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How to negotiate when buying a domain

Struggling to stay polite and businesslike



7:13 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

So, I'm drifting in my domain-name universe, and an old idea pops back into my head. I'm talking... you guessed it, widgets. <nods to the TOS...>

Background: I've been looking for a suitable name for this particular widget idea for a while, with no joy. My "business plan" (heh..) doesn't really allow for a big outlay to buy a domain name. Due to the subject material, a .org would probably be the best fit.

So, I'm drinking my first coffee of the morning whilst trying keyword combinations at Sedo and I come across <example>.org which would be a good fit for this project. <example> is a German plural word (this is going to be a German-language site).

So, I decide to dip my toe in the water. I enter a small bid at Sedo... and move on to other things.

A week later I get a reply, with a counter offer which is ten times the amount I offered.

I raise my bid by 10%, and ask for traffic stats.

A counter offer comes back (2% lower) with a list of Sedo stats showing the site getting between 20 and 50 visitors per month - the domain is parked with Sedo.

The seller gives me quick lecture on how great her domain is, also taking the time to give me a quick lecture on how search-engines work, claiming (paraphrased)

since google and other search engines list sites higher which contain the keyword

I'm not really that impressed with the counter offer.

There is a fairly hefty gap between my last offer and the seller's last offer. I would be prepared to meet somewhere in the middle, but how do I do this? Do I write to the seller to tell them they aren't going to get an "end-user" bid from me, but that I'll pay more than the "domainer" would?

To be brutally honest, I have many other projects, and part of me is saying "don't waste time messing about with this".

I feel if I could meet the seller over a couple of beers we could probably thrash out a deal.

Should I move on this? How?


11:25 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

First, be clear in your mind what your absolute max is going to be. You need to know this; you cannot negotiate unless you know what your final position is.

You cannot know what the vendor really believes is the value, and what is negotiation; try not to assume anything.

Personally, I'd go for three bids, with your final bid being your max - so your second bid would be somewhere in the middle of what's going on.

Be willing to walk away if they won't play: politely; they just might cave in once you call their bluff.

But if you want it, don't be silly - I was once offered $60 for a domain I was already earning more than that per month, with virtually no content. No way I'd EVER sell to that buyer, EVER.

If it's a good domain, be sure to offer a fair price. No law says you have to try and cheat people [I'm not suggesting you are!], and often cheats end up with no deal, as the buyer feels insulted.

But there really is no right or wrong; it's about what you feel, and how much you REALLY want that domain.

But have you really exhausted the 'new' domains out there? Buying new is ALWAYS easier - and ALWAYS cheaper.

[edited by: Quadrille at 11:28 pm (utc) on Aug. 17, 2006]


1:36 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

You might want to read the Domain Forum Library thread entitled How to Make an Unsolicited Offer on a Domain [webmasterworld.com]

You might invite the interested party to post their domain at the various forums that allow that pratice. Sometimes it can be a reality check.

We don't do appraisals mostly because, based on my own observations, about 95% of the domains posted for appraisal are worth somewhere between "less than the registration fee" and $100. It's a lot of wasted forum space and wasted eyescans. Still, for those stuck in self-delusion the feedback - which is often scant for most domain posted for appraisal - can be an eyeopener. Unfortunately, those most deeply stuck are likely to resist taking the test. ;)

Equally unfortunately, the domains that tend to be subject to the heaviest member content also tend to be those domains where the registrant already has a good idea of value and every piles on with "great domain", etc. Even in those cases the appraisals by senior members tends to vary widely.

Invite your seller to read the recent WebmasterWorld frontpage thread about domain appraisals. Maybe she's stuck in appraisal la-la land?

[edited by: Webwork at 1:45 am (utc) on Aug. 18, 2006]


4:35 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

webdoctor could you let us know if you closed the deal...since I do a little bit of domaing, I have realised every sale is different from other and sometimes in between buying and selling you learn new things.
its case specific (once you rule out the general laws of negotiating)


5:01 pm on Aug 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

showing the site getting between 20 and 50 visitors per month...
The seller gives me quick lecture on how great her domain is

Gotta laugh about how contradictory the seller's statemnents are! :)

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