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.
Curious, do you make offers as Elliot Silver through your company email? Do you use a different email and make offers as just Elliot so no one knows in the beginning who you really are?
>>”I bet there are people who still regret turning down big offers and they may think twice before making the same mistake again.”
Are most people who come here familiar with the story of cool.com? I read years ago in a book how it had an offer of $8 million in cash and $30 million in stock, but that was rejected. Wouldn’t want to be that person. Later it seems it may have been quietly acquired by a famous fellow among domain investors, since I believe the person who rejected that offer was someone else. May still have the book somewhere to check.
I made this mistake. Wasn’t a huge deal but was a mid 5 figure offer which would have been a mid 5 figure profit for me. I turned it down thinking they needed the name. Nope, turns out they didn’t. Turns out no else did either and I still own it. The average offer I’ve receive on it now about $1500-$2000. I regret it and learned a valuable lesson.
Me, too, though was only a vague affirmation of “$xx,xxx” and would probably have been low, after numerous attempts at $5k. Supposedly I have a low “$xx,xxx” happening right now after me blowing off many offers over time and failed higher 5-fig one. This time when they came back with their offer I decided to just take it, but now I think I’m probably selling to a whale who could afford to pay almost anything, lol. The broker appears to have slipped up and given me some info that one can use to determine the buyer with 99% confidence. If I could do it over again, maybe I would have reached out to try to generate competitive bidding and let the other big whale competitors know what their fellow whale may be trying to acquire. 🙂 The thing is, I have not been nearly as focused on selling as people here, but more on publishing. Elliot’s blog has been helpful to get me more serious about the sales arena, though.
Elliot’s blog has been a great source of information for myself. Ive learned a lot and continue to learn. I’m thankful he shares such insight in a very unique industry.
Congrats on the offer you have and the deal that’s about to go through..but I guess sellers remorse always kicks in after the fact or even during it. Which hurts even more when you realize who is behind it, and how large their bank account is. But I guess that what makes this industry so entertaining.
Thanks, Scott. I’ve reached out to the buyer to clarify push vs. external now that the deal is ready to proceed. You got that right about dealing with seller’s remorse. I feel 99.9% confident I know exactly which industry giant is buying this from me, but then again, if I were to try to generate competitive bidding now there is uncertainty as to whether that would backfire on me. So I don’t feel too bad letting it go for low “$xx,xxx” even though if I could it over again I would have done something to try to foment that which I know Elliot and some others do which I have tried to avoid like the plague – leg work, lol.
If you have a decent offer, and you are going to make a nice profit on it then you have to take it. But then again I do this often, and regret either not selling…or selling for what I believe was too cheap. I’ll sometimes receive a price inquiry for one of my names. I’ll respond with a price and the person says “great, I’ll take it”. Then I kick myself in the ass wondering how much more they would have paid. Sometimes I wish I had some people in the industry that I could bounce offers off of privately just to get their two cents before making a deal.
Appreciate your thoughts, Scott. Yes in the big picture it’s still a nice unexpected sale and definitely a blessing from God. What I’m selling it for is really not too shabby at all either, and some would probably even say quite good in fact, especially from the practical wisdom perspective that has been expressed on this blog even before today. The best case scenario prospect is really not a certainty and would also have required the leg work along with the uncertainty. Also, any huge increase in value may take a few years, and even that is currently subject to uncertainties because of the subject involved. So I’m most definitely thankful now and hope it completes smoothly of course. Gnight… 🙂
Excellent to hear John. Wishing you all the best and a smooth transaction!
Just my opinion here, but I don’t think you should be selling any .com’s now at all. Instead, wait until after the gtlds completely die out by the end of the year.
I have never tried a “best and final offer” approach, but I would guess that many people will think this is just a negotiating tactic and assume they can try to get you to pay more. It can’t hurt to try this strategy though.
P.S. So am I the only one here who knows the history of cool.com, btw? 🙂