Develop vs undevelopped domain: which ones sells more?

Labeled as analysis in Domain Buying and Selling Discussion, started by mycontrepipol, Feb 16, 2020


  1. mycontrepipol

    mycontrepipol Established Member

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    i have been in domaining for a while and did not make any sell up to now. when u look closely, i have this

    impression that the most upselling domains are those that are developped.

    in your opinion which ones sell more ? thanks in advance
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  2. Ategy

    Ategy Arif M, VIP Gold Account

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    I've never sold a website as a domainer, and I don't have any numbers at all to say for sure either way, but I'm pretty sure that isn't true given the sheer numbers of domains that sell undeveloped without a website.

    That being said .. that isn't even the proper question .. the real question you need to ask when trying to figure out whether it's worth developing a random domain or not is:

    Q: Do developed domains sell at a higher rate than undeveloped domains?

    The answer to that question is probably a lot closer. But ultimately there is no comparison, as for a developed website it depends mostly on the value of the content. Sure it might sometimes be easier to sell because you developed it .. but developing a website is significantly more time-consuming and expensive than acquiring a domain.

    More importantly, depending on how you developed the website, it's possible a potential buyer was interested in the domain for a very different topic, and the fact you developed it out on a different topic might scare him or her away because they think there could be confusion between the two topics.

    Ultimately though, if someone truly wants a domain, they'll buy the domain whether developed or not. Generally price is pretty much the only factor unless you've build out the domain exactly the way the buyer wanted it (a possibility .. but very small).

    How many domain do you have? If you only have 10 domains, and they are of the typical 1% sell-through rate, then in theory you should only sell one domain every 10 years, so it's possible you actually aren't doing anything wrong.

    Or .. maybe your domains simply are not good enough. Nobody can say that for sure without seeing most of your portfolio and how you've priced your domains .. BUT .. the unfortunate fact is that 95+% of the time when a newcomer has never sold a domain, the simple truth is because usually their domains just aren't good, and nobody would ever use them.

    Best of luck with your domains either way! :)
  3. Established Member

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    It really depends on the value you're creating by developing the website. A poorly developed website with crappy backlinks could actually devalue the domain.

    I have taken some calculated risks and built websites on domains for TV series' which have sold for decent prices. In those cases, I most probably couldn't have sold the domains without the website. BUT, I had industry relationships in place I could leverage.

    How much effort are you actually putting into selling those domain names you have? Who was your target buyer when you acquired the domains? Who will you be targeting if you develop the websites? What will your competitive advantage be? What will your cost of development be vis-a-vis asking price?

    Domain Dealers always make sure they have prospects lined up before they buy domain names. Domain Collectors buy domains simply because they feel good about them. Your feelings will not move domains. What will move them is your sales acumen.
  4. koolishman

    koolishman Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    Domain Dealers always make sure they have prospects lined up before they buy domain names. Domain Collectors buy domains simply because they feel good about them. Your feelings will not move domains. What will move them is your sales acumen.

    True. One's head should be above one's heart.
  5. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    One source that partially reflects on the question asked by @mycontrepipol is the series of quarterly domain sales reports put out by - e.g. here is the link to the 2019 Q3 report. If you look to Figure 3.5 in that report, for example, it shows how volume of sales with and without content has changed over the years. They summarize the information:

    But in total quarterly sum, domains without content continued to be popular with a total sum of US$37 million for Q3 2019, compared to US$10.2 million for domain names with content, as demonstrated in Figure 3.5

    The preceding Figure 3.4 looks at median prices. They are of course higher for sales with content, but it is important that with content includes everything from a small WP site to an entire operating business with significant sales.

    My personal answer would be that if you have a domain name with an obvious use, and you have expertise and passion to develop it, that doing so will probably increase the value, but that is a lot of work.

  6. Top Contributor VIP

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    Personally I sell more developed domain than undeveloped name. Its need extra time , but we could get cash fast based our target . Pick domain , rent some hosting , then drive natural traffic from search engine or pay per click advertisement.

    Return On investment could increase up to 500 % , no wait more if you have no good a name, build and sell based any great niches. Be sure you could plan reasonable SEO strategy or learn by doing regularly
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  7. BaileyUK

    BaileyUK Account Closed (Requested) VIP

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    like many, I've never developed a website - so likewise all my sales have been for domain name only. My intuitive feel (If I ever decided to learn to develop) would keep the development to 'Generic Descriptive domains' at least at the beginning.

    Your probably less lightly to damage a generic descriptive domain, It already has a certain value (hopefully) just by popularity of the term. Anybody else taking an interested in buying is either going to develop further or start again.

    Brandables, short domains and acronyms are more likely to be damaged by unprofessional or even random development. as this is the first thing a potential domain buyer is going to come across. Now they are going to want to explore the history of the domain in case there's any thing there that could bite them on the bum, after spending on the domain.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  8. jideofor

    jideofor Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Driving traffic organically does not happen quickly. So how long do you wait get enough traffic before you sell it in absence of paid traffic?
  9. harryklinten

    harryklinten Restricted (5%)

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    Essentially put it is tied in with purchasing and selling areas. These area exchanging may incorporate just space names up to completely created sites. The more worth an area has as far as space name, potential and web advancement, the higher the offers it might draw in when selling

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