Take your next great idea (or not) to the domain aftermarket

Brilliant or bust?

You know the feeling. It was a LONG night with friends. Drinks, laughing, deep conversations and ideas … oh, the ideas you had. As you fumble for your phone while shielding your eyes from its headache-inducing light, you see the dreaded email: “GoDaddy Order Confirmation.”

As you open the email with a sense of fear, you realize what’s happened. You registered the domain names that represent some of last night’s “brilliant” ideas. You scan the receipt, wondering at what point in your life ArmadilloSaddles.com, BreathSprayforPenguins.club and MiniHipposRidingMice.guru made sense.

You’re also wondering about the quality of the company you keep.

While there might be a business case for making saddles for armadillos, you don’t have the time, resources or desire to execute. Sure, you could just chalk it up to a fun night and move on, or you can attempt to sell the name to someone else. Now that’s a brilliant idea.

There are many steps to selling a domain name — things like finding a buyer, negotiating and transferring the name. If you’ve never sold a name, it can be downright scary to figure out how to do it. Plus, you have more important things to do than look for hippo and mice enthusiasts.

Take an aspirin and relax. You’re in luck. There’s an active group of people who buy and sell domain names on a regular basis in a beautiful place called the domain name aftermarket.

Is there really a demand for aftermarket names?

Chances are, some of the websites you visit weren’t originally registered by the businesses using them. Twitter and Facebook are just two examples of businesses that “upgraded” names in the domain name aftermarket.

Much like anything collectable, there are individuals and business that register domain names with hopes of selling them. Additionally, there are many people who register domain names with the best of intentions (ring a bell?) that just don’t pan out; and they want to sell those names before they expire.

How does the domain aftermarket work?

It’s really a simple process. If someone is looking to sell a domain name, they need to get it listed on a domain name aftermarket. Each aftermarket has a little different process, but there are a couple of basic requirements across the board:

Ownership. Do you really own the domain name you’re trying to sell? That needs to be proven before they will list it.

Price. How much are you will to take? If you’re not sure what it’s worth, there are free and paid-for appraisals all over the Internet. Be careful, though, the values can swing wildly.

Auction or set price? You can have your domain name listed at a certain price and accept offers, or put it up for auction.

Just because a domain name is listed, that doesn’t mean it’s going to get interest. There are many variables that can impact the supply and demand of a name. That being said, there’s not much work to get it listed, so if you aren’t trying to get rich and want to see if someone wants it, list it.

I got an offer! Help!

Congrats! Someone is interested in the name you want. But before you run out and buy a new Tesla, consider this fact: For every $100,000+ sale, there are THOUSANDS of names sold for less than $500.

If an offer seems too good to be true, make sure you check it out thoroughly. Figure out what the domain name is worth to you and counter the offer. If you come to an agreement, fantastic!

Work through the aftermarket platform to complete the transaction, which can involve an escrow process.

We all do things we wish we hadn’t, but you don’t need to sweat registering a few domain names you won’t use. Who knows? Maybe you can turn it into a couple of dollars profit.

Want to learn more about the domain aftermarket? Check out this Google+ Hangout:


Also published on Medium.