How much for my Twitter name?
February 4, 2014 12:32 PM   Subscribe

I have been approached about selling a Twitter username that I haven't used in a few years. How much should I ask?

A while back I began transitioning from a username I have had for decades. Part of that was a Twitter username. It was easier for me to jettison that because I would often get mentions by people who mistook me for a brand of beer. It was getting very annoying.

Anyway, today I got an email from a company -- not the beer brand -- that also uses the handle in their business' name. From what I can tell they do not have a Twitter presence and they aren't interested in my followers (there are only 7 or so anyway). The company is a privately owned company, that has been in business for over 30 years.

The email only asks if I am interested in selling, but since I have that I am interested in doing so on my profile, they know that. My wife says to ask them to make the first offer, and I am leaning toward that, but I wondered if there is something about which I haven't considered. For example, do I need to be careful abut asking for more than a certain amount ($10k?) for tax reasons? I am in the United States.

I am using Twitwipe to clean the account of the few remaining tweets beforehand too, but wonder what else I should do.

Any advice on any of these questions would be appreciated.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have much to add, but here's a recent relevant story that might at least help a little - also be careful.
posted by General Malaise at 12:40 PM on February 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

Ask them to make an offer. They will lowball. Respond with something at least 10 times as much. Haggle and meet in the middle.
posted by beagle at 12:56 PM on February 4, 2014 [3 favorites]

Selling usernames: You may not buy or sell Twitter usernames. --- Violation of Twitter's TOS
posted by banished at 12:58 PM on February 4, 2014 [5 favorites]

You don't have to sell them the actual account, you can just change your account's handle right before informing them that they can create a new one with that name.

It really depends on the size of the company but 10k is probably absurdly high. As others point out this is technically illegal but it just saves the company a ton of time. I'd start with something like 5k but expect that they will counter with like 500. If you get 1-2k out of it you should count yourself a big winner.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:21 PM on February 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

How much? As much as they'll pay for it.

So your wife & beagle have it right - make them the first offer, ask yourself how happy you are with that number, add 5x or 10x if you're not. At the very least it is worth a few grand to them, otherwise they'd just start up a new twitter account called @theReal_company
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:27 PM on February 4, 2014

By the way, my favorite negotiation word for situations like this where there is little intrinsic value in something: "fair." As in,

"Yes I'm open to selling. What do you think is a fair price?"
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:30 PM on February 4, 2014 [8 favorites]

It may be helpful to look up the company to get an idea of size if possible. This will let you know if they can pay out TEH MONEY or are a mom and pop company probably not willing to shell out more than a couple hundred at most.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:33 PM on February 4, 2014

The important question is how much is the name worth to them? If they made it to 2014 without a Twitter account I'm going to guess it isn't worth a whole lot. I think the $500-$2000 range from above is probably reasonable.
posted by COD at 4:19 PM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

From the OP:
Thanks for all the advice. I settled for a nice sized iTunes gift certificate and am happy with the outcome.
posted by jessamyn at 5:54 PM on February 19, 2014

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