I Don’t Respond to Sob Story Inquiries


If you’re similar to me, you probably receive a fair amount of “sob story” inquiries to buy your domain name. I regularly receive inquiries from people who, instead of making a fair offer to buy a domain name, they think their tale of woe or sorrow will get me to sell a domain name for a pittance. Sorry, that won’t work.

For the last few years, I have taken the tact that I won’t respond to an inquiry that is made when the prospective buyer shares a story about why they can’t afford to spend a lot of money on my domain name.

There are two reasons why I don’t generally respond to these types of offers:

The first reason is that if their story is true, they won’t be able to pay for the domain name. I try to be a charitable person and support great non-profits, but my domain names are investments and I can’t afford to not sell them for full value or as close to full value as I think possible.

The second reason is that some people and companies use this type of pitch as a tactic to get a better price. I have seen people recommend to others to pretend to be a poor student or impacted by some sort of tragedy as a means of getting the domain owner to bend on the price. If I don’t respond, they will likely understand I was unmoved by their yarn and either make a legitimate offer or find a different domain name to buy.

I have found that responding to inquiries like this are unproductive. I can’t ever recall doing a deal with someone after they shared a story about how they can’t pay for a domain name. I typically respond to low ball offers, but if someone decides to share a story as a means of getting a better deal, I have found that it is not worth the time.

I do my best to be philanthropic, but I am able to do that because of my domain sales.

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. Totally agree on the principled approach. A perfect example is when Donald Trump completed construction of Trump Tower. Tonight Show host Johnny Carson requested Trump give him a tower residence for free which would result in the increased sale prices of apartments due to the fact that Johnny Carson was there. Trump refused the offer stating if he’d previously made it a practice of giving away apartments, Trump Tower would never have been built.

  2. There you have it Elliot, based on Domungus’ comment your philosophy could lead to our first Domainer in the White House. Hopefully more coherent than the current occupant. Just saying….

  3. “I can’t ever recall doing a deal with someone after they shared a story about how they can’t pay for a domain name.”


    Agree, I think generally they are people who genuinely have a low budget. For those who aren’t they will come back with a new id.

  4. Totally right. We are all living in free countries, everybody is free to go and register any unused domain if he’s short of funds for some certain domain he likes more.

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