Why I Use “Make Offer” on Most of My Domain Names

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Approximately 80% of my domain name portfolio is now parked for sale via DAN.com landing pages. I’ve had success selling via DAN this year, and I have continued to move domain names to their landing pages throughout the year. I have played around with the sales options options, and I have settled on one – the older BIN price (with a 12 month payment plan option) + Make Offer option.

Many people are critical of a “Make Offer” field on domain name landing pages. If a domain name has a Make Offer field, people tend to utilize it rather than simply hitting the Buy Now button. I thought I would share my rationale for offering it on my domain names, despite the fact that it is likely leaving money on the table.

The vast majority of my business income is from the sale of domain names. Since domain names is how I make my living, I need to sell my domain names for income and to continue to grow my business. Allowing people to open a conversation by making an offer has been a good way for me to sell my domain names.

From my perspective, if I price a domain name too high for whatever reason, a prospective buyer who balks at the price may look for an alternative if there is no contact form or make offer field. The vast majority of my portfolio is replaceable, inventory-quality domain names I buy for less than $500 each day. Instead of my buying my “AwesomeDomainName.com” for $5,000, the prospect may choose to buy “FantasticDomainName.com” instead for $3,000 and I would never know. If I paid $250 for my name and I can easily replace it, I would rather take $2,500 or $3,000 and move the inventory than hold out for someone who may never come.

The majority of domain names I have sold via DAN have come after a negotiation when someone submitted an offer. I typically price my names on the higher side, knowing that an offer will likely be submitted for the domain name. I tend to make the minimum offer approximately half of the buy it now price, but I have been playing around with this. People seem to submit offers at the minimum or just above it, and it can be challenging to get people to improve their offer close to the buy it now price. I need to be willing to walk away from an offer that is not good enough, and buyers sometimes come back. That said, if I buy a name for $250, and it is priced at $3,999, selling it within a year for $2,500 is not such a bad thing for my business.

Of course, I can not say whether the buyer would or would not have simply used the Buy It Now option if the Make Offer option was not there. My portfolio is not large enough to test at scale to understand how much money I am leaving on the table with buyers who would use the BIN option if no other option was available. In addition, because I price my names higher than I expect to achieve to make up for the loss on Make Offer, that may cause people to look for an alternative domain name.

With all of that said, I am going to close out the year by removing the Make Offer option from my domain names at DAN. I am at the point where the year has been very strong and I don’t need to make any more deals. In addition, companies buying domain names may have more budget to spend than in the beginning of the year so they may be willing to spend more to buy a domain name. This change will allow me to see if buyers are willing to pay the full price, either up front or over 12 months, if the make offer field is not available. Depending on how things go (I am not hopeful), I will likely bring back the Make Offer option in January.

Beyond the financial aspect of closing deals, negotiating the sale of domain names is something I enjoy. It can be challenging and exciting, and the Make Offer option is nice from that perspective as well.

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 sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. 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 | Email

27 COMMENTS

  1. “Make Offer” is very tempting, and what I have usually done for domains I would like to sell. But I hate it, and it has never worked well for me. I don’t sell many and selling is not my main thing, however.

    What I do like is this:

    Add a BIN price (something I was almost never willing to do in prior years, and it’s taken me many years to even mellow out to be willing to do that), plus;

    Make sure they can contact, but not “make offer.”

    If they really like and want your domain, then let them contact you and try to discuss and negotiate themselves, because you already know what’s going to happen if you have a “make offer” option.

    That is what wound up working best for me this year. And make no mistake: once they talk to you, you may find that the BIN ask is completely realistic after all with a little discussion. So for example, I got an inquiry along the lines of “I’m really interested in your domain, but does it have to be priced that much…” After only a little discussion, buyer was happy to pay the BIN after all. “But wait, there’s more!” I then showed buyer another one, and after some back and forth he was willing and eager to buy it for the BIN I had on it just prior to his contact about the first one, which I was very happy with.

    So my current favorite is “BIN +/or contact” and not been liking “make offer” or “BIN or make offer” for a long time. In rare instances, however, I do like “make offer” by itself, for ones that are the best or special in some way.

    I’ve got one parked on a famous platform now with a BIN of ~$3m + contact, for example, but no “make offer.” If anyone wants to make an offer, let them make contact. Will anyone do anything any time soon? Probably not. Maybe never. But done with “make offer” for that one.

      • I recommend Epik and using the new parking option. The parking page editing features are great. Epik escrow is also the best I have ever encountered by a mile since I began in 2001 and I cannot recommend it more highly. The escrow service is spectacular and in a class by itself.

      • Do you have a NamePros forum membership? If you join NamePros then to my knowledge you would receive the NamePros member pricing plan and related benefits at Epik, at least last I heard. I’m not aware there is any extra requirement beyond your NP membership.

      • Also, your domains don’t have to be at Epik to use the parking already, but it would help a lot to receive all the benefits and features.

  2. Elliot, I haven’t sold anything yet on Dan, but just started with their landing pages and BIN this week. I have 35+ domains listed there now and maybe I’ll add the Make Offer option to half of them in January. I hope to have some sales in the next 30 days. We’ll see!

    • You’re a writing coach? Wow, you don’t hear anything like that often. Hope you get to read my very long comment that I’ve called “the Truth about .US” someday. Best to find it at Konstantinos’s OnlineDomain.com.

      • Yep, I really enjoy coaching and editing aspiring writers and seasoned pros, too. The pandemic has all but killed my one-on-one and group writing business this year, which is why I need to start selling domains. I know I have some good ones, but I’ve found it difficult to sell on my own over the years. I’m going to need a professional broker and Dan.com is going to collaborate with Media Options… but that a different post by Elliot!

          • (Elliot, if posting a URL isn’t allowed here, please delete this comment and accept my apology.) I need to learn quickly. Here’s how I have my 37 domains set up at Dan right now but I might change half of them in January depending on feedback here and any sales results: http://www.MostExpensiveDomain.com Any thoughts or constructive criticisms are appreciated. Thanks.

          • How do I see all 37? Do I need a Dan account?

            There is a problem with your domain resolving.

            Once you get past that – I thought perhaps your domains would appear on that domain, but you just have that domain listed for sale. I’m sorry but nobody would buy the domain for any significant figure.

            If any of your 36 other domains are any good, you need to be aware that some people are going to try to take advantage of you, especially if they see your comments here. If you have a genuine $100k or $1m name among the other ones, for example, make no mistake – you will have some very smart, slippery and convincing people convincing you they are doing you a favor by taking them for $100 or $1k or $10k. Get the picture? Tell me how to view your other domains and I’ll give the straight truth. You have wandered into a viper’s den if you are new to all this and are holding any real gems. But so far judging from the one you mentioned here it seems unlikely. Trying to be a good Samaritan, however. In your situation it’s also a good idea to maximize exposure by using multiple platforms.

    • John, I welcome honest opinions but I don’t think I should post the other 36 domains here. Email me from my website and I can send you a list of them, if you don’t mind looking it over. I don’t see a way for a visitor on Dan to view them all at once.

      • I will not want to do that, but fyi your cover is already kind of blown by your screen name link. I don’t have time or inclination to check into it myself, but just be aware people are very smart and resourceful, and it’s possible some may be able to do enough sleuthing to find them all anyway. Just be very wary in general. The name you mentioned here is actually pretty worthless, but that doesn’t mean you are not holding some good ones regardless for all anyone knows. And hopefully you know that automated “appraisals” can tell you a domain is worth peanuts when it’s really worth a lot.

        • Thanks for your feedback, John. Once the Media Options/Dan kicks in, in a few weeks they tell me, I should get another objective opinion on the value of domains in my Dan portfolio. Thanks again.

  3. Also a neat trick on Dan, if you price it same lets say 3500 and put minimum offer price of 3500, it removes offer wording and only leaves buy it now. I only allow make offer for names over 10k, the rest i am making buy it now.

  4. I can understand why you feel that “Make Offer” will help you improve your business.

    But, as prospective buyer of a name I recently tried to acquire, I found it extremely annoying to make the minimum offer that the buyer posted…only to learn from his broker-rep that they were actually looking for 5x-10x of the ‘minimum bid.’

    I see that seller as being someone who doesn’t value other people’s time – and are just hoping to ‘get lucky.’ Needless to say, that simply based on that stupid process I only made the one bid.

    • Yup – people better listen to this guy. I’ve been doing a lot of buying as an end user in recent weeks, and it’s a huge turnoff dealing with “make offers” when you actually get a response.

  5. Dan is the place what an outfit and amazing tech. If someone is really interested in your name why give away 20% to GD. Yes I know they have network but they will list your name for sale regardless or they will contact owner for client for small feel LOL. Remember they just want to get the deal through, a real broker gets you the higher price all the time.

    So why even deal with them. Plus if you go with dan.com, mediaptions from what I understand will have a as an option a “professional broker” to deal with your high priced names if a qualified lead comes in. First part of year I think.

  6. Just copy what Hugedomains, DomainMarket and others do. Running a test for a couple of months will not give you reliable data. Others have already tested this.

    • One massive difference is that my portfolio of 1,200 domain names is much smaller than both of those portfolios you mentioned, and negotiating / contemplating offers on individual domain names is far more manageable for me.

      • As far as I know most portfolio companies have done tests on the strategy before. I don’t really know why you’d try to reinvent the wheel with it especially since the sample size will invalidate any result from the test.

        Might even be worth checking with Dan because they would have the data also.

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