Tips to Run a Successful (Large) Private Auction on a Platform Like Sedo

Last week, I wrote about the ongoing  Brands-and-Jingles .ME Auction at Sedo. I think it’s quite smart to work with a company like Sedo (or a competitor like to hold a large auction event like this because it will bring interested buyers who may end up buying more than one domain name. It will almost certainly generate more revenue than individual listings at an aftermarket website.

If you think you have a good enough group of domain names to run a private auction on a platform like Sedo or I want to share some tips on how you can drive traffic to your auction and generate additional revenue.

  • Advertise on Many people who are active in the domain industry reading on a daily basis. If you have a sponsored post listing the top names from your auction, it will almost certainly add revenue if your prices are fair. I think the cost is $150/day, and I have found it to be well worth the cost.
  • Send out a press release. I think most people who have blogs receive Google Alerts when press releases and news stories are posted with domain name news in them. If we receive a press release for a notable auction, it will probably be posted in an article.
  • Post in forums. Many people who invest in domain names read domain forums like DNForum, Domain Boardroom, and NamePros every day. Start a thread about your auction and mention some of the better names. Be prepared for positive and negative feedback. It comes with the territory.
  • Advertise on blogs. There are quite a few excellent blogs, and I am sure some allow short-term advertising at great rates. Reach out to blog owners and ask for the rates.
  • Have the auction house email buyers. Most auction houses have lists of potential buyers, especially if it’s a niche auction like .ME, .TV, .CO…etc. Ask them to send their buyers an email to notify them of the upcoming auction.
  • Email potential end user buyers. Let these end user buyers know about your auction and be sure to instruct them on how to sign up, when to sign up, and how to bid. Put them in touch with the auction house. Don’t make assumptions like the auction house will get in contact with them. Send an introduction email to the buyer and your account representative and then send a follow up to make sure they connected.

I think the key to running an auction is making the right people aware of the auction and telling them how they can participate. If you have any tips to add, I welcome them in the comment section below.

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. Elliot,

    I’m not quite to the point where I need to have a private auction, but I am considering advertising on Have you seen good results from that in the past?


  2. Thanks Elliot for the reference!

    To respond to Jacob:

    There are basically 2 ways to sell domains:

    a) Hold and wait and maybe one day you will sell it to an end-user for a good price.

    b) Suggest and promote it to sell it another domainer for a reseller price.

    There is almost nothing between.

    The problem is for path (a) you really need to be very patient, don’t be in need of cash and be a good negotiator.

    For (b):

    a) You own liquid domains,,,, single word, … and if the price is a reseller price then you should sell it easily and fast.

    b) You do not own a liquid domain but own an “appealing” domain, then price it for the reseller market and promote it to the maximum of potential buyers (here can help you as other places Elliot suggest).

    c) Now if your domain is not “appealing” and just have good metrics then probably it should compete with zillions domains available for sale to domainers so it should be very difficult to resell what ever be the price. In this case select option (a) or develop it or drop it.

  3. Elliot & Francois,

    I’m more interested in offering a service, but knowing that domains are selling means services are at least likely to generate some interest.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  4. If you are using an auction format, it can be very profitable to contact potential bidders. 2 examples from my experience. Had a buyer who had offered 10k several months earlier for, which I declined. When the name was accepted in (public, not my private auction), I contacted that prospect among others to notify them of the auction. His bidding, while not even winning the auction. created a 20k additional profit to me by bidding up the ultimate winner. Though our negotiations broke down at 10, he ulitmately bid five times that.

    In another instance of a name I sold for 13k, one of the 10 prospects that I sent an OVERNIGHT Letter to, won the bidding as one of two bidders that kept bidding past 6 grand, so that $120 or so in postage netted me an extra 6 thousand dollars. The letter pointed out, among other things, that I would not have gone to such expense to send an express letter if I didn’t think it valuable to the prospect.

    Thanks for this post, Elliot. Haven’t been actively marketing the names lately, more relying on whois lookups, but now I’m stoked again.


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