Know the Former Owner’s Asking Price

I received an inquiry on a domain name a couple of weeks ago through a  broker, and I priced the domain name at $75,000. In the course of the negotiation, the prospect mentioned to the broker that he had seen the domain name listed for sale on Sedo for $30,000 about 6 months ago, and he made a $30,000 offer to the broker. He also wanted to know why the price increased by such a large margin in a short period of time.

Prior to this experience, I hadn’t really thought about tracking down a domain name’s price history before buying it, but perhaps it is a good idea.

When you are buying a good or service at a store, the price rarely changes by much over the course of a year or two. If the price does change, it’s not generally drastic unless there is a reason that most people would know about (shortage, storm, illness…etc). With real estate, there are price fluctuations, but they tend to be more gradual unless the seller wants to move a property quickly, and the changes tend to be more publicly known and go with the market conditions.

The domain name resale market is a dynamic market with lots of variables that go into pricing, and end user buyers may not understand the rationale for price changes. Explaining how a company prices its domain names may also be challenging for an end user to understand since people sometimes price their domain names without much rhyme or reason. Knowing how a domain name was previously priced can give you some perspective from an end user’s point of view, and it can give you some more insight into the saleability of a domain name.

I mentioned what happened to me to a couple of people, and from them, I learned that many buyers spend months looking at a particular domain name and analyzing the impact owning it would have on their business. Some end users aren’t quick to make a purchase decision, and they can mull it over for a long period of time – sometimes without even contacting the domain owner first. When the price of a domain name changes for no reason, it can be a surprise to them.

If possible, knowing the price history of a domain name may be a good idea for a domain owner, and you might want to keep that in mind the next time you buy a domain name in the aftermarket. If you already do this, I’d be interested to know how you track down and record historical prices for domain names.

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. This actually happens often. There are may reasons for an increase in price including more traffic to the domain from added links and search engine positioning. Full or partial development. Goodwill is how I explain it to the potential buyer. I mention in fact price increases will probably continue so as long as the internet is a viable tool to get business. At that point we can ussually come to a reasonable purchase price.

  2. You can use the g’s as a convenient excuse. Between last time you considered my name ICANN is releasing thousands of new names into market. This changes everything and makes genuine keyword DotCom names like the one you seek more scarce and valuable

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