I enter the make money online and web property investment arena by playing a scavenger hunt game, online – I spend countless hours to look for information on domain names or website marketplaces.

I finally learned that there are certain places where people can buy and sell domain names, as well as websites.

But first thing first – why buy existing domain name?

Buy existing domain name or register a new one?

Registering a new one would be logical for most, but I inclined to say that I prefer buying existing domain name, for some reasons:

  • Almost all the good names are already gone, especially the dot coms – cut to the chase by looking at existing ones.
  • You might want the best possible domain name for your online business, as you can’t afford to register any available domain names on sight for your business – it’s a bad practice for branding purposes.
  • Older domain names often rank better in search engines – If you rely your business 100 per cent online, this can make a huge difference.

Where to look for a domain name

Here is an excellent info for you I just found – Where to buy and sell domains.

Of those resources listed in the article, I use several notable marketplaces and forums mentioned where I often look for opportunities. Here are my favourite places to look for domains to buy or sell.

  • SEDO.com
    SEDO is one of the authority domain name marketplace – I highlight the escrow facility that protect domain buyers or sellers from scammers.
  • DigitalPoint.com
    The infamous webmaster forums, that host a forum on domaining. Plenty of opportunities, but watch out for those scammers (and harsh forum mods.)
  • SitePoint.com
    Not notably a place to buy and sell domains, but a prominent place if you look for site for sale.

How to protect yourself from scammers

If you don’t want to deal with scammers, you should use SEDO.com services. But be warned, SEDO does take a relatively large transaction fee.

If you prefer the bootstrapper ways, you have to know how to minimise the risk of dealing with scammers. I have several tips from my experience in buying and selling domain names and sites:

  • Be careful if you encounter a too-enthusiast buyer that close the deal without even asking for a discount or a lot of questions, especially if you use Paypal for your transaction. They might ask for refund for a made up reason – If your domain name is registered with GoDaddy, the effect is amplified.
  • Always do background check – If you do transaction on forums, always find out about your buyer or seller – their ratings, their feedbacks, their threads – as much as you can. Avoid dealing with a new forum member, unless you want to take a risk of scam.
  • Too good to be true offers are often proven as, well, too good to be true. Check any claims made by check the domain names you are interested – I often use DNScoop.com and CheckPageRank.net.
  • There are actually many domainers active on forums – if you successfully and smoothly closes deal with one or two domainers, I suggest you to stick with them with your future transaction. Their offers might be a bit high in price tag, but considering the risk involved, the high price tag might worth it.
  • Use common sense – If you don’t fully understand what you are dealing with, don’t do it. Seek proper information first before you commence with any deals.

One last thing – trust your gut feeling. if you feel a transaction is not right, it probably is.

Ivan Widjaya
Domaining