The art of Domain Name sales... Must use techniques

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mike031

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I haven't seen too many people sharing any good new strategies in order to get domains sold or specifically how they are selling theirs and whether there is any success at the end of the day. I'm talking about people that are selling many domains... Some of the bigger players per se. Some of the smaller players doing smaller deals in the reseller market or whatever may be sharing only the methods that work but they aren't sharing the methods that don't work. This is not good. When something doesn't work, you need to share this as well. The good and bad. All of it. This article explains how to go about selling your domains using some of the more aggressive and newer techniques as well as explains why more traditional ways aren't going to cut in 2009.

I start off this write up below with a results of a little experiment I conducted to prove a certain argument. I finish off with the tips on how you too can make thousands of dollars per day, each and every day, selling as many domain names as you can manage, without spending too much time or money, without driving yourself or anybody else crazy. It's not all that difficult. Really. It never was. If you take my advice and do hit your first sale thanks to what you read below all I ask is that you post back here or e-mail me and let me know that it worked for you and for which domain if you don't mind sharing --- I'd love to hear all about it and how it went as well... So feel free to share. Feedback is very important. Have fun with the reading!

So I ran a little experiment over the past few weeks. I posted about two dozen generic keyword domain names for sale throughout some of the most popular domain forums. Domain names made up of 2 or 3 keywords that end with dot com at the end. Relevant domains specifically tied up to a certain industry and/or topic where there are more than a few advertisers and interest in by users... Thousands of users actually and a fair share of advertisers and ad dollars. Some of those domain names that I have acquired recently directly from domainers off the forums, some I have had for years and some I picked up at drop auctions right before listing them. It was a mix of domains worth more than reg fee, in my opinion, and should sell for thousands of dollars to an end user... But unfortunately domainers don't agree with me it seems. I must be crazy? We'll see.

Deep down inside, I have already known for a while that the reseller or "domain flipping" practice has been changed forever and it is not what it used to be. It is not like when the domain name heavyweights / established professional domainers had tons of cashflow coming in and they were acquiring and buying out everything they could get their hands on, even on forums, a few years back. So I figured, heck, why not... I will give this little experiment a try. I love experiments. I am all about them.. So, I priced some of the domains as low as $99 and I wanted to see if at least some would sell and to who... Veterans... Newbies... Resellers...etc. Well, time goes by, and none sell. Not even a single offer came in for $50 or $10. So, I was right. The aftermarket and direct reseller to reseller market is pretty dead if you ask me. I couldn't resell those domains... I don't think I could of sold those domains off at $5 or even give them away for free to anybody. LOL ! Nobody is paying attention.... Nobody cares?? It's like a ghost town in the sales sections throughout all of the forums... Probably 99% of all listings don't sell... Never have I seen things so bad. It's crazy.

It is not a surprise, but it just proved to me further that I should focus on the end users when selling domain names. That is where the money is. I wanted to first get an appraisal on all of the domains throughout the various forums when I had this idea and was planning to run the experiment but I skipped that part as I wanted to just go about getting on with it. I got a little impatient. You know, if I did list them... Probably I would get values in high $xxx or even $x,xxx that much I know for sure from some of the domainers on some of the domain names from looking at the appraisals that get done there each and every day... LOL. So anyways, instead of just waste my time in creating multiple threads for multiple domains, blah blah, I went ahead and listed them for sale... I knew that even if somebody who would appraise the domain as low as $99, which in my opinion it is a very low appraisal for the domains I was selling, he wouldn't even buy it for $99 when in fact that domain is available or becomes avail for purchase... Not even $10 either. Appraisals by resellers and flippers are useless. I think it is the most worthless section of each and every forum. It doesn't make much sense to me and never did. I stay away from it.

So, meanwhile this little experiment and sale of domains was going on in the forums, I picked out a few more dozen different domains from my portfolio, of the same quality and pitched them directly to end users. Companies and online businesses who could definitely benefit from the use of the domain name. I sold two of those domains, within one week and might close a third deal by the end of this month from this batch of thirty or so domains... We are still in the "negotiating" phase with the interested party of the third domain. He seems to be dragging his feet, but it is fine, I am in no rush. I'll wait as long as need be. So, my average ROI combined from the two sales I completed already is more than 1800% and I paid less than $500 for the two domains total. I actually acquired one of them just recently within 30 days.... Was a pretty good flip.

What are the domains you are wondering? Well, it doesn't really matter... They were targeted keyword domains, each keyword very much relevant to the other, each is made up of three keywords and they end in dot com. They were domains descriptive of a product and/or service. One domain directly tied up to an "e-commerce" business and the other part of the the "adult" business. Domains that could be considered "top" keywords within the industry that the business deals with that users may immediately identify with as well as the search engines may favor long term.

Now, all I did was send out a couple of dozen e-mails each and every day to various companies and online businesses who I had determined could use the domain name. No use of the phone. No cold calls as they take up too much time. I skipped that part. From there on what I did was patiently wait and respond to a couple of the people/companies who had expressed their interest in the acquisition of the domains as the inquiries came in. There weren't a whole lot of interest that flooded my mailbox but there was enough... All you need is one buyer after all! Daily, it was about four or five inquiries total via e-mail and one or two phone calls here and there. Dealing with end users isn't all that difficult as many people think it is. You just have to be dealing with the right end users.

Just yesterday I had a reply come in from one of the companies who I e-mailed more than a week ago in regards to one of those domains mentioned above who said that they are interested in one of the domains and would like to get more information on the terms, etc... Unfortunately, it is already sold.. And I am sure a few more e-mail inquiries and phone calls will come in next week or next month as well.. Some companies are slow... Real slow. By the time that they make up their mind or find the time to contact you.... It will be too late by then obviously. You snooze you lose.

Anyways, so you are probably wondering to yourself... How the hell did you do that? What is it that you are doing that I am not doing because I cannot even get one outta a hundred of my domains sold. OK, listen up... You are probably using methods and techniques to sell your domains that worked during the early days.. What worked in 2005 isn't working today. What worked yesterday may not necessarily work tomorrow. Things are always changing... You have to keep up with the times.. They may still work, without a doubt, but come on, times change. There is a lot of creative ways to go about selling domain names. Firstly, you have to be a good salesmen. Secondly, you have to have a good domain name to sell. Do you know what a good domain is? Are you sure?? Try to figure this out first. Pitching a crappy domain name is rather pointless. A waste of your time.

You are probably pitching your domains based on all this potential.. This argument that "it has all this potential" in the world... This argument that has gotten old. People want facts. Companies want great deals. Truth is... They could care less about a category killer domain. They already have a great business that did fine without your domain that you are trying to sell it to them. Get it? People are always interested in a good deal though. Just be fair and don't try to fool anybody. Tell it how it is. Your job is to prove to them that your domain can help their business and that it is in fact worth whatever is the price tag and that it is a great deal and a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire that domain. Sending over a link to DNJournal and telling a potential buyer that look this domain sold for this much and that one as well so mine is actually priced 1000% less so it is a really great deal... Not gonna work!! People don't know about DNJournal and don't care about it! If it was articles in CNN and so on it would be a different story but the domain industry is unheard of to most people and never will be understood either by the mainstream. Domain sellers are all cybersquatters... That is the only thing the mainstream knows for sure. You do not want to come off as one so do not associate yourself with other domain sales. Be unique.

Ask yourself, are you even trying to sell your domains to the right companies?? Are you even contacting the right people at the companies? Really... Who is the right person to contact at the company?? The decision maker?? Who is it? Do you know? Well, domain owners have always had this perception that generic keyword domains are perfect for big businesses such as the fortune 500 companies... Truth is, they don't care about your generic one word domains. Those companies really really don't care about them and don't even want to deal with domainers. They don't even like domainers. They don't need them. You think you can sell them a domain?? Good luck trying to even make contact with the right person, and from there on getting them sold on the idea that they need a domain... Not going to happen thousands of times over. How many domains has there been sold to big corporations this past year?? The past two?? Hundreds?? Thousands?? Not too many as far as I know... So what exactly do you think is going to change in 2009 or 2010?? Finally all this companies are going to wake up and realize that domains are a goldmine? Doubt it.

Look, if a company needs something, they get it on their own terms. They will contact you first and negotiate, etc... This is how all of the big deals for $xx,xxx and $xxx,xxx happen. It's not the other way around. If they haven't contacted you in forever, that tells you something... Get it? They don't need your domain. They have a strong brand, built on years or decades of mass advertising and exposure in tv, radio, print, etc. Why do they need to use a new domain for their business? Sure, it can help them, but they don't need it. It may even be a distraction for them. Did you ever think about that? Developing a domain properly into a standalone business isn't so easy and neither is integrating it into a global operation. It is easier to do on the internet but still... Not so simple. Everybody who is so convinced that their generic one or two keyword domains are so great, try this little experiment... Try to e-mail or call a large company that does most of its business online or business that even operates exclusively offline... You will get the same reactions nine times out of ten. See if you can even get an oral agreement for $1000 for your domain name that you think is worth $50,000 or $400,000 or millions. They will either laugh at you, hang up on you or think you are just trying to pull a scam on them. Just try it.

You will see, with your own two eyes, and hear with your own two ears, that it is not so easy getting domains sold for the ridiculous prices that domain owners have pulled out of thin air all this time... The prices that have been created according to what valuations or facts?? Beats me! You won't even be able to give away that domain name for free to any of the fortune 500 companies. They wouldn't know what to do with it. It is not on their priority list launching new domains. They have other more important stuff to take care of. Don't believe me... Try it and report back. See for yourself... Seek the truth friends. Don't believe the hype...

I know some domainers that make a killing selling domains directly to end users quietly on the side here and there. None of the deals ever get reported. None of them are famous domainers either that play up the press. They go about their business quietly and it works out well. They have been doing this for years. I've been doing it for a while as well and it is definitely where the money is... But who are they this special end-users that buy domains without all the bs involved? Where are they?? How do we find them? They are actually small businesses. Companies that would be more than happy to spend a few thousand bucks on a good domain. You just have to prove your case. Show them how the domain will make a difference and have a positive effect on their business. Show them the light! They will more than listen. They will be up your ass and coming back for more domains. Trust me. This is how it is. Domainers have always focused on the big corps... Big mistake. Failure after failure, time and time over and over again but people still do not realize this?? How come? Sheesh.

Finding potential buyers is kind of tricky... Domain sellers think that by just searching the whois records for xyz and all of the companies that own domains that start with xyz or contain xyz may be interested in their xyz.com or by searching for xyz on google or yahoo they can look at the sponsored ads, visit those websites, send over an e-mail and it is a done deal. No... It is rarely going to work. You have to do a lot more work than that. You should also look in other places such as the yellowpages t0 increase your chances of getting a sale done. Other smaller or local directories that list the specific businesses that your domains deal with as well.

You have to take on the roll of a private investigator kind of.... You have to find out who is the owner of the business that you are going to send an e-mail to before you do so. You have to prepare. I personally like to send the e-mail to more than a few people at one company if I am able to come up with that info. So, you have to spend more than 5 minutes obviously. It is not going to be a quicky. You have to look at all the social websites for profiles of those people. You don't gotta make buddy buddy or stalk them for weeks or anything like that but just sending over a compliment and saying that "Hey! I love your business.. Keep up the good work" or "Hey! I have a business opportunity for you" or something like that... Will get you noticed and a reply back as soon as possible. You have to determine how big or small their operation actually is and whether they can afford your domain in the first place. It's not so difficult... But it's not that simple either. You see, there is a lot of variables in play. You have to first understand them all and put the pieces of the puzzle together. You won't get it right the first time or the second time but the more you do it, the better you will get... Practice makes perfect. You don't lose money trying to pitch your domains... You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Try it...

When you are e-mailing a company you should keep it short and sweet.. The subject should read something like "blah blah car sale" if your domain is blahblahcarsales.com --- the message it self should go something like "Hi, we have the domain name blah blah car sale.com for sale or lease." The for sale or lease is there for a reason... You see, most small business owners think that buying a domain involves actually buying a whole business. Buying the website and company and everything else that is involved with it. They don't know any better. The lease part makes a little more sense to them and they can identify with it. So, if they reply and ask for the "terms" or simply express their interest and request information... You tell them that the domain is avail lets say for $5,000 for a straight out purchase or $500 month lease.

You want to make the purchase price of the domain a really good deal and a no brainer versus the lease option. Most times they will reply back and tell you that the domain is "not worth it" or that "it's out of our budget" so this is where you reply back and say "$1,000 --- lets make a deal" this will get em more interested and back into negotiations if they are truly interested. If they aren't responding to your e-mails, that means they are not interested. Even if you only get one reply from them though where they request more information on the sale, that one e-mail you sent to them and told them that the domain is for sale or lease for $5,000 and don't hear back from them since... Let a week or so pass, and then e-mail them with a price reduction on the domain "The domain is for sale for $1,000 for a reduced price for a limited time only... Please contact me within 24 hours if you are interested" this sometimes work quiet well. You never know... They may just change their mind --- it's all about the price at the end of the day in this tough economy.

Also when you are writing the e-mail, you need to setup a link to the domain. You need to show them what is it that they are buying. https://www.blahblahcarsales.com --- blah blah car sales. Most people do not understand what a domain is... They do understand what a website is though. Make sure the domain resolves, btw, and with a relevant setup. It can be parked or whatever. No biggie. Also you can have the reply-to e-mail address setup to deliver e-mail to yourname@blahblahcarsales.com so that your inquiry looks legit --- also mention this e-mail a couple of times in the message itself. You want to hammer it over and over again. You want them to read the domain over and over and fall in love with it. I list the domain name in e-mails I send out initially to potential buyers up to 10 times per message and my messages usually aren't that long. They consist of less than 5 paragraphs.. Not even 100 words total!

There is a lot more unique and clever ways to almost guarantee at least a reply from an end-user... Something like pricing your domain at $500 when you send out an e-mail but then when you do get a reply 5 mins later from an end user who is ready to buy the domain right there and then, you tell them that it was actually a typo and it is for sale for $5,000... Or that you are liquidating all of your domain holdings and that you just sold 5 similar domains for much more and that this one is the last one available and only for 5 days... etc. You can be really creative. This stuff isn't illegal. It happens each and every day in every industry. Especially in the real estate market. If you have a good friend or family member who is a realtor, ask them about some tips and they will clue you in. The domain industry is often compared to the real estate industry... They do share the same principles. Everything has to do with price though. The market sets the price. Unfortunately the domain industry market doesn't exist and there really isn't any real truthful values that can be determined when you do comparisons and analysis. The cheaper your domains are, the better the chances are that they will get sold and quick at that. Once a domain is priced at $10,000+ the odds aren't really in your favor unless you really know how to work an end-user and have a lot of patience to really put in the hours and try to sell the domain name over and over again to as many potential buyers that are out there. It can be done... But it going to be quiet challenging.

I've been using some of the various methods mentioned for a couple of years, and I'd like to think that I mastered the art of domain sales quiet well, so it seems really simple and easy to me personally to get all of this done without even breaking a sweat but I did have a hard time figuring it all out and it took many month's to figure out what works and what doesn't because previously I mostly dealt with domain wholesalers and resellers... Totally different approaches involved. If you never ever sold a domain directly to an end user then everything you probably read so far must seem very confusing and you wouldn't even know where to start right?? Well, try this... Go to the yellowpages.com and search for something like a "car dealer" in XYZ or whatever city close to where you live. Lets say you have 50 results of local car dealers in one or two cities close to you... Try to see if XYZauto.com is available or CITYNAMEautosales.com and so on. You can pick up a good domain for a reg fee which the actual business may like and be more than happy to purchase for a few grand. Even if it is for one grand.. That is more than 100x that you make on your up front investment! You can try this "experiment" and practice on any category, it can be anything... Plumbers, dentists, pizza, etc. You can get as creative as you like. It has to be something commercial though and a small business that either sells something directly to consumers or provides a certain service to clients.

The domain name industry is all about creativity. All about entrepreneurship. There has been a lot of copycats in the last few years that don't do anything new but just try to jump on the bandwagon and hopefully get lucky here and there with a sale of a parked domain name that may get traffic one day... That isn't going to take you places if you are one of those. You need to be smarter then that. You will never hear about the real secrets of the trade by hanging out on the forums 24/7/365 either. You will never hear about what works and what's the latest trend on the blogs. All of the stuff that floats out there in the general public is all recycled information. Stuff that has been around forever that newbies are just now discovering and making sense of and putting their own twist to it, and often, it is incorrect.. But what did you expect? There is maybe 10 good domain related blogs at most out there that are published by people/companies who know what they are doing when it comes to domain investment and share relevant information and stuff that can be validated and taken seriously. Stuff that hasn't been re-published a million times over.

You will only learn about the business by getting more involved with the actual core of the business. It is buying and selling. That is the foundation. That is where the big money is... It is not parking or mini site mass development of worthless made up or brandable domains. Learn hands on. Trial and error. It's a great method! Sure way to learn without missing anything important. The domain industry is not for everybody though. Trust me when I say this because I've seen a lot of some very smart people come from outside industries and and fail big time. They burn through lots of money and abandon ship faster than they entered it!

There is a lot of challenges that face domainers this days but if you are a determined and a wise person and you have already made or plan to make the right investments in certain domain names that have obvious potential and you know how to properly go about carrying out your visions... You can accomplish all your goals and a lot more. Keep going at it... Most people in the industry who hit it big already will tell you that they never even expected for a fraction of the success that came their way years later once they put in the hard work. The 15 hour days. Week in and week out. Without taking any breaks or vacations... This is how the industry works... It rewards those who work hard... Those who just spend all day dreaming and reading or not catching up fast enough are going to get dusted... The industry is full of surprises. Destiny is in your hands... The more good domains you have, the better your chances are at scoring those big sale and making big bucks... It is like playing a lottery obviously. Good luck to you and here is to a new and more successful domaining career after reading this wonderful write up... Right? *wink wink* ... Cheers!!
 

Focus

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You need to start publishing e-books... :eek:k:
 

Dorkside

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One of the best posts I've ever read here. Thanks.
 

mike031

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ebook eh?

not a bad idea...

thought about it many times over....... :blush:

i'm not the best writer.. i dont even like to write a lot

but... once i get down to it... and 4000 or 5000 words later

i myself am surprised with the results

as long as the positive feedback keeps coming in...

ill keep going at it

thanks again
 

lordbyroniv

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I have been saying the same thing as the OP on these boards since about 9 mos. ago

Protective Interests dont like to hear contrarian thoughts on these boards

But your post is "spot on"

Sure, there is cream in the domain name game

But most of the domains owned by forum members is pure crap

This good awful economy exposes this truth even more so in these very scary times
 

mike031

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I have been saying the same thing as the OP on these boards since about 9 mos. ago

Protective Interests dont like to hear contrarian thoughts on these boards

But your post is "spot on"

Sure, there is cream in the domain name game

But most of the domains owned by forum members is pure crap

This good awful economy exposes this truth even more so in these very scary times


pretty much everybody knows this already (i suspect) for years...ppl just go on quietly about their business and/or play along --- its really simple and easy to do nothing ;)

without starting a commotion... without anything... going with the flow

self correction?? do you guys know what this is??? maybe should put it on a sticky note on the monitor and learn about it or practice it :p

if things arent happening, something is wrong !

i guess if u dont admit to the problem, it is hard to find the solution... makes sense i hope?

lets get things started in 2009, the right way, forget the old ways... scratch em

they dont work

go go gooo
 

ecomindia

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i do not agree with the changing times theory.

the basics remains the same. what philip kotler or other marketing gurus have told are the principles of the marketing , not the methodologies .

the methodologies keep changing with the trends and generations, principles remain the same.

The human behavior (sellers, buyers , domainers etc) have been same thru out these years with whom i have dealt with. The behavior cycle change is not what i have seen but with the social factor remaining constant and economical factor changing, yes, there is a change in certtain appproach and pattern right fgrom buying till selling.

Market is not good for certain portfolio holders ( i will not say the entire market or a segment of the market, but all depending on the person's portfolios and the strategy to promote the portfolio).

we all here can just discuss and talk, but the one who fits and adapts to market mould can survive. And right now, i am not talking about leading the market/ it's survival.

Mike , end of it, thanks for sharing and do respect your opinion and thoughts.
 

mike031

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i do not agree with the changing times theory.

the basics remains the same. what philip kotler or other marketing gurus have told are the principles of the marketing , not the methodologies .

the methodologies keep changing with the trends and generations, principles remain the same.

The human behavior (sellers, buyers , domainers etc) have been same thru out these years with whom i have dealt with. The behavior cycle change is not what i have seen but with the social factor remaining constant and economical factor changing, yes, there is a change in certtain appproach and pattern right fgrom buying till selling.

Market is not good for certain portfolio holders ( i will not say the entire market or a segment of the market, but all depending on the person's portfolios and the strategy to promote the portfolio).

we all here can just discuss and talk, but the one who fits and adapts to market mould can survive. And right now, i am not talking about leading the market/ it's survival.

Mike , end of it, thanks for sharing and do respect your opinion and thoughts.


yes indeed, it is always survival of the fittest, in just about every industry

u have to adapt and re-strategize, all the time

there is no getting away from it

times change and nothing good lasts forever... ie "pitching on all this potential" <--- that has gotten real old and won't fly with 90% of the buyers unless they are really stupid

if u wanna get something done... u will find a way

it may not be easy, but anything and everything is possible if u put ur mind to it

there is plenty of cash to be made buying and reselling / flipping domains --- just gotta know what u are doing :)

its not as easy as it used to be a year or two ago, that is for sure

i still get about 1 outta at least 15 or 20 domains sold when i put my mind to it :)
 

katherine

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It is not a surprise, but it just proved to me further that I should focus on the end users when selling domain names. That is where the money is.
It has always been and it won't change.
 

mike031

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a lot of people inquired regarding this "sales pitch" or "magic letter" that i use...

well, its really nothing special

here is what i usually use which is very simple and where you start in order
to get the ball rolling... do not try to overwhelm them with too much
information, or sending them lists of 10 or 100 domains....you start with one
very simple e-mail selling only one domain name with all the important info and go from there. it is a very
delicate process


From: Michael Cohen

Reply-to: michael.cohen@domainname.com

Message Subject: Domain Name (the keywords found within the domain minus dot com)

Message Body:

Dear ???

We have the following premium keyword domain name available for sale or lease as of January 26, 2009:

https://www.domainname.com --- Domain Name

You can reply to this e-mail if you would like to get more information on the
domain name lease or to discuss on how to go about making the purchase of the domain name mentioned above for your business use. Feel free to e-mail me directly at michael.cohen@domainname.com or call me at telephone number 000-000-0000 as well.

If you are not interested in leasing/purchasing the domain name, I thank you
for your time, and please excuse this e-mail.

--

Best Regards,

Fancy title

Fancy signature

Business URLs

Business URLs

...etc
 
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