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Thread: How to Sell Your Domains to End Users

  1. Post How to Sell Your Domains to End Users

    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 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.

    3. Negotiations
    - 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.

    4. Payment
    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, 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.

    Additional Tips
    - 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.
    Last edited by DomainMagnate; 22 August, 2009 at 20:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    N43°54′, E017°40′
    Nice guide, Michael.

    I do the last two paragraphs slightly different than you. I always offer to push the domain name first, to show that I am not a scammer and that I have good intentions.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by dmi View Post
    Nice guide, Michael.

    I do the last two paragraphs slightly different than you. I always offer to push the domain name first, to show that I am not a scammer and that I have good intentions.
    Well it's not very common, but if that works for you - great!

    I don't think people may consider you're a scammer unless you give them a reason to. After all you're just trying to sell them a domain. But you know there are plenty of not so honest people around, some of those buyers might decide to keep the domain and continue the negotiations trying to reduce the price further.

    It may be a good idea if you think the person is honest and is somehow reluctant to send the money first, but if the deal is for a relatively high amount, say over $1k I wouldn't recommend that over escrow
    In any business it's usually established that payment comes first and the goods later.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    N43°54′, E017°40′
    I've been using that technique with names that I handreg. Never had a problem... But of course, with valuable names, Escrow (I would recommend Sedo Escrow over should be used.

  5. #5
    Thanks Michael,

    Do you use different techniques or approaches when selling brandable names vs keyword rich domains?

  6. With brandable names it's harder to use this technique, since you'll have trouble finding end users through the regular means. So what I usually do is just list these domains in the forums with prices, sometimes they sell this way. Many people are looking to buy brandable names for all kinds of websites. E.g. one of my recent sales was for low $x,xxx, check out the nice site on it now!

    Also it's very important to list the domain in as many places as possible. E.g. I owned for a couple years, until I listed it on afternic and then a few months later it got a good offer, which led to a sale for $5,500 last year. End users do search sedo and other similar marketplaces, so more exposure helps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    New York
    On the payment terms, paypal can be a little shaky. I've seen a lot of cases where domain owners are scammed, because, the buyer does a chargeback.

    How about accepting a check from US buyers?

  8. #8
    I have actually had a few hundred domains at one time and most of them did not sell. Many I should have held on to, others were just goofs.
    Those I sold were thru offers which came totally out of the blue and looking back I should have asked for a lot more looking at what the people who bought them wound up doing with those.

    Basically, a domain is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

    The "don't be afraid to aim high" quote is DEAD ON as we can never truly predict how much the value of our domains can be to someone else.
    I am also a writer for Serpholic Media. You can find some of my articles here: Serpholic Media Blog

  9. Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    On the payment terms, paypal can be a little shaky. I've seen a lot of cases where domain owners are scammed, because, the buyer does a chargeback.

    How about accepting a check from US buyers?
    Yep sure you can do that. Accepting a check can be no less dangerous though.
    Another way is a wire transfer, since they are final and that's money in your bank account right away. I used that a few times, usually you'll sign a contract first, then the buyer send wire and after that follows the domain transfer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    New York
    Quote Originally Posted by Himeko View Post
    It's rather more complicated thing IMHO.
    Paypal is the best one and more secure.
    Once the check is cashed you are straight.

    With paypal the buyer could hit you with a chargeback.

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