Domain names can be worth a lot of money. In fact, Lasvegas.com was sold for $90m back in 2005!
Although it’s unlikely you’ll have a domain in your portfolio that’s worth that much, it’s still possible to sell your domain names for a profit.
Here’s what you need to take into account when attempting to sell your domain names.
How to sell a domain name
- Determine the value of the domain name you want to sell
- Choose where to sell your domain name
- Let people know your domain is for sale
- Create a domain listing
- Choose a payment service
- Transfer your domain
Determine the value of the domain name you want to sell
How much is your domain worth? Although you can guess at the answer to this question, there are tools available to help you work out what people are likely to be willing to pay for a particular domain.
GoDaddy, our partner company, offers a domain valuation tool.
Remember though, a domain name is only worth what someone else will pay for it, so although domain valuation tools can provide you with a guide, it doesn’t necessarily represent what you’ll get.
You can also research what other similar domains have sold for. Again, the GoDaddy valuation tool can help you do this.
Finally, you can list your domain for sale and see what kind of offers you get. Although be warned that someone people may make low offers.
Choose how to sell your domain
When deciding how to choose your domain there are two basic things to consider: Which service you’ll use to sell your domain and whether you’ll sell at auction or at a fixed price.
There are plenty of domain broker services out there. 123 Reg doesn’t offer a domain broker service directly, but we have partnered with GoDaddy to help you sell your unwanted domains. Broker services will usually charge a commission for selling your domain, but the upside is that they usually have a large audience of interested buyers. Other broker services include Sedo, Flippa and Afternic.
You could also sell your domain privately and/or use eBay to do so. This may be cheaper than using a domain broker, but you will have to promote the sale entirely on your own.
When it comes to choosing a fixed price vs an auction sale, you’ll probably find that for most domains you’re selling a fixed price works best. Auctions tend to work well for higher-value domains where there will be a lot of competing bidders.
Let people know your domain is for sale
The more potential buyers you can attract to your domain the better, so it makes sense to let people know that your domain name is up for sale.
There are a number of ways you can do this. Most domain broker services will ensure that your website is advertised for sale when someone visits the URL. Your domain name will also be displayed on the broker’s site, although people may have to search to find it.
You can also let people know that your domain is for sale via social media, domain investing forums and email outreach. Note: It’s probably only worth letting domain investing forums know you’re selling a domain if it’s an extremely premium domain that will attract a lot of attention. Email outreach works well for domains linked to professional services.
Prepare your domain listing
The basics of your domain listing are the domain you’re selling and the price you’re charging (or, if it’s an auction, the starting bid.)
However, some domain listing companies allow you to provide additional information and, if you’ve picked one that does, this is something you should take advantage of.
If possible, make sure your listing description includes details of past usage for the domain and potential future uses.
Arrange a payment option
Selling a domain name can involve a large sum of money, so you’ll want to make sure you put in place a payment method which allows you to sell with confidence and which means buyers know they’re protected too.
If you’re using a domain broker service, they will handle this side of things for you. However, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the way the transaction will be dealt with so you know what to expect.
If you decide to sell a domain by yourself, you’ll need to arrange a payment method that’s safe and secure. Usually, you’ll need to use an escrow service. With escrow payment, the money is held by a third party while the purchase takes control of the item in question (in this case your domain name) once the transfer is complete, the release the payment. Escrow is the system usually used by domain brokers.
By using escrow, you don’t have to worry about a fraudulent payment and buyers don’t have to worry they won’t get the domain after they’ve paid their cash.
Transfer your domain name
Once your domain has been sold and the payment has entered escrow, you’ll need to transfer your domain to the new own.
Domain transfers vary depending on what extension your domain has and the domain provider you’re using. You can read this general guide to domain transfers, but for exact information you’ll need to check you provider’s help section or speak to them directly.
The general process for transferring a domain to someone else is:
- You contact your domain registrar and tell them you want to move the domain to someone else
- Your domain registrar will use a verification method to ensure that you own the domain and wish to transfer ownership
- You have 60 days to confirm the transfer, once you have done this the domain will be transferred to the new owner
- In the case of a domain purchase, the funds will now be released to you from escrow
Important note: Although you have 60 days to confirm the transfer with your domain registrar, the terms of your sale may require you to do it sooner.
If you want to sell a domain, it’s important to start by working out how much it’s worth. You also need to find a safe and secure way of selling your domain, you’ll probably want to go with an established domain broker service like the one offered by GoDaddy. Finally, make sure you use a safe and secure payment method and that you know how to complete the domain transfer when needed.