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Domain Name Reseller

If planned well, reselling domain names can be an inexpensive way to build a successful business. Today, there are more domain name registrars than ever; but while this has led to an increase in competition, it has also resulted in a significant drop in domain name prices, making it an easy business to enter.

The field of domain name reselling has grown as the internet has expanded to include numerous personal websites. The reselling of Domain names was popularized by (among others) Website Design companies who, in an effort to more fully serve their clients, decided to provide auxiliary services in addition to basic site design and development. Partnering with an ICANN Accredited Domain name registrar, these companies began to sell domain names directly to their own clients, using their partners' registrar system.

Starting a domain reseller business involves finding an ICANN Accredited Registrar that offers a reseller program. In most cases the reseller is provided with a user interface through which they may register, renew, and transfer domain names using the registrar's own system. Often they are also provided with software to create their own branded interface to present to their clients, allowing for domain name search and registration from the reseller's own site. Resellers generally receive highly discounted rates from the registrar because of the volume of transactions they process. This enables the reseller to set competitive prices for their registrations while still making a profit.

Domain name reselling has expanded, and many domain resellers are now stand-alone internet businesses. Domain resellers provide registration of available domain names for their clients, and often also engage in the process of acquiring expired domains from a Drop registrar for later resale. A Domain name auction can provide the reseller with another means to buy and sell domains, and a savvy investor can build a successful business around the right domain properties.

Choosing A Registrar

One of the most important aspects to becoming a reseller is choosing a domain name registrar. The best route to success is to choose a registrar approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - these firms have been authorized to create and sell domain names directly. Choosing a registrar that has not been approved by ICANN means you are essentially reselling the domains of a reseller, a redundant step in the registration process that will typically cost you more.

Once you have chosen a registrar, here are a few things to consider:

  • Volume discounts: Offering volume-based registration services and packages can be very profitable should you a) choose a solid pricing structure and b) promote your business well. The volume approach is extremely cost-effective for larger resellers, since the cost per domain will decline as the volume of sales increases. The only downside to volume-based discounts is that resellers need to sell a great deal of domain names before they truly benefit from the discount’s value.
  • Promoting your business: While becoming a domain name reseller can be an inexpensive way to online success, it can also be very difficult – as mentioned previously, the domain name business is packed with competitors. As a result, you will need a way to make your business stand out, be it through promotional offers, branding, advertising, or a combination of all three. For more information on building an online brand, click here.
  • Upselling: Customer retention is key to generating recurring revenue. One way to secure this revenue is to try and “upsell” your domains; that is, encouraging customers to secure their domain for several years instead of on a yearly basis. The customer benefits from this arrangement by not having to worry about renewing their name for several years, while you reap the benefits of repeat fees on a yearly basis. Many customers, however, are often reluctant to secure their names beyond one or two years because a domain’s price rises with the length of ownership. As a result, try to keep your multi-year fees as low as possible.
  • Value-added services and partnerships: Once you have secured a customer, why stop at domain names? Forming partnerships with other Internet service firms, like Web hosting and Web design groups, to offer additional services can result in a significant deal of supplementary revenue.


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