A few years ago, I made an offer to buy a one word .com domain name. My offer was reasonable, but it was a bit lower than I felt the wholesale value was in order to be able to negotiate a bit with the seller. The domain registrant counter-offered a bit higher than what I offered.
Ordinarily, when I receive a counter-offer that is very close to my offer, I will accept it. I don’t want to lose a deal trying to get a marginally better deal. I’ve lost too many domain names trying to save a few dollars.
In this case, though, I thanked the seller for his counter-offer, declined the offer, and I completely walked away.
Shortly after making my offer, Google and LinkedIn searches made me realize I f-ed up. The domain name I was trying to buy was a one word .com domain name, but the spelling was slightly different than the actual one word .com domain name I intended to buy. The domain name I made an offer to buy was significantly less valuable than the domain name I wanted to buy. My offer was much closer to its retail value than the wholesale value.
When the seller made a counter-offer to me, he was effectively declining my offer. I was off the hook. Minor crisis averted.
Had the seller accepted, I would have honored my offer and begrudgingly gone through with the deal. Even though I probably would have lost a fair amount of money on a re-sale, I wouldn’t have risked my reputation by making an offer and not following through. The potential reputational damage would have been far more severe than a financial loss for me.
This was a lucky break, and it was a good reminder for me to double check the spelling of a domain name I want to buy!