Got domains for sale? Here’s how to get top dollar for them

6 min read
Quentin Aisbett

If you have web domains for sale, you could be sitting on valuable assets.

Buying and selling domain names is a lucrative business. If you don’t believe me, consider some of these Australian sales stats:

  • domain was bought for a staggering $1.6 million.
  • went for $153,000.
  • sold for $137,500.

Global domain name values can be even more lucrative than .au ones. For example, was bought for US$7.5 million way back in 1999!

How to sell domain names

There are three ways to sell a name that you own:

1. Do it yourself by creating a for-sale parked page on it.
2. Via an auction site.
3. With the help of a broker.

Domains for Sale Blank Price Tag
The first step in selling a domain name is establishing a sale price.

Regardless of which selling method you use, the first step is to get an estimate of your domain name's value. You can get one via the GoDaddy domain appraisal tool. Just type or paste in the domain to get an instant evaluation. This is just a guide, but it can help you set your asking price.

Then you need to choose your selling method. Let’s look at each of the three methods in turn.

1. DIY

If you choose the do-it-yourself route, you could create a parked page on the domain and post a “for sale” sign on it. Buyers, who routinely type in domains they’re interested in, will see you’re willing to sell.

Sometimes buyers reach out to domain owners directly through the WhoIs directory, a global listing of the owners of web domain names. This is assuming you have not made your domain registration private, thereby hiding your contact information from public view.

If an interested buyer contacts you through the WhoIs database they can make an offer for your domain name — even if you haven’t proactively listed it for sale.

When a potential buyer makes the first move, it can put you in a stronger bargaining position because you know they’re already interested.

If you reach an agreement with a buyer using the DIY method, it’s important to complete the name transfer process on the global ICANN website. ICANN Is an acronym for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is the body responsible for maintaining the WhoIs directory.

Of course, all of this is handled for you if you use a listing service such as GoDaddy’s Domain Auctions.

2. Domain name auction sites

Domains for Sale Game Tiles Spelling SALE

The easiest way to get your domain in front of thousands of potential buyers is to list it on GoDaddy’s Domain Auctions. By listing it with the web’s largest domain auction house:

  • Your domains are immediately listed for sale on and on 120+ partner sites.
  • You can easily select domains within your account to offer for sale.
  • There’s no need to log into other websites to list a domain.

Online domain name auction sites work like any auction. They provide a place for domain investors, buyers and sellers to come together. Owners can list their names for auction on these sites and set a minimum price that they’re prepared to accept. They also can include a closing date by which buyers can make bids.

Setting a minimum bid will get you more offers.

The domain name will be sold to the highest bidder above the minimum selling price.

The auction site receives a commission when your name is sold. At GoDaddy Auctions, the commission ranges from 10 to 20 percent, depending on the sale value. You can use GoDaddy’s pricing tool to calculate the commission on any domain sale.

3. Domain name brokers

Domain name brokers sell and buy names on behalf of others. If you use the services of a broker to sell your domain, it’s important to agree on the minimum selling price you’re prepared to accept from a potential buyer. The broker will then attempt to get you that price (or more) in return for a fee or commission upon sale.

Think of a domain broker much like you would a real estate agent.

Domains for Sale Man Holding Out Hand

A real estate agent is hired by a property seller and it’s the agent’s job to find a buyer who’ll pay the price that the seller is willing to accept. Domain name brokers follow a similar process.

Getting the most value when you have domains for sale

Your domain name value depends on a range of factors, including:

What comes after the dot

Whether your name is .com, .au or you have registered both. Domain names ending in .com generally have higher values because they have global reach.

How easy it is to spell

Yes, domains like and can eventually become household words, but only after the owner has spent lots of money promoting them.

Also, domain names with hyphens in them are less valuable because it’s not natural for people to include hyphens when searching for websites online.

Total length

In general, domain names with fewer than 14 characters tend to have higher values than those with more. That’s because shorter names are usually easier to remember than longer ones.

If it includes search terms

Domain value is also affected by whether it contains common words that people regularly use in online searches. If it does, it will be more valuable.

For example:

  • was bought for $110,000
  • went for $100,000
  • sold for $90,585
  • fetched $65,000

Of course, it’s much less likely now that common words haven’t already been registered than it was in the early years of the web.

Savvy people who registered common words as domain names back then often reaped the rewards by squatting on them and waiting for good offers from buyers.

But you never know your luck. You can do a domain name search on GoDaddy’s site if you come up with a name you think could potentially be valuable. That search will let you know straight away whether someone else is already registered as the owner of it.

Do keep in mind that if you try and register trademarked words, the trademark holder can apply to the World Intellectual Property Organization to reclaim the domain name.

List your domains for sale now

Web domain names can be valuable assets, although value depends on a range of factors. It’s important to get a domain appraisal to find out the potential value before you start the selling process. Note that you can transfer domains from one registrar to another in order to have them all in one place.

If you’re thinking of selling a name that you own, you can do it yourself, use an online auction site or hire the services of a broker.

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