Forbes.com just published a piece entitled “Get A Domain Name Without Bankrupting Your Startup” which basically tells its readers its Ok to spend a few thousand of dollars on a domain but there isn’t a need to spend a fortune buying one from Kevin Ham or Frank Schilling:
“I’m sure you have all been frustrated at least once by not being able to get the Internet domain name you want for your company. Who owns all of these names, and should you ever buy one for a premium? The simple answer is that if you want to be found on the Web, the perfect domain name can be well worth a few thousand dollars, but don’t pay a fortune for one”.
“The market for domain investors has been in the doldrums for the last few years”
“Only one sold for 7 figures in 2012 (investing.com sold for $2.5 million), and the average is now down to below $5,000”
“The current record was set in 2010, when sex.com sold for $13 million.
The right place to start is to target today’s average of approximately $8-$10 per year for a .com domain name from GoDaddy or one of the hundreds of other domain name registrars. Certain extensions such as .tv and .vs range in the $20 to $40 range for a year registration, but you can find sales on certain extensions for as little as fifty cents per year.
“So how do you decide if you should be looking at the low end or the high end of these ranges? I suggest following these steps to get the name you need for your business”:
- First pick the right company and matching domain name. The names don’t have to match, but it sure makes branding and recognition easier if they are at least similar. Starting and name a company today is a world-wide decision. Make sure the names don’t have negative and even obscene connotations in another language.
- Register the name and related suffixes, if available. Registration of the domain name is easy and simple through most hosting sites, if nobody already owns it. It’s a good idea to also buy between three and twenty names with spellings and suffixes that are close to your primary address, or that could be confused with it.
- Rename your company to match an available domain name. With today’s pervasive Internet searching and shopping, the domain name may well be more important than your company name. As a startup, cost to rename your company and change existing collateral may be less than dealing with unmatched names or premium domain pricing.
- Otherwise, find the owner. With150 million names already in use, chances are someone else may have already snagged your favorite. First you have to find the current owner, using Domain Tools, or other lookup functions available on the net. Ask if the domain name is for sale, but don’t tip your hand by making a specific offer.
- Negotiate for the name. Contemplate your available budget, the potential value of the name to you, and the range of possible prices mentioned above. Then decide whether you are game to complete the negotiation yourself, or whether you should consider an intermediary, like Moniker.com, and expect to pay a $250 to $500 fee.
- Consider leasing or lease to own. If the price is too high, work with the domain name owner to agree on a “lease-to-own” deal for the domain name. This will allow your company to build some assets before committing the capital. Prices may continue down, or in the worst case, you won’t need the name for the long term.
- Get the agreement in writing as quickly as possible. Once you have a deal, immediately open up an escrow account, like Escrow.com. The faster you fund the account the better chance you have of the seller not being able to back out. Remember that many domain moguls don’t have a sterling reputation, so no handshake deals.
Besides being slightly miffed by being left off the Kevin Ham and Frank Schilling list (I definitely need to get a new agent) the author of the article, Martin Zwilling, seems to thing the new gTLD program is live and you can go and register and use one of these right away.
Also apparently no one told Mr. Zwilling that Mr. Schilling applied for 54 of the new gTLD’s so when one of his readers register one of the new gTLD domain he suggests he still might be giving Mr. Schilling some money.
On the other hand Mr. Zwilling seems to be under the impression that just because there aren’t as many public 7 figure sales there are not as many 7 figure sales.
I think the market has matured and a lot of the higher end sales are under NDA
Over at MostWantedDomains.com, which Mr. Zwilling failed to mention in his article, we had another great year in 2012 selling over $2,000,000 in domain names and our business is certainly not “in the doldrums ”