Go Where the Liquidity Is

One of the most interesting panels I attended at Domain Roundtable last week was one about the Domain Marketplace and some of the trends industry experts are seeing. Across the board the consensus was clear – the most liquidity now exists in the $500 – $5,000 range.

Now it’s important to understand that this doesn’t mean you can’t sell a $50,000, $500,000, or even $5 Million domain name, it just means the $500 – $5,000 range is where you have a great chance of selling your names quicker.

Given where the liquidity is now you really need to put yourself in one of two categories, either you’re willing to sell some of your domains in this range or you aren’t. If you’re not, don’t feel bad, nobody expects you to sell a $200,000 name for $5,000 – just understand that it may take a bit longer to sell your name than you might be hoping. If you do have names for sell in this range, congratulations – now it’s time to get those names out there to potential buyers!

So what if you’re in the second group – you don’t want to part with any names for under five-figures. Your names can still sell but you really need to partner-up with a good broker that can give you an honest estimate of what your domain could sell for now. The great thing about working with brokers is they’ll be completely honest with you as to what price they think they can get for the name. If they don’t think they can sell your name or they think your expectations are unrealistic, you’ll know it!

Brokers also really like names in the five and six-figure range because they can make more meaningful money which means you’ll get more focus. Thinking that a broker is going to put a lot of time into selling a domain that you want $2,000 for is selling yourself a lie – there’s just not enough money there to make it interesting or at least to gain their whole focus.

Now what if you’re in the other category – you own domains that you want to sell for $500 – $5,000. First I’d really make sure your pricing is accurate. Remember, just about every Domainer in the world thinks that their domains are worth a fortune. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “Just think how much money this domain could make if it was developed!” That doesn’t mean squat if you haven’t developed it and in some cases it could take tens of thousands of dollars to develop it into a real business that can generate significant income.

You need to really understand which of your names honestly fall-into the $500 – $5,000 range and then, once you’ve validated your own thinking, go out there and sell. Just listing your domains for sale won’t usually do much – you need to become a salesperson and actively sell your domains. If you’ve sold names in the past maybe email some of the people you’ve sold similar names to. If not then it’s time to start finding some buyers either in the domain space or elsewhere.

End-users are and always have been the holy grail but it can take a lot longer to sell your domain to an end-user than a Domainer so be prepared for that. Remember, you may have to explain to an end-user that our industry exists and that people will pay more than $10 for a domain. I’ve had this discussion with so many end-users now I’ve lost track!

The idea here is simple. If you want to move your names you need to focus on where the liquidity is. Find the names in your portfolio that are actually worth $500 – $5,000 and do everything you possible can to sell them. If after a month of trying day in and day out you can’t move a single name…maybe they aren’t as good as you thought!

One final note here. If you want to make sales in this market stick to .COM. If you want to develop and monetize .net, .org, .us, .co, .biz, etc. will be fine and could make great sites – but for resale in this market if you’re not selling .COM’s then you are facing a much smaller market and thus less liquidity.

I will end this post with the title itself since I think this is really the overarching point I’m trying to make in this post – Go Where the Liquidity Is!

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • TeenDomainer March 10, 2011, 9:31 am

    Great points morgan! You have to be realistic with yourself when you try and sell your names

    Reply
  • Louise March 10, 2011, 9:34 am

    Hi, Wish this were a guest post on my blog, linked to, above! What you said is what I have been suspecting a long time – domains priced in the medium range – even if they’re not super-premium! – has a market!

    Reply
  • Leonard Britt March 10, 2011, 10:06 am

    Yes, outside .COM liquidity is limited. I had an interesting conversation with a business owner this week who had previously noticed the Spanish .COM domain for his industry was available but he delayed registering it. Later he saw that someone else had registered it, he inquired about the price and was told it was for sale for high $XXX. He refused because he knew that it had been available reg fee and the concept of giving someone a markup not typical in other industries just seemed outrageous.

    Reply
  • Kevin M March 10, 2011, 10:26 am

    I agree with you Morgan on the selling price range. This was also noted at DOMAINfest last month in the Selling Domains panel. Also Jason Miner at Name Media, one of the speakers, noted that selling domains at a ‘fixed price’ is growing, and makes buyers feel more comfortable when they’re purchasing a name. I think that makes sense, and we are now starting to experiment with this concept.

    Reply

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