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8 Methods That Can Derail A Domain Purchase

More often than not, the domain name you want is taken. If you’re lucky enough, the owner may be willing to sell. Although negotiating the purchase can sometimes be a trying experience, it’s important to maintain your composure and put your best foot forward.


Here are a few real world inquiries you SHOULDN’T try when attempting to purchase a domain name:

1. “Your price is too high for a domain with little to no interest. I looked into it. You have been holding the domain name for at least 5 years with no interest in it whatsoever, and your auction has hardly any views at all.”

It’s extremely common for a buyer to attempt to belittle a domain that they want in the hope that the owner will sell for less. Not only does this not work, but it may cause the owner to refuse to sell them the domain altogether. It’s also important to note that domain listings often get syndicated and placed in multiple marketplaces. Many even appear to be in auction but are just standard ‘make offer’ or ‘buy now’ listings that renew automatically. This can result in auction views having little correlation with sales prices.

2. “$4,500 is my final offer. Take it or leave it. I can assure you that no one will ever be able to get more for a 3 word domain!”

If your email comes across as rude, it likely won’t get the response you are looking for. Also, if you are going to give a definitive statement, try to make sure it’s fairly accurate.

3. “I’m really interested in your domain I will need some traffic stats as well as some revenue stats before I can make any kind of an offer though.”


If only the domain is for sale and there isn’t an actual website hosted on it, don’t expect to get stats and revenue from a seller. If the seller wants a larger price because they are including a revenue generating website, they’ll let you know.

4. “$2500!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s only £20 to register a .com and I’m offering 5 times that! THANKS BUT NO THANKS!”

Go easy on the exclamation marks, the caps lock and do your research before sending these types of emails. Domains that are freely available to register likely have little if any value.

5. “We both know the domain marketplace is not like it used to be 10 years ago; your actual sales are likely few and far between. That being said, domain names are worth far less now, and with the opening of all the new TLDs that GoDaddy is about to release, domain names are going to be worth even less. And for the record, your ‘premium domain’ shows a value of at $0 or $1 when using online tools. That is less than you are paying to maintain it. I will give you $400 for the name. I’ll honor that offer for 72 hours starting now. We both know that I am being more than generous.”

Being insulting and quoting automated appraisals is one of the quickest way to disrupt a domain deal. Some basic domain knowledge about domain types, extensions, popularity, and average sales prices can go a long way towards negotiating a better deal. Either way, make sure you are careful to not say something that you can’t recover from as the seller may not want to do business with you regardless of your offer.

6. “We are a non-profit, so no windfall here. Let me know if you are interested for something small.”

A “charity” is often the first tactic someone comes up with when they want a better price for a domain. If you really are a charity or non-governmental organization and you feel this will get you a better deal, provide some proof. Just be careful so your inquiry doesn’t come across as: “because we aren’t trying to make money, you shouldn’t either…”

7. “I’m a student so I don’t have a lot of cash. But I really would like this domain and would like to build on it as a hobby. I don’t normally bid on domain names since they’re so abundant through a domain registrar. If you’re not interested in selling at a reasonable price, I can add a keyword to the domain and get it through Netfirms for $10.”

If you want to give your hamster a bath in Lafite Rothschild that’s up to you, but that doesn’t make the bottle any less expensive Again, if a domain is freely available to register, it probably has little to no value.

8. “I can offer $850. I was in the auction and I know you only paid $750 for it.”

If you are in an auction and you really want a domain, bid to win. The winning bidder is frequently an investor who feels the domain is substantially undervalued or an end user who sees considerable value in the domain and is willing to strike when the iron is hot.

Now that you know some things not to do, here are 10 methods that can increase your chances of getting a better price on a domain.


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About Ian Ingram

Ian is the founder of Fat City Properties LLC, a company specializing in domain name acquisition, sales, development and consulting. He has been investing in domains and helping clients acquire domains since 2001.