Exit Strategy for Domainers: How to Sell Your Portfolio in a Hurry

How to sell your portfolio in a hurry.

A reader emailed me the other day asking if I’ve ever written about exit strategies for domainers. I don’t think I have, but it’s a good idea. So here it goes.

The problem with exiting the domain industry.

Most domain names aren’t very liquid. They can be sold quickly but not at full market value.

A good portfolio of non-traffic generics turns over about 2% to 3% a year without pushing the sales out. You can achieve this by listing on Afternic DLS Premium or Go Daddy Premium.

At 2% to 3% that means 33 to 50 years to turnover your entire portfolio. That’s not really realistic since the 2%-3% a year is on a smaller base each year. But the point is it would take a long time to realize full market value.

How to sell a lot of domains quickly.

If you want to exit the domain name industry in a hurry you’re going to have to mark down your domains. You’re not going to get top dollar. But here’s what I would do if I wanted to liquidate my portfolio.

1. Sell traffic domains to a traffic domain buyer. Although companies like iREIT are long gone, Oversee.net and similar companies are still buying traffic portfolios.

2. Submit inventory to auctions and domain sales newsletters. This is a quick push method to get lots of attention for your domains. Consider Moniker’s auctions, TRAFFIC, Great Domains, and TobyClements.com. They won’t take your crap, but you can move some of your good domains at reasonable prices.

3. Do a personal Sedo auction. The marketplace runs auctions for an individual’s inventory. But they won’t want a list of junk domains.

4. List your domains on forums such as DNForum and NamePros. Price the domains and make them reasonable.

5. Send your list to Afternic. They’re still buying generic domain names that don’t get traffic. Keeping in mind its business model, don’t expect them to pay you much. Think of them as someone who buys the assets of a defunct company at a discount. They’ll make an offer and close the deal quickly.

6. Try NameJet. The company lists private portfolios on set timelines.

Any other thoughts on how to liquidate a domain name portfolio in a hurried manner?


  1. Steven says

    Unresponsive Companies…

    Can you post the best ways to submit names to namejet. Matt Overman is not responsive via email.

    What % does Sedo charge for doing an auction?

  2. says

    For top dollar, they are no shortcuts. By far, best money is from endusers and that means promoting your names across as many sites as possible. Selling names to other domainers will be faster, but net you only 10-25 cents on the enduser dollar.

  3. says

    In order to help our sellers achieve their domain-related goals, whether that be a quick sell, or holding out for top dollar there are a few steps to we’d suggest if listing on Afternic:

    First, when you list at Afternic use the DLS Premium option if possible (you can see a list of Premium resellers on the site).

    Second, include pricing and have your names parked–so that the “for sale” link shows up on the page

    Third, keep in mind that if you have a portfolio of related names Afternic’s sales team often have regular buyers who are requesting specific “genres” — so selling with Afternic isn’t only a wait-and-see on inbound leads. There is a lot of outbound selling, too! Get in touch with the sales team and discuss your goals. Try gcolcord [at]afternic.com — I’m sure that he’ll be happy to help.

    Try these steps and you should sell your portfolio for more than fire-sale prices in well under 50 years! 😉

    BTW: Listed domain sales for the first half of 2011 are up 58%, so there is tremendous visibility for listed names–and they are selling!

  4. Adam says

    I thought the “industry standard” was 1-2% that’s why I asked. I remember fab saying they shot for 2% as a goal. thanks was just wondering if I missed something. :)

Leave a Reply