Guest Post: Why Priced Domains Sell Better, Faster

This is a guest post from Jason Miner, who oversees Afternic’s Sales, Business Development & Customer Service departments while also guiding the Product and Development teams. With over 6 years at Afternic and more than 15 years of senior management experience, Jason brings adept leadership skills to the helm of Afternic.

Online Pricing Models:   Auction/Un-priced vs. Buy it Now

For over a decade, online companies including eBay and Amazon have experimented with “buy it now” (BIN) pricing vs. auction/un-priced listings. The auction/un-priced model may be falling by the wayside though, as online shoppers have come to expect that websites will offer the ability to make online purchases instantly. This only makes sense since the majority of ecommerce sites are set up like this.

One major indicator that online shoppers prefer “buy it now” (BIN) pricing is that eBay – the world’s most famous online auction platform – dedicated a large portion of its marketing budget in 2011 toward a “Buy it new. Buy it now.” marketing campaign; and, in 2011, 62% of eBay listings were BIN prices vs. 43% in 2008!

Why Choose Fixed Prices for Domains?

Web design best practices include limiting the number of actions a visitor must take to accomplish a purchase. Requiring a potential buyer to bid or request a price before they can make a purchase just adds an extra step to the purchase process – one that some customers may not be willing to take.

This is one of the main reasons why priced domains sell faster and for higher average sales prices. Pricing your domains up front makes transactions faster and easier for both parties because priced domains meet domain buyers’ expectations for a smooth, fast purchase process.

Fixed Prices Mean Higher Sales Prices

Buyers are always looking for a deal. If there is no price, you are likely to get an offer far below the figure or threshold you have in mind. This is why setting price expectations by setting a fixed price usually eliminates the need to entertain lowball offers.

When the price is set by the seller, the buyer understands the expectations and will usually make a more reasonable offer, resulting in better negotiations and eventually a higher sales price.

Fixed Prices Give You a Larger Audience

Afternic’s Domain Listing Service (DLS) offers domain sellers the largest audience for their names. Only priced domains are eligible to participate in Afternic’s Premium Promotion program, however. Premium Promotion puts your names in front of over 35 Million potential buyers per month across a network of partner sites.

This unmatched exposure to buyers who are actively seeking for domain names, greatly improves the chances that your domain will sell faster.

Send an email to Afternic to learn more about how to price your domains.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Timely post. I just did an exhaustive scan last week for a domain name to purchase for a specific project. I scanned thousands of names containing a specific root word and then narrowed down to those available for sale or hand reg.

    I found that as a buyer, when you have a handful of possible names to consider and you come across a name where you have to submit a binding bid just to begin a dialog about the actual price you’d need to pay, you almost have to eliminate these names from your list – even if you like them a lot.

    As a buyer, you can’t be putting in bids on a handful names at the same time – it is impractical and potentially budget-busting.

    I think most domain holders believe the name they own is going to be uniquely and precisely the name a buyer will need. Sometimes this will be the case, but probably more times than not, there are reasonable substitutes for your domain name – and plenty of them. If you own names like that, then you need to provide prices just to get on the ‘finalist’ list for consideration.

  2. @ adam

    Last week, I priced a bunch of my domain names I want to sell. I didn’t price names I felt I could get optimal value on negotiations, but I did price my mid and lower level names I’d be happy to sell. I erred on the high side though.

  3. As a buyer, I like BIN listings. As a seller, I loathe them. As Adam said, money is left on the table if you price your domains with a BIN. If you absolutely must include a threshold price, it’s better than a BIN.

  4. Some of my best domain sales have come from domains I would never have expected, if I had to BIN some of them, and shared them with you many of you would say low xxx, when in fact they sold for high xxxx…

    Money on the table, AFTERNIC loves BIN, because more commission for them, Jason, be nice if you clean up afternic of all the domains that half the accounts don’t even own, rather than trying to bs smart domainers into thinking BIN is better for them, we all know when it comes to premium domains, BIN will most likely hurt you… You will just be paying renewal fees, big world out there, do not sell yourself short…

    • @ Ron

      I see both sides on this. I almost never priced my domain names, but I know I own plenty of domain names that I would sell for low $x,xxx if I had them priced. Seeing the high rate of BIN purchases, I decided it might be beneficial if I price the domain names I’d like to move and wouldn’t think twice about moving. Yes, you may leave money on the table, but that is something you can’t really calculate.

  5. I think selling domains with a Buy It Now or Fixed Price is a good idea if one wants to sell more names for many of (and even more of) the reasons that Jason noted above. It’s not for all domains, especially premiums, but for moving inventory and quickly. BIN domain sales are where that ‘sweet spot’ is ($5K and under) that endusers are comfortable with, and willing to mine. I believe we will be seeing this format becoming more and more prevalent, and I’m a fan of it. Kinda funny those that worry about ‘leaving money on the table’. Waiting for that 1 name to sell (that one can bleed the most outta of it so no money is left behind), one probably could have sold many more names for more profit overall, and bought and invested in more and better quality names. But we often forget that everyone’s names are ‘premium’, that get daily inquires, just waiting to be overpaid for!

  6. As I continue to learn this investment vehicle I see this post very-much relating to the post on the challenges of being a flipper. There is no one practice fits all, except for the Schilling/Berkens/Schwartz of the world. But comparing to them is like comparing to a hedge fund manager with your etrade account.

    I still do not understand the problem with buying a domain for $100, listing it as a buy now for low xxxx and having it sell within a few months. Those returns cannot be met anywhere. The only domains I have with offer/counter offer are LLL .com’s and one LL .net. The rest are buy now at 300 to 2000% profit and it makes my day when they sell.

  7. Jason, You commented that “Requiring a potential buyer to bid or request a price before they can make a purchase just adds an extra step to the purchase process – one that some customers may not be willing to take” I agree with you 100%, but contrary to what you that’s exactly what Afternic does…

    Afternic forces an interested buyer to submit an inquiry/request to get a BIN figure for any parked domain they come across …and there is a 24 hour turnaround on the request. That’s a deal killer

    It was for this reason I moved my parked domains to SEDO because they offer an immediate BIN figure.

    Keep it simple.


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