Beware of Buyers on Craig’s List – Selling Domains

Last year, I sold a few domain names on Craig’s List. Both domains were purchased on Sedo at a fixed price. In order to speed up the process, I determined that fixed prices avoided the negotiation process. Currently, I’m engaged in a negotiation on a specific cover letter domain name on Sedo. The negotiation has been going on for 3 weeks. If you want to sell domains on Crag’s List, beware of the buyers that try to acquire information from you.

Craig’s List runs an effective sales platform. The first domain name I sold there was CakesNYC.com. To most domainer investors, they will likely identify the domain as mediocre. in any case, I decided that placing the domain in New York City would generate a potential lead to purchase the domain.

In the title column, I listed a catchy description and the domain name. For example, the title portrayed the domain as a Cake Domain with Taste is up for Sale – CakesNYC.com. The price was set at $300. I wrote a summary describing the domain, potential uses, and where the domain is registered at and what platform they can purchase the domain on. I also listed two dozen other domains in various areas throughout the country. You have to use the same sales tactic as finding businesses to contact, especially when you’re trying to identify a GEO location.

A potential buyer sent a e-mail asking if anything is wrong with the domain. I told them that the domain was in perfect shape, and they would have nothing to worry about. However, I made a mistake on keeping the price at $300. Instead, I somehow made an accidental change a few weeks prior, setting a fixed price of $100 on Sedo. I didn’t know about the sale until I received an e-mail the next morning notifying me that CakesNYC.com was purchased.

For the most part, a fixed price will move a domain without any delay. I never thought about supplying a link to push interested buyers to the Sedo’s sales page. The buyer typed the domain name in, and used the Sedo parked page link to find the domain up for sale at $100. Whenever a buyer purchased a domain as a fixed price, you only have to pay 10% commission. On the contrary, the negotiation process will accumulate a $50 minimum commission up to the 10% amount of $500. If you sell a domain for $300, you will only receive $250. A $550 dollar domain sale will net you $495.

The intent of this article is to inform you that selling domains on Craig’s List is a risky process. You have to beware of shady people. In evaluating the good to bad ratio, 9 out of 10 e-mails you receive for a domain are unreliable. You’ll know when a person is trying to scam you because they will send you an e-mail stating interest in a domain, even though you supplied a link to the sales page. They usually wait until you reply back to auto generate a scam e-mail with instruction to facilitate a deal. No matter the product up for sale, the e-mails are always the same.

Occasionally, you will find a scam artist that will put a little work in trying to manipulate you. They will ask you to supply personal information and to arrange a pickup for the merchandise. We all know you can’t have movers retrieve a domain name. Never trust a money order, check, and or any payment other than Pay Pal. You can have Sedo take care of the sale, and then conduct the transfer. I feel Sedo is much quicker with closing a sale than most domain sales platforms. Once they collect the payment, they will ask you to push the domain to their transfer department. You can probably receive the payment the next day.

For the most part, beware of buyers on Craig’s List. Since you have no business relationship with these buyers, ask them to visit your domain on the sales platform to choose. I don’t see any way you can facilitate a domain sale on Craig’s List. If you sell a domain to an established company, and they don’t pay you, then you can use the e-mail contact and the transfer to initiate a claim. On Craig’s List, it is up to you to communicate with the buyer. I like to use the Sedo link in sales postings, which help me to save time and avoid contact with scam artists.

I sold Pier39.info on Craig’s List a week after listing the domain on Craig’s List. The domain was placed in San Francisco, which scored the webmaster of the .com clicked on the Sedo sales link to purchase the domain at a fixed price. The domain was my second highest sale. It is nothing to brag about.

If you choose to list your domains up for sale on Craig’s List, beware of shady buyers. Always use a link to another sales page. The ad listing is more so a way to inform buyers of a domain up for sale at another location. Don’t conduct deals directly between the buyer and yourself. It’s risky. Contacting companies and domain owners is safer because these entities have something to lose if they take advantage of you. There is no way to verify people on Craig’s List.

Good luck on selling your domains.

Develop your domains at WhyPark

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4 Comments on “Beware of Buyers on Craig’s List – Selling Domains”


  1. Great article!

    And it’s a very interesting sales strategy:
    1. List the domain for sale at Sedo
    2. Post a sale notice on Craigslist by geographic region, best matching your domain name (pier39 –> San Francisco, CA)
    3. Direct all interested buyers to your Sedo page with a fixed fee for purchase
    4. Allow Sedo to to the escrow so you don’t have to worry about dealing with individuals, shady or trustworthy

    Is that correct?

    What if you have a domain that is not geo-specific? Say, turkeymeat.com (just as an example). Do you list it for sale in 5 major metropolitan cities?

    • Suisun Blog Says:

      Michael,

      You’re absolutely right about the steps.

      In regards to a more generic domain such as TurkeyMeat.com, I would look for a buyer that writes about food. There are many websites that hire writers to write about healthy food recipes and new food products.

      I believe Craig’s List refrains multiple city listings for one product. You can use SalesSpider.com, which is another free online advertising platform.

      Another sales strategy I think may work is to write an article on something related to turkey meat. Demand Studios hires writers to prepare 400 word “How to” articles using steps similar to your comment. In the resource section, you can list your website and any other sites as your sources.

      Demand Media owns eHow, Demand Studios, and many other sites. eHow produces more than 50 million unique visitors a month. I wrote 22 articles on eHow and hundreds of abstracts on Shvoong, which is an abstract based site. People click on those links to visit my websites.

      Write an article on turkey meat. Link the article to your turkey meat site. Then, display a “for sales” link on the page, describing how a generic name such as turkeymeat.com can grow their business, or blog.

      Turkey meatloaf is a popular recipe. Maybe a store that sells turkey meat may be interested. It will represent a secondary to displaying their weekly ads. Such a generic domain can be developed into advertising platform for local stores and supermarkets. I always see Safeway, Albertson, and Raleys (a.k.a. Ralphs) advertising turkey ground meat and deli meat.

      You can probably sell the domain for much more because you can prove the domain makes revenue. That is one domain you can develop. Have a eLance writer or one of your writers prepare a few dozen articles that explore the health factors related turkey meat. i.e. recipes, improves health, what are good premium turkey meat, what deli sell the meat and etc..

      Maybe delis would be interested in the domain. There are hundreds of delis in New York City. You can also set up a web directory that list delis and sandwich shops that make turkey sandwiches.

      I own PhillyCheeseSteak.org. When it comes to commercial value, I would rather own the .com.

      You can think about which GEO areas turkey meat is most popular. Target that audience with generic domains. I wouldn’t too much of branding because I lost a sell based on giving too much information. A short description of the domain, where it is registered at, which site it is up for sale on, and provide a picture of the domain.

      Advertising is better used to refer people to another place to purchase your domains. Craig’s List was only successful the first week, then I never produced another sale there. I think a lot of it had to do with my prices.

      If you have any questions, let me know. I’m not as successful as elite domain investors, I have a few strategies that actually work. Always keep in contact with past buyers because they will likely buy from you again.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Logan Says:

    Nice blog post. Very informative use of Craigslist. I am always amazed at how well Craigslist works for selling stuff locally. I haven’t tried domain names yet, but I’ve sold plenty of household stuff, and it’s usually gone within one hour of my posting on Craigslist.

    • Suisun Blog Says:

      @Logan,

      Thanks for post. Craig’s List is a good sales tool to reroute people to another sales platform. If you develop a strategy to conduct private deals, then you may be able to make a few good sales. It all comes down to price. Target areas you think people will have the funds available to purchase your domains.

      If you have experience with selling on Craig’s List, you can definitely find buyers on the website. I made two sales last year, but never had any luck again. I still continue to list. You never know. Thanks for the comment.


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