(Secret) – How to Sell a Domain Name

(Secret) – How to Sell a Domain Name

There comes a time in the life of every domain when its ownership must transfer hands. The reasons for selling a domain can vary greatly; maybe the company is no longer being in business, or the domain was bought in bulk and never used.

If you’re looking to offload your extra domains to make some spare cash, or if you’re sitting on a premium domain name worth a goldmine, see Step 1 below to learn how to sell it.

1) Putting the Domain Up For Sale

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Determine your domain’s value. Before you start taking offers or listing your domain, take stock of its value so that you can come up with a good price. There are a lot factors to take into consideration when determining the value of a domain, so if you are unsure it may be wise to contact a company that performs these assessments. Some of the major factors include:
  • Traffic – This is one of the primary influences of the domain’s value. The number of visitors the domain gets from users typing the URL, searching, or coming from links will have a big impact on the value, especially if these visitors are monetized.
  • Top Level Domains – The most valuable websites are “.com” websites. These are far more valuable than any other top level domain (.info, .biz, .net, etc.).
  • Length and Readability – One- and two-word names in English are the most valuable commodities. They are especially valuable if they are directly related to an industry (hotels.com, biking.com, etc.), read well, and are easy to memorize.
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Be realistic about the price. Domains that sell for thousands of dollars are rare. Unless you have a highly sought-after domain, you may not receive a large amount for it. It will help to be realistic in your pricing if you are intent on selling them.
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Hang up a “For Sale” sign. One of the best ways to get offers on your domain is to put up a simple “For Sale” message on your site. This will let any visitor know immediately that the domain is available for purchase and how to get in contact. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Many domain registrars provide simple free websites. Use the tools provided to create basic page that indicates the domain is for sale. You could include a link to the domain listing or include your contact information (beware of spam).
  • You can add a page to one of your existing websites and redirect all of your for-sale domains to that sales page.
  • Adjust your WHOIS information to show that your domain is for sale. You can change your registration information to reflect the fact that the domain is for sale. For example, you can add “Domain For Sale” to the end of the owner name.
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Park your domain. If you aren’t sure if your domain is going to be sold soon, you can register it with a domain parking service. These sites will provide landing pages for your domains that contain links to advertisements, which can earn you money while you await a buyer. Most domain parking services include “For Sale” signs and services.

2) Listing the Domain

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List your domain with a selling service. There are a variety of selling services that will list your site. These services take a cut of the sale, but can lead to much more exposure to the domain. Some services allow you to add extra descriptions and comments about the domain, which can help boost sales. Popular sites include:

  • Sedo
  • Flippa
  • GoDaddy
  • AfterNic
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Hire a domain broker. There are many brokerage services available that will actively try to sell your site. These services typically cost more than a standard listing service, but may yield better results.

  • Always research the brokerage service before signing any contracts. Make sure they are effective and fair in their pricing.
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Use an auction service. Besides listings and brokerages, there are auction sites as well. eBay is actually one of the most popular domain name auctions, and there are others as well. Many listing services offer auction services as well.

Making the Sale

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Respond quickly. If you receive an offer, make sure to respond as soon as possible. If you wait longer than 24 hours, you may lose a buyer.
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Use charm pricing. When you finally decide on an initial price for your domain, use charm pricing to help entice buyers. This is the act of knocking $1 off of the price to make it look more attractive (e.g. $499 vs. $500).
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Negotiate your price. If you have a domain that you know is worth a certain price, make sure you don’t settle for less. Come armed with detailed information about the worth of your domain, and explain to the buyer why the price is what it is.
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Use escrow services for direct sales. When you are dealing directly with the buyer, make sure that any money that is transferred goes through an escrow service. This will ensure that all checks clear and that you aren’t left with a bounced check and no domain. Escrow services may add a few days to a sale and cost you a percentage, but they can save you a lot of heartache.

  • If your domains are selling for smaller amounts, escrow services may not be cost-effective.

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