I got into an interesting conversation with another domain investor over email – the topic, what search criteria we both use to find expired domain names. I had a few reflections after the conversation, first – I probably could be a bit more dynamic with my criteria as it’s been the same for a long time, second – there really is no right answer here.
As for my answer to the question, I typically search for .COM domains that are expiring, that are at least three years old, have no numbers in them, no dashes, and aren’t longer than 12 characters.
I use Go Daddy Auctions for the vast majority of my expired domain purchases, here’s what the search looks like loaded up in there:
One of the questions that came up during our email string is, “why do I care about domain age?” I’m not sure I have a great answer here but my general logic is, if something was registered within the last few years, I think it’s less likely to be a great name, there are exceptions and of course people can hand-register and flip names for a nice profit. That being said, I think if a domain is something that is truly meaningful to more than just one or two people, someone would have thought of it and bought it more than three years ago.
As for why I try not to go over 12 characters, well, the 12 is somewhat arbitrary, 13 would be okay, 11 would be too. In general I’m just tying to avoid really long domains since I’ve never had much luck with these and since I focus on two-word .COMs and mostly ignore three-word .COMs, this also seems to do a good job keeping it to mostly two-word domains.
The person I was emailing with had a bit broader criteria, she also looks at .NET and .ORG, and she isn’t as concerned with how old the domain is or how long it is. Instead, she just wants to see a big list that she can scan through.
Now I’ll pass the mic to you – what search criteria do you use when you’re looking for expired domain names? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!