“The Problem Is…”

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I don’t know about you, but in domain name sales negotiations, I regularly receive a reply from a prospective buyer that attempts to devalue my domain name by pointing out its flaws. “The problem is…” and then the prospect lists some of the potential issues with the domain name that, in their opinion, would reduce the value or the utility of my domain name.

How do I typically respond when someone points out some of the potential drawbacks of a domain name in my portfolio?Ok, good luck finding something that works for you.

When someone calls out the flaws in one of my domain names, I look at it as a negotiation ploy. The prospect does not want to pay the asking price for my domain name, and they think that stating some of the issues that could exist will be helpful. Some of the common “problems” that may exist include:

  • The spelling is difficult
  • The domain name is too long
  • There are too many syllables
  • There are many brands that use the word(s)
  • It will be difficult to get a trademark

What do all of these factors have in common? They all existed before the prospect inquired about the domain name. If any of these issues would be dealbreakers, the prospect would have understood this before inquiring.

Perhaps the issue(s) is/are genuine, but I do not typically have an interest in defending the attributes of my domain name. This is especially the case when a prospective buyer made an unsolicited inquiry to purchase my domain name. They prospective buyer should know about the issues before inquiring, so calling them to my after attention is a fruitless endeavor.

When a prospective buyer engages with me after receiving the price, it typically means they are still interested in the domain name. Why else would they waste their time emailing me about my domain name’s flaws? Depending on the domain name and prospect, I might be willing to engage, but typically I do not. If they want the domain name, flaws and all, they will come back to the table and I will be in a stronger negotiating position. If these issues are dealbreakers for the prospective buyer, they can go out and find something else – and I wish them luck on that endeavor.

22 COMMENTS

    • When I get those replies, I typically mention previous offers being much more than theirs and the fact that had I been willing to sell for their lower offer, the name would have been sold and developed long ago.

  1. Reverse psychology…typical dirty tactics used to dehumanize insult deceitful the seller aka victim
    Part of sales negotiation or interrogation techniques.

  2. As I said,the buyer knows everything about you …and even know the domain industry.
    It could be one of your so called closed buddies that you know.

  3. I bought a domain incognito once doing the exact same thing. It took me almost two years and I disguised myself as about 6 different buyers. In the end the owner believed it and sold me the domain. Took a long time to wear him down but I got a bargain price. Patience is a virtue…

    • It is not a good idea to look like 6 different buyers, that is just pushing up the perceived level of interest in the name.

    • That is the behavior of a liar and sociopath. It will not go unpunished by God even if you think it does.

      That is also a textbook illustration of what I have sometimes referred to as “honest lowballing” vs. dishonest or predatory lowballing.

      “Honest lowballing” is exactly that. You honestly try to buy low without artifice, trickery, fraud, deceit, manipulation, etc.

      Dishonest or predatory lowballing is exactly what MapleDots has admitted and described, the use of lying, chicanery, fraud, etc.

      Honest lowballing is perfectly legitimate. Dishonest and predatory lowballing falls into the categories of life and consequences mentioned here:

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22%3A15&version=NASB

      A person can think they get away with it if it looks like they did and they get to laugh all the way to the bank for a time, but they are mistaken and deluded.

  4. I think it is more of opportunity to show that their perspective is actually incorrect. Worked for me generally on lower value names. On higher value might be less effective.

  5. Its a haggle and hustle tactic that you should never get involved in. Secondary market for all sorts of products are for “high valueing owners” to attempt to acquire. Its economics. Can’t afford it? Too bad!

  6. “Perhaps the issue(s) is/are genuine, but I do not typically have an interest in defending the attributes of my domain name.”

    That is the key point. Once you get drawn into a debate is when it is going to start to effect price in my view.

  7. That is the behavior of a liar and sociopath. It will not go unpunished by God even if you think it does.

    That is also a textbook illustration of what I have sometimes referred to as “honest lowballing” vs. dishonest or predatory lowballing.

    “Honest lowballing” is exactly that. You honestly try to buy low without artifice, trickery, fraud, deceit, manipulation, etc.

    Dishonest or predatory lowballing is exactly what MapleDots has admitted and described, the use of lying, chicanery, fraud, etc.

    Honest lowballing is perfectly legitimate. Dishonest and predatory lowballing falls into the categories of life and consequences mentioned here:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22%3A15&version=NASB

    A person can think they get away with it if it looks like they did and they get to laugh all the way to the bank for a time, but they are mistaken and deluded.

    • Yup God has punished me, mine eyes smell onions.

      In all seriousness though… all is fair in love and war, nobody forced him to sell the domain, I did not rob him, I simply inquired anonymously a number of times. I did not say I was the same guy or a different guy, I simply used separate email addresses for each inquiry.

      It’s the same way when you buy a used car, the salesman talks it up and you talk it down. If I was stricken down by god every time I negotiated a deal then I would be long dead. John I respect you opinion in this but most assuredly God has better things to do than to worry about me purchasing a domain at a lower price.

      • “I disguised myself as about 6 different buyers” is not the same as what you described here. As described here, I don’t have a problem with that. And by that I don’t just mean me, but what I mean is based on genuine morality and truth.

        However, this notion of “all is fair in love and war” is a lie and a delusion. The idea of expecting to be “stricken down” is also a lie, delusion, and misrepresentation of what I said. So is the idea of “God has better things to do…”

        Read the Bible and see for yourself. These matters are among those which are plain and straightforward. Every single thought, word and deed is remembered by God. He doesn’t need a hard drive or “megabytes” to do that, either. All of it will be judged – every careless word long forgotten, every lie, everything. Sometimes in this life, sometimes only afterward, in some cases both. Sometimes soon, sometimes not. Many are even allowed to seemingly get away with things and laugh all along the way. He even does that deliberately with some of those no less. There is no single formula or plan about that except in a broad sense for the final end.

        Knowing the truth, I personally only engage in what I call “honest lowballing.” I might use different emails numerous times over two years as well, for instance, but what I would not do is add to that something like lying about who I am, or lying about what I believe the domain is worth, etc.

        • It’s not about what you say, it’s what you don’t say. You can do a lot in negotiations without saying too much. When one deals with an email address one never knows who is on the other end. Can be the same person as before or someone else. There is no dishonesty in that but telling the owner of the domain why you think he is asking too much is totally fair negotiations. The fact that I did it from a number of email addresses and over a couple of years allowed the domain owner lots of time to think and finally on an impulse he accepted my offer. He probably thought so many people have offered around the same it is time to let it go.

          Elliot wrote a great article but the purpose of a blog is to see the other side. As everyone seemed to agree with him I just thought I would mention that I used the strategy mentioned in the opening post to successfully acquire a valuable domain.

          I see absolutely nothing wrong in how I won the domain and it often takes me a number of years to get the ones I want. The thrill of the hunt is half the fun.

  8. My problem recently was “the domain is only 5 years old and we’re prepared rto offer 2 K more”…i countered and they agreed to 3.5 K more…

    after escrow and whois, i learn the buyer just closed a 20 million round

    and that’s how the Ricks, Berkins, etc make big sales…turning down measly 10 K offers….

    i’m not going to check whois anymore…just forge ahead…deal is done

    this is a cut throat industry…worse than residential real estate and the film industry…same old, if you don’t care about selling or getting the bg deal, the mega deals come in

  9. I think that negotiation tactic is more a social behavior. People do it when they buy used cars or homes. Oh there are x many miles, a scratch here or this needs new floors then they make an offer. People like to justify their reasoning in a negotiation and when it is a domain there isn’t a lot of things to grab onto.

    When I get that kind of response and the buyer is offering enough and seems qualified enough to do this I get on the phone and do a basic education in domain names. I would say if those flaws you mentioned didn’t exist the price of the domain would be X. Which would be considerably higher. I would also prepare some other relevant comparable sales and discuss with him those sales prices and my reasoning.

    In the end the majority of the time it comes down to budget. If they are open minded and it makes sense a payment plan can happen.

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