Bad Domain Business

As usual I get many emails from domainers offering me domain names for sale. I don’t even read most of them. Especially when I see a ridiculous name like vaginaladder.com or cowprinter.com. (both unregistered if you are interested) And for the ones I read, I ignore most or them.

The other day I got an email for a domain name that didn’t seem that bad compared to all the junk I get. The domain was priced at “$1,999 or nearest offer”. I replied to the email with a $300 offer.

The seller replied and told me:

…hi there and thanks for coming back with an offer $300 – now that you’ve come this far, can you come up a little bit more? I’ve had this name registered from new for 12+ years and I’d really like to see some kind of return on my investment, no matter how small it is.

I didn’t reply. So a few days later I get an email that my offer is accepted:

I’ll accept your offer of $300 for ********.com, if you are still agreeable and wish you all the best with it.

I replied OK and asked the seller on how he would like to proceed.

I then got a new email saying:

Unfortunately, I have since received several offers above $300, really sorry about this. I will be selling it next week so if you can come up on your offer, I’ll be glad to give it to you.

I didn’t reply.

And then I got a new email:

I’ll accept $600 to close the sale quickly. All the best, hope you reconsider.

I said we had an agreement at $300 and that I expected for him to keep his word.

His reply:

Thanks for coming back to me. Unfortunately, I can’t sell it for $300, I’ve paid registration costs for 12 years alone and managed the name – that all cost me well over $300! If you can come up to $600 it yours but I do have another offer and I’m pushing for the best price I can get. I won’t sell at a loss. This name is not any ordinary domain, seriously Konstantinos, think about it, this is a category killer and a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a stunning name for next to nothing. Hope you reconsider because I will sell this name, this week

I replied:

This is bad business.
Unfortunately I have to inform the domain community about your tactics.
Good luck.

The seller is John Gleeson. He is a member at http://www.dnforum.com.
I had to write his name so others will be protected in the future.

It turns out that after accepting my $300 offer he kept actively trying to sell the domain by sending emails to “interested” buyers and by posting the domain for sale several times at dnforum.com and maybe other places as well.

This is bad business for any business. Especially in the domain industry, domainers frequently only rely on our word and reputation. When I get contacted by a domainer, usually I buy, sell or trade domains without any form of contract and using just paypal. You have to keep your word or else no one will do business with you again. Bad reputation may get you $300 more today but it will cost you a lot more in the long run.

Update: Today he offered me the domain for $500. He is unstoppable!

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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