Selling Domains on Flippa – The Data Driven Guide Part 1

Flippa is an established website marketplace with a fledgling presence in the domain market.

Following Michael Cyger’s interview with Flippa’s CEO I was inspired to study how domains fare on the marketplace.

Domains admittedly aren’t Flippa’s main priority, with a $29 listing fee a variety of upgrades and a success fee Flippa isn’t what most domain marketplaces are.

Nonetheless as a powerhouse in the website space which is now being considered as a domain marketplace for the future I thought it would be worth studying how Flippa fares for domains.

Crunching the numbers

In the first part of my study I looked at the broad-brush numbers of domains for sale on Flippa.

I analysed 5,635 listings on the marketplace over a two month period of which 1,105 (19.61%) were domains the other 4,530 (80.39%) being new and established websites for sale.

The average starting price for a domain listing was $3,352.73 whereas for a website it was $1,731.21 – interesting considering the perceived enhanced earning potential of a developed website.

Listing type

Domain owners were pretty much split on whether to use auction only or auction with a buy it now option listings.

575 domain listings were auction only, that’s 52.04%

498 were multiples (I think that’s auctions with buy now/offer options) at 45.07%

While 32 domains were offer only making up the remaining 2.9%

Listing length

Currently you can set listings to last anywhere between 1 and 30 days but at the time of the study you could go as long as 180 days.

Domain auctions lasted on average 16.6 days vs. 10.9 for websites – which as we will see in part 2 of the study is a smart strategy by our domaining  friends on Flippa.

Interestingly though this average was polarised by two very popular listing lengths, 402 domain listings were 30 days long and 362 listings were 5 days long grabbing 36% and and 33% of the listings receptively with all other listing lengths receiving a relatively tiny proportion of the share.

Gluts of 48. 64, 38 and 19 listings for 3, 7, 10 and 20 day long listings being an interesting insight into human behaviour in it’s love of certain numbers.

Upgrades

Flippa offer a variety of upgrades to your domain listing that are meant to increase it’s exposure on the marketplace and thus increase it’s selling price.

As you would expect the less expensive upgrades proved most popular with a surprisingly high number of people shelling out extra dollars on top of their listing fee to buy an upgrade.

I analyse the effect of these upgrades in part 2 of the study.

187 or 16.92% of the domains listed were bold at a cost of $5 to the seller.

159 opted for a highlighted listing @ 14.39% costing the seller $10.
While just 5 opted for the $500 a go premium listing @ 0.45%.
95 opted for both a bold and highlighted listing, leaving 156 to either of them individually.

Typical auctions

The average number of bids on an auction was 2.23 and one could expect 1.31 unique bidders.

491 or 44.34% of domains attracted at least one bid. Listings that managed to get that first bid in the door could expect an average of 5 bids from 2.94 unique bidders.

138 of the 491 attracted just that 1 bid that’s 28.11% of the 491 that attracted bidders.
97 recieved 2 bids @ 8.78%
65 got 3 @ 6.15%
45 got 4
24 got 5
27 got 6
16 got 7
12 got 8
7 got 9
9 got 10
6 got 11
2 got 12
and 43 got 13 or more bids

142 (12.86%) domains sold vs. 2191 (48.36%) of the 4531 website listings selling.

The total value of domains sold in the two month long study was $288,187 with an average domain selling price was $2,073 but this was bolstered massively by the $250,000 sale of stockphoto.com, excluding that outlier the total completed sales in the 2 month period of the study was $38,187 at an average sales price of $276.72

350 of the 961 unsuccessful listings received at least one bid but it failed to reach the reserve price.

The average starting price for unsold listings was $3,803.76 but was $294.01 for successful listings, when you remove the stockphoto.com listing which started at $30,000 this data point becomes even more revealing, with an average starting price of just $82.74 for the successful sales.

Clearly domain owners are pricing themselves out of the market by starting their auctions too high, whether this is due to the fact that they are worth that much and there’s not enough serious domain buyers on Flippa or whether its due to domain owners having an inflated valuation of their own domains is another question.

What we do know is that excluding the outlier of stockphoto.com – the listings that sold typically saw their starting rise rise 234% before the auction ended.

TLDs

730 of the 1105 domains were .com, that’s 66.1% of all listings – 86 of them sold, a success rate of 11.78% pretty much in line with overall averages.

85 were .nets @ 7.69% with 7 of them selling a success rate of 8.24%
52 were .orgs @ 4.71% – 9 .orgs sold @ 17.31%
26 were .infos @ 2.35% – 10 .infos sold @ 38.46%
13 were .us’ @ 1.18% – 3 .us’ sold @ 23.08%
17 were . biz’s @ 1.54% – 2.biz’s sold @ 11.76%

Top of the charts

The top 10 most bidded on auctions were:

Domain | Bids | Unique Bids

lemons.net | 67 | 13
dopily.com | 57 | 2
abuser.com | 45 | 15
earthquakes.me | 41 | 5
imprenews.com | 34 | 5
Harleys.Com | 32 | 8
toolsforless.com | 30 | 7
web-directories.com | 30 | 8
personalhelp.com | 30 | 14
burger.asia | 29 | 17

 

The top 10 domain sales during the period of my study were:

stockphoto.com $250,000
chorers.com $5,000
application.io $4,000
lv.ly $2,200
resumelance.com $2,125
dopily.com $1,600
personalhelp.com $1,250
abuser.com $1,200
lemons.net $1,150
V3ps.com $1,050

Conclusions

The Flippa domain marketplace is a small one with high listing and success fees and not much of a track record of success.

Sellers are pricing themselves out of the market – which is one favouring low end domains – this of course doesn’t suit the high costs of selling on Flippa but the auction style listings may provide liquidity for a domainer’s low quality domains.

I hope you found the data interesting in evaluating Flippa as a domain marketplace, in part 2 of the study I will explore what drives the sales prices of domains on Flippa and share with you a few tips on how to increase the sales prices of your listings on the platform.