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Domain Name buying and selling is one of those things that many people don’t even realize is an activity that goes on, yet there are a surprising number of entrepreneurs out there that are making a tidy profit from domains within that online marketplace. All you have to do is browse the list of top 100 domain name sales on DN Journal to realize just how much money is at stake here.
Domain names can sell for anything from a few hundred dollars, to tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. There are even sales in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in some unique cases. The real valuation of a domain name comes from a number of factors, and by understanding those factors, you can increase the value of your domain before you make the move to sell it. A lot depends upon where you are in the process as well.
If you haven’t even bought a domain name yet, and are just thinking about getting into the business of buying and selling domains, then you’re in an ideal situation. There’s a lot you can do to improve your profits when yous sell. However, even if you already have an existing domain that you just don’t use anymore, there are still some things you can do to improve your chances of getting top money for that domain name when you sell.
Increase the Value of Your Domain Name
Before you start the process of selling your domain name, it’s important that you have some idea how much it could be worth realistically. With the wide range of prices that domains go for at auctions, it can be difficult to predict the value of your domain accurately, but there are a few ways that you can estimate the value. More importantly, there are a few things you can do to increase the value of that domain for potential buyers.
Despite the fact that domains can eventually sell for so much, it’s still ridiculously easy to buy domains on the cheap if you’re willing to spend a few hours digging for any domains that are still available. Plenty of domain registrar sites like GoDaddy offer search tools to do that research.
If you find an available domain, you can likely get it for anywhere from $10 to $20 US dollars, but if it’s already taken and for sale by a third party (known as a “Premium” domain), then you’ll end up paying significantly more. So, what’s the deal with buying and selling domains? The truth is, there’s heck of a lot of money in it, if you know what sort of domains to look for, and what to do with them once you have them.
Park and Monitor Traffic
Odds are good that if you’re reading this, then you already have a domain and you’re looking to sell it for the largest profit possible. If this is you, you may just want to skip down to the next section. Otherwise, if you’re wondering what buying and selling domains involves, then you may be interested to know that there’s a little bit of a waiting period (usually) after you buy a new domain.
You typically won’t sell it immediately. While it’s in this holding pattern, you’ll want to basically “park the domain”. For example, I currently have about 10 domains or so that I purchased a year ago, parked them, and haven’t really done anything with them yet.
This means that the domains sit in your registrar account, and they don’t do anything – except display a website notifying the visitor that the domain is parked.
You could just keep that parked web page up, but that really doesn’t do you a whole lot of good, does it? Instead, you should actually forward that domain to a simple web page that you set up specifically to generate leads for that domain. I’ll cover more about what that specifically means further below.
Determine Your Keyword Value
Before you can promote or sell that domain, you need to know it’s value. One of the key driving forces of value is how many people are searching Google for an exact name search of that domain. While the latest Google algorithm changes are making exact-name domain matches not quite as critical as they used to be, they are still extremely important in an overall SEO strategy.
If people are looking to launch a financial blog about the U.S. federal deficit, and if they can get a domain called federaldeficit.com, that would sure be pretty valuable to them, wouldn’t it? There are a few quick and simple ways to gauge the keyword value of your domain. Head on over to Google Adwords, and type in the words that make up your domain. For example, if your domain is “cheaphaircuts.com”, type in “cheap haircuts.”
Make sure to select “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms.” The results will reveal not only the global monthly search numbers for that search phrase, but it’ll also show you the search numbers for closely related terms as well. If the keywords you look up have their own high search numbers every month, and close variations of that phrase also have very high search numbers, you’re looking at a domain name that could potentially bring in a whole lot of search traffic.
Of course, search traffic doesn’t just depend on keywords alone. A site needs a strong vision. If you can combine high keyword trends with a powerful vision for the future of that domain, you can generate a convincing sales pitch for potential buyers. It’s the sizzle in the steak that’s going to generate those sales leads and bring in the big offers for your domain.
Create a Vision for Your Domain
There are plenty of reasons for someone who comes across your domain sales to fall for a convincing sales story. Maybe they’re looking to start their own blog, a personal website, an e-commerce site, an academic informational site — it’s hard to know. However, the keyword phrase that your site is focused on often tells its own story. Some topics just lend themselves to informational websites, for example.
Think about the amazing things people could do with your domain. Think outside the box. Generate a list of 3-5 amazing ideas that’ll get people really excited about owning your domain name.
Look Up Average Domain Prices
Once you’ve developed a powerful vision that’ll make up the core of your sales story, your next step is to estimate the general value that you can expect from your domain name. Use any of the domain auction sites listed at the bottom of this article to search for domains that are similar to the one you own. Search those directories for your domain name, or for a similar one.
Review the ask prices that other domain owners seem to expect from their domain sale. Sometimes, these prices will range quite a bit, but you should notice a clear average price for domain names that are very similar to yours, or that cover a similar niche. Make note of these other prices. If you want to take it a step further, you could compare keyword search trends for those other domains. If your search trends are better, then the odds are good you could get a better price for your domain.
Build a Great Sales Page
Once you have a good picture of your domain’s SEO keyword power, armed with a convincing vision for how that domain could be put to good use, and an idea of what other sellers of similar domains in your niche are asking for in terms of price, you’re ready to create the sales page for that domain. There are some people that try to combine a sales page and an ad-page so that they can generate some funds from Google ads, while also offering a sales link for anyone interested in buying the domain.
If you’re really serious about selling the domain, you may want to bypass the ads, and devote the entire web page to selling the domain. Provide a clear description of your vision for the domain, include information about the high search value for the domain, and anything else you can think of that would convince the prospect to click on the Inquiry link.
You can use the Inquiry link to send interested buyers to your domain auction page.
List Your Domain for Sale
The final stage of selling your domain is of course landing the sale. Top domain marketplaces are the best option, because the transaction is handled by a trusted company, making it more likely that buyers will follow through with the sale. Choose wisely, and you should be able to keep your costs down. CAX is a domain marketplace where you can sell your domain if you’re okay with giving up about 8 to 10% of the sale as commission.
You get the option to customize your sales page so that it flows well with the domain page that you’re drawing potential buyers from. Another popular place to sell domains is GoDaddy Auctions.
The biggest reason for using GoDaddy in my opinion is that it’s the most well-known domain company on the Internet, and because of that you’re likely to have a much larger audience of potential buyers that are searching Go Daddy Auctions for a new domain.
Other great domain marketplace websites include:
It may take a little more time to set up your sales page and do the background research to estimate your domain name’s true value, but doing the groundwork will pay off very well in the end, when you accept that unbelievable offer for that domain that you’ve had just wasting space all this time.
Have you ever sold a domain? Do you have any tips from the process? Share your feedback and insights in the comments section below.