Why Staying Anonymous is a Good Idea When Buying a Domain Name

When I receive inquiries on my domain names, the first thing I do is try to find out who the buyer is. I use a variety of means to try and determine who wants to buy my domain name. Although my price isn’t solely based on the buyer, that is a strong consideration that I make.

Based on how important I think it is to find out who my buyer is, I assume other domain owners do the same type of due diligence when I am trying to buy a domain name. Sometimes I think it helps when people know I am a domain investor because they don’t expect to get as much as they would if I were a large company like Google or Apple. On the other hand, many people don’t want to think they are leaving money on the table, assuming I am offering a low number.

For the most part, I do not hide or shield my identity because I don’t like it when others do that for me, and I only offer a number I am comfortable paying. When I do wish to remain anonymous, I use a company like Afternic, have someone I trust reach out on my behalf, or I use an anonymous email address. To complete a private acquisition, I use Escrow.com. I shared a way to remain anonymous on deals on Friday.

Although I don’t like the idea of being anonymous, I do think it can save money depending on the circumstances. this is why some of the biggest companies use private companies to buy domain names anonymously, and it might be a good idea for you and me.

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. It really depends on what I use the domain for. If the website has my personal information on it, such as a wedding site, I see no reason to have an anonymous domain. In almost all other incidences I think it is important. If for no other reason but to keep down the amount of spam you will get if your site becomes popular.

  2. I had a .com purchased from my by Hershey’s, I left at least $20,000 on the table. Rookie’s mistake. Respect to them, they played it beautifully, with a front firm and everything with low ball offers starting at $50. Sold for xxxx, in hindsight when I found out why and who bought it, I would have held out for xxxx[x] for sure!

    • Who knows if they would have paid another $20K to acquire your domain name. Even notable companies are cheap and or must explain a need to make a purchase.

      At least you made a domain sale. If the chocolate company were interested in offering what you think your domain was worth, they would have done so in the beginning. They sent a $50 offer to test you.

      Imagine selling a domain for cheap, and then finding out this company rebranded their company behind the domain name. They go out and acquire a dot org site at 10 times more than they paid for your dot com.

      Their collective unique traffic reached over 1 million in the past 6 months. I’m sure the traffic much higher since Compete is not that accurate, IMO. That’s leaving a ton of money on the table.

  3. Before any negotiations take place,I require a phone number to voice connect. This provides me a LOT of information.

    Many buyers will balk at it, but hey, “no talkie, no good” I say.

    Here’s another nugget of subterfuge that borders on “cheating” that I’ll throw out there:

    When you get an anonymous unsolicited offer, simply by replying that you are in “negotiations” with another third party already will get your anonymous buyer to simply state “name your price”.

    You didn’t hear it from me. But I guess you did.

  4. @Elliot Nice post..

    I hope we all remember ( IP Application Development) or ipad
    Those who are no familiar with the stories try search with ipad trademark dispute.

    As, we can see how the big companies uses the secondary information on obtaining trademark / domain .

    Most of the time, I get email through gd , MM or sedo ..
    Well in this case its hard to find who are the people behind the scene. So, its hard to make an counter offer but i always (most of the time) have done my math and know what price should i sell my domain for.
    can i hold my portfolio for next 5 years ?
    have i enough cash to run the show ?
    Does the domain still makes sense as it did the time i registered it?
    If all above answer “YES ” Then just stick to the price you really want. It will not make any difference if anyone uses anonymous or not.

    But having said all this, I had sometime used anonymous mail to purchase names 😉

  5. Once the buyer implements the domain name, then you know their true identity. Essentially, staying anonymous may save a domain investor and an end-user money.

    If you do business with certain domainers, they will request a high price on any domain. It doesn’t matter if the domain is good or bad.

    One website owner responded back with a sarcastic e-mail to say thanks and made it a point to say there is no domain age, the CPM is below $1, and etc.

    Buying domain names is much easier than selling them. There are many penny pinchers that use Matt Cutts, Panda, slow market, and other excuses to buy domains for less.

    In any case, thanks for the anonymous tip. Have a great Sunday.

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