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9 things to know before you invest in that premium domain
SmartBranding Team access_time 5 min read

Buying any domain can be a tricky business so when we are talking about investing in a premium domain things can get even more confusing. Is it the right name? The right price? Are you making a good choice? Here are nine tips to help you navigate through the process.

Time is your friend.

Most domain owners are more likely to give you a better price if you have a firm date when you wish to go ahead with a deal. So think carefully about whether or not your desired domain name is exactly what you need but once you make that choice don’t play around.

Use skilled professionals.

There are many reputable professionals with years of experience in the field. Don’t hesitate to consult them. Just as any market, domains have a lot of specifics and you can’t always know what is best unless you’ve either been there from the start or/and spent quite a bit of time studying about naming, brands, and domains. You wouldn’t invest in property blindly, would you? So don’t do that with one of the most important assets to your brand, speak to a buyer agent.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

Don’t fall for low prices. If someone is trying to sell you a “ premium “ domain for less than 5 figures you either got very, very lucky or it simply isn’t premium. Goes back to the point above — speak to an expert or do some extensive research on the topic.

Spread your net.

If you are upgrading from an inferior name your choices are pretty limited. If, however, you are picking a name for a new business, product or service, look around! Spend the time to study different names, play around with them, put them to the test with friends, colleagues and family, try to learn as much as you can about what makes a brand name successful. And if you don’t have the time for that or just don’t want to take the risk — there are people who do.

Don’t make emotional choices.

It is oh, so easy to fall in love with a name, to get stuck in a negotiation based on personal traits of character or past experiences, to fall out of love with a name, to get influenced by the seller, your colleagues, friends or that guy who said he knows a thing or two about domains. Don’t make irrational choices. Think clearly, do your math, weigh out all the pros and cons. Then do it again. “ This price is crazy! “ Is it? What if you get 10% more traffic instantly to your site? What if your marketing expenses go down by 20%? What if you get 15% more clients this year because of word of mouth? Is it still crazy?

Check the domain’s history.

Even digital assets have history. In some cases, it might not matter and in others — it can mean everything. Was the domain ever in use? What was it used for? Was it ever blocked for any reason? Where and why if so? You are making one of the most important choices for the future of your brand so take it seriously and do your homework. Or (you guessed it right) — get an expert to do it for you.

Look at it as a long-term investment.

Of course, you will do all it takes for your business to succeed. But you have to be prepared for everything and premium domains are one of those long-term assets that have proved to appreciate in time (if you get the right one). If you do your job well, you will be acquiring an asset that you can resell at a profit at any point in the future.

Look after your money.

Make sure you use a reliable third party for any money transactions. We use Escrow.com, there are several other providers that you can pick from. In all cases, don’t transfer any funds in the blind. Make sure the seller is really the owner of the domain name you are buying or an authorized representative. A good buyer agent will take care of that for you.

Dare to ask.

Can’t afford the domain name of your dreams? Having cash issues? It’s not the end of the world! Ask for a payment plan, offer equity or profit share, try to negotiate leasing with an option to buy — there is (almost) always a way. If you work with a buyer agent, they may even have connections in the field and could pull some strings in your favor. You won’t get what you don’t ask for, that’s for sure, so don’t be afraid to ask!


We hope the above is going to get you at least a step closer to your perfect domain name. Feel free to reach out if you need a hand, always happy to chat.