I make quite a few private acquisition offers via email on a daily basis. I am in constant contact with people who own domain names, and the vast (maybe 99.9%) majority of these domain names are owned people who bought the domain name with a plan to use it.
When making an offer, I try to be as reasonable as possible. I know that a low offer on a good domain name won’t elicit a response, and a high offer will hurt the chances of making a solid return on my investment. Making a reasonable offer takes some finesse, but it is an important aspect of the acquisition process for me.
More often than not, a response I receive is “the domain name is not for sale.” I have found that this sometimes really means “the domain name is not for sale at the number you offered. There is not really a way to find out if this is the case without following up to that reply.
One strategy that might work is to reply with a best and final offer, while telling the domain owner that the offer is best and final. For most of the people who have stated that it’s not for sale, the improved offer will be met with a “no” or no response. For some people, sending that best and final offer might be appealing for two reasons:
- The best offer might be be enough to induce the owner to sell, whether the “not for sale” comment was a bluff or not.
- Telling the owner it is a final offer may make them think twice that the offer will disappear like so many offers before the first .com bubble. I bet there are people who still regret turning down big offers and they may think twice before making the same mistake again.
One thing to keep in mind is that your best and final offer should actually be a good/reasonable offer. A $200,000 offer might sound large, but if you are submitting it for a two letter .com domain name, you’re most likely barking up the wrong tree.
This is a strategy that won’t work often, but there is limited downside. You might receive a rude reply because you didn’t take his previous email seriously, but there’s no harm in trying.