Move sideways first when approaching larger prey

HunterWe all know the value of a good domain can really bring rich rewards, I have a few good one’s I intend to develop for maximum gains so I haven’t really had a big sale to feel the fruits of my labour so far. No fear I am happy with the way things are progressing.

What I do know from speaking to various potential sellers is that they can be very wary of emails out of the blue for domains they own or use, it is so incredibly important to get off on a good foot and build trust as quickly as possible. The real cherries are not for sale, you go out and find them but then you are approaching domain owners out of the blue and this is an awkward position, any wrong move can get them to clam up and ignore you or rebuff your advances in an instant.

Immediately the owners who get approached will make assumptions

– Are you going to buy the domain to sell it for profit
– Are you a competitor
– If they sell it, whatever they sell for will be too cheap

When I did a stint selling double glazing many years ago I think it taught me things I can take into sending emails to potential sellers, you may think it’s a numbers game, send enough emails until you get one hooked but I think it is more of an art.

DNAOne strategy is to move one place to the left before moving forward if your after a bigger target, say Genomics, a subject like genomics is massive for the future, human genomes, genes, the ability to get your genome mapped and read to help you live longer. But the domain was owned by a publishing company, albeit not used in a any real capacity. With domains like that the registrant has already had vision so they know they have something that could be really valuable on day being a future technology or growing sector.

I took a sidestep to first buy a domain in the same field that would be attractive to me and much cheaper that I could establish my intent, my credibility and my existence in the genre if needed, therefore I bought HumanGenome  dot for £250+VAT. I then approached the owner of Genomics and even then with my well worded emails and manners the company that owned it had a meeting and had a valuation done on the domain which came in at £3000, well over my £700 offer. They would only consider selling if I met the valuation they had carried out.

dna2.jpgThankfully I went after some smaller domains first taking a step to the side, I could then in my reply state my existing domain, humangenome, the fact that I was a sole trader (not a faceless corporation) and that I wanted to build an information portal on the general subject, I could also quote the purchase price of commenting on how it was a more acceptable price range but that their domain was valuable and desirable and that I could therefore go to £1000. I had established in their mind some similar domain for context.

You could also adopt this technique in different ways, for example if you went after the domain which was not in use and owned by an individual or company but NOT PARKED then you could first look to purchase or, once purchased you have credibility – you can then approach the owner of and explain that you will be developing your website and as a sole trader you thought it wise to try and protect your new brand and prudent to make sure you didn’t lose traffic from to so would they sell the domain. This can work very well and as long as you are patient and polite it gives a lot of weight to your argument and can enable you to strike a very good deal.

Save moneyThis won’t work if your trying to buy a domain from a domainer or a parked domain, they will likely already have a price range and know the value of the domain in the market, what your looking to do is build a strong  & believable argument that the unused domain could be sold to you a sole trader who will try and build a brand on a very similar domain name which gives them the confidence that you are not here to profit/flip the domain and rip them off and that the domain is going to a good cause.

In this example for genomics this approach worked well, the publishing company wanted £3k which was well over the odds for me, well actually it was probably an end user market price but wasn’t something I would ever pay, by demonstrating my existing domains and their prices the company had a think and then ‘on reflection’ decided to more than half their asking price to a point where we did a deal.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.


  1. wow. this has been an actually useful post. I swear, all of the content coming out of web marketing blogs is BS, but this is good! Thanks for the read.

  2. Just a nice pointer. After getting more domains than needed, I often turn them into Adsense sites and with a little tweak using Nemeas, rank them higher and improve their value before I decide to flip it for a profit…. nice way to have a few income streams while waiting for the deal 🙂

  3. I need to be building up some more capital before I start making offers for nice domains like that, but I think the advice is sound. If a potential seller can see that you’ve invested time and effort in the subject, then they’re much more likely to sell.

  4. Indeed this is an excellent post.
    I love the way this blog is getting handled, not another blog showing “I eat this and drink that but I am making a lot of money online”… you know what I’m talking about…

    Congratulations on all you ventures. I’ve learn a lot from this blog and CG and a lot of your sites. 🙂


    Shenron from DP

  5. Congartultions Al

    Nice work there and some useful tips.

    I bought because I wanted the .com and versions.

    I am just waiting to launch it before trying again for them

    But thanks

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