The vast majority of my domain name sales are private, both the names and sales prices. I don’t share most of them on my corporate website, and I don’t blog about them. I don’t even really discuss them with friends and colleagues either.
I understand that people have different motivations for reporting sale prices. Some people want to share their sales publicly so that others can see that domain names are selling for “real” money. Some people have similar domain names in their portfolios, so a reported sale helps boost the value (and purchase interest) in their other domain names. Other people may simply wish to show that they are moving inventory and closing deals.
There are several reasons why I keep my sales private, and I thought I would share some of the reasons. Ultimately, if it hurts my business or otherwise does not help my business, I am not going to share private information. Listed below are 5 reasons why I don’t share my domain name sales publicly:
A sale price only tells part of the story. If I hypothetically reported that I sold DomainInvesting.com for $250,000, some people would probably congratulate me on the big sale and high five me on the success. However, if I paid $500,000 for the domain name, that wouldn’t be a good sale. Without this missing information, the full story isn’t known.
May be harmful to my business. I keep a relatively trim portfolio of fewer than 500 domain names. I am constantly on the lookout for acquisitions, and I am a frequent buyer. If I announce a sale, I would then give people valuable private data they can use to sell their domain names or compete with me on acquisitions such as auction purchases. Again as a hypothetical example, if I report the sale of DomainInvesting.com, I might want to sell the buyer additional domain names or I might want to buy similar domain names. If the sale is publicly reported, other people can pitch their names to my buyers or buy other names I might want.
It is tacky to discuss income. I don’t know about you, but I have never ever discussed salary or bonuses with my friends who work “normal” jobs. I think it is tacky to discuss my income. It would be embarrassing to have friends “like” Facebook posts about sales. I wouldn’t expect to see them announcing their annual bonus or their salary information, and I don’t have interest in doing that either.
Non-Disclosure Agreements. Almost all of my private sales have non-disclosure agreements in place. In fact, in the sales agreement I prefer to use (when I have a choice), there is a confidentiality clause. I don’t want the counterparty discussing the sale/purchase, and I keep things quiet as well. Unless there is a reason for reporting the sale price (ie publicly traded company may need to report it or the publicity is requested by the buyer), I generally won’t mention any private details.
People don’t believe what they read. There is enough BS out there as is. Even if I hypothetically reported that I sold DomainInvesting.com for $250,000, half the people wouldn’t believe it even with Escrow.com screenshots! I’ve seen people discussing reported sales on forums and heard people discussing sales privately, and it seems that many people are highly skeptical of reported sales. Frankly, I don’t blame them.