Why I Respond To Every Offer On My Domains

In the world of Domaining low-ball offers are a very common thing. As a Domain Investor you have to live with the fact that many people assume that all domains cost about $10 so any domain in your portfolio must have been purchased for that price. You may have piad $25,000 for one of your domains but get a $50 offer from a guy who is sure he’s giving you a 5x return on your investment. Heck maybe you only paid $2,500 for the domain but you spent months negotiating back and forth with the owner taking up your time and using a skill that you, and very few others possess. Once you buy the domain you immediately get an offer for $5,000 but you turn it down, you know that you have something that is worth much more than you paid.

Buying things that are worth more than you paid happens everywhere, all the time. Best Buy might buy a TV for $500 and then sell it to consumers for $1,200 – if Best Buy has the lowest retail price, people buy their because they think they are getting the best deal. However there are so many other stores to buy the exact same TV that your decision is based entirely on price not on uniqueness or brandability. You don’t think twice about the fact that a store would be making a healthy profit off of what they sell you, you want the best deal.

In the real estate world someone might have purchased a home back in 1995 for $250,000 and now expect $2.5M for the house even though they did nothing to improve it. They might have buyers lining up to buy the place at $2.5M. These buyers don’t care that the owner only paid $250,000 for the home, they care about what the home is worth now.

Let me say this again, These buyers don’t care that the owner only paid $250,000 for the home, they care about what the home is worth now. People have an understanding that physical real estate can dramatically appreciate over time. It wasn’t always that way, but now in society people have become comfortable with that fact. People have not become comfortable with the fact that virtual real estate can dramatically appreciate over time.

This is why I respond to ever offer on my domains, because people, in general, don’t get it yet. So I respond to every offer on my domains because at the end of the day you never know who could be making the offer. A $200 offer on a domain name last year turned into a $5,000 sale, if I had ignored the low-ball offer I wouldn’t have made the sale, and I had an interested buying coming to me which is really the best person to sell to…as long as you can explain to them how digital real estate is like physical real estate.

The key is not to let a low-ball offer offend you. Don’t be naive. Do you really think the guy (or gal) emailing you with the offer reads Domaining news or is plugged-into the domain sales scene? Do you even think they have ever even heard the word “Domaining” before? This industry is brand new, imagine going back in time to the point in our history when homes had only been available publicly for sale for less than 30 years? It takes time to evolve but we can do our part by educating people and finding that buyer who will take the time to understand the true value of domains and why what you are giving them might not be such a ridiculous price given where the domain market is right now.

When I respond to low-ball offers I’ll often share similar domain sales with them as well as a link to DNJournal’s YTD Domain Sales Chart. I can confidently say that DNJournal has helped me close a number of solid sales thanks to the data Ron provides. For most end-users, this is the first time they have ever seen a chart showing domain sales, they had no idea. So next time you get an insultingly low offer on your domain, don’t take it as an insult, just know we’re early and still 99% of people out there have no idea what we do. If you sell domains that means sales needs to be your strong suit and one of the #1 rules of sales is “Always Be Closing” – turning down anyone that has expressed interest in buying something you have is not how you close deals, it’s how you prevent them from ever happening.

Morgan

Co-Founder at Fashion Metric
Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Fashion Metric, a next-generation platform aimed at changing the way guys shop for clothes online.

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Aus January 8, 2013, 10:54 am

    I respect that.. and it will pay off for you Morgan.. I notice some people like to ‘laugh’ in the face of anyone who gives them a lowball offer, and even just mock them. Funnily enough, over time they probably scared off a few wealthy investors who would have paid alot had they just been treated with respect and had the true value of the domain explained.
    I remember when I was looking for a domain for a project when I first started, $100 seemed like an insane figure to pay for an intangible product. Now of course “I get” the value of these assets.. If we treat newcomers to the industry nicely (even the lowballers) it will help the industry long term.

  • Kevin M. January 8, 2013, 11:29 am

    Totally agree Morgan, and is exactly why I also respond to ‘every’ offer. (well, except the obvious moron ones!). I think too many domainers, due to their being plugged-in to ‘all things domains’, don’t take into consideration the naivete of the average ‘unplugged’ person of the ‘real value and potential’ of quality domain names, and thus tend to look at and feel low ball offers are, in essence, insults. And sadly never respond to them, never knowing what a little further exploring could have led to. Any inquiring offer, is always a potential sale, no different than having people walk in one’s storefront front door. A rag torn dressed customer, just may have more money in their pocket, than your whole net worth. The Rodeo Road scene in Pretty Women is a perfect example. You just never know.

  • Morgan January 8, 2013, 11:34 am

    @Kevin – so true, and I love your example!

  • Ron January 8, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Even the $10 lowball offers from india that come in every night, hey can I buy kayak.org from you for $20

  • RD January 8, 2013, 3:09 pm

    Being courteous is great for the industry. But, what price do you quote to someone that asks you for a price? I think that domainers should be able to place a value on their domain names, this way end users don’t have to go through a bidding process. After all, why should an end user know how much your domain is worth if you don’t.

  • Morgan January 8, 2013, 7:26 pm

    Great question @RD! I never quote a price. The person who throws out their price first tends to lose the negotiations. I always push the interested buyer to make an offer, if they refuse, then I tell them it’s probably better for them to find another domain.

  • Arseny January 9, 2013, 1:12 am

    Perfect advice! It’s very different from “being unmotivated seller” approach, which I’m sure you’ve heard of.

    What do you think of this infochart by DomainNameSales? I think this one can help an end-user understand the value of domains.

  • Jen January 9, 2013, 8:39 am

    @Arseny

    That’s an incredible infochart which should really go a long way illustrating to most anyone unfamiliar with the domain landscape on their importance.

  • windy city January 10, 2013, 12:16 pm

    I like the info chart Arseny offers and will probably modify it to include .tv which has been flexing its muscle a tad more than .biz and others have…

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