I’ve written a few articles about my love of 5 letter dot coms over the last year but today I’m going to go into a little more detail about how to be successful with this type of name. I will start off by saying that there is a ton of junk in this market and the difference between a domain worth $8 and a domain worth $1000 is just a few letters. Ninety nine percent of these domains are indeed worth very little but here are 10 tips that should help you make better decisions and lead to profitable purchases.
1.Put yourself into the place of a new business owner and ask yourself “Would I name my company this?” Answer it honestly, not as a person that owns the domain but as a person that can have a choice of millions of names. This question alone will make you pass on 95% of the names you come across. These are the people you will most likely be buying your names so you might as well cater to them right out of the shoot. They are also the people that will pay you top dollar.
2.Buy names that are dictionary words or an “offshoot” of a real word. When a company chooses a name they often want name that defines them. A company that sells fishing poles may like uFish or Fisho.com. On the contrary I have found that there are a few prospective buyers that like palindromes like Galag.com or high value Scrabble letter domains. But in order to make the Scrabble letters work you’ll need vowels and so…….
3. Vowels are your friend. Look for domains with plenty of them. I particularly like names that end in the vowels “a” and “o”. I buy and sell many names that are 4 letter dictionary word with an “a” or an “0” in them.
4. If you have to make up acronyms for your domain then do not buy it. If you have three consonants in a row, most likely your domain is not worth much. There is no such thing as premium letter 5 letter dot coms.
5. Aged 5 letter dot coms are usually aged for a reason. It’s not to say that all pre 2000 5 letter dot coms are valuable but of all the domain that were available to register back then finding a 5 letter with age means somebody liked it. Believe it or not many of the good 5 letters were registered more than 10 years ago.
6. Make sure to place your domain for sale as many places as you can. Parking makes absolutely no money so concentrate on making sure anyone that comes to the site knows it’s for sale. Make sure to list it on Sedo, Afternic, and Godaddy. Sedo is good for letting people place bids. Godaddy is good because people searching for names in their system will find yours in their “premium” section of the “We Recommend” area. For me personally 90% of my domains have been sold through private emails or Sedo.
7. Be an unmotivated seller. If you have a strong name the best way to receive the most money is to be patient. Go into negotiations like you don’t need the money. Don’t be greedy but you have to be informed on previous sales and I can tell you that all strong 5 letter domains go for over $500 and most go for over $1000. You just have to know which domains those are by watching sales and understanding why they went for the price. Often it’s just pure luck and a company or end user just wanted that particular name. Even with that scenario it shows you that the domain owner held out. I can guarantee the buyer didn’t start at the final asking price. It was negotiated that high. Try and be that seller.
8. Google it. Learn more about your word. If there are over 100,000 results for the word it has more value. If you find people using the name for personal blogs and usernames at various sites it has more value. The world is a big place and it may be a word from a foreign language. Make sure it’s not a word with a negative connotation. Companies aren’t big fans of buying a word that means “to fail” in Chinese. Often they are buying your name BECAUSE it has no meaning but just because it has no meaning doesn’t mean it can’t be popular.
9. The double C, V, double letter, V names do very very well as compared to other names. For instance, I have a name Happa.com. Hapa generally refers to an Asian-American person but when said out loud I felt that most people would spell it happa rather than hapa. I also thought it reminded people of the word Happy.
10. Pay close attention to who.is checks. Check the number of who.is queries on your domain. I use Godaddy’s tools for this. You can tell how many people have interest in this domain by the number of checks per month. If you only get 1 or 2 then the name isn’t that popular but I find that popular names have 20 to 30 people checking to see if the domain was available and who owns it.
You probably noticed that most of my tips were in picking the right name. I say this the only way to sell 5 letter domains is when the buyer comes to you. You can’t approach end users because most of the end users are starting new entities. You don’t know who is starting new websites, companies, or blogs. Your best chance of making good money with these is not wasting your money on junk. The next move after purchasing what you think is a strong name, is to make sure that a potential buyer can easily contact you to offer to buy the name. It is up to you from that point to communicate the value of that name to the buyer and to negotiate in a way that ends in your favor. Sell enough names and you’ll find that buyers will actually start sending friends to pick through your portfolio. All in all, 5 letter domain investing is not easy but that’s a good thing because if it was there would be more domain investors competing against us and we wouldn’t want that would we?