Flipping Hand Reg Domain Names in 6 Simple Steps

The blog here at Rookie Domainer is still fairly new (obviously!) and I've been trying to share the steps I go through to make a little side money as a domainer, albeit a rookie domainer!  Before I get too far along with the detailed steps  and get us deep into the thick of it, I thought it would be good to provide the high level view of what it is I'm doing on a regular basis - so here are the 6 critical steps to hand reg domain names and sell them for a little extra cash.

  1. Ideas You need to have ideas for domain name research, especially hand regs.  It's a fine art to find that elusive nickel in the haystack.  It's not difficult, but it's not super easy either - to find that little keyword domain gem that has been picked over or overlooked by domainers before you. If you sit at your desk to do this research without ideas, you'll get lost quick and waste a lot of time looking at domain niches that are obviously well picked through(<-considering you just sat at your desk and thought of it, it's highly likely someone else has already done that!).
  2. Buy the domain(s)  Run your ideas through Google Adwords Keyword Tool and sift through what's available with the GoDaddy's Bulk Registration tool. Use common sense of what sounds right, check who's paying for ads, and how many people use that term - then if it feels right, buy it!
  3. Park Parking your new domain name gives it a little more showroom appeal.  A prospective buyer can get a better idea of how they might use the site if it's got some images and content/ads on it, then if it's a standard GoDaddy parked page.  It's also possible that your buyers may click on some ads while viewing your wares leading you to get some little passive income off the site before you unload it.
  4. Solicit buyers Google the exact phrase of the keywords used in your domain name - this becomes your basis for leads.  You'll want a crafted canned letter to reach out to these potential buyers.  It's best to click on their site, either from the Google search results or on the ads, and contact the company directly.  If they have a marketing email or president/owner/CEO email - those are best to use, otherwise use the general email or any email they provide.  Don't forget to perform a whois and send your solicitation to that email as well. With those, I typically avoid contacting the email from the whois if it's obviously an internet firm.  I've run into more webmasters that argue the merits of keyword domain names and attempt to out talk their clients from transactions with me, that I'd rather not engage them.  You would think they would understand the worth of these names, but perhaps they're so focused on design they don't truly understand SEO or that they are so proud of their work, they believe their clients don't need any additional help to get noticed online. I shoot for 30 companies to contact.
  5. Wait For responses... sometimes people get the email on their phone and email before you've sent all 30 out, sometimes you wait until the next day or week, sometimes you wait all year (<-Note: That means you weren't able to flip the name!). Sometimes the wait includes negotiation.  You may have asked for $300, they may have offered $150.
  6.  Close the sale Once you've agreed to sell the name, you transfer the domain to the buyer's GoDaddy account and issue a PayPal invoice.  They get the name which helps promote their business and you make a little extra cash
6 easy steps to riches beyond your wildest imaginations! Ok... not exactly, but this is how I flip domains in a nutshell and make a little extra spending dough.  In case you need a little more than the brief blurbs above, and these steps are definitely more detailed than what I've described, then look for other posts I've got up. Steps 1-3 have already been covered in prior posts.  Steps 4-6 will be included in future posts. 
Again, if anyone is reading this and your new to the domain game like me, or interested in jumping in and have questions I might not have answered for you - please provide comment or email me. Helping others will help me get better too!


Jeff Scott said...

Hey Herb,

Thanks for the tips.

Do you always include an asking price in the email, and how do you come up with the asking price?



Herb said...

Great questions! Typically(95%+ of the time), I include a price. I know there's some debate out there on this, but here's my feelings on it. I'm not looking for $1,000's on these names, since most hand regs don't garner that type of pay anyways and I'd rather get the sales negotiation right to the point with the name priced to sell. I usually price hand regs from $300 - $750 and when I solicit buyers, I let them know that I'm also soliciting their competition and the first to respond for that price gets it. I do include a brief blurb that counter offers are considered. I'll detail this more in a future posting.
As far as price (also for a future post, but briefly here), I'm still working on what's the best approach. When I first started, I asked $500 for everything I hand reged. Well, I only sold one name the first 6-8 months I was domaining, but it might not just be price that was the reason for poor performance since my name buying was ill advised too - at any rate, after that point, I began to use Estibot.com and Valuate.com(built on Estibot model) which allow domainers to get a rough estimate of the value of the domain name based on some real generic things like search volume, recent sales of perceived equivalent names, and if any other extensions are already registered. Don't let these estimates scare you - I've sold names that they tell me $0 - just make sure your name is solid based on the points I mentioned in the posts. My approach has been if they tell me < $300, then I price it at $300. Anything above that, I price at the estimate provided.
Hope this helps and stay tuned for more detailed posts on these very topics. Keep these questions coming!

Tony Stark said...

Thanks for the useful sharing on how to sell our parked domain names. I too have kept parked my certain domain names for sale. I ensured that my domain names are not privacy protected by having a whois lookup at WhoisXY.com this can help to people who wants to buy my domain names by having a whois lookup and get my contact details.

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