Does Developing Domains Hurt Their Sales Potential

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To put it simply Yes and No.

Most people know that I have developed out many of my domain names into small and medium sized websites. But like almost all developers I have more names that I have time to develop so I keep a number of them parked. On my parked names I have a standard "This name may be for sale" link that goes to a contact forum.

More offers on parked names

Over this year on the parked names I had many more offers and questions asking if the name was for sale or to list a price. Most people know that parked pages are not real websites and might be for sale. So on the surface it would seem that developing domain names decreases offers.

Quality Offers on Developed Names

Build out the sites into online brands does have benefits, because even though I received less offers to buy my developed out websites the few times that people wanted to buy one of my websites the offers were much more serious and larger. People see the websites and can tell that the owner has put time and work into the site. This makes sense because the buyers are not only buying a domain name, they are buying an existing brand with traffic, search engine rankings, and customers.

The presence of a website no matter the size seems to deter people from making initial offers and inquiries about the name because to a casual buyer the site seems to be in use. When a serious buyer comes around they want the site they will be willing to pay more because of the established brand.

As a way to get more offers on my developed sites I may try to add a top banner that says "This website may be for sale" which leads to a sales page. I will track and see if it takes away from my adsense and other revenue just to make sure it does not negativity effect them.

In Conclusion

If you are looking to sell a name quickly and get the maximum number of offers development might not be the best idea, but if you are looking at adding value to your long term investment develop away.

What have you seen on your parked and established sites with the offers from buyers?

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3 Responses to “Does Developing Domains Hurt Their Sales Potential”

  1. @Domains
    January 10th, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

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    I agree, there are pros and cons if your end desire is to sell the domain. The greatest benefit is that the more domains you develop well, the more revenues you should be making, which reduces your need to sell domains unless you get a really good offer. Adding a link that the website or domain may be for sale is a good idea too.

  2. Gene
    January 10th, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

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    You’re partly right: 95% of the time the answer is “No.”

    The main reason why developing a name that actually intend to sell is a bad idea is because of something that no domainer talks about (largely because most don’t really understand marketing or design): Namely, that a developed site ‘taints the waters’ and in the process, harmed the potential brand value.

    Except for sites that have taken thousands of hours to develop, look fantastic, and function superbly, a potential buyer wants to acquire an untainted asset. A domain name that’s NEVER been used is precisely what a marketer is looking for…mainly because they don’t want to have to undo the harm done by the previous owner.

    I’ve developed 14 names over the years (using a team of professional designers and developers to do so), yet not one of those names have ever received an unsolicited offer; and I suspect it’s because prospective buyers get scared that they’ll have to pay too much for them, based on the work done to the sites. On the flip-side, every name that I’ve sold was never developed.

    So, (at least) in my case, there’s a 100% correlation between non-development and domain name sales.

  3. Ablaze Domains
    January 21st, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

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    I think you need to pick one direction. Either you buy and sell just the domains names or you develop to sell.

    The benefit of developing is you don’t have to have great domains. People care more about the monthly income than the domain itself.

    You can potentially make a lot more money developing sites, but it also takes more work.

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