Yesterday, I wrote an article discussing transacting a domain name purchase in person, and the part of the article covered how I had been trying to buy this domain name for a few years. I want to discuss that aspect in this article.
Had I not been persistent, I am sure I would not have had the opportunity to buy the domain name. I must have sent 4 or 5 emails since 2010, and I also made a few phone calls. Despite the fact that I only received one reply before getting a counter offer, I persisted, and that helped me close the deal. I want to share a few pieces of advice that might help you get the domain name you covet, and I welcome your input as well.
When I sent these emails, I kept them short and sweet. The first email had an offer, and the offer was rejected. I counter offered, and I didn’t hear back. My subsequent emails did not have higher offers, but they reaffirmed my counter offer. I did this because I felt if I raised my offer each time, the owner might think that subsequent emails would have even higher offers. There was no reason to outbid myself, so I kept the offer the same hoping they would assume that was all I would offer.
I continued to monitor the development of the website. From the time I made an offer to the time we worked out a deal, the domain name was not developed. Had it been an active website or an updated website, I probably wouldn’t have followed up. If someone is putting in the time and effort to continue growing their website, having someone continue asking about the domain name probably would have been a fruitless effort and potentially insulting. It could either be interpreted as me not bothering to see if there was development or my passively telling them that I could do better.
My emails to them let them know I still had an interest in the domain name and that I would be interested in buying it if they ever sell it. There have been times I didn’t follow up only to see a name at auction in the final moments or in a sales report without having the chance to bid. Keeping my email fresher in their minds was probably helpful, although it had been 11 months since my last inquiry.
One thing I recommend is adding a reminder to your calendar, perhaps every 6 months or year. Don’t send emails monthly because it could be annoying or sent to spam automatically. You also might want to make annual phone calls to be sure your email was received.
If the domain owner ever says “no” outright, I recommend not bothering that person again. One final “thanks for considering my offer” and “please contact me if something changes” email would be sufficient as nobody wants to be pestered.
Being persistent may help you close the deal. Just don’t turn into a pest.
“My emails to them let them know I still had an interest in the domain name and that I would be interested in buying it if they ever sell it.”
The only issue I take with this, and I guess this is more a matter of style and strategy, is that by continuing to show interest in that manner (without a deadline or other reason to get someone to take action) you create a situation where the buyer gets overly confident that they could decide at any time to take you up on the offer. So there is no motivation to actually take any action if they can’t make up their mind. They have little to lose.
While this worked out for you this time (and maybe many other times) in many cases by making open ended offers the wrong thing will happen.
In general when doing any type of negotiating deal I almost always don’t make open ended offers. As you will find when you go to a car dealer to buy a car or to a store that runs sales putting a deadline on a transaction is sometimes the magic touch that is needed to get someone off the fence. (That said sure some stores offer everyday low prices but sales and deadlines are a proven method overall).
I actually have a case now where someone is trying to buy a domain from me. They have literally said “whenever you are ready I will pay you $x thousand” for the domain. I’m iffy on the price they are offering and as a result I will sit and think about it some more and maybe see if I wait if they will change their mind and offer more (or if I can sell it to someone else). Buyer is an end user not a domainer. Price is decent for the domain (end user price).
If they had given me a deadline “need to know by next Wednesday or unfortunately we will have to move on” I probably would sell it to them. Not wanting to take a chance on losing the deal.
Of course they can always bluff, disappear, and then come back. Like “other deal fell through so if you are interested I’m willing to buy now but I need to know…”(Now they can’t do that 4 times for sure but at least 1 or 2 times with a good story line would probably work).
Agree with not offering more in order not to ratchet up the price. Otoh if you offer more you can always do that with a deadline and that might get someone to make a decision.
As a buyer, the waiting game works quite effectively, however you always run the risk of losing out in the end.
As a seller, how negotiable you are depends on much you want to unload it and what your financial situation is, Since I don’t depend on income from domaining, the latter didn’t apply, but I do like to move domains, especially low performers, I remember selling a medical domain to end user in Texas, yeah Doctors have deep pockets but they can also be very cheap because their constantly being taken advantage of, He played the waiting game with me over a period of 3 years, he finally raised his price, doubling it as I remember and I accepted, but he did it under a alias so I didn’t know who he was until the Escrow transfer, which really didn’t matter, all I wanted in the end was the right price, doctor or no doctor.