The Brandable Insider: From $19 Purchase to $4k Sale in 6 Months

When I BUY a domain I put a value on it and I stick with that value. PERIOD! Offers much lower than my value MEAN NOTHING!!Rick Schwartz

In October 2016 I acquired a strong brandable in the Go Daddy closeouts. I was very surprised that no one had bid on it and I bought it immediately. About 6 months later, I got an email from someone who was interested in buying it.

Now……….. whenever I get an inquiry on a domain, the very first thing I do, is research the person making the inquiry. I don’t respond to their email until I have some intel on the ID of the potential buyer. Why? Because my sale price and negotiation strategy may vary greatly depending on the identity of the person wanting to buy the domain.

Information is power
Even if there is very little info. I spend at least 20 minutes searching on Google to see what I can find. If I can’t find anything then at least I know what I don’t know and I can contemplate what they might be hiding.

In this case however, the buyer used his real name and I looked him up on Google. He was the owner of an award winning business with about 50 employees. Problem was his business was not related in any way to my, industry-specific, domain name. So I dug deeper and found out that he had a second business. It was a startup. Aha!! But wait, his startup wasn’t in the industry related to my domain either. So why was he interested?

Striking gold
Finally after about 2 hours of searching and sleuthing, I came across one obscure fact. He was on the Board of Directors of a third venture that was a great fit for my domain. I also discovered a small town newspaper article that said he had recently purchased a large warehouse for this new venture. But wait it gets better!

I located a press release that said his new venture had recently formed a consortium from three smaller companies (one being a penny stock) and that they intended to dominate a new, emerging market. Lastly I discovered that the consortium had recently raised several million dollars from investors. Eureka!!

On that basis I quoted what I thought was a lucrative but fair price for the domain. Four thousand dollars. The buyer scoffed and offered me $500. I politely declined the offer. We exchanged about a dozen emails over the next several days. The tone was light and informal. However, in the end neither side was willing to change their initial offer. I was continually asked to make a counter offer but I politely refused again, again and again. All the while, I was keeping it light by making jokes about being a stubborn Dutchman.

Don’t try this at home
Now this kind of rigidity in a negotiation can easily backfire and can result in a ticked off buyer that walks away from the deal. I know this from experience. So this is not a one-size-fits-all negotiation tactic. However, in this case, I believed firmly in the value of my domain, and based on my intel, I also firmly believed in the buyer’s need and in his ability to pay my price. So I was not bluffing. It was a calculated risk with a downside I was willing to accept.

So….. remaining calm, friendly and jovial throughout all communications I politely refused to budge on the price, over and over. Finally, two weeks later, he relented and paid the full amount.

How to Get Intel on Your Prospective Buyer

Google their name

    – This is obvious but still underutilized by many. I try to find out not only where they work but everything about them, education, hobbies etc. I check Facebook, LinkedIn and more. If it’s a fake name that tells me they are hiding something.

Google their email address

    – This can yield a ton of leads to chase down and tell you a lot about their business and personal interests. If nothing comes up, then it’s likely a throw away account they created just for this purpose. But that says a lot too. All info is useful.

Check the IP

    – What IPs have been visiting the landing page? Has one IP been visiting repeatedly? Geo locating the IP and researching the related businesses in the area can be very insightful.

Check the WhoIs

    — Who owns your domain in other TLDs? Have any of them been regged recently? In the case of this sale. My buyer had regged the dot org version of my domain the day before his initial contact with me. That was a powerful piece of information.


    – Has there been a trademark filing for your domain name recently?

What tactics do you use to research potential buyers? Tell us about them in the comment section below.

In the meantime, here’s this week’s list of nice looking brandables for sale at NameJet.

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Keith deBoer

Keith DeBoer is a part-time, domain investor with an emphasis on brandable domains. He's also a domain industry writer with published content at DN Geek, DomainShane and NamePros. By day, he works as an Internet consultant.

8 thoughts on “The Brandable Insider: From $19 Purchase to $4k Sale in 6 Months

  1. Yes, but it was not a $10K name. That’s the kind of price you can ask when you own and a successful startup with a business at comes calling. You have them over a barrel, as they say and you can ask an exorbitant price. In my case, this company had other choices. My domain was their first choice but it wasn’t their only choice. People have their limits, especially if they feel they are being taken advantage of. They will even walk away out of spite if you tick them off. There’s a saying in the stock market: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. We deserve a nice profit but our customers also deserve a reasonable price.

    1. Hey Abdul,
      Thanks for reading! This transaction is not under NDA and I could reveal the domain but I’m very old fashioned and conservative in this regard. I’ve always considered business deals to be private and I if the buyer or an associate came across this article I don’t think it would be flattering for them. Despite my obstinance, we concluded the deal on very good terms and one never know when you are going to cross paths with a buyer, or one of their associates, in the future. So for those reasons I’m keeping the name private. I know I’ve made everyone curious. My apologies for that. 🙂

  2. Congrats Keith! There was no negotiation here as you’ve not altered your original offer. And, some nice tips on knowing your buyer. One question, why have you not listed this name at BB?

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