As someone who manages a portfolio of my own domain names, the majority of which I consider to be inventory I would like to move for reasonable retail prices, I have an internal debate about showing buy it now prices vs. accepting offers to generate leads. I am not sure if there is a right way or a wrong way to do things, so I thought I would share the internal debate I have when considering these two popular landing page and platform options and get some perspective from others.
When I set Buy It Now prices (BIN) on my domain name landing pages, I let visitors and prospective buyers know a domain name is available for a set price. There is no offer field, so it is more or less a take it or leave it option. They can choose an installment plan, but that is it. This makes it easy for me to set the prices and hopefully sell some inventory without a negotiation. Many prospects will assume this is the best price, and hopefully they will either agree the price is fair or stretch their budget to make it work so they don’t lose out on their targeted domain name.
When a prospect visits the domain name with a BIN price only, he or she can decide whether or not the domain name is worth the price and either buy it, move on, or figure out how to contact me directly to negotiate. Most people probably don’t even know how to do that last option.
The downside to straight up BIN landing pages is that a prospective buyer may be willing to pay a fair price but not pay my retail price and they move on to a different domain name. Depending on the timing, I might consider selling the domain name for a fair price. For instance, I have NHMA.com (New Hampshire and Massachusetts are border states with a great deal of cross border commerce) listed for just under $12k. Depending on the timing, I might accept a $8k offer for the domain name. Someone might not have $12k to spend on a domain name and opt for a longer name at a lower price instead. If people are unfamiliar with domain names, they might not realize there could be price flexibility.
Based on my experience, if I put an offer field on the landing page, I will receive many $1 – $500 offers. I think it will be next to impossible to get someone to pay $12k via the landing page knowing that I would consider lower offers. As a result of this psychology, I have to increase the BIN price to make up for the negotiation, and the domain name will be overpriced to compensate for this concession I will almost certainly have to make. This even higher price might dissuade someone from making an offer, even if they might pay $8,000.
With the downside of allowing offers, one might ask why not just price names at retail and let it fly. An advantage to accepting offers is that I am also generating leads should I want to juice my bottom line down the road. If I am having a slow month, I might want to reach out to prospects who made somewhat reasonable offers to try and get a better deal. Perhaps I can offer a payment plan or something along those lines in order to facilitate a deal.
For what it’s worth, 95% of my domain names currently have a price request form, but I previously used offer forms as well as BIN forms with the ability to make an offer.
One reason for sharing this is to start a conversation with others. My portfolio maxes out at about 1,000 domain names and I am looking to keep it there or make it smaller. Others have many more names and may have different experiences than me. I invite you to share what you think about offers vs BIN vs BIN with offers.