Negotiation, more than just haggling

About a year ago I received a simple inquiry through NameDrive on one of my parked generic domain names. "Are you interested in selling this domain name? If so can you please contact me" giving an ISP customer email address. That's very little information and as email is fairly inscrutable at the best of times, I didn't have an idea why this person would be interested in this domain name, so I knew I'd be negotiating blind.

I am contacted by a lot of people who believe I should sell them my generic names for nothing and unless there's some identifiable reason why the prospect desperately wants a specific domain name, queries as bare as this stop as soon as I quote a realistic starting price, so I couldn't be bothered with the usual sales spiel and simply sent back a one line reply "Yes, I would be prepared to sell it, I'd want NZ$ 500 though." and thought nothing more of it.

Two days later there was another email from him. "Would you accept $300.00."

Normally I'd haggle over the price and would most likely have agreed to something around $400, but I felt like I'd like a little more this time.

My reply:

Advertising on the parked domain brought in US$ 80.79 during the year 01/10/06 to 30/09/07. Using 3 years revenue as a yardstick that means that the domain has a revenue producing value of NZ$ 311.42 without any further changes.

Using what I've learned since parking the domain I'm sure I could increase that relatively easily, especially as it was only making US$ 0.09 per click. A 2 minute search shows affiliate possibilities through The Surf Shop, Godo, and Easy Bed that should easily outstrip that and there's probably a lot more out there.

I think I'd prefer to hang onto it rather than accept any less than $500.

A little over twenty minutes later, the sale was agreed, at my asking price.

All the relevant revenue records are stored at Name Drive so it took me a about 5 minutes to research and write these two short paragraphs that increased the price $200 over the offered price and $100 over what I would normally have taken.

The lesson is that if you can justify the price to yourself, you're half way to justifying the price to your potential purchaser.

Bruce Clement is a keen domain name investor and commentator. You are free to copy this article under the licence as long as you publish it unchanged and link either to Bruce's blog Domaining .nz at or to his hub site at

Tags: domain name valuation domain names