When Selling Domains To End-Users Should You List a Fixed-Price Or Not?

This is a topic that has always been a hot one and I thought now would be as good a time as any to discuss it with all of you. Sure, we all know that when listing domains for sale with listing services or in domain newsletters fixed-prices are key, but what about when approaching end-users?

Since I have very little experience selling domains to end-users I’ve used advice from sales pro’s and conference panels to form my opinion here. At Domain Roundtable in March a panel of experts discussed this exact issue and were split with half the group saying fixed-prices and the other half saying the opposite. This also came-up at DOMAINfest this year and I found the same result – half the experts suggested you list fixed prices and the other half suggested letting the potential buyer make an offer.

I can understand both sides of the equation here which is why I’m interested to hear what all of you think. Here are the two points that were made in favor of both sides from Domain Roundtable + DOMAINfest + the experts that I’ve talked to one-on-one.

Fixed Price
People will assume your price is astronomically high if you don’t list a fixed price and therefore won’t bid/respond at all.

Make Offer
Some end-users would be willing to pay big-bucks for a domain and if you throw-out a fixed price you could be selling your domain for far less than the buyer would have been willing to pay.

Now remember, I’m talking about end-users here, not other domain investors. In many cases end-users are big companies which often means your dealing with a marketing department or legal department. So what do you think, when you’re selling to an end-user should you put a fixed price or push them to make the first offer? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Joe April 27, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Fixed priced domains have always a higher chance of selling, especially if the price is particularly convenient for the prospective buyer. The problem with the “make offer” approach is that the other party may not have the will/time to engage in a negotiation that can be lengthy and it isn’t even sure that the deal will be eventually done. This is also true for sites like Sedo (they always suggest using fixed prices).

    Reply
  • Anthony David April 27, 2011, 4:19 pm

    I like how Ryan Colby goes about selling domains. He builds a network of potential buyers through social media and email and markets his domain names to them. The pattern I see from him is he first tries to sell it without a price, he just puts it up for sale and says he is taking offers. But then I will see him marketing the same domain a month later and now it has a price on it. He doesn’t say its a fixed price though so you could probably still make offers to him.

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  • High-End Domains April 27, 2011, 5:16 pm

    Make offer work best for me because you don’t know how much they are willing to pay and sometime you might be surprised. A tip to make great sale is when offer is OK but didn’t reach your expectation you still can put it to auction, contact competitors and see bids coming, that’s how I do.

    Reply
  • Nameclerk April 27, 2011, 6:27 pm

    I lean toward a fixed price. The key is whether you approached them or they approached you. If I contact someone out of the blue with a domain I think they might possibly be interested in than I need to give them a price to appear credible. In this situation I’m not worried about leaving some money on the table because if the prospect is willing to pay any price for the domain than they would have probably already contacted me in the first place.

    -Bill

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  • Kevin M April 27, 2011, 6:44 pm

    It really kinda depends on what domain names one is trying to sell. If one has premium or real good product/geo/keyword domains, and knows such, then waiting for the right offer (whatever that be) is good. But most domainers ‘don’t’ have those kind of names, they ‘think’ they do, so they will end up passing on offers, when they shouldn’t of, and waiting for ‘no-one’ to show up with higher ones.

    As for buying a domain, I don’t think joe enduser likes having to ‘guess’ what they have to pay for domain, and they get discouraged with that process. I think they’d rather know what/where the price is, so they can then decide what’s a good name for their budgets and needs, and then can pick or move on accordingly. And most endusers (are not large businesses) and can live with names in the low $xxx-$xxxx range, which is one reason Afternic/BuyDomains sells so many names, because they are in a price range that’s comfortable for them.

    As a domainer, I like selling ‘Fixed Price Domains’. I feel it’s currently a better course to move inventory and make more sales, than wait for those occasional ‘hail mary’ sales. And that more domains will sell if the prices are set, and set reasonably to potential buyers. Sure some money ‘may’ be left on the table, but I think potential customers will be more inclined to buy ‘Fixed Price Domains’, and this a course we’re going to be pursuing quite vigorously. We have (very) recently started our domain name marketing of ‘Fixed Price Domain Names’, are seeing some early results, and we think this is a winning formula for selling more than one name a year! Hopefully!

    (Can you guess the name of our marketing website?) 😉

    Reply
  • Leonard Britt April 27, 2011, 8:40 pm

    Most people who go into Best Buy shopping for a videocamera, laptop, etc. want to see a price. Some people migrate toward the lowest-cost options, others for high-end products and many for something in-between. Without a price, buyers are apt to leave or choose a different model which is priced rather than ask an associate. On the other hand, if you have the undisputed top-of-the-line product, I suppose you can wait till that rare high-end buyer comes along and asks, “How much?”

    Reply
  • Daniel Dryzek April 28, 2011, 12:29 am

    I am big “fixed price” fan and soon will appraise all my domains, so they all have “bay it now” price. “Make an offer” strategy may be good for domains $100,000+ but for $1,000-$99,999 names I would generally use fixed price.

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