From time to time I receive inquiries about a domain or offers to purchase from what I'll call "strawmen purchasers", someone playing a role - say the poor student or the newly launched business - while that person is actually acting on behalf of a larger, well-funded entity.
Now, some people will argue that it's important to always know the true identity of the inquirer before doing business. Their rationale for this is often economic, i.e., deeper pockets should lead you to ask for or expect more $$$$.
I'm of the school of thought that who the purchaser is is only relevant to the issue of certainty (not guarantee) of payment. The value of a domain - what you might/will accept in exchange for the domain - is a thing independent of the buyer's status. In other words, I'm no more willing to discount a domain (with rare exception) because the buyer lacks means than I am prepared/willing to jack up my expectations/demands because the buyer is well-funded.
So, there's 2 issues at play here.
1. Should you always insist on knowing the true identity of your interested party AND HOW do you ever know . . for sure.
2. Is the value of a domain a function of the buyer's ability to pay or does that type of thinking just screw up potential deals?
How do I know the "true identity" of any buyer? I'll ask, when I care to know. I'll ask for a business address and land line, for starters. I'll go so far as to ask if they are acting on behalf of another entity in some cases, where I'm just not in the mood for BS. ;)
And, honestly, I feel it's a bit like admitting like I don't know my own business to think that pricing is a function of anything other than the intrinsic qualities of a domain, which is exactly why, in most cases, I picked up the domain in the first place.
So, do you always insist on knowing the identity of your "interested party" BEFORE discussing price, negotiating, etc.
Do you set a price without regard to the purchaser's identity or do you employ some sort of sliding scale? How has that approach worked?