Keep on Touching Base

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When it comes to domain investing, people tend to focus on the domain name sales. Outbound sales is a hot topic, and it is an important topic for people who rely on it to sell their domain names. There are various threads covering everything related to outbound sales – from the sales pitch to the subject of the email to the number of times to contact someone about a particular domain name.

Sometimes a person wants to buy a domain name but they don’t have the budget or need at the time of contact. Touching base with a counterparty is a great way to keep the conversation going. People’s wants and needs change over time, and staying in communication is how to get deals done.

While most people focus on selling domain names, I think staying in touch is just as important for buying domain names. There have been many times, especially in the last few years, where I saw a domain name was sold and I had previously communicated with the seller. Sometimes the quoted price was well beyond what I would ever consider paying, but sometimes the price was high when I first inquired but would now be considered reasonable.

Over time, a person’s situation or company’s situation may have changed. A domain name that was once used as a brand may no longer be needed. A person or company may be looking to raise some cash or sell assets, and a domain name that is in high demand may be a way to do that quickly.

Most domain investors are pretty good about following up with old leads. When I get a pretty good offer to buy a domain name, I will usually reach out to past prospects to see if a better deal can be had. Others are not as good about this. They may no longer have their old leads or may not want to spend the time or effort contacting others. Perhaps it’s been so long they have forgotten about old leads. Whatever the case may be, the present offer is good enough to make a deal.

I do my best to regularly touch base with people and companies that have shown an interest in selling a domain name. The value may not be right for me at the time, but I know things can change. A domain name that is priced at “six figures” may sell for $75,000, and if I keep asking maybe the timing will be right.

Typically, I check in on an asset once a year. I like to ask the registrant if they mind if I get back in touch just to avoid being ignored or backlisted. If I email more regularly than that, I think I can look desperate to buy a domain name, and that could make the seller think I will pay more for it. Here’s something I might say:

“I last contacted you about a year ago regarding XXXXXXX.com. I am still interested in buying XXXXXXX.com for $xxxxxx. Please let me know if you would consider selling the domain name to me at this time. I have the funds available to complete the deal this week, but I am flexible on timing.”

I like seeing domain name sales – even if they aren’t my acquisitions. It’s always good to see companies buying and using great domain names. I would, however, prefer to be the buyer if possible, and continuing to touch base is the best way to stay in the loop if the status of a domain name or its registrant changes.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Outbound for buying is something that I regret I haven’t done in the past. There are probably lots of opportunities out there to pick up some nice names if you can make contact with the buyer.

    In fact, I just remembered there was one time I did and it worked out well, 15+ years ago. It was a geo .co.uk with complete website, great SEO content and 90’s graphics/layout.

    I emailed the owner a few times back then with no reply. Two years later I followed up and the timing worked out perfectly because the owner’s wife wanted a new kitchen. We agreed the equivalent of $5,000 (~£3,000, not sure how much kitchen that would buy) and the guy mailed me CDs with the files for the website!

    The rest of the story, now I’m remembering it, was that the site/domain I purchased used to have adsense on it, but the owner was banned for clicking on his own links (he disclosed this before the sale). After the transfer, I put my own adsense on there and it began earning $500/month and then later I added Yahoo search/link arbitrage and was earning another $1,000/month – those were the good old days.

    Elliot, you’ve inspired me to buy a domain and website that is not listed for sale today 🙂

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