Selling Domain Names: Negotiating With End-Users

Yesterday I did a post about my new favorite tool for keeping track of end-user leads, so today I thought I’d go a bit deeper and talk about negotiating with end-users. Before I do this though I will say for the zillionth time, I am by no means a domain sales expert. People like Michael and Elliot are the real pros since they do this for a living and have negotiated many major sales. What I can share with you is my own experience and what’s worked for me lately.

On top of that, I do talk to a lot of experts about their strategy for selling and negotiating so learn a lot from others. I always feel it is important to know what you know, and know what you don’t know. Then, take the things that you don’t know, and seek experts that can teach you! We are incredibly lucky to be in an industry where experts regularly share their advice.

Selling Domain Names

The lesson I’ve learned about negotiating domain sales prices with end-users is a simple one, the first person to throw-out a price usually loses. So what does this mean? Well I think examples are the best so I’ll give you one that illustrates this point.

A friend of mine wanted to buy a domain name in the 100K-200K range. It was a specific name and he really wanted it so was willing to negotiate to make sure he got the name. He contacted the owner who said he would sell it but didn’t want to provide a price. My friend then pushed back saying that if he wanted to sell the name he’d have to name his price, so he did, $3,500.

If the seller had thrown-out $120,000 he could have made the sale, but throwing out the first price worked against him. I made the same mistake last year as a seller and ended-up selling a domain name to a big company with very deep pockets, in the mid four-figure range because I threw-out the first price.

Now I’m not sure if this advice would work when selling domains to other Domainers however I don’t have much experience in that area so couldn’t tell you. Since most of my income comes from monetization I can stay laser focused on selling to end-users, at end-user prices. At the end of the day you may lose some deals, in January I was negotiating with a major crane company that refused to make an offer and actually walked-away because I wouldn’t name a price. That’s okay with me, I’d rather have them come back a year later or have one of their competitors approach me then leave money on the table.

If you need money now, or rely on domain sales for your income I’m not sure this would be the best strategy, but if you can wait and you want top dollar for your domains, or you want to buy as low as you can, don’t name your price.

Feel free to share your own end-user buying/selling stores in the comment section below. As always, comment and let your voice be heard!

(Photo Credit)

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Leonard Britt February 16, 2012, 5:54 pm

    I recall once hearing from a local company about a position in my field and the HR director sent an email asking the question, “What are your salary expectations?”  I responded, “What is the salary range for the position?”  I never heard from them again…

    • Morgan Linton February 16, 2012, 6:27 pm

      Haha, that is funny! Yeah, definitely don’t think this approach would work for salary negotiations 🙂

  • Elite Domains February 23, 2012, 12:54 am

    Very good tip Morgan. I lost out in a similar way last year to a (potential) buyer who refused to give me their budget (they had approached me, by the way). Eventually, I gave them a price which they snapped up. Negotiotion is an art-form, and like you say, you need to be able to walk away if the process is too tight from the other people.


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