Domain Inquiry Analysis: Researching Offers to Maximize Domain Sales
Combining domain parking with domain inquiries is the ultimate combination for domain names that are not developed.
The practice of parking domain names at a venue such as Sedo, Bodis or Domain Name Sales serves a dual purpose:
- To generate “pay per click” revenue from the ads displayed at the landing page associated with the domain.
- To provide a link to an online form, so that parties interested in the domain can place an offer.
Assuming that the parked domain generates enough revenue to justify its parking, inquiries to acquire the domain are an added bonus.
As most domain investors are aware, not every inquiry arrives with a clear message, or even an offer. It is up to the domain owner to convert a cryptic message into a domain sale.
Researching Interested Domain Buyers
To achieve that goal, it is very important to research your domain buyer, and thus gauge their ability to spend money on your domain asset.
The recent sale of the domain Alphabet.XYZ to Google occurred via Sedo, in a blind transaction that could have been substantially higher, had the seller been able to extract more data on the buyer.
Currently, Sedo only discloses the locale of the buyer and whether they are an established member with a track record of transactions; such information is not very intuitive, unfortunately.
Many corporate buyers utilize the services of domain brokers or branding specialists, in order to acquire a domain asset necessary for their brand or product launch.
Google is your friend, and searching for a particular domain’s keyword might produce some results, however it won’t tell you about similar domains.
You can also resort to searching Facebook, where many companies create their associated page.
An important domain tool to research similar existing domains is ZFBot.com.
The current web site provides the ability to search through 150 million domains, and you can customize your search function to include or exclude numbers and dashes, among other parameters.
ZFBot also has a dedicated app, currently available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) with an Android version being worked on.
On Domain Name Sales, there is plenty more information that is provided along with every inquiry. For starters, the IP address can provide a direct link to existing companies that use their corporate networks, or at the very least, the locale of the potential buyer.
Domain Name Sales organizes the inquiry in a format that allows you to search back and see if a similar inquiry arrived from the same email or IP address; you can thus identify potential attempts to acquire your domain using different aliases.
Naturally, if you don’t park your domains but utilize a dedicated landing page for domain inquiries, then you’re already in control of the information that should be provided.
A contact form should at the very least ask for a full name and an email address, and a phone number, along with a field to input additional information. If you want to publicly display that a domain is for sale, you can provide a field that requests offer solicitations as well.
Using this type of contact info, you can reach out to the potential buyer via email or the telephone. In fact, the best way to verify their information is to call the number they provided, and engage in a direct communication. The added bonus of this approach is that there is no paper trail for domains where a negotiation could be used in an attempt to hijack the domain in a UDRP.
Researching Buyers Yourself
Sometimes, the search for a name or the full email address returns no results in the search engines.
You can potentially locate useful information in social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook, by using the first part of the email address as a social network username; analyzing the timeline of that account can then produce valuable insight about the inquiry.
Assuming that the inquiry provided a phone number, you can obviously call that number to find out directly what they want to do with the domain.
Sometimes, however, you might have to resort to online services that perform a reverse phone search for a fee. If you feel that it’s worth the $5 to find out exactly who the number belongs to without calling them, then that is a viable option.
Contacting reputable domain brokers that have worked with hundreds of clients can also provide you with valuable information about a “mystery buyer”, as long as the broker wants to share that information with you. Remember to always thank them, and potentially share part of the proceeds with them, if that leads to a sale.
Maximize Your Domain Sales
Last but by no means least: never take the first offer that arrives, without first researching your buyer thoroughly.
With all these techniques in mind, you should be able to improve your chances of defining an accurate profile of the person behind a domain inquiry, thus gaining an advantage in negotiation.