There’s an active Twitter discussion going on regarding the reporting of domain name sales. I have made my feelings clear regarding the reporting of my own domain name sales. Beyond a couple sales I shared years ago, I do not share my sales, and I don’t really see that changing unless a buyer specifically requests this as a part of a deal.
Rick Schwartz mentioned that he is publishing an article about non-disclosure agreements, and I am looking forward to reading his thoughts:
Blame domainers for stunting their own growth!!!
It is SO IMPORTANT to report!
I have a post coming on NDA’s tomorrow.#WEAK
— Rick Schwartz 👑 The DomainKing® 👑 Since 1995 👑 (@DomainKing) July 23, 2020
I replied to Rick via Twitter, but there’s only so much I can share in a tweet, so I wanted to share it here and expand on it:
I appreciate your perspective, but the irony is that some industry participants who advocate for sales reports are the first people to criticize a seller, broker, or platform for underselling a domain name.
— Elliot Silver (@DInvesting) July 23, 2020
With few exceptions, almost every time I publish a domain name sale article which has a price, people regularly comment about how cheap the domain name was. Unless someone reports a seven figure sale for a one word .com, a high six figure sale for a two word .com, or a great sale price for an average domain name, I often see comments that are critical of the seller. I shared links to several articles I published with solid sales closed by Dave Evanson, where many of the comments were critical of the sale price. Why would someone want to share private sales data that could potentially hamper their business and then see criticism for underselling their domain name.
Looking at the issue from a broader perspective, there are some domain name sales that may harm the investment landscape more than they help. Domain names are notoriously illiquid. I have a name that I received multiple six figure offers in the past, but if I tried to sell it today, those offers may not materialize. If I really need to sell a domain name to fund something, I may have to take much less than it is worth. Those kinds of sales records could be harmful to the industry.
Domain investors should realize that more domain name sale reports might be harmful. There are definitely many great sales that go unreported, but there are also plenty of “steals” that would not be helpful to sellers if they were reported.