My DAN + GoDaddy / Afternic Pricing Strategy

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I had a rare phone conversation with a friend about domain names yesterday. We chatted about the overall market, and I shared some of the recent pricing strategy I use when listing my domain names for sale on DAN.com and GoDaddy / Afternic. I thought I would share it here as well.

Somewhere around 60% of my domain names are listed via DAN, most with their buy it now landing pages. I have done fairly well selling domain names on DAN this year, and I have what amounts to a majority of my inventory-quality domain names listed there with BIN prices. I have nearly all of my inventory domain names listed for sale via Afternic / GoDaddy. I do not use GoDaddy landing pages, preferring to send the domain names not parked at DAN to my Embrace.com inquiry pages instead.

Generally speaking, I have been pricing my domain names a bit higher on Afternic than on DAN. For instance, a domain name I have listed on Afternic for $1,599 might be listed for $1,488 on DAN. Depending on the price and valuation, the difference may be a few percentage points to 20% give or take. There is no exact methodology to my pricing – it is typically based on how I am feeling than anything precise. As I update my prices, I tend to keep a price difference on domain names. I don’t have a consistent mark-up number to share, so I can’t really say for certain the price differential.

There are a few reasons for the price difference. I have found that many people trust the GoDaddy branding they see on Afternic-listed domain names. I have had buyers who have preferred to buy straight through GoDaddy rather than working with an another escrow service. That’s fine, but if they have a strong preference on trust or brand loyalty, it will come at a price.

When I do a deal through GoDaddy, I pay a higher commission and it takes longer for sales to process than via DAN. Not only do I have to pay more to close a deal on GoDaddy, but it also takes quite a bit longer to get paid. Here are two recent examples of sale and payment dates:

DAN:

Domain name bought on September 22
Payment sent on September 23

GoDaddy:

Domain name bought on June 18
Payment sent on June 29

Both of these were sub $5,000 transactions. Mind you, the domain name sold at GoDaddy was already in my GoDaddy account, so there was not a long transfer process to delay the payout. On the other hand, the domain name sold at DAN was registered at Enom and the buyer transferred it to Key Systems. Despite that, I was still paid one day later.

I appreciate closing deals on both platforms. Put simply though, I pay a lower commission percentage and I am paid much more quickly on DAN. As a result, buyers will need to pay a small premium if they want to buy one of my domain names via Afternic / GoDaddy. Perhaps this is a reason for my cold spell at Afternic this Summer.

17 COMMENTS

  1. After reading this I would I think that the only reason you are having more success at DAN and not at Afternic is because the potential buyer has direct access to buy the domain via the landing page at DAN. They always say the best way to sell anything is to remove steps in the process of whatever you are selling. Startups build billion dollar companies by removing steps in any process. Sales is no difference.

    • I can’t give percentages, but plenty of buyers start their search at a domain registrar, see the domain name listed for sale, and they buy it via that channel. I am sure this percentage decreases as the price increases.

      • I would agree with you if they are lower quality names. Someone looking for a higher quality name would assume that the name is already registered and first visit the domain directly.

  2. How come Dan does not have parking PPC page with for sale sign?
    I don’t use Epik because it costs money and why should one pays when it costs unnecessary money.

    Regards,
    BullS
    MBA,PhD
    Magna cum laude
    Graduate of Domain King Academy

    MBA-My Big Ass(all of you have one)
    PHD-people having dickheads

  3. Thanks Elliot for the great insights, they’re very helpful.
    Is my recollection correct that at DAN you prefer to select BIN only (no ‘make offers’) and don’t enable their lease to own option because you feel any possible lift in sales is outweighed by potential problems a bad buyer/lessee might create?

  4. Although your strategy is completely logical and reasonable.
    The potential buyer does not have all the knowledge about commissions and payment terms.

    If you look at it from the buyers perspective, it may cause for a distorted narrative.
    Why is there a difference in pricing I can’t explain?

    So why not price a name the same on all platforms?

    • My guess is the buyer will choose the less expensive option unless they have brand loyalty to GoDaddy or their registrar. As you may already know, some domain registrars in the Afternic / GoDaddy network already mark up inventory. For instance, check out the price of my domain name, NHMA.com on GoDaddy and then go see how much it costs on Name.com.

  5. Buyer buying directly from a registrar is a correct assumption, one of my domain listed for $788 at dan.com landing page was purchased for $1388 at domain.com,Afternic partner. I assume buyer typed it and bought it.

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