For some reason, a lot of the conversations I had at NamesCon are popping into my head this week. Maybe it just takes a few weeks after a conference for your brain to fully digest and process everything, or maybe I’m just weird…probably the latter but aren’t we all.
Okay, now onto the topic at hand here. Selling domain names inbound vs. outbound.
I had a really interesting conversation with a Domainer who sells a LOT more domains than I do and they brought up a good point that I think most people know, but might not think through in detail. If you only sell domains through inbound offers you are likely going to have a better chance of getting top dollar for your domains…but it can be one heck of a waiting game.
On the flip side, selling domain names outbound (i.e. reaching out to people you think “might” want to buy your domain name) will likely increase sales velocity but you’re probably not going to see the same kind of prices.
It’s the difference between a push and a pull sale.
Whenever you have a prospective buyer that isn’t being sold to, i.e. they are coming to you out of the blue because they really want to buy something you have, there is a greater opportunity to value an asset at a higher value. When you are pushing a product onto someone, there are a million reasons they might not buy, in many cases they just aren’t in the market for a domain name, period. In order to get them to buy, you need to provide incentives and there’s really no better incentive than a price that feels very reasonable.
So what does this mean for the average Domainer?
It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you only want to sell all of your domains for the highest possible price – stick with inbound only. Rick Schwartz is a great example of a domain investor that has been able to truly maximize getting top dollar for his domains by waiting for the perfect buyer. I don’t think Rick would have been able to sell Porno.com for $8.88M if he did outbound on it.
At the same time, for many Domainers, portfolios are much smaller and there really aren’t any six or seven figure names in them. To create liquidity, doing outbound is essential to generating cashflow. Just know that when you do outbound, while you can sell yours domains and can also certainly sell them for a great price and lock in a nice ROI, the absolute top dollar will probably only come from inbounds.
The suggestion that I heard during my conversation at NamesCon was a good one – investors can think of segmenting their portfolio. This means you can take some domains that you really prize and wouldn’t want to sell unless you got exactly the price you want for them and stick to inbound on those. Other domains, that you would rather see sell faster and would be okay taking a little price haircut, do outbound on those.
Last but not least, the final important factor to consider here is your time. Outbound is a massively time consuming process. So you’d also need to be able to carve out a reasonable amount of time to do the outbound, follow-up with potential buyers, and really work it to bring deals over the finish line.
Like most things in life, there really is no right answer, but thinking it through and being realistic with yourself is always a good thing. Sometimes I hear Domainers complain that they aren’t selling enough domains. When I ask what they are doing to sell them they say, “I have them listed on a ton of different marketplaces.” That’s not outbound, sorry, your domains are a needle in a haystack if they’re sitting out there on a marketplace.
If you’re not going to do outbound that is a-okay, I don’t do outbound because I definitely don’t have the time for it. Just know that you’re going to sell less domains than you would if you did.
Okay – enough from me, what do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!