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The End User Mindset While Searching For Domain Names

In a recent survey, would-be website owners were asked this question:

If you wanted a certain domain name for your company, and it was already taken, what would your second choice be?

At the bottom of the popularity chart, getting only 2% of the vote, was this response: “I would try to buy the domain name from the current owner”.

Domainers who want to liquidate any part of their portfolio should pay attention to that number, especially since the question specified ‘company’ as opposed to ‘personal site’.

What exactly does this mean if you’re interested in selling your domain?

Well, if you plan to use a simple parked page to monetize the name while waiting to sell, but leave off the “For Sale” sign, you have little chance of gaining the attention of prospective buyers.

Now that low number might not necessarily mean you missed out on hundreds of qualified buyers. As a matter of fact, NOT having a ”For Sale” sign on your domain can sometimes serve as a ‘pre-qualifying’ filter. Often times, a “For Sale” sign generates countless email offers with low dollar amounts from potential buyers who would otherwise not have contacted you. Motivated buyers, on the other hand, will take the trouble to find out who owns a domain name, contact them, and submit a bid with or without a “For Sale” sign.

However, the fact that only 2% are willing to contact a current owner at all brings about another concern. A large percentage of people see domain names simply as either ‘taken’ or ‘available’. These are the ones who would buy if they knew purchasing an already registered domain from its current owner was an option, and who likely wouldn’t blink twice about paying a fair price for the domain they wanted. For many domainers, that crowd is only reachable in one way – with a nice ad on your parked page announcing that you’re open to offers.

If you’re going to add a “For Sale” sign, you also need to consider how big or small to make it and where to place it on the site. If your main goal is to sell the name, the bigger the better. If you’re more concerned with monetizing the domain and selling – for the right price – is secondary, then go with a smaller sign as studies have shown that “For Sale” signs decrease click through rates on PPC ads.

Of course having – or not having – a “For Sale” sign won’t make much of a difference if you’re selling the domain to a fellow domainer. It’s important to remember that it’s the end users who pay premium prices for domain names and if you want to sell to them, you have to understand how they think and how to market to them.