I had someone email me yesterday to ask if I might be interested in buying some newly registered domain names. In general, I am almost positively not going to buy someone else’s new hand registrations from them. I don’t register many domain names on my own these days, and it is not very likely that someone is going to be able to register domain names that I would buy. After a brief conversation, the person asked for some insight about selling these domain names. I was specifically asked about domain brokerage services, and I thought I would share some thoughts in a blog post.
I think people tend to look at domain brokers in a similar way that they look at real estate agents. For the most part, you can call a number of local real estate agents and find someone who would be interested in selling your property, regardless of the price level. There is almost always someone willing to take on the listing. With domain names, this does not ring true. Put simply, domain names are illiquid assets with a low chance of selling. When you combine this with lower quality domain names, it could be a lot of work for minimal pay. I wrote an article several years ago covering why a broker won’t sell domain names, and I think it holds true today.
So what do I recommend for someone who wants to sell newly registered domain names?
The first thing I would do is put up a “for sale” landing or inquiry page on the domain name. If a prospective buyer types-in that domain name to see if anyone is using it, the prospect will immediately see that the domain name is available for sale. Advertisers like Dan.com, Efty, and Afternic offer landing page options. Other companies like Uniregistry, Sedo, and Epik also have landing pages that clients can use for lead generation and to close deals. People can also choose to use their own customized landing pages, which is what I do through Embrace.com, because I like to manage the whole process (for better or worse).
There are different types of landing pages, and companies have different pricing structures. For instance, Efty clients pay a fee to use the company’s landing pages, but they manage their own leads and do not pay a sales commission for successful sales. Dan.com, on the other hand, does not charge for its landing pages but does charge a commission when domain names are sold through its platform. In addition, companies like Sedo and Uniregistry offer domain brokerage services so clients do not have to sell their own domain names when leads come in via the lander.
In addition to the for sale landing pages, I like to list my domain names for sale via Afternic, which is owned by GoDaddy. This allows my domain names to show up for sale in the search and purchase stream at GoDaddy and dozens of its partners. For instance, if someone searches for one of my domain names at GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Namecheap, or any of the Afternic DLS partners, my domain name will be listed for sale for the buyer to buy directly. This makes selling domain names easy, which is especially nice on lower value names.
When I do hand register domain names and list them for sale, I typically will list them at a reasonable price. I recognize that these domain names probably aren’t worth much now, so having a high price will likely mean I won’t sell the domain names. Depending on the name and reason for registering, I try to target somewhere between $800 – $2,500 for one of my hand registered domain names.
In most cases, newly registered domain names aren’t worth much, with few exceptions. That’s not to say that nobody will ever want to buy a domain name that is newly registered, but it does likely mean nobody will pay a lot for the domain name. With these types of names, I want to make them easy and cheap to buy so I don’t need to worry about a drawn out negotiation or a complicated sale process.
If you have additional advice to share related to selling domain names, feel free to comment.