10 Tips To Making Money With 5 Letter Dot Coms

Jan 02 2011

I’ve written a few articles about my love of 5 letter dot coms over the last year but today I’m going to go into a little more detail about how to be successful with this type of name.  I will start off by saying that there is a ton of junk in this market and the difference between a domain worth $8 and a domain worth $1000 is just a few letters.  Ninety nine percent of these domains are indeed worth very little but here are 10 tips that should help you make better decisions and lead to profitable purchases.

1.Put yourself into the place of a new business owner and ask yourself “Would I name my company this?”  Answer it honestly, not as a person that owns the domain but as a person that can have a choice of millions of names.  This question alone will make you pass on 95% of the names you come across. These are the people you will most likely be buying your names so you might as well cater to them right out of the shoot. They are also the people that will pay you top dollar.

2.Buy names that are dictionary words or an “offshoot” of a real word.  When a company chooses a name they often want name that defines them. A company that sells fishing poles may like uFish or Fisho.com. On the contrary I have found that there are a few prospective buyers that like palindromes like Galag.com or high value Scrabble letter domains.  But in order to make the Scrabble letters work you’ll need vowels and so…….

3. Vowels are your friend.  Look for domains with plenty of them.  I particularly like names that end in the vowels “a” and “o”.  I buy and sell many names that are 4 letter dictionary word with an “a” or an “0” in them.

4. If you have to make up acronyms for your domain then do not buy it.  If you have three consonants in a row, most likely your domain is not worth much.  There is no such thing as premium letter 5 letter dot coms.

5. Aged 5 letter dot coms are usually aged for a reason.  It’s not to say that all pre 2000 5 letter dot coms are valuable but of all the domain that were available to register back then finding a 5 letter with age means somebody liked it. Believe it or not many of the good 5 letters were registered more than 10 years ago.

6. Make sure to place your domain for sale as many places as you can.  Parking makes absolutely no money so concentrate on making sure anyone that comes to the site knows it’s for sale.  Make sure to list it on Sedo, Afternic, and Godaddy.  Sedo is good for letting people place bids. Godaddy is good because people searching for names in their system will find yours in their “premium”  section of the “We Recommend” area.  For me personally 90% of my domains have been sold through private emails or Sedo.

7. Be an unmotivated seller.  If you have a strong name the best way to receive the most money is to be patient.  Go into negotiations like you don’t need the money.  Don’t be greedy but you have to be informed on previous sales and I can tell you that all strong 5 letter domains go for over $500 and most go for over $1000.  You just have to know which domains those are by watching sales and understanding why they went for the price. Often it’s just pure luck and a company or end user just wanted that particular name.  Even with that scenario it shows you that the domain owner held out.  I can guarantee the buyer didn’t start at the final asking price. It was negotiated that high. Try and be that seller.

8. Google it.  Learn more about your word. If there are over 100,000 results for the word it has more value.  If you find people using the name for personal blogs and usernames at various sites it has more value. The world is a big place and it may be a word from a foreign language.  Make sure it’s not a word with a negative connotation.  Companies aren’t big fans of buying a word that means “to fail” in Chinese.  Often they are buying your name BECAUSE it has no meaning but just because it has no meaning doesn’t mean it can’t be popular.

9. The double C, V, double letter, V names do very very well as compared to other names.  For instance, I have a name Happa.com.  Hapa generally refers to an Asian-American person but when said out loud I felt that most people would spell it happa rather than hapa.  I also thought it reminded people of the word Happy.

10. Pay close attention to who.is checks.  Check the number of who.is queries on your domain.  I use Godaddy’s tools for this.  You can tell how many people have interest in this domain by the number of checks per month. If you only get 1 or 2 then the name isn’t that popular but I find that popular names have 20 to 30 people checking to see if the domain was available and who owns it.

You probably noticed that most of my tips were in picking the right name.  I say this the only way to sell 5 letter domains is when the buyer comes to you.   You can’t approach end users because most of the end users are starting new entities. You don’t know who is starting new websites, companies, or blogs.  Your best chance of making good money with these is not wasting your money on junk.  The next move after purchasing what you think is a strong name, is to make sure that a potential buyer can easily contact you to offer to buy the name. It is up to you from that point to communicate the value of that name to the buyer and to negotiate in a way that ends in your favor.  Sell enough names and you’ll find that buyers will actually start sending friends to pick through your portfolio.  All in all, 5 letter domain investing is not easy but that’s a good thing because if it was there would be more domain investors competing against us and we wouldn’t want that would we?

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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38 comments

  1. Ryan

    Thanks Shane for these tips. I took an interest in 5L domains almost a year ago and purchased five and have been holding on to them for almost a year now. Your tips will help me in the future.

    insrt.com
    dodgd.com
    rtrim.com
    raykr.com
    gottn.com


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      OK but sound test problem. Is it pronounce “love-o” or “lou-vo”. When you say it aloud I’m afraid you will have to tell people how to spell it. But visually, very nice. I think this is certainly worth over $100

  2. Suneedh

    Thank you for a quick appraisal of the domain 🙂

    Have been sticking to it for more than 2 years now.. still waiting for the right buyer. Well, it is a new year now.. maybe something will work out.


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      To yhine I would say yNo. Hang reg. Yogre it’s not too bad. Not a good company name because it’s too close to ogre but it’s not bad. $50 or so

  3. Paul

    I have only 1, which fails every test apart from 2 and 8, but I quite like it – plzzz.com – would be interested in your specialist opinion. Oh, I’m an unmotivated seller, so I guess it gets 3 out of 10 🙂

    (TY for your exception last week BTW).


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Tevez is good because it’s a name. The soccer player gets you all the searches. I’d say $100, maybe a bit higher. Certainly a keeper though


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      As much as my daughter likes her 3DS I think this name is not worth much. You’ve had it since April so you actually would know better than I how the typins are coming. If you get typeins and can make more than registration you have a good name. If no typeins you have a name that will be good until the next model comes out. Thanks Robin for commenting and I appreciate you being part of the daily activity around here.

  4. Clay Burt

    Shane:

    Looking at your list of domains for sale, what would you say are your favorite 5L’s of yours?

    I like Dietr, Sello, Swapm, Koosy, Chozn and Flose in that order.

    Thanks,
    Clay


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      I would say my favorites would be sello, weeba, and happa. Half of my 5L names aren’t of great quality but were purchased before I knew what I was doing and as long as my sales keep up I keep renewing them. I have dropped 10 or so in the last year though.

  5. Lennard

    I have only one and I fails some tests (has a lot of vowels though) but i still like the ring of it:
    bahio.com, somehow this name puts me in a holiday mood.

    It is up for sale though for a reasonable price 😉


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Lennard. To an end user you might actually do OK on this one. There are a couple businesses named this and appears to be a last name as well. Not too bad but still under $100 as a resell to a domain investor.

  6. zoop

    Shane – Can I get your suggestions on these?

    I only have a few and dont know if they are worth keeping

    fosra[.]com
    komtu[.]com
    iisbn[.]com


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      I like Fosra and Komtu, which has a some value. I like the strength of the name and can see this being a company name. I’d hold on to this one. The third I would drop and I would sell Fosra for $100 if I got the offer.

  7. Robin Ong

    Shane thanks for your view. Nope, I did not really check the traffic, just thought of whether to continue keeping the domain name. When registered, 3ds was not even popular then, especially with mid – aged like me 🙂

  8. Sri

    Happy New Year Shane.

    What do you think of these .COMs?
    GISRI (setup as blog)
    VBVBA (setup as geeklog)
    EVEOA

    And, I also have a definitive name under development:
    DNB2B.


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Alex,
      Nozeo is a keeper but not super valuable. Obviously no is a negative word so take the value down. Certainly worth keeping though.

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