Bad Domain Business #2 (sending offers to auction)

Last week I wrote about a domainer that offered me a domain name, I made an offer that he accepted and then he asked for double the money. This week I have another example of “bad domain business”.

Again I was offered by email a .biz domain that as it turns out it was caugth the previous day using a backorder service I use too. I offered $100. That was twice the price he had paid. This is the price one would expect from other domainers when offering freshly caught domains for sale. This is a flip and a flip to other domainers will not get you a high ROI.

He replied with an email that had this subject:
RE: *******.biz NOW LIVE IN SEDO AUCTION no reserve!

I clicked on the link inside the email to go to sedo and put a $100 reserve only to find out that there was no LIVE auction! The auction was starting a week later! I told him that I will not be bidding and that his subject was at least missleading. He got angry and told me I was being difficult. OK maybe I was…

Looking this week’s results of the Sedo Great Domains auction I saw that this domain was sold for 85 GBP. That is about $133. That is about $113 if you subtract the 15% sedo fee.
So he only got $13 more, lost me as a buyer (for this domain and in the future) and waited for a couple of weeks for the auction to end. Now he will also have to wait for the buyer to pay and then wait for sedo to send him the money.
Was it worth it?

One more thing. If he had made me a counter offer for $150 I would have bought the domain…

Sending domains to auction after you get a Sedo offer (or any offer) is very risky. You risk losing the buyer and also getting a price lower that you would get in a offer/counteroffer situation.

This especially applies to end users. When an end user makes you an offer at Sedo, no matter what the offer is (high or low) don’t send the domain at auction. I think there is too much risk of not getting your target price. And even if you send the buyer’s highest offer to auction and think that whatever you get above that is be a bonus, don’t. You risk losing the buyer and the potential gain is not that great. Sedo auctions don’t have many(if any) participating end users (except from your buyer) and it is unlikely that any domainer will match an end user’s offer. So what you achieve is make your buyer frustated and angry.

I have never send a Sedo domain offer to auction and never will.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. I’ve sent sedo offers to auction before but I’ve always informed the potential buyer I will be doing this and gave them the opportunity to counter-offer first. If they won’t budge I’ll tell them that I’m not accepting the offer flat out but may be willing to take my chances at auction.

    • I am really curious…
      How many domains have you send to auction? How many got further bids?
      And how many of these sent to auction domains were not paid?

      • Only a handful of times over the years, usually just mentioning this as an option will put the fear of losing out into the negotiation and they will either adjust their offer or back out completely. I want to say about 4 times (since 2007) has some actually said ok. Since I got their approval before doing so I’ve never had a non-payer through Sedo in this scenario. Unfortunately it seems sedo auctions are not as watched as they were a few years ago so usually the names did go for the offer that sent it to auction but at least I retained the chance for more substantial sale w/o jeopardizing a solid offer and w/o pissing off the buyer (too much).

      • Come to think of it I’ve actually had way more stalled transactions than at Sedo or any marketplace. I think the fact that there’s a nominal obligation to a 3rd party (the market site) helps keep buyers honest. Pros know there’s no teeth there and you’ll always get flakes but most buyers are end users and want the domain if they’re going to create an account, negotiate etc.

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