Advice Buying

Buying Brandable Words (.com) That Don’t Mean Anything To Begin With

So, you have just registered ten pronounceable 5-6 letter .coms and you are SURE that one of them will be the future brand of a mega start-up company!  Congrats, you have just spent a hundred bucks on a gamble with the same odds of winning (and less of a reward) that a $1 lotto ticket has.  Some domain ‘flippers’ will speculate that brandable domains such as:,, and are profitable and can be flipped on eBay in a forum sale or on sedo for a small profit.

Of course there’s the chance (literally one in a million) that you landed on a brandable domain that an end user must have.  Quit your day job, you are about to make a boatload of cash!!  — Now back to reality.  Ok, you just might make $10-$30 flipping that brandable domain you registered (I say might because a vast majority drop).  For that minimal amount of profit, you will have already spent at least an hour of legwork just to acquire, research, sell and complete the transaction for that domain.  Sound worthwhile?

Here is a small list of downfalls in investing in brandable word .coms:
– Most receive very little natural traffic
– Pronounceable domains usually are not easy to spell based on hearing the ‘word’ once
– There are more than 12 million 5 letter .coms alone (only about 10% of which are registered)
– You acquired a good brandable .com – the company considering that brand chooses a new one instead of paying you

Now, I never said I don’t own any brandable word .coms or that I have never cashed in nicely on a brandable domain name.  This post is to warn newbs to NOT to get too excited and register loads of these with the thought that one will sell for thousands of dollars one lucky day.  I have seen newbies register dozens upon dozens of these, then the next year when it’s time to renew, they are all on firesale for a buck a piece.  I have a small handful of brandable .coms I have picked up over the last couple years.  When looking at domains to purchase, if I come across an interesting brandable .com I think is worth buying I ask myself this question:  ‘Do I see myself branding this domain at some point?’.   If yes, then I will consider making a purchase.

colorado pow-pow

I’ve recently picked up what I consider to be a decent brandable domain,  One of my hobbies is to create a brand around a domain name, then sell it.  When I saw for sale my first thought was “What a great sounding brand for a snowboarding/skateboarding company!” Being a snowboarder and wanting to start an online project in that niche, I decided to make an offer and buy it from a sales thread at NamePros.  With some work I know it’s possible to successfully create the brand I am envisioning myself.  I’ll be hiring a designer soon to get started on the logo.  By early-mid season when the snow pack is finally good and I make it out to tear up some powder, I want to have a Boomies decal on my snowboard helmet and at least have a nice snowboarding splash page and blog on the domain (so that I can make some revenue while promoting my brand).  Of course like most of my domains/projects will be for sale, but I am not going to send it to auction or peddle it on a forum.  I prefer to sell my best brandable domains after they have already been branded and realized in a niche.

disclaimer: Any domains besides the one I own mentioned in this post were picked randomly, I don’t even know if they are registered or if websites exist on them.

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  • Excellent article, but it should have been titled “Buying Brandable Words (.com) That Don’t Mean Anything To Begin With.”

    When Michael and I acquired in 1997 I can assure you that, even though we’ve built a site around it about the fruit, that was and never will be our endgame for that name ( anyone?).

  • “My best brandable .coms are for sale after they have been branded.”

    What do you mean by that?

    The only business I see on brandables are for 3, 4 or at worst 5 characters otherwise there are too much options and low chances you own the catchy name someone is looking for.
    Worst, because the buying demand will be so low probably when it will arrive you will sell it for peanuts to try to ensure a sale.

    Our response on such names is
    According our stats it looks the average end user sale chance is 30 years. So imagine with names longer and a smaller inventory!

  • @David – Thank you! I have taken your advice and changed the article title, it does relay the topic at hand more effectively. I was having trouble coming up with a title so I chopped it in half and then published. I was just waiting for someone to come along and suggest the rest, haha.

    @Francois – You’re right that sentence didn’t make much sense.. I edited it to say “I prefer to sell my best brandable domains after they have already been branded and realized in a niche.”

    Also, I thought of mentioning Mocus in this post as I really like the concept behind the site. Thanks for sharing your end user sale stats. Yes, with longer names the odds really start to become astronomical. You say that you only see 3, 4 and sometimes 5 character domains as being brandable? Well, I think that most 3 and 4 letter domains are not as useful as brand names as much as they are as acronyms (in many cases acronym and brand are tantamount). As displayed by Mocus’ inventory, pronounceable cvcv .coms are the most attractive type of to brand. When I think of brandable one word domains, I think of pronounceable 4-8 letter .coms that are catchy and memorable.

  • i picked up & within the last month on ebay. ok… i spent almost 30 bucks apiece on them but last year i sold one for 10k so even if i wasted my 60 bucks don’t cry for me. the key is does it sound right and is it easy to spell… or better yet… do you like to yell it out loud when you’re drunk 🙂

  • @Todaro – can you disclose the name you sold? I personally would have skipped on boxor/com but I’m glad your having success in this niche. Keep up the good work!

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