How To Pony Up An Offer Into A Sale Without Leaving Money On The Table

Lately I have been getting more & more offers on domain names that I have sitting around. Maybe my “eye” for selecting domains to keep in my portfolio has gotten better. Perhaps the hundreds of domains I have laying around are becoming useful to others in those niches.  I like to think that it’s a matter of time until another domainer or better yet – an end user finds the value in a domain name I own for their use. The principles I set in my strategy prevent me from gathering more “junk” and focus on quality. I’d rather have a small handful of useful domains versus hundreds of junky domains & keep paying renewal fees that will just keep sinking my ship & my dreams.

One of the things that always gets me nowadays is that when I first started – I would jump at any offer. Weather the offer be around the regfee amount or $50 for a domain, I would panic & quickly accept the offer before the buyer would run away. Boy, was I wrong! Lately, every offer that’s been coming in, I have been counter offering at an exponential amount. Why? because I know better now. I am tired of the sob stories where the replies are that they don’t have that amount of funds available, that they don’t need the domain that bad, that they are a college student on a project & the domain counter offer price was over their budget. Not to be rude, but the buyer can love the counter offer or shove it. I take the buyer’s reply into consideration & I will usually work with them on the deal until I feel both parties are happy with the outcome of the sale.

Why am I so greedy & why am I always in control of the situation? Well easily put, thanks to my experience, I can be. Why shouldn’t I? I understand very well that if a buyer gets turned off by my offer, another buyer will come along. If they don’t, then I lost out – but if they accept my counter offer, then I made out better than accepting their original offer. I see an offer for a domain name that comes in out of the blue like a door to negotiations to see how much they are willing to spend. Think of it this way, if you made an offer for a domain name, would you let the seller know your maximum budget or price to pay for the domain? Of course not! Well it’s the same with buyers who offer you a low ball offer on your domain.

Hopefully these tips will help you in securing more money for each offer you & materialize the offers into a higher sale amount:

1.) If you can do research on the buyer – Do It! If the offer cane in from a whois lookup – then you have their email address. Most email address will come from a domain name – or a public email eg GMail. So do some research. If you saw an email come in from – you should do your due diligence to find out as much info as you can about me. Of course, that would be visiting my domain: You may get turned off by my blog & not want to upscale your counter offer too much. However, what if my email was from a niche that lines right up with you domain’s niche? Bingo, you have the opportunity to counter offer much more than what my original offer was for. Let’s say I use a gmail email address, then look at the suffix. An email from may not warrant prosperity to offer a counter offer at all. However, if my domain was & I got an offer from – then you know you got the buyer in the sack to pay you what you deserve for your domain name!

2.) If you have some insight as to where the offer came from, use databases to figure out the size of the company. How many employees do they have? Is this a domain they can use first hand or is it a domain they will simply keep in their stable? What is their yearly income? There’s websites that specialize in this data – such as The more you can figure out about your buyer, the more leverage you will have to make your counter offer seem more credible.

3.) When submitting a counter offer, go out of your way as to why your counter offer should stand. For example, does the domain attract natural traffic? Does the domain get CPC or CTR revenue? Does the domain make sense? Why would the domain name make sense to the buyer? What qualities does the domain for sale have? Are other extensions taken? Are there products or services offered on other websites that may be competitors of your future buyer? If so, let the buyer know these things. Forget sticking to the run of the mill things like you need this domain for SEO purposes. Do they really? I didn’t think so, instead focus on the intellectual ownership of trumping their niche by fulfilling a need with a want which should be your domain name.

4.) It never hurts to aim for the stars. What’s the worst case scenario? You never hear back from this prospect buyer & you feel you blew the deal. If so, you can send out a follow up email or phone call. If you look at their signature, perhaps there’s a phone or website you can find contact info from. While most of the time, the offer may have come from a decision maker, it’s ok to jump over them & get to the head honcho with your offer. It never hurts to try & you are helping yourself.

5.) Do some research. Get off your lazy behind & ask yourself – if I was this buyer, why do I want to own this domain? If you can’t come up with a couple reasons, maybe you shouldn’t be selling the domain name. If you can, then the more info you collect, the better the sale price will amount to. Don’t forget to mention the reasons why the domain is worth your counter offer. Make the buyer aware that you have a product (the domain) and they have a want to own it. If you can’t convince yourself why this buyer needs this domain name, then how do you think they feel? You’re the seller, you must breath & feel what you’re selling otherwise your buyer will see right through you & guess what – you’ll blow the sale.

6.) Pick up the phone & call the buyer.  One of my strategies is to engage the buyer voice to voice or in person. If they are near you, go the extra mile to meet them & discuss in person each parties interest. I can’t enforce this enough. I know domainers expect all transactions to take over email or the selling platform, but you can gauge your buyer much better in person or over the phone instead of emails. It’s also nice to know who the buyer is in case of future support or domain needs.

7.) Ice the sale for a minute. Take time to get back to the buyer. Kiss your significant other, walk your dog, do other things, don’t let this future sale consume you. The buyer will notice this & in turn may cause him or her to get antsy & offer more than they expected to secure the sale. There’s nothing wrong with this strategy & you may find it was worth the extra wait when the payment rolls in.

8.)  Have the means to collect payment right away. If the domain was offered for sale on a platform, increase the price to your counter offer & make the buyer aware of your change. If you can process a credit card, do it. Get payment for your domain right away. As an ex-sales person, I know that every minute, heck every second counts! The more you wait, the less likely the sale will go through. Make your payment options ready. The sooner you can secure your payment, the sooner both parties will be happy & the sale will complete.

9.) If the offer came in from a silent buyer – eg SEDO or GoDaddy for example – don’t be shy to state what you’re asking for. Usually, the other party will become aware of your counter offer while their original offer will be available for acceptance while you think it through. If anything, you should be able to go back days or weeks later & accept the original offer if they decline your counter offer.

After you’ve sold your domain name, keep in mind to enter the buyer into an UP-SELL database. I keep one & when a domain name comes up that I’ve acquired, I go out of my way to let the buyer know that I have secure an additional or more domains in their niche. I often find that previous buyers will jump on a new acquisition and buy my domains for more. It’s nice for them to know what my inventory looks like & they are receptive to purchase more if I simply keep them in the “loop”.

I hope these tips help in your domain sales & in securing the value you deserve or want for your domain names. As a personal story of my experience, I had a domain name once. It’s sold now, but the story went like this, when I first acquired the domain name, I was offered $10 – $40 for it from multiple parties. I kept renewing the domain name for a few years. the offers would come in over time & although they were really low, I kept counter offering in the mid $xxx range. I felt the domain really deserved it. With time, a couple offers strolled through in the mid $xxx range. Unforgettably at that  time, I countered too high & blew each sale. On the fourth year of holding on to this domain name a buyer came around & purchased the domain name for near $x,xxx. No questions asked and he was quite happy to be the proud owner of such domain in this amount. I was stroked to have completed the sale & since then, I haven’t looked back. I hope the experience I am sharing here motivates you to:

1.) Never give up. For every action – there is an equal & hopefully better reaction (counter offer).

2.) It’s not the end of the world, you can always follow up with a price within the buyer’s range if you blow a sale.

3.) If you hang on to the domain, someone else may stroll by who will pay more. If any other offers come in for that domain, you can always explain as a response that someone in the past offered x for the domain & why you feel it’s worth more.

For those of you who’d like to know more about my background – I strictly deal with domains that I’ve caught on the drop. Sometimes I will buy domains at wholesale pricing, but 99% of all my sales come from domains where I catch them on the drop using my own metrics & offer them for sale.

Good luck in your sales & thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope to enlighten you more with similar topics on end user sales, domain flipping & catching expired domain names!

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  • roy messer says:

    IMHO, these are very good points, many of which i use or have thought of, but you have also included others I had not pondered. thank you!

  • David Gruttadaurio says:

    This is a GREAT post. Thanks for the solid, paint-by-numbers guide to selling a domain name… something most of your fellow domain bloggers would never share.

  • admin says:

    Hi Roy,

    I’m glad you found this article to be informative. I have more to offer on the subject, but feel it was a good primer as to what works for me in upping the sale amount of each sale. Hope it helps you in selling your domain names for a bigger amount than the original offer you may receive.


  • admin says:

    Hi David,

    I’m glad you liked the article. I hope it helps you obtain bigger amounts than the original offer you may receive for your domains. I’m sure no one wants to share their secrets, but these tactics work for me & I am happy to share if it will help someone else out as well. Domainers seem to be greedy with the information they share which makes this a competitive field. You gotta love the cut-throat business we’re in & I wish all domainers the best of luck in selling domains for more than they expect.


  • Tim says:

    Thanks for this guide. Will go a long way.

  • admin says:

    Hi Tim,

    Glad it helped, hope you can convert some solid sales along the way!



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