James Iles

How Did You Get Your First Domain Name Sale?

By James Iles, Nov 27, 2017
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    It’s always interesting to read stories from domain name investors. Domain investing is such a diverse and interesting industry that there’s certainly no lack of stories that investors can tell about their purchases, sales or deals gone wrong. Today, I wanted to briefly share the story of my first ever domain name sale. You’re very welcome to share your own story in the comments below.

    Well before I was a domain investor, or even knew there was a domain industry, I was browsing eBay listings for items related to several British celebrities. I stumbled across a listing showing an exact match domain name for one celebrity that was for sale for around $185.

    I had created some websites and social media presences for a couple of famous people in the past, so I thought it could be interesting to create a fan page on this domain. I wasn’t particularly a fan of this celebrity, but she was popular in the UK and I thought it’d be a project that would help me develop my web design skills.

    I successfully bought the name and set about developing a website, having very little idea about potential UDRPs or copyright issues that could arise from an unauthorised use of this act’s image. I spent a while developing the name, and then I was contacted by Warner Music Group, the record company that represented this singer. They were interested in buying the domain name from me for the singer to use to help promote their upcoming album.

    Naturally, I wasn’t going to say "no" to the record company, and although they never mentioned a UDRP or any other kind of legal proceedings against myself or the website, I felt it was best to acquiesce to a sale and see the name used by the singer. The sales price was almost exactly the same as the price I paid for the domain name to begin with, but nonetheless, it was a successful sale.

    We used to close the sale, which was something recommended by the record company. However, I had absolutely no idea as to how to even transfer a domain name, so after help from the registrar and the record company, I finally managed to transfer the name over to the new owner. It was a very slow process due only to my complete incompetence and lack of knowledge about the domain transfer process at the time.

    I learned a number of valuable lessons from this transaction, but it was still a long time after this sale before I started to look at domains as investments.

    What’s the story of your first ever domain name sale?
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 479th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (32)

  6. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    For those wondering, the domain was Alesha Dixon (

    Terrible singer (in my opinion), but very popular at one point!
  7. Haykay2005

    Haykay2005 Active Member VIP

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    Mine was an inbound GEO. Sold for $350 after negotiating back and forth
  8. hawkeye

    hawkeye Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Inbound request - - sold for $350 in 2000
  9. Cebe

    Cebe Established Member

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  10. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandBucket Brand Ambassador PRO VIP

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    My story is similar to yours, James, in that I registered the name of a notable person. After a few months someone contacted me to buy the name and after a protracted negotiation I sold the domain for $1500 with a non-disclosure agreement.

    Beginner's luck.

    Afterwards I learned about UDRP and the other potential pitfalls and issues regarding owning and selling personal names and changed my domaining strategy to focus on brandables.
  11. imadoer

    imadoer Active Member PRO VIP

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    Got my first offer thru email for $750 turned out they where buying brandables at the time I ended up doing a $2000 deal with the guy instead for 20 brandables over the next month or two I sold him 14k worth of names hall hand regs :) that gave me the money to invest into better domains and then the Chinese market came. I'll just leave it at that lol ;)
  12. Tom K

    Tom K Established Member

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    Great question. I can't remember my very first sale but I can remember a few very early sales.

    I was contacted by phone for 2 Visit(Canadian city).ca domains by another Canadian domain investor. He had a clear advantage over me in terms of domain experience and naturally got a good deal. At that time I was registering for the purpose of development, not flipping. But the domains are parked today so looks like still waiting for an end user sale.

    On another early sale, I was contacted by a Sedo broker to sell another Visit(Central America country).com on a travel domain auction Sedo was running at the time. Also sold much too low.

    Those were big lessons to encourage me to learn and continue to learn about domain valuation and sales.
  13. creataweb

    creataweb Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Kinda fell into domaining accidentally when I was buying domains for various projects. Got a message one day that someone wanted to buy a name of mine (wasn't listed anywhere) and decided to take the offer. Was only $xxx but I was hooked after that. The person wired the money right away and I picked it up at the nearest spot to make sure it was legit. Once I had the cash I gave the buyer the domain and that was that. Was interesting how back then we could have that level of trust via a cash wire and no escrow.
  14. elevator

    elevator VIP

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    Listed a 7N domain name at namesilo auction for just $100 reserve and suddenly I received a mail that my domain was sold and the buyer has paid the money

  15. domainscot

    domainscot Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    First one sold was registered in in 1999 sold it 4 weeks later for £1200. That was me hooked.
  16. KhaledA

    KhaledA Established Member

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    Nice and encouraging success stories, hope to read more sharing !!!
  17. SpareDomains

    SpareDomains Jay VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Domain I had planned to develop got an inbound 1k offer. Thought reg fee into 1k sold. Back then was a developer so that sale started the madness of instead of just developing sites and selling web hosting maybe I should acquire a portfolio of aftermarket domains as well as never saw ROI made that easily.

    Few weeks ago turned down 15k on a reg fee name I've held for a good handful of years.

    So 2003 1k offer on reg fee name=sold
    2017 15k offer on aged reg fee name=gonna pass, but thanks for the offer

    Guess I used to be nice or have gotten stubborn. :ROFL:
  18. Doron Vermaat

    Doron Vermaat Email [email protected] for the fastest Efty support. Efty Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    My first domain name sale was also before I was investing in domain names. I had registered with the plan to develop an affiliate marketing site promoting travel agencies but never got around to doing so. Years later (2011 or 2012) I was contacted by the registrar who told me they were contacted by someone that wanted to purchase the domain name for his business. I sold the domain name for €750 if my memory serves me right.
  19. urlurl

    urlurl Active Member VIP

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    bought 2 names at auction on one of the old forums ;) for less than $5

    sold one of them on ebay for $300 a month later... i was hooked
  20. Bonsu

    Bonsu Established Member

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    You made some crazy money(y)
  21. Bonsu

    Bonsu Established Member

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    Mine was $100 on godaddy premium listing after 6 months.
    That's the only name that sold out of the 4 names I bought the very day I learnt about domain investing.
    Now I'm waiting for my next $xxx sale
  22. dotbay

    dotbay VIP

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    One day I wanted to build a random site and found a cheap domain on ebay for $8.

    One year later I didn’t need that domain and got an email from domaining .com promoting cax .com marketplace. I decided to sell my only domain there. The auction ended at $251.
  23. Nikhil Jain

    Nikhil Jain Active Member VIP

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    I had bought my first domain around 2011 when I got inspired into writing. The name was (NRJ - Initials of my own name).

    After running the blog successfully with regular content for about 4 years, I got into a lot of other stuff which hardly spared me any time to write anymore. Thus I decided to list the name for sale over Flippa.

    Read about flippa while researching the possibilities to sell of my blog.

    After lying idle with a BIN for a good period of 2 years, finally one day I get an email from Flippa mentioning 'Domain Sold at BIN $549'.

    I had forgotten about the blog at that point and it was a surprise. Due to my lack of knowledge of dealing with such digital content, the transaction took more than 4 days if my memory serves right.

    This whole transaction was a kick starter to my journey into exploring domains and their trade.

    ***The current owner of is only using the domain name and none of the content I had written over it.
  24. Pritam Singh Obi

    Pritam Singh Obi Established Member

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    I involved myself in domains after my retirement at the age of 65.Created around 70 domains on godaddy and simultaneously was posting for sale on godaddy.I posted one of my domain which was virgin for BIN @$100.I was sure nobody will pay $100 for undeveloped domain.But to my surprise it was taken by somebody for $100.I was very happy with my first unexpected sale of just created domain name.
  25. nomen

    nomen Active Member VIP

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    My first sale was Sedo BIN $899. The domain was
  26. mad409

    mad409 Always thinking outside the box! VIP

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    My first domain sale didn't work out very well so my story is a bit different. I was offered past registration fees plus a 10% finder's fee from the years later formed Tennessee Education Lottery, after owning since 1998.

    I refused the offer and ...

    1. Didn't know there was a chance of a lottery back in 1998 or read the one newspaper article they referred to.

    2. Didn't try to sell them the name years later, they contacted me.

    3. They didn't have a TM in 1998, it was many years later.

    So this could have been my first sale, small if I would have excepted it but instead they sent their legal team after me with a UDRP years after I registered it. I didn't even know what that was back then so I tried to respond the best I could myself. If it were today I would have fired back with my own attorney but a lot has changed since they took it in 2003.

    So I guess this was my first potential sale but it went haywire. I've had several successful sales after this off and on but this one has always stuck with me. I wish I could go back in time and address it again. :)
  27. ozzo7

    ozzo7 Established Member

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  28. hookbox

    hookbox Active Member VIP

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    $11 Godaddy closeout for $19,500 that sold in less than 6 months. I was clueless of how to do a sale so when I was contacted I told him $96,000. This was about 5 years ago when everyone had crazy price tags on names so I just pulled the number out of my ass. He laughed and asked if I was serious. Ended up settling at $19,500 after a couple of back and forth phone calls. CHA-CHING!!!!!!

    He paid me half up front and I pointed the name to his website and about a month later he paid the balance and I transferred the name to him.

    It was a 6 letter .com that was an alternate spelling of a real word.

    Company is still in business today so it was a good purchase for him. I am a firm believer that a memorable domain is half the battle in creating a successful business especially when it's a business that is primarily online.
  29. 1Darko

    1Darko Active Member VIP

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    My first sale was on Flippa for $11.
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