I Don’t Respond to Unqualified Prospects

When you have an inquiry or make offer form on your undeveloped but valuable domain names, you likely receive a substantial number of inquiries and offers. The vast majority of these come from unqualified prospective buyers. These people either do not have the budget to afford the domain name, or they do not value the domain name at the level it is worth.

Over the weekend, Rick Schwartz shared some advice about not wasting time negotiating with people who are unqualified:

Rick added some clarification about how he identifies unqualified buyers out of the gate:

Responding to unqualified buyers can be a waste of time. It makes no sense to spend time on a discussion about a domain name if there is no chance the buyer is going to pay what I expect for my domain name. Depending on the domain name and its value, I may be more or less inclined to respond to someone who seems unqualified.

I don’t agree with Rick regarding answering “domainers” (domain investors) for two reasons. For one, there are several domain investors with whom I have done a substantial amount worth of deals in the last few years. For Rick, it might not make sense to do deals with other investors, but for me, I am always happy to do the right deal that allows me to grow my business. The second reason is that some domain investors work with qualified third parties to buy domain names, either in an official or unofficial broker capacity. I am always happy to talk with brokers who are working with qualified buyers since they have taken on the educator role.

That said, I thought I would share a few other types of unqualified buyers whose inquiries I tend to not answer, especially when it comes to my more valuable assets:

  • Students
  • People who use the message box to tell me they have a “small budget”
  • Rude people who write demeaning messages about domain investors
  • People who say they have a small business, are an artist, or want to start a non-profit organization
  • You don’t answer people who want to use the domain name for a personal website
  • People who open the conversation with all the reasons they can’t afford to spend much money

Notably, the rules above primarily apply to my more valuable domain names. I would guesstimate that 80% of my domain name portfolio is made of replaceable inventory, and those domain names tend to be more affordable. I don’t mind trying to find common ground with a buyer on those types of names.

As a domain investor, what other conversation starters are actually conversation enders for you because it shows the buyer is unqualified to buy a valuable domain name?

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Another good read Elliot. “No-offer” and “low-offer” inquiries get back a link to Ron Jacksons “domainsales” page from me. Sometimes I’ll suggest that they go for one of many available alternate tld’s. And yeah, those are getting old too.

  2. I laughed out loud because my brother and I react exactly the same way. No one is going to turn a $100 offer into a 250K sale. The other is the “I want the name for my daughter” strategy. We got one of those last week for our Seasons.com. Just delete them.

  3. I just tell them to F off and whatever….as I said many times , they already know who you are and they are just playing with you.

    Magna cum laude
    Graduate of Domain King Academy

    MBA-My Big Ass(all of you have one)
    PHD-people having dickheads

  4. Great post and spot on advice unlike someone like Morgan Linton who will cite an outlier case of someone turning a $50 offer into a $10k sale like its some kind of real learning example. Yes, I went there and named names. Let’s get real and keep it there.

  5. With low-ball offers (and those with no price), I don’t mind taking a minute or less to respond with either “No thanks” or “Make me a 5-, 6-, or 7-figure offer (depending on the .com) I can’t refuse.”


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