Critical Skill: Negotiating

When you are buying or selling a domain name, the most critical skill you can possess is the ability to negotiate.

No matter what side of the bargaining table you are on, you and the counter party need to reach an agreeable deal in order to transact. The other party might lie, shield his or her identity, or they might be completely upfront with you. Whatever the case is, being a skilled negotiator will help you close more favorable deals for yourself.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be an expert negotiator by any stretch. I am probably too honest when it comes to negotiating. Because of this, I am not going to offer advice on strategic or tactical negotiations.

However, I can recommend a few resources where you can read about negotiating more effectively:

Obviously, we can all learn about successful domain name negotiations in practice, but it can be beneficial if you have some background.

Do you have additional negotiation resources that you’d like to share? I am sure we would all benefit if you share those in the comment section.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. @elliot that’s a great ..

    One of favorite is as Michael wrote above ” The art of war”
    2:- think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill

  2. I have not been silent about how much I dislike the process most domainers use for selling their properties. If you look at this from an end users perspective you will see how frustrating it is. After all, how may other assets don’t have an asking price?

    I really love it when domainers have taken the time to place a value on their own properties. This at least gives the end user a reference point to start from, because most end users have no idea how much these names can be worth.

    Plus, with an asking price format you weed out some of the low ball offers, and should get more serious buyers. I personally don’t want to haggle price from $0 and fish for the price that would make the domainer happy.

    If more people adopt an asking price model it will minimize the need to become a master in negotiation.

    • There are different kind of people one who loves to fish for the price ..
      There are one who loves to go to war by bid and the other one should be like you…
      The point is, there is no magic formula to price the names …
      The best thing that we know is :-
      Type in
      Domain sold history
      And so on … Holding on those thing facts and figure we try / hope to match the domain price..
      After all it’s a new kind of bussiness then brick and mortar … So, there are many things that we are learning and one of that is .. How to price the name…
      Watch this clip and chill out … Does it make sense ?

    • I think you would end up with more sales, and comfortable buyers. Since the seller would be setting that asking price then he\she has control from the beginning. If the seller is happy with the end price then the sales price is right on.

    • That’s what Afternic and Sedo would tell you, but I prefer to keep my names unpriced. I find most inquiries come directly from the domain name landing pages, and then I can negotiate directly.

    • You might be right if you want to do a quick flip for a quick buck..
      Buy for $10 then you know if you sell it for $15 that’s a quick $5 buck..
      But if you have a domain that you want to hold on to till the right buyer comes with right price.. Why do you wanna price your name ??

    • @Talk like this – Well, if your domain name is only worth $15 (like so many long tail names are) then take your 50% gain and run. You really make my point for me by saying “till the right buyer comes with the right price”. This indicates that you only know what the right price is. So why make the end user guess for days, weeks or months what that price is?

      If it’s true that most domain names are sold between domainers, then eventually the current model will need to shift to something different to attract more end users. Maybe its just me, but I don’t think many end users would love the hunt, contact and bid process much.

    • @RD
      As, we all know the price goes up when there is scarcity … So, we need to know where we want to stand Quick flip or hold tight ..

      I think there are some names that is great if you put the price .. When ones are need of money or simply wants to move on..
      It’s like in old day school where I had a stamp album filled with stamps that I thought I liked the most but when I sat down with my friends and we looked each others album I will exchange stamps sometime with one that I felt less connected and hold on to the one that I knew was bit rare..and there were days when boys came and offer me few nice stamps In exchange for one of my mine I will ask for few of there’s best ones but always ended with more then I will have settled for .. and i did exchange..It’s simply because there was new opportunity on that very same stamps they offered me …

    • Values fluctuate and there are many different circumstances that can cause a name to rise quickly in values. Domains can be bought much faster with a BIN on a site, much faster than other assets that fluctuate/spike quickly. In one day a domain/phrase can blow up (I’ve had my share) and if I had these priced on the open market I can tell you from experience I would have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In one case, that is quite literal.

  3. Agree with Art of War recommendation.

    Everyone should read a couple negotiation books.

    Everyone negotiates for something every day.

    If you ever asked for a discount… you have started negotiating.

    If you ever asked someone to do something for you, you have negotiated.

    Do yourself a favor to learn and try some simple negotiation tips.

  4. Here’s the answer I have found regarding the comments. If you’re not a motivated SELLER then why would you leave money on the table with an asking price?

    I personally am in the domain market as an investment so I “hold” mine until I get a price that pays off not just pays some bills.

    • Sure, but would you rather take $150,000 today and spend that money or hope that someone offers you $200,000 sometime in the future which may never come.

      All depends on your financial needs.

    • Think of it this way. If you own a house in a hot market in a great location, what happens to your asking price? More than likely it will get bid up from your asking price. So, just because you set an asking price doesn’t mean you leave money on the table. You still have market forces working for or against you to determine the final price.

    • With domains, asking prices usually are reflected as a BIN price on a marketplace. So if you set an asking price, most likely you are going to get that price, never more. People don’t go to afternic and sedo and list a name, expecting more. .. they usually get 15-20% then their ask at the bare minimum 😉

  5. Getting to yes by fisher and ury is THE BEST negation book.

    It teaches how to go to the balcony and see what your best alternative to a negotiated segment is AND how to look at what the OTHER person needs in negotiations.

  6. Its good to have a negotiation strategy to work to and then you need to understand who you are negotiating with – find their buy buttons, see it as a game because that’s all it is.

    I haven’t posted my link, not sure on rules, i’ll leave it with Elliot.

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