Selling domains the right way

It’s a pretty basic concept but one which many simply forget to consider when selling domains. For want of a better way of putting it, if you have a BMW on your drive and want to sell it, you don’t keep in the garage gathering dust…you take it to the valet, get it cleaned, maybe decide to put it on the drive during the summer months to attract the right buyer. You certainly wouldn’t put it on the forecourt of a Fiat garage as they may not be able to afford your car…and so on.

Why then, do so many feel that they can just get away with listing a parked domain in a one size fits all environment with not care for actually attracting the type of buyer they want? Here’s an example I have seen recently on how to go about selling domains the right way…

Praise goes out in this instance to Richard Kershaw at who has gone to what I would consider an admirable effort to sell one of his domains. To give you the story and not tot take credit in anyway, as it was clear he already knew the course of action he is taking now, Richard contacted me last month about my thoughts on a domain he was considering putting up for sale. In our emails we discussed ways to market it to the right type of end-user, direct marketing, comparable domain name sales and the big question, develop or not develop?

After a flurry of emails back and forth I agreed with Richard to do a blog post about selling domains the right way and I would certainly recommend that any domainer new or experienced, with whatever value domain name, considers at least to experiment with a few of these ideas.

So what domain is he selling and what has he done to maximise his chances of a prompt sale at the right price?

Ladies and gentleman, the next lot of the day is… for Sale:

Obviously is enormously desirable as the domain for a voucher code site. The domain is memorable and meaningful, and keyword domain offer an ‘unfair advantage’ over competitors for branding, SEO, PPC & mobile media (more on that in another post).

I’m expecting plenty of interest for a couple of reasons…

More  of this post at>>>

So what has Richard done to attract the right end users to buy his domain at as close to the £18,000 valuation it has been given by Sedo?

Well some lines from the emails for you to think about:

“Letter ended up going to c. 130 people from a seed list of c. 350. Research took days!”In reference to searching for companies on called Code and sending them a professional letter, detailing the domain and its USPs and inviting them to make offers on it.

“…and will be checking in with domainers this week.”In reference to contacting other notable domain name investors who may be interested in the domain name for their portfolio. Using Whois information to get their contact details or even better to strike up a relationship via social media networks. Many domains are sold via a social network “handshake” nowadays and more often than not these sales represent a very true figure of domain name values as opposed to selling at auction whereby offers usually get inflated by over zealous bidders and inexperience taking its hold, creating a “excitement bids” where you pay more than you know you should have done, just to win the bloody thing. (Talking from previous experiences in my late teens / early 20′s ) What better way to sell a domain than to be able to actually think of the person you believe or know is interested in a particular type of domain and just be able to send them a tweet? Or poke them? Or just pick up the phone?

The key here is that by developing relationships you are able to ask for assistance, like writing a blog post to gain exposure ;-) or by putting you in contact with a prospective buyer etc.

Finally the development part, going back to my BMW analogy, if you want someone to part with £xx,xxx for a domain you better make it look and feel like a £xx,xxx domain. This means developing it a bit into a site with ideas and concepts for the prospective buyer to mull over, what would this domain do for them, what are the benefits, make the see its potential for ROI!

Give comparable sales and a recent appraisal by a reputable company where possible so that they can clearly gauge an acceptable offer level, or even better just disclose the price you want to achieve. Richard has even gone as far as to offer  sales brochure and why the hell not, if it makes the difference between a sale or not, why not go to the extra length and effort to achieve the amount you want for it?

And last but not least, talk about it, shout it across industry forums and social networking groups, email people and keep doing it!

Having checked the offer page for on Sedo over the weekend Richard has had 4 new offers for the domain. I truly hope we gets a sale by his deadline of the 15th  for this is a great example of selling domains the right way.



Two quotes:

“The secret to selling a domain name will not work, until you do!”

or my personal favourite

“You can TRY to sell domains or you can TRIUMPH in selling domains, the only difference is a little UMPH!”

Nuggets of domaining gold ;-)

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Gary has been an online marketer since 2002. An SEO/Analytics specialist he is Digital Director at TMW. As an affiliate, Gary owns and operates a number of UK and South African websites. He is also an industry speaker at events like SMX, SAScon, Think Visibility, On The Edge Live and won the Midlands Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008. You can find him on Twitter, Linked In and Google+

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