Responding to An Exceptional Offer

If you are similar to me, I bet that the majority of the inbound offers you receive are really low. I have found that most offers are either made by people trying to lowball me or people who are uneducated about domain name values. The result is that they offer tens or hundreds of dollars for valuable domain assets.

Early last year, I won a name inexpensively on NameJet. The cost was less than $500, and I thought it was worth a few thousand to the right buyer.I went prospecting, and I came up empty. I offered it for a couple thousand dollars on a few venues, but I didn’t find a buyer. It was a name I thought I was going to hold for a while.

At the end of the summer, I received an unsolicited offer for the domain name via the Voodoo landing page. The offer was for $20,000 and it came from a legitimate source.

At first, I was stumped about how to respond. I didn’t want to risk the offer by asking for more, especially because it was clear to me that this domain name was not really worth $20,000. I also didn’t want to immediately accept the offer fearing that the buyer would think he offered too much out of the gate. In all my years buying domain names, I’ve probably only bought a couple for my initial offer. Everybody counters, and I didn’t want to give him the idea that he would be overpaying.

I decided that my tact would be to call the buyer and ask him what his plans would be for the domain name figuring he would sell me on his idea and I’d agree to the deal. His idea was pretty fascinating, and he had the background to make something big happen. I agreed to sell him the domain name shortly after that. I think a personal conversation helped with this ¬†negotiation ¬†because I didn’t risk losing the $20,000 offer and I also didn’t immediately accept it either.

The end of the story isn’t nearly as good as the beginning. Unfortunately, the buyer didn’t seem to receive the funding he was expecting, and he put the purchase off until January. Since then, I haven’t heard back from him and I assume the deal is off. Easy come, easy go.

What tactics do you find effective when you receive an offer that is well above your ideal sales 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. This has happened to me a couple of times and I responded with a quick, “Congratulations on your new domain name” email immediately followed with an email from Escrow initiating the transaction. Fortunately, the deals have always been completed.

  2. The bottom line is nobody will ever offer $20,000 for a $20,000 domain or $5,000 for a $5,000 domain or $1,500 for a $1,500 domain. Everybody wants a deal and if they offer more than its worth than its BS and if they offer what its worth than its BS. 10 out of 10 will always try to get a better deal unless its a reasonably priced Buy Now domain.

    • The right end-user will accept the right price on a domain name they know is their top product and or service.

      The best strategy is to determine whether they already own domain names. If they point these domain name, then they understand the value.

      You’re right that most of the time, a buyer wants a good deal. They always do. It is best to build value into every domain so you don’t need to sell at low prices.

      If you have the resources to reject, then do so. In time, the end-user will come back to acquire the domain.

      A buy-it-now may cause you to lose a deal. What if the buyer wants the domain name at $1000 and you have it listed at $2,000. Will they send you an e-mail to ask whether you will reduce the price?

      There are many factors involved in the selling process. People will make low offers to leave the door open. Buy-it-now may work to score big sales, but using a make offer can get you huge deals (i.e. and

      Elliot is right that a buyer offering an extremely price may make a deal too good. Therefore, you can’t rush to accept right way. Asking the buyer what they plan to use the domain for thus open a discussion to demonstrate value.

      There is always a catch. Why would a person send a much higher offer than you believe a domain name is worth. But for the most part, you can get high prices for domains you think have considerable value to the end-user.

    • I have to disagree , if someone has an idea and really needs a great domain for branding a site , a domain purchased for a few dollars could sell for thousands, i have a few keyword domains which are quite nice but the domain that generates the most interest is “” which means diddly squat , but is a great memorable name


  3. If I was a potential buyer, why would I tell anyone what my intentions were for a domain? If you are lucky enough to get an offer above what you wanted, get the deal done asap. In the real world, no domain has value until it sells.

    • “In the real world, no domain has value until it sells.”

      I turned down a $50,000 offer for and still own it. The name makes considerable revenue every month. How does it have no value?

    • OK, maybe in ad revenue, you’re right. Didn’t think of that. But for the most part I am right. You are the exception, not the rule.

    • You don’t think is worth anything, aside from the ad revenue?

      I agree that the majority of domain names registered are probably worthless, but there are plenty of names that have considerable value even without an active offer on the table.

  4. If $20,000 was the initial offer, usually a buyer leaves room to move up on a first offer, so one strategy might have been to come back with a higher counter. My policy almost 100% of the time is to ask for more than the first offer. Sometimes I really do want more and won’t sell unless I get it, and sometimes I’ll settle for the first offer if the buyer won’t budge.

    There are people and companies in this world where paying $5,000 or $100,000 for a domain they need/want makes almost no difference to them or their resources. Not saying you will run into them all the time, but it is something to think about. Almost every week I see domains sell for robust prices, and it’s because the people selling them are asking for the premium prices. People like Schilling, Schwartz, Most Wanted Domains, etc. I’m sure that most of the time they don’t get what they’re asking, but when it happens it’s really nice (like the sale for six figures). Not everyone has the means to hold out like they do, though. Most people need to make some sales every so often to keep the operation rolling along.

  5. When I see companies like HP that do write-downs of tens or hundreds of millions (or billions) of dollars in their quarterly financials, from bad mergers or acquisitions, I think “domains are so undervalued”. Seeing the kind of money that governments waste also makes me think the same thing.

    • LOL… it says quite a bit about your expertise that you wouldn’t hand register a name that had a $50,000 cash offer last week. gets a whole lot of traffic (mostly Europe and Asia), and it earns a pretty decent amount of income every month.

    • I beg to differ.

      While I concede that you are one of savvier domainers out there, I still say is not a desirable name.

      Just be because some buffoon offers a silly amount for what is essentially a bad domain doesn’t mean much. A Ford is still a Ford and that’s why I drive a Lexus.

      Seriously…”event management”??!!!

      The number one key to a domain name is that it has to “hit the jugular”. When you hear it, all you can think of is BAM!

    • I appreciate the compliment.

      I’ve had other low $xx,xxx unsolicited offers on the name, too. Have a look at the number of other TLDs registered to see that it’s a popular term/profession.

    • You are obviously clueless because sold for $25,000 in 2008 and the plural version is probably 75% less desirable which makes the singular version worth at least 50-75k

    • Without wanting to get too personal, a quick look at your website clearly confirms you do NOT “make bank” and do not know what you are talking about. is a decent domain.

    • Every time you see a golf tournament, 5k race or nascar event, etc there is an event management company involved. One company in my town does $30 million annually. Im afraid you don’t know what you don’t know.

    • Based on 40,000 Global searches per month, “Event Management” is a big outside of Europe.

      However, I wouldn’t consider event management a major force in the US. I see a big offer potentially arriving from Europe and or Asia rather than from the US.

      I disagree with Doron that event management is a big industry. If it were a huge industry, we would see greater than 10,000+ exact match searches and people would be searching for those types of jobs often, which is essentially 880 times per month in the US – equivalent to grant writing jobs.

      I would view “event” as it relates to conventions as a more viable industry. How much traffic is generating? Under 20K. Above 20K. Or between 1-7K per month?

      The data shows that there is more interest globally than locally for event management. If and when the domain sells, I see the buyer coming from Europe. is a desirable domain name. is too. Which domain is better? We can rely on the inflated search stats. How many exact match searches are arriving to

      Since you are number #2 on Google Page #1, then you should be receiving 90+ percept of the 113,000 searches the online valuation platforms are forecasting. Based on traffic data, the event domain would be generating greater than your domain blog. I doubt it is scoring 100K unique visits per month.

      For the most part, the real exact match is 2,400. You have a quality website developed and you are ranked high on Google Page #1. If you land 90% of the exact match searches and gain searches for long-tailed and various keywords related to event management and planning, you should be generating around 1,500-8,000 unique visits per month.

      In any case, the domain will strike a good sale. You must be living the good life out in NYC to turn down $50K for I would have sold the domain and invested in similar domains. It really depends on what you think the domain is worth and how much you paid to acquire it.

    • Again, this article isn’t about this particular domain name. I am 100% content with turning down the offer because it’s worth much more. I paid a considerable amount of money for this asset and I am not interested in selling it.

  6. It amazes me how people come up with a value for a domain? As a newbie I thought I’d have a go at buying a domain or two. My latest (look at european/UK news and you’ll see why). How on earth do I put a value on something that has no value to me but has great potential to another? Pick a random figure? place it for offers only? None of these are questions but rather observations…


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