2018 is the year I managed to sell my first premium domain.
Not only was I able to sell a few domain names —a feat I believed to be almost impossible— but I also managed to snag $1,000 in a single transaction.
GoDaddy defines premium domains as short, memorable, easy-to-spell names that end in a popular extension like .com which tend to cost a lot more than normal domains.
The reason why premium domains are more expensive is because they are already owned by someone, indeed, all 456,976 possible 4-letter .com combinations have been registered since 2013.
This post will cover the details of my early deals and the 5 things I learned selling premium domain names.
Related: if you are also interested in selling premium domains, you might want to check this related post: 5 Things I Learned Spending $1,000 on Premium LLLL.com Domains.
First Things First
The first premium domain that I ever sold also happened to be the first domain I ever bought in an auction: oskt.com.
This 4-letter acronym LLLL.com was a doozy since the beginning. I made a rushed decision when I bought it as well as when I sold it – closing at a loss just to get rid of the domain.
However, the second time around was when things started to pick up. Out of the blue, I got an attractive offer through one of the many marketplaces where I had my domains listed, and I didn’t hesitate for a minute.
The second premium domain I ever sold was a 4-letter dictionary word .org that was available at the time: oozy.org.
I stumbled upon oozy.org while scouting for available domains (after trying hundreds of other short word combinations). I only paid $12 to register this domain and ended up selling it for 80x its original price.
I only paid $12 to register this domain and ended up selling it for 80x its original price.
Here are the takeaways of the story. 🚀
1. Set Realistic Expectations
When I began posting domains on every marketplace, I had done enough research to estimate my floor and ceiling prices. This is key to create listings based on what is realistically achievable.
Everyone wants to be that person making six figures selling a domain, and maybe you will be that someone in a million, but it’s convenient to have a more pragmatic approach.
You can check domain auctions and sales on ShortNames and you can appraise domain values on EstiBot or GoDaddy. You should also take a look at historical sales on NameBio.
My suggestion is to find the sweet spot between how much money you want to get vs how much you can get out of a premium domain.
This can be done by setting a “minimum offer” and a “buy it now” option. The former would be the floor number you are comfortable selling the domain for (normally to cover the costs) and the latter is your desired number.
Find the sweet spot between how much money you want to get vs how much you can get out of a premium domain.
The benefit of setting a floor number is that, if there is an interested seller, you can begin the negotiations knowing that your minimum is covered. The downside of defining a “buy it now” option is that you are openly disclosing the maximum you are expecting to sell for.
Setting realistic floor and ceiling figures will totally help you sell a domain – and faster than you would think.
2. List Your Domains Everywhere
There are numerous channels where you can list your domains for sale. The strategy is to cast a wide net and promote them on every single platform that offers decent terms and charges low fees.
You could go with the big guys: GoDaddy, Flippa, Sedo. This would propel your domains to get more exposure while being backed by a renowned brand. Disclosure: I sold both of the premium domains mentioned in this blog post on Flippa.
You could try the brandable domain marketplaces like BrandBucket, Brandroot, Brandpa. This would give you a lower cut on the sale but allow you to reach buyers with deeper pockets (provided that they accept the domains that you submit).
You could test the waters with auction marketplaces: GoDaddy Auctions, NameJet, Flippa. Auctioning a domain can get you plenty of money while safeguarding the minimums with reserves.
Last but not least, find other creative ways to promote your premium domain outside of marketplaces, like creating your own catchy landing pages where to redirect your domain’s traffic.
Just make sure to list your domain everywhere available until one channel lures in a buyer.
3. Patience Is Key
Selling premium domains is not a process that happens overnight. You shouldn’t be surprised if you browse premium domains like cool.com that are still parked to this day. This means that it could take years before you sell a domain name.
It’s important to let your premium domains get some traction before making any rushed decisions. If you found a buyer, but you can’t agree with them on your minimum price, then it’s not the time to sell yet.
It could take years before you sell a premium domain name.
The upside of premium domains is that they generally gain more value with time. The more saturated the market gets, the higher the demand for domains, giving you a better chance to sell.
4. Be Flexible When Negotiating
Negotiating with a potential buyer is not easy. The main focus is to seal the deal – nice and simple. Let’s evaluate the scenarios you would be likely facing when you get an offer.
- The buyer makes an offer below your minimum price. Regardless if the offer covers all your costs, I’d recommend making a counteroffer, with the aim of getting closer to your intended minimum.
- The buyer matches your minimum offer price. This is the case where you might get too greedy, counter for a higher price, and lose the buyer’s interest. Don’t blow it! Be reasonable when getting a good offer and take it before it expires (unless you really think you have a chance).
- The buyer makes an offer that is somewhere between your minimum and desired price. As with the previous scenario, don’t counter and shy away your buyer, but instead accept the offer in a timely manner. You are already getting a great deal.
- The buyer matches your desired price. This is the dream scenario – and there is a slim chance it’ll happen. Needless to say, you should accept the offer without much hesitation.
You might not get that many interested buyers when selling premium domains so the trick is to accept any decent offer.
5. Premium Domains Will Always Sell
Whether it takes a few weeks or many years, all premium domains will eventually sell, provided that sellers are reasonable when negotiating with buyers.
I have inquired to buy specific premium domains out of curiosity and was quoted astronomical prices. There is no way I will shell out $30,000+ to get myname.com – I am open to spending a few thousands though. I wish sellers would be smarter and take advantage of such opportunities instead of waiting until their next chance.
Whether it takes a few weeks or many years, all premium domains will eventually sell.
Millions of domains are already owned by somebody. Millions of domains are parked and underutilized. Millions of people have good ideas that need a name to see the light. Combine this and you have an extremely attractive marketplace.
There are plenty of marketplaces that facilitate domain transactions, and demand for domains will continue to increase, while the offer will never cease to exist. It all comes down to sellers making the right choices.
The moral of this story is to become a savvy seller and manage to make money out of premium domains:
- Get your expectations straight.
- Promote your assets everywhere.
- Don’t jump the gun and make bad decisions.
- Be strategic when negotiating with an interested buyer.