Finding Domain Names on Ebay

Finding Domain Names on Ebay

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Every once in a while, perhaps once a week, I search Ebay to find domain names for sale. In the past, I’ve found a few decent deals, so although I am not a frequent visitor, I check the inventory once in a while to see if there’s anything I should follow.

I’ve found that Ebay is often cluttered with over priced names and names with potential trademark issues ($21,000,000 for iPhone6Sale.com?) With thousands of names that aren’t categorized, it can be difficult to find good names at reasonable buy it now prices or starting bids.

To find the best names for sale, I typically search Ebay for “domain name” and sort them in order of price. I also like to have 250 auctions per page to make it faster and easier to search through a huge number of listings. Generally, I skip through to the names that are $50,000 or less. I haven’t seen many super high value names for sale on Ebay in the past, so skipping past the dreamers is a good way to save time.

One recommendation I can make is that you do a Whois search on any domain names you’re thinking about buying and do your due diligence. I wouldn’t say Ebay is a hotbed for stolen domain names by any stretch, but there is no real vetting of sellers or flagging of listings if something looks peculiar. I personally treat it the same way as when someone sends me an email selling a domain name.

Do you have any good or bad experiences buying domain names on Ebay?


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (27)

    Jorge

    eBay does have a domain names category:
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Domain-Names-/3767/i.html

    But there aren’t too many options after that. What is the difference between a Domain Name and a Premium Domain Name? Of course people are going to say it’s a Premium. What about “New” or “Used”? Does New mean it’s a brand new registration? Why would you want to advertise that?

    It looks like the most common SOLD price point is about 1x-2x regfee for your average two worder and around $30-$50 a brandable or short name.

    January 15th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    John

    How does a name clear on there?
    Do buyer and seller come together like any other transaction (escrow, paypal and/or registrar info)?
    Your time is more than likely better spent dealing with end users and domainers even if there is a 5-10% chance of finding something decent on there.
    For all eBay has been they really should make the entire site more user friendly.
    If Amazon ever allowed for listings that would be a place to visit.
    PS – some reason i don’t get replies from posts i reply to even if i check notify me of followup via email. Don’t have that problem with the other domain blog sites when i comment.

    January 15th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Lavern

    I imagine one thing you would have to watch out for on eBay (and I guess any place that you buy an existing domain) is domains that people used to spam heavily from. It would be nice if Google automatically removed any penalties for a domain name when it is transferred to someone else, but I guess that would just be a loophole for the spammers.

    Anyway, as far as SAVING/BUYING and eBay in general goes:

    If you send the seller a question about an item, find another of their listings, and send the question from that item page, rather than from the one that you actually want. This will add a little bit of work for the seller, if they want to add the question/answer to the item description page that you are actually interested in.

    If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. May be telling them that they would not have to wait as long to get their money (they would probably know that, but it still might help). If that does not work, use a sniping service such as Bidball.com to bid for you. It’ll bid in the last few seconds, helping you to save money and avoid shill bidding.

    Use a site like Ebuyersedge.com to set up saved searches. You’d get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. Especially good for “Buy It Now”s priced right.

    If the item that you are looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like Typojoe.com to hopefully find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers might never see them. Then, if the item is listed an auction format, after a few days of no bids (hopefully anyway) send the seller and offer to end the auction early and sell the item to you. They may worry that no one is interested, and take whatever they can get.

    January 15th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Ron

    Lots of recent drop garbage to filter through on ebay, mainly bad english, or grammar domains, that are close but not quite there. If you want to build a portfolio of cheap, roll the dice sort of names it is the place maybe.

    I remember ebay back in the early days, 3l .coms used to go for $200-$500 all day long.

    Very strong keywords, good domains like bob.com for sale etc…

    The amount of time you will spend scouring ebay ads, you are better off looking through other aftermarkets for better returns.

    January 15th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Tim Davids

    AmericanFlags.com was purchased on ebay.

    Only takes one lightning strike to be a success.

    January 15th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Charlotte

    I was bored and didnt want to rot anymore braincells watching TRUTv so I went to Ebay just for grins and giggles.. I am still laughing at the below listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/WHITE-HOUSE-Most-Famous-address-World-Domain-Name-VERY-RARE-/270743063833?pt=Domain_Names&hash=item3f098b4d19

    January 15th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Brad Mugford

    I have used eBay in the past to pickup a few gems, but at this point the time/reward ratio is not very good IMO.

    Quality names rarely come up on eBay, and when they do they are way overpriced. 99% of the listings are garbage that makes searching too tedious.

    Brad

    January 15th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Jamie Zoch

    I got tired of weeding out all the junk at eBay for domains so I built a little site that helps pick out the “goodies”.

    LiveDomainAuction.net is the site, which is basically split up into categories (3 character, 4 letter, popular etc). I would suggest checking out “Most Popular” first.

    Figured I would share and sorry for the self promotion but I built the site to help others and I think it does that for helping to find the better domains on eBay.

    Always check whois, sellers feedback, use escrow when you can when purchasing on eBay.

    January 15th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Scott

    Ebay sucks. Tons of bird shit, trademark lawsuits, and stolen names. Just the impression of a 16 year ebay vet.

    January 15th, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Elliot Silver

      @ Scott

      I think that’s why it’s a good opportunity… most of us thinks it sucks, so we rarely visit to see. Every once in a while a good name comes up at a decent price, so if you happen to be looking then, it could be good news.

      January 15th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Ron

    Fun Fact About Ebay:

    The company officially changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. Originally, the site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar’s consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it already taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com.

    January 15th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Linda Johansen

    Ebay is good for 4 letter domain names like dudu.com :)

    January 15th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Nadia

    I bought a handful of names on Ebay in 2010, including some .US, and some .COMs, one of which I ended up getting an email offer on. No issues with payments or feedback at all – but yes, you do have to check things out (history, whether it’s indexed or not, etc.) ahead of time. There’s way too much crap, though. I’m afraid “sell it on Ebay” is one of the ideas that first occurs to people who aren’t aware of the more established domain marketplaces. I’ve dropped most of those names.

    January 15th, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Bill F

    Every now and then I poke around Ebay. Usually it’s all garbage, but i have found some gems recently. There may be more, since I dont have the time or desire to spend all day searching through the rubbish for maybe one good name. I have had a couple nice purchases where the minimum bids were set to $49 or $99, and I was able to take them at the last minute with no other bidders.

    It’s just so hard to filter the domains, and there are better ways to spend time.

    January 15th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Jorge

    One more thing I wish people would do is make the gallery image just show the domain name in as large a font as possible to show the whole name (WITH the ext). The titles get too crazy and half the time you can’t even tell what the name is.

    For example… “$17,000 Estibot Valued Stock News.CO Rare PR Premium .com Domain Name for Sale”

    .COM domain name?!?!?!

    @Jamie – Thanks for the link. The 5 letter filter doesn’t seem to grab the right names though.

    January 15th, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Elliot Silver

    Also, need to watch out for IDNs that are disguised.

    January 15th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Nadia

    @Elliot. Yep, and misleading alphanumerics like Y0YO. Y-zero-Y-Oh. Noticed that one a few nights ago.

    January 15th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    ADvermain

    eBay does have some crap domain names now. It is rare to find a good domain name on eBay. I had to put this one up since I was on eBay earlier http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOT-8-COM-XXX-PREMIUM-DOMAIN-NAME-TLDS-SALE-OWN-YOUR-FUTURE-NEW-/260936319885?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc104438d#ht_2315wt_1270

    make tons of money on these premium names!!! LMFAO

    January 15th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Bill F

    Another point, if the domain name and tld are not clearly in the title, it’s a waste of time to click through. I’ve never seen even one exception to this rule.

    January 16th, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Jason davis

    Hi Elliot, I have had success with buying names on Ebay. I have only bought about 3 names there. I bought one for 28 bucks and sold it 2 weeks ago on a sedo auction for $1750. The domain was HighCloud.com What I like about it is that most of them have buy now options so instead of waiting and fighting it out, you can just buy it if the buy now makes sense. I agree that most of the names are lousy in m opinion but also I sometimes see names that I really like. I need to remind myself to look more frequently on Ebay. In terms of transferring the names it has so far been smooth in all cases.

    January 16th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Gregory

    Elliot,
    I have looked at domains on ebay, some I thought were good but they had dashes in them. Are dashes considered bad in domains? Even if it was short? Lets say the domain was las-vegas.com, would the dash even matter? From my understanding search engines treat these as spaces.

    January 16th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    FT

    EBay is a treasure hunt. I’ve bought a number of great names from there.

    January 16th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Eric

    Hi Elliot,

    I’ve been buying domains from one seller on eBay for many years now.

    The WHOIS on all the domains for sale by this seller match the eBay user ID, so thats how I know to do business.

    Also many domain sales and 100% feedback.

    Domains are starting at $0.99 cents to $19.99 each.

    eBay Store link is:

    http://stores.ebay.com/trendy-people-store

    January 17th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Jorge

    @Eric – That guy’s got a pretty good business. Register a name for 8 bucks, flip it for 20 (~9 or 10 bucks profit after fees

    Some of the sales are a little questionable:
    Cameras For Sale Online.com for 50 bucks
    Monitors Flat Screen.com for 70 bucks.

    Would be interested to see if ownership was really transferred with those names.

    I like this sale:
    Virus Removal Program.com ~100 bucks sold to cnycomputerrepair. An end user sale?

    January 17th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Isaac Raz

    Another point, if the domain name are not clearly in the title, it’s a waste of time to click through. I’ve never seen even one exception to this rule.

    September 8th, 2014 at 5:09 am

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