How To Sell A Domain Name
How to Sell Your Domain NameLet’s take a closer look at each step of the process. Each stage is crucial to get the best deal for your domain name.
1. Determine the Price of Your DomainFirst things first – you need to get a good idea of how much you can sell your domain for. You wouldn’t want to try selling it for too much, because you may end up not getting any offers. You also wouldn’t want to sell it for too little, because, well, that’s obvious – you wouldn’t want to miss out on the potential profit. You can try determining the price of your domain yourself, or you can ask for the help of a professional appraiser. Here are a couple of general factors that can help you get an idea of the value of your domain:
- What’s your domain extension? Domain extensions, i.e. different gTLDs (generic top-level domains) and ccTLDs (country-code top-level domains) will have an effect on the price of your domain. For instance, while Google doesn’t discriminate between gTLDs, customers do. If your domain uses a .com extension it will get a better price than a new gTLD, like .rocks or .church.
- Is your domain catchy? Domains that are easier to spell and sound catchy will also catch better prices. Easy, common words and commonly used abbreviations are more sought after, and thus more lucrative.
- How long is your domain name? Long domain names are less in-demand and thus cheaper than short domain names. A one-word domain will fetch a higher price than a multiple-word domain. Additionally, if your domain includes stuff like hyphens, it’s not likely to get a very high price.
2. Decide Where to Sell Your DomainA common question when it comes to selling domains is – how do I find buyers? There are a couple of different avenues you can choose from when it comes to where to sell your domain. Depending on the where, you’ll figure out the how. Overall, we recommend that you try selling your domain on several different markets simultaneously. This will increase your chances of fetching a better sum. So, at the same time, you can try selling your domain privately, to another person, and also offering it at a domain market. Some of the most popular domain markets are: GoDaddy’s domain auctions. In fact, GoDaddy is probably the most popular site used for selling domains. Domain auctions work like any other sort of auction – interested parties place their bids, and the highest bid wins. The benefit of using a domain auction is that these sites often also provide links to escrow agents, which you’ll need to complete the sale – but more on that, later. A downside is that the auctioning site will take a percentage of the money you’ll make on the sale. Still, it’s often worth considering that it’s one of the easiest ways to sell a domain.
3. How to Communicate and Negotiate with the BuyerWhen you choose your buyer – or your buyer chooses you – put them through a screening process. In other words, do your best to find out if they’re trustworthy. Imagine if someone approaches you and offers a high price for the domain, you make a deal, take the domain off the market, and then they disappear, or worse, try to squeeze money out of you? We’ll go over safety measures at the end of our guide as well, but for now – make sure you read up on some reviews about the buyer before trusting them to come through on the deal. If you’re not sure about the buyer’s background, avoid them – the risk is simply not worth it. Once you’ve found out who the buyer is and decided you can trust them, here are a few steps for successful negotiation:
- Don’t fall for generic sob stories. Sometimes, big companies will pretend to be poor individuals, like students working on a project, and ask you to reduce the price for your domain through an imaginary sob story. Don’t trust them! If you’re willing to accept less money to someone who actually is in such a position, make sure they’re being genuine.
- Let the buyer name their price first. The benefit of the buyer making an offer before you tell them how much you’re willing to sell your domain for is that you may get more!
- Settle on a minimum price, and don’t budge from it. Once you’ve properly appraised your domain, decide on a minimum price you think you can sell it for, and don’t go below it.
- Don’t overestimate your domain. As we’ve already mentioned, if you ask for too much money, more than the domain is actually worth, you may end up not being able to sell it at all.
4. Get Paid via EscrowThe main of selling a domain is, well, earning money. To make sure you get your money, it’s best to either get paid before the transfer or use an escrow service. The latter is a better choice for both parties, as your buyer may also be reluctant to pay before getting the domain. Using an escrow service will ensure the safety and security of the transaction and the money transfer. It will prevent scams on both sides of the deal. Escrow services are basically third-parties that are in charge of the transaction process and funds. As we already mentioned, some websites which sell domains, such as Sedo, have a built-in escrow service. Even if they don’t, you’ll be able to fund link recommendations of escrows on the sites. Escrow will also take a bite of the price you sell the domain for, but it’s definitely worth the ensured security and your peace of mind.
5. How to Transfer the DomainOnce you’ve completed all the steps outlined above – including secure transactions via escrow – it’s time to transfer the domain. Again, we can’t stress enough how important it is not to do this if your money isn’t safe. Transferring your domain to its new owner is the last step of the process. The process of transferring the domain is determined and described in detail by ICANN. Depending on what method you’ve used to sell your domain, how you go about doing it may differ a bit. Still, here’s a general overview of how domain transferral is finalized:
- You (the seller) will submit the sales authorization code (EPP code) to begin transferring the website to the buyer.
- You (the seller) will be able to transfer the money from escrow once the website transfer is finished. (Check in the terms and conditions how long you’ll have to wait after the transfer to gain access to the funds).
A Final Note On Avoiding Scams!In addition to being thorough with checking the buyer’s background, you should also be wary of some common tactics used by “buyers” in order to scam you. The main tactic that we’ve seen is called a domain appraisal scam. What happens here is that a buyer approaches you and pretends to be interested. But – they tell you – before buying your domain, they’d like to have it manually appraised by a third party. Then they recommend a service that does domain appraisals, but guess what – they own that service. In the end, they won’t buy your domain, and you’ll be out of pocket for nothing. Plus, the valuation is fake.
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