Selling your domains by putting them directly in the path of end users (Part I)

November 9, 2011

If you’re looking to maximize the sales price of your domains and own names which are likely to be attractive to end-users (e.g. generic exact match .com/.net domains), you might want to consider these two strategies…

First, it’s helpful to stop thinking like a domainer and start thinking like an average end-user.  Most end-users aren’t familiar with whois and check to see if a domain is available by one of two ways:

1. They simply type the domain name into their browser…

If they see the name is owned by a company in their business, they likely stop right there.

If they see an error message or a un-configured hosting page, they likely stop right there.

If they see a parked page, and there’s no prominent and obvious indication that the domain is for sale, they likely stop right there.

Why not make it easy for them?

If your names aren’t developed and you’re not making a lot of money from parking, consider creating a simple ‘domain for sale page’ and pointing your domains to it.   At the bare minimum, the page should clearly indicate that the name is for sale and tell visitors how they can go about purchasing it. Even better, assume that the end-user probably hasn’t bought an aftermarket domain before and…

Talk about the importance of having a good domain and explain the advantages (e.g. professionalism, memorability, SEO, better response rates from off-line advertising, etc.).

Reassure the end-user that these types of transactions are easy and safe to complete.

Include your contact information, or an unintimidating form that the end-user can use to get in contact with you.

How to do it

You don’t have to be a web developer or have any major web design skills.

One way is to set up a simple page using WordPress. If you already have a web hosting account with a popular hosting company like Dreamhost or Hostgator, you probably already have the ability to create an unlimited amount of sites for free and to install WordPress with one click.

Once WordPress is installed, you can select from the many free themes that most hosting companies include and configure a simple page in about an hour or so.

Or if you don’t have a hosting account or aren’t familiar with WordPress, you might want to use a service like Wufoo which makes it pretty easy and has a free plan for simple pages.


Either way, once you have your page on-line, end users who type in your name will have no doubt that it’s for sale, may start to warm up to the idea of purchasing it (vs. hand registering an inferior available domain) and will have a clear cut way of contacting you and initiating a dialog.

In the second part of this post, I’ll discuss the other primary way end users check availability and a very easy way to get your names directly in front of them along with some specific pricing tips and strategic advice.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gene 11.09.11 at 12:59 pm

Thanks for this post. I agree that putting up a ‘for sale’ page can be helpful.

I stopped using ‘for sale’ landing pages a while back after realizing that potential buyers could be turned-off to the name(s) because they realize that their competitors (who also, likely stumbled on the same page) saw the same offering.

You may ask, “OK, so what does that mean?” Well, it’s simply human nature to not want to either feel as though (a) you’re buying something that others – perhaps, many others – have passed on, and (b) the asset you’re considering purchasing is in some way, tainted — which is the same problem that exists (at least, from the perspective of an end-user) with domain names that have been used unsuccessfully, then resold.

Granted, that there probably aren’t many alternatives to going the ‘for sale’ route (absent an auction or development).

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