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how much to ask for a domain?
someone has contacted me to buy my domain name - what's a good price?

 8:56 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

A week or two ago I registered tortfeasor.com, I had some small plans for it (mostly just for fun). I haven't done any work so far towards developing a site there.

Someone has contacted me and wants to buy the name. I asked how much he was offering, and he responded by asking how much I would be willing to sell it for.

I have no idea what these things are worth these days. Tortfeasor is a real word (basically meaning the loosing party in a tort suit) so technically this is a one word name. I don't imagine it's a very common word outside of the law.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how much I should ask for? Should I send him a number or ask again what he is offering?



 9:03 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ask them what they are offering. The number one rule in selling a domain. Never give them a price! They may offer more then you think.

Once you have a price from then you can evualuate it then.


 9:15 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Never give them a price!

I couldn't agree more. One client of mine has a couple hundred domains just sitting around doing nothing and someone contacted him about buying one of them. It is a 2 word piece of sports equipment. If he would have given the guy a price it probably would have been a couple thousand but the guy offered him $35,000 for it. I'm not saying you would get anything close to that but it is much better to have him name a price than to give him one. If he offers too little you can always say no.


 9:21 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'd set your expectations low but definitely take the advice offered above.

Like many, I have had domain names sat waiting for a never-coming bid until they expire. They are worth only what someone is willing to pay for them. Weigh the offer (realistically) against what you anticipate making from your fully developed site.


 9:33 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone for the quick responses. I've sent the ball back to his side of the court. Our emails are getting ridiculously short as we both hold out for the other to put down a number.

"name a price"
"no, you name a price"
"no you"
"no you"...

(Not an actual correspondence, but essentially this is what's going on.)


 9:37 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

hehe, now write him back: "i am asking 50,000!" the guy will rerspond with price like" WHAT??? are you crazy? I wanted to offer you $500". that way you will know.that way he will offer his highest price(which will be ridiciolusy lower than you want but still his higher).i guess.:)



 9:48 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Never high ball either.

It is just like buying a house. If you counter to high they will think you want to much and move on. If they have the brains to counter back they will low ball and you will not end up getting what they would have really paid or offered.

The golden rule is wait for them to offer. If you like what their offer is and would gladly accept it then offer then something around 30% higher.

Now you can test the waters and see what they willing to go to.

Negoations are a tough thing. If you know what you are doing compared to a normal person you can make 2 times to 100 times more then what people would normally sell for.


 9:59 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

don't bat back and forth with: you, no you, stuff it gives them the upper hand psychologically.

just email back saying you have plans for the domain, that you haven't set a price for the domain as you didn't buy it to try and sell on, but that you are in business so you are always open to offers and if they make an offer you will consider it.


 11:27 pm on May 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I always say 'how much you got' ;)


 12:00 am on May 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

ajsinclair, please keep us informed. I love these types of threads.

"name a price"
"no, you name a price"
"no you"
"no you"...



 12:51 am on May 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

No response yet, but I will let you all know what happens.


 1:47 pm on May 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

One golden rule is, Be carefull, by asking a price for an undeveloped newly registered name is an act of bad faith.

If the name is a hot name they may be trying you out, you cant sell it anyway for 60 days.


 10:21 pm on May 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Okay - I've recieved the offer. I'm definitly thinking about selling this thing now, but I'm not sure.

Some more questions:

1) How would I actually sell the name? Would I just collect the money and transfer the name to the buyer? What is this 60 day rule? Could I just change the contact info to the new person, allowing him to change the password?

2) How should I try to bargain for a little more money. Never take the first offer right? What's a reasonable percentage over to ask?

3) Would I be better off to wait? I've only had the name for a week or two and I've done nothing to promote its sale. Does this offer indicate a wider group of potential buyers, or is it just a fluke? (I would imagine that the old owner would have accepted any offer rather than just letting the name expire.)

4) Finally, I don't understand the "bad faith" argument. Who's acting in bad faith? Me? Or the buyer? How so?


 11:27 pm on May 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

For one thing you cannot sell the name for a period of 60 days, this is the way it is, it's possible that you may be able to push the name into another users account if they use the same registrar, ie: Enom.com.

Some times registrars slip up, but there is no way you can transfer the name.

Bad faith, .. read the rules, you maybe the one acting in bad faith, it's not the buyer.

Getting paid .. nobody will just send you the money and hope that you complete the transfer, use escrow.com or similar.

As for getting more money .. i dunno up to you.


 12:02 am on May 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, it depends on the amount and the type of buyer. I have had people send me an agreement to sell. After we both signed they just sent me the money. Once I cashed the check I then changed the contact owner to them. They could then transfer the domain to whomever they wanted since they were the admin contact.

Since you are the seller you are very well protected from fruad. It is a whole dirrerent story if you are the buyer. I would go ask them to send the money once you complete some paper work stating a sale has been reached. If they want an escrow agent then let them do that. After all buyer pays the fees.

If you really like the offer and you didn't really plan to sell in the first place it doesn't hurt to ask for 10-30% more. They will either say no or accept it. If they say no then you settle for 5% more or the amount they offered.

Take it as a fluke, buyers of domains will approach near this time when you recently picked up the domain. They may have been watching the old owner and now they see you are the owner. So this is the time to offer to buy.


 4:14 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

For one thing you cannot sell the name for a period of 60 days

Sorry, not true. You can sell it anytime, you just can't transfer it out for 60 days using most registrars.

1) How would I actually sell the name?

Send the buyer an invoice and either ask them for a check or credit card payment. If you need to use an Escrow service then use one and ask the buyer to pay the fee. Once payment is received and clears in your account, transfer the domain to them using the info they provide.

2) How should I try to bargain for a little more money.

Decide on your price and notify them. Don't get wishy washy about it because they can walk away at anytime.

3) Would I be better off to wait? Does this offer indicate a wider group of potential buyers

You will only know by finding other buyers. Don't forget, you can loose the sale at anytime. It's like selling an overpriced stock to someone that does not know much about the stock market. They may just wake up and realize that they could just add an "it" to the end of your domain and get it for less than 10 bucks. Your domain is not perceived to have the same value by any two potential buyers, they all have their own opinions.


 11:00 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I dont know all this hiding and screening .. haggling without putting a stake in the ground is kinda hard .. either you want to sell the name or not.

My 2p worth. I have never sold a domain but have sold plenty of other things.

If you dont want to sell it, tell them it is "not for sale".

However if you want to sell it then you have to work out a price that you "would accept" and a time period in which you might do a deal, after which you may have started investing in the domain name yourself.

Despite what others have written it is quite normal for sellers of many or most items to name a price.

What most sellers do not however do is only think of ONE client!

So, if you want to sell it:
The name relates to the legal profession. There are thousands of firms worldwide using english where the name may have a meaning and a value for a website to promote their specific tort services.

If you want to do a deal and get the maximum value for your domain why not go through the motions of taking it to market rather than just playing email tennis with a single possible buyer who would if they have any sense go straight out and get


which might even suit his objective better.

The point about this is the possible buyer and yourself have indicated the potention for a website on this topic, you by registering the name and he by expressing an interest in buying it.

If you were to write an email saying something like

I am going to put this domain name on the market and am gathering a target listing of compaines active in the tort field to promote the name to.

The domain will be sold, to the highest bidder, bids will close on xx/xx/xx and bids will not be considered below $X,000 or whatever ..... possibly if any bids exceed $XX,000 the first bid over this price will win the domain ... immediately

What this sort of thing could do is concentrate the mind of this punter that the domain will be sold, establish a base price below which you would not sell for but allow him to realise it can sell for loads more, and it may be promoted .. ie others may also get the idea of generating competing websites .....

I am sure you get the idea.


 12:27 am on May 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sorry, not true. You can sell it anytime, you just can't transfer it out for 60 days using most registrars.

Really! I would like to know who would buy a name without being able to transfer it into their name.

Maybe some one who knows you might, do an inter/registrar transfer, but no chance of a business doing that. Ever!


 5:32 am on May 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>>>Really! I would like to know who would buy a name without being able to transfer it into their name.

if you have a bill of sale or some other signed document then the fact that the name cannot be "transferred" for 60 days is not an issue, legally it would belong to new owner and it would be proovable.

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