Flippa | Great domain marketplace or expensive storefront?

For Sale

Flippa helps domain owners who want to put out the "For Sale" sign. Image: Flickr / DiGallagher / CC-BY

The domain-selling marketplace Flippa has recently staged somewhat of a coup. FaceMash.com, the original URL for what became Facebook, is for sale on Flippa. Many domain buyers and sellers, though, are concerned that Flippa is simply too expensive to use.

FaceMash on Flippa

Flippa, which is a website that is a marketplace for domains, recently got a big-name listing. FaceMash.com, the website that Mark Zuckerburg used to create the first version of Facebook, went up for sale. Though the website is currently owned by a developing social network, it is available for purchase. The current price for the domain is $30,000, with three days left on the sale. Sony Pictures is the current owner of a similar address, FaceMash.net, which is featured in the movie “The Social Network.”

Flippa’s web-domain business

Flippa is just one of many marketplaces used to buy and sell domains. Sitepoint, a web development blog, originally started Flippa in 2009. The young marketplace sold more than $40 million worth of web domains between its launch and August of 2010. There are usually about 1,000 domain listings available for sale at any time on Flippa. Average sale price is about $2,000 — more than your average Joe’s no fax payday loan could pay for.

Flippa’s sales rates

Flippa is a popular web-domain sales spot, but that does not mean it is without problems. Only about 54 percent of the domains available on Flippa usually sell. Flippa charges relatively high prices for its services. The listing fee for a domain is only $19, but there is a 5 percent “success fee” — 5 percent of the final sales price. You can choose to waive the success fee, but that costs $99. Everything from tweets to front-page listings to highlights and bolds cost extra. Many buyers simply believe that Flippa’s prices are far too high. Is having the right domain really so important, or is spending thousands of dollars for a domain a smart business decision?

Other recent posts by bryanh