How Much Should You Underbid on that Domain Name

By | September 30, 2011

If you’ve ever bid on anything on the Internet, you know just how crucial this question can be.

Scarf on eBay asking for $30? How low can you make an offer without offending the owner and almost certainly being outbid?

Chair listed on Craigslist for $50? How low of an offer can you make while still being confident that you’re the one who will end up with the thing?

This same phenomenon bears out even in the world of website brokering. Buying a domain name from another person often requires some sort of compromise wherein you both feel like you got “gypped” a little bit. The buyer will feel like they paid too much; the seller will feel like they accepted too little. These are often the best compromises, of course.

If you’re a website buyer, then you want to get a good price – a bargain even. That much goes without saying. But you don’t want to underbid so much that you don’t even stand a chance of landing the purchase. So how do you underbid? There’s an art to it.

Casting a Wide Net

First, it’s important to realize that many people are able to find good bargains because of how many bad bargains they sift through. Have you ever met anyone who is an expert at finding reduced prices on Craigslist? Well, if you ask them how many items they make offers on – but don’t end up winning the purchase – you might be surprised that they actually have a low success rate.

“Success rate,” of course, is a malleable term.

The truth is that casting a wide net and low-balling a lot of offers can do you a lot of good if you want to find the true bargains. Sometimes, you’ll land a domain for a spectacular bargain because of your diligence. The problem, of course, is that you will lose out on a lot of potential purchases as well.

Is it Better to Find a Middle Ground?

From the perspective of, where you can find all sorts of potential domains and websites to buy, a successful transaction is just that: a transaction that goes forward. In some cases, you as the buyer will indeed have to underbid at a slightly generous price in order to secure the domain of your heart’s desire. Sometimes, you may not even underbid at all.

Your strategy will ultimately be up to you. But we encourage you to experiment with different price bids to see what might win you the best prices for domains you’re targeting; tweak your strategy as necessary so that you can start landing more without feeling like you could have paid less. Once you find that middle ground, you’ll gain a good “instinct” about good first offers. That’s exactly the skill you’ll want to cultivate as a buyer.

If you want to get started today, feel free to browse around the listings here at and try asking yourself what you would bid on each purchase.