I took a Financial Accounting course my first semester of sophomore year in college. I don’t remember much from the class except for one thing the professor told us that I will paraphrase: “accounting is more of an art than a science.” I think the same thing can be said about the pricing of domain names on the aftermarket.
Over the years, I’ve been asked by a number of people how to sell a domain name. Most of the people who have asked are friends or friends of friends, and they are not involved in the business of domain investing. I also saw a tweet from someone this past week asking the same type of question, and I thought I would expand on this.
If I was not a domain investor but owned a domain name that has value and wanted to sell it, here are the steps I would take:
There are many great Intellectual Property lawyers who are familiar with domain names and laws regarding domain names. I think there are few attorneys who I believe have domain name expertise. These domain name lawyers know the ins and outs of the law as it specifically pertains to domain names. They can be particularly helpful to domain name investors who might face legal challenges.
This morning, Nat Cohen posted a series of tweets about how attorneys with domain name expertise have helped his business over the years:
I don’t know what it is, whether it’s a domain investor thing or a Twitter thing, but I see far too many people responding to tweets about domain names to mention their own, usually less good, domain names. For instance, I could mention a high value one word .com domain name that sold, and inevitably, someone will reply mentioning their three word .biz domain name they hand registered a couple of weeks ago.
I am not really a confrontational person, so the remedy for me is to mute that person. I don’t do this to everyone, but if someone’s first interaction with me is a mention of their own crappy domain name, they’re muted.
For many years, domain name traffic was an important aspect of a domain name’s value. Domain names that had traffic could make serious amounts of revenue via parking, and that revenue gave additional value to a domain name beyond its intrinsic value. These days, traffic may be less critical to a domain name’s value, but I think it is a good idea to monitor it.
For almost a year, I have been forwarding 90% +/- of my domain portfolio to DAN.com landing pages. These domain names aren’t monetized with pay per click links as the goal is to sell the domain names. In essence, I am foregoing what I believe is a nominal amount of incremental revenue to make it clear that domain names are available for sale.