No money, no honey!

During the past two weeks I’ve had an onslaught of offers on Sedo.

While some sales came to fruition after negotiation and/or public auction, the majority were of the same kind: lowball offers.

I spoke to my account manager about possibly introducing a system where offer-makers are identifiable, the way sellers are.

The method would allow serial lowballers to be blocked by individual sellers from making further offers; first, for a set period of time and then – if necessary – for good.

I don’t set minimum prices for the domains that I list on Sedo and the reason is simple.

Many times I’ve seen an initial offer of e.g. $100 jump into the $x,xxx territory once negotiations – and non-standard messages – get rolling. A higher minimum price can be a roadblock, even if it’s in the low hundreds. That’s because a minimum asking price is only a selling threshold and not a selling point, but those two are often misunderstood by potential buyers.

The truth is, a lot of end-users offer the least amount of money, if they can get away with it.

The exception, perhaps, was when I sold a three letter .com via Sedo last year. The $xx,xxx selling price had a $9,999 minimum offer set.

Still, it’d be great to pass the message along to the time-wasting lowballers: without offering money, you don’t get the domain honey.




  1. So you say you’ve had many lowball offers that have ended up in sales of $XXXX and yet your complaining about lowball offers. That’s odd

  2. Stan – I am saying that setting a higher minimum other than the standard $60 offer that Sedo defaults at, does not provide any safeguard from lowball offers. That’s why I don’t set prices e.g. at $500 minimum because then a buyer’s expectation is that I sell at $500.

    When you leave it at $60 you do get many lowball offers but the range of negotiation can dramatically change, into the thousands.

    On top of that, there are “serial lowballers” that simply place such offers, never intending to meet up my asking price. Sedo should provide a method to identify repeated lowball bids so that those who place them can be blocked by the sellers, if needed.

    Makes sense now?

  3. Lowballers are great for the simple reason that they identify an audience for you. The lowballers are little messages that say, “Boy I wish I had the money to easily bag this domain name, but since I don’t, I still believe in the lottery so why not buy a ticket?”, and hence you get a lowball offer. The fact that someone desires your domain is a good indication that there will be a person with money who desires it too.

  4. I would gladly receive some low ball offers as it
    would show as “offers received for this domain”
    thus attracting interest.

    Besides, if you don’t set the price, it’s only logical that someone would offer you the lowest
    price………..just say “no thank you” and move

  5. Just set your minimum offer higher. That would exclude all the lowballers, plus the serious buyers who would pay more will still bid anyway. Sedo already has a way to funnel out lowball offers, set a higher minimum offer. I don’t think you’ll lose any serious buyers that way. Setting a $500 or $1000 minimum offer shouldn’t create the expectation you’ll sell at that price. By the same logic, leaving it at the minimum $60 offer could mean you will accept a low priced sale. I don’t think Sedo would want to do anything to decrease the amount of bidding activity. And don’t forget, they record the number of previous offers a domain has had, so it could make a domain look more attractive if it’s had lots of offers.

  6. Daniel – That’s a novel approach 🙂 If price won’t increase substantially after my counter-offer, it’s cancel time.

    Alan – You’d be surprised about the number of people that prefer to call than place an offer – any offer – via Sedo. Setting a price is also an indication that you’re “demanding” specific money, perhaps in a UDRP that could be used against you 😉

    jrb – Setting a higher offer has the side-effect that I explained. Ideally, “Make an offer” should be “carte blanche” with no $60 figure; Sedo would charge the minimum amount for any offers below that number when a deal came to fruition. A large number of offers can often deter a potential buyer from placing one. I’ve seen domains with more than 100 offers, makes you wonder how much of a gap existed between the buyer & the seller 🙂

  7. I see the logic on both sides of the comments but I agree with Theo. Give everyone a seven letter user number. When I see that I have had 3 $60 offers on generic .com domains from the same user # 7878886, I can block him. Sedo can do this if they want to put this into place should not be hard.

  8. Since everyone has different value of names I think it would hurt Sedo by implementing a policy of blocking a potential buyer. I can’t tell you how many times we submit a $1,000 offer and get countered with high xx,xxx on a name that isn’t worth more than 5K. If you don’t like the offer you can simply break off negotiations and if you do that twice on the same name the buyer would be required to go through their account manager for a third negotiation on the same name.

    Happy Selling and enjoy the Holidays!

  9. I agree with Theo, but even blocking common low ballers will not solve this problem, and setting a minimum price does change the mindset of some buyers. The solution may be to put a notice on the offer page stating that any low offer will be ignored?

  10. Personally, I think if you set a minimum $60 offer, you are saying “It’s OK to send me a $60 offer”.

    Minimum offers are in place for a reason and I think it’s best to set a minimum dollar offer that you are OK getting an offer at. It’s not like a minimum dollar offer means you will “sell” at that amount, it’s a starting point.

    If you wish not to reply to $60 offers because it’s a waste of time, ignore the email(s) you get from Sedo and don’t counter or set your minimum higher.

    I’ll take low ball offers all the time. It’s better than not getting any 🙂

  11. Jamie – As I said earlier, the $60 offer should have been “Make an offer” instead. It’s definitely not an invitation to place an offer at that level, and simply an inconvenience for the seller. You can’t ignore offers right off the bat, you have to counter-offer or accept or take to auction. That’s another flaw of the system 😉

    DNabc – Oh trust me, once one gets tagged as a lowballer through a rating system they’d think twice before placing such offers again. The idea is to clean the weeds from the system.

    WBT – The only way to identify repeat offenders currently is when they come from specific countries.

Speak Your Mind