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How To Sell A Website
Published: Sunday, October 03, 2004


If you have an existing website or domain name you no longer need and wish to sell it to an interested buyer for a one-time profit, or if you’re a speculator looking to build a steady source of revenue by buying and reselling valuable domain names, this helpful guide will explain the steps you need to take to ensure a quick, easy and profitable sale.

Establish a Reasonable Price for Your Site
  • How Much Can I Get?

    Before you sell, it's a good idea to know how much the domain is worth. Market prices for domain names can run from a few dollars to thousands of dollars for premium names. The domain name "Loans.com", for example, sold for $3,000,000 just a few years ago. The key to deciding whether or not to sell a domain name you own is to determine its worth to you if kept and, alternatively, how much a buyer is willing to pay. You may have heard ‘rags to riches’ type stories of cheap domain names resold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. During the good old days of the Internet boom this was possible. However, things have slowed down considerably since then and there it is very rare to hear of a domain name sold for more than $10,000. However, while big deal domain sales do occur less often in today’s domain market, selling domain names can still be very profitable. Short, catchy, top level domain names are selling for upwards of $5,000 on the domain aftermarket. Other longer, but still usable, names may be worth hundreds of dollars.


  • Pricing is relative

    Relative to your desire to sell, the type and timeliness of bidder inquiries (individual or corporate) and how well the sale price is negotiated should be considered. Don't try to fit your domain name into some 'proprietary pricing model'. Every domain name is applicable to a different target market. Determine who your potential buyers are before determining your asking price so you don't over or under estimate that price. Most names (~85%) sell for between 15%-40% of the asking price. Exceptions to this trend:

    1. Fantastic names - Truly great names can command what a seller requests, unless that amount is unreasonable.


    2. High asking prices - Names that have ridiculous or greedy asking prices rarely sell. Important!


    3. Poor names - Names littered with hyphens, adult names, "4"s for the number "four", "2"s for the number "two", "U"s for the word "you", etc. Don't waste your time listing names like these. They rarely sell.


  • Determining The Site’s Worth:

    Selling virtual real estate is a lot like selling physical real estate. Just like with the housing market, website “homes” (also known as domain names) can be purchased for a low cost, remodeled and decorated to look very attractive to potential buyers, and sold for a considerable profit. To understand how this works, first consider that you were in fact selling an actual house built on land instead of an abstract entity on the web. It would be impossible to price your home without doing extensive research to determine its worth. You’d need to take many factors into consideration, such as: size, landscape, curb appeal, the value of other properties in the area, the current buying market, and – perhaps the biggest factor – location, location, location! You’d never dream of arbitrarily assigning a sale price to your home without having some idea of its worth and what buyers might be willing to pay. If you under-price your home, you could be missing out on a substantial profit opportunity. However, if you overprice your home, you might not be able to sell it at all. That’s why it’s so important to have all the facts before putting your home on the market – and the same holds true for selling your virtual home on the web.

    When determining your site’s value, you may need to do some research online. It is often a good idea to compare different websites on the Internet and to see which sites catch your eye. You can make a mental note of the methods used on websites that were appealing to you; then you can use those ideas when creating or updating your own website. The design of a website is very important when you are trying to sell an existing site online. The design should be bold and colorful, but should not be too busy. You may want to use colors that relate to the theme of the site as well. For instance, if you are selling bottled water, it would be logical to use shades of blue on your website. However, no matter how brilliant the website design is, the purpose of the site must also be useful for the website to sell. A good website will revolve around an interesting idea or useful type of business. To reflect the purpose of your website, you should include clear, informative content that is easy to understand. A website with a clear and interesting purpose is very likely to sell on the Internet.

How To Sell A Website - Part 2 Next Article
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