My adventures in “Domain Name Hand Registration” circa 2014

Hand registration is hard! I participated in the hand registration contest that Elliot run on his
blog at I came up 3rd with 49 votes. Thanks to those who voted for me. My list was #7. I think I did ok considering that I was at the bottom of the poll.

You can find the 7 lists here and the results here.

My list was this:

I liked lists #2,#3,and #5. #4 was too focused on 2 areas and the two were too brandable for me. Not sure what I would have voted. I liked mine the best! 🙂

From #2 I liked but didn’t care much for and for Maybe that is because I don’t really like 3 word domains.

From #3 I liked the most. All medical domains are nice too. I needed help to understand what meant but that is because I am from Greece! Nevertheless 4 words if a no-no for me. seems to have a double plural in it.

From #5 I liked and I didn’t like

The contest was during the Christmas holidays so it was really hard for me to concentrate so I didn’t have the diversity that I wanted. A couple of list had domaining domains in them which is always a good thing when domainers vote. I only searched for 2-3 days out of the 7 provided. Of course the same applies to the other contestants.

These 2-3 days I was in domainer mode that gets you quite tired very fast. I used the Google keyword planner and google search not to find domains but to make sure that the terms I was searching for actually meant something and how popular they were.

My inspiration? Mostly what I read in my everyday life. A lot of blog posts, articles, news, magazines (Wired, GQ and Esquire) and … my life. Mostly what I know, what I am interested in and what I need. What I learn everyday.

Mark from commented that he had to search to see if intestinal transplantation was real. I learned the hard way. My friend’s newborn baby needs one.
Now a lot of hospitals in the world can handle it but hopefully she will get one.

I kinda felt the end user frustration when looking for a domain name from a certain field that I found myself interested. It is had to find a good free domain name when you are on a budget (ie $10). But these still exist. Not an urban legend.

The 10 domains I bought I would have bought them anyway either I was in this contest or not. But I wouldn’t have find them if it wasn’t for the contest. I spend too much time searching. Time I don’t have. But I didn’t waste any money for this contest. And I only plan to sell these domains to end users.

I suggest everybody do this for at least a week. You may find out that there are better domains available for hand-reg that the domains you have been renewing for years… Or the domains you buy at auctions.

So what were my rules for the hand registration? They were pretty simple:
.com only
2 words max
not many brandables

I searched for maybe 1000+ domains. I found about 30 free and bought 25 of them. I then had to choose the best 10.

These are the ones I left out:

Do you think that I should picked a different domain?

The domains that I searched for and were taken ranged from 1995 up to the 20th of December 2013 in registration dates. This was just a couple of days before the contest started. dropped this September after being registered for years (since 2004) by a hospital. It stayed fee for a few months. 1 domain I wanted was caught in September with a backorder zone backorder.

There were a lot of domains that were registered in the past year. From the older ones most domains were owned by big players like, DomainNameSales or BuyDomains and of course that had most of the 2013 domains.

While searching I found 2 domains that I own. This is always good! Yes, I do forget what I own. I backordered 3 domains that are in pending delete or redemption. was in pending delete. I got it today, 15 days after it dropped. It has 390 Monthly Google Searches (all locations) and 5,46 € CPC. Pretty good for a 3 word domain.

I also got a few domains after the contest was over:

I think the best compliment for my list I got was from Tony:
“I like list 7 most because it most resembles a pending delete list.”


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. Hello Konstantinos
    Thank you for your participation in this conquest.
    I’m Rich and i ” ” My list was #2 and apparently i won 2nd place.
    It is true that this days you can find very good domains.The problem is that the market is not that liquid,therefor there is so much you can buy unless you are made of money LOL

  2. Nice ones. There are so many great ones still out there to hand reg that idiots let drop. Anyone who doesn’t take a little time, brainstorm and register a lot for a couple bucks each using the codes is crazy. Like and With the gTLD’s coming I’m still much more into brand name .com’s than generic keywords. Are people going to think to go to or No brainer. You still gotta go for the .com on the brands but gonna be fair game on generics for the gTLD’s.

  3. I voted for #7. It was hard choosing between 2,3 & 7. Maybe I am still learning. Good job by all participants.

  4. My best year was 2013 also.
    I only sell .com and .co although recently i bought some .net and some .org
    i already sold a name this year “hatetofly”.com and had a nice offer mid 5 figure on “todayin”.com that i did not take.

  5. Here are some names i picked up yesterday:

  6. i wanna it more…i would have sold it for $80k
    It was a travel startup from France he would have used it for activities in big etc…

    I had many offers on this name,from different individuals,i just have to wait.Its a great “news”name

  7. Once you hand reg a domain, where/how do you sell? Do you mostly approach end users or just put them on forums or aftermarkets?

    • Most people use all 3 but I am not that good at contacting end users.
      I would prefer to call them but English is not my first language.
      And I don’t sell at reseller prices…

      So end users usually find me. Either by visiting the domain name and the landing page or by whois.

  8. Kassey don’t for get you can also put that name to use …….. i think us domainers forget that sometimes and in the end it may cost us money

  9. i advice you to use disquss for the comment, your comment box looks so outdated, you can increase your number of comments by just using different and easy format just as like or vote up.

    Although I did not like your list whole alot, all the whole domain to me were not good reg, except one. was the best gem of all, because lot of people gets banned their ips, such as computer, at school, or even at online games. So you can really develop that or flip.

    I would classify that domain to be bestest of all.

    Good luck.

  10. Thanks for the tips Konstantinos. I’ll have to figure out how to get drops for free. 🙂 I’m in Canada, so I look for .ca one-words and recently hand-regged, and I just liked them. I’ve never sold a domain. I started hand-regging them about eight years ago, failed miserably and kind of gave up. At that time I regged,, and a few others that sort of made sense and when I actually believed estibot who told me was worth $17,000 … yes, a rooky mistake, although they have changed their algo since then. But for less than $20 I was happy to speculate. It dropped, of course. Anyway, I love the search when it comes to hand-regging. It’s like a treasure hunt. You .. just … never … know.

  11. I really enjoyed the challenge and although I voted for List 3 I did have List 7 as my second choice. It’s always great to see the thinking behind how other fellow domainers pick their domain names and although I didn’t manage to enter the challenge I too bought my own list of 10 which I wrote about last week on my blog:

  12. Very clinical! I presume you went through google adwords for searches etc. But I guess that you have brandables too.

    I know this is only the start however.

    I found (California or Canada) via FreshDrop of all places as a pre reg.

    Good work with getting 3rd 🙂

  13. Having viewed many of the names I thought I’d post a few of my hand regs. I don’t know if they’re any good or whether I’m one of the relative newbies who are fooling themselves!

    I have lots more like these. Are they any good, please.?? I don’t have any stats.

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