Caveats When Selling Domain Names Via Craigslist

August 7, 2013

in Webmaster Resources

Worldwide, it’s the 45th most visited site.  Locally, it’s where individuals find lawn boys, garage sales and used iPhones.  Craigslist has enjoyed what few classified sites can tout: consistent visitorship, success stories and even one deranged serial killer.  While business is conducted daily via the world’s cheapest yet most expansive classified ads site, selling domain names hasn’t really been proven quite effective to the point it could remain competitive with other major brokerages or auction platforms.

Tantalizing as it may seem, we’d like to point out several major reasons why utilizing Craigslist for domain sales could prove more problematic than fruitful for domainers.

Excessive ‘Counter Spam’

When placing your first advertisement, perhaps Barrister John Forsythe has contacted you about his wife’s misfortunes in moving millions from an offshore account into America.  Or, perhaps you’ll receive an offer 10 times your domain’s actual value IF you agree to wire $5000 of the fake check proceeds to Nairobi. Unfortunate, ‘free’ breeds inhumane acts such as this; investing in actual platforms that legitimately allow those selling domain names to receive normal offers weeds out spammy activities such as these.  Somehow, regardless if you’re using the Craigslist mail relay, the scammers will find you.

Ridiculous Moderation Means Missed Opportunity

If you’ve rubbed business partners the wrong way, expect your post to get flagged.  Competition doesn’t like your advertisement? Hmm…let’s mark this as ‘inappropriate’.  The moderation technique adopted by Craigslist is simple:  let everyone post, and everyone help keep the community ‘shiny’ – by any means necessary.  This means illegitimate posters have 50% better chance of selling their flimflam services than you, the standup guy or gal trying to earn an honest living by selling domain names correctly.  Quite honestly, doesn’t your domain name deserve better audience attention than this?

Paying Pains

Unless previously arranged between buyer and seller, will not protect your purchase or really even care about the transaction unless their stamp of approval is somewhere on Craigslist.  PayPal transactions that seem shady will get one, or both, accounts placed into ‘Limited’ status until their wild computer algorithm instills probability tests into the transaction.  This leaves face-to-face, check, money order or electronic money sending systems as your payment mode.

The latter is, nearly 99.9% of the time, screaming ‘scam!’ while the former may get you robbed at gunpoint.  Again, premium domains need protection that free classified advertisement sites simply cannot offer IF they were brave enough to offer it, period.


Nobody can hate the frugal spenders, investors or everyday marketing gurus; times are still rather touchy amidst up and down stocks and lazy job figures.  When selling domain names online, you’re moving ‘product’, essentially; product that should have equivocal buyer protection and seller indemnity as physical items do.

Unfortunately, Craigslist isn’t the proper platform for guaranteeing anything more than lower offers, higher fraud rates and individuals selling dreams to business people wanting nothing more than to profit off reality.  Think about what platforms are actually tried and true before posting Domains for Sale advertisements amiss.

Roger Klawinski is a freelance writer and experienced domainer from Indiana. You can follow him on Google+.

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