Preview and Test the DomainTools Marketplace!

| April 4, 2012

Today we release a preview of a very important and distinct product for DomainTools: the DomainTools Marketplace. It offers an integrated experience to discover domains to buy or register with a clean interface, easy-to-use filters, and a super-fast search engine.

As the leading provider of Whois data worldwide, DomainTools gets an enormous amount of traffic from people interested in a domain’s ownership, often because they are trying to buy the domain.  We’ve had connections to major domain sales platforms for years, but the search functionality was fragmented across several products. If you searched for domains about “coffee” (something I have become notorious for during these last few weeks of testing!), you had to search twice, once in our “For Sale” product and again in the “Auction Search” product. Worse, not all sources were linked to those products, so if you found a domain for sale on our Whois page and wanted to find others like it, you were often unable to do so.

In the new Marketplace, all the domains we know of from major sales platforms are aggregated together and accessible from a single search.  And not just for-sale domains, but also expiring domains, domains at discrete auctions, and even available domains – a topic I’ll touch on shortly.

Of course, simply mashing together nearly 20 million domain sales listings in a table and sticking a search box on it doesn’t solve anyone’s problems, and it sure won’t be fast. Our back-end engineers used new technology they’d been researching to help structure and index the data while our front-end team applied several patterns and techniques that make parsing that much data usable and even fun.

The result is a very responsive search interface that shows the result of your filter changes in near-real-time, a search box that sends results without you hitting “enter”, and a quick way to preview domain details without losing context.

Give it a try — we think you’re going to like it.

If you look carefully, you’ll see something special tucked in with the listings: a shiny new domain suggestions algorithm.

DomainTools was one of the first companies to introduce a useful suggestions engine, which we referred to as the Name Spinner, nearly a decade ago and we felt it was time for an update. In the Marketplace, we’re experimenting with a different semantic approach to surface good domains for a user to register.  We haven’t retired the old name spinner yet, and there’s even a third generation already in the works.  We’d love to get your feedback on how the new Marketplace spinner compares.

Our user research (yes, we interviewed real people!) uncovered an interesting trend: plenty of people know you can register a domain name, but they are almost completely unaware of the secondary market. Surprisingly, it’s not the price that’s keeping them away. They usually have a few hundred dollars, or maybe a bit more, to spend on the right domain name, but they don’t know what to buy or where to find it. Even those who found their way to the popular domain sales platforms were confused or intimidated by what they saw. They abandoned the process and resigned themselves to a sub-par domain name.

The DomainTools Marketplace will change that.

The same users also told us they needed a reliable way to find the “best” domains without paging through hundreds of results. That’s a daunting challenge: “best” is a wildly subjective term, especially in the domain space. Valuation tools can give some context to help rank domains (or not!), but domain valuation is still more art than science even to this day.  Instead, DomainTools built an algorithm against our internal data sets to create a logarithmic “score” for domain names. We even managed to score domain suggestions, something most valuation tools do not currently do.

Overall, we’re excited and proud of what our engineering and business teams have conceived and delivered. This is the first product of its kind built from the ground up for people who have little or no experience buying domains in the aftermarket. It represents the first of many products we plan to build that will expand our reach to a broader, more global audience.

Although we purposely built this product to appeal to less-sophisticated users, there’s no doubt the readers of this blog could create a very long list of useful advanced features.  For now, though, our focus is to get the basics right and work out the kinks.

We can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

Share your 5-star feedback on Marketplace with us now through Friday, April 13, and you will be eligible for a $50 DomainTools add-on credit or some DomainTools swag!

Email your feedback to to qualify.


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Category: Domain Tools Updates

About the Author ()

Mark has spent more than eight years at DomainTools helping major brand holders, cyber security companies, large Internet organizations and leading incident responders investigate online threats with DNS and Whois data. He has held engineering and product leadership roles at the company, led business development and partner integration activities, and pioneered sales relationships with major public and private organizations. Mark now leads partnership discussions with leading cybersecurity product companies and manages relationships with DomainTools customers in the public sector. He is based in Seattle, WA.

Comments (10)

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  1. johnniebry_1108 says:

    I’ve been trying a few and generally it’s good but for example: cocoa beach, the only one showing up is the .biz. and are also available at Sedo as Make Offer. I made sure under Extensions that .me and were checked off. Thanks

  2. cybertonic says:

    I am surprised you did not launched it before, with the amount of targeted traffic you get this can become a very juicy service.

    Are you also listing domains from,, … in your marketplace and if no then where does these 20 million domains come from?

  3. tbarrett says:

    You should add support for .Pro. There are some great generics available here.


  4. cybertonic says:

    Apparently it’s a blog where nobody respond to comments…

    Well as I did not get any response after 2 days I tested myself and got confirmation you don’t list premium domains nor catchy domains.

    Someone know the sources the supposed 20 millions domains for sale come from?

  5. Monica says:

    Hello tbarrett! Yes we do use .pro as a storage room in our office (all of our meeting rooms have different names such as .com, .org, etc.!). But in all seriousness, thanks for your feedback! We’ve shared it with our product team.

  6. Monica says:

    HI johnniebry_1108. We have both and in our inventory, but you won’t see them unless you check the “Make Offer” option and set the minimum price to zero. That’s because we prioritize priced domains listed “At Auction” or “Buy Now”. Also, if you search for a domain with a TLD, we’ll show that domain at the top of the list so you don’t have to pick a specific TLD to see these.

  7. Monica says:

    Hi Cybertonic. Our apologies for the delay in response and thanks for emailing us in addition to reaching out via this blog. The fastest, most efficient way for you to get your domains listed on the DomainTools Marketplace is to list your domains is to list them at one of the major listing houses. Thanks!