How to Sell Domains

     Just like stocks, bonds and many other forms of investment, your domain name is worth nothing until it is sold. It may have some kind of "virtual intrinsic value", just like a stock may have a paper value of $xx.xx. Nevertheless, this concept of value means very little until you see the actual money. Therefore, to capitalize on your purchase, you will need to sell the domain name.

     There are two basic ways to sell a domain name, plus minor variations. You can choose to sell the domain name by your own efforts, or you can pay a company to sell it for you. Domain names are a commodity just like any other; several companies specialize in trading domain names.

Going it alone...

     There are three different ways to market a domain name yourself, depending on the effort you are willing to expend and how quickly you would like to sell the domain name. You can choose to do nothing, set up a basic web page, or create an active site. Also, it is advisable to take a look at some of the ways other people are trying to sell their names...

Do Nothing

The simplest way to market the domain name requires no extra effort after the domain name is bought. Just do nothing, and wait for a potential buyer to look up your domain name, see that it is already taken, and send you an offer to purchase it from you. As you can no doubt guess, the chances of success from such a passive method are fairly slim, unless you have somehow managed to reserve a truly fantastic name that everyone else missed.

Set up a basic Web page

The next step up is to create a very simple page connected to that domain, with a short message such as "The following domain names are for sale. Please contact <> for more details." followed by a list of the domain names for sale. The benefits of this sales method is that it requires very little time and effort, yet it allows potential buyers to at least visit your site on the web, even if there is nothing there. 

     You will need to link your web page to your domain name. 

Create an active site

If you are prepared to devote a great deal of time and effort to marketing the domain name, there is only one possible line of attack: create a fully-fledged web site, attract visitors to the site and place a notice prominently somewhere on 

 the site to indicate that the domain name is for sale. The decision to create an active site should not be made lightly; in order to attract sizeable numbers of visitors and increase the chances of selling your domain name, the site should provide interesting, useful information. 

     The benefits of an active site are two-fold. Firstly, a site which attracts many visitors will have a greatly increased chance of catching a buyer's eye in the fickle world of cyberspace. Secondly, if the site is popular enough, it could be put on the market as a going concern: the buyer purchases not only the rights to the domain name, but also the information [and readership] of the site. This is similar to the goodwill factor for shops: purchasing a successful bakery will cost more than purchasing a vacant shop and turning it into a bakery, as the daily flow of customers has been factored into the sales price. Equally, a successful, popular web page is worth more than an empty site.

     Ok, there's much more to selling a name than this... so why not hop over to the resources section and see list of domain brokers.

     Alternatively, you may decide that you'd rather pay a premium, but get a broker to sell your name for you... in this case, why not go on to the section about selling names via a broker.

Sit back, relax, pay a commission...

     A number of different companies provide services selling domain names. As the market for domain names is still very young, it is difficult to rank the services offered by these companies in an absolute way. Instead, why not follow this four-step plan to help you select which company to use. 

1. Visit the various brokers; explore their sites thoroughly to get a feel for layout and mode of

2. Send an exploratory e-mail to the contact address on each site. Explain your interest in selling your domain names, and ask any relevant questions. Check how long it takes for a representative to contact you, and how appropriate their reply is to your requirements.

3. Choose a site after reviewing the information acquired through steps 1 and 2. You may decide that none of the companies fit your exact requirements. In this case, you will want to return to the "Going it Alone" article to plan the next move in your campaign to market and sell your domain name.