I contacted a domain owner about their name and asked them if their domain was for sale and if they had a price for the domain name. I got an email back that said “Not available for under $10 million”.

If you are going to quote a price on a domain name you should start high and this way you have the ability to come down. But when you throw out a ridiculous price like that you run the risk of turning the potential buyer off. I am not writing back to this domain owner. The ridiculous price quote shows me two things… First, the domain owner is unrealistic and more then likely I will get nowhere with them other then have a frustrating few back and forth emails. Secondly, it shows they do not understand the market and they don’t know about (or care about) comparable sales. It can be very hard to attempt to deal with an uneducated owner. They read the headlines that Sex.com sold for millions of dollars and that is their basis for their pricing.

Negotiating is an art, one that very few master and I still have a long way to go in. But what I have found works best for me is when I am able to make concessions in pricing as the buyer feels like he has haggled me down, yet I am still getting a price that I knew all along I’d be happy with. If you’re going to set that first price you need to balance throwing out a realistic number that won’t turn the buyer off and that can also allow the buyer to knock down the number enough to be happy with, while you land in a spot you wanted to land on.

11 comments on “How Not to Start a Negotiation

    • The domain is a two word phrase. And it has the default GoDaddy parked page on it. Yes, very possible that he does not want to sell, though he isn’t making a penny off of it in its current state.

  • The only thing it shows is the domain is not for sale, they know it is not worth $10M, and if they are going to sell it, they are going to ask something that is crazy, if you wish to pay it, simply your choice.

    I can’t fault the owner for giving you a insane price, his way of saying, either pay up, or leave me alone.

  • Without knowing the name, hard to say what it might be worth. But there aren’t many domains that have sold for that amount, it would have to be really special or attached to a money making business.

    That kind of response might also mean the owner doesn’t want to sell at all.

    Your reply should be “My highest offer could only be in the $8 to $9 Million range, but thanks for the reply”.

  • How do you know that you are dealing with an ‘uneducated’ seller? He just doesn’t want to sell you the name unless you make an unreasonable offer. Just because somebody owns a domain doesn’t mean that they want to sell it.

    • @Mike H
      You are right. He could be very educated. My comment is based on the fact that it has a GoDaddy parked page which provides zero benefit to the owner (whereas he could be parking it and making some money and/or collecting some important stats) and the fact that he had a ridiculous offer. Maybe he is a millionaire and doesn’t care. But I would think that is the exception.

  • There obviously was something in your personal metrics that attracted you to that domain. Are you saying your judgement is not worth 10 million $ ? There are two sides to this coin, Don’t get mad because he flipped the coin in his favor, its his perogative to walk away as well as yours.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    • @ Jeff
      Yes, what attracted me is that it is in a niche that I’m interested in. If I’m coming across as mad then I’m coming across wrong. The point of the article is that when negotiating you can easily turn a potential buyer off and lose a possible sale. Maybe the guy has no interest in selling, and that is fine. But if he has an interest in selling it he just lost the chance of selling it to me. Similar to someone emailing a domain owner and offering $1 for their domain name… I know quite a few people who won’t bother responding to an offer like that.

  • @ admin,

    RE.- “But if he has an interest in selling it he just lost the chance of selling it to me.” You may not be the target market he is interested in dealing with. Again there are two ways of looking at this.

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  • I get offers om domains for $1k – $2.5K that I don’t feel they are worth that much, I own them for my own personal portfolio for industries I am involved in. I haven’t developed them, but knowing I control them, and not my comp. is a good enough reason to just let them be.

    Sometimes I get stupid offers from India, Philliphines, Middle East, and I quote $1M just to get rid of them.

  • Maybe he/she knows that you are domainer and do not want to sell the name to you. And like Tom already said, it’s kind of a typical reply to get rid of small / stupid offers.
    It means the name is valuable and starting offers like $100 is absurd (start XXXX at least to not look like clown)

Leave a Reply