Why Consider Selling ?
Domain names that have already been registered, sometimes referred to as “aftermarket domains,” are saleable commodities, and should be worth their original registration fee, if not more. Depending on the valuation of the domain, it could even be worth quite a bit more. So it’s possible that rather than have property that is doing nothing, you could have a profit from your investment.
Before You Sell
You are likely to have a better idea of your domain name’s value, not to mention actually raise its value, if you choose to have it professionally appraised. Not only does an appraisal give an independent assessment of the potential of your domain name, it also serves to signal to potential buyers that you are a fair and honest merchant.
An appraisal looks at a few or many factors of your domain name—here, as in many cases, you get what you pay for—and gives you an assessment that may include a monetary valuation, an appraisal of each factor, and (if you have a number of domain names) a separate assessment of their collective value. It is well to keep in mind that an assessment is a speculation on the part of someone who claims expertise, but nevertheless, is compounded of fact and opinion. For more on pre-appraisal and appraisal, see “Domain Name Pre-Appraisal” and “Domain Appraisal.”
How to Sell
After you have acquired a domain name appraisal, if you have decided that it is worth your while to sell it, your next step is to check the accuracy of the important data in the domain name registration. By going to WhoIs (whois.net) and using the WHOIS Lookup, you can find the registration record for the domain name. Make sure that everything there is accurate before taking any further steps.
Now, you can decide the best way to market your domain name. Unless you already know someone who is interested in owning the domain, your choices include the following options:
- Placing a “Domain for Sale” sign, including contact information, on a website that you already have;
- Creating a page at the domain URL that indicates that the name is for sale—this capability is free for sites registered through GoDaddy and is listed among the “Free Extras“; or
- Listing the domain name for sale with a third party, for exampleAfterNIC. For a small percentage of the sale price, you can arrange to list your domain with a professional broker, who will also take care of the property transfer and monetary transaction.
There are also domain name auction websites on which domain names can be sold.
Advantages of Listing Your Domain
Unless the buyer is personally known to you, selling your domain through a domain broker is more secure and safer, and the fee is usually fairly small and figured as a percentage of the sale price. An experienced professional may not only assist you in obtaining a better price, but also make sure that all goes smoothly for you when it comes to the transfer of money. It also may be possible for a professional broker to give your domain name better exposure, and s/he will automatically arrange for an escrow service so ensure the transfer of funds. In addition, if you have not yet had your site appraised, the domain broker can provide this service as well.
Because selling a domain name as a private transaction rather than through a reliable third party can be risky if the buyer is not completely trustworthy, it may be worth your while to pay an escrow fee with a site that offers this service for private transactions. AfterNIC offers just such anescrow service for domain name sales that you arrange yourself, and you may find this very useful to ensure that the money transaction for your sale goes smoothly. There are specialist independent escrow services, and they may, in fact, be cheaper, but it is probably more reliable to use the escrow service that the domain broker provides in-house.