What is the first thing you do when you receive an unsolicited spam email? In general, I mark it as spam in Gmail or simply hit delete. My guess is that most domain owners do the same thing when they receive a purchase inquiry. My advice is to do some basic research before sending an inquiry email.
I want to share a few things I research before sending an offer or an inquiry:
The owner’s name or a good company contact – When I am inquiring about a domain name that is owned by an individual or a small company, I try to find out the owner’s name. A personalized email “Hi Elliot” looks more professional than something else like “Dear sir.” I will simply delete many of the later assuming the person is blindly spamming.
Prior sales prices or domain broker listings – It’s a good idea to see if the domain name previously sold or was listed in a newsletter before making an offer. If the domain owner bought the name in 2013 for $40,000, he probably won’t sell it to you for $2,000 today. Additionally, if the owner listed the domain name for sale in 2015 for $75,000, it probably doesn’t make sense to offer $2,000.
Clues that the owner doesn’t want to receive your email – There are a fair amount of Whois listings that have something like “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” as the Whois contact. If that is the case, it’s better not to waste their time unless you have a very serious offer.
The owner is a domain investor – You might take a different approach to acquiring the domain name if the owner is an investor. This doesn’t mean don’t approach of course, but don’t be stupid about it. I received an inquiry email from a made-up person, and using the @email, I was easily able to see that I know who this person is. I responded using his name and said I wasn’t interested. I assume it was some sort of script, but who knows.
The domain name is already listed for sale at a good price. It’s silly to send a $5,000 offer for a domain name using Whois lookup information when the domain name is listed for sale on Sedo for $2,000.
If you have any other advice on research that should be done before buying a domain name, I invite you to share it.