I Suck At Selling Domains – What I’m Doing To Change That!

First let me start this post by saying that I’m not afraid to tell the whole world what I don’t know, and you shouldn’t be either!

For the last three years I have been buying, selling, and developing domain names. My revenue comes from development/monetization, and I’ve made it no secret that I stink at selling domains. That being said I’ve spent enough time socializing with other Domainers and going to auctions that it has encouraged me to get more involved in the Domain Sales game.

For Domaining purists this is the only kind of Domainer – even though I own close to 1,000 domains, since my revenue comes from monetization and not sales, I’m considered a developer or affiliate marketer, or Domainer-Developer as seems to be the new buzzword.

What’s funny for me is that I’m making the reverse move from most of the industry. Most full-time Domainers don’t know much about development, and as parking revenues have fallen, development is where many are turning. Now don’t get me wrong – I love development and monetization and that will continue to be a major part of my business.

I get more inspired by this industry every day. It’s the conferences that have really thrown me over the edge and left me wanting to buy and flip domains. So over the last few months I’ve been reaching-out to some of my friends in the industry to get their advice on how to effectively sell domains.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’ve sold probably between 30-40 domains in the last three years but mostly in the $xx and low $xxx range with a few in the low $x,xxx range. Domain sales have also accounted for a very small portion of my revenue and with the success I’ve seen with monetization development was the natural choice for me.

Now I want to take it up a notch and start finding some $xx,xxx sales – go after the bigger fish! I’m ready for a challenge and I’m charting a path to build my business to the point that domain sales represent 50% of my revenue. This isn’t going to be easy, it’s going to take a lot of work, and I can’t wait!

Already just using the advice that I got from some successful Domaining buddies of mine I’ve been able to generate around $2,000 in sales in the last two weeks, and all of those sales were ccTLDs – .co.in, .in, .us, and .tv.

So what am I doing differently? Well that’s for another post – or maybe sequence of posts. Like I’ve said before, know what you know, and know what you don’t know. The great thing about this industry is there are a lot of people that are successful and want to help others!

I absolutely love helping people generate passive income with their domains and can understand the passion we all have for what we do.

Now if you read my post yesterday you know that I’m focusing on doing less to give more attention to everything that I do. The transition I’m making here doesn’t mean forgetting about development – it just means shifting my priorities and time-schedule to allow me to put more focus on domain sales.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, and I’m certain I will fail many times, but I am a very persistent person and when I put my focus on something, I know that I can achieve my goals.

As always I’d love to hear from all of you – my readers, and hear how you sell your domains. Don’t worry if it’s even a method I’ve discussed here on the blog already – just share!

In a future post I’ll detail how I made the $2K in sales over the last two weeks and provide some insight on what I’ve learned…for now I want to learn from those of you who make your money in this industry buying and selling domains because I know that myself and many of my readers have a lot to learn from you!

{ 24 comments… add one }

  • tom August 5, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Ok, so $2k in sales but how much in profit? If you paid $1,900 and sold it for $2,000 then that makes a big difference then if you paid $100 and sold for $2,000. Putting sales figures is now, but putting profit is more important.

    Reply
    • Morgan August 5, 2010, 1:33 pm

      @Tom – excellent question! Profit was $1,500.

      Reply
  • adinfinite August 5, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Hey Morgan I cant wait to hear of the changes you’ve made thats ramping up your sales numbers. I am a part time domainer. I still have a 9-5 and go to school as well. In fact most of my domaining is done right here at my desk in my office. LOL. ( hope my boss doesn’t read your blog) I have sold a few over the last couple of months mostly low $xxx. At first I used to send out tons of emails to potential endusers but it just didn’t work for me. So one day ( on a day off) I picked up the phone and sold two names. I don’t have much time to do that these days but one of the persons I spoke to that day has been a consistent client of mine. He is into the SEO/web design side of business and is always looking for domains for his clients. So my strategy has been to stay in touch with him and ask what names he is looking for then i stalk ( the good type) the forums and drop lists and find him suitable names and then sell them to him. I know it is not good having just one client so I am still sending emails and making calls when I can. My present client understands the domain biz and knows that he could easily go get the names at reg fee himself but he has admitted that he would rather pay me to do it and spend time on his SEO and Design jobs. So I guess my strategy boils down to this: I managed to build a relationship with a webdesign or seo professional with lots of clients and little time to search for his own domains. LOL. Hurry up and post the next article.

    Reply
    • Morgan August 5, 2010, 1:33 pm

      Thank for sharing @AdInfinite – I look forward to sharing our success together!

      Reply
  • Leonard Britt August 5, 2010, 7:17 pm

    Being realistic with pricing and listing in multiple marketplaces (esp. Godaddy Premium Listings) does generate some sales. But if you are generating good results from development perhaps that is where it makes sense to spend your time. The frustrating thing about end user marketing is that one can quite often have a superior quality name (at least compared to those you are targeting) which took time and money to acquire, spend hours marketing it and still get zero response. So in such cases your time might have been better spent on development. Yes, I could use some tips from those who are better at converting those outgoing emails into sales.

    Reply
  • mano August 5, 2010, 7:23 pm

    Morgan, I did follow you for some time and wish you’ll be followed by all the newcomers to the industry. Although sometimes you’re seen unsure at certain things and wished some one could clarify it at the comment section, but the response received does help many others. Btw, Adinfinite must be thanked for letting out his domain selling secret. Thanks Adinfinite.

    Reply
  • Eric August 6, 2010, 6:27 am

    Great post. Very interested to hear what you did to things around. I got into domaining as a hunch. I had a hunch about a few domains and my hunch paid off. I sold my first one for $xx,xxxx. I obviously decided to devote more time to it from that point. I have only made one sale since then for $xxx. I look on other sites, forums, and Sedo and amazed at some of the crap that’s sold when I’m sitting on about 100 what I think are real good names. So I learned that you have to have foresight. Learn about new technologies, developments, and buy knowing you aren’t going to be able to unload those for maximum profit for years. It is really all about timing, just like stocks.

    So with 100 domains sitting on Sedo I am very curious to see what you did to turn things around.

    Reply
    • Morgan August 6, 2010, 10:32 am

      Thanks for the positive comment @Eric – appreciate the support and insight!

      Reply
  • randomo August 6, 2010, 8:08 am

    This sounds like it should be a 12-step-type support group.

    “Hi, my name is Morgan, and I suck at selling domains.”

    “Hi, Morgan ….” ๐Ÿ™‚

    FWIW, I have sold thousands of domains, including some to end-users who have found me, but I have never made a single sale to an end-user I contacted. Can’t wait to see your followup about how you’re turning things around!

    Reply
    • Morgan August 6, 2010, 2:47 pm

      Thanks @Randomo but it’s not about turning things around but instead changing my focus. I’ve been focused on development and monetization and have built-up a nice consistent income stream of $x,xxx/month. Selling domains is something I’m interested in but have never put any time or effort into – I’m looking forward to expand my business and turn a $x,xxx/month business into an $xx,xxx/month business ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • Logan August 6, 2010, 1:13 pm

    I think it’s a better use of time to develop and earn a monthly income while waiting for an end user to come along and make an offer. The current income increases the value of the domain name (it makes you more reluctant to sell at a lower price) and the end user approaching you puts you in a far better negotiating position to maximize your sales price (you’re not desperate to make a sale just to get some cash flow — you already have cash flow coming in from your development). It’s a win-win scenario for the domain name owner. I’ve only just now started development of my domains for insurance lead gen purposes and I made $45.00 (5 leads at $9.00 each) in my first 30 days — and my main site doesn’t even appear in the first 100 pages of Google for my top keywords. So you can imagine my strong desire to bump up my SEO strength and get my main site ranking higher and higher in Google! In my limited view so far, lead gen beats PPC ads on a good domain name based on lucrative keywords. So, I’m going to focus on development for lead gen until someone comes along and makes me an offer I can’t refuse vis-a-vis the income I’m making from lead gen.

    Reply
    • Morgan August 6, 2010, 2:44 pm

      @Logan thanks for your comment – excellent points! Yes – domain monetization has been my focus for the last three years – still there’s a part of me that wants more. I love this industry and really want to take part in both sides of the space, development and sales.

      Since I work in International Sales as my day job I have a lot of experience negotiating deals with people all over the world. I can’t imagine I can’t put this experience to good use in the Domaining industry ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • Ricky August 6, 2010, 2:52 pm

    I for one cant wait to here your “secrets” I used to send the emails to end users as well and can say I had about 30% success this way. Most other sales come from my 1 page landers so when they type in my domain they go to a 1 page sales site. That way it ranks a bit in the search engines and explains teh benefits of the domain. i get offers from time to time this way and have sold domains in low $XXX to low $X,XXX. Im still looking for new ways to sell so bring on your info because im all ears.

    Reply
  • Ed from htmlpress.net August 6, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Hi Morgan, i’d say concentrate on where you are excelling. if your batting avg. per month is $xxx for selling domains but in dev’t and monetization it’s $x,xxx then wouldn’t it be better to improve what you are doing best?

    Reply
    • Morgan August 7, 2010, 9:07 am

      @Ed Well I’ve been improving my monetization strategy for the last three years. Really happy with where it is now and just looking to expand my business further.

      Reply
  • Christian August 6, 2010, 8:20 pm

    Hey Morgan, I really enjoy reading and learning from you on each post. I am new to the domain industry (about 1 yr) and I am looking to monetize some domains and have been very unsuccessful in getting traffic to my sites. Is there any special ideas you can share with me to get me going in the right direction. I just started with affiliate marketing and have seen little to no success. I hear about all these people generating $2k-3k per month is affiliate sales and I am just trying to get 1 sale. Please help. Thanks

    Reply
  • Sathees August 6, 2010, 9:33 pm

    Interesting . . . Interesting!
    Development is the way to go! Hey down in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (The Civil war ended a year ago) I wanted to start a Domain development company. Couldn’t find HR and ended up educating these young talents. Funny ya!

    I own over 150 domains and planing to develop all that!
    I am heavily investing in ccTLD since I believe ccTLD will rock in product sales business!
    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Morgan August 7, 2010, 9:03 am

      Thanks @Sathees for the positive comment!

      Reply
  • Chandan August 7, 2010, 12:11 am

    @Morgan
    Why should you claim your self a domainer if you just keep developing domains and monetizing them?

    Reply
    • Morgan August 7, 2010, 9:02 am

      @Chandan – all depends on your definition of Domaining. I see Domaining as making money with domain names. The core of my monetization strategy is exact-match domains and I couldn’t do what I do without them. So much of my time is spend researching and buying domains, rather than re-sale though I’m focused on making passive income with my domains.

      Reply
  • Ken August 7, 2010, 6:31 am

    Newbie 101 question here (on Monitization). I’ve tried parking and see how that doesn’t work (late to that game) so tell me how you generate money off of a developed site? I developed / started a site so what’s next – do I find companies in my product line already working with Parking companies and contact them on the side? (“hey, I see your business comes up on a lot of parked sites, I’d like to work with you one on one”?)

    Reply
    • Morgan August 7, 2010, 9:00 am

      Hi @Ken – I wrote a eBook called Domain Monetization 101 that will walk you through the entire process. You get this for free when you sign-up for my newsletter. You can do this on the right-hand side of my blog.

      Thanks for the question and let me know if you have any others after you’ve finished the book.

      Reply
  • Soud August 8, 2010, 12:14 pm

    I remember I was reading the troubleshooter of emule before (as far as I remember) about why are my downloads so slow, they had a great answer I never forgot “The more you keep watching your download the longer it will take to finish” or something along these words. So my advice is to be patient (specially that you’re aiming at the big fish) and if the rate of visit to your mailbox has increased hoping you get a message titled “Congrats on your sale” then this will surely let you down; something that no body wants.

    So my advice is kinda spiritual advice more than a practical advice. I hope everyone finds this advice useful…thank you emule ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply
  • Soud August 17, 2010, 10:42 pm

    @Ricky: Do you mean you forward your domain directly to the sales page? Because I think that “This domain is for sale” link on the sedo parking page is just so microscopic, and not so much end users know what a parking page is. I used to think that parking pages show up when a site does not exist before I got involved in the domaining industry.

    To make a long story short, do u suggest I forward my domain to the selling page and skip that useless parking page?

    Reply

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