Bidding on domain auctions? Better check that trademark first

Expired domain auctions constitute a large portion of a smart domain investor’s focus.

The main reason: domains are typically aged, and – in theory – belong to a pool of good domains that is running dryer with every new .com registration.

Auction venues such as GoDaddy Auctions, Sedo, NameJet and Flippa provide the vast majority of such domain inventory on a daily basis.

Every day there are “promotional” tweets and blog posts about particular domains, sending those eager to invest to these venues. It’s not a secret that popular domain investors frequent these venues as well.

It’s a shame you can’t say hello! 😀

Kidding aside, it is important to remember that those advertising “cool” or “aged” domains aren’t really doing any due diligence on your behalf.

While a domain might sound generic, or it might appear to be lacking any direct or indirect bonds to a product, brand or service, this might be exactly the case.

Before you embark on a bidding journey which might involve thousands of dollars, check that trademark first.

Here are a few resources for trademarks:

Smart domain investors perform these searches as the bare minimum research, before bidding on expiring domains. Keep in mind, that a trademark does not have to be registered in order to exist as such.

Happy bidding!


  1. Obviously avoiding trademarks like Pepsi and amazon are a no brainer.

    But what about common one, two or three words or phrases that are trademarked?

    I have seen even seasoned domainers registering these for sale.

  2. Tom – You can search with the tools listed above in a variety of ways. For more than one word, or even phrases, place them in quotes. Most also offer advanced search modes, and the ability to find live and/or dead marks.

    “Seasoned domainers” aren’t always playing by the rules, as you may have recently found out.

  3. Trademarks is such an important topic since not many do the due diligence to find out if a domain phrase is trademarked before they finalize the purchase. At the same time there are certain common words that are trademarked because of the popularity of the company.

    Example is the word Apple, we would think of the fruit when hearing that name but now we think of Apple the Company and the Iphone. Thanks for sharing valuable information. I will definitely continue to be careful before I buy a domain.

    – Will

  4. I also check 😉

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