A downside to “Buy Now” for domain names

Buy Now is easier but you get less data about interest in your domain.

I’m a big fan of setting Buy Now prices on domain names. Most of the domains I sell are for between $1,000-$5,000. I don’t want to waste my time negotiating for sub-$5,000 domains, and a benefit of Buy Now prices is you’re telling the prospective buyer to take it or leave it.

There’s a downside to this, though. By not accepting offers, you’re missing a key signal to determine if there’s demand for your domain.

Even if it’s for much less than your asking price, an offer is a signal that there’s interest in your domain name. A domain with multiple offers gives you more certainty that there’s demand for your domain and a higher likelihood that someone will eventually buy it for your price.

I was reminded of this the other day as I reviewed my domains and considered my strategy for them going forward. For the domains I listed at DAN.com with just a Buy Now or lease option, I had no data signals about potential buyer interest other than traffic (which isn’t always a good signal). I had decent data for domains listed on platforms with the make offer option.

One solution is to leave the negotiating up to someone else. With Afternic, I set a Buy Now price and a floor price. This allows Afternic to negotiate on my behalf. Afternic doesn’t expose data about inquiries in your account, but you can request the data from your account manager.

I still think Buy Now is the way to go for most of my domains. However, it would be helpful if marketplaces captured signals on Buy Now domains and provided these to sellers. For example, it would be helpful if DAN.com showed if someone added a domain to the cart but didn’t check out, or if someone interacted with the domain financing options on a domain.

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