Response to a Silly Inquiry

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In October of last year, I turned down a $100,000 offer for one of my one word .com domain names. It may or may not have been a good decision, but I passed on the offer and what’s done is done.

I receive quite a few offers to buy this particular domain name, and most of them are silly. For instance, this morning I received a $10 offer to buy the domain name. I told the buyer I had previously turned down $100k for the name, and his reply was a simple “wow.”

In response, I decided to give a bit of an education about domain names along with a link to a list of recent one word .com domain name sales I regularly update on Embrace.com. I suggested he have a look at the list to see how much top tier one worders are selling for these days.

In addition to this, and to help illustrate the point that a $10 offer in this day and age is ridiculous, I added this:

“Offering $10 for a domain name like Revitalize.com is like walking in to a Mercedes Benz dealer and trying to buy an S-Class with a $20 bill and asking for change.”

It’s a bit more aggressive than usual, but I think it helps illustrate the point using a real world example. The prospective buyer took the response in stride and thanked me for the insight. Luckily it did not turn into a pissing contest, but it seems to have gotten the point across.

46 COMMENTS

  1. My favorite is, “I’ll offer you a thousand times the registration fee you paid for the name.” In other words, $8,000.

    • David,
      That would have been a fair offer for Revitalize. Com, if not the accepted offer.

      But the major point I want to emphasize is that elite domainers are guilty of the same sin they accuse prospective uneducated buyers of committing.

      For example, I posted a challenge the other day on Twitter on a domain I have for sale, the name is Mononyms.com, I challenged elite domainers who are constantly harping and boasting of the virtues of one-word dictionary fomains, here I have a one word dictionary name that means one-word names, in dot-com for sale!

      I said show me a better domain that you are using to sell one-word domains and I’ll give you $1,000!

      Most if these domainers are using 2 or 3 word domain names as their website to pitch one word names…

      Notwithstanding the fact that most fortune 500 corporations use brandables, even if the names are dictionary words. Godaddy, the top domainer, isn’t even a dictionary word, but it’s one worder. Amazon, Google, Oracle, Microsoft are not selling rainforest (yet), integers, wisdom, softness, respectively. They are brandables. Their names are not for exact match search…

      • Someone is using 1Word.com, which I think is better than the name you mentioned. You can donate the $1,000 to a non-profit of your choice or use that money to help someone who is down on their luck.

        Hope all is well with you – long time no speak.

        • Hi Mr. Silver,

          I’ve been great, thanks.

          Why do you think 1word.com is better than mononyms. Com, which is a dictionary word, as opposed to 2 words, that doesn’t even pass the “radio test”?

          Besides, my challenge is to domainers, and the name they are using to sell, in your case it would be domaininvesting, TopNotch, and Embrace.com.

          Embrace is a great one-word, but not really related to oneword, as mononyms is.

          Google is not a household word either, in case you knock mononyms for being Greek by etimology. .

          • I had never heard of the word “mononyms” before you mentioned it, so 1word is more intuitive. I would bet 99.99% of English-speaking people you ask (unless you’re asking in the middle of Kendall Square in Cambridge) would be stumped about the meaning of mononyms, and I would also bet much more than half would spell it wrong. 1Word might have a similar spelling issue with people spelling out “one” but it’s still more intuitive and I think a better domain name.

          • Let me use this opportunity to correct etymological spelling above.

            The standard here us TRUE or FALSE, that mononyms is dictionary one word, meaning one word, not if you’ve heard about it or not.

            Many people never heard about Uber, Google, even Oracle, before they heard about them.

            Many Corporations pay University Professors, to come up with names and brands that have Greek roots..and witty, if not exotic.

            But, you do have a small point about simplicity and common words, however, it depends on the targeted buyer, do you want a mom and pop, or do you want a start-up with dough?

          • No. GoDaddy is two words turned into a brandable. Go + Daddy. And 1word.com is better than momonyms.com in all aspects. Keep in mind there are many single dictionary words still available because average people do not use them in everyday discussion.

          • The Godaddy point is conceded, it is a 2 worder, and at the same time, it advanced the observation that brandables, whether 1 or 2 words do well in Corporate America. Here is Godaddy beating every other name in the domain industry.

            On the issue of common words and every day used words, that’s also a mixed bag; some common words do well, some witty ones do well too. So, it’s not a conclusive guideline.

            I urge you to go through the list of successful Companies of the world and see for yourself.

  2. Excellent response to them! Sometimes it’s really hard to stay calm and cool with some of these uneducated individuals. I have you beat though… I received a $5.00 offer this morning for Boards.com, LOL!

  3. Elliott,

    You better off opening a loop without closing it. Let it linger in their mind.

    “Unfortunately this isn’t a conversation starter” leave it with “So what is?”

  4. Easier to delete these messages and move on. Educating someone who is that far removed from reality is fruitless.

  5. Not responding to lowball offers is foolish. Any rational person tries to buy low, doesn’t mean they’re all a waste of time.

    • You could reply to 100,000 of those inquiries and it wouldn’t generate more revenue than ignoring it. Use time wisely.

      • I don’t care how good the name is, nobody’s getting so many they can’t spare less than half a minute to reply.

        • “Low” is relative. It’s not like I am buying good one word .com domain names for $500, $5,000 or even $10,000. Most of the best one word names I own and have owned cost well into the 5 figures.

        • The chances of someone offering $20 but having a 100k budget is incredibly low, and the chance of them just offering $20 and not coming back when it gets ignored is even more remote.

          If it were 4 word .com’s it would be a different situation where $20 but having a budget of $200 or even $2,000 is a possibility.

          • FWIW, I received a $50 offer on a name I bought last month for $80 on NameJet. When I told the buyer the price is $9,999, he improved his offer to $1,000.

            $1,000 is a long way from $100,000, but those $50 or $100 offers are sometimes just placeholders made to elicit a reply.

          • Well two can play. My unspoken reality is when you offer $1,000’s but it still gets no reply. That’s just plain foolish. The opposite is also true. If you are the potential seller and you say $100k when you would really be okay with $50k, or $50k vs. $25k, but the potential buyer gives up immediately and doesn’t try anymore. That is also foolish.

      • I have a form on my site and it specifically states 1k is the lowest allowable bid. If you submit for lower you get an automated response saying you did not meet minimum bid.

        Easy breezy

  6. Elliot- you are so kind to the snowflakes! Really you are… They should F**ing pay YOU for responding and wasting your time bc obviously they don’t value it! That’s my 2 cents…
    If you turned down 100k for Revitalize.com, great…just add another zero moving fwd.

  7. Earlier this year I sold a domain for low 4 digits where original offer was low 3 digits – after educating prospective buyer on ‘value’ using GD Valuation tool’s public results.

    Last year i sold a 20 yr old 3 word domain for 5 figures; @ 3x highest previous offer; and 3x price suggested by several active brokers – after having received same $ 1000 offer several years in a row from a bottom fisher; whose day job found on linked in identified him as internet marketing guru for a fortune 200 company.

    One needs to remember that …for a successful transaction to come together (whether real estate, or domains) both sides have to be ‘ready, willing and able’ – AT THE SAME TIME.

    Why the odds for a large $ sale so slim.

    • With all due respect to brokers, they are no good with low liquidy names i.e. the kind an investor/reseller buys at auction for under 50k. Only then are they are great for getting your name seen as they have the contacts to shop it around, make calls, get it into the minds of a serious end user. One weekness they have is an overly strong desire for ‘cashflow’. But do they treat their own portfolio the same way?

      Unless there are multiple offers and a bidding war between end users driving the price sky high, I prefer to stick it out, let it chill in the pipeline until a buyer comes begging (if they aren’t sweating over your name, maybe reconsider which names you hold). I made two 10k sales last month, and turned down three 10k offers in the current financial year, in addition to several 4 figure sales (all purchased within the last 3 years for under $100, and not ‘hot’ trending names either). Not to shabby for a lazy hobby investor such as myself. These are all names a brokerage suggested I should put on auction sites with a BIN for a few hundred a piece.

      If I could afford 5k as a genuinely poor student to buy a name for my project (granted it is great one word) which also got me started in domaining since I kept buying names to protect my mark, then any end user can afford the same. I have no shame quoting 6 figures on names I bought for $20 a couple of years ago, and I can hardly imagine finally taking less than mid 5 figures. I have given away a couple of names as it wasn’t worth the guilt of taking $XXX from the only end user who could probably afford it but the cause was very noble. I did of course confirm their ‘story’ to be sure I wasn’t being taken for a fool.

      I don’t like to burn bridges, and I don’t respond aggressively to lowballers. Sometimes the buyer burns their own bridge after getting hysterical because the quote is too ‘high’, when actually they must be ‘high’ on something else, usually on a 4 figure quote which is less than a new coat of paint in their magnificent place of business. Hopefully they have the balls to reconnect (with their tails between their legs) after learning they blew mutiple in losses because their shitty name inspires low confidence in their customers and investors. Had I been agressive, they may be too shy to restart negotiation when they get a clue. No point in getting all emotional like we are perfect, we are all prone to mistakes now and then, it’s an inescapable fact of life.

  8. It’s too late now, but I did not intend to share the domain name (or I would have mentioned it in the first paragraph). I forgot to redact the name from my response.

    • It’s a really great and versatile name. I can’t believe you sold stallion.com and now someone just has it up for sale for $240k with a lander. I noticed that just recently.

      • I didn’t redact it after publishing because it was mentioned by someone in a comment.

        It doesn’t really matter, but I don’t typically write about offers (the only time I can recall was Lilac.com which I still own), and I don’t think I’ve publicized a sale in over five years. I don’t like other people knowing my business.

        • Correct. It doesn’t really matter to anyone but myself, and at this point, it’s been up long enough (and mentioned in comments) that even if I removed it people would still know,

  9. I approve of a future post. Your most inquired domain with 6 figure offers.

    I never sold a domain for that much. Nor will I since I sold my small portfolio off few weeks back.

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