BIN + Make Offer Isn’t Ideal for Me

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I have been moving away from my domain name landing pages that have a Buy It Now price listed with a Make Offer field/link listed as well. I have seen some marketplaces and domain name sales platforms with this option, and I had a landing page created for Embrace.com to emulate this.

The thought process behind this type of landing page is that the domain registrant indicates what he or she believes is a fair price and that a negotiation is possible. The registrant doesn’t necessarily want to lose a sale because the asking price is too high, and allowing the prospect to make an offer can lead to a sale now or in the future. While I do not have statistically significant results to share, I have been moving away from this option because I don’t think it makes sense for me.

What got me thinking about this was a Twitter discussion between Dan.com and Rick Schwartz:

I can only recall one sale of mine (I believe it was $5,000) that someone ended up buying a domain name for the listed price when there was a make offer option. In fact, with this particular sale, the buyer started by submitting a $250 offer and I stood firm with my price. Every other inquiry generated from my landing pages that have a BIN price with the make offer field had the prospect submit an offer rather than use the BIN option, and I only closed a few sales.

When I put myself in the buyer’s position, I need to ask why would I agree to pay the asking price when it is clear the seller would be open to consider lower offers. Put simply, if the seller is willing to at least consider a lower price, it doesn’t make sense to simply buy it now without a discussion. Of course, the risk is the seller may re-price the domain name or not negotiate.

Having a make offer field undermines the buy it now price. To combat this, I typically priced my domain names higher than I would have otherwise because I know people will just submit an offer rather than agree to the BIN. Having a higher BIN price might end up causing people to not inquire because they think the price is far too high.

I started taking down my BIN pages a few months ago, and my preference is to have a simple price request form on my landing pages. I do have a large percentage of my domain names listed via Afternic with a buy it now price, but that is to take advantage of the listings on GoDaddy and network partner websites.

My experience may differ from other people in a few ways. I almost never sell domain names for less than $1k because the money is not worth the time. In addition, I am not an expert at landing page design, so perhaps the design of my lander had something to do with the results. Finally, with fewer than 1,000 domain names, I have a relatively small domain portfolio.

I would be interested to hear from readers to see what they think.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Elliot..The problem is you cant change the landing pages at any of the companies I see,UNI,Afternic,Sedo,Efty,DMP,Dan … Huge domains doesnt have a make offer that I have seen and there pages are Buy Now or payments..( https://www.hugedomains.com/domain_profile.cfm?d=PictureJar&e=com) but they also dont have an inquiry on the landing page.. I really believe it should be simple.. Price Request.. I agree with the BIN combined with make offer is a negative.. But the only options are Buy Now, Make Offer or both.. I do believe this industry is changing all the time and I personally would prefer Price Request over all of it, but do you turn off a buyer when you send them the price back and they see nothing that says make an offer ?

  2. I had the opposite experience. You are correct, i price them higher and expect to give about 30% discount if negotiated. This year I was able to negotiate 4 sales, 3 in five figure range from DAN page. In 3 cases i got about 70% of sales price in one case i gave 50%, but it was also my highest sale in terms of $. I also had one more sale flopped, that started with offer and he went up quickly, and agree to buy but never completed (but he would be no go if i just had a buy it now). This has been my best year in sales, and big part of it i credit to the make offer page. Since in the 4 names, i am pretty sure 2 might have bought it now, and 2 sales including my biggest would have never clicked buy it now due to budgets. In total , i much more ahead with 4 sales with with 2 even i got 100% of those and not 70%. Also i think people like to get deals, hence if we add negotiation, we are gamifying process of sales. Many people who feel they get a deal, will likely to participate more. It also give me ability to educate buyer while we are in the process of negotiation.

  3. Also i did have buy it now sale on Dan page in 5k range and 2.5k this august, it was from my gtld portfolio so i didnt count it for my previous post. I was really confused initially as i thought it was different domain that sold. Took me a little while to realized that they just bought it straight up. 5k was straight up buy, the 2.5 was 12 month installments. in both cases there was no negotiation.

  4. Having a buy it now price along with a “make offer” is the same as having “or nearest offer” next to a stated price.

    In my opinion it means that the seller has no confidence in their price.

    I’ve taken my entire portfolio away from third party landers and those I am prepared to sell now point to my company home page – which is an enquire now form and a phone number.

  5. Hi Elliot – this is great content and something iv’e given a lot of thought to myself. With my domains, I have most listed at BIN (where it makes sense, there are some I’m only taking offers on). But a few domains I added some make offers in addition to the BIN, and I’ve seen no change in results so far.

    IMO, I think some buyers desire the easy BIN, and they’re okay with paying a premium for the ease, while others may want to bargain and enjoy that (or simply can’t afford the BIN price and want a lower price). At least, that’s my thinking. Personally, I value my time more than I do a bit of money, so I would probably be the one to opt for the BIN if the BIN price is reasonable.

    Just my two cents, great thought provoking article. I’ll be reading comments!

  6. This is very interesting topic which I’ve been constantly testing and analysing through years based on small 1k personal domains portfolio and ~30k domains managed portfolios. Unfortunately, the outcome isn’t what we’d all like to learn and the rule is that …there is no rule. But there are several observations, potentially valuable or at least allowing to go into a direction which may appear more or less relevant for someone.
    1. Top priority – a domain name matters. Not a quality, surprisingly, but a need and desire of a buyer to buy this particular domain name. If the need and desire are strong enough, there will be a success no matter what are the other circumstances like type of lander, marketplace, PPC or no-PPC lander, BIN, BIN+MakeOffer or Request Price. Generally, this could be learnt by heart and you can skip reading further.
    2. Simple “Price Request” / “Send me a price quote” (like the one at Uniregistry landers) definitely generates the largest number of “request”. “Request” doesn’t mean “real lead”, even not saying about “real buyer”. You get a lot of junk, these “leads” even don’t bother to unsubscribe, when you ask them to do so if they aren’t interested to buy a domain.
    3. The other lander at Uni, the green one with “Submit an inquiry to the seller” better filters out interest, perhaps because it clearly says about domains and process of buying a domain name.
    4. Complex platforms like Sedo, complex in the sense of making an offer/inquiry, filter out close to 100% of junk. Perhaps they filter out too strong, not only junk, but also not very determined buyer who maybe you could convert via “Simple price request” (see point 2 above). What do you prefer – 1 request or 100 requests for better self-confidence in terms of your domain portfolio? 🙂
    5. BuyNow, without Make Offer – for most of generic domains and everything else than LL / NN offered below market price, a standard generic domain offered for reasonable 4 or 5 figures, the most likely BuyNow cuts an interest to zero, unless – see point 1 (need/desire/determination)
    6. Landers at ns3 & ns4 @afternic.com – perhaps they are great and GoDaddy team is great but the UI which perhaps remembers domain industry 15 years ago doesn’t allow you to have a clue about flow of requests (unless your domains remain unpriced and then Afternic brokers contact you when an inquiry comes, which is the only possible way).
    7. “Emotional assumption of a valuable domain name” if a lander shows PPC keywords, closely related to a generic nature of a domain name + unrestricted contact form like at ParkingCrew. An old-school domaining, surpassingly, very effective. Reason? – Random buyer isn’t aware of what is a domain parking lander. Thinking of a buyer may be that “hmm competitors from my industry are promoted here and the page is for sale” – this provokes them to make an offer. Unrestricted contact form allows to make an offer, directly to domain owner, in easy way like Point 2. The difference is that PPC landing page filters out all idiots who may think to request about a product or service related to a generic domain name.

    The post is getting longer… I am not making an FAQ, just putting together couple quick thoughts as a reply to always good observations/questions/cases shared here by Elliot.

    All the best Guys! ~AW

    • PS.
      Domains aren’t a liquid asset. IMO, domains can’t be quickly flipped, generating decent ROI. Domain investors must be willing to take a risk, must be patient and must be in position to wait. IMO, unfortunately, there isn’t much what can be done to make a sale faster.

      Also, price reductions don’t help usually (for a real motivated buyer, it doesn’t matter a lot whether a price is 3k or 5k, 7k or 10k, 15k or 20k, 30k or 50k – if a range is acceptable for buyer’s budget, he will buy, provided he has a need and desired to buy). – In such case we can come to the point of this article – don’t put yourself in position where a buyer will want to bid you down too much, however a bit of negotiation may be fine because it may be better to lose some %% giving a “deal satisfaction” to a buyer, but having a closed sale, instead of strict and arrogant “BuyNow only” which may be ignored by a potential buyer and a registrant may even not know when someone gives up and moves on to an alternative domain name. ~AW

    • quote –
      ” 6. Landers at ns3 & ns4 @afternic.com – perhaps they are great and GoDaddy team is great ”

      I pointed 1/3 of my domains approx. 4 months ago to ns3 afternic. I really thought that personal touch with a well known company might increase my sales. It did the opposite. I have not switched back yet but will soon.

    • Really good points all around.

      I am currently testing the ns3/ns4 at Afternic and agree that it’s only useful if you *only* price things upon request. Granted, this goes against conventional wisdom and even agents’ recommendations, but otherwise, there is zero data.

  7. BIN with Make an offer for domains works for me. You just have to know the sweet spot price of the domain you’re selling. Set a high BIN and make the buyer think they are getting a deal when you accept their offer. Then reel them in.
    Most times buyers pay the BIN price i set anyway. 🙂

    • Do what makes you feel comfortable when selling domains. Who cares what other domainers think or say. Some domainers think they are better than everyone else and are Know-it-alls. They like getting their ego stroked and people keep stroking it for some reason. No Elliot, i am not talking about you.

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