Do Expired Domains Sell For More Money On Average?

It’s a phenomenon I’ve been seeing for a long time, expired domains can get a lot of attention, and in many cases I have seen names sell for a lot more than they would if they were part of a paid auction. Of course it is incredibly hard to compare individual domain sales since every domain name really is uniquely different, but I still can’t tell you how many times I see expired domains sell for thousands of dollars that wouldn’t sell for more than a few hundred dollars via a paid listing on a domain marketplace.

I have never spoken to any other domain investors about this so I’m not sure if I’m the only one who has seen this over the years or if it’s a trend others have seen as well.

When it comes to highest dollar sales these happen almost exclusively via direct sales. I’m not saying that you’ll see expired domains selling for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars very often. Without a doubt the monster sales will happen with domains being sold at a premium. A one-word .COM that sells for $3M or $6M didn’t sell for that much because the highest bidder wins. They sold for that much because the owner was someone who highly valued a premium asset and found someone else who also valued it as highly.

With expired domains I often see non-premium one and two-word .COMs sell for thousands of dollars (in the $2,500 – $7,500 range) that I think would sell for a tenth of that in a paid domain auction. Is this just me?

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • shane September 10, 2015, 10:29 pm

    I have seen this a number of times and wondered if it had not dropped and was for sale normally would it be this popular and sometimes i wonder if these sales actually go through or are they phantom bidders they dont pay

  • AbdulBasit Makrani September 10, 2015, 11:22 pm

    Absolutely spot on Morgan.

    The only reason I can think off that the expired domains go for high prices is the domain will surely sell off whereas in a paid auction some people stay away due to the reserve auction as they are not aware of the reserve and think the reserve set will be on higher side and they simply don’t want to waste their time.

    Any one agree/disagree with me?

  • Roger September 11, 2015, 12:30 am

    Yes, I think this is true…

    I have bought domains from the drop that that I paid 500-1500 for. These domains had 10-50 pre-drop backorders, then strong bidding from multiple parties in the post drop auction process. Then within a few weeks when I listed these names on the same sites with No reserve Auctions and starting bids at $20 or $69 these same Domains received ZERO bids… What happened to those 20 people who were prepared to pay a minimum of 59-69 a few weeks ago, now they won’t even bid 20 ! Same Domain, just not a drop.

    Why? Well I think these are some of reasons..

    1. Exposure – Dropping domains get pride of place on most Auction Sites and can be found within 2 clicks. Some of these names also get lots of hype and exposure from bloggers. These dropping names get lots of eyes and lots of exposure. The ‘count’ of backorders/prerelease orders draws in the bidders and the money. Sheeple…
    2. Shiny & New – I believe that most think dropping names are all fresh, clean and shiny and new. Ready to start a new life with their new owner. Drops have more perceived value. They are not the same as dirty old used domains currently owned by someone else.
    3. Auction Fever – People get the fever… People think it is valuable purely because they see other people who also have the fever bidding it up.
    4. No exposure – If you are a small fish it’s not easy to access and sell your domains on the big sites and platforms that can get you the exposure you need to sell at a higher price. Your choices are limited to Godaddy, Sedo, Flippa, Namepros.. Your domain auction is lost within a sea of other domains. It gets no exposure, no interest, no views, few bids and then a poor sale or offer price. Hence, why people shill and place false bids to get the view and bid counts up to get the exposure and eyes on their Domain. Sheeple..

  • Richard Cypher September 11, 2015, 12:45 am

    I totally agree with this. Sometimes the traffic on the expired domains also play a major role to determine the final price.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Jon September 11, 2015, 2:08 am

    Some people avoid looking at paid auctions because of high reserve prices, how about having a platform where expired domains are listed together with paid auctions.

  • Eric Borgos September 11, 2015, 5:33 am

    This has been bugging me for years. You are the first person to write about it, as far as I know. A few years ago I put some of my domains for sale on, where they list them along side the expired domains, and a few did sell for more than I expected, but 90% sold for the $69 minimum. Yet, I see expired domains of the same exact quality constantly sell for 10 times that. The expired domains are marked differently and promoted differently at Namejet, so there is no way to exactly compare the sales methods. I have had the same results on Flippa, where most expired type domains I put up for no reserve auctions sold for $1 -$10. These were not actually expired domains, most were domains I owned for 10-15 years.

  • Leonard Britt September 11, 2015, 7:49 am

    A related issue is that domain investors rarely seek to acquire aftermarket names with modest BIN prices. They seem to only look for expired names. To cut down on renewal costs I have let some lower -quality names expire though I have attempted to bring pricing down to low $xxx prior to expiration. Domainers seem to be reluctant to pay more than backorder pricing. One name I let drop I now see with a solid five -figure asking price. If you really think that domain is worth five figures why wer3 you not willing to pay $300 for it a few months ago?

  • Peter Rose September 11, 2015, 10:09 am

    Absolutely correct! I have noticed some of the prices achieved on Flippa were very low for a reasonable quality domain. Because of that I would never use Flippa. It’s weird that bidders on GoDaddy and all the other expired auctions create flurry of bidding towards the end. Maybe it’s because the bidders are anonymous, or could be robots to up the bidding war!!

  • Anthony September 11, 2015, 8:56 pm

    A few years ago I bought some domains on Godaddy and after a while listed them for sale on the same platform. I was surprised to to observe not one bid appeared on domains I had outbid others to acquire. Had any of those “bidders” been interested they would have got the names for less than I had paid. I look forward to the day when names are bought and sold with the only qualification being that they are available.

  • Morgan September 12, 2015, 8:45 pm

    Very cool – it looks like this is something everyone has seen as well, glad to know it’s not just me!

  • Steve April 25, 2016, 6:16 pm

    I think what you are seeing is seos, particularly those who use PBN’s, buying domains with a very strong set of existing backlinks. The domain name itself is largely irrelevant in this case, it’s the links they want.

    If you have some examples, I’d be interested to dig into them a little more – maybe we could even have a chat, I think would be very cool to bounce thoughts back and forth!


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