James Iles

Is Listing a Domain Name For Sale a Desperate Move?

By James Iles,
  1. NamePros
  2. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Legendary domain name investor Rick Schwartz has taken to Twitter recently to give his opinions and advice regarding domain names. Since Rick has closed an incredible amount of six and seven figure domain sales in his twenty-something years as a domain investor, he is in the position where his advice can and should be listened to carefully.

    On April 12th, Rick published a tweet that could spark a real debate about domain name sales. Rick wrote:

    As a new domain investor, I was taught that to get the maximum exposure for a domain name you were looking to sell, the name should be listed at as many marketplaces as possible. Platforms such as Sedo, GoDaddy and Afternic reach millions of potential buyers per month thanks to strategic partnerships with a number of registrars that can advertise your domain names to thousands of people every day.

    Afternic, for example, is a part of the GoDaddy network and therefore domain names that are listed for sale on Afternic are advertised as premium domain names on GoDaddy if someone attempts to register a similar domain. It’s a popular method of getting your domain names in front of consumers who may not be aware of the domain name aftermarket, but do want to own a specific domain. I personally have closed a couple of sales thanks to GoDaddy’s listings that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and there’s likely to be many more success stories from other investors.

    So, is listing a domain name for sale a desperate move? It most likely depends on the type of domain name that is being referred to. In the vast majority of cases, I believe that listing a domain name for sale at as many marketplaces as possible can only be a good thing, and will maximise the possibility of a sale in return for a small commission. For domain names that receive regular enquiries such as high-value one-word .COM’s, two-letter .COM’s or three-letter .COM's, does listing the domain for sale seem like a desperate act?

    Does it ensure that any negotiations that subsequently take place are made in a weaker position thanks to that for sale sign? Rick’s valuable domain names are currently forwarding to, where a number of names are for sale with prices attached. This is in contrast to other portfolio owners such as Telepathy, Media Options and Future Media Architects look to rely on a combination of parked pages and enquiry pages to advertise their names as being actively for sale.

    What is the right approach? Should all domain names in your portfolio be actively listed for sale, or are you more selective depending on the name in question?
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  5. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for, domain name investor and broker. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 384th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  6. Comments (20)

  7. Furquah

    Furquah The Captain VIP

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    Not most of domain I try to list on market place, insisted I just sent as many as email to possible buyers & get one of them on table for negotiation.
  8. Bros

    Bros Active Member VIP

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    If you have a super-super premium domains it might not make much difference if you have them listed on marketplaces. For that type of domains the prospective buyers will find a way to contact you if they are truly interested. For the not super-super premiums marketplace listings are very useful as they can inspire people to make offers or buy domains even if they were not massively interested initially.
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  9. GCCinternet

    GCCinternet Established Member

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    Firstly, Rick's perspective is entirely different from an average domainer who doesn't have domains in such quality class as Rick does. Secondly, Rick can afford not to sell domains cheap, again in contrary to average domainer who needs a cashflow.

    For most domainers, it's needed to have a stream of regular sales starting from xxx to x,xxx. To increase chances of having such sales, listings everywhere with BIN pricing are mandatory.

    Domain names with asking prices say $10k+ or $50k+ or $100k+ (level depends on personal preference) in fact don't need to have BIN pricing because it's very flexible whether a name should have a price of $10k or $15k, $30k or $50k, $70k or $100k. Other thing is whether these domains are likely to be ever sold at this range...

    In the end of the day IMO every domain may be listed everywhere, not always with pricing but such pricing should be always in domainers head. Firstly, because you need to be sure / realize whether a domain is factually worth what you think it is. It's like an internal verification. Secondly, if a prospect asks "how much", you must be prepared to quote precise amount like $50k without hesitation. Make Offer answer isn't regarded serious and may work for absolutely best of best domains where buyers are determined like a hell and truly want a domain. Even then IMO it's better to quote 6 or 7 figures, the more that at the last stage of every negotiation a seller should give some BIN finally...

    A problem of most of domainers isn't style of negotiations and prices but health flow of inquiries and positive balance.

    Although Rick is the true authority, in this area I don't think this advice is valid for as wide audience as his other recommendations.
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  10. Jahe

    Jahe Established Member

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    This is a great reply. Rick Schwartz sold for $9 million in 2015. That is the sort of leverage that gives one serious power in further negotiations on other domain sales. There are very few that are at the level of the Domain King, because to reach that level you'd have had to start in domain speculation when one could register premium dot-Coms at $100 or even in the case of buy at $42,000. How much would it cost to buy a domain of the calibar like in 2017? Didn't sell for $9M to Walmart last month? 99% of domain speculators missed the gold rush of the late 1990s-early 2000s. But, there are still opportunites to make domain speculation a nice passive or recurring income if you commit to diligent learning. You may flip enough times to grow that bank roll or even catch a jewel of a domain on the drop or in a fire sale, but don't compare yourself to the Hall of Famers from the golden age.

    Everyone on here can find the outlier domains via hand regs or drops, but in general, the competition for even subpar domains is more fierce than ever. In academia they use a term 'ivory tower'; the general information that Rick advocates is applicable/domaining 101 textbook, but because of his position he can not understand the position of a newbie domainer in 2017. If you should be selling a domain now, for $xx,xxxx that might sell for a theoritical sum in the future, say $xxx,xxx, only you can make that decision; because there are no bailouts coming from the hall of famers for your gamble.

    I am bearish on the future of domain speculation, but believe a 2nd gold rush is coming post-retail apocolypse 2017, say 2018-2020. Yet, post-2020 I think the SEC, USPTO, IRS, will be used to squeeze out domainers as has been done in all lucrative industries.

    Even in 2017, the politicos and the Wall Streeters refer to domain speculators as cybersquatters; don't underestimate the consequences of that label...
  11. Wannabean

    Wannabean Active Member VIP

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    Oh it's valid. But variance makes it difficult to follow. People get impatient. Need to eat. Fact of life. But this is still the best way to sell domains. It's the best way for someone who owns 1 domain or 100,000.

    And no I don't follow this model even though I know it to work best because I'm impatient and I need to eat regularly.
  12. AGAME

    AGAME Active Member VIP

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    Ricks domains sell themselves. Mine do not. They need to be listed. :) His domains and my domains are like apples and oranges.
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  13. Domain1

    Domain1 Business Member Business Account

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    Agree completely with the thread to this point, especially AGAME and Bros. Less than 9% of our sales are through direct contact from a buyer. All others are sales made through GD, Afternic, Sedo and Uniregistry.
  14. Name Options

    Name Options Business Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Listing domains for sale on the mainstream marketplaces probably can't hurt.

    But parking them at one of the said marketplaces, I think can and will hurt IMO. At the very least, it will put you at a disadvantage.

    You should build a professional brand for yourself. This will less likely result in being branded as a cybersquatter. Plus you can take control of the sales process when the potential buyers that find your domains on the mainstream marketplaces later type these domains into the browser.

    You should leverage these marketplaces to drive traffic to you, instead of the other way around.

    If you don't have the time or the skills to create a professional domain brand, you can check out this domain marketplace platform.
  15. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Active Member VIP

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    If all are not for sale, why am I a 'domainer' or domain investor?

    Every stock certificate I have is for sale...every vehicle I own is for house is for watch is for sale...EVERYTHING I control is for sale...the only question is if someone wants it and how much they are willing to pay!

    All domains are either monetized or have a landing page that shows the price and/or has an option for making an offer. Sometimes I have trouble with the parking provider and the 'available' link does not show but if someone wants the domain they use 'who is' to send an email.

    Thanks for the post.
  16. frank-germany

    frank-germany Business Member Business Account VIP

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    1) define you strategy
    are you out for a quick flip and happy to make a few dollars?
    or are you waiting for the perfect buyer patiently ?

    2) define the type of domain you buy
    "its ok" domains - put them everywhere and wait for a positiv cash flow

    " you know the type of buyer who will NEED this domain "
    you waiste money in commissions
    when you list them anywhere but at your own Landing Page
  17. deez007

    deez007 The More I Learn The Less I "Know" VIP

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    Lol...that's not too far off.. at least apples and oranges belong to the same category (Fruit) - If I had to rate my domains against stuff like ($9 million domain) then it would be more like comparing Apples to toenail clippings. :xf.grin:
  18. AGAME

    AGAME Active Member VIP

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    Haha! Yep - I was trying to retain a slight bit of dignity though. :)
  19. summertechno

    summertechno New Member

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    Not if you're smart about it. I heard summertechno dot com almost hit 1MM mark and it's back online for auction after it expired: bit "dot" ly/2rNc4Xw
  20. bigcassgbr

    bigcassgbr Active Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Could never follow Rick's strategy here. Like someone said before, the high quality domains he has, the contacts etc...that strategy can work for him.
  21. Kuffy

    Kuffy Name Stag VIP

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    I thought that increasing relevant links to a domain increased the value of the name. My policy (if I have the time) is to create a landing page or a mini-site, and then to get as many links as possible onto the net. I guess this should include market places if they allow links to the name.
  22. SpareDomains

    SpareDomains Jay VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Quality domains is your biggest factor to success. Distribution channels like Afternic is a no brainer as end users use GoDaddy so your domains showing up in the natural registration path that those end users already use is gold. Most of my sales come direct to my own sales landing pages as that's where the domains point to but end users use GoDaddy so a large brand having listings in that natural path just legitimizes aftermarket sales with a brand name they already trust. Do I prefer that most sales come direct to my own sales pages=yes as I wrap deals complete with funds wired to the bank within days but ya don't have to park at Afternic for them to show up at GoDaddy so I think at the minimum Afternic/Sedo should be used even if it only accounts for 10% or less of my total sales each year. Quality domans with sales landers on them combined with distribution channels and you won't need to email end users so ROI will be higher when they knock on your door first.

    GoDaddy has the network, Afternic just needs to revamp as currently it's like a grade C market on a grade A distribution channel. If Afternic can step it up then they should only get stronger.
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  23. DnEbook

    DnEbook UberStartup.Com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Good domains get found, not all domains are good, list them and try your luck I say
  24. NameZest

    NameZest Active Member VIP

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    I said the same thing a couple of years ago, listing in multiple places does not look professional. I kept my domains away from all market places and still got offers. I suppose elusive is kind of like hide and seek or the girl who's hard to get, If you are not serious you'll give up, if you are you'll try harder and wait longer, both will pay dividends in the end. ;)
  25. DnEbook

    DnEbook UberStartup.Com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Why not promote what you are selling? for rick it is a completely different situation, mere mortals need to get proactive, if someone wants your name they really don't care how many sales venues the name is listed on, if they really want your name they will buy it regardless. I have purchased in the aftermarket and never considered it to be an issue other than different pricing. I tend to simply forwards a name onto the listing of the sales venue of my choice. People search they find, hopefully they buy.
  26. MR Harrist

    MR Harrist Established Member

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    I don't think its about listed or not! for example, I list my pigeon 5hit domain everywhere! and do outbound everywhere, still it doesn't sell smoothly and fast! :xf.laugh:, lets say I follow rick advices, and I take all my domain from marketplace, does it change ? I don't think so!
    Though, if I have domain! for sure, I don't bother to list on marketplace! why ? it's common sense! who doesn't want 3L ? cheapskate don't! but for people that have money! I don't think it will hurt for sending me email, and make offer! 100k ? right ! again it is common sense!

    but lets be real! ppl that have special domain only 1%, other 99% especially ppl like only have pigeon 5hit! :xf.laugh:
    my point is, rick advices are no relevant at all! especially for ppl that have pigeon 5hit! i.e ME! :xf.grin: