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Some Domains Just Wont Sell and What We Can Learn From Them

January 20, 2010

Its difficult to sell some domains no matter how hard you try. Here’s the account of how I tried and failed to bring more buyers to a recent Sedo auction for a .us domain …

I received an offer via Sedo for the domain sledding.us. The initial offer was a lowball offer of $60 (the minimum bid price on Sedo).

I know that such offers are common there and so I had a good idea that the bidder would not come up to bid much higher, yet I did not want to start an auction at the minimum reserve, just in case no other bidders stepped up.

I made a counter offer somewhere in the three figures, expecting them to counter back, which they did, with a $90 bid stating that it was their final offer.

I took a chance and let the domain go to auction in the hopes that I could draw more potential buyers.  Here is how I went about it …

  • As soon as the auction went live I posted a thread linking to it from three of the higher trafficked domain forums:
    • DnForum
    • Namepros
    • SitePoint Forum
  • Bumped each of the above threads on the final day of the auction as a reminder
  • Linked to the auction page from my signature in each of the three forums
  • Linked to the auction page prominently in the top right corner of this blog with a custom logo. (You can see that ElectricGolfCart.org is now listed there)
  • Posted about the sale in one of the domainer groups I belong to on LinkedIn
  • Tweeted about the auction three times over the seven days it ran
  • Contacted about two dozen potential end-users via email (and in a few cases via phone) to notify them of the pending sale including:
    • Sled manufacturers
    • Snowmobile manufactures (snowmobiles are colloquially referred to as ‘sleds’, and the riding of them as ‘sledding’)
    • National and International sledding organizations (think of Olympic sports like bobsledding, luge, etc.)
  • Posted a thread about the sale in the classified section of the top snowmobile forum, HardcoreSledders.com

That was it. All of the effort did not produce another bidder and the auction closed at the $90 reserve price.

There are a number of lessons one could impart from this but I don’t want to take all of the fun out of it for you my dear reader. Please leave a comment with what you think is the most valuable lesson here and I’ll respond with my feedback.

If I don’t hear from anyone I’ll do a follow-up post next week, but I hope you will engage me with your comments and maybe we can see what there is to learn here..

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