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How Do You Re-Sell a Domain Name? 64

Posted by Cliff
from the not-as-easy-as-it-sounds dept.
dclayman wonders: " I've never sold a domain before. I just received a $400 offer for a domain I own (radicaltrust), but I don't know if I should sell it or auction it off. If I auction it, what site should I use? I could really use the extra cash, and I was hoping to get some ideas and advice from other readers. So, what's the best way to go about selling a domain?" Of course, selling your domain is only half of the issue. What's the best way to go about smoothly transferring the domain, once it is sold?
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How Do You Re-Sell a Domain Name?

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  • Use Sedo.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @06:26PM (#18435811)
    Sedo.com will conduct the auction for you, and ensure the payment is collected before the domain is transferred. Not an owner, just a satisfied customer.
  • by celerityfm (181760) * on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @06:27PM (#18435819) Journal
    As a buyer I've had good experience with buying "resold" domains both from Afternic.com [afternic.com] and Network Solution's Certified Offer Service [networksolutions.com].

    Each service has it's own features- Network Solutions, erm, solution is really just a way to make a safe transaction on a domain sale to an independent buyer, it offers an escrow service and other protections. Afternic has a similar service but they also have a nice domain name listing service where you can auction your domain like eBay. There may be others, but these are the only 2 I've had experience with, albeit from the buying side.

    For your situation with this buyer I recommend to at least use Network Solutions' service to manage the transaction-- it offers protection to both you and the buyer, though there is a fee of course.

    By the way, Network Solutions service also offers free domain name appraisals (Afternic has one too but charges). I don't know how much to trust it because for your domain I received values ranging over $10,000 when I first queried it on down to the $500 range later on. It seems to take into account the number of queries for a domain name? I'm not sure, but try it and see what it says now [certifiedo...ervice.com]. Also, if RadicalTrust is also the name of a product or service then that price could be higher (or possible lower) then the estimated value according to Network Solutions.

    If I were you I'd post it on Afternic.com for auction and tell your buyer about it. Your sure to incur some new offers from this /. article and an auction might be just the thing for your situation- if you're willing to pay the transaction fees of course :)

    Good luck!
  • Afternic.com (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mr micawber (803118) * on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @06:46PM (#18436063)
    It worked for me... I got over $1k for a domain I wasn't using. They were expedient and fair, offering a reliable escrow service and good marketing.
  • by mrmag00 (200868) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:11PM (#18436345) Journal
    I would advertise the domain on Slashdot. It has a far higher readership than other any site that might show up in something like a Google search for "How to sell a domain name [google.com]", and its far more likely to get posted by the moderators compared to other sites like kuro5hin or digg.
  • A few years ago, there was a recent big-deal about HillaryClinton.com - read more here. [bizjournals.com]

    P.S. My guess is the respective party would pay a lot for Ugly Democrats [uglydemocrats.com] and Ugly Republicans [uglyrepublicans.com] .COM ... amd then retire 'em! ;-)
  • Domain value (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gomextango (1078623)
    You need to get your domain appraised before you do anything (just like with jewelry), afternic is a good source. Shameless plug: I sell domains and hosting services and offer a appraisal service . I can even do the transfer, what ever else you need. For a hell of a lot cheaper then network solutions But first things first get the domain appraised, there are typically 2 options 1 computer appraised and cheaper (if your curious, and testing the water); or 2 human appraised with a certificate of appraisal (
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pla (258480)
      Shameless plug: I sell domains and hosting services and offer a appraisal service

      Not looking for insider secrets or anything, but in general, on what basis do you appraise a domain?

      Obviously a popular word (like the infamous "sex.com" domain) might fetch a good penny, but for most of them, the value would seem to depend entirely on having a buyer before-the-fact. Unlike jewelry, domains don't count as fungible.
    • by yincrash (854885) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:28PM (#18437165)
      http://dnscoop.com/ [dnscoop.com]
      i'm not sure how accurate it is, but it does appraising for free and tells you the factors involved.
      • Hey thanks for the link, interesting service. Strange results though my hosting domain came up about $380, nice but another site with a higher traffic volume came up $0, as did some of my other domains for some reason the urls I put in my original post did not show. SO heres the link www. myjaun com To answer the question I do not personally appraise but I resell GODADDY services and they appraise, would you like to buy a reseller account? click on the myjaun link to see. Bill
  • My company (OmegaSphere Inc. [omegasphere.net]) and many others do this kind of thing on a regular basis, and will help you do so for you for a reasonable fee.

    There are lots of tricks on either side to negotiating the best possible price, and having a third party involved can be helpful in many circumstances. In addition it can be helpful so that an escrow process can happen if the parties involved do not have an existing and trusting relationship.

    Furthermore, you get to take advantage of your broker's real world experience
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:24PM (#18436491) Journal
    So, let me get this right... You had an asset of no value. Someone else would appreciate it, and goes to the effort of finding you and making a reasonable offer. And now you decide that it's worth trying to sell!? They want to make a mutual cooperative offer, and you want to turn it into an competitive situation? Why? If you think it's a fair price, sell it to them for that. If you think it's worth more, tell them what you think it's worth and ask them for that.

    The world would be a much nicer place if we weren't all trying to maximise profits all the time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mozkill (58658)
      Yeah, the world would be a nicer place for the scammers if we all played nice. Scammers whine when the average joe knows the game they are up to and tries to make a profit also. Its not fair that the "scammer" personality should make all the profits in this world.

      But I do agree, that guy should take the $400 and be done with it.
    • by readams (35355) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:15PM (#18437029)
      That's nonsense. You're saying that everyone should just sell anything they own the first time they receive an offer without doing any due diligence, or verifying that the offer is even fair? If I walked up and offered you $10 for a painting you owned because I knew (but you didn't) that it was actually worth millions, would that be fair? But according to your claim, I should be perfectly justified to be insulted that you would even want to find out how much the painting is actually worth before selling it!
      • by PMuse (320639)
        Roger that.

        Antiques Roadshow much?
        • by belgar (254293)
          Ditto. I registered a .net domain ages ago that I was using, and had an offer from a large clipart company for it for $10,000USD (This was in 1998). For me, that was enough $$$ for me to let it go. Deal never sailed, then I had another company approach me in 2001 about it. Sold it for $1500. That was worth it to me at that point -- I wasn't really using it.

          My suggestion -- and the tactic I used to sell? Email him back that you've never really thought about selling the domain before, but you haven't
      • by 91degrees (207121)
        I never said you shouldn't find out whether the offer was fair. I mean clearly you should, but going to an auction just seems as little unkind. There are domain name apprasers who will tell you what a domain's worth, just as there are art apprasiers who will tell you what your painting is worth. They'll charge a tiny fraction of the value.

        Snatching it away from a fair offer and holding out for the maximum you can get is rather a nasty money grabbing business in the same vein as the royalties the reco
    • by Spritzer (950539) *
      I have a restored '69 Camaro that hasn't moved in a year and unfortunately won't for another 2. I'm not using it, so maybe I should give it to that guy who offered me $3000 last week. I mean, it's not being used and $3000 is more than nothing.
      • by huckda (398277)
        yes, you should..oh wait..it wasn't me who offered the $3k...
      • by 91degrees (207121)
        You could, but that's a stupid interpretation of what I said.

        Presumably this car is worth more than $3000 to you.

        Now, you may notice that I mentioned "fair price". $3000 is not a fair price. It's clearly worth more to you than that. You're obviously keeping it around because either it will have value or you value it in itself. What do you think it's worth? How about if I offered market value for it? you'd suddenyl think "wow, I can make money from this" and sell it to someone else?
        • The problem here is that most of us don't know how to assess the value of things. There can be a big difference between "value to you" and "market value", and if you sell it based on "value to you" you'll either get no buyer (because your valuation is far over market value) OR you'll get a buyer instantly, who will most likely immediately resell at market value and pocket the cash.

          Suppose he sells the domain name, and the guy he sells it to turns around and sells it in turn for 10x the price, because *he*
  • by Optic7 (688717) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:01PM (#18436863)
    Thanks for asking this question, as I've always wondered what is the best way as well, and I'm curious what the Slashdot crowd will have to say.

    Anyway, I would go with a free, commissions only service. The domain sale sites are already charging a commission on the sale, so it just seems like scumbaggery to also charge a "membership" fee on top of that. Not to mention that selling domain names is a total hit or miss thing - I've sold 2 out of maybe a dozen that I have put up for sale. For that reason I haven't tried afternic.com. I will try sedo.com now as mentioned above, since I checked and saw that it's free (commissions only). I have also heard of them before.

    I have also used tdnam.com in the past. It is free (commissions only) if you have your domains registered through godaddy.com. I sold two domains there with no problems whatsoever. It has an automatic escrow service, so you wait until they receive the money from the buyer and tell you that it's ok to start the transfer of ownership. They were fairly low-priced domains, selling for $50 and $200, but I didn't haggle or wait for other offers - I just took the first offer that came along.
  • by Optic7 (688717) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:13PM (#18437013)
    That I forgot to mention in my other post. If you click on "recent sales" on the left menu on tdnam.com, you will see a log of the top-priced sales in the last month (I believe). You will see that someone recently sold enjoydiary.com for $1805. Crazy - I've seen even crazier sales listed there, and I have a pretty good feeling that those are not bogus, because one of my domain sales was listed there (although way at the bottom at $200) after the sale completed. I've also seen current sales with offers of over $5000.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Results for http://www.google.com/ [google.com] (whois: google.com)

    Indexed Pages for google.com
    Google: 7,090,000
    MSN Search: 2,497,919
    Yahoo!: 27,439,177
    AlltheWeb: 27,000,000
    AltaVista: 27,400,000

    The estimated value of http://google.com/ [google.com] is: $1,390,000,000
    • by tverbeek (457094) *
      dnScoop told me that one of my domains is worth $90. Netsol's appraisal tool says it's worth $7,525 - $10,025. I'm pretty sure at least one of them is mistaken. This whole notion of determining something's "worth" - in the absence of actual people who value it - is like appraising the state of Shroedinger's cat.
  • by Stephen Samuel (106962) <samuel AT bcgreen DOT com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:25PM (#18437779) Homepage Journal
    Don't wait until you've sold the domain to transition yourself away from that domain. Transition yourself NOW. That way you'll have a few {weeks,months} to clean up any leftover bits that result from people not getting the news that you've moved your email, etc to another domain.

    The last thing you want to do is sell the domain and then realize that your other three domains are still locked to an email address on the old domain.

  • One of the three "tennants" of bad faith holding a domain is basically, using the domain itself as a source of profit (squatting) rather than using it for a productive purpose.

    So, offers for domain can be a ruse to establish that your purpose of holding it is resale, and that's one step towards being yanked from you.

    The issues are listed in the "domain name arbitration" area of the rules set out by ICANN.

    I would certainly expect to get a cashed check in the bank before doing any steps in transfer. Folks th
    • "tennants"

      Tenets [etymonline.com]. Tennants are people who live in a building owned by someone else.
      • by jimicus (737525)
        Tennants are people who live in a building owned by someone else.

        That's Tenants you're thinking of.

        Tennants [tennants.co.uk] is an auctioneer in Yorkshire, UK.

        Not to be confused with Tennents [wikipedia.org], which is a popular lager in Scotland (and Tennents Super [blueyonder.co.uk], which is popular with tramps).
      • "Tennants are people who live in a building owned by someone else." Not if they are squatting....
    • But that seems to be the main business of many companies out there. I went out intending to register my familyname dot info and found that it had already been scooped up by by http://namenation.com/ [namenation.com] and they want $200 for it. Are there any ICANN rules against this kind of squatting?
  • Sale and Appraisal (Score:2, Informative)

    by nullchar (446050)
    For selling a domain, you should use an escrow service to protect both the buyer and seller. At some point, the domain must go through the transfer process and if the domain is in escrow, no one gets screwed by insufficient funding or a NACK'd transfer request. escrow.com is a generic place but to make it worth your while, $500 or more should be the selling price. Others have listed links to sedo, afternic, etc. that will do the same. Ensure that if the sale does not go through, you may still manage the
  • by 1sockchuck (826398) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @12:11AM (#18439205) Homepage
    Domain valuations are usually based on whether the domain has traffic or has attributes that will help it rank well in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). Here are some key factors in valuations:

    1. Existing traffic - Domain parking services can convert visits into revenue.

    2. Backlinks from other relevant sites in your niche. Google values these in their rankings.

    3. Age of the Domain: Google's algorithm gives greater authority to established sites, so domains that have been on the web for a few years will generally fetch more in a sale than a newer site with equivalent traffic and backlinks.

    4. PageRank, a Google scoring system developed by Larry Page. It's a 1 to 10 scale, the higher the better. This used to be more highly valued, but Google sometimes resets the PageRank when it figures out a domain has changed hands, diluting its value as a sales metric.

    URL Trends [urltrends.com] is a service that provides a quick, free analysis of a domain's PageRank, backlinks and Alexa rank (which has some usefulness in assessing broader traffic trends). URL Trends shows that the submitter's domain, radicaltrust (we assume that means dot-com), has a PageRank of 0, and just one incoming link, but decent age (online since 2001, according to Archive.org). $400 seems like a pretty good offer. The buyer must be motivated by a specific need for that domain, and there's little in the stats to suggest you'd get more in an auction.

  • Go ahead and put it up on the auction block, and then contact the guy that gave you the offer as to where the auction is taking place and tell him that the starting price is $400. If there are no further bids he gets the domain, otherwise you sell to the highest bidder. Sounds pretty fair to me & a possible WIN/WIN although who gets the second WIN may not be the guy that contacted you ;-)

    Keep in mind that business.com and several other domains have sold for MILLIONS. That said, yours may not be worth ev

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