I hardly ever report purchase sales prices when I complete a transaction on a domain name. I know that many others prefer to keep their business dealings private, too.
It’s often cited that Ron Jackson’s weekly domain sales report is just the tip of the iceberg when you consider the number of sales that aren’t reported due to non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This “secrecy” is what some conspiracy theorists refer to when they state that unreported sales numbers are pretty much BS and perhaps non-existent.
I want to give you an idea of just how prevalent NDAs and private sales are, and it’s certainly something you can try out if you’d like to see for yourself.
Last week, I went through some old inquiry emails I made to acquire domain names in private. I sent about 15 follow ups to emails I had sent in the last 18 months. A few people replied, and two of those people told me their domain names were sold (I had offered $7k for one who came back with a $50k asking price, and I offered $33k for another who said she paid more for it).
Of those two people who sold their names, I asked what the sales price was. The person who had priced her name at $50k told me the price was private but it was for much more than she had offered it to me. The second person told me it was sold for an undisclosed amount that she couldn’t share.
Neither of these people are domain investors (both women coincidentally), and they have no reason to report the sale price. These types of transactions happen every day, and most are deals between people and/or companies that aren’t domain investors and don’t have any reason to report sales or even know who they would tell if they wanted to report the sale. They probably don’t even know why they would want the sale reported anyway since it’s most likely a somewhat straightforward business transaction.
If you want to see how prevalent private domain sales are, I recommend checking out the Whois History tool after you learn about a company’s rebranding or product launch on a newly acquired domain name and ask the former owner how much the sale was for. My bet is you’ll find almost all of them are private and unreported. I’ve tried to get sale prices for articles, and you’ll almost always find that sales prices are private.