Have a few domains you want to sell? Perhaps you registered a domain for your next big business idea that didn’t pan out. Or, you might be a domain investor that buys domains with the hope of selling them for a profit.
Every month, people sell millions of dollars worth of domain names to businesses wanting to launch a website on these previously-owned domain names.
If you want in on the action, here’s an overview of how to sell your domains for profit.
The first step is to understand your inventory, which consists of the domain names you want to sell.
There are probably some domains in your Namecheap account that you use for a website or email address. You obviously don’t want to sell these.
You might also have some domains that you don’t currently use but don’t want to sell. Maybe one is a domain name you registered in the name of your young child or represents a business idea that you aren’t quite ready to give up on.
Set these domains aside and look at what’s left in your domain portfolio. These are domains you are willing to sell, assuming that you can get the price you want for them.
Create a list in a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Enter the domain names in one column. If you want to get really organized, enter the expiration date in the next column so you can keep track.
Now that you have a list of domains for sale, it’s time to set prices for your inventory.
At some marketplace/selling platforms, setting prices isn’t mandatory. You can list domains without prices and ask people to make an offer on them. But it is often beneficial to set a price for your domains even if you’re not required to do so.
Setting a list price for a domain has many benefits:
- You can go through the pricing exercise just once rather than every time someone inquires about buying a domain.
- You don’t have to respond to potential domain buyers that aren’t willing to pay your price. If you list a domain for $3,000 and someone is only willing to pay $100, there’s no sense in getting the low-ball offer.
- Some domain name marketplaces will syndicate your domain listing to multiple registrars (like Namecheap) and other sites if you list a price. This gives your domains more exposure and increases the odds they will sell.
- Buyers can quickly buy your domains without haggling. That saves buyers and sellers time.
In general, it makes sense to set fixed prices on lower-priced domains and leave your most valuable ones unpriced. Everyone has a different pricing scale, but most domain names sell for less than $5,000. If you have a handful of domains that you think are very valuable, you can set those aside without a price. Assign prices to the rest.
Figuring out how to price your domains can be tricky. Each domain name is unique, so it’s not as simple as pricing a house by considering the average price per square foot in a neighborhood.
If you’re new to selling domains, spend some time understanding the market for domain names. Some good resources include:
- NameBio.com and DNPric.es, which provide searchable databases of previous domain name sales. Search for domains with your keywords to see how much they have sold for in the past and use this as a guide.
- Estibot, an automated domain appraisal tool. Automated domain appraisals must be taken with a grain of salt, but they are helpful for figuring out which domains are worth more than others. Estibot uses a number of factors in determining valuations. These include keyword search volume and availability of a domain in different extensions. Consider these metrics when pricing your domains.
- NamePros is a forum for domain name investors. There are many helpful people there who will assist you in determining the right price to ask for domains.
Pricing domains can be fun once you get the hang of it.
Once you have your prices, add another column to your spreadsheet and list how much you want to sell each domain for.
Park and List
Your list of domains for sale isn’t useful if people don’t know that the domains are for sale. That would be like trying to sell your house without putting a sign in the yard or listing it on MLS.
It’s important to park your domains with a message that they are for sale and list them on major domain marketplaces.
The process of parking domain names is simple. By parking them with a message that they are for sale, people interested in a domain that type it into their browser will see that the domain is for sale and can contact you.
While many sales originate from people typing in a domain to see if it’s being used, it’s also important to get your domains in front of people when they search for a domain at a domain registrar such as Namecheap to see if it’s available.
Domain name marketplaces like Afternic help with this. When you list a domain for sale on such a platform, you have the option to have the services syndicate your listing to registrars where people register domain names.
Your domain registrar needs to be a part of the marketplace’s network in order for you to syndicate your domains. Namecheap currently works with Afternic, so any domain you register at Namecheap can be syndicated through Afternic’s Fast Transfer network.
Both Afternic and Sedo also offer free parking pages. They take a commission on any domain sale rather than charging an upfront fee, so there’s no cost to get started.
Now that you have priced your domains and listed them for sale, it’s time to sit back and watch the money roll in. Right?
Well, not exactly. It can take a while to sell domain names. People with large portfolios of domains generally expect to sell 1%-2% of them per year. So if you have 1,000 domains, you might sell 10 or 20 a year.
Don’t despair if you only have 50 or 100 domains to sell. It’s still a great feeling when you turn a domain name into thousands of dollars. You’ll catch the bug, and before you know it, you’ll want to become an active domain investor.