How Would You Get Your Deal?

I have been in negotiations for quite some time on a domain name, and I wanted to solicit your feedback on how to creatively close the gap. I’ll give you an idea of where things stand with the negotiation and want to know what you would do.

The buyer doesn’t want to pay more than $20,000 and I didn’t want to sell for less than $30,000. Both of us have sort of dug our heels in on this, and I offered to meet in the middle at $25,000 to close a deal. They stuck to their original offer, and I haven’t budged.

Assuming neither party really wants to move any further, the deal is likely going to die on the vine and not get done. They have more of a need for the domain name, but I have less desire to sell, so we’re essentially stuck.

Some options I’ve considered to make a deal include:

  • Offering a payment plan like their offer up front and the difference from my bottom line in 6 months.
  • Agreeing to their offer + some of their company’s products.
  • Not replying and hoping they agree to a deal.

What would you do to get your deal?

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. Great question.

    If you like their products, and willing to “pay” retail, they might like that since they only have to pay their cost.

    However, I think the more motivated party with meet the price of the other party.

    With that said, as you know, motivated and qualified buyers who appreciate the value of a good domain are few and far between. So, don’t lose the sale unless you truly are not motivated to sell at that price now or in the near future.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

  2. Take the 20 grand which pays for the domain plus profits and 6 month to a year payment plan on balance. The bottom line if they really want the name they will buy it.

  3. What is your cost figure? If you have no other leads push it as high as you can, and sell it. The guy with the money holds the cards majority of the time.

    I like the cash and products.

  4. I have to agree with Rob’s point, motivated buyers are thin on the ground, ask yourself what you could do with 20k in your pocket, if you have no attachment to the Domain I would take the money and re-invest in Silver.

  5. It’s hard to turn away a decent amount of money. If you need the money, sell. If you don’t and you think there are other potential buyers in the world, hold out. If they went to $20k, they should be able to pony up some more. I’d go with Option #3. Tough to say more without knowing the domain itself, who the buyer is and what you’ve paid for it.

  6. I think important factors are also how much you paid for the domain, how long you have been keeping and how many offers you got on this domain earlier.
    Make a nice profit but do not be too greedy as you do not know when next potential client can come.
    Since you have domain knowledge you can take this 20k buy something (for less than 20k, e.g. 5-10k) and resell it and buy sth again and so on… you can reduce the risk and make even more…

  7. Much of it is based on what you have in it, if you paid $1,000 for it, and are at $20,000 and no room to move, you have done well, if you want to keep pushing for $5,000 more, and you may lose the deal, well then not much more to say.

  8. it depends on the name. do you get a lot of offers on it or is this the first serious high value offer you have received?
    i’d say don’t let the $20,000 get away but try something a little creative to move the number up a bit. without knowing the name i couldn’t say what that would be.

  9. Dont be too creative. Many buyers can be scared off by anything other than a one time payment.

    It should be risk vs reward and nothing more.
    Will you risk waiting for the extra 5k and potentially lose the sale?

    Can you use the 20k to buy other domains and make more than 5k in the same time?

  10. A willing buyer. A willing seller.

    Without a willing buyer at 25k or 30k, he is at 20k. Everyone jumps up and down on the values of domains. You see this more each day and under appraisals. There are maybe 500 top domainers who can do this and hold firm. Or dont need the cash. But a good portion of us have realized without a willing buyer, you either move the domain name or you dont. That simple. Maybe an offer will come over in the future, or you market the domain more. Based on your smarts, I am sure the domain been marketed pretty heavily to end users and your buyers all ready. So the end result may not favor you not knowing the domain name. By any chance was it in MediaOptions newsletter couple weeks back?

    Seems to me you made your own answer to this Elliot. That was walk away.

    Guess maybe 5 years ago you would give in and take the cash. Its obviously your own asset and you don’t need the cash.

    If cost was under 10k on this, would it would be so bad to move it, rinse and repeat and find more inventory. Or sit on the domain name for whatever amount hope for the 30k one day.

    Either way congrats on things!

  11. you’re just going to look like a stuborn domainer if you push it any more…

    you’ve got 20K for it and that’s what you’ve got….. that’s a lot of money for nothing more than a slice of thin air to an end user. they probably already think it’s nuts they offered you 20K….

  12. How big is the market
    Is it growing larger
    What is there present url, how does it compare to what you are offering
    What about their competitors

    So many other variables to consider

  13. Take the profit and move on!

    You cannot predict what the decision makers at your buyers company are thinking.

    Momentum is a fickle force, best to keep it moving.

  14. I have seen Elliot purchase from afternic, and ask 5x more for it a week later, great topic to get some ad revenue lol

    Guys this is a dead topic without knowing what one paid, there is no rational with what is on the table, save your time and go hunt for your own domains.

    • BTW all current advertisers on my blog pay for the placement. None are affiliate deals and payment doesn’t vary based on traffic, leads, sales or any metrics.

      There might be old affiliate links from years ago, but nothing current is an affiliate type of deal.

  15. All of this take dont take it seems silly, when I get an offer but it doesn’t quite make it to what I want I go out and hustle it. Now is prime time to connect to 10 or 20 top prospects for the domain and hustle it for the value you can sell it for.

    It ‘s like when DH told me I should sell my domain for loss because they weren’t finding any buyers. I flew out to NYC setup 8 in person presentations and by the end of the week the six figure offer with good multiple was in hand and then we even got an extra 30k price bump in the end from a little bidding war.

    Elliot now is the time to get out and pound the pavement with this current domain. 1. You get to see if you skills are in line with selling the domain for 30K and 2. If you maybe should just take the 20K 🙂

    From a guy in the shadows thanks for always offering up such great content.

  16. Well, you could write a post about it on your widely read domain investors blog that your absolute bottom-line price is $25K, which the other party might read and therefore realize that you are serious about your price. Hey, wait a minute…

  17. A fourth possibility: Creativity. If his offer is close enough, suggest your favorite NBA basketball team and, his break the impasse: if your team wins the next game, he accepts your price, if his does, you take the $20,000! (Make sure to look at the NBA schedule before hand to see the next match up b/w the two teams is within a week).

    Something along those lines. Some cities break a mayoral tie with a coin toss…

  18. Never meet in the middle – your negotiating leverage is lost – I would have used 1k increments.

    Given the facts (and w/o knowing the domain name), I say walk away. And tell them your $25k offer is off the table.

  19. Why do you believe the domain is worth $30k and if so why did you so willingly lower your price $25k?

    If $20k is no big deal to you and you feel confident at some point you will get a better offer, stay firm. If you will feel like an idiot for losing a $20k offer, take it.

    Note I had a conversation recently with an end user who was not aware I buy/sell domains. Their domain name is easily misspelled and could lead to a loss of traffic or confidential emails going to the wrong address. They commented once trying to buy the one-word domain which is the first word of their business name. The seller wouldn’t go below $25k. Knowing their business, $25k wasn’t going to break the bank but they refused.

    Recently I received a low XXX offer from an end user on a three-word .COM. I thought my high XXX offer was fair. A week later I asked if they were still interested. Their response, “Not at that price.” And yet consultants in that industry can bill at my XXX price in one day.

  20. Elliot. Have you asked if 20k is all they have budget? If you could fu d the difference, would they make a deal. If they are developing a new product, how about taking an equity share position. Just ideas.

  21. My two cents: If the buy has $20K, he has (or can get) $25K. Put a time limit on this deal. Give him 45 days to purchase. That will (a) give the buyer time to reconsider and (b), give him time to secure the additional $5K. I doubt if a motivated buyer will walk away and not look back.

    • I dont agree
      Maybe the buyer had 10-12 k budget and stretched to $20,000.

      By your reasoning no amount would be enough as the buyer always can afford more.

  22. You should by now be able to estimate the profit value the subject domain will
    add to the prospect’s enterprise.
    That estimate should help you decide…
    My best guess, however…. “wait them out”


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