Additional Thoughts About the Closing of Quidsi

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On Wednesday,  we learned that Amazon would  be sunsetting Quidsi brands, including Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com and others. Recode, Wall St. Journal, and CNBC  published articles sharing this news. I was an infrequent  customer of Diapers.com, and  I was a fan of the company’s usage of exact match domain names for its brands.

In my article last week, I shared a few thoughts on the news, and I thought I would share some  additional thoughts today. You are welcome to give your insight about the news. I am also interested in hearing your ideas about how Amazon will use Quidsi’s great exact match domain names, which hold considerable  value.

5 Thoughts about Amazon shutting Quidsi:

  • This is the second business  that operates websites on individual exact match .com domain names (EMDs) to shut down their exact match domain brands in recent memory. In 2011, CSN Stores, which operated businesses on EMDs like Luggage.com, Cookware.com, Strollers.com, and many more, rebranded as Wayfair.com. It seems that some of the domain names forward to Wayfair.com and others do not seem to resolve for some reason. The CSN change was about branding under one umbrella though.
  • Although shutting down the Quidsi brands  seems like a bit of a knock on EMDs, one should realize that if it weren’t for these exact match domain names, the businesses may not have taken off and may not have even been bought by Amazon for hundreds of millions of dollars. People knew what they were getting when they visited Diapers.com and Soap.com. It shows that exact match brands can be powerful.
  • If another entity  was operating these businesses, they may have chosen to keep  the brands afloat. Amazon doesn’t need to keep them running, especially in these low margin (and super competitive) categories, and the company can feed traffic into its existing website instead of competing.
  • One downside of an exact match product .com brand like Diapers.com is that it can get pigeonholed into being an expert at one thing. Diapers.com sold a ton of baby stuff – not just diapers. Perhaps the branding wasn’t broad enough.
  • The markets in which Quidsi operates seem like they are lower margin. Quidsi and Amazon were very likely fighting over the same customers and the competition was hurting  the company’s bottom line.

I  regularly referenced Diapers.com when discussing how an exact match domain name can become a brand, and it is unfortunate that I won’t be able to use this consumer brand as a reference point any longer. The Quidsi story was great, and this seems like a sad ending for its  brands (although the people who sold Quidsi for hundreds of millions are probably doing alright!).

5 COMMENTS

  1. Might be more to it than meets the eye.

    Lore who founded Quidsi went on to start Jet.com which was acquired by Walmart. Now he competes vs Amzn.

    Bad blood between them.

    Bezos is cutthroat, vindictive SOB hard to know his true intentions.

  2. This is common, blatant Monopolistic behavior. Whenever a business emerges that has the potential to threaten your market dominance, just buy it and then quietly shut it down a little later down the road. Among the Quidsi brands, Diapers.com especially was a well recognized brand which could well have stood on its own as a separate entity. is the Internet better off for having less choice and Amazon reinforced as the gorilla of online retailing? No. This is a prime example of the how the internet has narrowed down to a handful of massive companies that, when faced with a competitive threat, whip out their pocketbooks or issue some stock and buy their competitors resulting in less choice and higher prices for consumers. Google is also a repeat offender – purchasing emerging companies, stubbing out their brand momentum and employee talent, and shutting them down later on. Check their purchase history and what happened to these “hot” companies they bought and later doused with water. It seems this is the natural result of a free market – a handful of market dominators emerge and fiercely protect their market dominance.

    As pertains to domains and domain values, fewer and fewer startups and mom and pops can compete against the likes of Amazon or whatever massive company controls their particular online niche. More money is needed to compete but less financing is available because no one wants to fund a company that will just get squashed by the category leader. Thus, there are fewer ventures needing exact match – or any – domain names and this is ultimately a drag on domain values. Sad, but true, a picture of the Internet circa 2017.

    • Which means there exists myriad opportunities for startups to emerge and fill these voids. All it takes is a plan, capital, and lots of hard work.

  3. Not any TM value but the “dot com” is very much the “brand” ask any Chinese / fortune 500 exec. The stats do not lie.

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