How an eBay Domain Auction Works
When starting your business, you might have bought up as many domain names as you could manage without giving them much thought, hoping you'd hit on a winner.
Even if you now have several successful websites, you also might have a virtual stack of domain names that feel like baggage for all the good they're doing to your bottom line.
What if there were other winners in that pile that you could offload to someone who might want them?
Selling domains is one way that entrepreneurs can recover some return on their initial investment and even turn a tidy profit.
While several marketplaces exist that specialize in selling domain names, we're going to walk you through the process of selling domain names on eBay.
Understandably, eBay isn't the first marketplace that springs to mind for domain auctions, but the process is as simple as selling that clutter in your attic or garage. If you already have plenty of GoDaddy domain auction tips then you should find domain auctions on eBay a breeze.
In fact, even though many people think of eBay as an auction site for tangible goods, eBay also sells "specialty services" — in this case, under "Domain Name Services."
Let's check out how an eBay domain name auction works so you can convert those unused domains to money.
Getting Started With eBay Domain Name Auctions
Before you sell an auction domain name on eBay, you should know what value your domains have so that you can set a good price in your listings and attract sellers.
What's your domain worth? Get it appraised
Just as you can order an appraisal of your home when selling real estate, you can get an appraisal of your domains through a free site such as EstiBot.com.
Established in 2007, EstiBot.com is one of the best free domain appraisal services online.
It provides more than 2 million domain valuations daily based on relevant keywords and previous related domain name sales.
If one of your unused domains comes back with a value of $500 or $1,000, that's great!
But keep in mind: People often believe that this platform is like the neighborhood yard sale — a site to find a bargain.
So you'll have to start your listing at a little bit less than the full amount you want, maybe 50% to 60% less.
Register for an eBay account
Registration on this marketplace for an individual or a business is free, but eBay charges sellers fees once an item sells.
There's an insertion fee when a seller creates a listing, but eBay waives this for up to 200 listings a month per individual seller.
If you have an eBay shop, eBay waives more of these, but even without a shop, if you sell fewer than 200 items a month, you'll be able to list your domains for free.
For any item that sells, eBay charges a final value fee that's a percentage of the final sale amount, plus shipping and handling but excluding sales tax. This typically is about 10%.
Selling Domains on eBay
Once you're registered and know your starting price, you'll create your listing, set up your auction, and then watch the bids roll in so that you can get paid.
Choose the proper category for selling domain names
When you create a listing, eBay will have you click through several online menus to place your item in the correct place.
For sales of domain names, choose from the category menu as follows: Specialty Services > Web & Computer Services > Domain Name Services.
Take the time to click through the other options that eBay offers. For instance, this category lists domain names for sale by "Domain Name" or "Premium Domain Name," as well as the domain extension, such as .com, .net, or .org.
People wanting to place bids on a specific domain extension can search by the extension.
Buyers also have the option to search for domain names by price: "Under $350," "$350 to $3,500," and "Over $3,500."
It might help to look at another sold listing in your price range as an example of how to write the title so that you're positioning your domain in the best way to sell.
Creating Your Listing
Even though you're selling a domain, you still have to select the type of listing, listing time, and duration of the auction to attract the most bids and the most money.
For the text of the listing, we recommend bullet points highlighting details about the domain name, such as:
- how long you've owned it
- the current registrar
- the appraised value
- any backlinks
- the loading time
- any proof of online success or traffic
- other sites in this niche
- when you'll transfer ownership and how
You want to be specific about the domain transfer terms. You'll need the buyer to provide their registrar to help facilitate the transfer after buying the domain.
For example, you could note that you'll push the domain to the GoDaddy account of the buyer with the winning bid within 48 hours of the end of the auction once they provide payment and their account ID number.
To increase your chances of attracting a winning bid, take advantage of all the free tools that eBay has.
For instance, you have the option to insert a free photo. Why not add a screenshot of the appraised value?
Some sellers create a WordPress theme with dummy text to accompany the listing to show off how a website with this domain might look. Add a free photo of this site for more visuals with your listing.
If you're a creative person, you can also create a domain name logo using a free online typography tool such as PosterMaker and upload that to your listing for free.
If your efforts look really sharp, you can add a few dollars to the asking price, but these visuals are more about marketing your domain name and making the listing stand out for it to sell.
Featured or Premium Listings
If you have a domain name with high sales potential, you might want to pay extra to have a Featured Listing or one that lands on the site's homepage.
An eBay featured listing costs $49 and lands the listing at the top of the pages in your category, as well as in bold type.
Choosing to feature your domain name on the eBay home page is more expensive at $99.
We'd recommend saving on this expense because there's no guarantee that you'll reach the right buyers even with such prominent placement.
Select the Type of Auction
Just like when you're selling tangible goods, you can set up your domain name sale to have a fixed-price or "Buy It Now" option.
This type of listing doesn't collect bids but tells buyers the exact price you want so they can purchase immediately.
If you have a minimum price in mind, you can set a reserve for free that the bids must meet before the domain can sell.
If you're open to negotiating, add a "Best Offer" option.
This is another free addition that allows a buyer to send you a message proposing their best offer for you to accept or decline. Adding a "Best Offer" doesn't mean that you have a minimum or reserve price.
A "Best Offer" simply signals that you're open to taking the best offer that comes through, along with any bids.
Decide on the Duration
To get your listing in front of the most users, choose from running your auction for three, five, seven, or 10 days.
The first three are free, and seven days certainly gives your domain name a good bit of exposure. There's no need to pay additional fees by opting for 10 days.
Besides, if the domain name doesn't sell after seven days, you can always renew the auction for free for another week.
Consider the Listing Time
It's important to time your listing to go live whenever eBay is likely to have more visitors.
For no additional fees, you can schedule when you'd like your auction to start or end.
Check other sold domain names for comparison, but we'll bet that you'll find that a number of auctions start or end on a Sunday, a Saturday, or a Wednesday. Saturday is an excellent day to start an auction in the early morning or early evening.
Many users hop on eBay on a Saturday, ready to bid and buy.
Make Your eBay Domain Auctions Count with SpamZilla
So you many already know how to auction your domain on GoDaddy and after reading this article, you can now add your domains to eBay domain auctions.
With a free SpamZilla account, you can search up to 25 domain names a month for preferred SEO metrics — expired domains full of reputable articles, links, and no spam.
Just imagine — you might buy some of those and put them up for sale on the eBay market every Saturday.
At SpamZilla, we'll do the research so that you can promote and sell expired domains with confidence.
Every time you see "Sold," you will have turned a profit! Click on "Sign Up" to contact us today.