Lisa Merriam

Can’t Find a Name? Try Recycled Names

recycled-brand-namesOne of the toughest aspects of naming a company or a product is finding a URL, a domain name for your Web site. You might want to consider the “used” market of recycled names. Every day thousands of perfectly good URLs are abandoned and left to expire—their yours for the taking. If you have ever bought a used car or a find at a garage sale, you might discover the used URL market to be a bargain-hunter’s paradise.

Expired name lists come from a number of sources and can number over 100,000 at any given time. You can check out lists of expired names at sites like or Some of the pay sites like or provide user interfaces that help you sift for that needle in the haystack without having to page through the hundreds of thousands of names. They let you search on keywords for names that are related to your area of interest or that are variations on words you suggest. Some like will actually create combinations and suggestions to help you explore variations that might work for you.

But like buying an old TV at a garage sale or a used car from a want ad—BUYER BEWARE!

You need to know as much about who owned the domain and how they used it BEFORE you buy. A do