Somebody is emailing me an offer to buy my domain, what do I do?

By , April 22, 2010

The domain aftermarket is very active. Many registrants registered quality names many years ago and never actually did anything with them (not even by monetizing them via domain parking).

These domains attract all kinds of players out of the woodwork. Including:

Domain flippers
These people probably already have a buyer for your domain lined up at a certain price. Their objective is to entice you to sell at a lower price, effectively creating an arbitrage situation for themselves
Domain resellers
These guys eventually hope to resell your name for a profit, but they don’t have a buyer waiting in the wings right now. They see value in your name and are fairly convinced they can earn a profit down the road
End users
This includes: developers, brand builders, even Pay-per-click monetizers. These people want your name for themselves, because they feel the name will help them build their brand, or earn income immediately on it’s type-in traffic alone.
A good example are the “appraisal scammers”. (Thanks to Frank Michlick for describing this on tucows-discuss.) These people email you an unsolicited offer on your domain name, perhaps at an attractive price. Then if you appear interested in proceeding, they tell you “their partner wants the domain appraised” and proceed to suggest an appraisal service to use which is really theirs or an affiliate.

To protect your interests in these situations, there are reputable companies you can deal with.

If you are interested in selling your domains, list them at a marketplace like Sedo (Sedo also offers appraisals and are a neutral middleman) or afternic. Also there are the popular domain name forums such as DomainState or DNForum

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