9 Ways to Get More Money From Your Domains At Auction

Sep 08 2013

There have been a few articles lately about where to sell your domains.  In my opinion,  if you want to get the greatest amount of quick money for your domain there really are only two options. GoDaddy and Namejet.  Sedo and Flippa offer auctions and Afternic lets you list your domain,  but if you want top dollar, in my opinion, you need to go with the top 2. Flippa and Sedo just don’t get the views that the other two do. Godaddy and Namejet have built a reputation for being consistent and that consistency has all domain investors going to their sites daily to see what is available. Namejet and Godaddy handle their auction listings a little differently. Godaddy will let anyone list. You simply pay the fee and you can put up any and as many domains as you would like. It’s one of the reasons you see the same names coming back up at auction week after week if they didn’t sell. Namejet requires sellers to have a larger group of names to sell or high quality names.  They are always looking for high quality names but they want don’t want sellers with one or two.  They want a person that can provide a stream of names.  Regardless of which way you go, here are a few ways you can increase the final sales price of your listings.

1.  Forward your domain to the auction.  One of the first thing a person that is searching for names does is type it in to see who is using the site or if it’s parked.  Having the name forward to the auction lets them know it’s for sale and if they want it they better get in the auction.

2. At Godaddy, end the auction at North American time zones.  Not that there won’t be bidders from other parts of the world but the reality is most people expect the domains to end in North American time. They are used to it.  I prefer auctions at time after people are home from work on the west coast which means 9 o’clock eastern.  Some will say it doesn’t matter as expiring names end during the afternoon at Namejet and Godaddy and they do well.  But you can at least make sure it doesn’t end late at night or early in the morning.  Also try and end the auction on weekdays if you have the choice.  People are much busier with other life events on the weekends.

3.  List it in the domain name forums.  Put it up in the appropriate threads at DnForum and Namepros.  It’s free and there are certainly buyers on the forum.

4.  Pay to advertise your name on Domaining.com and here on DomainShane.com.  It’s a plug for my blog but I truly feel if you list a domain in my daily list it will get more bids.  I’ve joked about the DomainShane effect but there is no doubt there have been some domains that would have gotten little attention until it was listed at which point it got a few bids.  I know it has an effect just because of the emails cursing me for listing a domain they were after or asking me NOT to list one.   Domaining.com simply gets more domain investors to the site than anyone.   If you want to get their attention, and have a high quality domain,  the $100 for the top spot on the page for the day is a good investment.  You say $100 is too much for one name because it won’t even sell for $100. You can afford it by putting multiple domains up for sale on one given day.   Then you can get more bang for you buck when you promote and split the cost per domain.

5.  Get bids early.  We all know that 90% of the price movement is at the very end of the auctions but names with bids get more views.  The reason is simple. People are lazy and they figure that the best names will have a bid so the sort their lists by number of bids. I’m not saying have friends put in shill bids, I’m saying think about promoting early to try and get a few bids to move it up the “number of bids” list.  If you are putting a name on Godaddy start the bidding at $10 the barrier to first bid is low.

6.  List your auction on Elliot Silver’s weekly brokerage list.  Elliot is kind enough to let people list their names for sale in the comments.  It’s free and if you follow the rules and limit your promotion to one name and only in that post, he’ll let you promote one name.

7.  Email 20 people from the results using the Estibot Lead Generator tool (or anyone else you think would be interested).   Never sure if this works but it absolutely can’t hurt.  It’s pretty simple.  If one of the leads is interested in your name they simply have to put in a bid.  No going back and forth on price.  They will dictate the price and they’ll also get to see the market price while they’re doing it.

7.  Ride the coattail of a similar domain.  We saw it the other day at Flippa.  A category killer dot com came up for auction and immediately someone listed the same word in an alternate, lesser quality tld.   It sold for a few hundred dollars and would have most likely not received a tenth of that price if not for the other similar domain.

8.  Use your social media accounts.  Most people don’t have a lot of followers but it doesn’t hurt.  You can always use a hashtag that would attract searches.  Rick Schwartz has a good Linkedin group that allows domain listings as well. The key is to watch the frequency and quality of names.  You don’t want to spam your friends and family with crap names on Facebook.  People are already getting tired of the awful names posted for sale on LinkedIn.  If you develop a reputation of selling some decent names people will actually start paying attention.  You can also pay some Twitter members per tweet.   Having a major player in that field tweet that your name is for sale could draw the attention of potential end users.  I haven’t tried this method yet but it’s something I’ve explored. The name I had was a startup type name and wanted someone like Chris Pirillo to tweet it but couldn’t justify the price of a paid tweet.

9.  Press release.  I’m also surprised how cheap a press release is.  You can get someone to write a good press release over at Fiverr and then send it out via PRNewswire. The key is to get it on Google news.  A ton of people have Google alerts set for all kinds of keywords so the key is to have your press release written with keywords of the industry that you think your domain would cater to.

Many of these methods are time consuming and costly and may not be financially viable based on the value of the domain.   But you always incorporate a few of them.  And remember,  it only takes one extra buyer to drive up the price of a domain hundreds of dollars in that final bidding war at the end.

Share This

About the author

Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

View all articles by ShaneCultra


    1. Post author


      Not even close. Godaddy sells literally 100 times more domains than Flippa. Flippa is seeing more and more quality domains and some higher prices but it’s no more than 5 to 10 a day where GD is much more. Trust me, I look every day

  1. Alan Dodd

    Thanks Shane for the post.

    I am confused. I thought by listing on sedo that all names appear on godaddy?

    How exactly do you get the names listed on godaddy in the format you recommend?

    1. Post author


      You are confused. You are talking about listing a domain for sale and I am talking about putting up a name for an auction. Go to auction category at Godaddy and follow the buttons.

  2. Joseph Pippin

    Great post Shane! As usual, I always learn something new here. I agree that Sedo, Flippa and Afternic have their limitations. But I have sold a few domains over time using all of them. GoDaddy IS by far the best seller! I Never thought of NameJet. I just signed up a few minutes ago. I’ll let you know how it turns out. And for the record, I really like the idea of ‘Riding the coattail of a similar domain!’

  3. brand

    thanks for all the tips, but just beware of elliot’s blog site, most of the people will dislike your domains more than like and it will appear in the search on the net, giving your domain a black eye.
    I feel the most of the dislikes are out of spite.
    Also if you dislike one of his comments or a domain listing he has posted, he will ban you from any further postings, i strongly suggest other sites or blogs to list your domains.

  4. Elliot Silver


    Shane let me know about your post, and I will address your comment.

    I have no way of tracking likes or dislikes, so what you said isn’t possible or accurate. I also have no way of adding or subtracting likes short of deleting the comment.

    As I mention in the post, “People can post likes or dislikes and comments, so if you might get offended by negative feedback, don’t post your listing.” Frankly, it’s silly to think your domain name would have a black eye because of a bunch of dislikes. If a name has a bunch of dislikes, it’s most likely because the name is bad in the eyes of other domain investors and people who read my blog.

    I also don’t remove or block sale listings unless it violates one of the simple rules I set for the post: can’t submit more than one domain name, it can’t have been promoted before, and it has to have a BIN price. Other than that, have at it whoever you are. The more the merrier.

    Assuming you are the same “brand” who posted a name today, your comments were blocked by Akismet for some reason, but now your listing is live. More often on these posts than on others, Akismet thinks short comments with a url and a couple of words are spam, so I have to manually approve them.

    Finally, I have no problem with people who disagree with me. I have a problem with people who are a-holes, but in almost all cases, they are free to post as they wish as long as they aren’t threatening or otherwise inflammatory to me or others.

  5. Brandon

    Hi Shane

    excellent article!

    1. Can you tell me what info. of the domain names must one submit to Namejet for them to accept ones domains in their auction and how much domain names must one submit.

    2. Do you know anyone in particular who can write a good press release.

  6. Mark Hoffmeister

    Sorry if I missed this, but do you email or call people in person as part of your sales / auction routine Shane? To let those that might be interested know that it is at a live auction.

  7. teri

    I am going to have to agree with Joseph Peterson on this one: it remains a privilege denied to the vast majority of domainers.

    Anytime I have seen someone mention Namejet auctions as a selling option, I have written to NJ support who replies that the auctions are not available to the general public.

  8. Mike

    Hi Shane, for number 7, is there any free lead generation service? Is it worth it to get a paid Estibot account? What level of account do you have?

Comments are closed.