Domain negotiations : Never refer to “alternative options” when seeking to buy a domain

Everyone wants to buy a domain name as cheap as possible.

Beginning with this axiom, the domain seller’s perspective is the exact opposite: maximize Return On Investment.

It’s 2018, and and endless line of new companies and partnerships, start-ups and non-profits pop up, in need of a domain name.

Expectations vary, but the overall approach of these potential domain buyers remains driven by cost.

There are many ways to approach a domain seller and place a reasonable offer. When given a bare minimum price, the worst thing to do is to respond with a statement claiming to have “alternative options.”

When I receive such statements, it’s obvious to me that the other party is really a weak negotiator.

If you can’t name your counter-offer but rely on the seller to give you a discount for no real reason, other than the fact that you might get a different domain, you’ve lost the negotiation game from the get-go. I’m not afraid to shut the door to a customer with a budget that can’t meet my asking price, and who attempts to get a deal based on such silly tactics.

I really don’t care to hear about your alternative options.

You’re reaching out to me because you want my domain name. If you have budgetary constraints, I might be able to discuss options related to pricing, e.g. lease to own availability. If you believe that a few weeks later you will be able to come back and meet my asking price, no problem with that, either.

To hear, however, that you have alternative options is akin to walking into an art gallery, asking for a discount just because you can buy any art elsewhere.

Unlike price competition at a grocery store, where you can buy milk, bread and eggs at Store A cheaper than Store B, both art and domain names are unique. You come to me, because you want my domain – the one you can’t get elsewhere.

It’s important for domain investors to draw a solid line on the negotiation table, and to deflect the reasons that the other party is seeking a discount for; having “alternative options” should not be one to succumb to.


  1. Great write up Theo.Got that recently for 2 word keywords and buyer mentioned alternative. Told him thanks and movedo on.Mine was spot on and no dash like his and beside that I offered instalmental payment which he refused and thinks I would succumb.
    I think some domainers fall for this and later realize buyers sure can pay or agree to a payment plan.

  2. Uknowledge – Good to hear, and thanks. It’s important to also let the other party know that the domain’s valuation is not defined by any alternative options they might claim they have.

  3. Quote: “I really don’t care to hear about your alternative options.”

    Totally agree on this. Why reach out to me if you have more options? Probably the domain listed is the best option you are in pursuit of.

    Great read! Thanks for publishing.

    – Broadway

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