Dos and Don'ts

What domains we do and don’t accept

We get asked a lot of questions about what domains we do and don’t accept on Brandpa. This is our guide, which we keep constantly up-to-date.

We never accept

  • Domains that are not already registered
    We only review names that you already own.
  • Domains other than .com
    Dot-com domains work globally, and are easily the most sought after.
  • Names with hyphens
    e.g. example-domain.com
  • Names which violate a known trademark
    e.g. domains like micros0ft.com or appple.com. We are only interested in selling new and compelling names for businesses, not in cybersquatting.
  • Highly offensive and pornographic names
    We will reject swear words, crude sexual terms etc. Note that we do accept names for marijuana, e.g. astropot.com.
  • Names using international characters, or only appealing to a non-English audience
    For now, domains must use regular letters from the Roman alphabet. We reject international domains like 名がドメイン.com.

We rarely accept

  • Names with more than 2 words
    In our experience these rarely sell, and are much harder to make brandable. Three-word names usually include a joining word which makes them effective only in English, e.g. compare “facebook” with “facethebook”.
  • Names that contain numbers
    The most common exceptions are 123, 247 (“24 hours a day / 7 days a week”), 365 and 888 (Chinese for “triple fortune”). We do accept names which work because of a specific number, e.g. “forever21”, but these are rare.
  • Names starting with a preposition (“a”, “an”, “the”)
    These are easily confused with the same name missing the preposition, and can be harder to read when written as a single word.
  • Names that are hard to pronounce
    If we can’t figure out how to say a domain quickly, it probably won’t work as a name, e.g. qrzzt.com. 3-4 letter names can get around this to some extent because they are short enough to spell out.
  • Names that are hard to spell
    We imagine trying to tell somehow how to spell a name without showing it to them. It’s ok to have a simple misspelling, like “flicker but without the ‘e'”. But if the explanation involves more than one non-obvious change, it’s almost certainly not going to work.
  • Names with no clear audience
    We try to guess who might want a domain. Some names have clear audiences, e.g. askhr.com or toylio.com. Other names are strong enough to work for almost any audience, e.g. rectangl.com or eryson.com. But when we can’t imagine either, we will almost always reject the name.
  • Names which we don’t like
    This is subjective of course. We get a lot of names, and most of them simply aren’t appealing enough: they’re confusing or bland or not very memorable. We reject names that we don’t think are good enough to keep the quality of our marketplace high.
  • Names with artificially repeated letters 
    A common domain hack is to repeat a letter, e.g. exammple.com. We see these as low-value domains, which would be hard for any company to brand or protect, and reject nearly all of them.
  • Plural names
    Generally a plural makes a much weaker name than a singular. For example, “Breathes” is a worse name than “Breathe”. This is true for most plurals, but we do make exceptions.
  • Names we don’t believe people will pay for
    There are lots of cool and clever names which we won’t list because we suspect no-one will pay a reasonable amount of money for them ($1,500 is our minimum). For example, music bands, whilst fun to name, are not usually in the market for a premium domain. We have a lot of our own data on what people search for and buy to help determine what is viable.

Bonus criteria

Very few domains have any of these, but those that do are much more likely to be listed:

  • Dictionary words
    Domains containing 1-2 existing words that people already know how to spell are the easiest to sell. E.g. salechat.com
  • Hot industry
    For example, drone, cryptocurrency, AI, VR and AR names are all in high demand and more likely to be listed.
  • 5 letters or fewer
    These are rare and usually very valuable.

Tips for sellers

If you’re looking for new domains to list on Brandpa, here’s some recommendations:

  1. Consider 2-word dictionary names
    Many of our best selling names combine two dictionary words, with one usually being a valuable keyword, e.g. lightningbet.com or hiredclicks.com.
  2. Consider variants of a single dictionary word
    For example, removing a vowel (rectangl.com) or adding a suffix (wanter.com). Check out our separate article on how to invent new names.
  3. Consider inventing whole new words
    Fully invented words are tricky to come by, but very valuable if you can create a good one. Examples include clerican.com and zipacity.com.
  4. Think about your audience
    Can you imagine a company using this name – say answering the phone (“thank you for calling X”) and giving out their web address? How would someone explain the spelling of their name without writing it down? Is the name easy and appealing to say?

And finally, when submitting names, if your domain has a target market we might not guess, tell us in the comments. It makes it far more likely we’ll accept your domain.

We hope this helps. If you have questions or suggestions you can contact us on our Slack channel, or email us at info@brandpa.com.

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