in Business, Domain Names, Money, SEO, Strategy

Why my Flippa domain name sale fell flat

flippa-domain-name-sale

With godaddy domain name renewal costs on the rise, I decided to let one of my domains go a few weeks ago. Having never sold a domain name, I didn’t really know what to expect and thought I would try selling it on Flippa.com.

However, as you can see from the listing stats above, I didn’t have much success. With only 23 views over the span of 2 weeks, the domain name listing didn’t stand a chance. In retrospect, here are some things that I would do differently next time around.

PROMOTE THE SALE/LISTING

You can list your domain name on Flippa.com for only $9. Although this low entry cost is great, I quickly realized that my listing was going to get buried by everyone else trying to sell their domain names for 9 bucks. Flippa offers some sponsored listing upgrades but they are relatively expensive. Since I was looking to just recoup the cost of my renewal fees and make a few bucks on top, going with the Flippa upgrades didn’t make sense.

Alternatively, I should have promoted the listing myself through any means necessary. This would include posting on relevant domain name sale forums/threads, sharing on social media, emailing your list (if you have one), blogging, and embedding widgets that feature the listing on my website. I’m sure there are many other ideas but you get the picture.

NO RESERVE AUCTION

The starting bid on Flippa was only a buck. However, I was hesitant to run the sale with no reserve price fearing that I might lose the domain name for less than the cost it took to list it. Short sighted (and somewhat greedy), I know. Although I don’t know how well listings with no reserve perform compared to auctions with reserve prices, I figure if you can get some early bid action you stand a better chance than getting no action at all.

OPTIMIZE MY LISTING

When I listed my domain name on Flippa.com, I provided the bare minimum information to get the listing live on their website. In other words, I only provided a short description and history of the domain name I was selling. Here is the exact description I used:

According to Google, exact match searches for this domain are almost 2K per month with a suggested CPC bid of over $1.

DOMAIN HISTORY

A few years ago I set up an Amazon affiliate site using the same domain and made a few bucks from it. Tends to be seasonal so search interest is higher in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Conversion rate during peak months was surprisingly good.

Eventually the site got hacked and I didn’t have the time to fix it so I took the website down.

OPPORTUNITY

The website no longer exists but you can still set up an Amazon affiliate site, sell your own fabric, or go with any other fabric affiliate such as Joann’s and fabric.com.

Search interest is still high (ex. over 12K/mo. for “fleece fabric”) and the long tail searches are endless with new category searches showing up all the time for movies, cartoon characters, trendy fabric patterns, etc.

In addition to the description, I should have provided some screenshots of my actual Amazon affiliate earnings and Google Analytics data to support the claims made in the copy and create more trust in the bidder/buyer’s mind. Ultimately, this would have made for a more compelling listing and potentially convince one of the 23 total viewers to place a bid.

Lastly, I noticed that Flippa.com uses your listing “tagline” as the page title. At this point, not sure whether trying to optimize the tagline for SEO would have helped at all considering the listing was only 2 weeks long. Also, unsure if that value (if any) outweighs writing a more attractive headline that bidders actually see (aka optimizing for bots vs. real people).

FINAL THOUGHTS

Flippa.com is a big marketplace for domain name sales. The problem is that unless you actively promote your listing (whether paid or on your own), it is unlikely you will get the visibility and exposure you need to be successful and sell your domain name.

Considering I listed the domain name as more of an experiment/learning lesson than with any real expectation to sell, I certainly learned a lot. Good news is I can always relist the domain name for free so if anyone out there is interested in an “exact match domain with high commercial intent”, contact me! 😉

Also, what is your experience selling domain names? I’d love to hear any tricks or trade tips you have in the comments below!