Keep Your Minimum Offer Realistic

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I typically use the DAN.com buy it now landing page with a Make Offer option. I’ve heard and experienced that these landing pages induce far more offers than buy now deals, but I am okay with considering offers on my domain names. The one suggestion I have is to ensure your minimum offer amount is a realistic number you would consider accepting.

The default minimum offer on my account is set at $500. This number was chosen by me, and it is the highest I can set it because I have one or two names for sale with BIN prices of $500, and the highest default minimum I can set cannot be higher than the lowest BIN price. This means that if I do not modify the minimum offer for an individual domain name, $500 will be the minimum offer set as a default. With DAN, I can modify the minimum offer on a per name basis.

Quite a few of my inventory quality domain names are priced in the $1,000 range on DAN. These names were generally purchased for less than $50, so I am content selling them for $1k. In these cases, the $500 minimum offer makes sense. For the majority of my names priced $2,000 – six figures, having a $500 minimum offer does not make any sense.

With limited exceptions, I have found it very difficult to close a deal with someone when the minimum offer was set too low. For instance, when I did not change the $500 default minimum offer and I have a BIN price of $9,999, I have found it nearly impossible to get a buyer to come up close to the BIN price. People, myself included when I am a buyer, have a tendency to see a minimum offer and assume the seller would actually consider selling for that number. When the seller replies to reiterate the BIN price or gives a modest discount, most buyers tend to stick close to that minimum offer.

To avoid these types of situations, I try to be diligent about setting a “real” minimum offer I would consider. Depending on circumstances, I may consider selling a domain name in that ballpark. For instance, if I have a sales dry spell right after paying taxes, I might consider selling closer to the minimum than if I have been killing it.

I am sure plenty of people have stories about converting an opening $100 offer into a large deal. I have a few like that. In most cases, having a low minimum offer will set expectations too low and won’t lead to a deal.

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 sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. This is really good to know. I’ve priced the minimum offer (on DAN.com) at 35 to 50% of the BIN price. Let’s see what happens and I can adjust further as needed. I do not want to spend time going back and forth with a potential buyer because they think the minimum offer is the BIN price.

  2. For ones I list, I have come to prefer not using a min offer. We talked about this before. I sometimes use BIN + contact feature, but with no min offer ability. So far that has also been good for me too.

    Case in point:

    “I like the domain, but does the price have to be so high?”

    Next step:

    HONEST, GOOD FAITH STATEMENTS WITHOUT GAME PLAYING AND BS.

    Outcome:

    Buyer gladly paid BIN. Then bought another one I mentioned after that for a great sale price too.

    BUT IF I HAD USED A “MAKE OFFER” FEATURE:

    Most likely outcome: MUCH WORSE

    • PS: And even if the domain does go for less, that discussion can be had after they make contact, INSTEAD OF allowing lower offers by design functionality which creates the expectation of the BIN being off the table to begin with.

    • PPS: And for ones with no BIN, they can just make contact and we can discuss. FORGET ABOUT this business of allowing minimum offers. If the domain is really any good then they can make contact. Just like I got a contact just the other day for a domain which is parked but only has a contact feature, but no offer feature.

      • hi john, there is a trend now and more and more so that people do not want to “speak” to others or less than before (by email or whatever). it is too much hassle. I think this is true at least for small ticket items (so domains under 3K or so).

        • I agree with that sentiment for small ticket. The two sales from the “case in point” in my comment above were both five figure sales.

  3. As a buyer broker, I can’t tell you how many times a client has mistakenly told me that they saw a domain ‘for sale for $X’ when it turns out that $X was merely the minimum offer amount. Minimum offers definitely set expectations with potential buyers, perhaps unrealistic ones, so choose your minimum offer amount with care. At least 25-50% of your target price would be my recommendation.

  4. I set the minimum at $10million so when I get the offer at $5 million, I will accept the offer and I’ll tell the buyers that they got a bargain –win-win
    It is easier to set the price high and then bargain down than the other way around—reverse psychology pricing

    It always work on my domains!!

  5. You made a very good and important point here. The BIN+Offer price is clearly working better for me than the BIN only (nobody likes to pay the full price). I usually set a minimum offer that I am ready to accept and I noticed that 20% below the BIN price is generally enough to do the job of giving something up to the buyer while not depreciating the product (in my opinion, a high minimum offer price shows you are a professional who believes in his good and fair valuation and is not into bullshit prices and bargaining games). Of course, this is a completely different and more complex story for high-profile domains which are invaluable by nature.

    • But…did your BIN-only listings have a contact feature for actual communication vs. just making offers or not? Big difference. Did you read mine?

      • Honestly no and it works ok for me for 4 figures sales. For higher sales, I was usually approached by brokers who always found their way to contact me on behalf of the interested party, which is fine for me (I consider the broker as an asset for the poor salesman I am).

    • it would be good to see general stats about this. how many domains (with domain details) converted to a sale and/or initial offer and how long it took to close and what was the % between the minimum and BIN. we can then draw some general conclusions, price accordingly and convert at a higher rate.

      • I tried and compared 3 pricing options : BIN only / BIN + 65% min offer / BIN + 80% min offer. The last option worked the best for me so far but my sample is only a few dozen of sales which is not enough to be really conclusive.

        On another hand, what is interesting is that even if you list a BIN only name at Afternic, GoDaddy auctions will list it with a BIN+65% minimum offer option and forwards the offers anyway. Since GoDaddy sales and analytics are likely a bit stronger than mine, I guess the “mandatory” minimum offer at 65% doesn’t come out of nowhere and is a good starting point for domainers.

  6. One possible solution to this problem is to leave the minimum offer at $0, or $50 or whatever the minimum is on the platform. Nobody will then try to claim the minimum offer amount as being the price they expect to pay. Then whatever offer they give you, you can respond accordingly.

  7. As a buyer, there is nothing more annoying than people who set the minimum offer at $200 and then come back with a counter of $250,000. They are just wasting everyone’s time by setting such a low minimum offer.

    • Why? Are you upset that you couldn’t buy a 6 figure domain for $200? That’s what it sounds like. If it’s worth it you’ll offer more; if it’s not worth it, just be happy that the seller gave you the opportunity to offer a fair price rather than have the minimum offer at some ridiculous amount.

      Maybe you are wasting their time with such low offers. Maybe???

      • You only proved the original point. If a $200 offer is wasting they seller’s time, then they should not set the minimum bid that low. There is no one wasting anyone’s time in your story except the person who had the option to save everyone’s time by setting a starting price nearer to their asking price.

        Every domain is not worth $250,000. Only domainers who’ve never sold a domain think that way. Look at the major marketplaces. There are countless domains that aren’t worth registration fees.

        If you set a $200 minimum offer on a domain you want a million dollars for, knowing that you’re going to get a lot of offers near the starting number that you selected for the domain, it’s likely you don’t put a high value on your own time.

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