I mainly want to blog about this so I can refer people to this post and not keep re-explaining my thoughts on buying/selling domains.
This is straight from the ShoeMoney Playbook of domaining… its probably not the perfect way or even the right way. But it is my way.
For these examples we will refer to the domain as X.com
CHECKLIST FOR BUYING A DOMAIN PRE DIALOG
These are items you MUST have done before starting a negotiation for price with the domain owner.
Come up with a max price for the domain
Ask in public for a appraisal of the domain name. Almost any forum will low ball the domain cause people are like that.
Come up with a list of NEGATIVE things about the domain- Does it contain hyphens? trademark issues? phonetest issues? length of domains? (if you dont know what these mean then you should read dp forums to learn more 😉 )
When buying goals –
Get the Contact – Always send the email from a generic account like yahoo/hotmail/gmail. You want to appear as cheap as can be for the initial contact. You can use your real information or not. It really depends on the situation if you want to expose your identity or not. Basically you are just testing the waters to see if the domain is for sale or not. Usually I put the domain in the subject line then just simply “Hello, I am interested in purchasing x.com. Can you tell me if the domain is for sale or forward me to the person who is in charge of making decisions like this for x.com”. It can be really hard to even get this far. For instance with schoemaker.com I had so much help getting to the correct person to even start a dialog!
Get them to name a price – Once you have the person who can make the sale of x.com then let them name the price. Some people maybe thinking well what if its not for sale? BROTHA EVERYTHING HAS A PRICE! If you are really interested in buying this domain then you owe it to yourself to see what that price is. It doesn’t cost you anything to check it out right? AND YOU DONT KNOW IF YOU DONT ASK.
OK so now we have the person who can sell the domain on the phone or email or whatever. Always keep a really good poker face on here. Just let them know you are interested and you have never done this before. Ask questions that have nothing to do with the actual price like- what register do they use, how do they normally handle this kind of sale, do they use escrow services, where do they host the domain, are they happy with the web provider, where are they from blah blah blah get them talking. The more they talk the more they will tell you the price without actually telling you the price.
After talking for a while you should have a clue where this is headed. If the seller is a serious domainer he doesn’t have time for chit-chat and has probably thrown out a huge price to send your newbie but packing… dont panic. This is just the start. This is great news though because it lets you know that this negotiation has just been put into high gear. Sometimes I like the “pro” guys because it saves a lot of time. So lets say you have one of these guys on the line and they tell you they want $5,000.00 for the domain. Now if you haven’t already you should have some sort of idea what you are willing to pay for the domain. Its pretty important to come to this figure before starting a dialog with the owner so you dont get caught up in the hype or impulse buy. So this pro guy has just tried to send you away with a $5,000.00 price tag and why shouldn’t he… we led him to believe we are small timers. Now its time to see if we are still in the game. (now pull out your list of negative things about X.com ). So now you come back at him and thank him for getting back to you but unfortunately (point out negatives here). Its a good tactic to act like you JUST noticed something about the domain. Like for instance-
“Thank you for contacting me – I had X.com appraised and it seemed to be a consensus of about 500$. Also I guess I didn’t think about this but others pointed out to me (negative negative negative) parts to the domain. Is there anyway you would consider less then $5,000 or is that a set price for you?”
At this point its most likely this guy will come back at you and say “Well make me a offer”. Now we know the price this guy will sell for is somewhere between 500-5000 which gives us a large margin. I would now proceed with something like “Hello guysellingthedomain, again I am really new to this and im just going to make a offer for X.com. I offer you (amount should be about 70% of what you will max pay) for X.com” NEVER bring up negative things from now on about the domain. This will only fuel egos with professional domainers. You have said your peace now work out the deal and be short about it.
Now the guy has 3 choices. He can accept your offer, counter offer, or tell you to buzz off. Most likely he will counter offer.
Basically thats all there is to purchasing… The technique is modified based on the situation. One key factor is patients. Once you send that email do not send another until they respond. Too eager and your going to pay out the ying yang.
Geez I could write much more about this but I feel like I have written to much already.