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February 27, 2017

Comments

Eric Lyon

Some great tips here for anyone just starting out. Don't forget #8: Confirm they own it or are an authorized broker before you negotiate. ;)

Julio Maysonet

On #3 is good to say that never make yourself sound to eager for the domain. A domainer will pick this up instantly and increase the value of the domain name.

Mansour

Hello Bill,
You should change the title of your blog to ‘How to rip-off an innocent domain owner’. In real estate ethics, you are required to be an honest broker, and your fiduciary relationship is to be directed to the owner not the buyer. Unfortunately, in the domain name business, many uninformed brokers celebrate buying a domain name for a very cheap price and selling it for a top dollar. That’s why in real estate you have to get a real estate license to learn how to be fair between buyer and seller. I can’t see fairness in sending an anonymous email to a premium domain owner informing him that you have an offer for $1,000, and you know very well that the domain name is worth $15,000. I am very surprised that a person who should have integrity and has worked for a major ICANN registrar for many years would prefer ripping off a poor domain owner for a fortune 500 company that can afford paying a fair market value for a domain name. I hope you reconsider your advice and be fair to both buyers and sellers, so the domain business thrives and prospers, and don’t make us look like used car salesmen, so we can have dignity and respect from both domain buyers and domain sellers

Bill Sweetman

Hello Mansour, nice to hear from you (regardless of the circumstances) and thank you for your very passionate and thoughtful response to my blog post. Like you, I believe in fairness and ethical behavior on all sides of the equation, and nowhere in my blog post did I recommend sending an anonymous email to a domain owner or low-balling on price. While there may be so-called "brokers" that operate that way, that is not how I prefer to operate. Quite the opposite, in fact. I spend a lot of time educating my buyer clients on the true value of domain names and also defending the role of domain speculators, who my clients typically refer to using very negative language which I won't repeat here. ;+) Thanks again for your comment.

Joseph Peterson

All good advice.

Chris

Regarding 1, it's ok I think to contact the domain owner directly if it's clear that the domain is just one of several good options available.

The time to absolutely avoid revealing your identity is if the domain owner will feel he has you on the hook ie. you're someone who's likely to remain interested for some time to come because eg. the domain is an upgrade of one you already own, or completes a set.

Then the owner can play the game of saying no to any offer, knowing that he can find your breaking point without fear that you will buy an alternative domain.

A further point I had catastrophically overlooked when I feel foul of the above is that by contacting the seller directly, you are more likely to feel animosity towards him if things don't work out, which could potentially sour your feelings towards the domain you already own.

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  • Sweetmantra offers domain name strategy and advice, tips, and best practices by domain name expert and Internet marketing veteran Bill Sweetman. Topics covered include domain acquisition, domain brokering, domain buying, domain management, domain monetization, domain sales, new gTLDs, and premium domain names.

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