Domain pricing game: Acquisition middlemen still going strong in 2017

Domain acquisition services, operating behind the scenes on behalf of usually well-off buyers, continue to game the domain market.

Even when there is no trademark associated with particular domains, those middlemen attempt to acquire them at the lowest possible cost, putting pressure on the domain owners.

This is how they secure bonuses, and although not all of them make themselves invisible, they tend to not disclose their full intentions.

For domain investors, it’s a great way to leave significant amounts of money on the table.

Regardless of whether domain inquiries or offers arrive from generic email providers, domainers should treat every incoming inquiry as if it came from eponymous end-user buyers. That approach ensures that the maximum ROI is placed on the table as the negotiated upon price.

Typical responses from middlemen in the domain industry address budgets, flexibility in pricing, and other time-wasting exchanges that intend to derail and frustrate domain owners.

Being aware of a domain’s street value is important.

Researching your buyer is also mandatory. Sticking to your guns with regards to pricing, is also dependent on your negotiation skills. Asking for a high price is a sensible starting point; past that initial response, you won’t be able to go up, as opposed to going down.

Keep your responses short and simple.

If an offer is made, counter with yours. If they are asking for review time, tell them the quote comes with a short time window. After all, pressure is on them from their respective clients, and you are in control of the domain pricing game.


  1. This is good advice, it is very important to dig up information on the person that is interested in your domain. I have always thought it was a smart move to counter and see how much higher the person can go.

    But I was wondering in the case of receiving a really good initial offer is it better to just accept and go with it? Should you counter higher knowing that if that initial offer is the best the person can do they will simply tell you that and you can still close the deal?

    This is something I have always wondered about because there has been some cases when someone offered a high offer and I countered only to never hear from them again.

    – Will

  2. Hey Will – That’s a good question. There are several parameters that decide the outcome. E.g. are you content with the initial offer, or do you feel you can squeeze some more money out of it? Depending on the urgency of the buyer to buy the domain, you can counter higher and offer them a payment plan as an incentive.

    Sometimes, going higher won’t even get you a response, or it will get you a negative response. If you reach that impasse and still want to sell the domain at the initial offer price, find a way to comment on the buyer’s strong negotiation skills, and accept their offer. Depending on how well you phrase it, you might be able to make a sale without declaring defeat. 😀

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