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How do you sell a domain name?

Have a domain you’re not using? You could earn some cash while giving that old domain a new home! Learn about the three main ways you can sell a domain name!
By Kira Taylor

Let’s say you’ve registered a .CA domain (or multiple domains) and no longer have a use for it. Or, heymaybe the domain name no longer suits you or your business. That’s totally fair. Now what? Do you shove those unused domains in a closet and let ‘em lapse?  

Or…can you sell them for cash?  

The short answer: Yesit’s totally possible to sell or “flip” domains. And if you’ve ever binge-watched a few seasons of Property Guys (who hasn’t?), you’re more than qualified. Think of a domain kind of like the digital “land” or “property” where your web presence lives!   

If you’re ready to get your domain-flipping feet wet, then let’s get started on how you can sell a domain name 

First things first: what’s your domain actually worth?  

If you’re planning to sell your .CA domain, you should have a desired price in mind. And one that’s firmly rooted in reality.  

Generally, if a domain name is memorable, short, punchy and easily brandableit’s worth far more than something uber-complicated, or misspelled. So,, for example, is probably not going to have you rolling in the millions any time soon.   

Just for giggles, we had a quick browse through GoDaddy Auctions to get an idea of what some .CA domains are worth. could be yours if you’ve got an eyewatering $100K burning a hole in your wallet. But is a far more modest $100. A little morbid, but affordable!  

How and where do you want to sell your domain?  

You’ve got three basic paths here: sell your domain through a marketplace, work with a domain broker, or sell privately.  

Selling through a domain marketplace  

First, we’ll take a quick look at domain marketplaces. These are where businesses or individuals can sell, buy and even put domain names up for auction.   

Among the most popular domain marketplace sites are GoDaddy Auctions, Sedo and Afternic. You’ll find all sorts of domains up for grabs, from your tried n’ true .CAs and .coms, to others, like .io .ai and .pizza.  

Domain marketplaces are perhaps the most straightforward, and least labour-intensive way to sell off your domain. 

If you’ve ever sold anything on eBay or Kijiji, the process is going to be very similar: create an account and listing for your domain, set your reserve price (for auction) and your “buy it now price,” get your payment method in placeand presto! Let the bidding war begin.  

Keep in mind: You will need to pay a commission (usually around 15 per cent) of the gross selling price of your domain. Alsothere’s no guaranteed sales price. If your domain attracts a lot of interest, then you could net a tidy profit. If not, you may not get your asking price.  

Work with a domain broker  

Next, let’s look at domain brokers, the “real estate agents” of the domain selling world. Unlike an auction site, domain brokers bring a more personalized touch to the selling experience.  

You’ll meet with your broker upfront to set your desired timeline and asking price. From there, the domain broker will look to find a handful of interested buyers and enter into negotiations on your behalf (while keeping you closely looped in).  

Once a price has been agreed upon, your broker will ensure you get paid and also handle the paperwork that comes with transferring your domain to its new owner.  

While most brokers won’t charge you to simply list your domain for sale, they will collect a 10 to 20 per cent commission on the final selling pricewhich can eat into your profit.  

Private sale  

You could sell your domain privatelythough it does require a little additional legwork on your part. Still, with more effort comes a greater potential reward!  

One of the most popular ways that seasoned sellers advertise their domains is by creating a quick, simple, one-page website or landing page for the domain. This page can include a “for sale” message, a fillable inquiry form for interested buyers as well as your contact information.  

The biggest benefit to selling privately, of course, is that you set your price and don’t have to worry about paying fees or commissions. On the flip-side, you’ll need to sort out advertising, set up a secure payment method and facilitate the domain transfer on your own.  

However you decide to sell your unused or unwanted .CA domains, we wish you the best of luck. May you score a good sum and may your old domain find its way to a happy home.  

And hey—if you’re now in the market for a shiny new .CA, use our domain search tool below!

A .CA domain declares your business is proudly Canadian

About the author
Kira Taylor

Kira is the Marketing & Channel Specialist at CIRA. She focuses on content, digital marketing and channel strategies to help Canadian business owners make the right domain choice for their business website so they can find success online.