A reader shared an article with me that I think you might find interesting. The article is written by Jarrett Streebin, and it is aptly titled How We Bought EasyPost.com. The startup called Easy Post used a domain name buyer’s broker to acquire the EasyPost.com domain name. Prior to this acquisition, the company had been using EasyPost.CO for its website.
Some of my key takeaways that I think should interest domain investors are:
- Buyers will do what it takes to remain anonymous. They don’t want domain owners knowing how much money they have raised nor do they want domain owners to know who they are or what they do.
- Buyer’s domain brokers can be helpful to both parties as they can help set expectations for the buyer. For instance, a 1995 registered .com domain name owned by a wealthy investor is not going to sell for $100.
- If someone approaches a domain owner and appears to be real, complete with Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, it could be a facade. Price domain names based on valuation and liquidity needs, not on who the buyer appears to be.
- When you get an inquiry about a .com domain name, always look to see what companies are operating their businesses on alternative extensions. They may be the buyer with the most at stake.
Most of the key takeaways in the article are pretty obvious to people who are active in the domain space, but it’s good to get an inside view from a real negotiation, especially one involving a third party negotiating on behalf of the prospective buyer. I think the EasyPost.com domain name will benefit the company, and it looks like they were able to get it for a fair price.
If you have other takeaways from the blog post, you are welcome to share them in the comment section below. I’d also welcome your sharing insight from experiences negotiating with a buyer’s broker.
>>”sharing insight from experiences negotiating with a buyer’s broker.”
Except for maybe one time that resulted in a sale I agreed to do, they basically never, ever, ever want to engage in an actual conversation or negotiation. That includes the fairly frequent inquiries through Sedo reps. Once they hear an asking price, if it (presumably) is not something the buyer wants to match, they never even bother to try to discuss the matter or give a best offer counter.
In my view that’s really not the way to do things, no matter what the asking price is. And I’m the buyer most of the time.
Okay, I’ve recalled one other time that a Sedo rep was willing to say something further, but he certainly didn’t bother with including a counter offer as I recall.
How to fraud your way to get a domain a bit cheaper. classy.
Yup. I just came back here to also post that I just actually read the article, and to say that lying and fraud is not okay.
And no, trying to stay hidden without going as far as lying and fraud is not wrong, for those inclined to suggest that either you or I are saying one must therefore be completely open and exposed from the start, which we are not doing here. It just takes a little reasonable and principled effort to go about it in a way that does not cross the line into lying and fraud.
When I get emails from potential buyers, I look at it this way. The longer the email, the more they explain, the more BS it is. You don’t have to tell me why or what you want the domain for. Just ask for a price or make an offer and use real names.
A smart domain pro will find out anyway who the buyer is, no matter how deep he/she hides or how much he/she fakes it 🙂
Personally we don’t sell if we don’t know who the buyer is first.
Well, if you think you are doing a deal with Jim Smith who lives in Nebraska, and it turns out that everything about “Jim Smith” is fake, you might not be able to do business like that.
It’s easy to say in practice, but I am sure it’s pretty easy for someone to create a fictitious personality, especially if they aren’t a poor college student buying a domain name for their senior thesis 🙂
Elliot, sure, it’s easy to “create a fictitious personality”, as you say, but some people are also good at finding out who’s behind it 😉
If we are not enough sure who the buyer is, we prefer to get out of the deal.
We try our best to do a sort of KYC on our client and on people dealing with us, you never know …
“Elliot, sure, it’s easy to “create a fictitious personality”, as you say, but some people are also good at finding out who’s behind it ;)”
Please give us the DIY
>”Please give us the DIY”
You mean the .howto? 😀
I just read the article and if I received an email basically begging me for the domain I would triple the price right from the beginning.
Personally I think the email that the broker came up with sucks. He costs the buyers money in my opinion.
Yep, that email from the broker SUCKED big-time…and then the buyer goes public announcing how they lied to save a few shekels.
I can see it now:
“Hey, you know those guys over at EasyPost? Yeah, they’re liars…says so on their site. Hmmm…I don’t do business with liars.”
The email seems to have worked in this case.
@HAMMER: 😀 😀
The amount of time and energy so many domainers spend trying to find out who the buyer is on everyones deals these days has become comical. LOL
While the strategy of using a fabricated identity and trumped-up story to acquire a domain might have been effective for this particular buyer, his broker, and the domain name, this type of extreme deception is risky and could backfire spectacularly. As a professional domain buyer broker, I would not recommend this approach, especially if the domain owner/seller is a domainer. To each his own, I guess…
OK, anyone in the business long enough knows that is a startup type domain, and whoever is inquiring has to pay their way to own it. These guys did pay up $15K to own the name, my guess is they probably would have gone upto $25K as they had broker, and escrow fees in play.
Regardless just because one can’t prove who is behind the offer, always start off high, and know the value of your own domain.
Come on, everybody can Google “EasyPost”.
Well I dont really buy this story. May be true but easypost has been in the news for quite some time now from around 2012~13. So to claim that no domain investor / seller knows about is like stretching a story too far.
Secondly I do not also like the way the domain was acquired. I think they would have gained much more publicity and respect by directly letting the seller know who they are and may be even pay the 25k.
Personally, I would not do such a thing to buy / sell a domain.
I’m glad these guys posted this stuff because as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.
As an active domain buyer broker for ten years and original registrant of DomainBuyerBroker.com, I am happy to comment on the blog post as asked by in his post above.
1. “Our domain broker had a few fake accounts complete with LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.”
BROKER FAIL – An honest broker would never do this to intentionally mislead a domain owner.
2. “Our broker got started by emailing a few of the contacts there.”
BROKER FAIL – Wrong approach. A domain buyer broker should ALWAYS pick up the phone and engage the owner directly when possible. (Whois info of owner was public with phone number)
3. Email content “Hi my name is Walter, my partner Jarrett has been in touch regarding easypost.com.”
BROKER AND CEO FAIL – That has to be the worst email I can think of. The broker starts with a lie in the first sentence. He is not the partner of the CEO and the CEO should not have let “Walter” write such an email.
4. “We used escrow.com to arrange the transfer. (Edit: I’m told escrowhill.com is great as well and cheaper.) We put in our bank details, the money was wired, and the domain was transferred.”
CEO FAIL – Why is the CEO throwing escrow.com under the bus. On $15,000, the fee at escrow.com is $188.50. The fee at escrowhill.com is $150 for basic and $175 for premium. I see no reason to throw escrow.com under the bus.
I think the owner got lucky with the apparently shoddy and shady way the broker handled this deal.
Does the broker want to announce here his/her name to enlighten us about his/her techniques and promote his/her domain buyer broker service?
Agree with you on those 4 points, the whole store sounds a bit comical and unprofessional … 🙂
I mean “the whole story” (not store), typo!
Excellent point Rob and it’s a relief to know that the broker in question is the exception and not the norm.
>>Does the broker want to announce here his/her name to enlighten us about his/her techniques and promote his/her domain buyer broker service?<<
Now that would be interesting lol