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advice Cold call offer for domain name

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jokke

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Hi all,

Brand new to this forum...

Last week I was approached by a company with an offer to buy a .com domain that I've had for 10+ years and which is not really in use. The potential buyer is a fairly large, reputable company with a yearly revenue in the $300 million range that holds a trademark matching my domain name. After a little back and forth they've now offered me USD 12.000 with a short deadline to accept.

The domain is 8 letters and a perfect match with one of the company's main trademarks, but of no (real) value to anyone else.

Some research indicates a potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range, but not having any experience with the domain business at all I'm at a loss about how to approach this.

Any advice on what a reasonable value for something like this might be and how to go about the negotiations? Should I be looking to engage a broker, or is that unnecessary in this case? I understand that the right advisor might help educate the buyer on the value of owning their trademark .com domain, but from your experience does this add significant value?

Any help appreciated!
 
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Hi there , would be helpful to know the domain name
But since it has no value but for the company trying to buy it , I think you should go for the deal.
That said , was that call their first offer?
If that’s the case I would decline the offer and try to go for a bit more… but with caution.
I think you could ask for a fair 18/20K deal πŸ‘πŸΌ
It depends on what you want , but if the domain is of no use to you , sell it.
Since the buyer is such a big company , they can spend, but big companies are hard to deal with !

Here there a people with muuch more experience than me , let them give you some advice…I’m sure that will be helpful!
 
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Some research indicates a potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range,
I'd be interested in what research you've come across to justify that sort of price range, given that you've also stated it is really only of use to this one company.

Do the trademarks predate your domain registration. It is not unheard of for a company to bend over backwards rather than go down any UDRP route.

Before I go down a negotiating path. I would want to make sure I hold all the Aces. Without knowing the actual name it would be impossible to advise you as to whether this is a generous offer given the circumstances or just a first shot from an impatient buyer, which again seems strange for a ten year hold.

Have you ever had the domain listed for sale at a price that may have influenced this offer
 
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There is no one who can help you without knowing the name (don't post it here) - There is quite a contradiction in your own valuation. You say that the name has no real value for others but you own research indicates a potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range? I do not assume that it is a dictionary word, because it would appeal to many, so your valuation sounds unrealistic. If you are not using the name and are willing to sell, give them a counter offer that you are happy with and cross your fingers that they accept. Big companies are not necessarily big spenders and if they have a TM on the name, they probably know that would limit who else would be interested in the name.
 
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There is no one who can help you without knowing the name (don't post it here) - There is quite a contradiction in your own valuation. You say that the name has no real value for others but you own research indicates a potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range? I do not assume that it is a dictionary word, because it would appeal to many, so your valuation sounds unrealistic. If you are not using the name and are willing to sell, give them a counter offer that you are happy with and cross your fingers that they accept. Big companies are not necessarily big spenders and if they have a TM on the name, they probably know that would limit who else would be interested in the name.
I'd be interested in what research you've come across to justify that sort of price range, given that you've also stated it is really only of use to this one company.

Do the trademarks predate your domain registration. It is not unheard of for a company to bend over backwards rather than go down any UDRP route.

Before I go down a negotiating path. I would want to make sure I hold all the Aces. Without knowing the actual name it would be impossible to advise you as to whether this is a generous offer given the circumstances or just a first shot from an impatient buyer, which again seems strange for a ten year hold
Thanks for the feedback! You are right, it's not a dictionary word - it's just a well-known brand for this particular industry niche.

The "research" I'm referring to is from deals similar in terms of company size, industry, (assumed) strategic importance of TM and other similarities, dug up with ChatGPT and Google, but to be honest I don't quite believe it myself, hence my post on this forum :) I should perhaps have said low 6 rather than low-to-mid, though...

The brand/trademarks are of a much newer date than my domain registration. Flaunting my ignorance here, but is this relevant for valuation?

The domain has not been listed for sale anywhere. The prospective buyer went through quite a bit of detective work to locate me...
 
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Trade marks that predate your registration particularly under the circumstances of this being a one-off identifier for this company are extremely relevant. I reckon this Company has been sitting in the wings hoping to pick-up this domain but have come to the conclusion that are not going to get it for nothing or much chance at a UDRP.

Best thing to do is send the Domain via private message (Direct message) to a member you trust. saves you tying yourself up in knots. I don't think you need to worry about the time limit imposed, not in this case anyway.

did the contact come from the Company email address or another. just want to make sure your not assuming anything.

You also talk about a bit of back and forth. that could be important and even explain their request for a quick decision. Hope your keeping records of everything.

I am of course wondering why you registered this particular domain in the first place
 
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Firstly, disregard the deadline. You have all the power here. Not them.

Next, you need to discard the idea that the domain name is only valuable to that company. It's a 8 letters and you saw something in it that made you hold onto it for a decade.

Trust your guys!

Another thing to consider:

You said your domain name registration predates their trademark registration.
Does it also predate the launch of the product that uses the name?

That's something to consider because of common law trademarks.

If your registration predates both then you truly have all the power here. Also, them reaching out to you about a domain name that's not actively listed for sale tells you it's important to them.

That being said, $12K is still a lot of money. If you know you'll beat yourself up over losing it, you might as well accept it. That way, you'll minimize regret.

Also if you're going to counter the offer, counter with a figure that'll make you happy like the low-mid six figures you think it might be worth.

Good luck!
 
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Welcome to Namepros. Glad to see a newbie here who already has an offer on their domain... and who seems genuinely to want to learn how to safely and best negotiate through this possible transaction.

- Do a very thorough trademark search; I'm assuming you only tried the USPTO site for US trademarks? Go to the WIPO trademark search site and input your term, it will show all trademarks known in the other countries of the world.
***Note: if it is definitely a single term (even though it's made-up), one search there should do it. But if it seems to be a portmanteau word, made up of two or more partial words (like Travelocity from travel + velocity, or Brunch from breakfast + lunch, etc), then make sure to separate it where the words seem to be separated, to see if there is a TM on that separated term as well. - For example, there are various TMs for 'chat gpt', but also one for 'chatgpt' all one word. So if your domain is something like Cardgen (just a random example), make sure to put it as one word into the search field... but after that delete it and put in 'card gen' as two words into a new search.

- With that search, you'll see whether any trademarks pre-date your registration. If they all come later than your reg, then that is at least one step closer to safety for you. Another step is to never put any content on your website or landing page that is similar to what any trademark holder uses their company for. You know, if they have a TM for that term for use in the waffle-maker niche, don't put waffle-maker ads or products on your site. You can still lose the domain for trying to profit off the trademark holder even though you bought the domain first... if you later try to profit from their business through your domain/site.

- A member above asked a very good question: why did you register this domain when you did? - Another step of 'being safe' is to know that you had no knowledge that this company was forming, or developing some service/product with this name, and you rushed to reg it long before they applied for their TM. Some details like that also enter into the discussion.

- As mentioned a couple times by members above, don't discount the value of your domain. You may have been able to get it for registration fee 10 years ago, but trends and fads and new tech arrive every day. If you happen to have a domain whose 'time has arrived' and is a perfect match for this large company... it may well be perfect for other companies also. Maybe they'd want to brand/trademark it differently though. But yes, it is not uncommon for a name that was worth reg fee 10 years ago to now be worth thousands, tens of thousands, or more $$$$$.

- Another piece of research you can do: go to the website DotDB.com and input your term. You'll see how many other extensions are now taken for your term. ***Note that often one person or company can own many of those extensions. So check and see what kind of a lander or website is on each of the other extensions. For example, if you own Zigliesch.com and you go to DotDB and see that it is taken in Zigliesch.net, Zigliesch.org, and 5 others, put all those into the url search bar at top of your browser to see what's on them. If your name is only taken in the .com, that means it probably has little attraction to other companies. Or if it is part of the domain string of many extensions and many other domains, you may discover a large array of potential buyers. Check it out and see.

- Also go to Namebio.com, input your term, and see if any other domains with that term have been reported as sold. Only a tiny, tiny, TINY portion of aftermarket domain sales ever get reported to Namebio, but it still archives a lot of sales and is a good starting point.

- Also input your domain, with extension, to the Godaddy appraisal tool. As an appraisal tool it is useless mostly - but the reason to do this is you will also see, down the right side and the bottom, whether Godaddy has ever sold a domain with that term in the past on their platform. It will list sales of similar domains.

There are a dozen more things you can research, also about your potential buyers and how they might intend to use this domain. Some companies pay millions, and tens of millions of dollars on a single domain. $12K sounds very good to me, for a vague brandable term... but that's on the surface. Take a look much deeper than the surface. 12K might turn out to be a fantastic price, or it might turn out to be quite low. We won't know until we know the name.

You're welcome to private message it to any of the old-timers here, trusted members who can give you more specific info/advice once they know the name. You can send it to me, too. We will not post it publicly here without your permission. To post a name publicly can result in non-member lurkers rushing to register a bunch of similar domains, and your term in other extensions, and spam your potential buyer with a whole bunch of other domains to buy. That can be annoying and even a turn-off to your buyer, who will wonder how all those people knew about the name...

Good luck! Nice to know you have a very motivated buyer, with deep pockets, who in fact wants to buy a domain that you don't even have a use for.

- Note that I did not use any form of AI for the above. Ha ha. Just my own grey matter and experience.
 
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I found this part interesting β€œwith a short window to accept”. That sounds a bit off putting to me like something a broker would say who is trying to be manipulative. Negotiating can take a very long time.

As mentioned we don’t know what happened in the conversation or the name only you do and its likely you made small mistakes when contacted unprepared. I would not rush into anything especially if I feel its worth more.

Whatever you doβ€” do NOT mention their trademark in any correspondence.
 
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Hi all,

Brand new to this forum...

Last week I was approached by a company with an offer to buy a .com domain that I've had for 10+ years and which is not really in use. The potential buyer is a fairly large, reputable company with a yearly revenue in the $300 million range that holds a trademark matching my domain name. After a little back and forth they've now offered me USD 12.000 with a short deadline to accept.

The domain is 8 letters and a perfect match with one of the company's main trademarks, but of no (real) value to anyone else.

Some research indicates a potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range, but not having any experience with the domain business at all I'm at a loss about how to approach this.
When you say - "The domain is 8 letters and a perfect match with one of the company's main trademarks, but of no (real) value to anyone else.", it makes me question if the domain actually has the "potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range".

Without more information, it is hard to answer. My guess is the offer is probably fair, if it is not generic and the domain is of no real value to anyone else.

Brad
 
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Note that I did not use any form of AI for the above. Ha ha. Just my own grey matter and experience.
Hi

nice post @Bannen

imo...

To post a name publicly can result in non-member lurkers rushing to register a bunch of similar domains, and your term in other extensions, and spam your potential buyer with a whole bunch of other domains to buy. That can be annoying and even a turn-off to your buyer, who will wonder how all those people knew about the name...

Hi

this was/is one of main reasons, why some don't divulge or report sales info.

imo...

to the OP:

IF and that's a BIG IF, i got $12K offer of a name, described is such a fashion...
then, if i was a newbie, i'd probably take the money.

however, with some experience and being "vested" in the biz, then i might counter with an absurd amount.
or i might reply with, "the domain is not for sale"

still, it's a good position to be in, whenever money is already on the table.

Good luck!


imo....
 
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It would be interesting to dig in on why they reached you know.
You said the domain was not for sale , nor developed.
Maybe you renewed it recently and they left the idea of acquiring it for free ?
 
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Well lets all hope we get to read the final outcome. Given all the info disclosed thus far, It Reads to me that this particular member has probably been turning over in his mind all the various scenarios between himself and this particular company culminating in a sale. Probably for quite a few years.

I very much doubt the $xxx,xxx expectation is something that has just crept into his head. I do wonder if he had really planned a course of negotiation but instead spent most of the time thinking-over a big payday.

The comment about the buyer would've had to go on a Sleuths exercise to find him, tells you he was not looking to instigate the sale but to sit and wait. Nothing wrong with that, Not sure I would've had the patience myself.

There's caution and then there's over-caution. A little bit of NON-Infringing development may have helped his hand when it came to selling in this particular case. I'm just thinking about it from the buyers perspective - A dead, unused domain for ten years (ouch I'm being scalped) OR a bit of work in progress. I would've thought the latter would have had a more positive influence on negotiations and offer-price
 
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You are in a good position, and I hope it works out for you.

Assuming that it is not a generic term, I too question the 6-figure valuation estimate, though.

Out of interest I checked all the retail venues at NameBio (Sedo, private, DomainMarket, BuyDomains, etc.) and there were 10 8L .com sales over the past two years at $100,000 and more (some much more!). I would say only one of them is not a generic single word or two-word unified concept. Here is a link to the list: https://namebio.com/?s==ITM4kjNwIDN Now that is by no means all retail sales, but it does show that most 6-figure sales are not narrowly appropriate to just a few buyers.

Even though you would give up a fair chunk in commission, if you really feel it might be well into the 6-figures, it might make sense to approach a broker, in my opinion. He/she would have experience to confidently and confidentially suggest reasonable pricing, and handle the negotiation.

On the other hand, if you have no real interest in the name, and if there really are not other likely companies wanting it from what you say, then this is a really solid offer in my opinion.

Best wishes with the sale, and welcome to NamePros.

-Bob
 
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Hi all,

Brand new to this forum...

Last week I was approached by a company with an offer to buy a .com domain that I've had for 10+ years and which is not really in use. The potential buyer is a fairly large, reputable company with a yearly revenue in the $300 million range that holds a trademark matching my domain name. After a little back and forth they've now offered me USD 12.000 with a short deadline to accept.

The domain is 8 letters and a perfect match with one of the company's main trademarks, but of no (real) value to anyone else.

Some research indicates a potential value in the low-to-mid 6 figures range, but not having any experience with the domain business at all I'm at a loss about how to approach this.

Any advice on what a reasonable value for something like this might be and how to go about the negotiations? Should I be looking to engage a broker, or is that unnecessary in this case? I understand that the right advisor might help educate the buyer on the value of owning their trademark .com domain, but from your experience does this add significant value?

Any help appreciated!
IMO, The $12K offer looks to me like they've researched the industry in depth because they've calculated that your net income when commission fees are deducted is in the 5-figure range, which means that their acceptable range is perhaps in the low 5-figure range of offers. It's an olive branch with good faith.
 
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Don't respond. If they contact you again, state 12k is too low for the domain. Make sure 12k is not a big money for you.
 
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If you don't tell us thr domain

No one can tell you anything except accept.
 
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