buying a premium domain

Buying a Domain From Sedo

As I posted about earlier, I recently purchased a premium domain through the Sedo marketplace and had quite a difficult time knowing what to do along the way. Here’s my attempt at explaining the post purchase transfer process. If it sounds confusing and parts of it don’t make much sense, you’ll understand why I felt so overwhelmed.

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This document will pick up after the agreement to purchase has already been made since signing up for an account and buying a domain was very straight forward.

After logging into the Sedo site, from My Sedo, click on Transfer Center. This is where all your updates are regarding the transfer status of your new domain will be.

Here you will see transfer updates on the left hand side and communication between you and a Sedo agent on the right hand side. The first few steps (left side) went smooth and they all happened on the same day. I was instructed to pay, I paid. The seller was instructed to push the domain to Sedo which was also completed quickly.

The next part is where it got confusing. I figured since the domain was at Sedo, I needed to let someone know my registrar was GoDaddy, so I posted a comment.

I logged into GoDaddy and saw nothing about any transfers pending, so I waited until the next day. I still saw nothing from the Sedo side, and there were no updates on the next step, so I posted another comment asking how I initiate the transfer.

When I went back to GoDaddy, I saw a notice that they had emailed Sedo for approval of the domain transfer, so I posted this fact. I also noticed that the next step at GoDaddy was to input a Transaction ID and a Security Code.

I have no idea how this all worked up to this point because I did not inform Sedo of my GoDaddy account number and my technical contact info had not been filled out. Perhaps it was by name, or billing address? I don’t know. I also did not inform GoDaddy that I was expecting a transfer. I think it may have been magic.

The Sedo transfer agent responded saying I would need this transaction ID and Security Code to authorize the transfer.

Over the next three days I waited, checking both GoDaddy and Sedo for updates, not knowing if someone was waiting for me to do something. Not knowing what happens next was the most frustrating part. Who was I waiting for? Sedo or GoDaddy? Or were they both waiting for me? For the next three days I checked both of my accounts in hopes that someone would send me an update.

Three days later I received a message in my GoDaddy account that they were now waiting for Sedo. I posted this information at Sedo.

I never received another message about the actual transfer from Sedo, but four or five days later the domain name was finally in my GoDaddy account.

The transfer process certainly worked, but I felt like I was in the dark the entire time. I never knew what was expected of me along the way. Perhaps there was stuff I was supposed to be reading, but if that’s the case I most certainly missed it. I really feel that despite it working,  this process is a little bit broken. Customers should not feel so confused about what is expected of them or what they should expect of the process.

Not much of a help guide, huh? Unfortunately the only advice I can give anyone new to the whole Sedo domain transfer process is to be patient and ask questions along the way. Even though I didn’t have a clue, I still eventually got my new domain name.

Buying a Premium Domain

Does it make sense to spend the money on a premium domain name to better your chances of coming up in the search engines for specific keywords? I think so. Often times when you search for certain keywords or phrases, the first few domain names returned are very close to the requested keywords. This isn’t always the case, but I think if you can get something that is obviously related to a popular keyword, it’s usually better than not. If you’d like a prime example of a “Not”, look no further than the top of this page. I have a very popular phrase (open source) in my domain name, but my poor choice of a third word (hack) has made this site into a fly strip for those seeking information on hacking open source applications. Hey, what can I say? What’s done is done. You live, you learn. I’m three months into this now so I’m not turning back.

I usually go for one or two word domain names, so when I saw a dotcom name for sale that exactly matched the second word of a domain I own, AND the first word was somewhat related, I decided to snatch it up. I’ve always casually browsed sites like Sedo, SitePoint, and BuyDomains, but I never thought I would ever purchase a premium domain. I could never justify some of these exorbitant prices that people wanted. I found out that this is partially the fault of the marketplace creators (Sedo in this case) that charge a percentage or a minimum of $50 to sell your domain. Seems a bit high for something that costs in the ballpark of around $10 a year, doesn’t it?

Imagine if you approached a realtor to sell your home. You paid $200,000 for it and would like to sell it at a profit for $300,000, but the realtor says his cut will be a million. You might have to jack your price up extraordinarily high just to make a profit. Yes, I realize this is a bad example, but I think you get what I’m trying to say. There would be plenty of times I would have been willing to sell a few of my fairly decent two word domain names for $100 or so (even that might be considered premium), but if I’ve owned them for three years, and I’m going to pay $50 to Sedo, I’d rather hang on to them (or overprice them at Sedo, so that’s what I did). If they sell, great. If not, I would have hung on to them anyway.

What this means is that it’s not just the marketplace creators fault., but also the sellers. When you can’t earn enough to rationalize parting with a domain, you either hold it or sell it for fifty times the actual value. I should actually correct myself though. After all, the buying and selling of domain names IS a market place regardless of its brokers, so a domain name is only over priced based on the individuals desire. I could definitely understand if someone thought I overpaid for this recent acquisition, but I’m happy with the price and happy to add it to my portfolio. So If I sell my domain names at their current prices, then I can be sure someone really got what they wanted.

It was when I was creating my Sedo account and putting up a half dozen domain names for sale that I stumbled on to this one I wanted and decided to buy it. I waited a few days, did some domain stalking, and then came back to finally buy it. The whole process was new to me, and I have to say it wasn’t very easy. I was patient as I heard it can take days and/or weeks for the entire transfer to complete, so time was not the problem. My issue was that during the whole process I was unsure of what my next step was, and I felt there was not ample information along the way. I’m still not sure I did everything in the best way, but at least I got it done. I manage my domains with GoDaddy, so I decided to add to the Help category here at OpenSourceHack and document the process I followed for buying a domain name from Sedo.

I hope it helps. If anyone has any pointers or tips to streamline the process, by all means leave a comment and help us out. I’ll add the Sedo Transfer Process link here as soon as I get it posted.