Google Plus Can Help Identify a Prospective Buyer

Some people don’t like dealing with prospective buyers who use a free email address like Gmail. The thinking is that it could be a corporate buyer with a big budget trying to go under the radar to get a better deal. I happen to like dealing with buyers who use Gmail addresses.

An “anonymous” looking Gmail address like may seem to make it difficult to identify the prospective buyer. This is especially the case if the prospect fills out the form with the name “John” and doesn’t include a phone number. The first thing I do is search for that email address within my Gmail account. This will identify if the person has emailed me before, but more importantly, it will also show their Google Plus page if they have one.

On quite a few occasions, I have been able to search an anonymous-looking Gmail address and determine the person’s name because of their Google Plus page. This is a good jump-off point because once I know their name I can do more due diligence. The Google Plus page may also yield additional information about the prospective buyer and/or the plans for the domain name. This doesn’t always provide any additional information about the prospect, but even if there is no information revealed, that could show that the Gmail address was created specifically for the inquiry.

I have written about a few other ways you may be able to identify a prospective buyer. The first tip is to ask for a phone number so you have more information that can be useful in finding out who is inquiring. The other tip is to search Facebook using the email address and perhaps there will be a match.

Google Plus can be a helpful tool in identifying who is inquiring about a domain name.

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. Sure, you could do all that if you want to do business with a lying and scheming prospective buyer.

    However, if we are expecting the rest of the world to view domain name investors as professionals, then we should expect prospective buyers to behave like professionals too. Allowing those kinds of buyers to make offers in bad faith or under false pretexts only makes the entire industry more shadowy and ethically murkier. There should be transparency between buyer and seller at all times, just as any other professionally-driven industry would expect.

    We recommend that domain name investors 1) implement a policy of only considering offers from transparent buyers who intend to negotiate in good faith and under no false pretexts; or 2) use BIN at ‘highest and best use’ pricing that allows ethical and unethical buyers alike to take the ‘highest and best use’ price, or leave it.

  2. Once had a buyer with Gmail click BIN on a name and linked to escrow .com but never followed up with reminders and all that and his profile showed his education at Stanford.If name is worth more ,it doesn’t matter.

  3. I mean seriously guys and I respect Elliot, but why would I give 2 shits about who’s buying my domain? I do my research far as trademarks before buying a domain and If I still acquire it, I take that calculated risk. As long as they buy it within the price range I set, and use escrow I don’t care whos on the other end. I just care about the money. Set the real price point your willing to sell the domain for (for students, and corporations alike) and call it a night.

    • What you’re saying makes sense, but let me give you a scenario.

      Let’s say you haven’t sold a domain name in a while and want a sale. You receive an offer that is 50% of your asking price for a great domain name. You’re tempted to take it because it’s a profitable offer and you could use the cash / cash flow. If your Google Plus or other search shows the buyer is from a startup with that name that just got $20 million in funding, perhaps you would think twice about accepting and hope they improve their offer. Even if they don’t improve the offer, you know that you most likely won’t lose the original offer because they still want to own the name of their brand which you have. Sometimes when you insist on more money, the buyer will choose something else. When you know that this buyer needs your name, there is less risk to turning down their offer.

    • I get it, but the situation you just described is precisely why some people inquire or buy anonymously. Domainers actually brought this problem on themselves.

      Lets be honest would you knowingly pay twice as much for a domain name, if you knew you could get it for twice as less? The answer is obviously no. This is why Disney and other corporations use shell companies to hide their identity. If a company with deep pockets really want to shield their identity all they really have to do is use a brokerage service offered by Godaddy or etc. If you start declining anonymous buyers and brokerage services you would really be cutting off your own legs.

  4. I might have a selling price in mind (which is always below its retail* value) but I do not care as much if the company has deep pockets. As long as they have the ability to pay what I want.

    (retail price – are the types of selling prices Rick, Day, Mike B, would get. And, the rest of us would scratch our head, wondering how they got that amount. )

    In my former business life, I use to negotiate with large corporations everyday. And, we dealt with them continuously so we would leave money on the table and they would also to keep a strong relationship.

    I like to investigate who the buyer is because I do not want to get into a frivolous legal battle even though my domain is generic. If I am suspicious I ask Stevan Lieberman to run buffer for me.

    Many years ago, Rick use to say it many time on his private forum that
    “all prospective buyers lie.” And, with my 15 yrs experience in domaining, I totally agree.


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