Ammar Kubba shared a back and forth he had with a prospective buyer for a domain name who apparently did not identify himself or use an email address that made it clear who he was. I have gone through many negotiations where I made a significant effort to learn more about the prospective buyer before locking in a deal to sell a domain name. There are a number of reasons for why I want to know who a buyer is before closing a deal.
The most obvious reason people think identifying a buyer is important is for pricing strategy. This is true to an extent, but it is not the primary reason for me. I do not generally price my domain names based on the buyer – I price them based on other factors, including demand, potential usage, rarity, brandability, my cost, replacement cost…etc. I am generally not going to increase the price of my domain name from $5,000 to $50,000 based on who is emailing me to buy the domain name.
Knowing who the buyer is may be useful in pricing strategy, but pricing is not the only reason for wanting to know. There are a few other reasons why I make a solid effort to learn who the prospect is before proceeding in a negotiation:
- Can the prospective buyer afford to fund a deal?
- Is the prospective buyer legitimate and honest?
- Is the prospect looking to buy the domain name, kick the tires, or get a price in order to re-sell my domain name without permission.
- Is the prospective buyer on the OFAC list or someone with whom my company should not do business?
I don’t want to spend my time discussing the sale or lease of a domain name when the prospect is not qualified to buy it. I also don’t want to discuss the sale of a valuable asset with a ghost.
When I am negotiating to sell a domain name, I do my best to learn who the prospect is or who the prospect represents, and it’s not all about setting the price.