The vast majority of opening offers I receive to buy my domain names are very low. I would guesstimate the average opening offer is well under $1,000, with the majority probably being around $100. Frankly, it’s a bit disheartening and frustrating to receive a $100 offer for a domain name I bought for $xx,xxx.
On the rare occasion that I do receive a decent offer for a domain name, I get excited because I know the prospective buyer has at least done some homework. We might not end up reaching an agreement, but at least the opening offer doesn’t make the prospect look unqualified and uneducated. I try to respond to all inquiries, but I am much more inclined to ignore an uneducated offer than deal with someone who clearly doesn’t have any idea about domain name values.
When I am on the other side of the negotiating table, I take my experience with lowball offers into consideration. As a sign of my seriousness and my knowledge of domain name values, I like to present an offer that I think is reasonable. It may or may not be the best offer I am willing to make, but it should be enough to elicit a response, at the very least. Sometimes the domain owner thinks my offer is low, but it is certainly better than the majority of other offers, if the owner sees the same types of inquiries that I see.
When I make an opening offer to buy a domain name, I try to put myself in the position of the seller. If I am looking to buy a particular domain name, I can assume the name has had interest and offers in the past. I know there must be a reason why the owner has passed on those acquisition attempts, and money is probably a main issue. Perhaps the domain name was not for sale, but everything has a price regardless of the disinterest in selling. With a reasonable offer, I should at least get the courtesy of a reply, even if it’s not close to what the seller wants to part with a domain name.
Obviously, an issue for many people is determining what constitutes a reasonable offer. Unfortunately, that’s not something I can help determine. The specific domain name, current market conditions, comparables, development and current rankings, and the prospective buyer’s risk tolerance all play a role in making a reasonable offer for a domain name.
There are many factors that determine the value of a domain name, and “reasonable” is different for everyone. A prospective buyer should put themselves in the position of the domain owner, and they should make a reasonable opening offer if they want to have a chance to buy a domain name. I think the opening offer is very important.