If you are attempting to purchase a domain name from someone, you need to start the conversation off on the right footing. Here are some things you should avoid saying (or writing) if you wish to avoid annoying the domain owner and killing your chances of a deal before you even start:
"I noticed you are not using the domain..."
Actually, you have no idea if and how they are using the domain name. Even if there is no Website associated with the domain the owner could still be using the domain for email or as a FTP server. Never assume they aren't using the domain otherwise you risk pissing them off right from the get go.
"You only paid $10 for the domain..."
Unless you are a domain name forensic detective (yes, folks with these skills exist) you have no idea how much they paid for the domain name. You should certainly not assume they hand registered the domain. They might have paid hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands for the domain. And even if they did only pay $10 for the domain you don't know what sort of historical investment they might have made related to the domain. For example, maybe they once spent $50,000 building a Website on that domain, or they've spent money defending the name from frivolous legal threats. Who knows? You certainly don't. So don't guess.
"I doubt anyone else would want to buy this domain..."
It's a big world out there and you'd be amazed at how many people get the same idea for something and want the exact same domain name. Unless you are the owner of the domain name you have no reliable way of knowing if you are the first or the fiftieth person to inquire about the domain. Assume you are not the first and you'll come across as more respectful.
"Please call me to discuss..."
Just because you want to discuss the domain name and your interest in buying it over the phone doesn't mean the owner has the time or inclination to. Some domain owners get hundreds of inquiries a day. Some of them have full time jobs and a family. Some simply don't want to be playing telephone tag or wasting their time talking to strangers who might not understand the value of a good domain name. I'm sure you're the exception but they don't know that.
"I got the domain name appraised by (Some Company) and they said it's worth $X..."
There's nothing stopping you from getting a domain appraisal for your own personal reference and amusement just don't expect it to have any sway over the current domain owner. Most domain owners don't give a rats ass what a third party company thinks their domain name is worth, usually because those appraisals don't take into account all the hidden factors (some of which I have referenced above). The only true value of a domain name is what both the buyer and the seller agree to let the domain name change hands for. So think twice about using that appraisal as leverage. More than likely it will backfire on you.
These are just a few of the things I recommend you avoid if you wish to convince someone to sell their domain name to you. This is also one of the many reasons you might want to leave the negotiation up to a professional domain name buyer broker such as myself or one of my industry colleagues.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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