Domain Name Sales: Publicity vs. Privacy

Some domain investors and investment companies prefer to keep their domain name purchases and sales private. Others like to share their deals publicly. Some people don’t care either way. I thought I would discuss what I see as the advantages of publicly reporting domain name sales as well as the advantages of keeping domain sales private:

Publicity Advantages:

  • Creates a public record of a sale to use as a comparable.
  • Set/create a market for a specific type of domain name.
  • Gives credit to the seller, broker, and/or marketplace for selling a domain name.
  • Can lead to people submitting similar domain names to the seller to purchase or for the broker to re-sell.
  • Reputational boost to give confidence to future trading partners.

Privacy Advantages:

  • Allows seller to retain private data to use to their own advantage, such as buying a similar domain name.
  • Large amounts of data can be sold in the future.
  • Prevents “bad guys” from knowing about an influx of money from a domain name sale.
  • Protects the seller from having the sale analyzed, especially if the domain name was undersold or sold for a loss.

I have almost always kept my domain name sales private. I understand that people like to read about sales (I like reporting on other people’s sales, too), but I have preferred privacy over publicity. There’s nothing wrong with either option, but I have not really been one to announce sales. I do announce the names I buy on occasion, but I don’t mention the purchase price unless it is publicly known – an auction win for example.

If you can think of other advantages for publicity and privacy, feel free to add them 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. And I really feel that comment in 2015 about if you had a “crystal ball.” Not only did I miss out on domain names in the 90’s, but I could have bought into Bitcoin when it was perhaps 1 to 10 cents or so, and still didn’t want to from $20 to $40 later.

  2. Privacy Advantages:

    Preventing appropriate registries from learning about certain sales in order to not let them to compete with domainers by means of either reserving similar domains for themselves or making them premium priced. It applies to ngTLD registries, .co registry, Verisign (.tv case etc.) etc. Registries’ attempts to kick domainers out are getting more and more annoying.

  3. I too appreciate privacy but by agreeing to NDA’s we are greatly hurting ourselves. I only sell to endusers and every sale that is documented is important to me as it helps establish comparables for other names in same niche.

    I honor 60 day NDA by default, then i make sure to report the sale if not through public marketplace. If buyer insists on keeping price private I only honor it with 50% purchase premium. I Never had somone back out or pay the premium. They usually mostly care about first month or two!. I believe sedo charges only 2% but they just care about the extra money, with me its not about the money as much as it IS about comparables.

    In the real estate world you can privatize the buyer with llc’s but price paid is while i may not always disclose the “buyer” i always disclose the name and sale price.

    Just ask yourself if sites like namebio and dnjournal help you in justifying pricing. You bet they do! Wholesale and retail comps should be totally seperated. I could care less about wholesale compe when selling to end users

    We should come together as an industry and do something together.


    • > Just ask yourself if sites like namebio and dnjournal help you in justifying pricing

      No, they dont. Most sales there are wholesale and they help the sellers’ side to “justify” their offers.

      • all I can say is that if a buyer insists on NDA on price he’s gonna have to pay me 50% premium, that fee will only MAKE UP for what I will loose on a future sale by not have said name available as future comp I work with specific niches so maybe its different for me as I use the same dozen keywords on all my sales.

    • >> Just ask yourself if sites like namebio and dnjournal help you in justifying pricing

      I report all sales to Namebio to add comps


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