Defining a Truly GREAT Domain Name. Rick’s 5 Minute Guide!

Morning Folks!!

When it comes to my outlook on the value of a great domain, few have stuck to their guns like I have over the years. But there are reasons for that far outside the goal lines of domaining. That's just the surface to me. Buy let's drill a bit.

There are certain domains I would not sell without a piece of the action. They are akin to the flawless diamond. Rare and unique flawless diamonds. In demand and important diamonds. Diamonds that are large. Diamonds that represent and identify. Diamonds that no others have.

Originally my idea was simple, I bring the domain to the table, 50% and other entity brings it's knowhow to the table, 50%. Ok, did not work that way. That equation most likely won't work in MOST cases. It will in some cases.

What is the value of perpetual income? How many perpetual income streams can you create? How do you recognize a domain that fits in this class to begin with?

How do you recognize a domain that fits in this class to begin with? Let's start and end there. That's the single biggest challenge domainers seem to have. Most are no diamond experts and they should be. At this stage of the game those domains should be recognizable to the naked eye at a GLANCE. A glance at a list of 100 or 1000. It should jump out like a freight train. If that does not happen, and you are not making $$$, why are you here?

Domains are about advertising and branding and memorizing easily, and word of mouth or making a point, or having street cred in the eyes of consumers NOT techies. Drill down to see the importance and value and the vehicle it provides. There are more variables. Think of ALL of them.

And some truly great names may be invisible to the naked eye. In time advertisers will use FUNNY domain names to advertise. You'll see.

Yesterday I saw 2 different commercials by 2 different companies (possibly the same entity advertising the same credit card product) but you could see they were possibly TESTING two domain names and 2 commercials or they were competitors. Maybe you know. But the commercials seemed like they were done by same company . One was a generic 2 word, and and one was a brandable, Maybe they are going to measure the different results!! They are testing. THAT IS THE WAY YOU DO IT!! BRAVO!! If true! That space also has

So you have many entities advertising and competing. That's a big tipoff. There is something worthy of drilling down.

Ya know, when I talk about Sears or Malls or anything outside domains and domainers and sales prices, most domainers don't pay attention. They should! Their eye glaze over They are so busy talking to domainers that they have a domainer mentality. Good for you but not smart.

You need a consumer mentality. You need a manufacturing mentality. You need a retail mentality. You need a wholesale mentality. You need a business mentality. You need an end user mentality. You need a historical mentality. You need an attorney mentality. You need to be a student of Human Nature. Instead so many are stuck in either a pond or even a cesspool with other domainers and can't see the forrest thru the trees.

You can flip mobile homes or mansions. One is VERY hard and VERY unrewarding. The other is so easy and rewarding you wonder why everyone does not do it!? So if you want a truly GREAT domain name, STOP buying mobile homes and STOP listening to other domainers that have an agenda. How do you figure that part out? BE SMART!

Remember, the #1 game in domaining is not buying domains, it's buying time to afford to keep those domains until the proper buyer comes along. Domains have to be part of a revenue engine or you need a day job to support your babies.

A GREAT domain will end in .Com. A GREAT domain will be easy to spell. A GREAT domain will mean something whether it is short or long. A GREAT domain has so many attributes that it blows me away that PIGEON SHIT rules most portfolios. A GREAT domain can be a phrase that people know and can remember. But the GREATEST domains are one or two words. Matter of fact, has only ONE reported sale of anything more than 2 words since at least 2015. and sold for $100k. In 2014 there were two sales of 3 word domains. Going back to 2006, I found only NINE other 3 word domain sales.

To recap, their has not been a 3 word domain make the top 100 list since 2015. In TOTAL from 2006 thru 2018, we are talking about 15 total domains more that 2 words to make the list. Only ONE with 4 words. That said, even 2 worders are not in as much demand as they were in past years. However they still retain great value when they mean something! Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives!

So GREAT domains have one or two words. Great domains DO NOT have 3 or more words except in rare cases. "Geo" names and ones that may start with "Free".

Now that does not mean a 3 word domain does not have value. It just probably does not have GREAT value unless it truly means something special or common phrase. I own But it's a common phrase. Has some value and has demand which means I get offers. But I focus on 1 an 2 word .com domains. That's my bread and butter. Tried and true.

Listen, the IDN guys were and are much smarter than me. Really. They and techies have a much broader and deeper understanding of the Internet. I am just the common man using the Internet.

Even the GTLD guys I assume must be much smarter than me. They have money to burn, I don't. Not only can they pick the winner in a 1000 horse race, they can go on to pick the winner of the winner in an infinite collection of .whatever and then they are so smart they can figure out and rely on the demand for that particular domain of that particular extension that FEW even know about. WOW!!! I am IMPRESSED!!!! Pure Genius!! (with a few pitfalls that they don't want to talk about and turn a blind eye to)

Focus on one and two word domains that mean something or are brandable but they MUST pass a set of guidelines that YOU form yourself. If it does not pass YOUR TEST, pass on the domain.

My list includes: Easy to spell. ALWAYS! Easy to communicate without confusion. ALWAYS! .COM ALWAYS! One or two words. ALWAYS.

There are other factors. Size of the audience. If all you have targeted were domains for the domain industry, to sell, you targeted a TINY sector. Good luck with that. The audience, the size of the market. The size of the market that is still up for grabs. Is it an emerging market? A saturated market? A competitive market?

How much do they advertise? Where do they advertise? Who do they advertise to? What is their advertising budget? Is the budget growing? Is the sector growing?

I talk about digging deep and drilling down. This is all part of the process. And the more expensive the domain, the more you drill down. These are MY processes that I still use and have never varied from. This is the path I use. This is a safe way to buy domains. This is the way to always have domains that others want and are in demand. This is how I sleep comfortably at night knowing I have assets that are among the world's most sought after! Buying one domain at a time when I see one worth getting.

Did I mention is MUST be a .com name???? Not sure. I am very inconsistent and very forgetful. Well, in case I did not mention it, stick with .COM ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rick Schwartz

21 thoughts on “Defining a Truly GREAT Domain Name. Rick’s 5 Minute Guide!

  1. Alex Verdea

    Rick- Lot’s of great insights, thanks for your post.
    I don’t own many 3 word .com names, but you mentioned selling at 100k and I own UsedBusesF/o/r/S/a/l/
    Just curious how would You price the second name?

    1. Rick Schwartz

      2 ways to look at it.
      Cars are much more common and in demand and so is the domain name.
      There are used car dealers in every town in the country just about and people looking for used cars in every town, every day.

      Used busses? Very specialized. Low demand.
      However, with busses you may be talking a higher ticket.
      You may even be talking selling fleets of used busses.

      So once again, it’s who you match the domain with and THEIR idea and THEIR value.
      For an end user he may justify $100k IF he has a solid use.
      On the other hand, as a domainer, it has very limited value.
      Who wants to wait for the next bus to pass by? lol
      So a domainer should not risk much. $100-$1000 if that or $0. He is probably going to own it for decades

      Now, if you are proactive, maybe you can stir up a sale by contacting qualified folks and creating value for them. Send out a postcard to all the used bus places in the USA or wherever. Email. Lots of ways. Show them the $100k sale and ask for $10k.

      1. Alex Verdea

        Rick- Always appreciate your advice. Just a few weeks back I got an initial inbound offer of $XXX, after a 2 minute phone call and after mentioning as a comp the offer increased to $XXXX on the spot. This came from a web dev firm that would not disclose who the buyer is and added
        “Hey we don’t want this name as $7 name would do, but our client wanted us to reach out to you.”
        So I politely declined and going to hang on to it..

  2. CasinosVR

    Great post Rick, you always give good advice,

    I have few 3 world domains as AtlanticCityESports/com, CryptoInsuranceQuotes/com or DataCenterInsurance / com.

    I hope they have some potential for sell but I am focused on 2 world domains in com. Sometime I also make, let say “bet” for future as Bitneum/com

  3. Alex Verdea

    So I wanted to contribute and not get of track.
    Rick, I am not sure how many domain investors read your blog but this:

    “Remember, the #1 game in domaining is not buying domains, it’s buying time to afford to keep those domains until the proper buyer comes along. ”

    If you are a domainer I would print this out and stick it on your wall in your office/home etc. I completely agree and it took me years to figure out wtf I was doing. Most domainers like me started out “Unconsciously Incompetent” aka not knowing wtf we are doing and the worse part not being AWARE that we don’t know. The next step in my case was realizing that I was Incompetent making bad decisions investing.(AWARE) so I say that’s being Consciously Incompetent.
    The current state I am in is Consciously Competent. I am working on being “Unconsciously Competent” aka “Master” “Doing stuff with your eyes closed” joining the greats like the Ricks, Franks, and Mike Manns of the world.

    So I suggest for all domainers that read Rick’s blog to ask themselves right now at the beginning of the year: Where are you today? What direction you are going? Sort of like a self check.
    The distance or difference of where you are today and where you want to go is my personal definition for success.

    So I don’t own single words .com names, and I don’t have crazy high six and seven figure sales, and I am not the smartest guy in the room. Does this relate to anyone else?? I asked myself how do I “buy time” to afford to keep my domains until the proper buyer comes along? In simple words how do I keep the wheels turning long term?

    The answer for me is I keep a full PIPELINE, DOING, and taking massive action. Every day I am working on following up with the hundreds of leads I have over the year. I keep feeding the beast with smaller deals and sales, so I can AFFORD to walk away from $XXX and $XXXX deals or deals I dislike. If I lose a deal I want it to be quick and on my terms. I do not want to DEPEND on 1 deal! That’s how it used to be for me, and that’s how you will fail long term as a domainer because you will have to say YES to deals you don’t want and sell to cheap. So now I am like okay that deal is not going to work for me; GREAT I have 200 leads and prospects that have my money…back to work!

    My phone used to bring me nothing but a bill every month. I think of my phone as a “weapon” calling on people, following up on deals, closing deals. Strangers have everything you want in life folks….but they teach you in schools and your mama’ tells you DON”T talk to strangers.
    My last deal took 36 contacts(Calls/Emails/Txts etc) to complete. How many times can you hear a NO, and keep pressing and pushing in your deals folks? Ask yourself that…

    Ricks quote above is great, but I wanted to add the fact that as a domainer or in any Business you need to have a full pipeline, make contact with lots of people every single day, follow up like crazy with your deals!

    DOING is “>” grater then THINKING.

    That’s my 2 cents…

  4. Vito

    Another killer domaining post today. A lot of specifics for all domainers to consider as they are looking for a great domain. Great stats as well about the 3-worders. I figured it was pretty low but it is much lower than I thought now that you searched the archives of DNJournal.

    I have to agree w/Alex here. This quote of yours “Remember, the #1 game in domaining is not buying domains, it’s buying time to afford to keep those domains until the proper buyer comes along.”

    This is what we are all trying to do most often, buy time. At least those of us who have hundreds of domains to manage and renew.

    I love that you are blogging daily again. Cannot say that enough. Thanks Rick.

  5. BullS

    “Express yourself via domain names”

    I think I heard that from one of the GD commercials in the early days…the 99 cent coupon

    that why I love domains!!

  6. Jay

    I would say one factor would be passing the radio test but squashed that. That is one hell of a domain name that paid dividends many times over. Another would be the fact that when someone hears your name it’s self explanatory. Two and three word .coms are great if they are guiding you in a certain direction. (——— Pick a Major City and you are in the Money)One word domains are bread and butter.

    1. John

      The radio test is most definitely still critical. That’s what it means to be easy to spell. was simply an infinitesimally rare exception literally comparable to holding a winning lottery ticket. Also, if the radio test fails, then at least being easy to remember and spell after seeing it the first time better be in place or you can pretty much forget about it. qualifies in that regard, as well as many other strange but successful terms like Yahoo, Google, etc.

  7. Johan

    Now after considering with 3 word domain names I think I will dump most of those from my portfolio…like, can it get sold?

    1. John

      That one has no value to a person in the business of selling or leasing out domain names. And I’m an advocate of three and more word domains which do have a lot of value, and some of which are the rare exceptions in terms of being “great.” In fact I’m the guy who says there is a three word domain out there worth 9 figures but I’m not willing to say what it is or call attention to it for reasons we all understand (or should). So yes, do yourself a favor and drop that one because it’s nothing but a waste of time and money. I trim the flock too.

      1. Johan

        Not convinced the domain name completely worthless as I sold, I know) last year for $4k… but that domain name had high CPC. But $200-500?

  8. adam is a terrible name. They probably spend millions, counting man hours, telling people “ee not ea” and still losing traffic to

  9. Jose

    Before registering or buying a new domain study and analyze the needs of each of the segments of each market that the domain name `may be a need for visits from end users to a website template, with content rich in keywords that Google accepts in its changing metrics and algorithms and a profitability in advertising of the spaces that I sell on the websites “The domain parking and landing pages if you do not have more than 1000 domains are not profitable” A dedicated server, web designer, graphic, create app and Seo, one or two content editors get out more account, this is what I’m going to use with the 250 domain names (.com) for long-term sale.

    With sales that make investments in more domains (.com) to get a total of 1000 per year and each year equal, selling from the second year not later, the monthly benefits in online advertising, SMS, Whatsapp, email marketing, videos, streaming videos, very interesting.

    I value very much what I have as Domains (.com) premium of 4 to 7 figures USD.

    Brokers are necessary but often one is not and you need others and also negotiate should not be different to a negotiation for a purchase or sale face to face with the other negotiator in person, that was many years ago, at final was like a boxing match to win on points.

    Some domainer answer the domains (.com) that I have are crap, I think if envy exists, it should be negotiable.

    Here I have published some of my premium domains for sale. (It is the plural of Diesel) or also Fuel “. since 2008 ($ 24 CPC) Source:,,, “They are the abrogation of a Video Game of great worldwide success” “Domain premium car design in 3d” “Geo Premium Domain – Travel”

    Happy Day. Jose.

  10. Ravi

    Hi Rick,

    This is my first comment here..

    First of all happy new year to you and your family.

    I like your insights…of course can’t agree on all of the statements but I can surely learning good amount of valuable suggestions..

    I am into Domaining for last 8months..still didn’t got any sale..may be this month :)

    I hardly read 20+ articles by you…this one is best advice in simple words..

    “You need a consumer mentality. You need a manufacturing mentality. You need a retail mentality. You need a wholesale mentality. You need a business mentality. You need an end user mentality. You need a historical mentality. You need an attorney mentality. You need to be a student of Human Nature.”

    If having above all we can surely say they have Visionary mentality and definitely will be ahead of the groups mentality.

    Is there a chance of getting your opinions on couple of my names via email.. I will be grateful for your help.


  11. Jerry Peres

    It’s a really amazing blog with very much helpful information about a domain name, thank you so much for writing this blog here for us.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.