Buying and Selling Domains

Have you found the perfect domain name, but it’s taken? Or are you trying to sell your domain?

Are you sure?

Make sure the domain you are thinking of buying is the one you want. You can always buy your desired name with the .biz, .net, or the newer .studio, and .ninja extensions. You don’t want to go through the hassle of buying the domain, only to decide that you don’t actually want it, or that the price was too high. It cost you, both in time and in money, so make sure it’s worth the investment.

Here’s my page on how to come up with a domain name.

If you’re selling, well you don’t want to keep paying the yearly fees on a domain that won’t sell. So it’s good to know when to sell and when to just let it go.

Research the value

Get an idea of the value of the domain:

I say the “idea” of the value, because there are many factors that can effect the domain value:

  • The general market for domains
  • How different types of businesses will invest differently
  • Size of the market based on the domains connection and meaning
  • How the domain will be utilized
  • Where and how you sell your domain
  • Using Google CPC as an indicator
  • Perceived value

You can read more about it at “Domain valuation explained by these 6 factors

First Contact

The info can usually be obtained from a whois database. However, many times they have privacy, so you can try emailing the privacy email (usually gets deleted) or email the domain directly, such as contact@ postmaster@, or the such (just don’t spam). There are also services that will help you buy a domain from someone.

If you’re selling, there’s a lot of places you can list the domain. If you can, you’ll want to put a way for prospective buyers to contact you on the site (just be careful of driving current visitors away.)

It can help to put an email address on the whois contact.

Know how to barter

I liked the suggestions from this site. Namely, start with a casual inquire about the domain:

Hello,

Hey, I saw that you own Example.com, but that you’re not using it. I was just wondering what sort of plans you had for it.

Regards,

FirstName

This way you don’t sound desperate, and letting them state their price allows you to get a better idea of what they are wanting. If this doesn’t work, then to move forward to giving offers.

Here’s a good article on how to barter:

  • Find out the real value of the domain. How does this compare to how much you value it?
  • They may pay more or accept less than what you expect. Don’t give up easily.
  • Understand the culture. What goes in one place may not go in another.
  • If you’re selling, and they say they can’t go higher, remind them of the value of the domain and what it will bring to them.
  • If you’re buying, and they won’t go lower, ask yourself if it’s worth it to you. Or if you can get another one. Don’t become emotionally attached to it.
  • Use small increments. If they go up $1000, don’t match them but only go down just $200 (vice versa for selling).

Don’t get scammed

Once you have agreed on a price, use an Escrow service. It sits in the middle and makes sure that you get your domain or money. One such service is Escrow.com.

If you are buying, this allows you to pay for the domain (to the escrow service), but the seller won’t get the money until the domain is transferred to your registrar, such as Name.com (It’s a referral link, but I like them). The same applies if you’re selling.