Revisiting an age-old Domaining debate, BIN, Make Offer or Get in Touch?

There’s been a long-standing debate in the domain investing world about putting a BIN (Buy It Now) price on your domains or leaving them open to offers. The general thinking is – BIN prices can increase liquidity, but you’ll likely leave money on the table.

A couple of years ago Rick Schwartz added to the discussion going a step further and suggesting that you do neither and instead just ask for people who are interested in your domains to get in touch with you vs. pushing them to make an offer or showing them a price.

This technique seems to be paying off for investors like Bar who are using landing pages with an email address on them like info(at)[domainname.com] which is leading to six-figure deals like the one I talked about in this article.

At the core of this debate IMO is liquidity, i.e. how badly do you need to see ongoing cashflow from your domain name investments. For some investors, income from domain investing is a core part of their income or is their primary income, which means liquidity is critical. To others, it’s okay if they don’t sell a domain all year, they want top dollar for their domains, and for most I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle.

I’ve been buying and selling domains for almost fifteen years now and I can tell you every year is different. Over the last two years I’ve continued to increase the price on my domains, at the same time I’ve seen offer volume grow, but I find myself turning down pretty much every one. I’m not in cashflow mode, I’d rather wait for the perfect buyer otherwise it’s worth it to me to hang onto the asset because I think the value of domains, especially .COM and .IO are going to continue to grow.

So I’m thinking of moving away from BIN and Make Offer and follow Rick’s path of focusing on letting people just get in touch, start a conversation, and see where it goes. At the end of the day, just like crypto, I think I’ve moved into HODL mode. I’m still buying domains and plan to keep building up my portfolio with a focus on two-word .COMs, they’re my jam, I love them and can’t get enough of them.

That being said, if you’re in cashflow mode, I’m buying, and I’m not alone. I think a lot of domain investors are moving into HODL mode as we’ve all seen the value of our domains grow dramatically over the last couple of years. If you’re liquidating, there are buyers, and with marketplaces like DNWE kicking ass and taking names, there are plenty of ways to move names if you’re looking to sell at wholesale.

What’s always been so fascinating to me about the domain name world is you can shift from one mode to another and there’s always opportunity. The only constant I find in this ever-changing world is .COM, it’s still my focus and yet another year goes by where I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

What do you think? BIN, Make Offer, Get in Touch? What mode are you in these days? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Brad Mugford May 4, 2021, 9:39 pm

    I think for the average domain investor, a mix is the best strategy; something that generates some cash flow while also yielding higher sales via negotiation.

    It really depends on the quality of assets you are dealing with and how replaceable they are.

    For just ordinary domains that fall into categories with limited upside (GEO service/product, secondary extensions, average brands, etc.) I have no problem putting asking prices.

    For domains with higher upside, that are not as easily replaceable, I often have a minimum offer of at least a few thousand dollars to weed out the serious buyers from the tire kickers.

    While I am making some BIN sales, I focus my time and energy on the ones that have the highest likelihood of panning out via negotiation.

    My goal is to basically generate income selling the average stuff and hold on to the less replaceable stuff until the right offer comes a long.

    Brad

    Reply
    • Morgan May 4, 2021, 9:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing Brad and great advice, I like your thinking around segmenting into ordinary domains vs. those with a higher upside.

      Curious to know if you have a magic price point, or price range for the domains you’re looking at for cashflow?

      Reply
  • Brad Mugford May 4, 2021, 10:17 pm

    I do understand the leaving money on the table argument, but at the same time pretty much any time a deal is reached there is some money being left on the table…unless the seller extracts, to the exact penny, the max amount the buyer was willing to pay.

    If you own ultra premium single word .COM you can obviously dictate the terms. If you don’t need the capital you have a lot more leverage.

    If you are dealing with average domains and/or need capital, it is hard to shoot for the moon every time. You have to reject too many good sales to get (1) great one. With renewals stacking up, that is not a luxury most domain investors have.

    The majority of domains I have priced are in a $2K – $5K price range. That is kind of standard range where decent domains can yield a 1-2% (or more) sell-through rate pretty reliably from my experience. I do have some priced higher as well, but the vast majority of higher quality domains are make offer/negotiate only.

    When you mix those sales in with negotiated sales for better domains, it is a solid repeatable business model.

    Brad

    Reply
    • Morgan May 4, 2021, 10:31 pm

      Great advice, thanks again for sharing Brad 🙌

      Reply
    • Joe May 7, 2021, 10:25 am

      Great piece of advice, Brad! How do most of your sales happen? Via active marketing on your part or unsolicited requests from buyers?

      Reply
  • Eric Borgos May 5, 2021, 4:40 am

    For most of the 20+ years I have been selling domains, I did not use a BIN price. I would negotiate back and forth with the buyer. Just this week I listed my domains on Afternic with BIN prices to take advantage of the GoDaddy/Afternic domain registrar sales system. For me it is not about the best way to negotiate or leaving money on the table, it is about getting exposure for my domains.

    Reply

Leave a Comment