Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

How to Sell a Domain Name [For The Most Money] in 7 Easy Steps

This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. Learn more ›

Are you sitting on an idle domain name, unsure what to do with it?

Well, guess what? Learning how to sell a domain name can put extra cash in your pocket. And if you play your cards right, you can flip this one-off gig into a full-fledged venture.

The market is hot, with premium domain names commanding sky-high prices. For instance, the domain name laba.com sold for $99,000 at a GoDaddy auction. Seven letters and a dot, and boom—a massive payday!

Here’s the inside scoop on selling domains, plus the pros, cons, essentials, and tips.

Why You Should Consider Selling a Domain Name

Check out the top reasons that make domain selling an enticing revenue stream:

  • Minimal Startup Cost: Selling domain names doesnt’t require a hefty upfront investment. For starters, you can buy expired domains with existing backlinks and traffic.
  • Unlimited Earnings Potential: The sky’s the limit when it comes to selling premium domain names. Plus, you can generate passive income through leasing or domain parking.
  • Ever-Expanding Market: More and more people are jumping into the digital bandwagon, aiming to cement their online presence. You can tap into this market by acquiring domain names and selling them at a higher price.
  • Flexibility: You can do it as freelance work while keeping your day job. Or, you can go all in.

Problems With Selling a Domain Name

While domain selling can be profitable when done right, there are also potential drawbacks to consider:

1. Lengthy Sales Process

Flipping a domain name is more like a marathon than a sprint. It won’t be the best fit if you’re looking for immediate cash flow or quick transactions.

A smiling web developer working in his office

Some domain names have limited appeal within specific niches, making it difficult to find interested buyers.

On top of that, negotiating the sale price and completing the domain transfer can be time-consuming. It takes patience, perfect timing, and the right buyer to hit the jackpot. 

2. Fierce Competitiom

Selling domain names isn’t a unique business idea. You’ll face tough competition from other domain sellers, all vying to snag valuable domain names.

So, keep your eyes peeled for Google trends and frequently visit domain registration websites.

You’ll want to get first dibs on the juiciest domains to stay ahead of the game.

3. Uncertain Valuations

It’s not always clear how much a domain name is worth until someone is willing to buy it.

Unlike a traditional product with a fixed price, determining the exact value of a domain name is subjective.

Factors such as market trends, relevance, keywords, and brand potential all come into play here.

4. Holding Costs and Renewal

Owning a domain name isn’t a one-and-done purchase. Along with acquiring the domains is an ongoing burden of holding costs.

Expenses like annual renewal fees, listing fees, and ad placements can pile up over time, especially if you have a considerable portfolio.

What You’ll Need to Sell a Domain Name

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to start a business selling domains:

  • WHOIS Record: A WHOIS file containing your name and contact details is proof of domain ownership. It helps potential buyers find you, so keep your information complete and up-to-date.
  • Detailed Listing: A detailed listing should paint a picture of your domain name’s revenue potential. Include relevant information such as domain age, keywords, backlink profile, traffic statistics, and other unique selling points.
  • Domain Registrar Account: You need a domain registrar to manage your domains and transfer ownership upon a successful sale. Some of the best registrars in the market that also offer WordPress hosting are Domain.com, Namecheap, and Network Solutions. 
  • Escrow Service: An escrow service acts as a trusted middleman in the domain sale process. It ensures that you get paid for your domain name, and the buyer receives the domain they paid for.

Where to Sell a Domain Name

You can sell a domain name through any of these means:

1. Via a Private Sale

You can sell a domain name on your own by setting up a webpage on that domain’s URL. It’s the fastest way a potential buyer can look you up on a search engine.

What Makes This Option Great

Selling your domain name privately offers you control and direct communication with potential buyers.

Although it requires technical knowledge, the freedom and potential savings on commissions and fees make this option attractive. 

  • Fees/Commissions: None
  • Payment Methods: Any payment method you prefer

2. Via a Domain Name Marketplace

The domain name marketplace is a vibrant community that connects you to buyers seeking unique online identities.

What Makes This Option Great

A young surprised female freelancer working in her living room

These platforms provide convenience and exposure to an enormous pool of potential buyers. Besides, you can take advantage of the complementary escrow services.

Domain MarketplaceFees/CommissionsRatesPayment Methods
AfternicSales commission20%ACHPayPalCheckWire transfer
Sales commission using a supported nameserver15%
Porkbun“Buy It Now” parking feeFreePayPal
Sales commission7%
EftySubscriptionStarts at $15/monthCredit card
Sales commissionNone

3. Via a Domain Broker

A domain broker facilitates the sale of a domain name on your behalf. By leveraging their expertise and connections, they can help you navigate the domain market by offering these services:

  • Market research and branding analysis
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Negotiations

What Makes This Option Great

Domain brokers know the market inside and out. They can assess the potential value of your domain based on market demand and other domain name metrics.

Domain MarketplaceFees/CommissionsRatesPayment Methods
BrannansSales commission15%Available upon request
Grit BrokerageSales commissionAvailable upon requestAvailable upon request

4. At an Auction Site

Domain investors come together at auction sites to bid on domains and flip them for a profit.

What Makes This Option Great

The auction format encourages competitive bidding, driving up the final sale price of your domain. These platforms handle the entire sale process, from showcasing your domain names to finalizing the ownership transfer.

However, remember that these services don’t come cheap and can put a dent in your wallet. So, weigh the value they bring against the costs involved.

Auction SiteFees/CommissionsRatesPayment Methods
GoDaddyListing for GoDaddy Auctions memberFree                                                                                                                                                Debit or credit cardPayPalBank transferOnline banking
Featured listing on GoDaddy Auctions homepage$19.98/listing
Featured listing on a Category page$9.99/listing
Commission on domains sold through an aftermarket nameserver15%
Commission on domains sold without using an aftermarket server25%
FlippaListing fee$29Debit and credit cardPayPal
Sales commission5–10%
SedoMarketplace auctionFreePayPalAlipayKlarnaCartes BancairesCredit card
Private auction startup fee$59
Auction events$10
Sales commission15%

How to Sell a Domain Name: Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these comprehensive guide on selling domains:

Step 1: Research the Market

Even if you think your domain name is worth a fortune, it’s crucial to check if the market is on your side.

If similar domains are selling for way less than what you had in mind, it’s better to rethink your goals or hold off for a better opportunity.

NameBio is a nifty tool you can use to study the current market. It has an extensive domain sales database, giving you live data on how much your competitors are making.

You can even dig up data as far back as five years to determine how the market shifts for these names.

Step 2: Determine Your Domain Name’s Value

Now, it’s time to figure out how much your domain name is worth and put a price tag on it. Below are some domain valuation tools you can use:

Note that the appraisals you’ll get are only ballpark figures and not foolproof. A better alternative is to enlist the service of a domain broker who can give you an optimal price point for your domain. 

Step 3: Make Your Contact Information Public on WHOIS

A simple domain search on a lookup tool can hook you up with a prospective buyer. The buyer targets a specific domain name, and if it’s an exact match to what you’re offering, they can reach out to you directly.

That’s why it’s in your best interest as a domain seller to list your contact information on the WHOIS directory.

You want potential buyers to find you, even without browsing the marketplace. 

Step 4: List Your Domain Name 

Instead of checking the directory, buyers can just type the address of your domain on their browser to see if it’s up for grabs.

You can create a landing page on your domain to advertise it before listing the domain name on your chosen platform.

If someone lands on your for-sale page and sees a link to the listing, that could be a potential sale. This is how domain parking works!

Lastly, set a realistic price. If you’re listing a premium domain name on an auction site, you can bring the price below fair market value to stir interest and spark a bidding war.

Step 5: Optimize Your Domain Listing

Consider these tips for crafting an irresistible listing:

  • Emphasize the current value of your domain in terms of ad revenues, search engine rankings, and website traffic.
  • Use social media to boost your domain’s visibility.
  • Engage with other sellers on domain-selling forums.

Step 6: Use an Escrow Service to Facilitate Payment

You’ll likely receive free escrow service when selling domains on a marketplace or auction site. Meanwhile, you must buy a separate escrow service when making a private sale.

An escrow service is a reliable third party that secures the domain sale for everyone’s peace of mind.

The payment goes to an escrow account while you transfer the domain ownership. You’ll receive your funds once the buyer receives the domain. 

Step 7: Finalize the Domain Transfer

Follow the specific instructions provided by the platform you’re using. Typically, you’ll provide the buyer with authorization codes for the transfer.

Once the buyer completes the transfer and takes ownership of the domain, congratulations, you’ve successfully sold your domain!

A happy freelancer selling a domain and working on his laptop

Things to Consider When Selling a Domain Name

Let’s explore some key points to keep in mind when selling domains:

  • Domain Valuation: Evaluate your domain name’s fair market value by taking into account factors like domain extension, length, and keyword popularity.
  • Legal Considerations: To avoid any legal consequences, conduct thorough research to ensure your domain name doesn’t infringe upon any existing trademarks.
  • Documentation: Keep proper documentation of the sale, including invoices, agreements, and records of communications.
  • Target Audience: Identify the industry, niche, or business that can use your domain. Tailor your marketing and outreach efforts to reach the right audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Sell My Registered Domain Name?

Absolutely! You can sell a registered domain name that you no longer find useful.

If it’s brandable, it could be worth a lot.  Just make sure your domain name isn’t infringing upon anyone’s trademark.

How Do You Price a Domain Name?

Pricing a domain name depends on various factors. You must consider the domain extension, length, clarity, keywords, and brandability.

For example, the .dom extension is most attractive for businesses and fetches a higher price. A short, memorable domain name that contains a popular keyword or targets a specific niche is also more valuable.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

Apart from domain names, you can try your hand at selling other digital assets. These tutorials will equip you with practical advice on selling some of the most sought-after digital products: 

Wrapping Up

So, don’t miss the opportunity to capitalize on your unused domain. Master how to sell a domain name, and you can kick-start a lucrative career in domain flipping.

Remember, premium domain names hold incredible value, and you can use this guide to gain better insight into the digital market.

Please comment below if you think selling domains could be your next side hustle.

Also, it would mean a lot if you could share this article with your entrepreneur-savvy friends!

Leave a Comment

vector graphic showing an illustration of different things to make and sell
  • How to Sell

6 Profitable Things To Make And Sell Online (In 2023)

August 1, 2023
6 min read
vector graphic showing an illustration of feet pics on a website and on an app related to how to sell feet pics
  • How to Sell

How to Sell Feet Pics: Websites, Steps, Tips, & More!

July 6, 2023
9 min read
vector graphic showing an illustration of how to sell replicas legally
  • How to Sell

How to Sell Replicas Legally: Step-By-Step Guide

June 11, 2023
9 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.