How much should I sell my website for?
September 30, 2012 5:03 PM   Subscribe

How much should I sell my website for?

Someone has offered to buy one of my domain names. I'm brand new to negotiating. Let me mention a few things about my site. I haven't bought webhosting. There's nothing on it but GoDaddy advertising. I don't plan to use the site anymore since I found a better domain name. I've only had it for three months. The domain name doesn't sound very appealing to me and I'm not sure how the buyer would use it. A GoDaddy appraisal tells me the site is worth between $573.00 - $1,337. Does that sound right?

From reading other sites, I know I should have the buyer make the first offer and negotiate from there. But if he offers something well below the appraisal like $100, should I try to work with that?
posted by JamesAtMidnight to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's no way for anyone here to tell you whether this "appraisal" is legitimate without knowing what your domain name is.

Anyway, if someone is interested, tell him to make an offer. If you like it, take it. If you don't, counter with a different offer. If he's interested, he'll bite.
posted by dfriedman at 5:11 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

What's the domain name? The value is entirely based on what your time is worth, what the buyer perceives to be the value and each of your negotiating skills.

Without know the domain, I'll take a blind guess that you'd be lucky to see $400 for it.
posted by michaelh at 5:17 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Well, you don't have a site, you have a domain name. Ask the person how much they'd like to offer and see what they say.

A family member is in a similar position with a domain name someone bought recently - she'd like it, but only cares basically enough to spend <$50 to get it. Is that worth it to you to sell it? Depends. You mentioned you already found a site that is "better" for your needs and you don't think the domain name is all that appealing. Do you think a better offer will be forthcoming? I would decide whether the amount they offer you is worth the hassle of whatever getting paid and transferring the domain entails, and go from there.
posted by arnicae at 5:17 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

My hunch is that the GoDaddy appraisal is high.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:25 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

"Appraisals" are always really high. Back in 2000, I had a domain that appraised for over a million bucks. Needless to say, I did not end up getting a million bucks for it. Instead, the only firm offer I got was for $10K. I didn't need the domain any more so I sold it.

So, whatever the appraisal says, figure about 1% of that, or less.
posted by kindall at 6:01 PM on September 30, 2012

I can't imagine that you bought a domain 3 months ago and it's worth anymore than $10 today. However, if you have found a buyer than dumb take whatever you can get and laugh your way to the bank.
posted by COD at 6:02 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was nervous about giving away the domain name in case the buyer was randomly googling for it online, but I think giving the name will be okay. It's "cr!cketscr!". Replace the exclamation marks with "i". I'm obscuring the name in case he's googling the domain.

I don't think any other offers are coming because the name just doesn't sound very attractive to me. I'm surprised anyone is interested. I looked up the buyer based on his email address and he appears to be an unknown musician from Brooklyn. I don't think he's rich.
posted by JamesAtMidnight at 6:13 PM on September 30, 2012

Let him make an offer. would also still be available. 10 Dollar or 50 dollar is never an reasonable offer, no matter how bad the domain name is. I think services like even have a 50 dollar minimum fee. You would make a loss in the transaction.

Most domain holders have absurd ideas how much their domains are worth. This being said, I once bought a domain for 1500 dollar and this was a IMHO a very fair price.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 6:26 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think it's not worth anything other than what the seller will pay. Reasoning:

1. There are plenty of available domains as good.

2. It's not a thing or brand or even Googled very often out of curiosity.

That leaves only its appeal to taste which is in the eye of the beholder: the buyer.

That said, you don't have to sell it, and cannot possibly lose any more money or time on it if you don't want to, so make sure it's worth your time to complete the transaction.
posted by michaelh at 6:43 PM on September 30, 2012

couple of factors to consider:

. google just announced they are devaluing the ranking authority given to domain names that are keyword rich and content poor. eg.

. has the domain ever had a website? and if so does it have any links pointing to it?

. do you know why the seller is so interested? does the domain name contain his brand

. does the domain name sync well with any toll free numbers such as 800 buyloftny

. what industry does could the domain name be associated with?

. does the domain name have any valuable keywords eg.

and also what michaelh said.

please report back on how it went!
posted by lapsang at 7:15 PM on September 30, 2012

You probably won't know why he's interested, and you won't know how much he's willing to pay, so the only and best strategy is to let him make an offer first and then counter with something high (above the minimum you are willing to accept) and then try to negotiate to meet somewhere in between. I definitely don't think you should assume the "value" is 1% of the appraisal, that's just wrong.
posted by Dansaman at 7:19 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I sold a domain name a while back, and have had interest in another one. What's it worth to *you*? How bad would it feel to lose the sale? Probably not worth much to you any more, and it would feel bad to lose the money, so ask for, say, 700, and be willing to negotiate. Godaddy was horrible at doing the transfer, but maybe they've improved.
posted by theora55 at 7:19 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Anecdata: Nickelodeon emailed me out of the blue and bought a domain name from me, for $750. I didn't negotiate, because I had googled what large companies typically pay for domains, and it was $700-750. This was five years ago.
posted by Xere at 9:13 PM on September 30, 2012

But if he offers something well below the appraisal like $100, should I try to work with that?

Well, yes, because you a) don't actually want this domain, b) there is going to be a pretty limited market of buyers, and c) these buyers can buy other domains.

Have you ever browsed through aftermarket domains? I've branded three companies with domains purchased from Sedo. I have paid between 125 and 450.

Even at $100, you've quadrupled your investment in three months. Keep that in mind.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:35 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Meet the guy. Maybe he is a cool guy and a struggling musician so you GIVE him the domain and in a couple or five years, he gives you tickets to his sold out tour.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:11 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

I spend my days doing domain and website valuation for work.

The GoDaddy valuation isn't the most useful thing, but it does give you a range to work with. If I were you, I'd be looking at selling closer to the $500 end than the $1300 end.

There's certainly value in a good domain name even if you just registered it a few days ago, especially if someone reached out to you and made an offer.

Definitely get the seller to make you an offer first. Do you know if this is an individual or a company?

Feel free to send me a private message if you want.
posted by third word on a random page at 2:41 AM on October 1, 2012

I have a domain portfolio. 98, no , 99% of the offers I get are from scammers who are paid commission by domain valuing companies for leads. So if the email asks you get an external valuation it's 100% a scam. A genuine buyer would not ask for this
posted by molloy at 3:08 AM on October 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

Just as a data point: About a year ago, I received an unsolicited offer of $200 for a url I owned (without a website): I came back with, I think, $2500. Eventually we settled on $1800. I was semi-suspicious the whole time but, in the end, everything went smoothly and I got the money!
posted by SampleSize at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2012

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