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How Do You Re-Sell a Domain Name?

Cliff posted about 7 years ago | from the not-as-easy-as-it-sounds dept.

The Internet 64

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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Use Sedo.com (4, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

I've had experience with a few services... (4, Informative)

celerityfm (181760) | about 7 years ago | (#18435819)

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!

Re:I've had experience with a few services... (1)

B00yah (213676) | about 7 years ago | (#18436081)

Interesting...looked up one of my domains, said $11k-$14k, refreshed, same domain, $1400-$2400. Seems the word relevance disappears randomly. Definitely not accurate, but I about crapped myself when I saw $11k.

Re:I've had experience with a few services... (1)

celerityfm (181760) | about 7 years ago | (#18436265)

Thanks for the report.

I *have* had some domains that I've purchased stay relatively consistent for estimates on that site in the past, so I don't know whatsup with it now. Maybe they don't like us playing with it :\

Re:I've had experience with a few services... (1)

chimpo13 (471212) | about 7 years ago | (#18436653)

My main domain, nokilli.com, shows up around $20,000 after hitting refresh a few times. Crazy. I'd say this site isn't accurate.

Re:I've had experience with a few services... (1)

darinp (1076055) | about 7 years ago | (#18436763)

That's because you are a wanker, Dave. There's a premium on wanker sites because of the porn connection.

Re:I've had experience with a few services... (3, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 years ago | (#18438473)

seems like pure garbage to me. Unless the owners of sex.com, business.com, or slashdot.org are willing to sell for $16,000.

Re:I've had experience with a few services... (1)

klenwell (960296) | about 7 years ago | (#18437509)

Just ran a domain I own through that appraiser thing and it said it's worth $10,900.00 - $13,650.00 USD.

Now if I could just get someone to offer me that much...

Don't answer (-1, Troll)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#18435849)

And we know you're not a domainsquatter ... how?

Yeah, you just *happened* to stumble upon this name ... right.

fucking squatter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18435921)

you disgust me.

Take the money and run. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18435975)

$400 for your shitty little domain name? It's not "sex.com" or "cars.com", so nobody else will want it. Take the money and run. Then, count yourself among the lucky who make some dough without adding any value whatsoever.

And you transfer the domain the same way you'd move to another registrar. Just unlock your domain and authorize the transfer when they initiate it.

God, ask Slashdot has been sucking badly for a long time now.

Goodbye, and enjoy the extra ramen this month.


Re:Take the money and run. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18436093)

you're wrong. it's slashdot that has been sucking, not just ask slashdot.
and it's pathetic that this squatter is getting all kinds of support from the same community that would be bitching and moaning if anyone outside of fagdot did this.
these fucking queers really just need to get the fuck away from their computers.

Re:Take the money and run. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18436375)

I agree- $400 is made money. Though I think this topic is fine for /., it's "How Do You Re-Sell a Domain Name?" not "how do you squat a domain name for maximum $$$!" - this guy might have bought it to do something decent with it, but never did. Its wrong for him to sell it to the highest bidder now?

Re:Take the money and run. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18438343)

shut the fuck up you appoligetic faggot.

Afternic.com (3, Interesting)

mr micawber (803118) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

the best way (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 7 years ago | (#18436137)

The best way is to have them get an account at a host or registrar and tell that company to send you a transfer request. They send an e-mail to the administrative contact listed in the WHOIS info if it's not 10-14 days from expiring and it's not in locked status. Then you click a link and like fill out an agreement form for the transfer then soon after, it's theirs. Oh and I suggest a 10 day auction on Ebay and send a link to it to all interested parties.

Advertise it on Slashdot (5, Funny)

mrmag00 (200868) | about 7 years ago | (#18436345)

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.

Re:Advertise it on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18437011)

Thread over. Lock please!

Domain value (1, Interesting)

gomextango (1078623) | about 7 years ago | (#18436437)

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 (if you have a real offer this it the better option) and its not that much more $8.95 vs $19.95 Best of luck Bill

Re:Domain value (2, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 7 years ago | (#18436999)

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.

Re:Domain value (free computer appraising service) (3, Informative)

yincrash (854885) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Domain value (free computer appraising service) (1)

gomextango (1078623) | about 7 years ago | (#18437701)

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

Contact a broker (1)

ddent (166525) | about 7 years ago | (#18436461)

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. There are the official registry processes and then there is what actually happens. Some registrars are much easier to work with than others. If you get a broker that either is a registrar or has a solid relationship with one then they can work out all the fiddly details of the transfer itself on your behalf.

Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18436483)

Just let the domain expire. Let someone else have the option to buy it from a top level seller. Dont be greedy.

I have an OS project, and the only domain that I have available to register is currently available for $400. I will never make that money back from my OS project, and I don't have that money to spend.

Think of the other people, not your pocketbook.


Fucking commie bastard (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18436751)

go back to north korea you stalinist asshole

So you were sitting on it... (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18436491)

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:So you were sitting on it... (2, Insightful)

mozkill (58658) | about 7 years ago | (#18436989)

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.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18441663)

Its not fair that the "scammer" personality should make all the profits in this world.

Though of course the implicit belief that everyone else is a scammer is how most scammers justify their mindsets. This mindset ultimately leads to more scammers and fewer honest folk, which on the whole is worse for everyone.

Paranoia certainly doesn't help society as a whole, but consider this: it may not help the seller either. What if the domain name is worth less than $400 and by waiting, the seller passes up a uniquely high offer (the buyer, tired of waiting, goes and gets another domain name instead). What if this buyer is not a scammer but more of a clueless idiot? By taking the time to get their domain name appraised, the seller may not only pass up this offer, but has also spent at least some of their time (which is presumably valuable to them) going through the appraisal process. Even if they end up taking the $400 offer, by wasting some time they have decreased the value of that offer. This possibility should also be taken into account.

Also, what's with all this talk of "scammers"? Domain names have no intrinsic value. People buy a particular one either for vanity or as a calculated business risk: that by spending a little money now they can get more business and thus make more money later. While we're all talking about "scammers", these folks aren't trying to buy diamonds for the price of cubic zirconia. They think that it is worth risking $400. How exactly are we going to "prove" that it's worth risking more? Just because some people out there claim to "appraise" domain names doesn't mean that they're doing anything more than making a vaguely educated guess (note that the service is free...). Here's a thought: do that yourself. The seller here basically has $400 in hand, and as such by not selling they are taking a risk too. They have to make a business decision. They should try actually making it rather than dawdling.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (5, Insightful)

readams (35355) | about 7 years ago | (#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!

Re:So you were sitting on it... (1)

PMuse (320639) | about 7 years ago | (#18437709)

Roger that.

Antiques Roadshow much?

Re:So you were sitting on it... (1)

belgar (254293) | about 7 years ago | (#18438495)

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 been that interested in maintaining it recently (This would be good, paper-trail-wise, if he/she tried to nail you on ICANN regs). You would consider selling it, but wouldn't really consider an offer under $XXXX, as it's worth that amount to you. Then, cross fingers and await response. But, to try and turn this into a significant money-making gesture at this point -- that's bad form, karmically detrimental, and a little on the slimy side, IMHO.
And finally, if they read Slashdot, yer fekked. :P

Re:So you were sitting on it... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18440573)

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 record industry actually ends up paying artists, the beating down that results in sweatshop workers getting the minimum possible wage, or the unfair pricing from monopolies.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18445385)

If the price you're offered for something is more than it's worth to you, it's a fair price. It's only greed that twists you into thinking otherwise.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18437923)

The world would be a much nicer place if we weren't all trying to maximise profits all the time.

I was just thinking the same thing. Right after I imagined that puppies could pee fresh, ice cold lemonade 24 hours a day.

Can't decide which would be better.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18439459)

I was just thinking the same thing. Right after I imagined that puppies could pee fresh, ice cold lemonade 24 hours a day.

Can't decide which would be better.
For you? Probably the latter, as it would give you a second reason to wrap your lips around a dog's cock.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18466989)

Right after I imagined that puppies could pee fresh, ice cold lemonade 24 hours a day.

If you want it really fresh you have to let them rest every once in a while.

Um...or so I've heard.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (1)

Spritzer (950539) | about 7 years ago | (#18439653)

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.

Re:So you were sitting on it... (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18440477)

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?

We don't know how to value things (1)

JavaRob (28971) | about 7 years ago | (#18441969)

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* knew of a company starting up that was interested in the name. Was that knowledge -- an overheard conversation -- really worth $3600? Is that fair?

I think he's doing the right thing. If he finds that the original offer was fairly close to market value (i.e., what other people offer), the first buyer should get the domain - no need for a bidding war, or fighting over a few bucks. But if he immediately gets offers far above $400, they need to renegotiate.

There's a third situation -- where he really likes what the buyer plans on doing with the domain, and DECIDES to sell it below market value. This one's complicated, because the buyer might lie about intentions... but it happens; I've done this before. Mind you, this is impossible to do without knowing the market value; otherwise you're giving away an unknown sum.

I would go with a free service (3, Insightful)

Optic7 (688717) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18436907)

I've never sold a domain before. I just received a $400 offer for a domain I own (radicaltrust),

I'll give to $1300 for it, but could you deliver it to my brother in Arkansas, because right now I'm out of the country.

One more cool thing about TDNAM (2, Interesting)

Optic7 (688717) | about 7 years ago | (#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.

Funny results from dnScoop.com (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18437463)

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

Re:Funny results from dnScoop.com (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 7 years ago | (#18445561)

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.

Useful. (-1, Troll)

user24 (854467) | about 7 years ago | (#18437537)

Next time on Ask Slashdot: How to password protect Word files.
Also: watch out for our podcast on sending email, and a webinar on why you should back up your files.

Transition BEFORE you sell (3, Informative)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | about 7 years ago | (#18437779)

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.

Caution (1)

jafiwam (310805) | about 7 years ago | (#18437957)

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 that deal in domains are sometimes shady characters.

Re:Caution (1)

stonecypher (118140) | about 7 years ago | (#18440013)


Tenets [etymonline.com]. Tennants are people who live in a building owned by someone else.

Re:Caution (1)

pixelpshr (1004061) | about 7 years ago | (#18445409)

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?

Re:Caution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18454515)

No. You could do a WIPO complaint, but that costs $5,000 in filing fees (plus more if you involve a lawyer). Be glad that you didn't spend any money on a stupid .info domain.

Sale and Appraisal (2, Informative)

nullchar (446050) | about 7 years ago | (#18438709)

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 domain, change nameservers, etc.

For an appraisal, you should go the human route. And get three of them if you think your name is worth $500 or more. Appraisals are VERY arbitrary. Any logs of traffic will be very beneficial to the appraisal process. Lots of hits means lots of cash for pure pay-per-click sites.

Some automated appraisers are:

http://leapfish.com/ [leapfish.com]
http://dnscoop.com/ [dnscoop.com]

Ignore the dollar amounts as they are bogus. But, you can use the information given (search engine query results, various rankings, etc) to make a stronger case for a high asking price.

It might be a good idea to check if other TLDs of the same domain are registered -- that is an easy indicator that the domain is at least somewhat valuable.

Four Factors To Determine Your Domain's Value (2, Informative)

1sockchuck (826398) | about 7 years ago | (#18439205)

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.

Auction it but... (1)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | about 7 years ago | (#18444243)

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 even a small fraction of that. It's all about finding somebody who values it & is willing to pay for it. Things are only worth what somebody is willing to pay for them.

FYI, I made $5,000 once with a "pharmacy.xx" type of domain but I also had 200 other .xx domains that went nowhere (by xx I mean a country domain, i.e. .ru).
Overall, I lost something like $2,000 in my domain venture because I could not find buyers within 1 year, but back then there were no domain auctions.

Good luck!
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