Domain investing is bigger than it ever has been. There are dozens of registrars and dozens of venues in which to sell your domain. There is even domain financing if you need it. Very soon, you will even be able to lease your domain, a service which promises to be more profitable than parking. So, you think you may have a hot domain…where do you sell it?
There are several major web sites which specialize in “brokering” domains. Today, we will explore some of the most popular and upcoming web venues for selling in the domain name aftermarket. Note, the aftermarket refers to domains that have already been purchased and are being sold for a premium price. What kind of premium prices? See my post about The High-Price of High-Profile Domains.
Sedo – One of the largest domain name resellers is a Massachusetts-based comany, Sedo.com. Sedo has over 300,000 members and 5 million domains in its database. They sell well over 1,500 domains per month.
Sedo offers parking for its domain customers and a marketplace for buyers to browse. Sedo recently began selectively auctioning domains. There auction works only when someone decides to “make an offer” for one of your domains, and only at this point will you be able to decide whether it goes to auction. This fact and having to share the ad revenue are very limiting factors of Sedo. Sedo’s parking services are free, but like I mentioned, you are sharing the revenue with Sedo. Listing your domain in their marketplace is also free, but they take 10% commission if a domain sells. One other limiting factor is that you are not allowed to sell your domains in other venues once you are listed with Sedo. I used to park my domains with Sedo until I discovered WhyPark’s superior service (more on that later).
GreatDomains – Great Domains is the “trusted marketplace for domain names.” They are owned by VeriSign and contain a huge portfolio of high and low priced domains. I have not had any experience with Great Domains, but their portfolio of domains being sold is impressive. Like Sedo, they charge a 10% commission fee upon sale.
SnapNames – SnapNames created one of the first commercially available technologies for “back-ordering” registered domain anames and snapping them up as they become available. Their technology, SnapBack, has been used by thousands of customers to secure hundreds of thousands of domain names. SnapNames offers 3-day auction services. They claim they are “the largest daily auction of investment grade domain names.” They specialize in expired and deleted domain names.
The Domain Name Aftermarket – All domains that expire under GoDaddy’s user account are reregistered by Daddy himself. GoDaddy runs TDNAM.com (The Domain Name Aftermarket) as an auction site for its domains and the domains of other resellers. TDNAM offer two price plans, Basic and Premium. The basic annual membership fee is only $4.99 per domain and there is a small (5-7%) comission you must pay upon sale. Premium memberships offer upgraded visibility for relatively low cost (less than Sedo’s). From what I have heard, TDNAM has been moderately succesful at selling its domains, although not as successful as Sedo, at least in the number of raw domains sold.
WhyPark.com – This is a new domain parking service, which I talked about in the article “Domain Name Parking Has Changed Forever.” I first heard about WhyPark from the Daily Domainer, a great source for domains news. WhyPark provides the unique service of automatically adding revelent content and articles to your parked pages. Not only that, but you use your own advertising network, such as Adsense or YPN. Now, you do not have to share the costs with Sedo. WhyPark also offers automatic Google Sitemap creation which helps your pages get indexed by Google, something that doesn’t happen with any other domain parking service.
There are many places to sell your domain, but there is never any guarantee you will sell for the price you want. Jason Drohn wrote an interesting article that talks about minimizing the risk of domain investing. Domain investing is very much a “digital lottery,” as Jason so kindly puts it. You are spending a small amount of money hoping for a huge return. Luckily, your chances of making money with domains is much greater than winning the lottery.
Obviously the best way to sell a domains is when a private individual who contacts you about it. If someone wants what you have, they will be willing to pay a premium for it, much more so than if it goes to auction. Many domain resellers buy domains on the aftermarket and then resell them for their own profit. In a future article, I will talk about how to find the right types of people to buy your domain.
Have any of you successfully sold domains at another venue? Please share your experiences as I am curious to learn other methods and places to sell domains.
Update: Kate from Sedo chimed in and let me know that Sedo DOES allow advertising your domains in multiple places. Thanks for the update, Kate!