What I Say I Am Doing With a Domain Name

I inquire about a lot of domain names in private. The inquiry to deal ratio is somewhat low, but I have found that private acquisitions yield the best results for my business. When dealing with domain owners, I am occasionally asked what I plan to do with the domain name.

A reader emailed me this past week, and he asked me for some feedback about how to answer this question, and I thought I would share the gist of my answer with you.

I almost always answer by telling the domain owner that I am buying the domain name as an investment, and I don’t have plans for it yet. If I do have plans for the domain name, I usually tell them that I buy domain names for investment purposes and would prefer to keep my plans private. I also let the owner know I would be buying the domain name on my own behalf.

This question is most likely asked because the owner is afraid that he or she will sell the domain name too cheaply. Perhaps they have owned the domain name for 15+ years, and they don’t want to undersell it to a person or company that is going to use it to create the next big thing. I can understand this, as I wouldn’t want to sell a domain name I have owned for 15 years and have to hear about it in the news, knowing I left money on the table.

Honesty is probably the best policy in a situation like this. Letting people know that the domain name is an investment probably tells them that there isn’t a huge round of funding behind the acquisition.

Some people may not wish to do business with a domain investor because that means they are likely selling it for less than full value. Others will appreciate that they are able to “cash out” on a domain name that hasn’t been used or is being underused.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. With domains, same as in real estate (my background re development),you’re ALWAYS better off dealing with a well informed seller. Much easier to reach a mid point. He/she will understand what you’re talking about.

  2. The obvious dialogue:

    Q : “What do you plan to do with the domain?”

    A : “Acquire it as an investment.”

    Q : “Like, what type of investment? Just curious.”

    A : “Monetize it short term and seek an angel investor to launch a start-up, or I might sell it to a person who might want it.”

    Q : “I am intrigued! Who would want to buy this domain?”

    A : “Depending on my short term development of it, perhaps a corporate founder with vision to build a product or innovation.”

    Q : “Wow, I had no idea non-domainers would want my domain! Do you mind if I kept it, I don’t want to sell it cheaply!”

    A : “….”


  3. Privately contacting domain owners is a frustrating thing i’ve found. Most of the time i get no response and when I do they want something like $50,000 or even six figures for a domain that might be worth 10k tops.

  4. “Letting people know that the domain name is an investment probably tells them that there isn’t a huge round of funding behind the acquisition.”

    Personally I think this is the worst thing to say. They may have never known that there is an investment market for domains and if you tell them that then you instantly told them their name is a good investment. I see that strategy backfiring with the seller giving a much higher price more often than not.

    • The types of domain names I buy are usually names that have received many offers in the past. I would be shocked if the owners did not know there was investment value. Often times I am able to buy a domain name because I made the right offer at the right time.

    • That makes sense but I am sure there are many names you buy that are owned by someone who may have used for an old business that have no clue that it has value. With over 270 million domains registered I am sure there are many great domains that have received no offers ever.

    • may i kindly know if there is any investment value in the following domain name:

      About 13,90,00,000 results (0.18 seconds) search results on google. will i be able to monetize this domain name ?


  5. I’d be curious Elliot, what’s the ratio of seller’s do you find that ask you thay question?

    I wonder too if your answer affects the price or the desire to sell the domain to you based on your response more.

    I think most domain owners by now do understand that domains have some value.

    How much value they place on it and how motivated they are to sell will dictate their asking price.

    Deceiving a buyer doesn’t sound like a good idea to me, even if you never work with that person again. Online your reputation is everything.

    In the long run, better to be above board even if you lose out on some deals.

  6. If someone is selling a piece of property for 100 grand and you know it’s worth 500 grand would you say something or pay their asking price?

    I would love to hear everyone’s answer if possible so just say Yes or No.

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