How to Sell a Domain Name – A Step-by-Step Guide

With literally thousands of domain names changing hands every day, domain flipping has become a lucrative business. There are actually several reasons to sell a domain name. Maybe you have an unused domain you’re not doing anything with, or maybe you’re looking to become a domain investor. Whatever your reasons, selling domain names is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. However, this article will give you a few tips.

What’s In a Name?

Before you sell your domain name, it’s important to know what makes a domain valuable. You may have heard stories about domain names selling for sums of anywhere between a few dollars all the way up to several million dollars. So what makes some domain names more valuable than others? The answer to that question is not as complex as you might think. There are actually a few key factors that make a domain name valuable. They are as follows:

  • Length – A shorter domain name is more difficult to find than a longer domain name. However, everybody wants a short domain name for the obvious reason that shorter domain names are easier to type in a web browser.The more in-demand a commodity is and the tighter its supply, the higher the price you can get for that commodity. This is literally the first thing that’s pounded into our eager heads when we take our Basic Economics classes.
  • Keywords – If you have a domain that has keywords in it, that’s also going to increase the price you can get for that domain, especially if that keyword is particularly hot in your chosen industry. Here’s why.Keywords are used for SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, which helps your customers find your website on search engines such as Google. The more efficiently you can use keywords, the higher you will rank. Part of using keywords efficiently is to somehow use a descriptive keyword in your domain name.
  • Brandability – A domain that’s easily branded will fetch a higher selling price. Use a name that’s easy to remember and easy to type into a browser. Think of Google. They created a domain name that was both concise and easy to remember. Ideally, your domain name should have these six characteristics:
    1. Descriptive
    2. Unique
    3. User-friendly
    4. Credible
    5. Brief
    6. Memorable
  • Top-level domain – It may seem like no big deal, but the top-level domain you use can dramatically affect the selling price of your domain name. According to an article from NURV, a creative marketing firm based in Colorado Springs, Colo., 46 percent of websites on the Internet use a .com top-level domain, even if only as a redirect or landing page. Have you ever wondered why that is?The .com domain boom began around the same time as e-Commerce was starting to take off. A series of high IPO sales, or Initial Public Offers, allowed a man to grow his business on almost no profit. (An IPO is usually a series of stock shares offered to investors.) The growth was astronomical, especially considering the fact that his business was reporting almost no profit that year. That man was Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, would grow his company the same way almost a year later in 1998.After seeing these two companies become such powerhouses on almost no profit, a massive wave of speculation began among investors. Because literally every brick-and-mortar business was using a .com domain, this speculation pushed their value to extraordinary heights. In fact, the .com domain is so well-established that people continue to pay millions of dollars for a well-established .com domain, even today! To show an example, GoDaddy, a domain name registrar, has a list of 25 of the highest-selling domains ever recorded. Note that the lowest selling price of these domains is still fairly high at $5.5 million. The highest domain ever sold: CarInsurance.com at a whopping $49.7 million!Here’s a fun fact: In the 22 years since the .com boom, Jeff Bezos has gone on to not only become the wealthiest man in the world, but also the world’s first centi-billionaire, according to an article from Wealthy Gorilla.

So How Do I Sell a Domain Name?

Now you have decided you want to sell your domain name. However, you shoul hold off before putting your domain on a marketplace right away. Most sellers go through a selling process that makes things easier on both you and the buyer, and ensures that you get your money, and the buyer gets their domain.

Step 1: Have Your Domain Appraised

The first step in the process is to determine the value of your domain name. This can be done through a variety of channels. You can appraise your domain name yourself or have the domain name appraised by a professional.

Self-appraisal is a bit more challenging than with tangible commodities like a house or car, but the same process can be used. Some people check out sale prices on similar domains and work from there. A good resource to use when trying to appraise your domain name yourself is NameBio. They have a keyword-based search engine that looks up sale prices of particular domain names. You can find information on lowest prices, highest prices, average prices, who sold the domain and other pertinent information.

But let’s say you can’t find a value for your particular domain name. This is when enlisting the services of a professional appraiser can help. A professional appraiser knows the market inside and out, and can provide valuable insight that can help you arrive at a fair market value for your domain name.

Step 2: Set a Price For Your Domain

Now that you’ve arrived at a fair market value for your domain name, the next step is to work on a pricing strategy. Although most domain names, especially aftermarket domain names, sell in the three to four-figure range, if you have a premium domain name, you can often price below fair market value in an effort to drum up interest. With this type of domain name, it’s often advisable to set an asking price straight up. Another benefit of using a fixed-price “Buy Now” or “Priced to Sell” pricing strategy is to create a sense that makes people think they could lose the opportunity to grab a great domain name at any time because the buying market is often fast and furious, especially if your price is below where it should be. This can also be a good strategy to use if you’re looking for fast sales.

However, if you have a premium domain name – that is a domain name that you know can command six or even seven figures, you’re in a good position to set a price well below fair market value in an effort to drum up interest. If your domain name is really high in demand, you can create a bidding war that pushes your selling price closer to, or even over, fair market value, creating the potential to make a massive profit!

Step 3: Create a Landing Page Indicating That Your Domain is For Sale

When buyers are choosing a domain they want to buy, they will often type the domain into their browser to see if it’s available. Creating a landing page on your website can often be a huge help in closing a deal.

There are several creative ways to point buyers to such a landing page. The most common method is to place redirects. Make sure to create landing pages for each domain you’re selling. Having a page on lowinterestrates.com, for example, on a landing page for another domain confuses buyers. Most landing pages have an inquiry form end-users can use to gather more information, along with contact information.

Never underestimate the value of interpersonal communications when closing a deal! Some buyers actually prefer interpersonal communication, and you don’t want to leave those buyers out, especially if you’re looking for a fast sale.

Step 4: Choose an Avenue to Sell Your Domain

When selling a domain name, it’s wise to avoid putting all your eggs into one basket. Many sellers use domain listing sites along with person-to-person sales to sell domain names. Here is a list of reputable domain marketplaces. Afternic, BrandBucket, NameCheap and Sedo are also good marketplaces to use.

Another venue you can use is auction sites. GoDaddy Auctions is among the most popular domain auction sites around. You can also encourage buyers to contact you for more info, and then have them enter their bid on the auction site if they’re considering purchasing the domain. Many auction sites will deduct a commission from your selling price, but the peace of mind you get will always be worth the price you pay, as many auction sites have their own transaction security measures in place.

As with every other transaction, however, it’s also wise to do your due diligence on the buyer. Some marketplaces have a review feature. Read the seller reviews on the buyer. The reviews can give you a good idea of whether your potential buyer is trustworthy. Don’t do business with anyone you’re not completely sure about. It’s not worth the risk.

Step 5: Use an Escrow Service to Facilitate Transfer of Funds

If your transaction involves a large amount of money, consider hiring an escrow service. Some marketplaces and auction sites have their own escrow service. Do research on the marketplace or auction site you intend to use, and if they don’t employ their own escrow service, it’s a good idea to hire one yourself. Escrow services make large money transactions much more secure because the buyer will not receive your domain until payment has been made in full.

In essence, an escrow service works as a broker between you and the buyer. An agreement is made between both parties detailing the terms of the sale, including sale price and the name of the domain that was sold. The buyer submits payment to an escrow account, which the escrow service delivers to you, as the seller. You then contact the domain registrar and transfer the domain to the buyer’s name, and the buyer sends a written confirmation to the escrow service confirming that they have received all rights to the domain name.

If either side fails to deliver on their part of the agreement, the escrow service has all the details of the transaction, which can be presented as evidence in the event that the matter reaches litigation.

In this article, we discussed how to sell a domain name. While this is not a complete guide, we hope you receive a general understanding of the process involved.

Interested in learning more?

Buying and selling domains can be extremely profitable, with a single domain earning you thousands of dollars.

To learn more about becoming a full time domain flipper, check out DomainFlippingGuide.org and download their course.

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Jamie

My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.

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