Eve Dmochowska
Eve Dmochowska

Want to buy the Team.com name for $300 000? Too late

How do you choose a name for a new company? There might be many rules in that book, but I will tell you rule number one: no matter what the new company will do, make sure its .com domain name is available. If the .com name is not available, and you are absolutely, definitely, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt convinced your market will stay local forever, you can confine yourself to the .co.za domains.

But wait. There is a problem. Many, and I mean many, of the names you would want to call your company are no longer available. And if your company is going to be an online one, and you need a catchy, short and memorable name, then really … good luck.

I have been toying with the business plan of an online company for some time now, and I know that now is the time for me to launch it. Usually, I have the name set in stone before I even finalise the business model, but in this case I knew I needed something spectacular and so I set aside the name choosing until this weekend.

None of my first 30 options were available. None. I thought I would beat the system and find myself some cool isiZulu words to register, because they have a lot of Xs and Zs, which is a cool thing now, you know.

Guess what? Every name I chose from the dictionary had also already been registered. For example:
Xoxa.com
Amba.com
Azi.com
Azisa.com
Zama.com
Zuzu.com
Zwa.com
Azano.com
Zasa.com
Xuku.com

But that is not all. Domains usually cost about $10 to register, but if you have a cool one that others might want, you can sell it for a premium. And I mean premium. Are there any takers for these?

Hairtreatment.net:$2 880
Catsongs.net: $688
Team.com: $300 000 (sorry, sold!)
Dudetube.com: $18 000 (also sold)

If you are wondering what people do with these domains, you might want to read a post I wrote earlier this year, “How to make $70-million without really trying”. In short, many of these domains are filled with pages full of ads, and the domain owner is hoping that you will click on the ads and make him some money. Even at only a few cents a click, if you multiply that by a multitude of users and then you multiply that by a multitude of websites, you can, in theory, make some good money. Eric Edelstein recently wrote about how he made $200 in one day, using just this method.

So the best way to choose a name for a company? My advice is to take two completely unrelated words, and put them together to form a new name. No mater how weird it sounds at first, with the right branding and marketing, it will become completely accepted. Think of YouTube.com as an example. Using colours as the first word will run you into problems, as most of those domains are also taken (Yellowpen.com, Purpleballoon.com and Redtiger.com are all taken). But Avidmouse.com and Roundplus.com are available.

Also, it goes without saying, although I have said it many times before, if your name is available as a domain name, buy it now!

I myself own about 30 domain names, of which I actively use about five. The other 25 are sitting on some virtual shelf, waiting for me to find an extra 20 hours in the day so that I can create the killer companies that were the inspiration for the domain purchase in the first place.

As for my latest purchase, this past weekend? After exhausting my isiZulu options, I decided to take two isiZulu words and mesh them up. I now am the proud owner of Amazaza.com. If you think that looks too much like Amazon.com, let me be the first to tell you: that’s a happy coincidence.

5 Responses to “Want to buy the Team.com name for $300 000? Too late”

  1. We had a similar issue a few weeks ago. We were trying to think up a name for our new 2.0 Fashion site, and every name we came up with was taken.

    We started putting together random 2 word combinations, and I was positively AMAZED how many of these random combinations had already been taken.

    We finally found a name and not wanting to miss it, we registered it immediately together with a number of variations – then we showed it to the rest of the team – AND THEY DIDN’T LIKE IT!!

    So back to the Drawing board!

    Finally, after searching for HUNDREDS of domains to see if they were available, (and registering quite a few in the process) we finally found our new name…

    http://www.SpringLeap.com (so please only good comments as it’s now TOO late to change it! :) )

    And then the second decision came into play – how many mispellings and global variations should we register…?

    We now have a domain we all like, but our bank account is definitely feeling it! :)

    December 3, 2007 at 4:26 pm
  2. orange #

    if your business plan depends on a domain name – your business plan will fail.

    google was nothing till the service of a search behind it made it something.

    come up with the service, implement it and the name is (relatively) un-important

    December 3, 2007 at 9:41 pm
  3. Eve Dmochowska #

    @Eric I love the name. It was the first thing I wanted to comment on when I saw the demo. Good for you!

    @orange I agree 100%. You can have the coolest name, but with a weak business model that is not going to help you one bit. On the other hand, a poor name CAN hurt your online business. It can also make you difficult to find. Facebook was originally THEfacebook.com, until they paid $200K (I think) for the name we know today.

    December 4, 2007 at 9:49 am
  4. I am a little late on this one but have to say that I believe quite stronly in generic domains and in particular the names of products or services which should be added to ones portfolio with the idea of making the product or service synonymous with the brand.

    April 3, 2008 at 5:51 pm
  5. Just came across your blog on Google. Interesting post, you bring up a few good things to think about. Good luck with the blog.

    February 14, 2009 at 11:15 am

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