Daily Poll: Is It Ethical to Contact Newsletter Sellers Later?

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There are several domain name brokerage newsletters that offer great domain names for sale. Oftentimes, the pricing is geared towards end user buyers rather than domain investors. Even so, I enjoy receiving these newsletters so I can see what is coming on the market at what prices.

As time goes by, I look through old newsletters. Sometimes this is because I recognize the domain name used by a startup had been offered for sale months or years prior and I want to see the price it was listed at. Sometimes I see a name sell or a name come on the market that I recall seeing in an older newsletter and a Gmail search brings up the old listing for me.

Today’s daily poll is about ethics. Do you think it is ethical for a buyer to contact the owner of a domain name that had been listed in a newsletter you received? Should you go through the broker instead? Obviously, I would not contact a domain owner about a domain name that was in a newsletter today, last week, last month, or even a couple of months ago. The domain owner would likely be contractually bound to forward my inquiry to the broker, and that would be embarrassing if the broker thought I was trying to work a deal around him or her. I am talking about after a reasonable time has passed.

Ethics aside for a moment, it might be beneficial to work with a broker on an old listing because the broker could have an established relationship and may be able to get the seller to say yes. On the other hand, if a deal can’t be worked out, this could serve as a reminder for the broker to re-list the name and that could cause renewed interest.

Anyway, do you think it is ethical to contact newsletter sellers at a later date?


5 COMMENTS

  1. It is unethical to contact the seller of the domain directly. It’s ethical to check first with the newsletter broker from whom the lead came first.

  2. It is not the buyer’s responsibility to know or understand the contract between two other parties, the seller and the broker. Contact either one of them. It is the seller who has the ethical and contractual liability to pass you on to the broker during the contract period. Once the contract period is up, the seller can work with you the buyer directly because his or her contractual obligation to the broker no longer exists.

  3. What he said…..

    “It is the seller who has the ethical and contractual liability to pass you on to the broker during the contract period.

    Once the contract period is up, the seller can work with you the buyer directly because his or her contractual obligation to the broker no longer exists.”

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