Same Approach Won’t Always Work

I made a mistake a few weeks ago. I had a couple of domain name sales, and I made some changes to my portfolio based almost solely on these two sales. In retrospect, I don’t think I should have made those changes. I relied on a couple of outlier sales to change my pricing strategy, and it was a bad idea.

For nearly all of my domain names that utilize my landing page, there is an offer form rather than a price. My opinion has been that I can collect leads and offers, and I can always try and come back to those leads to close a deal in the future should a deal not be finalized at the time of the initial inquiry.

On a handful of names in my portfolio, I have a buy it now landing page created with the asking price listed. People can choose to click the buy button or submit an offer. I don’t use this landing page on many of my domain names because my gut says the asking price will either scare most people away, or the “make offer” link will ensure they submit a lower offer rather than agree to the BIN price.

A few weeks ago, I received a fair counteroffer to one of the few names that has the buy it now landing page. I ended up working out a deal with the prospective buyer and the deal closed shortly thereafter.

About a week after that, I sold a lower value name via Afternic. I did a bit of searching after the fast transfer, and I saw that the buyer had visited the landing page, which also had the BIN price listed. Unintentionally, the price on the landing page was 4x the price on Afternic. I had adjusted a bunch of prices on Afternic and I forgot to adjust the landing page price. I assume the buyer went through Afternic because he saw that it was a deal when compared to the price listed on the landing page.

Using this small sample of two sales, I put prices on a bunch of my landing pages. I figured this could drive additional sales because it worked twice in a short period of time.

In retrospect, I think this was a mistake and I removed the BIN pages.

One of the difficult aspects of managing my business is that I maintain a relatively small portfolio of domain names. Because of this, I don’t really have statistically significant data that can help me with landing page strategy or even my pricing. I need to realize that doing the same thing won’t always produce the same results.

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. It happens.Buyers are always checking to see if prices are adjusted and then they check other listings if they see the prices there and purchase there.I tend to list my prices higher on afternic since they charge 20% and then on my landing page a much better deal since no commission is paid when I sell myself.Mistakes will always happen as it makes us human and a better salesman and gets us to adjust our sales tactics.

  2. “In retrospect, I think this was a mistake and I removed the BIN pages.”

    I’m curious. What changed your mind so quickly to make you think it was a mistake? Hugedomains seems to think it’s worthwhile overall showing prices immediately, while Godaddy/Afternic seems to think the opposite…

    • Hugedomains,Buydomains etc sell inferior quality and value domains. They rely on VOLUME vs QUALITY, so of course they will have BIN pricing readily available. It would be silly not to, as they probably get 100s of inquiries/day.
      I would be curios to know how many of “impulse buy” transactions/year happen because of 3k and under pricing they offer.

      Elliot has a smaller portfolio and much higher quality domains. I suspect he’s not planning to sell 100s of names per year under $3000USD, so BIN pricing has a lot of drawbacks when talking high value names.

      For example if you have a domain priced at 20k BIN and a prospect has 8k budget he or she may never contact you and move on. You would never get the lead. I would want all LEADS to fill up my pipeline. You can always work the lead and follow up, but if you never get the lead …what’s that costing you? 🙂 Can always offer payment plans and get creative to close a deal.
      ALL leads convert sooner or latter…

      I can keep on going to why BIN pricing is not the way to go…

  3. Eliot. in .the past (I mean between 2006 and 2015) if an end-user approaches me and makes a decent first offer I’d close 100 percent of those sales. Not any more. But my sales are lower than yours and in the range of 5k and 50 k per domain. So no buyers who are whales or public companies

  4. My opinion, most names should be BIN price. Exception is very high quality one word .com’s that may not have alternative choices at times, worth negotiating over those.

    Most of the time though a buyer will have a dozen alternatives so make it easy to buy!

    • I agree with you about BIN pricing. In fact, the majority of my low to medium value inventory has BIN pricing at GoDaddy and through its network.

      I don’t love my BIN landing pages, and I don’t have a way for buyers to transact immediately if they want to buy a name. This makes me less inclined to put a BIN price on the landing page. I could theoretically forward the leads to Afternic/GoDaddy BIN pages, but the commission hit is more than I am willing to pay.

      I could set up other landing pages, but I am concerned that the buyer may not be comfortable with or another company and I would never even know who they are if they opt to not buy the name right away. It’s a tough choice.

    • There are also plenty of multi-word domains worth six figures or more for which there are either no alternative choices or no good alternatives. In some cases, there may also only be literally just a few good alternatives, each worth a fortune big or small depending on the subject matter. Which reminds me I’ll need to follow up with a funded start-up guy about one of my own for this year’s budget, for which there is no good alternative except the plural which I also have.

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