Usually when you’re brainstorming business ideas and business name ideas, you’ll be constantly checking to see if a good domain name is available.
But you can also turn this around and see what domain names are up for sale. You might spot a name that could be turned into a good business opportunity. And even just browsing the names might help trigger other ideas.
There are numerous sites that are marketplaces for domain names.
Most domain name marketplaces work by auction. The most desirable, general, short, and memorable domain names — think sex.com — can sell for millions of dollars and rarely come on the market at all. But names suitable for more niche-market websites can be had for much less — either thousands or hundreds of dollars.
However, if there’s a name that you want and the domain appears to be dormant or “parked”, you also can try looking up the incumbent registrant using a whois service, and you can attempt to contact and negotiate a sale with the owner. (However, some domain owners choose to have their whois records hidden, and many owners disregard solicitation e-mails and calls.) If you can’t get the domain name you want, you might just have to be more creative with your name brainstorming!
Even better than buying an existing domain: there are also sites that will list domain registrations that have recently expired and have not been renewed. These can usually be snapped up for regular registration prices.
Something else to keep in mind is that entire functioning websites and online businesses are for sale as well. This would offer you a turnkey opportunity to take over an existing operation with a revenue stream. Growing the business would then be up to you.