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Negotiating to Sell a High Value Domain Name


While I was away in Amsterdam, Rick Schwartz announced that the deal is official and the deal has been signed, I wish Rick and the Melville Candy Company big congratulations on this industry moving deal. This isn’t the first major sale for Rick, who also sold and

One of the great things about Rick is his willingness to share insight into his domain sales, beginning with and now with via blog posts on Rick’s Blog. Although Rick is in a different position with his domain names than most of us,   both in terms of quality of his names and his financial status, we can still learn about domain negotiations from what he has posted.

Selling a domain name for a large sum of money isn’t easy, no matter what domain names you own. The buyer must be willing to pay the seller’s desired price, and the seller must be able to figure out how much the buyer can afford to pay for the domain name before naming his price (if he wants to maximize the sales price). The negotiation can be trying and time consuming depending on a number of factors, and some people might not have the experience necessary to turn a big deal into a huge deal.

I would like to share an idea for a new domain service – domain sales negotiations. The difference between selling a domain name for five figures, six figures, and seven figures is minimal and the negotiation is often the deciding factor. While most of us don’t have names as good as the quality of Rick’s, they don’t necessarily have to be in order to achieve a huge sale. If there was a negotiation service where we could seamlessly hand off a negotiation to an experienced negotiator, unbeknownst to the buyer, it could help us maximize our sales.

Someone with Rick’s experience could help reel in the big fish, as he is experienced, and he would be far enough away from the transaction to be able to turn down a significant offer, when the domain owner wouldn’t be able to do so. I think a domain negotiation service would be good for domain owners who lack the negotiation experience.

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

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Comments (9)

    Daniel Dryzek

    The main problem I see about such a service is that it isn’t as easy as it seems to be. But you are definitely right that the final sales price depends a lot on negotiations process.

    June 8th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Scott Alliy

    Great suggestion Elliot

    Makes great sense as many domainers may not be skilled in the area of negotiations (although I could suggest where they might find some negotiations training) 🙂

    Bringing in skilled negotiators would raise the sales transaction price. More high dollar domain sales in the news would also shed favorable light on our industry and this would be good for all domainers with quality names to sell.

    I hope the right people read this and start this service that is much needed.

    June 8th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Jim Holleran

    A lot of it has to do with your financial situation. When you are not hurting for money you become a better negotiator, need money quick, you negotiation is not as good. 2 years ago when parking revenue was at it’s peak, I was a great negotiator, now 2 kids later, parking revenue way down, mortgage payments, my negotiation skills are not as good:)

    For example, wife say “better sell that name now, kids need toys, kids need diapers, there goes my negotiation skills:)

    Thanks, Jim

    June 9th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Ozie Jackson

    I think negotiating a higher price is more a function of finding the right or motivated buyer than hiring a negotiator. If you analyze Rick Schwartz’s best sales you will notice they are almost always to endusers, companies that he was able to convince the true value of his domains.

    Domains are almost like children, no one knows your children better than you. But you have to be prepared to go into any sales negotiation strong data and a convincing summary of why you deserve to get paid more for your domain. Any serious buyer will be willing to engage in a mutual “discussion” about your domain’s value.

    There are many books and resources available about negotiating tactics. I would try to save on any fees that a negotiation service would charge.

    June 9th, 2009 at 11:39 am


    Ozie not everyone enjoys negotiating sales.

    But some people do, and Rick Schwartz is one.

    It would be great if there were someone even close to his caliber who would want to negotiate dn sales prices to end users, (or investors, for that matter).

    June 9th, 2009 at 3:32 pm


    Great post, Eliot. Negotiation appears to be a key issue to maximize a domain sale.

    One statement of Rick’s that really resonated with me was something along the lines of:

    ‘You don’t make a 2 million dollar sale without turning down a 1 million dollar sale.’

    Rick would know!

    June 9th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Eric Borgos

    I have a blog posting you might be interested in about how I sold a domain for $4 million in 2008 at

    June 10th, 2009 at 8:43 am


    negotiating is a big part of domain sales . knowing the buyer is important but knowing yourself is more important you have to have some idea of what you are willing to be happy with and your circumstances if you need money you will never turn down a million dollar deal. the amount of money is all relative to your situation.

    June 10th, 2009 at 4:08 pm


    Hi Elliott,

    Thanks for the article. Always interested in this topic.


    June 15th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

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