Selling a Domain Name for $1 Million

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogI was thinking about the disconnect between domain owners and end users today and trying to think of ways to bridge the gap. While it may be a bit of an unrelated tangent my mind went on, I came to a simple but accurate conclusion about selling a domain name for a lot of money.
The only way you can sell a domain name for $1 million is by walking away from $500,000. It’s a simple statement, but I believe it’s true.
Several years ago, I was playing Double Down video poker on a cruise. If you’d win a hand, the game would show 5 cards. One card would automatically flip for the player and the player had to choose the game’s card. If you win you get a certain payout, and if you lost, you would lose everything you had earned. Every time you got it right, your winnings would double. You could either double again or collect your winnings.
The long of it is that I won $1,200 by doing this several times, and when I stopped and got 3 buckets full of quarters (and a Jackpot t-shirt). Instead of thinking about how cool it was to win, I only could think about what could have been if I hadn’t stopped. A couple hours later I was playing and had winnings of $1,600 by doing the same thing – only to lose at $3,200.
Point of this is, you never know what you can ultimately get for a domain name if a buyer is motivated enough to buy it. It takes guts to turn down a $500,000 offer, but you won’t get a million dollars for your domain name if you don’t walk away from $500,000.

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. This is the reason why gambling has become an addiction. Not knowing when to stop. Think of the next couple domains you could pull in with $500k that you could potentially sell for that price range again? To me that is worth more than the $1million you could have gotten in the first place, who know how long it would take to get that much.
    Here is some words of advice from Rick Latona:
    Those posts alone give you good enough example of why to sell your domain for a good profit. Also points out why most domainers never sell their domains, its really sad to be honest.
    Agreed in most respects. You have to be realistic about your domain names because nobody is going to pay $1 million for a shitty domain name. I’ve had very good luck buying and selling because I do know what my domains are worth and what they will fetch. There have been plenty of times when I could have sold a name for more, but the money at that point was worth much more to me than the opportunity cost that would have been lost by not selling.
    Rick and I share a lot of the same philosophies when it comes to buying and selling domain names.

  2. “if” i had hair, i’d be living the life on the french riviera (not the website, the real deal) – life is all about decisions – make informed decision and move on (this includes both buying and selling) – some may be right, some wrong – you have to hope that at the end of the day, good decisions far outweigh the bad – playing the “if” game is a slippery slope.

  3. The funny thing is once you do a $1 Million deal, you crave a bigger deal “rush” and want to do a $10 Million deal, and that means getting your seller to say no to $5 Million first before you can get to the $10M final deal.
    LOL 🙂
    And after you get a $10 Mil deal, you crave the ultimate domain “rush” and doing a $100 Mil deal.
    LOL 🙂

  4. Elliot, you and Rick and the rest of us share the same domain sales philosophy:
    “Keep it if you can, wait it out, sell it when you need the cash for the right price, and NEVER look back.”
    I tell my clients never to act as if the domains they own are the only ones they’ll ever own. Winning domainers will always win if they sold all their domains for a profit, and started over at zero.

  5. @adam – yes, its common knowledge that bald guys are not allowed on the french riviera – note, under the bald umbrella includes guys w/ toupees and comb-overs.
    hope that helps.

  6. The other thing to keep in mind about turning down a high offer… is that you can let them marinate for a while and try to squeeze the higher offers from them… but if another offers fails to come through, they will likely still be willing to pay the original offer.
    An end user isn’t just going to walk away from the domain because the seller wanted a higher dollar amount, rather, they will temporarily figure out what to do since the price on their domain is out of reach, but when the seller comes back (after realizing they won’t get much more for the domain) the buyer usually can renew their offer again… making both parties satisfied with the deal.

  7. In my real world business, as a Fishmonger (, I know the importance of turnover. Don’t fall in love with your inventory. I’ll say it again, don’t fall in love with your inventory. Similar to the the concept of, the best time to find a new job is when you don’t need one, the best time sell a domain is when you don’t need to because you have more leverage in negotiating the price (or spine as I like to say). Plus, if you turn down too many offers for your fish, it gets stinky quick!

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