“You Never Count Your Money When You’re Sittin’ at the Table”

“We are pleased to inform you that the potential buyer for [redacted].com has accepted your offer of 24500 USD.”

“Congratulations, [redacted].com has sold for $1600!”

“Congratulations, you and [redacted] reached an agreement!”

I love receiving emails with the above messaging. They are from different domain name sales platforms notifying me that a buyer has agreed to purchase one of my domain names. The only issue is that these deals have either already fallen through or I expect that they are going to fall through.

Unfortunately, non-paying buyers are a widespread problem. Non-paying sellers are also a problem I have encountered, too. While the problem happens on domain sales platforms and marketplaces, I have dealt with the issue on private transactions quite a few times.

There is very little that can be done to prevent this from happening. No matter how much verification is done – from identity verification to verification of assets, short of successful (expensive and time consuming) litigation, there is not much else that can be done to force someone to close a deal.

People change their minds. People don’t get the funding they expect. People get flack from their business or life partners. People receive better offers or find a better deal. People have health or life issues. People are front running. People are being jerks.

There are countless reasons for why people back out of deals. No matter what the reason is, it is frustrating as heck to be on the other side of a deal that doesn’t go through.

One important lesson that can be learned is that a sale isn’t done until the money has hit my bank account. Yes – I have even had a deal fall through after the buyer paid Escrow.com and I started the domain name transfer (I got the name and money back, but that sucked – until I sold the name to someone else for 2x the price). It’s fun to think about how the money will be used, but it’s always best to not allocate it until the wire or ACH clears.

As Kenny Rogers advises in The Gambler, “You never count your mone when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”

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. The number of non-payers seems to have risen dramatically over the last couple of years.
    9 didn’t pay for names they negotiated on in 2019 (5 of those at least communicated over it, the other 4 just went silent), 16 didn’t pay in 2020, we’re already above that number so far in 2021.

    Too many dreamers and unfinanced flippers.


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