Over the last few weeks I’ve been picking up a few domain names. Some to buy for my own projects, and a couple that I just chanced upon that I’m hoping to resell next year.

For a project of my own I’ve just completed the purchase of casinos365.co.uk which I’m building a casinos review/strategy site around using UK only casinos or those that allow play in sterling. This is a really tough arena to play in, and recent legislation in the US means that a number of the big players are very unstable, however I want to see just how far I can get in an incredibly competitive arena using purely SEO followed up with my own email marketing campaigns. I’ll keep you all posted.

Buying UK domain names is a good move for SEO if your market is a UK specific one, however, if you’re buying from someone else rather than registering the domain for the first time, the necessity for paperwork to complete the transfer can slow it down to weeks rather than days.

The steps go as follows:

Agree the sale price (obviously) and pay the owner, or put funds in escrow
Owner completes and sends buyer Nominet transfer forms agreeing to transfer the domain away
Buyer completes their part of the form and sends it with payment (about £12) to Nominet
Nominet change the details of the new owner
Seller transfers domain to new owner’s domain account
(This is a lot easier if buyer and seller have accounts with the same domain registry service. 123-reg.co.uk are both cheap and good quality for .co.uk names)
Buyer accepts the transfer into their account
Buyer builds himself a new website, promotes it and buys a nice new pad in the Bahamas.
In contrast, I also bought mutual.net earlier in the year and will be looking to market it to the US financial community during 2007. I stumbled on the domain name while looking for themutual.net, a UK cashback site. After that it was just a case of making an offer to the owner who hadn’t done anything to develop the domain in a number of years.

As I’d never met the guy, and he’s not a regular trader in domain names, I used the escrow.com service for the payment and I have to say I was very impressed. For a relatively small fee it’s a great way of safeguarding yourself when dealing with transactions of a few hundred dollars or more with individuals you’ve never met. Thankfully the domain owner was a good guy, and didn’t drag his feet to complete the deal.

So, two deals completed in a month, and happy with both of them, the next step is where to market the names I want to sell rather than use…