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I’ve purchased quite a few domain names in the past ten years and I’m always on the lookout for new ones. I come up with ideas all the time, and even if I know I won’t get to the idea for awhile, I’ll still pick up a good domain for it. As soon as they extend the day from twenty four to about sixty hours, I’m going to have a lot more time to catch up on some projects I’ve been neglecting. 🙂

I usually begin my search at a registrar, hoping to find a decent name that hasn’t been uncovered yet, and fits for the niche site I’m interested in developing. That works sometimes but I often end up at sites like Sedo or BuyDomains sifting through results based on keywords and price. The most frustrating part is that the majority of listings seem to be marked “Make Offer” or “Request Price”.

I know the old adage is the person who mentions money first loses, but I don’t agree with this in the domain sales arena. In other areas of negotiation, the value of the product or service is more widely known or accepted, but not with domains. I really believe when you don’t choose a value for your domain yourself, you could be missing the opportunity to sell. With a field so open to interpretations of value, you really need to make your expectations known.

I often wonder why people choose to field offers instead of setting a price on a domain, and there’s only a few possibilities that come to mind. Here is what I came up with…

  1. You don’t know the value. There is no Kelly Blue Book for domain names so it’s very hard to appraise what your domain is worth. It’s easier to see what others value it at and accept or reject their speculative estimate.
  2. You’re a greedy SOB. You’re afraid to set a price because you fear you’ll be losing out on someone willing to offer more. Meanwhile many people shopping for a domain pass it by because they are thinking the same thing.
  3. You don’t really want to sell. Similar to setting an exorbitant price on it that you’re quite certain nobody would pay, you can also not put any price on it and bock at the offers you receive.
  4. You’re delusional on its worth. Comparable to #3 above. The only difference is you’d only sell it for a ridiculous amount of money and you might be a little shy about putting that number out in public.

I’d much prefer to see all domains with set prices even if they’re all on the inflated side. At least with a price, any price, we know where we stand with you. You never know who might want your domain and is willing to pay your asking price. Without a listed price, I can search thousands of other domain opportunities in the time it takes you to get back to me with a price or an answer on a blind offer. I’d rather pass by your “Make Offer” link and just keep looking.

What do you think about “Make Offer” domain listings? Does that sum it up or do you think I have it all wrong?