Be it a hand reg or an after market purchase, I have established five questions I now ask myself before making any domain purchase. This comes after many months of buying domains based on knee jerk reactions, gut feel and impulse. My “shoot first ask questions later” philosophy has resulted in a portfolio of varying quality. In order to infuse my portfolio with higher quality names, I now be sure to ask these questions before making a final decision.
1. Have I done the basics?
In August, I posted an article called 3 Reasons Why Your Domains Aren’t Selling. Reason number 1 outlines all the basic steps that I check prior to purchasing. Had I done this from day one, I would have a far better collection and giving up less drops.
2. Could I develop this name?
This is a big one. Whether I intend to or not, is this a domain I could see myself developing and building out over time? The reason I ask this is in the event that I am unable to sell it, I want to be sure it can become an asset and not a liability. This is especially a factor if it’s a domain I’m buying from another domainer or at auction. Sure, it’s easy to let an $9 hand reg drop, but they too add up over time.
3. Do I have an end user in mind?
While I don’t expect to know exactly who might purchase the name from me, if I’m not planning on developing I want to have at least an idea of some businesses the name can support. I like to be able to come up with two or three companies that I know of off the top of my head that would be a good fit for the name. If not, I’ll try to quickly search for three to get a good sense of the market saturation.
4. Do I know enough about the industry to make an intelligent decision?
Here’s one that causes me to put my ego in check. I don’t want to assume that I know all there is to know about every industry. If a name sounds good to me, that isn’t enough. If it’s an industry I’m not close too, a little research goes a long way.
5. Could the money be better spent?
Could I use the money more effectively in another way? If it’s an auction, could I use the money to develop an existing domain? If a hand reg, could the money go toward some PPC advertising?
I have found these questions to be helpful. The point is not to blind make purchases, but to focus on value. Maybe you have other questions you consider when buying domains. If so, let me know by posting a comment.