There are many ways a person can inquire about a domain name. I have found that many buyers visit the landing page and inquire directly after seeing a “for sale” message on the page. Many people also have success selling domain names via marketplaces such as Afternic and Sedo. When you quote a price, be mindful of the buy it now prices you’ve set elsewhere.
Buy it now pricing is encouraged at domain marketplaces. It makes it easier for a buyer to complete a purchase, and it is faster for all parties. It probably makes buyers more comfortable knowing that the price is set and it is not going to increase based on who they are (how much money they have). One issue I face on occasion is when I quote a price on a direct inquiry that differs from the buy it now price elsewhere.
I don’t have a great pricing system. I have started to put (high) buy it now prices on names I list for sale on marketplaces, but I don’t have a central location for where I keep my list prices. I price my names based on a number of factors, and some of those factors are dynamic. This means I might be willing to sell a name in January for $25,000 but later decide that I’d be willing to move it quickly for $15,000. If someone inquires in July, I might quickly quote $30,000 without checking the marketplace listings. The different prices may be confusing to a buyer, especially for someone who does their due diligence and sees the pricing discrepancies.
There have been times that listings that aren’t mine also come into play. I bought a name in December and received an inquiry in February. After quoting a price (via DNS broker), I learned that the buyer had seen it listed on Sedo for considerably less money than what I quoted. Luckily for me, the listing was no longer active and the broker relayed that I was the buyer of the name at that price, which was also helpful in justifying a higher price. I have not yet closed this particular deal, although the negotiation is ongoing.
When you receive an inquiry on a domain name, you should check the major domain marketplaces to see if the name is listed for sale. Even if it’s not in your account, it might be a dormant listing from a while back, and you’ll want to know what the buyer may be able to see. It can also be helpful to know what the domain name previously sold for, because if it is listed in Google, chances are good that the buyer might see that, too.