I just sold a .com domain name for $20,000 at Sedo. So after the 15% fees I am getting $17,000. Wire has arrived in my bank account so I can share some of the interesting details. e.g. Negotiations lasted 2 months! But let’s start from the beginning.
When negotiating I don’t look at how much I bought a domain name. I usually remember the ballpark and even if I don’t remember, the purchase price is pretty much irrelevant. I can’t negotiate with 2002 prices in mind or even 2014 prices. I negotiate with what I think that the domain name is worth today.
When I got the first offer at Sedo for $1,250 I was sure I hadn’t paid more than $150 for this domain name.
This time I was a bit curious of what I paid for the domain name because a couple of people asked me that question after I told them about the sale. So I checked my emails and it turns out I paid $70 back in December 2007. It was a simple drop catch backorder at Namejet.
So what was the domain name? It was AppliedGeography.com.
It is one of these names that would sell for not more than $250 in an auction at Go Daddy or Namejet today. And not more than $70 back in 2007!
So after I got the initial offer I had 2 guesses of who the bidder was. The company that bought the .net and .org a few days before I got the first offer at Sedo and a journal using the same name. I contacted the first company and they said that they were not interested. The journal people didn’t reply at all.
I didn’t think of looking at who the previous owner was until writing this post as it was almost 8 years after they dropped the domain name. I thought that they would have contacted me by now if the needed the domain name. It turned out that the previous owner was the journal.
The domain has been transferred to Dynadot and it is behind privacy so I don’t know who the buyer is. The domain was bought through a brand protection agency so that is what I see as the buyer at Sedo. That doesn’t help me as to understand who the buyer is. Not that it makes any difference.
The most important lesson I got from this sale was actually a confirmation of what many people in the industry have said: don’t be afraid to say no to an offer.
Negotiations for this domain name lasted 2 whole months. I even cancelled the first Sedo offer/counteroffer thread.
Without revealing too much (I have removed all my counter offers) here are some of the details of the negotiations:
01/27/15 Buyer’s Offer: 1,250 USD
01/28/15 Buyer’s Offer: 1,750 USD
01/30/15 Buyer’s Offer: 2,750 USD
(In a good faith effort to get this done, I’ve substantially increased my offer.)
02/03/15 Buyer’s Offer: 5,000 USD
(I’m really pushing the limits of my budget here, but in a good faith effort to get this deal done I’m willing to substantially increase my offer to $5,000. Considering that I’ve nearly doubled my offer, please provide more flexibility in your asking price as well.)
02/06/15 Buyer’s Offer: 10,000 USD
(This is the best we can do.)
02/10/15 Your Counter Offer: xx,000 USD
(I am sorry but that is too low. Thanks)
02/18/15 Your Counter Offer: xx,000 USD
02/26/15 Your Counter Offer: xx,000 USD
03/11/15 You cancelled the negotiations
Then the buyer came back 5 days after I cancelled the offer thread and made a new offer:
03/16/15 Buyer’s Offer: 12,500 USD
(Hello, My client was able to increase their budget and we can now offer you $12,500. Are you interested?)
03/25/15 Buyer’s Offer: 15,000 USD
(Thanks for your offer. $25,000 is still outside of my client’s budget. I can increase my offer to $15,000.)
03/26/15 Your Counter Offer: 20,000 USD
Let’s close it today at $20000. A 17,500 offer can’t be accepted.
03/27/15 Buyer confirmed: 20,000 USD
I don’t say I was perfect in these negotiations and maybe I left some money in the table but overall it was not bad. As you can see after 2 months of going back and forth and the buyer taking days to reply I was a tired of this so I tried to avoid a further offer/counter offer: “Let’s close it today at $20000. A 17,500 offer can’t be accepted.”
And finally a word of caution to all new domain investors. I own about 10,000 domain names. That is about $100k in renewals per year. So I need to sell 1 domain name like this every 2 months just to break even. Think of this before starting buying hundreds of domain names.