There has always been a lot of controversy over which method is best when it comes to selling your domain names. Some people prefer to setup a fixed Buy It Now price which tells potential buyers the exact amount they can own the domain for, making the transaction happen with virtually zero negotiating required. At the same time, other domainers like putting their domains into an Offer/Counter Offer situation so they can attempt to feel the buyer out some and possibly get more money from them before the sale is finalized. Earlier this year I decided to take a large portion of my portfolio and put these two different options to the test. I decided it would be good to let each option run for a few months to see what happened. Below is how my experience went.
Offer/Counter Offer – I received more offers with this method. However, I also received more non-payers. My guess is that since the purchase is not completed instantly, the buyer has more time to reconsider and possibly get cold feet before you reach a deal and they complete the payment. For example, I had one domain (which I caught with DesktopCatcher) where my minimum offer was set to $250. The buyer started with a $300 offer and then came back and bumped it up to a $350 offer before I could even respond to his initial one. I came back to him less than 2hrs later and countered with $600. He then countered my offer with $400. Since his counter was so much smaller than my initial $600 offer it gave me the impression that this might be his highest offer. I accepted the offer less than 10hrs later and the buyer never followed through and paid for the domain. This is just one example of what can happen when you’re in negotiations with people. I found then when using the Offer/Counter Offer system it would happen much more frequently as opposed to Buy it Now.
Buy it Now – Lots of people have switched to the Buy it Now method these days and my personal experience found that although there were slightly less sales, none of them ever fell through. I don’t price many of my domains very high because most of them aren’t what I would consider “premium.” Domaining 101 always states that you need to price domains fair and accordingly if you want to flip them. Anyways, when setting reasonable BIN’s in the mid-$XXX to low-$XXXX range I found that sales were still fairly active. With a fixed price the buyer is able to checkout and pay instantly before ever having much time to reconsider.
After my testing was finally finished I came to the conclusion that the Buy it Now option worked best. You may get slightly less buyers which is probably because pricing might be a little more than some resellers are wanting to pay. But, you also have less people submitting the smallest offer possible, less people reconsidering and/or backing out (even when a price agreement has been reached), and no negotiating is needed to try and decide on a price. List your names on multiple marketplaces and always use the same BIN and currency across each. That means no matter where you end up selling them you won’t be kicking yourself because you had a name priced higher somewhere else. If you have reasonable BIN prices on your domains then you might want to try this method. Download your copy of DesktopCatcher right now and start registering more expired domains to list and sell yourself!