How I Am Selling Domain Names These Days

In the comment section on DSAD,  someone asked me how I am selling my domain names these days, and I thought I would share. I don’t think much has changed over the last couple of years, although I think I have been doing far less outbound marketing of my domain names than I was doing previously. I am not really sure why although perhaps it is because the kinds of domain names I am buying are not very conducive to outbound marketing.

It’s difficult to say whether sales are up or down because one or two large sales can throw off the numbers considerably, and I keep a relatively small portfolio of domain names. In addition, putting up no reserve auctions can skew the sales volume figures as well.

Listed below  are four ways I have been selling my domain names in the last few months:

Outbound marketing – When I buy a domain name at auction and it comes off its auction lock (if applicable), I sometimes seek out buyers. For instance, I acquired via NameJet and I sought out manufacturers and  large online retailers. Although I received one offer from a company that bought a similar domain name from me a few years ago, I did not agree to their offer and still own the domain name.

Resale to domain investors – I have made quite a number of acquaintances over the years. Many of these people are very active buyers whose portfolios are much larger than mine. I sometimes offer names in my portfolio to other domain investors for competitive prices. These deals aren’t usually all that profitable, but they can generate solid cash-flow.

Auctions – I have been using NameJet as a venue for some of my domain names. For the majority of listings, I do not have a reserve price as I believe that tends to keep the price down. It’s a bit risky and my sales have been hit or miss, but it is a good way to generate liquidity. When I sell names on NameJet, I try to contact some of the people who previously inquired to let them know that the domain name is up for auction.

Inbound lead generation – Almost all of my undeveloped domain names that I am willing to sell are either parked or have some sort of sale message. On the majority of these names, I send the leads to the platform. I still don’t like the “free quote” language, but I do like the platform in general so I use it. On the minority of my names, I have an offer page within my corporate website where people submit an offer. I think this landing page needs some work, but I think that if someone wants a name badly enough, they will submit an offer regardless of how the page looks.

I maintain a relatively small domain name portfolio of about 500 domain names. I don’t really have enough names to tell you anything statistically significant about how my sales are going. It seems like the most profitable deals come from inbound inquiries and sometimes from outbound marketing. The least profitable (and sometimes unprofitable) sales come from auctions.

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. I sold a yoga domain a few weeks ago for 400 bucks but as a casual seller I’m the one who’s usually contacted. I remember Morgan Linton mentioning in one of his blogs a few years ago about outbound marketing and he said to contact certain department people of a business but I forgot who. I think merchandising was one, not sure but who do you usually contact Elliot if I may ask?

    • Depends on many factors including the size of the company, type of company, location, online presence, management information available online…etc. It can range from President/CEO, CMO, VP, or even a marketing manager.

    • I go for C-level execs first, especially CMO or CTO. Maybe CEO or COO if it’s not clear who is responsible for digital marketing or information technology, the two corporate departments most likely to buy a domain name for the company. If they don’t have the budget themselves, they will escalate up to the CEO or COO to get the funds.

      Another option is to go straight to the CEO or COO who will then forward the email onto the CMO or CTO if the domain name is really good. That’s an implied endorsement to buy the domain name from the CEO to the more “junior” C-level position. But don’t waste the CEO’s time on a non-premium domain name that is not generic. He’s just going to ignore it. The domain name has to be so good that you simply put the domain name in the subject line and it speaks for itself. How could the highly relevant, generic domain name not speak for itself to the CEO? For lower quality domain names — good ones, but not top quality premium domain names — go to the CMO or CTO and give it a shot.

      If your domain name really sucks and you’re the only person who thinks its a good name because it just sounds good to you or has some high value keyword in it with some superfluous words added on, don’t waste your time or any prospective buyer’s time with an outbound email at all. It’s rude. Just hold onto the domain name with a lander page or just put it out of its misery and let it drop. That will save you some money you can spend on better names.

  2. I also own a domain that Mike Mann own the .com and .org to. I have the .net. He’s selling them for $25,000 and $10,000. I take it he’s waiting for the drop. I may ask him on Twitter. It may not be that important though.

  3. Elliot,

    Just curious if you have seen the new TLDs affect your business in any way i.e. resistance to paying a premium price because there are more alternatives or fewer inbound inquiries because potential buyers have more choice or Namejet auctions not yielding the same pricing as a few years back because domainers’ wallets are stretched with all their new TLD purchases.

  4. Hi, you said you own a portfoio of about 500 domains.
    The most of them are .com ? .net ? new extensions ?

    What is the most common extension in your portfolio ?

  5. I really like your offer page suggestion and agree that most people are looking for a name and not the package its being sold in. I mostly deal with outbound sales myself so this offer page would be a little less work for a few of my less marketable names.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to share your info Elliot!! Maybe I should work on more outbound calls. I am always busy with my other business’s and I just seem to hoard domains. 🙂 Fortunately most of them still seem relevant to the current markets. I really like DNS for keeping track of things and responding to inquiries.
    On another note do you dabble in bitcoin?? Seems like the next disruptive tech. Maybe uber for banking??? Thought I would ask as domainers seem to be gamblers at heart.

  7. Tx Elliot for sharing you current experience selling your domains.

    In another posting can you also share a version of your outbound pitch, to give a sense of its approach ?

    • Sorry, no.

      Last time I did that was a few years ago and I started getting spam emails with garbage domain names using very similar pitches with just a couple of words changed. I ended up deleting the article.

      For the most part, my emails are very short. IMO, you shouldn’t have to explain the value propsition.

  8. GoDaddy had a free instantpage years ago that was awesome for For Sale Pages
    They went away with it and I haven’t been able to find anything similar
    Anyone know of anything is similar and free?


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