Don’t Tell a Domain Owner Your Plans for a Domain Name
One question I frequently receive after making an inquiry on a domain name is “what do you plan to do with the domain name if we reach a deal?”
People are curious about whether I am going to re-sell the domain name or perhaps turn it into the next Google or Facebook. Some are probably a bit hesitant to sell a domain name they’ve owned for 10 years when that name could become the next billion dollar brand or be re-sold for 10x the sales price. When you think about it, the reasoning isn’t really all that sound, but it’s human nature.
Although I won’t lie to someone during a negotiation, I generally won’t give away my plans for it either. I may be very vague about my intentions or say that I haven’t figured out my plans yet, but I won’t get into details about them.
You don’t want to give them an idea about what they can do with the domain name if they choose not to sell it, nor do you want to give them any leverage in the negotiation if they know that their domain name is your only choice for what you want to do. It will generally cost you more to acquire it if you give too much information away.
Additionally, when I plan to re-sell the domain name, I don’t mention that either. Inevitably, the person will ask me to broker it and split the proceeds. I have no interest in brokering domain names.
If they’ve seen my blog (many people search for my name and arrive here), they know I buy and sell domain names so they assume I am doing that with their domain name, which may be true. The way I explain it to them is that I am only interested in taking on 100% of the risk for 100% of the reward. If they want to keep doing what they’ve been doing and hope someone comes around with a better offer, they are welcome to do so. Alternatively, I am able to pay all cash up front right away to buy their domain name.
Some people don’t like this and won’t sell their domain names knowing they are going to be re-sold. The majority of people look at the offer as likely the best they’ve received, and they happily accept, not worrying if they’re leaving anything on the table.
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