Problem with Pricing Your Domain Names

There aren’t a whole lot of domain investors or domain sales companies that list their prices on site. They don’t do this because if for some reason the value on a particular type of domain name increases, they won’t have to sell it for that price. This allows companies and investors to base their prices on a wide variety of factors that can only be calculated at the time of the sale.

A few weeks ago, I received a list of domain names for sale from a company, and I looked through the list and made a few purchases. After a second and third look, I found another name I want to buy at the list price. Apparently there have been some larger sales recently in a similar vertical, so the company hasn’t decided whether to sell me the domain name at their listed price.

I am in the midst of working with the company right now, so I won’t mention the name, but this should be a warning to both buyers and sellers. If you price your names, you either need to be constantly on top of market fluctuations or risk taking a possible presumed loss on a sale. In my opinion, it’s bad form to price a domain name and then change it after a buyer agrees to pay the list price.

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. I was actually just thinking about putting a domain portfoilo on my blog and now I may take a second look at it.

    I personally think it is more than just bad form to rescind a listed price. It is a bad business practice.

  2. I believe this to be true for the high priced domains but for the domains under 5K I think this can scare people off. They just assume the owner must want a lot of money. Yes you can leave money on the table but if you want to wait for a premium price then don’t put up a price. If you looking to flip then priced domains seem to move quicker. I am not a big boy domainer and although I can dream, in reality nobody is going to offer me 50K for a 5K name. Then again the few mid xx,xxx names I have aren’t even listed for sale. If they really want them they’ll find me.

  3. “If you price your names, you either need to be constantly on top of market fluctuations or risk taking a possible presumed loss on a sale.”

    …which is one of the reasons I for pricing your domains within a negotiable price range; as I’ve chosen to do.

    Doing so also greatly reduces those silly time-waster offers anyone with even half-decent names receive.

  4. Great post. Having a price is good overall, but not having a set price seems to be an interesting way to engage the buyer into negotiating…after all, it is all about what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to accept!

  5. 1. “it’s bad form to price a domain name and then change it after a buyer agrees to pay the list price.”

    It may be illegal too. Bait and switch and all that. If they priced a domain you should force them to sell it to you for that price. Of course they can make up excuses but at least they are morally obligated to sell it to you.

    2. I have recently priced many of my domains at my retail sales site. If you have all at Make Offer that lone end user could come along and ask for a price but I figure I will sell more if they are priced with a retail price. Just like walking into a store and see everything “make offer”. How many offers are you going to make? Not many.

  6. It’s probably a better idea for a seller to add a disclaimer like “offer valid for 10 days” or whatever time-frame they’re comfortable with.

  7. Interesting. I went the other way not 24 hours earlier, in that I published an open price list on my site covering my portfolio.

    It’s an experiment, like a lot of things I try, but I’m hoping it will help reassure companies that I’m not “sizing up their ability to pay” when I’m sending them a price quote for a particular domain. Now in my reply, I can add a link to the “official price list” so that they can see that what I just quoted them comes right off the page.

    I plan to look at the pricing of individual domains once a quarter to make sure that I’ve adjusted for market fluctuations.

  8. I agree with Rob. You’re going to get a lot more offers if you list a price, but once you list the price, you should be willing to sell it for that price. If there comes a time when you want to change a price, then change it, but don’t wait for an offer before you change it.

  9. I don’t list my domains, much less my prices. Yet, for most names, chasing after that golden offer for a domain name may cost you more in sales lost (not to mention cash flow) than the occasional great offer will make you back.

    On the other hand, a nice compromise might be posting some of your sales and their prices (assuming the buyer allows) alongside your list of domains for sale. That way, buyers can get a sense of the range you are selling in and feel less intimidated about making an offer.

    Not standing by a listed sale price, though, is unprofessional and unethical in any business.

  10. It’s a cultural thing. Americans and most Westerners are used to having the seller set a fixed price. Indians and a lot of people in the rest of the world are used to bargaining. Take your pick.

  11. I agree with Pat.

    Simply add a term to your listings page that all domains priced are only good for “10, 30, 60 days”. Take your pick on what you feel is comfortable.

    Since I buy most my domains OOTB, so anything I sell above $100 is a profit for me, so I don’t worry about what I “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” priced it at.

    For those reading this thinking they can get a killer domain name from me for cheap because of this revelation of my common purchase price, think again!

    But El, this is a smart article and should inform all domain flippers to add the caveat on terms of sale relating to time periods.

    Personally, although I will try anything, the “make offer” program isn’t feasible unless you have serious buyers who know the value of domains and have the funds to back up their understanding of those values. I’m looking forward to Snapnames new “discuss the deal” actively with an interested buyer. Finally!

  12. There really isn’t a problem determining your domain price! I was told 100+x’s my domain isn’t worth more than $10 to $20,000 bla bla bla BS! I didn’t listen to anyone’s garbage coming out of their mouths! I then sold the domain for 100x’s the amount these idiots were claiming it was worth including who said $25,000 was the value NOT! So folks, DON’T LISTEN to these appraisal companies with these OFF THE WALL VALUATIONS! SHOOT FOR BEYOND the stars and “Stick to your Guns”! Eventually in time, not too long off you will get your 6 figure offer or perhaps more (for the decent domains) as opposed to some criminal YOYO talking you into $9200 or some NONSENSE when $100K is just around the corning! See some of my great domains
    All the best to you and yours! Joe Saladino

  13. Coming from an end user/ domainer, if I do not see atleast some type of price range, and yes especially when I see those words “make an offer” I most always will skip it and look for good domain’s where the seller is atleast motivated enough to list a price. Make An Offer, to me, usually gives me a feeling the seller is not that motivated and would possibly be wasting both our time for even trying.

    If I’m looking for a piece of real-estate I ALWAYS know the price before I even take a second look. Same goes for virtual real estate. Same goes with absolutely EVERYTHING I purchase.

    By not listing at the very least some sort of price range you are in essence scarring off some potential end users that could perceive you as a shark waiting for supper.
    Or simply give them the impression they might just be wasting their time because the domain name may or may not even be within their price range. Hard telling how many good domain names I was interested in but passed on because of those 3 words. Past experiences have proven more times then not, I would be better off putting my time in dealing with sellers that already know what they want instead of getting into a cat and mouse game.

    Everything for sale has a price tag. What makes domain names so different to make them an exception to this universal rule?

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