Wonder no more.
In today’s post, you’ll learn how to sell a domain name the easy way. You might even gain enough confidence to buy and sell domain names as a side hustle which can be a decent source of income.
Here’s a guide on how you can start selling domain names for profit.
Optional: Look for domain parking services
This is an optional step that lets users earn passive income from inactive domain names.
A parked domain refers to a name that’s been registered but is currently not in use. So if you bought a domain name but decided not to connect it to any website, that domain is considered parked.
Why park a domain?
There are several reasons why a user might park a domain. Some people buy domain names long before their website is ready. So they just hold on to the name until it’s needed. Business-minded users will buy domain names and sell them for profit down the road.
Some people will buy variations of their main domain so that others can’t use them. For example, companyxyz.com might want to own the .net, .biz, .co, or any of its other extensions.
What’s a domain parking service?
What’s a domain parking service then? It’s a service that lets you “rent out” your domain name for advertisers. Sedo is a good example of this.
If you use a domain parking service, people who enter your domain name will get redirected to a landing page that contains ads.
Your earnings will depend on landing page visits, ad clicks, or both.
Do you need to park your domain before selling it? Absolutely not. But it does allow you to make some money while you look for buyers.
Before selling: research
Before you sell your domain names, you’ll have to perform a ton of research. You want to sell your domains at the right price, after all.
Here’s what you need to research.
Determine your domain name’s worth
Selling domains will be easier if you know how much you can sell them for. Who knows? You might already be the proud owner of a premium domain name and not even know it.
However, coming up with the right figure is easier said than done. Selling domains is comparable to selling artwork. If you price it too high, potential buyers might walk away. But if you price it too low, you could be leaving money on the table.
There are a couple of factors that can help you find a competitive price point.
- Length — In general, shorter domain names are considered more valuable than longer ones. You want domain names that are 15 characters or fewer.
- SEO value — A domain name that includes valuable keywords has a better chance of ranking higher on search results. That’s why some marketers are willing to pay more for search-friendly domains that include their target keywords.
- TLD — TLD or top-level domain refers to the extension at the end of a domain name. A domain name that ends in .com might be worth more than .net.
- Traffic — If you’ve already been using the domain name and it’s been getting significant traffic, you can use that as leverage to raise your selling price.
- Characters — You want a domain name that doesn’t have special characters like a hyphen. Some people also avoid using domains with numbers since it requires spelling clarification when said verbally (For example: live4ever.com vs liveforever.com).
You can also use a tool like NameBio to find out what similar domain names have sold for.
Not only will you see how much similar domains have sold for but also when and where the domain was sold.
GoDaddy has a similar domain name appraisal tool that you can use. All you need to do is enter your domain name and wait for the results.
There are other online domain name assessment tools that you can use. But you need to keep in mind that these tools are only there to give you a rough idea of what your domain could sell for. They can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to fetch that price.
If you want a more realistic appraisal for unused domains, you can get in touch with a professional domain name broker if you have access to one. A domain broker might be able to factor in other variables like market volatility and industry trends.
But what if you can’t come up with a price to sell your domain name? What do you do then?
Domain sellers don’t have to stick to a fixed price. They can sell domains using a flexible pricing strategy. This option will let buyers set the price, leaving the seller to either accept it or negotiate for a better deal.
Flexible pricing has its advantages. For instance, the buyer might set the price higher than what you were expecting. But the strategy has its drawbacks too like getting an offer that’s way below market value. Ultimately, the decision will be up to you.
Figure out how you’re selling your domain
After settling on a price, you can now think about how you’re selling your domain name. You have a couple of options.
Your first option is to sell your domain name privately. This involves promoting your domain and finding a buyer all by yourself which can be tough. But that also means you don’t have to go through auction sites (more on this later).
This is a great option for those who are not in a hurry to sell their property.
Selling domains privately isn’t as difficult as it might seem. You can use the domain to redirect users to a landing page. Use the landing page to advertise the sale of the domain. The idea is to make it immediately clear to potential buyers that you’re looking to sell the property. Make sure you leave an email address where interested parties can reach you.
Sell through a marketplace
If selling your domain privately seems too much work, you can sell through an online marketplace instead.
While selling through a marketplace is convenient, do note that these platforms can charge you a fee for using their services. Just something to keep in mind.
Sell through an auction site
Domain auction sites work the same way as marketplaces. But with domain name auctions, you won’t have any control over the final selling price. So even if you own a premium domain name, you might end up selling it below market value if there aren’t a lot of bidders.
Flippa is a good place to advertise and sell your domains through bidding. Because Flippa is already an established name, buyers know to come here for premium domain names.
Sedo is a domain bidding site that works the same way. A highly sought-after domain name can be sold at a high price on this platform.
One of the things that make Sedo great is that you can set the initial offer as the starting bid. That means you’re guaranteed a sale as soon as someone makes an offer.
Sell through a domain broker
Domain brokers not only help with valuating a domain but also find people who might be interested in buying it. Yes, a broker will get a commission out of the deal which means less money for you. But they also eliminate some of the hassles that come with domain selling.
And because they earn through commissions, it incentivizes them to sell your domain name at a higher price.
Just keep in mind that before you work with domain name brokers, you should ask about their terms and conditions first. Try to find a broker that doesn’t require you to pay upfront.
Before selling: preparation
After doing your research, you can begin preparations for entering the domain marketplace. Here’s a rundown of what domain sellers should do.
Create a landing page
As was said earlier, private sellers will have to create a landing page to advertise the sale of their domain names. They’ll have no way of letting potential buyers know otherwise.
You can build a landing page even if you’re using an online marketplace, a broker, or a typical online auction. It might even be a good idea to do so.
There’s no need to overcomplicate the landing page. Honestly, it would be best if you kept the design simple. You can use the page to highlight the domain’s money-making potential.
Don’t forget to add your contact information or a link to where a potential buyer can buy or bid for the domain name. If you can, add an inquiry form to make it more convenient for potential buyers to send their questions and offers.
Sign up to an auction site or marketplace
If you’ve decided to sell your domain name using an auction site or marketplace, you’ll need to create an account to post your listing.
The sign-up process differs from platform to platform but shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
After signing up, go ahead and make your domain available for purchase. Make sure you have up-to-date information to avoid any confusion.
Promote your domain sale
After doing everything up to this point, you can take it slow and wait for offers to come in. But you’d likely get better results if you promote your domain sale.
There are several ways to do this. You can use social media to promote your domain listing. If you find communities of domain buyers and sellers, you can advertise there.
If you have the budget for it, spending money to advertise the sale might not be a bad move. But before you do, think about whether you’ll make your money back after the sale. You don’t want to spend more than what you’ll earn.
Is your domain name appealing to businesses in a competitive industry? You can make moves to target these people specifically by sending cold emails.
For example, a domain like “cheapcarsonline.com” would be appealing to second-hand car sellers. So you can send emails to people in that industry to see who might be interested in buying the domain.
If everything goes according to plan, you should sell your domain name in no time.
After selling: transfer
There are a couple of things that you should take care of after the selling process. Here’s a guide as to what steps you’ll need to take after the sale.
Find an escrow service
What’s an escrow service? It is a neutral, third party that acts as a facilitator. In short, it protects buyers and sellers during online transactions.
How does it work?
The escrow service will let you know when the buyer pays in full. And it will hold on to the money until the buyer receives all rights to the domain.
So the service makes sure that both parties are happy before concluding the transaction.
An escrow service will put everyone’s mind at ease by making sure that everyone’s holding up their end of the deal.
Do you have to pay for an escrow service? It depends.
If you sell a domain name privately, you’ll probably have to if you want a less stressful transaction. Payments typically come in the form of a small commission.
However, you can find a domain name marketplace that can provide free escrow service. Some of the platforms mentioned earlier provide it.
Looking for an escrow service? You might want to start your search with Escrow.com, one of the leading companies in this field. There are also financial
By the way, you can use an escrow service for different types of online transactions. Just make sure you use a licensed, reputable company.
Transfer your domain
After the sale pushes through, you can transfer the domain to the new owner. The transfer process will be different depending on how you sold the domain.
The transfer process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week.
Here’s how the process usually goes. You’ll submit a request to your domain registrar informing them that you’d like to hand over the ownership to someone else.
The registrar will send you a confirmation email or through its online interface tool. Use it to confirm the transfer. Registrars are required to send you an authorization code within five days after sending your request.
You’ll need to send this code to your domain registrar to confirm the transfer.
Take note that you only have a finite number of days to confirm. You should not exceed 60 days otherwise the transfer will be canceled.
After you confirm, the registrar will process your request. It will send a notification to you and the buyer after the transfer is complete.
What can prevent a domain transfer?
A registrar can prevent a seller from transferring a domain name. Though these scenarios won’t likely apply to you, sellers should still be aware of them especially if they’re planning to buy and sell domains regularly.
Registrars won’t process a domain transfer if:
- It’s been less than 60 days since the domain was initially registered.
- It’s been less than 60 days since the domain was transferred to a new owner.
- The registrar believes that the domain transfer is fraudulent.
- The registrar is questioning the identity or authority of the requester.
- The domain name is on hold because of unsettled payments from a previous registration period.
- The registrar receives a written objection from someone claiming to be the domain name holder.
If you think your domain transfer was denied unjustifiably, you can do something about it. File a formal transfer complaint with ICANN.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much can I sell a domain for?
It will depend on the domain name itself. Some sell for thousands of dollars. Premium domains can sell for hundreds of thousands.
Can I sell a domain privately?
Yes, you can. You don’t need to use a marketplace or broker though it can simplify the process. One advantage of selling a domain name privately is that you don’t have to pay a commission.
Is it profitable to sell domain names?
You can buy and sell domains for profit. However, the domain market is highly speculative. You’ll need the experience to make money consistently.
How fast do domains sell?
It will depend on the domain. If there’s a demand for it or if you advertised it properly, then it can sell in weeks. However, it might take months or years.
Can you own a domain name forever?
Just because you bought a domain does not mean you’ll own it forever. You’ll need to renew your registration at least once a year.
What makes a domain name valuable?
There are a few factors that make a domain name valuable. This includes how short and memorable it is, if it’s easy to spell, the domain extension used, and if it gets a lot of traffic.
The right domain name can be extremely valuable. Now, you know the exact steps to sell domains and profit from them.
But if you have a website complete with content and other business assets, you’ll be able to generate more profit overall.
To simplify this type of sale, sellers sometimes create sites on a fresh web hosting account and simply transfer the ownership of that account to the buyer. As well as following the domain sale steps above.
Selling an entire website is beyond the scope of this post, but many of the same steps are involved. However, you may find our post on platforms to sell websites useful.
Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. If you click on certain links we may make a commission.