How To Identify Domain Tire-Kickers

When you’re selling domains you will inevitably encounter “Tire Kickers”. I consider a tire kicker any potential buyer that wants to buy your domain for pennies on the dollar but insists on asking 8 million questions and taking up a lot of your time. Identifying a tire kicker early on can save you time and help you keep your focus on real buyers that see the true potential of your domain.

So I thought I’d share some tell-tale signs that the person making an offer on your domain may be no more than a tire kicker. Oh, and if this sounds like you, start determining if you’re being realistic with yourself or just trying to low-ball people in bulk, either strategy wastes your own time as well!

  1. I want to buy this domain for a student project – this is the #1 line used by people trying to get great deals on domains. They may have reasonable budgets but they don’t want to spend it on a domain. Students tend to just hand-register domains for their projects so it’s relatively rare you’ll get a real student with a real budget who wants to buy one of your domains. Sure, you could sell a five-figure name for $500 if you really want to, but chance are the person buying it won’t use it for a project, they’ll re-sell it for what you should have sold it for!
  2. I saw your domain appraised to $x on this appraisal site – if a buyer is using an appraisal service they probably don’t know too much about the domain industry as they’d probably know these are almost completely useless. A domain is worth what the owner will sell it for or, looking at it from another side, what a buyer is willing to pay. Appraisals can give you rough estimates but anyone insisting that this is what you should sell your domain for probably isn’t ready to pay what your domain is worth.
  3. $ sold for $XXX so I want to pay $XXX for your domain because it is similar – domains aren’t really similar, they are all unique and all different. If sells for $3,000 that doesn’t mean that is not worth $3 million.
  4. I want to buy this domain and will offer $1,000 max for it, do we have a deal? – if there is no room for negotiation from the very first email you can bet you’re not the only person this buyer is contacting. They are prospecting and this means that unless you want to sell your domain for $1,000 you’ll probably spend the next week wasting time emailing back and forth, but they’ve already drawn an arbitrary line, don’t waste your time.
  5. My company has the right to this domain, sell it to me for $500 or I’m going to sue you – last but not least is the idle threat, or as I like to say, the worst way to make an offer on a domain. Some people do truly believe they have a right to your domain because their company is in the niche or a related space. As long as you have a nice generic domain don’t let these kinds of emails frazzle you, and most importantly, don’t let them kick your tires and waste your time. If they want to file a UDRP, let them do it, otherwise don’t waste your time. Now I’m not talking about blatant reverse domain hijackers, I’m talking about tire kickers that honestly just don’t get it, but they will get a lot of your time if you give it to them.

Feel free to share some of your own “tire kicker” interactions below. I know we all have some good stories!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton