Here is a simple guide on how you can try to sell your domain to an end user. I may expand this later if there is enough interest. Feel free to comment, or ask questions
1. Gather all potential end users
- check the same domain in other tlds, e.g. if you have a .com, check .net, .org, .info etc
- google for your domain and the keywords in it to see who is advertising on those terms in sponsored links
- check google rankings for the domain keywords to check sites ranking there in first few pages
- out of all the above note the sites that look like they might be interested in your domain and get their contact details email or phone number from whois.
- it's also advisable to list your domain at different sites, like sedo, afternic etc. and put some notice on the site/parked page that the domain is for sale to help end users find you easier.
- another way to attract the attention of possible buyers is by advertising the domain on adwords. Only worth it if this is a high quality premium domain.
2. Email (or call if you prefer) the potential buyers
- take the extra effort and do the research. Address potential buyers by name to make it look personal and not as a random spam email. Check about their company to assess how much they can afford to pay and how the domain can help their business.
- There are several ways to compose such emails. Some people advice including a sentence or two about why your domain can help their business, e.g. : shorter, easier to remember, includes the keywords - will rank better in search engines, more brandable.
- You can either include the price, or ask the buyer to make an offer. Price to propose could be in a few ranges: $300-450 for very small businesses and sites, $750-950 for slightly bigger ones - I think pretty much anyone who is interested in the domain can usually afford $750 for it. And higher ranges like $1950, or $4-5K and of course much more, however keep in mind that getting sales for more than $1K is usually much harder.
As experience proves setting prices on the boundaries does work, that's why $950 is usually better than $1000 and $4500, or even $4950 is preferred over $5000.
- Experiment to see what works best for you. But usually for lower cost domains it's not worth the extra effort and will rarely help all that much, so just a simple "Hello, I have xxxxxxx.com for sale, reply if you're interested to buy it" would do it.
- Try to include contact information in the email: name, phone number and address to appear more credible. For higher value names try not to use free email addresses, like yahoo and hotmail.
- Try to instill a sense of urgency into the buyer and let him know you might have other potential buyers to close deals faster. Better yet if do have a few buyers - let them bid against each other.
- Don't accept offers quickly as it might put the buyer off and he'll start delaying the deal and eventually back out of it - it happens countless times. Be it a CEO of a large company, or someone buying a domain for a personal site - everyone wants to feel like they got a good deal! Instead counter with a slightly higher offer, or if you believe that is their best - accept it after some time has passed and without much enthusiasm.
- Personally I usually like to get the other side to make the first offer, or at least get them to reply and ask for the price before you state it.
Discuss the payment details only at the final stage after the price has been negotiated.
For higher amounts, usually above $500-$1000 it's better to use escrow.com, or a similar escrow services: sedo escrow, or moniker escrow. For smaller amounts paypal is the easiest way to go. Few people know how to use moneybookers and other payment systems.
5. Domain Transfer
Be sure the payment is completed before transferring the domain. Buyers sometimes aren't very techy, so explain them the proccess and make sure they follow through and complete the transfer by accepting it and/or changing the whois details.
- Be reasonable with your prices, but also don't be afraid to aim high. I've seen some crazy things like newly registered domains (less than a year old) and domains that aren't worth more than $1k on reseller market selling for 6 figure amounts, that's right over $100K.
It sounds incredible and it is, but from the end user's point of view he has a plan how make that much in less that a year with the site and this is the one domain that is perfect for the site, so it makes sense to pay that much. Of course such jackpots are rare, but those who dare sometimes win big. Ultimately you can try to sell 10 domains for $450, or sell one for $4500 and you should do what works best for you.