The Reasonable Offer is the Worst Kind

Just about everyone likes to receive offers for their domain names, and I think there are basically three types of offers: lowball, reasonable, and great. You can probably re-name these categories however you wish, but these are pretty much the only types of offers. From my perspective, the worst kind of offer is the reasonable offer.

We’ve all received lowball offers before. Perhaps someone offered $500 for a three letter .com domain name or something along those lines. They are a bit annoying especially if the person prefaced the offer with several questions or needed to speak on the phone before making the offer. These offers are frustrating, but it’s very easy to say “no,” cast aside the inquiry, and move on from the prospect.

Great offers are the best kinds of offers. The buyer really wants your domain name, knows it is valuable, and makes an offer that is easy to accept because you know you won’t receive a better offer. For most domain investors, these offers don’t come around all the time, but when they do, they are an occasion to have a celebratory dinner upon closing.

Reasonable offers sound like they would be right in the middle, but I think they are worse than lowball offers and obviously worse than great offers. A reasonable offer probably means the buyer knows the market. He knows what the name is worth and he won’t pay more than he should pay. The domain owner knows the offer is probably fair, but he or she didn’t buy the domain name to sell it inexpensively. Even though a reasonable offer might be profitable, it will probably be difficult to replace the domain name in your portfolio for the sale price should you agree to sell it.

For many people who rely on domain name sales for an income, these reasonable offers are difficult to accept but are possibly equally difficult to turn down. They are fair offers in both senses of the word. Perhaps the domain name will receive a great offer in the future, but perhaps it won’t.

Reasonable offers are what illustrate the importance of acquiring domain names wisely. I appreciate it when a reasonable offer is made for one of my domain assets, but these are the worst kind of offers to consider.

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. As I started reading your post I wasn’t quite going to agree but once I finished I must say you are absolutely right. Your statement “I think they are worse than lowball offers and obviously worse than great offers. A reasonable offer probably means the buyer knows the market.” is quite funny and frustrating for domainers because we know the inquirer has the knowledge about your asset and still not willing to pay what it’s actually worth.

    But I can see more and more people are getting educated and are understand the value of domains…

    • Being educated, and understanding the value of a domain name does not always correlate to a willingness to pay.

      Some of the worst are the ones who state, I know how much you paid for the domain.

    • That’s right as well. I have a domain which is an upgrade for a company whose Alexa Traffic Rank is just over 2k but they are not willing to pay what the domain is worth.

      But the thing is people are getting to understand the value of domain and are paying good prices than before. It will take years for the domain market to enter maturity stage.

  2. Good post.

    Even worse is when you hit a long streak of “reasonable offers” where you keep getting 1-2K offers on domains worth 5K to 15K.

    It gets hard to keep walking away from 2K over and over again with no Great Sales to break up the streak.

  3. When you receive a ‘reasonable offer’ then the odds are that you can get a better offer, from the same person or others.

    The issue is with offers that are unreasonable, e.g. 50% or less than your expectations.

  4. Although I do quite understand what you mean about ‘The Reasonable Offer’ I still believe it is just the question of how to determine a RIGHT price neither too high nor low in order to suit both seller and buyer. I really think that the whole Domaining World is getting very political nowadays! However perhaps I should also mention the fact that I am indeed proud to be most probably the only one person with total deafness from birth and full grammar school education to love domaining after only two years despite being fully retired some ten years ago, thus only rely on emails or texts not voice phone calls and without blatant discrimination. Thank you.

  5. Got here via links at the bottom of the page. I have to say the reasonable offers are definitely better than low-ball offers, they are just tougher decisions.

    I recently had a make offer that came in at 1/3 of my buy now price (from another marketplace) but 4x what I bought it for. It’s a name that I wanted to move. I always counter-offer so I countered at 3x his asking price (my buy now). I was hoping he would counter any amount higher than his original and I would have taken it. He simply rejected and now I have no way of contacting him through the platform (Flippa). Now, I have to do some detective work.

    Anyway, in this case, I would have been happy with slightly above the reasonable offer. I am a sit and hold investor and sell about 2-5% of my portfolio each year. These days I have been in buying mode so the extra liquidity would have been nice. I feel like I lost out on the reinvestment opportunity.

    Basically, my point is that your liquidity, cash flow, and reinvestment opportunities / compounding return are factors to consider with reasonable offers.


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