Selling Domains: How to Auction Your Domain Names

Paige Omandam
Aug 14, 2020

Participating in domain auctions is an excellent option for domain investors or enthusiasts looking to clean out their domain portfolio of any unused domain names, and it all starts with learning how to auction domain names. A domain that seems irrelevant to you might be invaluable to someone else, and if you're lucky, they'll pay top dollar for it. With so many options to buy and sell domains online, it can be challenging to determine where to start. In this short guide, we'll cover how you can list your domain names for auction, determine your domain value, and drive traffic to your auction listing.

How do domain auctions work?

Domain auctions occur on many different platforms, but most follow a similar set of guidelines. If you've participated in online auction sites such as eBay, you'll find that domain auctions are not too different. A few of the main features of a domain auction include:

  • A listing fee or sales commission for adding or selling your domain on the auction platform
  • A limited timeframe for buyers to place a bid
  • An Escrow service to initiate the transaction safely and securely
  • Listing options such as setting a fixed ‘Buy it Now’ price or setting bidding increments
  • A for sale page displaying your domain's information

Certain marketplaces may have additional policies or guidelines, but with the wide variety of auction platforms, you have many options to determine the best place for you to buy and sell domains. For both seasoned domain investors and those looking into how to auction domain names for the first time, Sedo, Afternic, and NameJet are excellent, reliable auction platforms. You can also sell your domains right here on Dynadot in our User Auctions and Domain Marketplace, with the option of connecting your for-sale domains to Afternic or Sedo directly from our platform. Before listing your domain on any platform, you must first determine its value.

How much is your domain worth?

Estimating your domain's value can help ensure that you make a fair listing price or starting bid. Setting your price too high or too low can affect your chances of making a sale, so it's essential to do your research to value your domain appropriately. A few key factors that will affect the value of your domain name include:

  • Age - The older your domain, the higher the opportunity that you will rank well in search engines, which can be extremely valuable to anyone starting a website.
  • Length - Short domain names for sale often have a higher value compared to wordier domain names.
  • Complexity - If your domain is difficult to read, spell, pronounce, or include many hyphens, it may have a lower value.
  • Search Volume - Domains that contain popular search terms can drive more traffic to your site.
  • Domain Extension - Common domain extensions such as .COM, .NET, or .ORG often add value to a domain. However, many other high-value domains use other TLDs.
  • Income - Your domain is worth more if it has earned money in the past.

A few tools that can help determine your domain value are NameBio and Estibot. Namebio can help give you a snapshot of your domain's history and look at how similar domains compare in value, and Estibot can help give an estimate of how much your domain may be worth. It's important to note that while these indicators and tools can help estimate your domain's value, buyers may have their own standards of quality. Because of this, it's essential to get your listing in front of as many eyes as possible. Beyond posting your domain listing on an auction platform, promoting on other websites can help improve your domain's chances of being sold at the highest possible bid.

How do I promote my domain name listing?

You've listed your domains on an auction platform, now what? There are a variety of ways you can drive more traffic to your listing and increase the number of bids.

  • Share your listing link on social media. Be sure to include any relevant hashtags such as #domainauction or #domainforsale. Additionally, you can join domain-focused selling groups to share your listing with a more targeted audience.
  • Join a domain-focused forum or website such as NamePros. Most websites like these will have a section specifically for promoting domains for sale. With an active community of domain investors, domain enthusiasts, small business owners, and more, you can be sure that the right eyes will be on your domain auction listing.
  • Update your WhoIs information. If you have full Whois privacy, anyone interested in your domain name will not be able to see who owns it or how to contact them directly. Changing your privacy settings to allow your contact information to be public can make it easy for interested buyers to reach you to initiate the buying process.
  • Utilize a for-sale landing page. You want any potential prospects to easily understand that your domain is for sale when arriving on your domain’s URL. You can easily set up a for sale landing page at Dynadot to promote your domain on a clean, easy-to-use webpage that allows buyers to easily contact you with offers.

Once you've become familiar with how to auction domain names, you can confidently price, list, and sell your domains with ease. Be sure to check out Dynadot's domain market options, including our User Auctions, Marketplace, Expiring Auctions, Backorder Auctions, and more. For domain selling on the go, you can also download our Dynadot App for iOS and Android to track your listing no matter where you are.