Domain Name Aftermarket Heats Up and This Domainer is Selling Out

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The best domain names are taken, but millions of names are being bought and sold by domainers, people who trade in domain names. One long-time Internet entrepreneur has decided to liquidate several hundred of his domains so he can focus on his main business.

All the good website domain names are taken. At least that's what some experts say. While it may be true that most obvious domain names like computers.com or books.com were registered many years ago, that doesn't mean you can never get a good domain name, according to Fred Kelley, Internet entrepreneur. Kelley is the President of QuitSmoking.com, Inc., a company he started in 1997.

"I guess you could say I got lucky and was able to acquire quitsmoking.com before the world truly realized the impact of the Internet. Few people realized how intertwined with our daily lives the Internet would become. Even me," Kelley says. Today, domains like quitsmoking.com are worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, and increasingly are being bought and sold like real estate. Corporations and partnerships, funded with millions of dollars, have been formed for the express purpose of trading in domain names.

Several websites are now enabling domain owners to list their domains for sale, and charging a commission if and when a sale occurs. These domain sites list millions of domains, in every category imaginable.

"Yes, the best domains were registered years ago, but almost any name you want can be bought for a price in the domain aftermarket," according to Kelley. But get ready to open your checkbook and use lots of ink. A quick check of domain aftermarket site, Sedo.com, found the domains designerclothes.com and birthcontrol.com, both listed for $250,000 each. Widow.com and doctor.net were relative bargains at only $100,000 each.

For most people interested in starting a new online business these premier domains are priced out of reach. According to Kelley, these single-word or obvious-word domains command the highest prices because they are easy to remember, and they also get what is known in the industry as type-in traffic. "Anyone who has been online for any time at all and who wants to quit smoking is probably going to go to their web browser and just type in http://www.quitsmoking.com. People just assume this site is going to exist. It does and they are going to find my site," Kelley says.

This type-in traffic can be worth many thousands of dollars to a site owner, since they get free visitors to their site. Other companies in the same industry would have to pay for advertising to get the same visitors.

Realizing the potential for drawing traffic to a site, Kelley says he has acquired almost 2,000 domain names, in many different niches, including smoking cessation. "About one fourth of my domains are related to quitting smoking. However, along the way, I found and bought domains in many different areas of interest--in fact too many."

A recently coined phrase for someone who deals in domain names is "domainer," defined on wikipedia.org as "professionals who deal in domain names, buy, sell and develop domain names just like a real estate investor would." Kelley says he doesn't really consider himself a domainer, and instead wants to refocus his business and has begun to sell many of the domains that don't relate to quitsmoking.com. Fortunately for him, the domain aftermarket is now mature enough that he can quickly locate buyers for his domains. Kelley also says that, while many domain owners have unrealistic expectations of selling domains for six figures, he is planning to liquidate his domains. "I am pricing all my domains reasonably because I just don't have time to wait. My other projects are more important than trying to squeeze every last dime out of each domain."

Kelley has setup a site at http://www.domainoverstock.com where he is listing his domains for sale. Transactions are conducted through a third party that provides an escrow service, making purchases safe for both the buyer and seller.

The domains for sale range from atvsite.com to yourdefenselawyer.com (Kelley doesn't have any domains starting with Z.) Other notable domains include: babycribsonline.com, curlyourhair.com, findgolfcourse.com, georgiaaccidentlawyer.com, ny-lawyer.com, ordersecurely.com, seattlefamilydoctor.com, smokedtuna.com, teethbrushing.com, virginiabookstore.com, plus hundreds more.

Asked why he bought the wide range of domains, Kelley explained, "I stumbled on many of the domains by accident. But quite a few are law related since I used to work for a lawyer. Many are health domains, since my main business is health related."

The domain business is heating up and domainers like Kelley are quietly trading names like baseball cards. While millions of domains are already taken, good domains are still available on the domain aftermarket.

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