Advice for selling a domain name?
May 6, 2019 7:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in people's personal experiences selling a domain name. What pitfalls would you avoid if you had to to do again? What services do you recommend/recommend against? How would you recommend pricing?

I have the basic jist of how to sell a domain name and use an escrow service to ensure payment. But I am curious what specific services people who have been through this before recommend/don't recommend.

I am also looking for recommendations about how to accurately price (or whether to just auction). I've gotten a few estimates from automated services (anywhere from $3,500 to $98,000). Wonder whether it's worth paying for an estimate, and if so from where.

My domain name is .com, one word, eight letters, a regular English word that wouldn't seem to have that much commercial potential, but could be considered somewhat inflammatory and generate interest based on that. It has been around since the late 90's (I bought it from a now-dearly-departed friend) but hasn't had a real web site up on it for many years, and never had a commercial site.

I'm unsure how to price such a creature. I have periodically gotten emails expressing interest over the years, but no one will *ever* actually mention a price they would be willing to pay.
posted by nirblegee to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You can list it on GoDaddy Domain Auctions and specify a minimum amount, costs about $8 a year and commission is 10-20% depending on what it goes for.
posted by furtive at 7:54 PM on May 6, 2019

I would not use Go Daddy for anything, ever; they have a pretty repulsive history as a company and their customer service is shit. The go-to sites for the domain reseller market are Afternic and SEDO. SEDO allows you to search by parameters exactly like .com, eight letters, so never mind the estimates, you can go see what similar domains have actually sold for.

The thing in aftermarket domains is whether they are "brandable" or not, ie can a client build a brand on that name. There's no reason not to tell us what it is; loads of us who buy and sell would gladly ballpark it for you.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:34 AM on May 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

I sold a domain name. I put up a simple "For Sale" page with an email address. Got various offers, including a few "that's a nice domain name, please give it to me for my cat/ blog/ cat's blog". Got an offer I thought was low, declined. A year later, same buyer offered a bunch more, accepted. They tried to transfer using GoDaddy, who were stunningly not competent. We used my domain registrar instead, easy-peasy.

On another domain, I got similar "sure would be nice to have that domain" email from a person relatively well known on the Web, no solid offer. Then it got hijacked by a Taiwan company. o well.
posted by theora55 at 6:22 AM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sedo, AfterNic, Namejet are companies I've known various people to use to sell/auction their domains. All of them are going to have some kind of commission fee that you'll agree to pay so that you can use their platform to sell your domain.

With regards to how your domain is valued, that's something I've never truly understood. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason behind some domain names being worth so much more than others. If you have a sense that it's worth that many thousands of dollars then I'd say shoot a bit higher and see if you get any people expressing interest, if you don't, you'll know very quickly that you've priced it too high. Good luck.
posted by Fizz at 8:46 AM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've used Sedo several times. It's worked out fine.

Echoing Fizz, there's no intrinsic value to a domain name. The old adage that "it's worth what someone is willing to pay for it." was never so true. Although I wouldn't say you'd know you've overpriced it quickly. It will take time for the person who wants it badly enough to find it, or even come to want to find it.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:22 AM on May 7, 2019

I am also interested in this - what if your domains (I inherited some and paid to keep them until I could figure out what to do) are actually through GoDaddy? I listed them once and got no bites.
posted by 41swans at 11:22 AM on May 7, 2019

You can move them anytime to a more reliable registrar. I use namecheap.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:01 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

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