If You Want To Pay For A Domain In 3 Months You Need To Tell Me!

gtldsI had an inquiry from someone from Scotland that didn’t end well.

I mention the country as I am not familiar with all the customs in different countries but I believe this situation is pretty universal.

I got an inquiry for a .com domain name. We exchanged 17 emails in 10 days and we reached a deal.

As soon as we reached a deal and I created the escrow transaction I got an email saying:

Now we have agreed a price, I will be looking to purchase this Domain in three months time is that okay with you?

I explained that it was certainly not ok and that he had 7 days to pay. After that the deal is off.

Here is my pretty clear disclaimer:

Any offers made by the buyer are valid for 7 days in which period an acceptance from the seller makes the offer a binding contract between the 2 parties. Failure of the buyer to pay within 7 days after the acceptance of the offer will incur legal proceedings against the buyer in a court of law in the buyer’s jurisdiction.

He disappeared for a week and after I told him that the deal was off he come back with an offer to give me a deposit and then buy the domain in 3 months.

I decided to give him a second chance and I accepted this proposition. Please note that he proposed it. I told him to make a £500 deposit at my paypal account and then pay the rest (£2000 plus escrow fee) within 3 months. “If you fail to make full payment (for a total of £2500 plus escrow fee) you will lose the deposit.”

He then went blank for 5 days and come back saying he is not feeling confident about the way I am handling him as a customer. He then called my  (meaning his) proposal cheeky.

I told him that the domain name is not for sale for him any more. The domain name deal is off for good. I don’t have time to waste with games.

So next time of you are the buyer of a domain name, or anything else, please disclose the fact that you intent to buy in 3 months with spending 20 emails in negotiations. Thanks!

I hope all his customers treat him like this for a week. Let’s see how he will feel.


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 OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. I give them 5 days and have asked DNS to make that time field editable, so that it appears in the communication exchange. As for him calling you cheeky for a proposal he made, that’s grounds for exposing his deadbeat ass.

  2. I thought it said dudes in cashmere…. LOL.

  3. I think it is important to understand that many buyers are reluctant to purchase domains, even after negotiations have been finalized. For them to justify and finalize the purchase, time is often needed. I tend to be a little more forgiving when selling domains vs. most all other assets………..Just my opinion.

    • Communications 101 : When you don’t know, ask. 😉 But to put it in a similar perspective, when you agree to buy a car at a set price at the dealership, you don’t then tell the sales person you’ll be back in 3 months to pay for the car!

      • Acro – I agree, when purchasing a car…. Domains are a unique asset and the sale process can be complicated and requires more education to consumers than purchasing a car, commodity or most all other assets….

      • I don’t get what is so different about domains. Our negotiations lasted for weeks. Then he stalled on purpose. Then he said 3 months. Clearly he didn’t have the money or was playing smart.
        All online purchases are either instant or have a time limit. E.g. ebay.

      • Domains are different because there is a big discrepancy between the perceived and actual value by those of us that invest in domains and those that don’t…….That discrepancy complicates the ENTIRE sales process starting with negotiations all the way to the final closing.

      • Sure but we agreed on the price and I started the escrow transaction.
        He then came back after 5 days to say 3 months. Sorry but no thanks.

      • And this was only a $3,000 transaction. No point of being a deadbeat over 3k. This is a company with many businesess. Too bad they are not getting this domain ever.

  4. Kostas,
    Instead of using PayPal for the deposit, I’d have used Escrow.com to handle all the deal with terms like 20/30% down and the rest in 3 months.
    I’m not justifying anyone, and he should definitely have asked before (during the negotiation) for the terms, but IMHO probably he was “scared” by the PayPal thing …
    You can easily handle all the process with Escrow, which will keep the name until the domain is paid in full.
    If buyer misses to pay even only one installment he’ll lose all the down payment and you keep your name. 🙂

  5. I would be happy to help out if you want Konstantinous, being based in Scotland, the buyer might feel better dealing with someone locally… Drop me an email if you want me to reach out and try save the deal.

    • Thanks but I don’t think it can be saved…

      • Konstantinos, it’s none of my business to say what you should do. But just to share my perspective as a sometime buyer’s broker …

        Sometimes negotiations collapse because buyer and seller aren’t on the same wave length. For whatever reason, they annoy or distrust one another. By having an intermediary broker the deal, neither party has to engage with the other.

        If you let Robbie approach the guy with a firm price (higher because of Robbie’s commission), you’d only have to talk to Robbie or Escrow.com. Nothing to lose.

        Nations at war sign peace treaties. Domain negotiations, while heated, seldom involve bullets; so they might be salvageable.

      • You are right but I operate on principles.
        I do not want this buyer getting my domain name now.
        Do they want to pay 3-4 times the initial price? I will think about it.

      • K-you’ve been doing this a long time and Joseph is 100% correct. What is there possibly to talk about in 17 emails? As a real estate developer one reason I always used brokers was to ease that “tension” that might arise with the buyer. By using the broker it all became “brick and stone” personalities meant nothing. It’s well worth the small price nevermind your loss of opportunity time.

      • There was no tension in these 17 emails. Just a negotiation.
        The 3-month mention killed the deal. I have no intention of waiting or selling to this man. I don’t understand why I have to sell…

  6. “I don’t understand why I have to sell…”

    You don’t. Making money from this 1 sale is a benefit. But holding firm and rejecting any sale to this guy might benefit you in future negotiations on other domains. Future buyers might decide that you mean business.

    Inflexibility can be a virtue. And I’m sure you’ll decide which side your bread is buttered on.

  7. Happily, I’m also 1 of the brats.

  8. It wouldn’t have reached this stage for me. I would have bailed after 10 emails marking him down as a time-waster. :^)

  9. Refusing to sell to that individual is easy when more than one buyer is ready to meet. But if they’re the only one making an effort, not selling just to teach them a lesson doesn’t do much good. I advertised a set of Paiste Hi-Hat cymbals on Craigslist for $190, the only person interested negotiated a $20 discount. When I agreed, they backed out. Upon readvertising the item at $150, the same person responded expressing “extreme interest” but so did many others. You can guess, the one that didn’t get $150 was one that agreed to $170. It usually only works out with those who state up front a desire to drive any distance to close the deal immediately.

    • In a variation of this scam, the buyer that agreed to pay $190 shows up and says, I’ve got $150, sorry. Because typically you are the good guy in this exchange you feel guilt and embarrassment and agree to their price. Like Konstantinos said, operating on principles means that an agreement must be honored.

  10. I agree with konstantios sometimes people change the goal posts and you think no bugger them we had an agreement and now there changing this after the fact , this is normally seen in business terms as the worst thing you can do after a hand shake i look it the same as a bully sometimes you just have to say no and stand up to them its a matter of my own principibales and no price no matter how large can be put on them these cannot be purchased for any price

  11. If possible, one should not sell something good to a guy that he/she does not like. Money is not everything. You are doing a right thing, Mr.K.

  12. sometimes a phone call can remedy 300 emails.

  13. Big issue with domainnamesales.com forcing new inquiries to prompt for the opening of a uniregistry account, higher bounce rates not completing inquiry form, do a dummy quote.

  14. You know, I totally forgot.
    At one point when he disappeared, he went to Sedo where I also have the domain name listed, and he made an anonymous offer.
    Of course I immediately knew it was him and Sedo displays the buyer’s country. He made an offer half of what we had agreed and when I send him a comment he cancelled the offer.

  15. This was a fun read. The longer one deals with buyers you start to get a sixth sense about a buyer’s real intentions. Thankfully, there are still honest, straightforward people to deal with … but they are the minority.

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