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Domain Names Forum

How to Make an Unsolicited Offer on a Domain
Best approach

 3:05 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)


I'm looking for advice on how to approach buying a domain that is not advertised for sale. What should I look for in a domain broker?





 4:06 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Allow me (forgive me for?) asking a question.

Why do you think you need someone to act on your behalf? I think you can do it: Negotiate a deal successfully - assuming the owner is a) actually interested in selling; and, "if yes" then b) has a realistic approach to market valuation. Realistic includes valuing a domain name on factors beyond type-in traffic.

What is it that you think you don't know that someone else knows better?

Pricing? How to negotiate a price?

Procedures for closing the deal? Whether a contract is needed? Whether to insist on an escrow?

Perhaps we can start with all the things you would like to know about domain name transactions?

Or, you just don't want to know and you'd rather someone else pick up the oar, do the rowing and let you attend to what you like to do? :)

[edited by: Webwork at 8:39 pm (utc) on July 12, 2006]


 3:14 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

first of all dont look for a domain broker...its a waste of money paying him for a few e mails and a phone call work which you can do during your spare time.

Find out who owns it, send e mail..if he dosent reply back, make an offer via email and follow up.
If necessary give a call to the guy and if he wants to sell, negotiate and close the deal.


 4:05 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestions.

Here is my concern:

The prospective purchaser is a very large organization. My link to them would be easily established, thereby increasing the price dramatically :)

Also - I don't understand the escroe process well enough to protect either of the parties during the transaction.



 4:11 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Webwork - great questions:

Why do you think you need someone to act on your behalf?

It's a recommendation based on branding and positioning - type-in does not come into play

What is it that you think you don't know that someone else knows better? Pricing?

Valuation, escroe process, and the list of things that I don't know I don't know :)

Like many here I buy tons of domains - some of them for fairly big bucks - but this one is different: it's BIG bucks (for me anyway - probably 6 figures or more) and it's not offered for sale.

Or, you just don't want to know and you'd rather someone else pick up the oar, do the rowing and let you attend to what you like to do? :)

That's a big reason too - I mostly make recommendations, and any time I spend becoming an expert on acquisition is time missed for my real work :)


 6:33 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)


think about it this way as well:
you get a domain broker for buying this domain.
So you have to pay him some commission (a percentage) so that for me is money wasted.
But if its a fixed fee you are going to pay him and that money is less than the value of time you put in yourself buying this domain, then definetly use a broker.
Its for you to decide.

Anywayz escrow is fairly easy to use, open an account and try to use it, go to the domain sale section, its easy to figure it out.

Well to protect your identity and the oraganization's, that is for you to work it out.
Cheers and all the best


 8:26 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

The escrow procedure can be very straightforward. I once bought a domain from some cybersquatters in St. Petersburg, Russia, who were sitting on stacks of English dictionary domains that were registered through their own Russian registrar (under common ownership).

I expected the worst, but I used a pure-web-based escrow service (the obvious Google result when you search for [escrow]), and it worked extremely well. Even with the issues of language, time zones, and a captive registrar, there were no problems, and the domain arrived at my registrar safely. The cost of the online escrow was very modest.


 10:01 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I manage all of my companies domain names and have been faced with a similar situation. We are a pretty good sized company that can afford to and have dropped 5-6 figures for domains before. My advice is not to disclose that you are with a large company, because obviously they will think that you have alot of money to spend. So use your personal email address or even better call them directly.


 10:28 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have to disagree about the suggestion to pursue this on your own if this is really a significant player in the online world. I run a major dot com. We get inquiries weekly from people saying "I want to buy your site". We do not respond to them at all. We do, however, respond to the inquiries we get from attorneys and investment bankers representing individuals or companies interested in buying us out.

Especially if this is a large site you are looking to buy, you want to let them know you are serious - or they might laugh it off like we do the emails sent to our whois address.

We attempted to purchase one of our competitors a while back. The attorney fee to write up the inquiry and attempt to contact them (both through email and phone) cost us around $250US. Essentially all the attorney did was what we would do ourselves - but the fact it was an attorney representing someone and not just some nobody off the street got us in the door.

Just my $0.02


 12:01 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

If it's a premium domain, don't beat around the bush, let them know you that realize it's a premium domain and you aren't trying to offer them $50 for it. If you want somebody to listen to you, don't be cheap, just tell them you realize it's a 4-6 figure domain from the start.


 12:18 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Contact the owner by email directly,no need to hire someone


 1:24 am on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

you can show them your serious without having to show them your wallet. don't confuse the two.


 1:50 pm on Jul 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

(for me anyway - probably 6 figures or more) and it's not offered for sale.

greeneggsandham has given you the answer and I would react precisely the same way.

I have offers every month for domains similar to:

As this is only a hobby website for my girlfriend I am only willing to offer no more than a two hundred dollars Australian. Please do not be offended.

Hahaha...oh yeah, who's he kidding? Obviously the name is a very well-known and valuable name...let me cry a little bit more please.

Do it correctly since, if you do not and you are found out before payment is made, you'll get shafted for more and your personal credibility will be zero.

I'm quite surprised that the buying company have not realised this too?


 2:14 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great advice - thanks.

OK - if I choose to have our attorney contact them, how should I go about determining how much to offer?


 3:35 am on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Forgive me if you've stated this, but have you dug into the Domain Forum Library [webmasterworld.com]?

There's a nice thread in there about placing a value on domain names.

A seminal question is "What is its value to your company?"

I mean, really: What makes it so special that you have to have it?

You can value domain names based purely upon today's or the last 12 months traffic stats, but often that's not the whole picture.

Dig into the library a bit and then come back and tell us more, in a general-specific sort of way, about "what's so special". :)

A bit of basic advice: You never want to make an offer that makes it appear that you are playing the registrant for a fool. I'd suggest you at least employ a bid that's half-way to your max, for a "serious domain", as an exploratory gesture.

The question is: How does one "set the max"?

Stay tuned.

Dig in, read, give us some more details without spilling the beans and we'll see what we can do for you.

Lastly, a shout out: Yo! Moniker_Man! You out there? Somebody summons Moniker_Man, Sedo_Man, Fabulous_Man and all the other domain heroes for some wise words of advice. :)

[edited by: Webwork at 3:40 am (utc) on July 14, 2006]


 2:05 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you do decide to contact the owner directly,please update us whether if you have ended up dealing with him


 3:36 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've received a few recommendations on services that assist in domain valuation. I'm going to contact them and I'll keep you posted on what happens.

Thanks everyone for the great advice.


 9:09 am on Jul 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Lastly, a shout out: Yo! Moniker_Man! You out there?

Well I'm certainly not Moniker man, just Hunter man, but if you were to ask me, you will get all the advice you need for free right here. Just do what these folks are tellin ya, especially webwork, and you'll be fine. If your serious about somthing, you just have to get serious about it :)

[edited by: Hunter at 9:11 am (utc) on July 15, 2006]

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