One Thing That Bothers Me About Sedo – Seller’s Listing Price


A few years ago, I made an offer on a domain name on Sedo for something like $1,000, and the owner counter offered at over $50,000. I immediately hit the cancel negotiations button knowing the difference was too great of a gap to overcome. A few moments after confirming the cancellation, I received an email from Sedo congratulating me on buying the domain name, and for the next few days I frantically did what I could to make sure the sale wasn’t enforced.

As a result of this, up until recently, I haven’t bid on many domain names using Sedo. On top of the problem I faced, I just don’t like the process of using a company to negotiate with a domain owner on my behalf, and I usually sell my inventory of domain names so quickly, it doesn’t make sense to put them up for sale on a platform like Sedo, as I would then have to take them down when they sell.

Over the past couple of months, I have been using Sedo more often to make offers on domain names. One thing that really aggravates me is the the Seller’s Listing Price. If a seller has a listing price, I should be able to buy it right away if I offer that price. The sale should be completed rather than starting a negotiation if I give the seller what he wants. I made an offer on a name that matched the listing price, and I still haven’t heard back. IMO, there should be a Buy It Now button if you don’t make an offer that is lower than the asking price.

My second issue is probably more of an error but I don’t use Sedo enough to know if it’s a one time error or something that happens more frequently.   There was a name on Sedo with a Listing Price of $375, and I tried to buy it for $375. For some reason after placing my bid, I got an error message saying the minimum bid is $1,500. I understand that this may have been a mistake, but I don’t know how Sedo’s system didn’t catch the error, as it shouldn’t allow someone to set an asking price lower than the minimum bid they would accept.

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts about Sedo as I have been using their system more frequently.

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. You must not have any names listed on Sedo to understand the other side. The price that’s listed in “Minimum offer” not a BIN. This is to keep all the lowballers out of the equation. After that it is a negotiation style platform. Some put lower minimum bids to enable the domain to be sent to auction where the true value will come out. It actually works quite well

    • Shane, you can tell yourself that’s what it means. And Sedo can use that argument to justify their incredibly un-cool “push to auction” feature. But the button next to the price says: “Buy now”.

      “Buy now” means “buy now”.

      Not “bid and wait for competing bids in an auction”.

      IMHO Sedo completely misrepresents the transaction to buyers in this circumstance and it leads to thousands of pissed off customers.

    • Completely agree. “Push to Auction” is an insanely uncool feature. “Buy Now” is buy now. Period. There’s no mystery about what that button means.

      Allowing (actually, “encouraging”) sellers to pull the rug out from under the buyer and send the name to a surprise auction is ridiculous.

      I’ve been caught in that situation and I told the seller to fu*k off. Terms and conditions? Fu*k you, try and enforce them Sedo. Opening another account takes 5 minutes.

      ps: Always buy from an account different form your seller account.

  2. “You must not have any names listed on Sedo to understand the other side.”

    @ Shane

    You must not have seen the image at the top of this post where the domain name I bid on had a specified Seller’s Listing Price of $375 rather than the typical “Make Offer” you are speaking about.

    If there’s a make offer, the seller can set a threshold at which lower bids will not be accepted.

    If I have a listing price of $1,000 on a site like DNForum and someone says, I offer $1,000, I don’t think it will be looked upon too kindly if I then say the price is $2,000.

    There’s a difference between a make offer and a listing price. The listing price should be the price at which I buy it, but the offer field is there in case I wish to make a lesser offer.

  3. Sellers have the option of fixed or negotiable pricing. If negotiable pricing is set, theoretically a buyer could make an offer equivalent to the list price and the seller could still counteroffer. I don’t buy much from SEDO but have never encountered any issues with the occasional SEDO purchase. I now have fixed pricing for ~98% of my domains. As you state, when the fixed price is accepted by a buyer, one has to quickly remove the domain from other domain marketplaces. On the other hand I have one open “sale” currently where the buyer accepted the fixed price and nearly three weeks later still hasn’t paid…

  4. My experience suggests Sedo makes a sizable chunk of money withholding the payments. I just sold a domain with them, it took 5 weeks from the client’s payment until I got paid.
    Their reported quarterly turnaround is something like $23 million. Imagine what investment cash they have if they keep everyone’s money for a month on a regular basis.
    But I might be completely wrong and slow handling of my case may have been an exception.

  5. “You must not have seen the image at the top of this post where the domain name I bid on had a specified Seller’s Listing Price of $375 rather than the typical “Make Offer” you are speaking about.”

    In your image it does have Your offer and then a Make Offer button.

    With a fixed price, one where you can buy straight away it’ll show like

    Sales Price:
    1,000 $US
    Buy Now button

    It was a big confusing to me as well since I’m kind of new to this and I was experimenting with the different settings they have to see how it would look like to potential buyers and those visiting the sites.

    • @ Johnnie

      I understand that, but when it’s a fixed price, it means the seller won’t consider an offer lower than the price. For example, if I am selling for $5,000 but won’t accept a penny lower, I will use the fixed price of $5,000. It’s basically take it or leave it.

      In the scenario above, the seller has his listing price but would be willing to accept offers. However, there is nothing there to allow a buyer to agree to the listing price.

  6. They really do have a terribly dated system that’s a huge pain to use. I don’t go there either because of that. They really should invest in a UI designer.

  7. The listing price ($375) is used so a price shows up in search results on Sedo and so its not just ‘make offer’. The minimum bid price ($1,500) is used for a minimum bid. Both prices can be used with the make offer pricing option. All in all it’s marketing by the domain seller to get a buyer interested.

  8. Elliot,

    If you list at a fixed price and give buyers the option to use BUY IT NOW you could be leaving money on the table. I would prefer to have the option of sending the name to auction so I would prefer to negotiate before setting a BUY IT NOW price. A fixed price sale will never be sent to auction.

    Happy Selling

  9. @

    I guess I don’t understand the logic as a buyer. I get that it would be great for a seller to have a list price that can increase, but as a buyer it makes no sense.

    Either there’s a price on it or a minimum offer. If I put names up for sale on DNF with a list price and someone agrees to my list price, I would be flamed if I said the list price was just a guideline and that I want more money for it.

    A list price should be the price, not the starting point of a negotiation. A “make offer” price should lead to a negotiation, not a list price.

  10. Elliot,
    I see your point. I too have experienced one or two problems lately.
    I think that Sedo is a great platform but has perhaps, as the leader of its market, gotten slightly complacent? Check out my latest blog post to see what I mean.

  11. I agree, it could be better. I was actually going thru this the other night and here’s what I have, 4 different scenarios. First part, what you fill in as a seller, followed by what people will see when they get to your SEDO offer page:

    Scenario 1 (this is your example above)
    what you fill in as a seller –
    Price – $1000
    Min. Offer – Blank
    Price Option – Make Offer

    what they see –
    Seller’s Listing Price:1,000 $US
    Your offer:
    Make Offer

    Scenario 2
    what you fill in as a seller –
    Price – Blank
    Min. Offer – $1,000 (I think you’ll only see offers emailed to you higher than this)
    Price Option – Make Offer

    what they see –
    Seller’s Listing Price:Make Offer
    Your offer:
    Make Offer

    Scenario 3
    what you fill in as a seller –
    Price – Blank
    Min. Offer – Blank
    Price Option – Make Offer

    what they see –
    Seller’s Listing Price:Make Offer
    Your offer:
    Make Offer

    Scenario 4
    what you fill in as a seller –
    Price – $100
    Min. Offer – fixed price
    Price Option – fixed price

    what they see –
    Sales Price:100 $US
    Buy Now

    I think that’s about it/how it works. Somebody can correct anything I wrong.

  12. This is confusing but as I said, you are looking at a make offer page and not a buy it now page. Sedo is certainly more geared to help the buyers, especially when at any point a seller can send your bid to auction and you are required to buy it if nobody bids higher. You get to wait a whole week and find out. As a seller I love it, as a buyer I hate it. Didn’t mean to offend just trying to help.

  13. Low entry offer independent of “buy now” price is most of all supposed to engage the parties and likely push the domain towards an auction – another feature hated by buyers.

    Speaking of Sedo auctions, I keep being advised against them as a seller as bids aren’t legally binding (at least not enforced by Sedo) and many auction transactions end up falling through. Is this your experience as well?

  14. My scenairo is that (and I experienced this) Sedo listed that name and put a price up there and the name hasn’t offically been purchased from the registar yet. Sedo is the one negotiating with you. I would advise you to check and see if the Domain is actually already purchased for resale at the registar, if Sedo is trying to sell it to you. It Happens!!!!

  15. @antman, i would say thats probably most likely due to the fact that people list thousands of domains at Sedo and later let them drop. If they dont delist those domains, then neither does Sedo do anything to delist them. so i’m sure there are many thousands of domains listed on Sedo that are no longer registered. Its like parking companies. how many times have you bought a domain, then tried to park it somewhere, and get an error that your domain is ‘in conflict’ with another account.

  16. @Elliot,

    Sedo is fairly accuarate. If a domain is listed at a fixed price, you can purchase it quickly. The deal will go through in a matter of a day. You may be coming across a price with a make off underneath and or a make offer.

    The reason people want you to make an offer is because they either want to negotiate or plan to fire an auction after you make a bid. Sedo’s Market Place operates on that format.

    Even though I have a less than appealing domain collection, I pay attention to how Sedo works. Fixed domains will feature a “buy now” price. Any domains listed at a price with make offer or make offer will probably go through a negotiation process, and possibly be moved into the Market Place at the owner’s discretion.

    I plan to make an offer on a domain I want. I’ll wait until I have the funds readily available. The domain is 12 years old. It’s definitely popular in terms of market value. How does we know the actual value of a domain. I viewed the list of domains on your blog. They’re either being pushed for another or are yours. Some of the domains, won’t name them, are priced high. How do you determine the value when Valuate and Estibot are a fraud?

    Appraisal systems help people to determine a starting or ballpark value, but they’re unreliable. A good appraisal system is to assess the overall performance of a domain. Domains without any traffic are way over priced. Domainers want gold prices for bronze performance. I don’t get why domainers buy old blogs. That’s like of you were selling your blog. Once people figure out the content is no longer the same, the traffic will quickly drop.

    Domainers are wasting their money on appraisals. Every company has different standards. Many domains with low stats have sold at high prices. It doesn’t sense. Maybe elite domainers work as a network to regulate the industry. The domain industry reminds me of the airline industry. Some domainers purchased domains at outrageous prices, only to realize they made a huge mistake.

    Have you followed with a past sale? Checked to see if the domain was fully developed? Wouldn’t it be interesting to determine whether an end-user benefitted from your domain?

    In short, Sedo is accurate. It really depends on the domain. There is one domain in particular, well it’s on your website, that I feel is overpriced. I may not be an expert, but it has no commercial value and would fail on an ROI. If the domain had a make an offer, I would probably start off at $500, but then I would quickly learn of the actual price soon afterward.

    Every domain has a price. We never know where to actually start – whether a low price will be an insult or offering too much may put us in a bad situation. Sedo works for people who don’t have industry contacts. They pay out quickly, rather than make an owner wait a month – I.e. Go Daddy.

    You know what you wanted to pay for the domain. The owner had another figure. Once the owner figured out you were no longer interested, then maybe he would reconsider. I once negotitated and received what I wanted. It was nothing to brag about. You should have put a $100 again to see where it would go. Second offer may show the owner you’re only looking to stay in a certain range. I’m sure you had a max offer in mind.

    Cool article
    to receive a payment from Go Daddy. I actually like Sedo’s
    system, and feel it is effective. If I had a better collection, I would greatly benefit from their selling system.

    Good article.

  17. “and I usually sell my inventory of domain names so quickly, it doesn’t m”
    How quickly? Can you teach us a little? Please.

  18. @Elliot,

    Maybe there was a system error. Contacting Sedo never seems to work, especially when they always refer you to their help forum. Usually the owner wants you to make an offer, which gives them access to the Market Place.

    This is a bit off topic. I always wanted to have one of my domains pushed into a auction with a bid. That would be the high point o my domain investing. However, some of us are not luck enough to acquire great domain names. I don’t have any regrets on my collection. If done over again, I would have avoided the reverse order stuff and maybe the NYC stuff, as well as various domains.

    I will probably have to attach the domain with some writing samples and information. Essentially, I will have to put in work instead of the domains working to help me, which I’m cool with.

    Great Domains operates on a percentage format. They tend to accept domains they think will sell on their site. 30 of my domains were listed on the site. If 5 of those domains sell, I would make back what I spent.

    I have another domain in which I won in a Go Daddy auction. It has good stats. Used to pull in 1500-2000 unique visitors per month, has over 2000 back links, is listed on the DMOZ, and more. If I push that domain, I will make a profit.

    My profit margin is not as much as those domain investors who sell 5 & 6 figure domains, but I would consider my venture a success. Since I’m geared more towards writing and information, then I am looking to build a few websites. Maybe I can make money from the affiliates I will likely have listed on them.

    As for Sedo, there was likley a system error. Maybe the domain was changed from once price to another, and the system failed to update. Besides winning the past auction, I never made an offer to any other owner. I managed to negotiate a price to sell a domain at Go Daddy. There’s really nothing you can do on the above domain.

    You could have contacted Sedo, but they may refer you to the help forum. Most companies no longer have customer service anymore. They depend on their virtual machine to do everything, which I might add is frustrating. Sedo never care about the negative press because they still the number #1 company – in terms of sales. Sedo is the Apple of the domain industry.

    Good article.

  19. @ Student

    Honestly the “secret” is that when I was buying it, my gut said it was worth more than I was paying, and I knew 3 people who might have been interested. I knew in my gut that I wasn’t over paying for the name and could break even if necessary, but I felt that at the profit margin I wanted, I shouldn’t have trouble turning it around. (referring to was a bit less expensive although I had an idea of who might want it.

  20. Thanks. The equation is easy now. “People I know”
    Apropos, virtual (internet) or real (golf, beer, etc)people?

  21. Hello, I tried Sedo as a seller but gave up for many different reasons. Still interested in selling my domains:

  22. @Jason

    What makes you say x and y company “are a fraud”?

    Were you defrauded in any way? Please enlighten everyone so people can be guarded.

  23. @Justin,

    This was an old post 3 months ago. Not sure what was conveyed? Appraisal systems are actually really useful for the stats. I prefer Valuate and Estibot. Excellent resources.

  24. Sedo indeed needs do to some basic user testing.

    I bought a domain for the second time yesterday and now the registrar info is locked from the first purchase. (So the site checks for registrar info at point of sale agreement, not leaving option of changing info or possibility of previous purchase.)

    Have to email sedo now, costs both me and sedo time and money…

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