Looking to buy a domain to build a website? Here's a checklist you should follow to make sure you get your money's worth. 1) First off, you should always do all of these checks BEFORE you bid on or purchase a domain name. Checking for red flags: 2) Put the site into BlacklistAlert.org to check to see if the site is blacklisted by any organizations. 3) Put the domain into Archive.org to check its history. The site will bring up a historical calendar of traffic and a snapshot of the site during those days. Check to see if it was used for any illegal or malicious uses. Some sites may have archive.org blocked or dont show any history, if they do not than that is not a sign that something is wrong. 4) Check the backlink history for signs of spammy linkbuilding practices. Look for repetitive anchor text or links from pages with spun content. SEOMoz has the sitexplorer.com tool you can use http://www.opensiteexplorer.org or https://ahrefs.com. 5) If the domain is puporated to have PageRank, make sure you check to see if it is not faked by visiting http://www.rankchecker.com/pagerank-checker/ 6) If the seller isn't providing traffic states, you can try getting some data from Alexa.com, Compete.com and Quantcast.com. You wont get exact numbers, but their indicators will give you a rough understanding and if the seller is lying you can find out. 6. Check for trademarks using TESS (http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/tess/index.html). You should not be buying a domain that infringes on someone's trademark. 7. You may want to see if a major site is on the .com or one of the other extensions. An easy way to do this is putting in the following in Google: site:domainnamewithoutextension.* Whether the operating site has any trademarks or not, common law trademark can apply, plus you could lose most of your traffic to the established site anyways (especially if it is on the .com). There may be other things to check, but those are the major ones as I see it. Again, if any of these things are concerns for you, do not bid on a domain before checking them. At most places, bids put forth binding contracts to purchase the domain at the price you bid if your bid wins. Avoid legal trouble and avoid annoying us domain sellers by doing all due diligence and research before buying the name. GOOD LUCK!