Know Your Asking Prices

There are many ways a person can inquire about a domain name. I have found that many buyers visit the landing page and inquire directly after seeing a “for sale” message on the page. Many people also have success selling domain names via marketplaces such as Afternic and Sedo. When you quote a price, be mindful of the buy it now prices you’ve set elsewhere.

Buy it now pricing is encouraged at domain marketplaces. It makes it easier for a buyer to complete a purchase, and it is faster for all parties. It probably makes buyers more comfortable knowing that the price is set and it is not going to increase based on who they are (how much money they have). One issue I face on occasion is when I quote a price on a direct inquiry that differs from the buy it now price elsewhere.

I don’t have a great pricing system. I have started to put (high) buy it now prices on names I list for sale on marketplaces, but I don’t have a central location for where I keep my list prices. I price my names based on a number of factors, and some of those factors are dynamic. This means I might be willing to sell a name in January for $25,000 but later decide that I’d be willing to move it quickly for $15,000. If someone inquires in July, I might quickly quote $30,000 without checking the marketplace listings. The different prices may be confusing to a buyer, especially for someone who does their due diligence and sees the pricing discrepancies.

There have been times that listings that aren’t mine also come into play. I bought a name in December and received an inquiry in February. After quoting a price (via DNS broker), I learned that the buyer had seen it listed on Sedo for considerably less money than what I quoted. Luckily for me, the listing was no longer active and the broker relayed that I was the buyer of the name at that price, which was also helpful in justifying a higher price. I have not yet closed this particular deal, although the negotiation is ongoing.

When you receive an inquiry on a domain name, you should check the major domain marketplaces to see if the name is listed for sale. Even if it’s not in your account, it might be a dormant listing from a while back, and you’ll want to know what the buyer may be able to see. It can also be helpful to know what the domain name previously sold for, because if it is listed in Google, chances are good that the buyer might see that, too.

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 have sold many domains from people seeing that the name is for sale in my Whois. On the second address space I put “This Domain Is For Sale”. I checked a couple of yours Elliot and see that you don’t do this. You should, it works.

  2. Sometimes, I like to price my domains differently in the marketplaces. One higher, and one lower. That way, the buyer gets excited that he’s getting a good deal out of my “mistake”, and rushes to buy the lower priced domain (which was actually exactly what I wanted)

  3. I’m still racking my brain as to what Sedo and Afternic sale pages have over Cax?

    Cax advantages I see:
    1) Option to lease it (process fully laid out for the seller) or a regular sale
    2) Make Offer option mixed with auction to encourage other buyers to make offers too
    3) Customer header option so it’s your brokerage, not the corporate big wigs; you’re in control, you set the tone – not them
    4) Link to the rest of your port
    5) Email link so they can easily contact the seller to discuss other possible price/payment plan options, at the other places if the buyer is not knowledgeable about WHOIS, etc. it’s all or nothing when they see the sale page
    6) You can add a full paragraph-plus description with additional details about it, any site that comes with it, etc. You can also add a custom line right below the price (I use those to say if another domain just like it is included in the deal or special price offer for buying multiple domains)
    7) Option to host a video (see for example), picture, or frame any webpage while still having the sales page strip at the top.
    8) Option to have a full site on the domain but still run a strip at the top of all the site’s page to advertise it’s for sale and link to the sale page.

    There are NO advantages to going with the suits over Cax. I challenge anyone to name ONE reason to go with Sedo, GoDaddy or Afternic over Cax.

    Don’t know about you guys but I’m tired of making the suits at GD, Sedo, and Afternic rich when they’re obviously being lazy. Why can’t they offer any of the 8 options I just named off that Francois worked his ass off to create? Because the corporate suits are lazy. Bureaucracy, greed at its best, offering a poor customer experience to domainers.

    • True. So basically you’re agreeing that Cax is better in every way except they have more eyeballs which increases the chances of a sale. So a David like Cax can create a million times better product but it’s impossible to compete with a Goliath like Go Daddy/Afternic because of their first-mover advantage and deep advertising pockets. That’s really sad that in America somebody can create a much better product than corporations and the corporations can just sit back and not try to improve their products because they know he doesn’t have the advertising dollars to compete with them.

      But I still say if brands are your specialty that most of your sales will come from direct type-in’s, not people browsing/searching the marketplaces. Then you should have the domain redirect to the sale page (or the strip at the top) and Cax makes the best sale page pitch by far to maximize the chances of a sale. Is there any advantage GD/S/A have on their sale pages themselves over Cax sales pages?

    • No… it’s Saturday night and my daughter woke us up at 5:15 this AM… My brain is fried, so it was the first thing I thought about.

      Frankly, it probably makes the most sense to list domain names for sale at all venues if you have a means of tracking them.

    • Agreed. Get the most exposure and increase the sales chances but for redirecting domains to sale pages (which I think every domain for sale should be except maybe one-word .com’s) there isn’t one reason to use a sales page other than Cax.

      And why won’t Go Daddy (or DomainTools on their WHOIS pages) automatically syndicate Cax listings the way they do with the others? Hating on the little guy again. It’s all a money game. It’s like making the undisputed *best quality product* in this world doesn’t matter if you don’t have the money to promote. Lazy corporations will knowingly put out an inferior product and not play ball with the upstarts. They hold the power, hold the cards. Absolute power corrupts.

      Imagine how much better the industry would be if the videos/leasing options became a staple of selling because Go Daddy was pushing them to their customers? It’s simple to do. Why are all these domains being wasted when, with just a few keystrokes, you can put badass content on them like a video, make a statement on the web (isn’t that the exact phrase Go Daddy uses in their advertising?), for the people that type them in instead of ads.

      Don’t want to go off on a rant here but so many people never buy the domains they really want and put them to use creating great businesses because they think the price is not negotiable and there’s no way to pay in installments. The industry is WAAAAY too ILLIQUID. This is the internet! They should be changing hands all the time. Prices are way too high. Fair market prices should be easier to find. For keyword domains a formula can be generated to price them right. Brands are subjective. It should be like the dynamic stock market. Instead it’s like we’re in the 1800’s. Like the boring illiquid real estate market. 25 domain sales reported in a week? Not all are reported but there should be 10 times that. It’s a complete joke.


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