Shop the Offer Around

Most domain investors have faced a situation where they received a solid – or perhaps reasonable offer for a domain name that is either lower than the asking price or just not good enough to accept the offer. One strategy I have used in the past is to use the threat of shopping the offer around as a negotiating tactic to try and close a deal. If that tactic doesn’t work, shopping the domain name around might yield a deal.

Let’s say I have an offer of $50,000 on the table for a domain name I have priced at $100,000. Realistically, depending on the name and circumstances, I might be willing to sell the domain name for $75,000. Perhaps I would even sell the domain name for that $50,000 offer if necessary, but I wouldn’t lose sleep if the offer disappeared. In the past, I have told the other party that I will give one more day to consider the price or I will reach out to other companies that might want to buy this domain name.

The threat of losing a deal, particularly when the prospect has made a strong offer, might be enough to induce an improved offer or perhaps an agreement at the asking price. This is the primary goal. A secondary goal is to use the first offer as leverage to other prospective buyers that may not even know my domain name is for sale. By reaching out to other prospects, I can both notify others that my domain name is for sale and possibly fish out a better offer or an agreement at the buy it now price. I feel like I am in a stronger position on outbound when I already have a reasonable offer in my pocket when a prospect questions the price or makes a lower offer.

One rift on the tactic, if I am willing to accept the $50,000 offer if nothing better materializes, is to tell the prospect I will reach out to others and if no better offer is received he can have it for his offer. Alternatively, he can try to reach a better deal with me before I spend the time and effort on outreach.

There are a couple of risks I see in doing this, particularly if that $50,000 offer is appealing. For one, it could irritate the prospective buyer who thinks the tactic is sleazy and that offer could disappear. This is not a big deal since I would have already accepted the fact that it was too low and declined the offer. Another, perhaps greater risk, is that one of the prospects I reach out to decides to file a UDRP (or other litigation) against the domain name. That prospect could have a TM and realize they could never afford the domain name and filing an action could hold up my sale while potentially getting the domain name.

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. The other downside I see is that if you tell the prospective buyer you are going to shop the domain around and it doesn’t sell. The buyer is in a stronger position, you marketed it and couldn’t get a better offer, they might think they are overpaying for the domain and reduce their offer.

    • Agree, most of the time there is no other buyer and that becomes really obvious to the buyer when it doesn’t sell.

      These strategies of trying to suggest other interest that maybe isn’t there commonly backfire. The end result is they will pay hardball if they come back in the future, they’ll probably say in the first email that they noticed it didn’t sell.

      • Totally agree with Snoopy. I think there’s a far greater potential for this strategy to backfire and weaken your negotiation power. Obviously it’s a case by case basis. Some domains lend themselves to having multiple buyers in which case it might be a viable tactic; whereas those with one or few buyers it’s not something I would advise.

  2. If you have some domains and you really want to sell them urgent where will you find the buyer fast.
    What will be your strategies.
    Please give my some advice on it.

    • Ishan, it’s easy — go to later in February or now and sell it fast for pennies on the dollar, assuming your domain names are worth more than their original registration fee.

    • No reserve auction or firesale on a forum. Drop the price every few days until it sells, that is what I have done before on names that need to go.

  3. This approach has worked for me, and I’m always able to refer the buyer to the website of other ‘interested parties’ when necessary which shows the domain is a clear upgrade… and that the other party is qualified for the purchase is always self-evident.

    The last sale which resulted I was anxious for the buyer that they may not agree to our offer because there were one or two parties who could easily purchase at any time. Had they refused, and I approached the other parties, I knew they were in trouble…so I was relieved for them as I’m sure the person they put in charge of negotiating, as well as their management, would be somewhat distraught had they acknowledged that I don’t bluff and that a competitor took it, as another person said, off the market forever…

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