How To (Really) Sell a Domain Name
As if finding decent domain names wasn’t hard enough! Knowing how, where, and when to sell your domain names is often the biggest challenge for a domainer. And no matter how good you are at it, everyone can use a few more tips.
These steps are taken from all over the net. We’re continually collecting the best information here, so check back often. If you have any additions, charges or tips to better sell domain names, please add a comment at the end.
Step 1- Basics for Most Names
As in the previous guide, the key to successful sales is successful promotion. In addition to the previous tips, for most quality names (i.e worth $50 or more) make sure you add “this domain may be for sale” to your whois details, parking pages, and mini-sites you may have for your names. It may be worth adding your names to a personal portfolio page (advertised on your signature at a domain forum), and to Sedo listings. This type of advertising works for itself, and the sooner you do it, the better.
Research other sold names by similar extensions, keywords or type – using DNSaleprice (all links in this article are on our front page). This will help you work out what your name’s approximate value is today, the best or extra sales venues to consider. It will also help you decide if the market is hot, or if you should develop or hold onto your names for a while. If you decide to get a paid or free evaluation of your name, check out the links on our homepage.
Step 2 – Planning
Identify the type of name you have, and the amount of time you want to sell it in.
A. Geo/ Generic Products and Services Names
SEO Keyword Names
Business’ Abbreviations Names
Highly Targeted Industry Words (like “Buywidgets.com”).
Contacting end users directly is generally best
B. Higher Value/ Quality Names (LLLL.com, CVCV, Pronounceable, etc)
C. Names with Specialist Characteristics, like unusual extensions, or adult names
Names generally suited for quick cheap deals to other resellers.
D. Wacky names
Names with trademark issues
Convoluted and superficially valuable sounding names
Dictionary.com domains (in a weird tense)
Close to expiry names or names at weird registrars
Might get lucky names.
E. Traffic Names
Cheaper Aged Names
Current Hot Names
Wanting a Quick Guaranteed Sale names
F. Poor Quality Names (you are thinking of perhaps dropping)
G. Medium or High Priced Names (that you want to sell faster and cheaper than Sedo, or medium priced names you want to try to sell higher than and stick out more than on Sedo)
H. Medium or High Priced Names – you want to sell higher than on Namepros but with more time to wait, and faster but perhaps lower than on Sedo
I. Medium quality names already at Moniker/Snapnames
The snapnames option is perhaps best for names already at Moniker/Snapnames, as you have to have your names transferred there to take part. They also charge 20%, which is another point to keep in mind.
J. Lesser quality names that don’t fit into any of the above categories
Best bet is perhaps to bundle them into a big job lot, and offer them for sale or auction at Namepros or Ebay. At Namepros you have the ability to allow offers/ sales on individual names, or give volume discounts.
Step 3 – Follow Your Plan
For End Users
Finding end-users isn’t always easy. Basically, you have to convince the user why they need your name, without sounding desparate to sell. One of the easiest places to find end users is by exploring the lower TLD’s, or by googling your keyphrase and cycling down the list. Otherwise use an online telephone book.
For more information read this thread.
Get an account at Sedo (free). Park first to save on the commission Sedo charges. For names that may have trademark issues, consider setting up a simple mini-site with an alternate use of the phrase.
You can pay extra to have your names featured. If you are looking for a push to auction price, rather than a higher possible end user price, there are also other options such as Pushtoauction.com, or offering the name for sale for $60 at a forum, and suggest buyers push to auction to test the cheap price.
If you receive an offer.. It is safe to say that every offer will be able to be pushed at least $400 above, and possibly more.
Ebay can fluctuate between high and consistent sales, to scraping a few bucks from names as people look for absolute bargains. Many people have found the end price doesn’t alter much if you set a reserve of $9.99 or 99c. In that case, don’t set a 99c reserves (as they recommend) – this is done to make sure they get a commission. In general, it is good to set a reserve price at the absolute minimum price you would comfortably sell for, and at least reg fee. Only set a 99c start if it is about to expire and you will drop it anyway (eg. when $1.47 is a bonus). And even then, it is possibly not worth your time and effort – it is probably better to bundle a whole lot of names and sell them off here or at a forum.
If the names are worth it, make a good logo using photoshop, or a cheap logo using on-line logo generators. As a worst case scenario you can find one image you can attach to all your names. In your subject line add your domain name without gaps (eg. AmericanAutos.com not American Autos.com), as sites like Freshdrop will only pick up the last word and many will ignore your name, or assume your name to be fraudulent.
Be sure to add all the registrar, expiry, and other information, to minimize the amount of messages you have to respond to.
Push and settle disputes quickly for that all-important feedback score.
Please post your best strategy!
For Afternic Bazaar
Afternic Bazaar was an excellent way to sell of names that would otherwise expire – as names are listed high, and reduce until sold. We have to see how long Afternic will offer this service, as they have been a little quiet in the promotion department of late.
For Namepros and DNForum
Make sure you select the correct category (eg. different extensions and prices have their own sections), and set a reserve you are happy with. If you need more exposure (names not on the first page tend to drop out of view), consider also adding a link to the sale with the price and details in your forum signature.
Please post your best strategy!
Step 4 – Prepare for and Make the Sale
Hone your negotiation tactics by reading up on forums like Namepros. For large sales, remember that joint development, retaining a percentage stake (such as 10-20%), or a sale that includes some shares, may be an option. Leasing a name is another option. Watch out for appraisal or other scams – never respond to a sale that asks for a paid appraisal at a place that they suggest. Close the sale, accept the money, and transfer the name.
Congratulate or thank the buyer, and ask if you can keep in contact if you have names you think they might be interested in. If you offer nicely and don’t sound like a spammer, most domain investors will say yes to this. Put this in a special category in your email address book category or on file, to keep a collection of valued customers to contact for future sales.
Have you had any experience with brokers, moniker, godaddy premium, corporate domain finding services, sending out newsletters, or other tactics mentioned here? If so, please post your thoughts.