Domain Flipper Compares Afternic and Sedo

Morgan Linton wrote a good series on his new blog, Bloggings of a Domain Flipper, about selling domains on both Afternic and Sedo. It’s quite comprehensive.

I jumped in and commented on the last post. The highlights are posted below, because I think it’s important information for you to know about selling your domains.

Morgan compared the page views he received for a domain he listed – FrequentFlier.mobi – on Sedo and Afternic. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t win that straight comparison. I encourage you to read the whole thread, but here’s a summary of why it doesn’t tell the full story:

1. AfternicDLS (our domain listing service) offers sellers a choice to list their domains on either Afternic.com only (Basic Promotion) or on a package of Afternic.com, BuyDomains.com, and reseller partners (Expanded Promotion). You chose to list FrequentFlier.mobi using Expanded Promotion, which means that domain buyers viewed your listing on other sites besides Afternic.com. But the page view totals you are comparing are from Afternic.com only.

Your post has, in fact, spurred internal conversations about adding Expanded Promotion page views to your total on your Afternic listing page. We’ve added it to our product roadmap.

2. The page view total also does not include the number of times buyers saw your domain on the respective homepages. We recently revamped the Afternic homepage to give greater prominence to Featured Domains. If you compare Afternic’s home page to Sedo’s, you will see that the only other listed domains on the homepage are below the Featured Domains. On Sedo’s home page, four different types of domain name listings compete with each other. And its in a smaller font.

Most importantly, you state that “the more people that look at your name, the more bids you will get, and the higher price your domain will sell for.”

What I believe you’re saying is that the bottom line is results. And results are defined by sales volume and average sale price (ASP):

+ Sales Volume : According to the DNJournal, our market share was 47% and Sedo’s was 14% during the first six months of 2007.

+ ASP: Sedo has publicly stated that their Average Sales Price (ASP) is $600. Our ASP during the same time period was $1,764 with a median of $1,300.

See the entire post and all comments

We added Morgan’s blog to our blogroll and I encourage you to bookmark or RSS it!

AfternicDLS Member Reduces Prices Across His Portfolio

AfternicDLS member Howard74 has reduced prices across his portfolio. Be sure to check it out:

View all of his listings here

He’s done a great job pricing all of his names. Most have asking prices and reserve prices. Many have appraisals and include websites with the sale.

This is a nice way to create a compelling promotion of your portfolio.

View all of his listings here

How Afternic’s Reserve Prices Help You Sell

We always recommend that AfternicDLS members utilize all pricing options at their disposal. Though the Asking Price is the most important, you can enhance your listing’s potential by setting a Reserve Price.

How do Reserve Prices on Afternic work?

A Reserve Price is the minimum acceptable price for which you would sell the domain. It is not shown to other members. When you receive an offer from another member that meets or exceeds your Reserve Price – you have just guaranteed that you will sell your domain for a price that works for you.

Your domain listing won’t be closed immediately. Instead it is entered into a 7 day Closing Soon auction on Afternic, where your domain can only be bidded higher. If you do not receive any higher offers, then the original bid that tipped the domain into Closing Soon is still binding and your domain is sold.

What benefits do Reserve Prices provide our members?

Here’s why you should use take advantage of Reserve Prices:

  1. It communicates to other members that you are serious about selling.
  2. The auction format drives up your final sales price – and it’s all gravy on top of what you were willing to accept.
  3. Adding a Reserve Price adds an “R” to your domain in Afternic’s search results, which helps it to stand out from the crowd
  4. Domains in Closing Soon receive extra promotion on the Afternic homepage and via the Closing Soon RSS feed. Compelling domains that are being auctioned also tend to be mentioned in forums and blogs (just like our post about UI.com).
  5. And don’t worry about a Closing Soon auction delaying your sale. You can choose to accept an offer before the 7 day auction ends, by simply editing your Asking Price to the member’s offer. The sale will then immediately close.

How should you set Reserve Prices?

Set a Reserve Price at any level between your Minimum and your Asking price. Remember, you must be willing to accept the Reserve Price. Offers received that meet or exceed it are binding for both you and the buying member. Use the Asking Price as an upper limit that guides members who submit offers to you.

Use tools such as Appraisals and Recent Sales to help you price your domains. We’ll further address strategies for setting Asking Prices on a large portfolio in a later post.

Appraisals Can Accelerate Your Domain Sales

We did an analysis yesterday that could help you sell more domains. We discovered that the close rate of Afternic domains which have been appraised is ten times higher than those without appraisals.

We used a sample of Afternic listings appraised from this June forward.

This backs up what we and others have said about how appraisals boost close rates and quicken the sales cycle:

  1. Appraisals from a trusted third-party establish mutually acceptable negotiation parameters.
  2. Appraisals paint a realistic picture for each party as they consider budgets, parking income, TLD alternatives, and other options against the domain sale.
  3. Pricing guidance for other domains in your portfolio. One of the best practices we’ve seen is when a customer buys 5 or 6 appraisals, and then leverages them to price many more of their domains at fair market values.

Remember : we are not saying for a second that an appraisal will turn an unsellable domain into an instant sale. The quality, marketability, and promotion of a domain determines whether a domain will sell. An appraisal simply paves the way for better negotiations.

And the better the appraisal and more likely it is to help your sales. A good appraisal is generated by a human and takes domain characteristics such as length and TLD, comparable sales, search popularity, and other intangible items (which automated services can not perform) into consideration. In fact, what really differentiates appraisal services is the depth of the comparables database and breadth of pricing experience based on the world around us.

Of course, we believe our appraisals are the best in the business for these two exact reasons. Check out Afternic Appraisals for more information. Afternic also allows you to publicly display your appraisal to potential customers who search Afternic. (Visit “Appraisal History” in MyAfternic)

I’m done hawking! But remember the 10x boost to close rate when you ask yourself whether a $19.95 appraisal can help you.