While I am doing research to find good domain names to buy, I occasionally come across a domain name that had been previously listed for sale at a live domain name auction. Sometimes the name sold and sometimes the domain name didn’t meet reserve. Domain names that were once listed at auction may be great acquisition targets.
If you’ve ever listed a domain name for sale at a live auction, especially if it was a few years ago, you know how exciting it can be to hear your name come up for bid. If the domain name didn’t sell, it’s a bit of a letdown, but the silent auction may have produced a buyer. It seems that the majority of names don’t sell, but that can present an opportunity for a domain buyer.
When I come across a domain name that didn’t sell, I occasionally contact a broker at the auction house or the domain owner directly to try and buy the domain name in private. I know that the domain name was once listed for sale, and I also know the reserve range that wasn’t met. I can use this information, combined with other intelligence about the owner and market conditions, to make an offer to buy the domain name.
Domain brokers may have a relationship with the domain owner, and they might be able to provide other information. Most importantly, they should be able to contact the seller and try to work out a deal. In a case like this, I might ask the broker for some advice about my offer because it’s silly to waste time if the offer is far too low. I would also ask the broker to be discreet with my offer and protect my identity. Part of the reason to use a broker is to get the best price, and that might not happen if the seller knows me.
When you come across a domain name that was listed at auction but didn’t sell, you know that the owner (assuming it’s the same) is willing to sell and at approximately what price. This is more information than I get from most blind inquiries I send, and it’s helpful in working out a deal. Looking through auction archives can also be helpful in finding good acquisition targets.