One of my favorite ongoing debates in the Domaining world surrounds a topic that might sound simple but ends up being surprisingly complex, should you price your domains or leave them open to offers? It’s a topic that I personally have gone back and forth on for years but over time I’ve landed in the BIN camp.
Of course this answer is different for different people so take anything I say here with a grain of salt but here’s the advantage I see to putting a BIN price on your names. When someone is looking for a domain name, and they don’t have one specific name in mind, they’re often driven by a name that they can easily find is available for sale, and is in their budget.
In most cases I think it’s pretty darn likely that when you sell a name at its BIN price, you probably did leave some money on the table. Just because someone bought your name for $3,500 doesn’t mean they didn’t have a $4,500 or even $7,500 budget. What it does mean is that the combination of domain and price made them pull the trigger right then and there.
If the same name was listed as “Make Offer” you could sell it for more but that same buyer could also easily overlook it. The question you have to ask yourself is how much profit are you happy with? Years ago I set my goal at 10x and told myself, if I can sell a domain for 10x what I’ve paid for it, I should be happy. This doesn’t mean that I price every domain at 10x my buy price, I have names at 20x, 30x or more in some cases, but I’m never going to be upset about a good return.
Let’s be honest – it’s easy to be obsessed with dollar values, you see a similar two-word .COM to one that you bought for $500 sell for $25,000 and suddenly that becomes your new price expectation. Sure you can turn down that $10,000 offer, but if you stop to think about making 20x what you paid and re-investing that money, it’s not hard to understand why making that $10k sale sooner could be a better long-term move.
So like most rules, there are exceptions. Let’s suppose you got a killer one-word .COM for $10,000 – you did your researched, negotiated like crazy, and landed yourself a solid six-figure domain. I’m definitely not saying that you should price your domain at $100,000 and be happy if you get it. Maybe you want a $500,000, maybe it’s a million or a bust. You’re willing to wait 5 – 10 years (or longer) for the right buyer to come by who will pay top dollar.
This exception is important because if you do have some (or many) truly premium domains then you probably will benefit from having a longer time horizon and waiting for that perfect buyer. I’ll tell you that Rick Schwartz probably wouldn’t have sold Porno.com for over $8M if he wasn’t willing to turn down plenty of amazing offers and take the time to wait for that perfect buyer that would pay what he knew it was worth.
That being said, businesses need liquidity and if you’re holding out for the perfect buyer for that $10 two-word .COM hand reg, think a bit more about what a $1,500 or $2,500 sale would actually mean when it comes to ROI. I’m not telling you not to be greedy, but I am saying to balance that with practicality and put yourself in the mind of the buyer and make it easy to buy a domain from you.
Of course, if you have a portfolio full of junk you can set BINs all you want and nobody’s going to buy. Too often I’ve seen people with garbage hand registrations complaining that they keep lowering their BINs but nobody’s buying. If you do have domains that could actually spark the interest of someone other than you, then setting a BIN is, in my opinion the best way to improve your liquidity.
What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!