You’ve probably heard stories about domain names selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. During the dot-com rush, people were snapping up domain names left and right as potential investments. Then they’d just sit back and let the offers roll in.
Unfortunately, that’s not the situation today. Finding a domain name worth significantly more than what you paid to register it is unlikely, though not impossible. So how do you know if your domain name is worth selling?
Is it simple? Domain names become valuable because the buyer sees a potential opportunity for a lot of visitors. This may be because the domain name is easy to remember – and thus easier to advertise. Or because they assume they’ll get a fair amount of traffic through people just typing the domain name in directly on a whim. So that means, the simpler, the better. Domain names like Car.com or Dog.com are more likely to be sought-after than SportsCar.com or BigDog.com. Complicated domain names that are long, use dashes or numbers, or are unable to be pronounced or easily spelled are unlikely to be worth anything.
Is it a .com? With all the new extensions available, .com is still the most popular. In fact, they are valued at 5 to 10 times as much as other extensions. The more exotic the extension, the less likely someone will be interested in it.
Is there someone expressing interest in it? Ultimately, a domain name is worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. If you happen to own a domain that someone else is using as a business name, and they’re dying to snap it up, you might be able to work out a good deal, even if the domain name itself would be worth very little to others.
Are you using the domain name now? Before you consider any sale, figure out the impact it will have on your business if you are currently housing your site there. Often, the investment you’ve made in building up that domain name is worth much more than someone else is willing to pay for it. You will need to inform all your clients or readers about the website’s move, and there’s more than a fair chance that you’ll lose quite a few of them in the transition.
But beware. Some offers are actually scams. People lure you with an offer to snap up your domain, but then they insist you use a domain name appraisal service. After you’ve paid for the service, suddenly that offer to buy disappears.
If you do have an offer and believe it is legitimate, you don’t need an appraisal to make the deal. The services are often incredibly inaccurate. Every domain name is unique, and their values change over time. For example, JustinBieber.com would have been worth very little before he was discovered in 2008, but you can bet it’s worth quite a bit today! And of course, if Matilda’s Flower Company is interested in buying MatildasFlowers.com, the domain is obviously worth more to that particular buyer than it would be to anyone else.
If you decide to go with an appraisal service anyway, here are a few legitimate companies who offer the service:
What domain service do you use? Let us know in the comments below.