I was asked by email some advice about domain negotiations. Based on my sales prices there are many people that are better than me when it comes to getting the highest price but I do feel like I have enough business experience in general to give advice. But I had already written a piece on it so I thought I would share it again. Domain list follows
Several times a week I get questions asking my opinion of what to do at certain stages of domain name negotiation. While I’m no Rick Schwartz or Mike Berkens, I think I’m asked so often merely because I come across as approachable. I haven’t sold a name yet for six figures yet but I feel like I haven’t ever had a name or buyer that those type of numbers would be reached. Yet after looking at who bought the names and what they did with them I feel comfortable that I didn’t leave much money on the table. With an increase in the quality of my portfolio I have no doubt that day will come but in the mean time I’m getting there in small parts. But the questions keep coming so I thought I would write a little summary of how I approach my domain sales. Negotiation is both an art and a skill and every negotiation is different, but there are some things that I feel if you keep in mind will lead to a better result.
1. Control the negotiation. You own the domain so you are in control of whether or not the domain is sold. The old thought that the price will be less if the seller puts out the first number may not be necessarily true. According to this piece by Adam D. Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and Roderick I. Swaab of INSEAD in France writes: “In our studies, we found that the final outcome of a negotiation is affected by whether the buyer or the seller makes the first offer. Specifically, when a seller makes the first offer, the final settlement price tends to be higher than when the buyer makes the first offer.” Everyone always says that if you put out a price then you could leave money on the table. This is true if you are talking millions. But in reality, most offers are going to start low anyway and you’re going to respond with a much higher number. I’m not sure why skipping to the second response is going to lead to a lesser price. Nobody has been able to show me any data that shows that first offers loses. It’s just something everybody says. To me the most important thing is that is obvious that you are in control of the entire process.
2. Act just short of offended but don’t be an ass. No matter what the offer, counter with higher. Act disappointed with the offer even if you’ve already called your wife and giggled like a school girl. Nobody starts a negotiation with the top number so most likely there is a little more to be had. I’m not good with the “tear them a new a$$hole” method of Schwartz but acting a little put off may work to your favor.
3. Do your homework. Try and figure out who your buyer is so you can figure out what kind of budget they may have. A good buyer will never use their real name and will hide their IP, but many do not. This is one of the nicest features of Internet Traffic is you get all of this data. Their name, email, and IP info.
4. Use your email signature wisely. You can use your signature to make things appear different than they really are. I’m not saying lie, but it never hurts to be creative. Give him enough data to know who you are if that is in your favor or hide it if it hurts you.
5. Regardless of how the buyer acts maintain your professionalism. You are in control, you own the domain. There’s no need to let emotions get in the way of a possible sale. Low bids and trying to devalue your name is a negotiation technique, not a personal insult.
6. Use time to your favor. If they are in a hurry then make them pay to get things done quickly. Don’t negotiate with yourself. Wait for counteroffers. Those that want something hate to wait, it’s human nature, but its also a good negotiation technique. I’ve heard from other domain sellers that some negotiation took 6-8 months with long gaps between conversations. But they did get done and they all were for large amounts.
7. Don’t worry about comps. You domain is unique. They can be used against you just as easily as for you.
For a little more detail on my thoughts here is another article I wrote several years back. Many of the points are the same, this one is just a little more to the point
Here are today’s names. Click through to see the current price
Quote of the Day: ‘If you give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for life, but teach a man to hustle and he will own the whole entire fish market and sell fish to people who don’t even live near the pond.” – Buttery Ass Donovan Strain
Domain of the Day: Calibra.com There is a reason its one of the highest prices on the board. Tons of things already named this
Namejet and Sedo Names and Others
ShippingCo.com Met reserve wil sell. Much better than Shipping.co
ConcreteSpecialist.com Concrete is the new hot kitchen countertop. And everyone has a driveway
PaintedFrog.com No bidders. Easy logo
YAL.com Reserve at $99 and of course met reserve on opening bid
M6.com This one got some big bids early
Godaddy Domains That I Like With Multiple Bids
PTTI.com 1995 birthday. Already over $600 and climbing
SpeedItUp.com What I yell at the old people driving in front of me
INJO.com My favorite name on the list. Pronounceable and nice short brand. Would guess it goes for over $3500
TheJewelleryStore.com At four figures. I guess I didn’t know how to spell jewelry
Tivas.com Good 5L.com brand but the shoe/sandal company owns the sound
EasyPeazy.com I say the term but didn’t know how to spell it until now
SecurityLeaks.com aka the entire Trump staff
FairCost.com Everyone is looking for a bargain. Or at least a fair price
KitchenSavvy.com The money is in the kitchen. And a little in the bathroom
EpicScale.com Godaddy says it gets 70,000 visits a month
CannabisPress.com The national newspaper of Canada
CannaInfo.com obvious use but requires a buildout to reach real value
Godaddy Domains With No Bids
TheSmileArtist.com Great brand or marketing name for a dentist or orthodontist
ToadHouse.com Sounds like an IPA so…..
ElRehab.com Mexican rehab center?
SixCube.com Sounds cool. One bidder
Bodad.com a 5L.com with no bidders
VitalExposure.com I think it makes a good pr firm or marketing company name
RockFly.com the kind of names I’ll buy all day. Two short, known, easy to spell words. No bidders
MetroZip.com Same here
BetterNorth.com Lets keep this simple, two word brand train rolling
TheGlider.com Not a great name but no bids
OTHER Godaddy Domains With Bids