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Selling your domain name or website

Selling your domain name or website

Now’s probably a good time to say that if you’re holding on to a domain that you no longer need, it is time to think about selling your domain name.

Are you interested in finding out the value of your domain, and the chances are that you won’t be looking at a multimillion-dollar retail price – but you could well be sitting on a handsome profit.

Perhaps you bought a domain name many years ago with the intention of creating your very own functioning website, only for other commitments to get in the way, leaving your URL sitting dormant. Or maybe your existing domain name isn’t relevant anymore and you’re looking to transfer to a fresher one.

Either way, there’s plenty of options out there if you’re interested in cashing in on a purchased domain name.

It is true that a few domain names sold for a crazy sum of money, but most of them don’t.

The selling domains marketplace

The marketplace for selling your domain name has expanded widely in recent years with the arrival of new domain extensions like .io, .info, .store and the like. This has opened the door to companies gaining appealingly short names for their websites without paying more for the much-sought-after .com top-level domain (TLD) extension.

However, according to, there’s no shortage of TLDs for users to tap into, which has made certain addresses relatively cheap for buyers. Interestingly, TLDs like ‘.protection’ and ‘.security’ are selling for thousands of dollars, but the cheaper end of the spectrum is populated by more general and nonsensical names are worthless.

When it comes to selling on names, the originals of non-country-specific TLDs of .com and .net are particularly popular, due to their widespread accessibility and familiarity with users online.

Selling options

Once you’ve attained a strong idea of your domain’s market value, it’s time to begin the search for a willing buyer.

There are actually numerous options when it comes to finding a way to sell a domain name online. By far, the most popular way of buying and selling domains is currently through the medium of dedicated platforms like NamesGem, Flippa and Sedo.

One innovative option for users looking to sell, and prospectively buy, domain names are available through eBay’s dedicated domain name marketplace.

Users can list their domain names along with a description and desired price tag on eBay and interact with interested buyers.

Given that eBay is a world-renowned institution, this particular aspect of the online marketplace could be a great bet when it comes to finding interested buyers for your domain name.

There are also more traditional options available for domain name sellers. Namely, you can simply advertise the sale of your domain…on your domain. By placing a noticeable ‘for sale’ sign on your website’s homepage, you’re effectively putting it in the shop window for prospective buyers who have already demonstrated their interest by navigating on to your URL.

The act of advertising your domain by placing a ‘for sale’ sign on the page itself is relatively old-fashioned, and won’t reach quite the same levels of audience, but it is free to list and could certainly be worth a try.

Get your contacts in order

We all love our privacy, but when it comes to selling websites, having your details accessible online can be significant in finding a buyer for your domain name.

Sure, you can list your domain name on an online marketplace, or stick a big sign on your homepage advertising its availability. But what if a prospective buyer doesn’t actively look on domain marketplaces and has instead identified your domain name as a TLD of interest without visiting your homepage first?

There are lots of people out there who use WHOIS lookups to find out the finer details of specific domain ownership records. Some website hosts offer privacy when it comes to displaying ownership information online – and rightly so. But in the case of making yourself available to receive offers for your domain names, it can make all the difference if you take a moment to ensure that your information is correct and accurate on WHOIS to ensure the best chances of finding a buyer.

To update your WHOIS contact information, the process usually differs based on which host you’re using, but this handy guide can provide a healthy level of insight to help you along.

Remember that if you’re interested in selling your domain name, it’s imperative that you make yourself available and accessible to prospective buyers. By updating your contact information on WHOIS, you’re opening the door to a potentially wide array of people who could be interested in your domain name.

Prepare your listing

Whether you’re planning to list your domain name on a dedicated marketplace like NamesGem, Flippa, Sedo or Afternic, or opting to use a more recognizable general platform like eBay – it’s important to make sure your listing is well optimized for buyers.

Too many domain owners simply upload their URL on an online marketplace and leave it at that. Be sure to boost your chances of drawing in buyers by adding a little flair to your listing along with an accurate and honest description.

The best domain sellers have a habit of striking a balance when it comes to describing their URL. It’s vital that you’re in no way misleading about the finer details, but it does help to emphasize the positives of your address.

For example, does your TLD already have existing traffic continually arriving? Is the domain notably old? Has it got any pre-existing domain authority?

All of these factors can enter the equation and add – or subtract – value for your domain name. Be sure to keep honest while promoting the good stuff. It’s also a good idea to take the metrics above into consideration when you’re calculating the asking price of your website. All websites have a sweet spot in their valuations that can attract interested bidders without being underpriced.

Sadly, with so many varying factors that can enter the mix when it comes to website valuations, it can be hard to figure out the true value of your domain – which is why it’s vital that you conduct a healthy amount of quote comparisons before deciding on a figure.

Payment options

In the domain for sale marketplace, as in most other online marketplaces, there are two primary forms of selling your goods: through fixed-price purchases, or by holding an auction.

Both approaches carry some varying levels of appeal, and it can make a considerable difference to the buyers you attract depending on which type of selling process you decide on. When it comes to fixed-price selling, there’s certainly an appeal to many buyers, as they’ll be fully aware of the financial commitment they’re making.

However, an old-fashioned auctioning process holds plenty of charm too, and some buyers even prefer the somewhat more exciting approach of bargain hunting under the hammer.

This mindset can sometimes play into your hands as a seller, and you’ll likely receive the highest fee for your domain name if two or more parties enter into an auction and end up competing for your domain name. Of course, there’s always a chance that taking your domain into auction could backfire and result in no interested buyers, too.

There are plenty of online market places that enable interested buyers to make a private offer for your website. This can be a lucrative method of selling your domain name too and paves the way for a range of private negotiations between interested parties.

It’s also important to consider the payment process you’ll be using to facilitate the sale of your domain. Naturally, buying domains works differently to buying your lunch from a supermarket, and there needs to be an intermediate point between yourself and the buyer to ensure both parties are protected during the purchase. recommends that sellers go to Escrow as a payment provider that ensures protection. An Escrow service essentially acts as a third-party that safely holds and processes funds on-demand once a mutual agreement has been achieved.

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