You had me at, “You put your capital at risk…”

George Kirikos recently wrote a forum post on NamePros about the types of phrases prospective buyers use in their emails when inquiring about a domain name. Below is the list:

  1. I’m a student
  2. We’re a non-profit
  3. Be reasonable
  4. I’m a broker
  5. We have a client
  6. I’m starting a blog
  7. We don’t have a large budget
  8. I’m a serious buyer
  9. If you have a list of other domains
  10. This email is not spam

As both a seller and buyer, the list doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen many of them in emails I’ve received and have used some of them (most times legitimately) as a potential buyer. While George mentioned he thinks people should avoid using those phrases in their emails – I really don’t mind them! After all it’s a potential customer.

Raymond Hackney published a follow up post to the NamePros thread at called, “You had me at Scumbag“. It described a domain inquiry he received where the sender said “I know all you so called investors are just scumbags so just give me a reasonable price.”

This made me remember one of my most pleasant deals that completed at the start of the year. It was for a 4 character .NYC domain that was a premium purchase for me at mid-$xxx, that I sold for $2,200. I was happy with the sale and I also think it was great value for the buyer. Towards the end of wrapping up the deal I received the email below from the buyer.

To: <>
Subject: XXX.NYC domain Sale
Date: Wed, Jan 28, 2017


Hi Matt;

I received an email from [registrar] indicating that the transfer had been completed.  I logged into to let them know that I've accepted the domain.  Hopefully they have released the money to you or have at least started the process.  I would like to thank you for bringing this opportunity to me and for being so very patient with me and responding to all of my questions that arose since I had never done this before.  Should I ever look to go through this process again I would use our experience as a template.  Thank You!

If possible, I'm hoping that you could answer a question for me.  I would like to preface the question by saying that I sincerely believe that you deserve any and all profit you earned on the sale of this domain name.  You put your capital at risk, you were able to secure the domain from the system (I was not, I tried to buy it several times but it was always unavailable) and were able to successfully market it.  I hope it's not in bad form to ask but I was hoping you would be willing to tell me what the name cost you.  I'm really not interested in your profit, but I am curious what .nyc prices something like this at in case I look to buy something similar in the future.  Thanks.

Should you have any other good names for sale going forward please feel free to offer them to me.  Let's stay in touch.

All the Best,

[name removed]

PS - If there's anything else you need me to do to facilitate or speed up your payment let me know and I'll get on it right away 

It was such a nice email to receive and along with the $1500+ profit I must admit that I felt a little guilty. Guilty that the buyer was such a nice guy, guilty that I had made a nice return and guilty that I had beaten this guy in registering the domain as soon as it became available.

The guilt however, was short lived because what he said was true.

  • My capital was at risk
  • I worked to monitor and secure the domain
  • I worked to bring this opportunity (through many emails) to someone who would benefit

The above reasons pretty much verbatim are the buyer’s and I can also add that the capital at risk (from premium registrations and renewals) is even more significant when factoring in other domain names that aren’t selling – yet!

Markets change as does demand. Investing in gTLDs, even in the more respectable cityTLDs, is risky. The value of my investment may fall to zero and with my .NYC domain renewal fees at around $10,000/year, selling a few domains each year at ~$2200 in the hopes of breaking even is the goal.

So there may be scumbag sellers and scumbag buyers, but in this case I wanted to share a story of two nice guys simply doing business and being happy about the outcome.

Does anyone else have nice domain name stories? I cannot be the only one… can I? Leave a comment below.


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