Mar102010

laptop-offersLast Thursday, I received an email from my (redacted) account rep saying, “I hope this email finds you well. I have a buyer looking to buy a domain name and I’d like to include yours- **********.com- in my pitch to him. Would you be interested in selling this name at $700?”

I replied, “No thanks, I get pretty regular offers on that name and they are generally much higher. None that have tempted me to sell yet though.”

She replied, “What’s your asking price? Buyers will lowball you all day long if there isn’t a price expectation on there.”

I said, “If you have a buyer that wants this specific name, tell them to make their best offer and it needs to be a significant offer. If they are not looking specifically at this name, please offer them other names as I am not interested in selling to a buyer who is just looking for a deal on random names.”

She said, “It’s not just this specific buyer. If you’re looking for substantial offers from our marketplace, I recommend setting a price expectation on this name. otherwise, buyers will just lowball you all day long.”

I said, “Thanks for the advice, but as my ‘account manager’ you should be working to get me the maximum price for my names. If you are trying to help someone else get the lowest possible price at my expense, then you are not really servicing my account, you are servicing theirs and that sounds like a conflict of interest.”

She said, “Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office and will respond to your inquiries upon my return on Monday, March 8th, 2010. Please note that your email will not be forwarded. For immediate assistance, please contact my associate **** ******* at ****.*******@(redacted).com. I look forward to responding to your inquiries upon my return.
Have a great day!”

Out of the office? That was an unexpected twist just over an hour later. I got the first email inquiring about the name from her on Thursday at 2:58pm and she was already out of the office by 4:04pm that same day.

Friday, the next day:
I figured that she would respond on Monday when she returned, but then today I got an email inquiring about that same domain name directly from a company interested in purchasing it. I asked the buyer if they were the same ones that were trying to buy it through (redacted) on Thursday and they said yes.

So, is my (redacted) account manager simply trying to help me sell a name, or is she helping the buyer get the best deal possible by saying that this is just one of several names that she wanted to present to him?

I don’t have a problem with (redacted) trying to broker names, and I have had several good $xx,xxx sales in the past after being approached by a (redacted) broker, but I think it might be best if my account manager is not also the broker working for the other party.

Slow weekend, then Monday:
I got a response from my (redacted) account manager saying, “We have buyers and sellers looking to purchase domains all the time. If you are not interested in selling, then it’s not a big deal. We (redacted) can pitch other domains to the buyer. I would like to help you sell your domains at the best price to you possible. Feel free to name your price and I’ll see if the buyer is interested. If not, I’ll relay the message back to you and it’s up to you to decide what you would like to do from there.” Fair enough, if that is the full story, but she definitely still avoided telling me whether or not someone was directly inquiring about my specific domain name.

Fast forward to today:
After contacting me directly, the party interested in this domain has now made a  five figure offer as compared to the $700 suggestion presented to me by my (redacted) account manager.

I expect a few more chapters in this story, but for now I am not selling – I don’t like these games. Perhaps I should be less skeptical, or maybe I just need a new account manager – or a new parking company. 😕

2023 Update:  I did not publish this one back when I was actively blogging, and 13 years later now that I am publishing it seems pointless to call out a company that may no longer be employing this account manager.  Although my blogging days are mostly over, I reread this draft and decided to publish it now (with the names redacted) to show that sometimes brokers claiming to work for you do not necessarily have your best interests in mind.  I decided to not sell the domain name at that time, I did request a different account manager, and ultimately ended up pulling all my domain names from this company.  The company itself is not the problem, and they have delivered plenty of sales and parking revenue to domain owners over the years, this was simply a case of an account manager who may have valued a quick commission over the lifetime value of a client.

Feb292008

MoneyWhat do you do when the perfect domain name comes along and you do not have enough cash to purchase it? Well, in part 1 of this post I mentioned that leasing might work, but what other options do you have? The first idea that comes to mind is to take out a loan, but since we are discussing creative financing we will not discuss the traditional business, personal, or home equity loans. If you are looking for loan and you own a strong generic domain name, companies like digipawn.com will let you use a name you already own as collateral and then lend you the money you need. If you do not own a strong generic, but you have enough to cover 20 to 25% of the purchase price, you might be able to get the remaining financing from a company like domaincapital.com.

If you do not want to lease or take out a loan, there is still another great option for you in the form of a custom escrow transaction. In a traditional escrow transaction, a domain is moved into an escrow account and payment is made to the escrow account, then the domain is moved to the purchaser’s account and the money is moved to the seller’s account. With a custom escrow transaction, you can modify both the terms and the payment schedule. For example, I recently used a custom escrow transaction to split the purchase price of a domain name into 12 smaller payments over the term of 1 year. In this situation, the domain was moved to the escrow account, and then I submitted my first payment. A portion of the first payment covered the the Moniker escrow fees and the rest was disbursed to the seller. The domain name remained in the escrow account until all payments were made, but I was able to change the DNS and develop the name after the first payment. I was also able to recover some of the cost of the purchase by monetizing the domain while making payments on what is the equivalent of an interest free loan. 😎

(For more great information on creative financing, also check out this great post by Sahar entitled “Pricing Is NEVER An Issue!“)

Feb192008

Lease a domain nameThe sale prices of premium generic domain names are often out of reach for the average domain investor. If you cannot simply write a check or send a wire transfer to pay for a name, it is important to know that there are other options available. One of these options is leasing the domain name with the option to buy at the end of the lease. Elliot has a great post about domain leasing and how you can benefit from a well structured deal. The most important component as a lessee is to have a solid contract in place with the option to purchase the name at the end of the lease agreement for a set price. Ideally, one would make enough money during the course of the lease to pay for the name at the end; however leasing is just one of many options that you could consider. In part 2 of this post, I will discuss some other creative financing options that are available.

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