I wrote about Uniregistry’s Domain Liquidity initiative last week. I shared that I like the idea of the program even though the exact details about how it will work are a bit sparse right now. I decided to try out Domain Liquidity to see how it works and share my results with you. The program is in its beta phase, and I think this has the potential to be a positive for domain investors.
I submitted a list of 208 domain names for review. (I posted the list in a screenshot below). There were a few one word .com domain names, a couple of .CO domain names, a couple of new gTLD domain names, and plenty of 2 and 3 word .com domain names. I wanted the list to be diverse to really get an idea of the types of domain names that were of interest and the offers for each of them. I don’t really want/need to sell inventory for wholesale prices right now, but I was open to sell if the offers were good enough, and also importantly, I would learn more about this initiative.
Within thirty minutes of submitting my list, I had a reply with individual offers for 22 of my domain names. The majority of the offers were not great and some far below what I paid. Several were offers I would consider reasonable and on par (or maybe even better) than what I would expect to get from an auction.
After exchanging emails with Frank, I learned that I can’t simply pick and choose individual offers to accept. If I don’t want to sell all 22 domain names that received an offer, I would have to negotiate with the buyer to come up with a deal for a partial list. Frank told me everything is negotiable between the two parties though. The reason a seller can’t just cherry pick names without the buyer’s approval is because some buyers don’t want to mess around with very small deals. This is understandable. I have closed fewer than five private sales in the last 5 years that were less than 4 figures because they aren’t worth the effort. I imagine it would be easier to negotiate a bulk deal for the entire lot, but we were too far off in valuation for me to consider that option.
In the end, I told Frank I would be willing to sell five of the domain names for the offer price, totaling a bit more than $4,000. Frank agreed to my proposal shortly thereafter, and we are moving forward with our deal.
Frank told me there is no commission being charged at this time because Domain Liquidity is still in its beta phase. I assume that will change when more buyers are onboarded. Once a commission is charged for successful deals, I believe better offers due to the added competition amongst buyers could offset commission fees.
Some people might complain about the low offers. Personally, I don’t care nor do I get offended by low offers. The buyers are looking for deals just as I am. If I don’t like the offers, I do not have to accept them. People should also realize a list of 500 crappy domain names will probably not get any offers no matter how many buyers there are.
Uniregistry expects to have more buyers onboarded in the near future. As buyers are onboarded, I imagine offers will improve as it becomes more competitive to buy. Imagine if NameFind, HugeDomains, and other very large wholesale buyers participate to bid on names. Buyers will be competing to acquire the best of the submitted inventory, and I presume offers will rise with the competition.
One change I think would be beneficial is to allow buyers to make their best offers on individual domain names, and those offers are returned to the sellers to review. Sellers could accept or reject the individual best offers as they wish. This would be almost like an auction but without the auction time period. Assuming individual buyers are vetted for solvency before participating, the seller would be less concerned about a deal not getting funded. I am not sure how well this can work at scale, but I think it is worth exploring.
Domain Liquidity is in its infancy right now. I think this has the potential to be very helpful to domain investors looking for quick liquidity vs. other options. I am happy with the outcome of my negotiation.
Disclosure: I told Frank in advance I was going to share my submitted list and offers with readers so they can see how it works and what types of offers are being made.