How to Sell a Website with a Premium Domain Name

July 18, 2014  |   How to Buy & Sell Websites   |     |   Comments Off on How to Sell a Website with a Premium Domain Name

In most website sales, my advice is the same: Never disclose your website URL in your public listings.

The reason for this is you want to keep private as much of the sale information as possible. If the URL and sale price are made public, they can seriously limit the buyer’s future plans for the website. It can also negatively affect the current operations of the business if its clients find out it is for sale. An ownership change always makes clients nervous. The less the public knows, the better.

However, there’s one exception to this rule: The website built on a premium domain name.

Why is this any different?

When website sellers or website brokers list websites for sale, they generally include the website’s revenues, cash-flow, and asking price in public listings. Most website buyers dig through tons of listings rapidly and mentally compare the asking price to the cash-flow numbers. And most sellers correctly do not include their website URL in the listing information.

In the case of a website built on a premium domain name, the value of the domain name is included in the asking price. This extra value normally increases the cash-flow multiple significantly. Buyers who are scanning listings quickly may instantly dismiss the website as over-priced. They don’t realize that the additional value is in the premium domain name. The listing may therefore receive very few buyer views and little to no interest.

For this reason, this is the only situation in which I advise sellers to disclose the website URL in their public listing information. But only if it is, without a doubt, a premium domain name.

The domain name alone can often attract a large variety of buyers including website buyers and domain name buyers. And disclosing the domain name justifies the extra multiple in the asking price.

In some cases, as a seller, you absolutely cannot afford to disclose your URL. That’s OK. You have 2 possible solutions:

1. Indicate in the listing title that a premium domain name is included in the asking price. This explains the high cash-flow multiple.

2. You could state your asking price without including the value of the domain name. Then, include the domain name value in the detailed listing description. In this way, your listing gets viewed and you can explain the deal in further detail in the listing description once the buyer is on the actual listing description page. In this case, the premium domain name is like inventory that the buyer purchases in addition to the website.

These are a few tips for selling websites built on premium domain names.


Kris Tabetando provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory and brokerage services to Internet companies. He also partners with investors to acquire & manage Internet businesses.

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