Let me just be up-front here and say that I am not an expert when it comes to buying and selling domains. I am though, like a sponge, trying to learn as much as I can about the re-sale market since I want to make it a bigger component of my business. I feel like a broken record saying this but with so many new readers I just want to make sure everyone knows who I am and what I do! If you haven’t yet read my “About” page make sure to do so when you have a few minutes!
Okay – now for the subject of my post, Liquidity Problems. I get a number of emails (probably 10-20) each week from blog readers telling me they are having a really hard time selling their domains. Sometimes they provide the names other times I have to ask but either way I’ve really seen it comes down to one of three things (in order of importance):
- Crappy names (Pigeon Sh** as Rick would say) – I see a lot of terrible names owned by people that have fallen in love with them. It’s easy to get attached to your domains but don’t let that sway your understanding of their value. If you have a great premium domain name you’ll know, people will be contacting you asking if it’s for sale.
- Unrealistic Pricing – this is probably tied for first place with crappy names and is a continual problem. All of us want to sell our names for the maximum amount possible…however it’s those who are realistic with their pricing that make the sales. If you think your domain is worth four or five figures you should have the data to back it up. Things like search volume, CPC, and previous sales are all elements of a domain’s value. If you passed test one and you have some good names, most likely the reason you aren’t selling them is because your pricing is not realistic. Domain Magnate just did a great post talking about the use of the word “Premium” when describing domains, definitely worth reading – “Premium” is the Most Misused and Abused Word by Domainers.
- Not Actively Selling Your Domains – if your domains aren’t crappy, and your pricing is realistic, then you probably aren’t actively selling your domains. Listing your name on Sedo isn’t actively selling your domains. You should be contacting brokers, trying to find end-users, submitting the names for auctions, etc. Here’s one tip – if your names are never accepted into auctions you’ve failed step one. Auctions are always looking for good names and they’ll help you find realistic pricing since they want your names to sell as badly as you do!
Please don’t take this post as being mean or negative in any way. Back in 2007 I bought a lot of REALLY crappy names. I dropped over 600 names and I’m sure I’ll drop more in the future. I stuck with domains that made me money and domains that were in niches with stats (search volume, cpc, etc.) that has worked well for me with past sites. When I started to sell domains I was hoping to get thousands of dollars for domains I spent $10-$20 on. It was when I brought my prices down that the liquidity really started to open up.
You should always be going through your portfolio and thinking, is that a name I’m going to develop? If not then is it valuable, would someone else want to buy it and develop it? Things like high search volume or a high CPC can help you answer this question. So if you saw the title of this post and thought, “hey, I’m having trouble selling my domains!” and started reading this post, now take yourself through the list and be brutally honest with yourself. The solution to your problems could be right in front of you!