Your Biggest Barrier To Selling Domains Is You

I’ve heard the same story over and over again. “I have my domains listed for sale everywhere but they’re just not selling.” While there are a good number of Domainers out there that can sit back and wait for offers, most people (myself included) need to actively sell their domains. No, listing your domains for sale is not active enough, it’s a good start, and you can definitely make some sales, but if you want to really grow your business you’ll need to put on your sales hat, or hire a great salesperson.

That is why I say that the biggest barrier to selling domains is you. That’s right, in most cases you are your own worst enemy. Many new Domainers task themselves with buying domains and their plan looks something like this.

  1. Buy expired domain names
  2. List them for sale everywhere
  3. Wait for a sale
  4. Complain when nothing is selling

If you look at companies like Domain Holdings and Igloo, they have clients with massive names, great one word .COMs worth six and seven figures. The owners of these names are not simply listing them for sale and waiting, they’re hiring brokers that are emailing, calling, and hustling like crazy to do it.

Now here’s the disconnect many new Domainers have. They contact these brokerage houses with their three and four-figure domains hoping to get a talented salesperson actively marketing their domain. In most cases this is not going to happen, you need to be your own brokerage company or hire an independent broker to really hustle it for you. Be realistic, most of your names aren’t five and six-figure names, sure they could sell for that but if you’re just starting out be comfortable making sales in the three and four figure range.

It’s all about cashflow and if you’re not bringing anything in trying to market your names at five and six-figures, maybe you don’t have five or six-figure names. Be realistic with your pricing and get active, contact potential buyers via email, call them on the phone, follow-up, then follow-up again. That is sales and that’s what it takes for 90% of Domainers to sell their names.

So stop feeling like you’ve tried everything because chances are you’re really not doing enough. Yes, list your names for sale on popular domain listing services but if liquidity is what you need, go out there and get it. Sedo sells less than 0.5% of the domains listed for sale, if only 0.5% of your portfolio sold would you be happy? I don’t think so. You need to take the initiative to either sell your domains yourself or hire someone to do it but whatever you do, stop getting in your own way and stop making excuses.

If you have your domains listed for sale everywhere and they’re not selling don’t be surprised, it’s your job to sell them, now make it happen!

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Nick August 13, 2013, 10:40 am

    Are there sales brokers that will sell for small-time domainers with less than 500 names in a portfolio? Have no problem paying someone to do the work but where to find these brokers is the question. Good, reputable ones that wont burn a bridge or cause damage to the domainer.. you know?

  • Igor Mironyuk August 13, 2013, 11:04 am

    @Nick, are many brokers and that who looking domain names (We wanted domains)
    @ Morgan, But they want to buy premium names than bad or middle without traffic and revenue. I looked for that who buys domains in Google, than contact them. No answer!
    I contacted with broker via Twitter, send him portfolio of my domains and than he said me that nothing.

  • Joe August 13, 2013, 11:49 am

    Nice article, Morgan, enjoyed the read!

  • Tim August 13, 2013, 11:54 am

    Sometimes doing nothing is better.

    I have absolutely none of my domains listed on any of the domain sales platforms like Sedo, Afternic, etc…. and my sales are stellar. I also use no brokers (unless they interject themselves into the deal) and do zero promotion, besides the for sale banner on parked pages.

    If you buy great domains you don’t need to do any marketing. Also, when you list everywhere your domains looks cheap. I personally think a domain on Sedo or Afternic looks like a direct marketing pitch — like you are desperate to sell.

    Those platforms are great for crap names or mediocre domains which can benefit from more exposure, but quality domains should never be listed on any of these platforms.

    Also, you can’t see who the buyer is so a domain you might sell for 2K on Sedo you might be able to get 20K on your own knowing who the buyer is.

    Since I pulled all my domains from Sedo, Afternic, etc… my income from sales went up exponentially. I’m not saying this will work for every portfolio, but it sure has for me. I’ll never go back to those platforms again.

  • Tony August 13, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Agree with Tim. If you have to act as your own broker and try to contact end users for your domains, you lose some negotiation leverage as a recent domain blog post mentioned. If you have really good domains, then sitting back and doing nothing is probably the best.

  • Nick August 13, 2013, 1:47 pm

    @Igor: What I meant buy ‘broker’ is me hiring someone to sell my domains to end users. Either I give the broker the qualified leads or the broker generates their own leads.. Just wondering if such a thing exists. Sedo, Afternic, GoDaddy, Aftermarket.. they do not actively seek out buyers for domainers. They provide a platform to sell domains but like Morgan said, its not easy to get a sale on their. You’re competing against these platform’s millions of domains that they would rather sell first. They’re buying names and selling them too. 🙂

  • Alistair August 13, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Nice article, Morgan. #Cashflow is indeed the lifeblood of any business!…

    Many domainers want $10k for a $100 domain and that’s why they don’t sell…With all the reports on high price sales, they end up believing domains (that look good and sound nice to them) are worth a lot of money!

  • Louise August 13, 2013, 3:04 pm

    My domains would be considered mediocre, flanked by a couple of better dot coms, such as WhatisaSmartphone and 3DDesignSoftware, so I don’t want to sell them. If noone – not even the end users had the sense to register them in the first place, then why do I have to go to the effort to educate/sell them? I’m talking about my multiscreen series, like, MultiscreenServices/MultiscreenDelivery . . . They’re ideal to develop, and if noone else has the enthusiasm – because the domain community took a dump on my domains – I have the enthusiasm. I feel sorry for the whole domain community who turn over their inventory and have no investment except to sell.

  • Alan Dodd August 13, 2013, 4:04 pm

    I think the most important thing for domain sales is to make sure the parked page at the very least has it really prominently displayed, that the name is for sale.

    Int Traffic and Afternic have the strip at the top which is more noticeable than a lot of parked companies small for sale notice. One even has tiny little letters at the bottom of the page.

    But HugeDomains/BrandBucket/Domain Market – well, they don’t even bother with the parking! Straight to the for sale page.

  • rh2000 August 13, 2013, 6:50 pm

    Good post.

  • Howie Crosby August 14, 2013, 12:29 am

    @Nick Makes a good point.
    Also, I presume there isn’t a domain broker regulation, therefore it would be word of mouth or pot luck etc.

    Plus Morgan your stat “Sedo sells less than 0.5% of the domains listed for sale” is an interesting fact and one most domainers will be unaware of.

  • HowieCrosby August 14, 2013, 12:37 am

    @Louise So do you see yourself as a collector in some of your names then?

  • Raymond Chai August 14, 2013, 4:11 am

    Love your article as always……thanks Morgan.

  • dom August 14, 2013, 5:38 am


    Good eye opening post for starters. I would request you to open a new post to answer some questions ( not found answers in archives) which new domainers will be having.

  • Joe August 14, 2013, 10:34 am

    The post I read is well.

    The comments from all of you with my respect is a pressure cooker, if now I be like being one of those who write to the post @ Morgan a small domainer to wait too long to sell and buy just think most dot-com, a few dot-net, and some more dot-info.

    My question is when you get the new gTLD, which agent? which broker? we need to rid ourselves of what we have recorded and I in dot-net, I hate to say it but I will not sell for to learn the lesson that the broker just looking for their own interest, as I look through the myself and every one of you should look for their own interest as many professional domainers be with or without LLC – INC for years.

    Thanks for your interest itself

  • Morgan August 14, 2013, 5:35 pm

    Thanks for all the great comments on here everyone, definitely glad people liked the topic and I’m happy to go deeper in a future post.

  • Francois August 15, 2013, 3:02 am

    Marketplaces mainly allow domainer to domainer sales, which is a good thing as many people cannot play he hold and wait game, or sometimes one need some cash. Now if you want end user sales, they will come from WHOIS and sale link on parked page or site, but they will come like the lottery when you do not expect or never. The last option is be active and contact (or ask brokers to do it) potential prospects but this may only works if the domains are descent, target a real need and are priced low. And if you do all then for sure you maximize sale chances. But the point number is having a domain that may sell, a majority of names will never sell.

  • Tim August 17, 2013, 9:43 am

    You’re right. The online sales platforms aren’t always the best strategy. I don’t like negotiating through Godaddy Auctions or SEDO because I have no idea who the buyer is. Is this an end user who’s willing to pay big money? Or a domainer who wants a wholesale price? I may try your strategy for some of my better domains.


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