Sunday, May 13, 2018

Namecheap Marketplace for Domain Sellers

I recently noticed that the Namecheap (NC) Marketplace (NCM) now allow BIN as low as $1 (used to be $5, the maximum remains at $1000).  I have found the NCM a good place to sell value domains at low prices, and this change makes it even more flexible in trying to get a few dollars for domains about to expire (or otherwise). I thought this might be a good time to explain the main features, and to give some tips for domain name sellers.

Main Points:
For those unfamiliar with the NC Marketplace;
  1. The NCM is only for domains registered with NC.
  2. Listing process on NCM is easy (can list price, term, categories, text description). To list a domain log into your account, select Domain List and then Manage (for the domain you want to list).  Then scroll to near the bottom, and click on the Sell Domain. Fill in the information, and your domain is up and for sale immediately.
  3. They charge 10% commission with no minimum or other charges.
  4. NC act as effective escrow on NCM transactions, taking buyer payment, then automatically transferring the name and changing contact information (purchaser must have NC account but they are free).
  5. NC essentially push the domain to new owner, so there is not an automatic need to add a year registration.
  6. You accumulate funds in your account, which you can transfer in any amount to be used to purchase NC domains (or I presume other services like web hosting).  If you want to withdraw them to your PayPal as money, need to have $100 minimum. Although NC do not add any fees for a PayPal payout, depending on your country, PayPal may add 0.5 to 2.0% fees on the money transfer.
  7. Purchasers can buy you domain by putting it in the NC cart and use any of their standard payment options that include credit cards, Paypal and Bitcoin (as well as others).
  8. You do NOT need to wait for the 60 day ICANN period, since the sale is essentially a push to the new owner.
  9. It is not an auction site - you set a BIN price and the purchaser has only that option.  Also, there is no direct route for potential purchasers to interact with you.
  10. When you click on the name of a domain name for sale on NCM it will show you both the day the current for sale listing expires, and the expiration date for the registration of the domain name.  Don't confuse the two!
    I have both bought and sold domains there, and have found the process smooth and fast (longest wait was a few hours). I have found NC support very responsive, when it is needed.

Search Notes:
One important point to note is that in general domains registered on the NC Marketplace do NOT show up in the general NC domain search (the one used for hand registrations).  To see listings on the NC marketplace you need to go to Domains tab, and then down to Marketplace.  The search is slow though.  You can turn off options by price or category on the left but response is slow. 
     Some names on NCM DO show up in the general NC search.  I have not figured out which ones get there, but I think that the name must be listed for some small multiple (or more) of registration cost for that extension, and be listed, and not expired for an extended period.  If anyone knows more precisely, please add in comments.

A few tips for those selling domain names through the NCM:
  • Although you can list up to 5 categories for each domain (e.g. technology, business, advertising, computers, etc.), only the first two alphabetically get listed beside the domain name.
  • You can re-list a domain name that has not sold.  I sometimes use longer periods (simpler), but I sometimes use the shorter duration listing and re-list, since many of the sales seem to come when the domain listing is about to end when the name will be near the top of their list.
  • I find that to be very successful you need your own website or social media presence to post to your listings.  People will in general not find your domains through the NCM.
  • I find some who list on NCM do not realize how easy it is to have a single link which always shows your updated NCM listings.  Simply find one of your listings, then click on your username (in blue on left - mine is fundybob), and then get the URL from that page.  As an example, here is mine: 
  • If desired, you can also link to any particular domain name.  To do that find the domain name in NCM, then copy the URL.  Note that when the listing period expires and you re-list you will need to change the link.  An example:
  • You can use that along with a DNS redirect to make the NCM listing a landing page. For example, if you click the link you will see this set up for one of my domain names.  One advantage of using NCM as your lander, is that the potential purchaser is immediately in an environment where they can instantly purchase the domain name and implement it with a hosting package.
  • I use both types of links on my website.  On my main page (see second line of icons), I link to all my NCM listings, while on the following page you will see links to individual NCM entries (these I need to update by hand).
  • While you can't change a price once the domain name is listed, you can delete it and then re-list it right away, so that is how to edit the NCM price if you made a mistake or have second thoughts. To delete your listing, log in to NC, go to Domain List, select the name, then click on Manage.  At the bottom right, where it tells you it is for sale, click on Cancel and enter your password again.   
Final Thoughts
     The NCM can be one option to easily and inexpensively sell domain names.  Because there is no minimum commission, it is particularly good for low cost domain names (I recently sold one for just $2.00 there, and the commission charged was only $0.20).  While most of my buyers seem to first find my domain names through my website (or social media, perhaps), many prefer to purchase them through NCM.  
     One big advantage of the NCM in my opinion is that NC generally have cost competitive renewal rates for most  extensions, and also excellent value in shared web hosting.  The new Stellar Plus shared hosting with unlimited domains and storage is an especially good deal. Therefore, if your end user has plans to use the domain they are buying to set up a first website, it is fast and easy.  The new owner can literally have their website up the day they purchase the domain from you.  
     While other registrar marketplaces exist and are great (Namesilo comes to mind), I like NCM a lot.  If you decide to list there, I wish you all the best.

Happy Domain Investing,

ps While I won't be able to edit this one, I am planning to post a version that I will update on my blog at this link:

pps Disclosure:  I have no association with NC, other than as a user and an affiliate account, and was not compensated or encouraged to create this post. 

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