Domain Sales: Offer/Counter Offer vs. Buy It Now

Domain marketplaces offer sellers two different ways to list their domain names for sale: Buy Now or Make Offer. People often debate which is best and both options have their pros and cons. As a seller, you can go with either and try to determine which of the two works best for you. However, this stuff has been tested time and time again by domainers and it’s probably no big surprise that one method does indeed work better than the other. Before I jump into which option is better, let me explain in more detail what the exact differences are between the two.

Make Offer

This is a domain listing that indicates the domain is open for receiving offers and a seller has the ability the negotiate any offer that is received. Sellers can usually set a “minimum offer” value which gives them the luxury of not having to deal with low ball offers that they would never accept. For example, someone offering $100 for a domain that is easily worth $1000.

Buy Now

This is a domain listing that indicates the domain is listed with a set price and the seller will not have the option to negotiate any further. A listing price must be entered and is binding. The seller is obligated to sell the domain to the first buyer who agrees to purchase the domain for the listed price.

Offer/Counter Offer vs. Buy It Now
When it comes to the Buy It Now option people see your price and buy the domain. Bam! Done! But, what we tend to forget is that if you price the domain too low then you could easily be losing out on some potential profit while also eliminating the chance to negotiate. For example, let’s say a buyer was willing to spend $2,000 on a domain which you have priced at $1,000. You just lost out on a potential $1,000 profit! Another example would be a buyer having $2,000 to spend on a domain, but you’re overpriced at $3,500. You just lost a potential buyer that you didn’t even know you had a chance to negotiate with. Even if someone only had $3,200 to spend but saw you only had a buy it now option and this would be another potential sale lost.

This is where the Offer/Counter Offer option will help. You will peak the interest of buyers who may have initially walked away while also increasing potential profits. When you put up a make offer listing you are giving the buyer a chance to give you their price for the domain and then you can either accept that price or counter it with a price you feel is more fair. The negotiations will keep going back and forth until you both agree on a price and complete the transaction.

It’s extremely powerful to be able to negotiate because you can potentially get the buyer to agree to your target price or at least very close to it. Some domain investors immediately ignore low ball offers they receive, but you shouldn’t do this. With the right conversation and persuasive skills, good sellers can turn some of these low ball offers into sales for much more. When it comes to negotiations, some buyers will disappear and stop communication from time to time. When this happens don’t worry, just remember that if someone really wants a name they will write you back for it and give you their best price.

With all of this information in mind, which do you think is best? You might think the Make Offer option seems the way to go. But, domain marketplace giant Sedo actually recommends listing your domains with Buy It Now prices. They even claim that based on Sedo’s sales data, domains listed at market value for a Buy Now price sell faster than domains with no price. For most domainers I would probably agree with Sedo as well. Unless your portfolio is filled with premium five-figure domains, Buy It Now with proper market value prices is probably the best option.