Your Offer Might Spark an Interest in Selling

Here’s something to keep in mind when making offers for domain names: your inquiry might make the domain owner  consider actively marketing the domain name for sale.

In the last couple of months, I have made many  purchase offers for domain names that were not on the market. On a few of these domain names, shortly after making my offers, the companies decided to seek out a domain broker to sell their domain names. The prices of these domain names were far above what I would pay, and as far as I know, none of these names I am thinking about  have sold via broker.

When buying domain names, my strong preference is to make a deal privately. This generally allows me to purchase a domain name covertly, without the price reported publicly and without outside involvement from someone who might use this data to their advantage. When a broker gets the listing, it becomes widely known that the domain name is for sale, and an acquisition becomes less appealing for me.

When the owner of a valuable domain name seeks out a broker or brokerage to sell it, those companies are generally incented to tell the owner the domain name is worth as much as possible. When the field of brokers is relatively equal, the domain owner is likely to choose the broker who thinks the asset is worth the most. With the exclusive listing in hand, the broker can later tell the client the reality of the situation if their price expectation was set too high, but by that point, the domain name has already been heavily marketed and my interest has waned.

I get a bit frustrated when I see a name I privately inquired about go on the market shortly thereafter. Essentially, my offer made them interested in seeking out a high sale price.  This is more of a frustration with myself more than anyone else because it means I contacted the right person at the company and they are willing to sell the domain name I want. However, my offer wasn’t enough and/or I simply wasn’t able to close the deal.

Doing this might make good business sense for the domain owner, but it is something domain buyers need to think about when they are making offers.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the 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. This is too funny because that is exactly what is going on with me now, with me being the person someone is trying to buy a domain from and me planning to market it in a way I was not doing yet. 🙂

  2. real estate agents do this all the time ….highball the broker’s estimate in order to get the exclusive listing … then when they bring in an offer considerably lower than the listed price they blame ‘the market’ as setting the price lower…..often the inexperienced owner (most people sell a primary residence 2-3 in a lifetime, often 10-20 years apart, so are not privy to the ins/outs of the local market like brokers) ends up with the property tagges as ‘overpriced’ and agents tend not to prioritize showing as they dont want to have to bring in an offer much below list price, as often the first few offers (if owner is lucky enough to even get such offers) are turned down by the owner. Then after the house is not sold in the average time other houses sold in nearby owner is urged to lower the price by his agent …and voila, house sells for price range it should have been priced for in the first place.

    Unfortunately owners (homes and valuable domains) are human, and easily swayed by a ‘professional’ telling them what they want to hear – that their property is worth more than what a reasonably informed buyer may likely offer.

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