer” by any means, but since 1998, I’ve registered a good number domains for my piece of virtual real estate using an Enom reseller account.
Never being a fan of their interface, I developed out NameHero so I could easily register my domains on my phone while I’m relaxing in bed in the evenings!
Buying Premium Domains
Whenever someone asks if there is something I would have done differently in my career, I tell them I would have invested a lot more into .com domains back in 1998. I remember putting off buying RyanGray.com and now the owner wants upwards of $10,000 for it!
Anyways, throughout the course of my career, I’ve certainly paid the price for good domains.
Just a handful I’ve paid premiums for:
- NameHero.com – $6,600
- RevivedMedia.com – $2,500
- RevMax.com – $890
- WrestlingUnlimited.com – $550
- WrestlingNews.net – $500
- WrestlingNewsWorld.com – $300
I also once paid $10,000 to lease WrestlingNews.com for a year.
So I can tell you without a doubt, it’s much more fun being on the “seller” side of things.
For example, last year, I sold xwnw.com for $2,500 (sold cheap actually) only paying $9-10 for it back in 2007. This was just one of many, but I always get a rush of finding a good name, regardless what happens to it!
Now, I’ve sat in on GoDaddy auctions as well as some over at Web.com and that can get expensive really quick, especially with my competitive nature.
Discovering Hidden Gems
Sometimes I consider myself “lucky” and find a premium name off the top of my head that hasn’t been registered.
But more-often I’ll use the following sites to brainstorm:
- ExpiredDomains.net – After running NameHero I EASILY see how this happens. I can’t tell you how many domains I see DAILY that expire here because someone’s credit card is declined, the customer changes their mind, or they just forget about it. This site allows you to publicly search for names that have just been deleted allowing you to jump on some good ones. Unfortunately so of the “big players” in the industry are also on, but I’ve gotten some pretty good names on here.
- LeanDomainSearch.com – This website is really cool when you’re trying to find a domain in a particular industry such as “hosting.” Basically you type your target keyword/phrase in their search and it matches it with available words. While some of them are silly and don’t make sense, sometimes you can find a winning combination.
- NameMesh.com – I like this site for their “similar” and “mix” results. I’m NOT a fan of the new TLDs (i.e. .xyz, .link, .site, etc.) as most of them are used by spammers/scammers but this still gives you some additional ideas.
Instant Domain Search
We developed our Instant Domain Search because I hate having to submit a form to see if a name I want is taken. Of course, we also search through the many TLDs but .com, .net, and .org is really all I stick to nowadays with .com always being king.
In my opinion the more TLDs that come out, the higher they drive up the value of a “dot com.”
To demo the tools above as well as our Instant Domain Search, I’ve filmed a brief video tutorial you can see here:
Do you invest in domains? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.