How to respond to an offer to purchase a domain name


A few years ago, I had an idea for a startup. I registered a domain name, Twitter account and formed an LLC but haven't done much since.

I've just been emailed by an individual at Sedo asking if I'd be willing to sell the domain. After a few emails, it looks like their client may be willing to pay around $10,000 for the domain.

I really like the domain, but I'm working on other projects right now and I think it makes sense to sell and find a new domain name if I decide to continue on this project. Also, I would never pay that amount for the domain, so it seems to makes sense to sell.

  • What terms and conditions should I request in the sale?
  • Am I allowed to continue to use name with a new domain if I sell the domain? (ie. or
  • What other questions did I forget to ask?

Thanks for the help.

Selling Domain

asked Feb 11 '12 at 02:01
43 points

4 Answers


Be sure this is not part of a scam. I've gotten this email a few times (for domains that obviously aren't worth that much). How it works is they ask you to get the domain appraised, steering you into some bogus appraisal company they run. That usually runs about $100 bucks or so, and they'll run off with your money and never hear from them again.

Here's the scam email I received once:


We are going to purchase your domain name.

Our company is in hosting and domain name business.

Please email us your desired price in USD or euros for the domain name
in the subject line.

If you have other names for sale please email us your domains with

Looking forward to doing business with you.


Jerad Martensen


Domain Investing Inc Domain Name Investing & Web Development

I then wrote back with:

Hi - I have the following domains I'm trying to get rid of:

various domains I owned at the time Whatever you think they're worth is fine with me. Thanks!

To which he replied:

What do you think about 4000 USD for your domain name? This domain
name can be very profitable with right marketing.

Have you had your domain names evaluated in the past? I mean domain
appraisals. Without valuation we cannot be sure in the sale price.
It's very important for me in terms of reselling too. But we must
engage a valuation company with REAL manual service. So I will only
accept valuations from independent sources I and my partners trust.

To avoid mistakes I asked domain experts about reputable appraisal
companies. Please check this blog with suggestions from other sellers
and buyers: Do you sell domain with a web site or just the name?

Domain without content is ok with me. Web site is not necessary.

If, for example, the valuation comes higher you can adjust your asking
price accordingly. It will be fair. I also hope you can give me 12% -
15% discount.

After you send me the valuation via email (usually it takes 1-2 days
to obtain it) we'll continue our negotiations.

What is your preferred payment method:, International wire
transfer, or something else?

Hope we can come to an agreement fast.

When I asked him which domains he wanted to buy, he said all of them and provided a link to where I could get them appraised. Of course I did a WHOIS on that link, and it had similar registration info as his own email domain name. Go figure.

I replied and said I'd take whatever price he was willing to pay (since I was going to let them expire anyway), but I would not pay to get them appraised. Never heard back.

Don't pay a dime out of pocket, if someone wants to buy your domain let them make an offer and take it or leave it.

answered Feb 11 '12 at 07:19
Mike Christensen
183 points


I'm assuming (since you didn't mention it) that you don't have a trademark for the company name or domain name. So:

  1. The other party will probably want to use an escrow service to complete the sale of the domain. They put the money into the escrow service, your transfer the domain, and the money is released to you.
  2. If you don't have a trademark on the name (and why would they buy the domain if you do??) then you will most likely not be able to use the name once you transfer the domain to them. They will want to trademark the name for their firm or product, and they won't want you to continue to use it.
answered Feb 11 '12 at 04:04
Gary E
12,510 points


What terms and conditions should I request in the sale?

Dont request any. Just agree to the sale and let them draw up terms. Make any changes you feel you need.

Am I allowed to continue to use name with a new domain if I sell the
domain? (ie. or


What other questions did I forget to ask?

No idea. I'm not psychic.

Seems a very straightforward sale of a commodity to me.

answered Feb 11 '12 at 02:37
Tom Squires
1,047 points


If the offer is legitimate and you do decide to go forward, use an escrow agent like or GoDaddy's escrow service. This will insure proper payment to you.

answered Feb 15 '12 at 05:59
Neil Jacobs
46 points

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