A good friend of mine dabbles in domain names. I say “dabbles” because he probably owns 10 domain names as investments and all of them were hand registered. My friend occasionally asks me about domain names for various ideas he has, and he usually sends an email to inquire about domain names he likes.
My friend faces a bit of trouble when inquiring about domain names. He is in the finance / banking / investment /venture industry. My bet is that domain owners who receive his inquiries do a Google search, see his background, and incorrectly assume that their domain name is the target of something major. Under this assumption, they give him ridiculous prices for their domain names.
Although my friend inquires about domain names for side projects that will likely never proceed beyond the initial ideation process, he faces an obstacle of getting absurd prices when he tries to buy domain names.
It seems that domain owners who base their pricing solely upon the status of the inquirer are likely losing out on some deals. My friend generally asks me about domain names I would not even consider hand registering, so it’s not like we’re talking about high value, no-brainer assets. People may assume he is representing a client, his firm, or a venture backed startup, but in reality, he is simply kicking tires.
I totally understand why people price based on who is inquiring. I always look up the inquirer’s details when I receive an inquiry. I also regularly receive inquiries from people who claim to be poor students, founders of non-profits, or some other attempts at driving down the asking price for domain names. One thing we all should remember is that sometimes regular people are inquiring about a small project, and their budgets may really be limited. Of course you should not discount a high value no-brainer domain name. However, a marginal or poor domain name probably shouldn’t have a stupid-high price tag if we really want to get a deal done.
Yes, I am sure I have given someone a silly-high price for a marginal domain name. I also think my friend should have his wife inquire or set up an anonymous email account to inquire.