Advice Buying Selling

A Basic Guide to Dofo Domain Name Search: Part 1

Whether you are looking for a domain name to use in your business, or are a domain investor engaged in acquisitions and sales, you can benefit from the great free domain name search tool Dofo! This guide has now been updated July 2020, and provides a basic introduction to Dofo.

Basic Dofo Search

Dofo is a fantastic domain name search resource that, in my opinion, all domain investors, as well as many of those searching for a domain name for business or individual use, can benefit from using.

There have been some changes to the Dofo interface since this article was first written, so I have updated it to be congruent with the current version.

I am planning a followup NameTalent post that will guide you through using aspects of Dofo advanced search, but in this post I wanted to concentrate just on basic use. The elegant user interface make that pretty self-explanatory but here are the steps.

  1. Go to Dofo.
  2. Enter the search term (I prefer without extension) in the box and press Enter.
  3. Just to be specific, let’s say I am a biotech startup looking to find a precise match to the DNA-editing acronym CRISPR. Dofo shows me (see first screen capture below) that the exact term CRISPR is registered in .com, shows some of the available extensions (although note that these may be premium-fee domain names) and then lists the first few that are available for sale in the domain aftermarket.
  4. But the real power of Dofo is in the box on the right marked View All Extensions. If you click on that icon, Dofo will then show you in how many extensions the term is available to register, how many have been registered and how many are actively for sale. The second screen capture index below shows that on the date when I did the search, the exact term CRISPR was registered in 138 TLDs (top level domains) of which 33 are actively for sale.  
  5. If you click, for example, the For Sale icon, it will give you a complete list of those actively for sale (see third screen capture below), including the buy-it-now price if there is one listed. I can similarly look only at the extensions available to hand register, or the complete list of all registered or available extensions in the term.
  6. If you then click on any particular domain name listed for sale, it will show you WHOIS information such as when the name was first registered and when it is set to expire. The Buy Now icon will open to show which marketplaces currently list the name, along with the price if specified.

First enter the term to search, CRISPR in the case shown above.

When you press View All Extensions, the display changes to that shown above. The number of available TLDs for the term, as well as how many are for sale and registered are given, with the first few for sale listed.

By pressing the For Sale icon, now the complete list of the domain names in the search term that are actively for sale on a marketplace are given. Note that only the first part of the display is shown in the screen capture, but Dofo gives the full list.

By clicking on any name in the list, CRISPR.us in the case shown above, one has additional information, including price and WHOIS public data. The Buy Now button will open to show all of the places that domain name is listed for sale, along with the prices. This is one way to see if your pricing is consistent, or if there are old listings from the previous owner still up.

If You Are A Domain Buyer

If you are looking to buy a domain name, Dofo can save you the effort of individually searching in four or more different marketplaces, and it also picks up domain names for sale in some of the smaller venues that you may otherwise miss. 

Also, Dofo shows you the prices in different extensions, which may open up possibilities you had not considered, or at least provides useful intelligence if you are negotiating a purchase.

If You Are A Domain Investor

One thing to investigate when considering a potential domain acquisition is how many other extensions that name is already registered in. 

If you are looking at acquiring a .com or .org these may represent, at least if developed, existing users who may upgrade to your domain name. 

If the domain name is listed for sale, these may represent competition for the domain name that you are considering. I particularly note the asking price for names that could potentially be used instead of the one I am considering.

It also is useful intelligence about how many investors have seen worth in the term. As we have seen, Dofo now makes it trivial to research how many extensions any term is already registered in.

Particularly in new technologies and trends, there may be only a handful, or even zero, other TLDs registered, yet it still makes sense to acquire the .com. But you should at least know this information prior to deciding on an acquisition.

What Marketplaces Are Covered?

Dofo is only as good as the domain sales venues that it includes. The for sale database in Dofo currently includes the following venues (and a few others):

  • Afternic
  • AlanAdlari
  • BrandBucket
  • DAN (Undeveloped)
  • DropCatch
  • Dynadot
  • Epik
  • Flippa
  • GoDaddy
  • Namecheap
  • NameJet
  • NameLiquidate
  • Name.Com
  • NameSilo
  • ParkIO
  • Sedo 
  • SnapNames
  • Uniregistry

Dofo has come a long way toward replacing WHOIS search, domain marketplace search, and basic domain research all in one place.

Dofo has come a long way toward replacing WHOIS search, domain marketplace search, and basic domain research all in one place. As they say, “all domains are here! Well almost all.

Are Parallel Domain Listings Still Necessary? 

As a domain seller, as Dofo becomes more well known, I wonder if it will still be necessary to list a domain name on multiple marketplaces.  Rather, why not just list the domain name on the one you prefer, and let buyers find the name through the lander or Dofo?

I wonder if it will still be necessary to list a domain name on multiple marketplaces.

Of course you may potentially lose out if someone is searching for a domain name only through one marketplace venue such as Afternic or Sedo, or its network of partners. For now I would keep listing multiple places.

Dofo Is Much More!

Dofo offers much more than I have covered in this article, and I will have a followup article looking at some of the more sophisticated things you can do with Dofo using the Advanced Search function.

Final Thoughts

Dofo was introduced in mid-2018, and already has found wide use within the domain community. Dofo is free to use. The co-founders of Dofo are Macit and Sacit Tuna. They are active on NamePros and on social media. 

Dofo has become one of my most frequently used domain tools. I can in seconds see how many extensions any exact keyword is registered in and for sale, all in one place. It is almost magical!

Dofo has become one of my most frequently used domain tools. I can in seconds see how many extensions any exact keyword is registered in and for sale, all in one place. It is almost magical. 

Recently Dofo have introduced a Chrome browser extension, giving you some of the functionality of the site right on your desktop. I have not yet investigated this feature.

This post last edited by Bob Hawkes on July 7, 2020, multiple changes to align with current Dofo interface.

Post edited on Jul 11, 2020 with additions to marketplaces covered list.

About the author

Bob Hawkes

Domain analyst and commentator with particular interests in quantitative analysis, new uses for domain names, nontraditional end users, and bridging the gap between the domain community and end users. Background in science, research, education, outreach and communications, as well as almost two decades running a small home-based business. My first domain name acquisition was 2001. I hold a modest domain portfolio with legacy, country code and new extensions. Based in western Canada, but my domain outlook is global! My goal is to provide fresh insights and an evidence-based balanced outlook on the domain industry.

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