Advice Selling

Why it is Important to Remove Domain Name Listings from Past Owners

Listings from previous owners of a domain name can harm your sales prospects. Here is how to get them down.

It is frustrating as a domain investor to encounter the following. You have just purchased a domain name, picked it up on expiry, or as a new registration, but when you try to add the name to the marketplaces, you are not allowed because the previous owner left it listed.

This is a widespread problem within our industry. It seems to me that a significant number of out-of-date names are left listed at some marketplaces.  

Perhaps this can be excused if you just purchased the name this week, and the previous owner has just not yet gotten around to it. But I have encountered situations where at least 6 months after a registration expired, or the name sold, the listing by the previous owner is left up. 

Why Are Obsolete Listings A Problem?

This is a problem even if you do not plan to list the name for sale at that marketplace. If the name is left listed at prices much above, or below, your planned listing price, it can hurt prospects of sale or the price you can obtain. Not taking down old listings has real economic costs for domain investors.

If the name is left listed at prices much above, or below, your planned listing price it can hurt prospects of sale or the price you can obtain.

Perhaps you plan to list a name at $2000, and there is a potential purchaser who would buy it at that price. But when he or she enters the name, they see it listed for $25,000 by a previous owner. They may react by simply moving on to other options because the asking price is well outside their budget. 

Or the user sees the name listed at $100, a price perhaps set by the previous owner just prior to domain expiry. That low public price harms the perceived value of the domain name. It also sows doubt about our industry, as potential purchasers naturally ask who is the real owner of the domain name and what is the real price. 

Therefore, don’t delay and get those out-of-date listings taken down. In the next section, I tell you precisely how.

How To Take Them Down

Essentially to get the previous sales listing removed you put up your own listing for the domain name at that marketplace. You can later, if you don’t want it listed at that marketplace, simply remove your listing. 

Here is how to do take down previous listings at the three most popular marketplaces.


To my knowledge, Afternic do not currently have an automatic way to establish ownership, and your only option to list a name someone else has left up is to contact support, ask them to take down the old listing. In a day or two they will do that, and confirm with you. I can’t imagine why Afternic do not automate the process, as the support hours cost must be significant to handle them this manual way. 

Afternic do seem to automatically detect when there has been a registrar change, so the old listings mainly apply to cases where an ownership change has been by push. 


While you can establish ownership in a few ways at Sedo, the recommended method is via a TXT record. I find that if you do it in the order listed below, the system works quickly and efficiently.

  1. Log into your Sedo account, select My Domains, and then the tab marked Domain Ownership VerificationCopy the long verficiation code. This is unique to you, but does not change, and applies to all of your domain names. Do not yet try to add the domain name to Sedo.
  2. Go to the registrar where the domain name is registered. Leave your DNS pointers for now to the default ones for the registrar. The exact details will vary with registrar, but most allow you to alter DNS records (note this is not the same as simply the DNS settings). You want to select TXT as the type, and paste your verification code as the record content.  Generally the defaults for other parameters on the record will work.
  3. After the TXT has been set at your registrar, go to Sedo and add your domain name. You should find that it will be verified within minutes.
  4. Once the name ownership has been verified, and the name is listed at Sedo, you are now free to go back to your registrar and change the DNS settings for your domain name to whatever you wish. For example, if you want your lander to be at DAN, you can now set them for the DAN settings. 

It will eventually, in most cases, work if you first try to list, and then set the TXT codes later at your registrar, but may take many hours or even days in my experience. 


DAN used to allow anyone to list a name without verification, and the only option to get down old listings was through customer support. However, a number of months ago they implemented an automatic verification process.

At first I tried this over and over with no success, but I think I have finally figured out the details and order.

  1. Log into your DAN account, but don’t yet try to add the domain name that is already listed on DAN by someone else. Under Settings select Ownership and then check the option Automated Ownership Verification. Eventually they plan multiple methods, but for now the only option is Via Nameservers. Copy your personal DNS setting (it will end in
  2. Go to your registrar, set the nameservers to the domain name to exactly the following (with YourCode obviously replaced with your personal code),,
  3. Give a bit of time for the DNS change to propagate. While in theory it could take longer, I find a few hours is normally sufficient. 
  4. Now go back to DAN and add your domain name. It should automatically move the domain name from the previous DAN account to your own. 
  5. Remember to adjust price and description for the domain name.

Note that while in general DAN landers work with either the or DNS settings this is not true for the automated verification, it seems. It only works with ns1.DAN,com. 

Also, if you discover a domain name is held by someone else, when you add it and it fails, and then go set the third nameserver at your registrar, in my experience it will never get added at DAN. So the order and details above are important.

Your ns3 verification setting is the same for all of your DAN domain names, as was the case for TXT verification at Sedo.


An easy way to check if old listings are up for a domain name is Dofo.  Simply enter the domain name, and if it is listed for sale you will see a list of all the places. If you need help starting with Dofo, see this NameTalent Guide to Dofo.

To my knowledge, marketplace listings are removed when the name sells at that marketplace.

Final Thought

It is unfair that extra work is added for the new owner, and delay in having the domain name listed for sale, just because the previous owner did not bother to remove listings. So when your names expire, or you sell them, please do remove listings for the benefit of everyone. It is just the right thing to do!

So when your names expire, or you sell them, please do remove listings for the benefit of everyone. It is just the right thing to do!

About the author

Bob Hawkes

Domain analyst and commentator with particular interests in quantitative analysis, new uses for domain names, nontraditional end users, and bridging the gap between the domain community and end users. Background in science, research, education, outreach and communications, as well as almost two decades running a small home-based business. My first domain name acquisition was 2001. I hold a modest domain portfolio with legacy, country code and new extensions. Based in western Canada, but my domain outlook is global! My goal is to provide fresh insights and an evidence-based balanced outlook on the domain industry.

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