How To Sell Domain Names: A Beginner’s Guide
In this article I will share a simple, six-step process for selling domains. This quick guide should be useful to experienced and aspiring domain investors as well as those looking to sell their first domain.
The six-steps below will break down some important tips and techniques for evaluating your domains, finding potential buyers, and gaining exposure to your sales.
1. Visualize Potential
This first step is the most crucial and should be done before you register or purchase a domain. What good is a domain name with no potential?
You should have quality keywords that are relevant to a product or service. Alternatively you can find a quality name that would be attractive when used for small business, startup or personal branding.
I often recommend the keyword route as these domains have added search engine optimization benefits. I believe keyword domains are easier to research, valuate, acquire and sell.
2. Appraise Liquid Value
Evaluate the popularity of the keywords in your domain by doing a phrase search on Google. For example, of your domain was HotSauce.com do a phrase search for “hot sauce” (quotes included). Take note of how many pages of results and how many advertisers are targeting your domain’s keywords. These metrics can lend clues to the value of your domain.
Compare similar domain sales and empathize with a potential buyer. What would you realistically pay for the domain if you found it offered for sale? If you can understand the real liquid value of your domain it will make it so much easier to make a sale quickly.
3. Share Your Vision
If your domain has real potential that we determined in the first step of the domain sales process, we want to share that vision with anyone willing to read. Take a few minutes to write a paragraph or two about the value of your domain as you see it.
You can write about who the domain would be perfect for or how it could be used to make money. Write your real vision for a developed website using the name. It’s great to get potential buyers excited about the possibilities.
A few minutes of copy-writing can be re-purposed throughout the lifetime of the domain. It’s extremely useful for use on auction websites, forum posts, social updates, your for sale page and more. It can also be beneficial to use rich media and data that supports your domain.
4. Turn Your Domain On
There are three ways to effectively get the proverbial wheels of your domain in motion.
- Park – Check out some of the top domain companies for parking services and other monetization solutions.
- Develop – Install WordPress or you favorite CMS and create blogs posts, pages, articles, etc. Use AdSense and affiliate programs to generate passive revenue. Developing a domain in this simple way can add a small, but potentially significant increase in the value of your domain.
- Forward – Send visitors to a page detailing information on the domain for sale or directly to a marketplace auction.
Whatever you choose, the most important element is a method of contacting you. Make sure a contact form is present or easily found. You can’t rely on a person looking up your domain’s WHOIS details as many do not know this is even possible.
5. Market to Potential End Users
It’s always possible to sell a decent domain quickly to a Domainer who may turn around and resell the name. So, it doesn’t hurt to spend a bit of extra time researching and marketing domains for sale to potential end-users. It may even be possible to automate the process.
6. Transfer Domain Ownership Quickly
Immediately after an acceptable offer has been made on your domain there are a few things you should do. First you will respond as soon as possible, accepting the purchase offer and requesting payment be made. Also at this time, instruct the buyer to reply with their registrar account username for the ownership transfer.
Completing these two actions (requesting payment and initiating transfer) at the same time instills confidence in the buyer and will bring about faster payments and a more agreeable transaction.
Update: I’ve written a simple guide for transferring ownership of domain names on GoDaddy.
Now that you’ve got the know-how, go out and find some domain deals that have potential and start selling. I’m sure you will find it a fun challenge with sufficient reward.
If you’re looking for a place to start, I’ve recently updated our list of Top 20 Places to Buy Domains in 2010. Coincidentally, these are good places to list your domains for sale as well.
Remember that selling domains should be an active process, so send traffic to your domain sales whenever possible. If you really want to ramp up domain sales you should take advantage of social networks, email and blogging to connect with potential buyers.
If you have any questions related to domain sales, consider asking our Domain Q&A Forum community or leave a comment below.