I’ve heard stories about domain auctions taking quite a bit of time to close post-auction. This is not one of those stories. In fact, the sale of Bouquet.com is quite the opposite of those, and there is a great auction story to go along with it.
In my opinion, Bouquet.com was the best domain name listed for sale at the TRAFFIC Las Vegas auction. The domain name had a high bid of $27,500, and didn’t hit the reserve price. Post-auction, however, the high bidder agreed to pay the $30,000 reserve price, and the domain name was sold.
Bill McClure of Coffee.org was the winning bidder, and he gave me a play-by-play of the auction and how he became the new owner of the domain name:
“I was sitting in the back of the room in Vegas last week at Traffic, glancing down the auction list, “holy smokes”, Bouquet.com, is that a misspelling, look again. I wonder who will know the value. It is a million dollar domain. I sold Eflowers.com for a $1,000,000 to FTD in 2003. I got nervous, I knew I was going to be the buyer. I knew the keyword “Bouquet” was typed in 2.2 million times a month. Our conversion rate will be in the 7% range. WOW. Be cool, don’t look up. I opened the bid at 5,000.00. A phone bidder started bidding. Ammar looked back at me and started bidding. He has a lot more money than me. Ammar quit at 25,000.00 I paid the minimum reserve and instantly added $750,000 to my estate. Have a cocktail.
I talked with the seller and have committed to send a contribution to his favorite charity for every order our site Coffee.org gets in the month of July. It will be in the thousands. Our vision has changed, We will make you smile with every sip and every bouquet. I filed the corporation and trademarks yesterday. We launched the site today.”
Not only was Bouquet.com quickly paid for in full, but Bill’s team already managed to launch a new floral website on the domain name. In less than a week, the domain name went from auction to an operating business.
Bill’s domain names and websites are truly a family affiar. Bouquet.com will be operated by Bill’s daughter Emmie. Bill’s other daughter, Ellie, operates the coffee business. Bill’s son Mark owns and run CommercialInsurance.net, one of the fastest growing agencies nationwide (he writes policies in 40 states). His son Gabe is the behind the scenes guy who actually ensures the websites are all operational.
Congratulations to the entire McClure family!
Thanks to Michael Cyger for sharing the tip!
What a great name. Definitely a great decision to buy Bouquet.com and sell bouquets of flowers on it. Love it, site looks great.
The only problem I see is the history of this domain. They have a huge uphill battle in the future, as the site was previously known as “bouquet media”, a company that was NOT in the flower business. So, they’re going to need to totally get rid of all of those media and cinema links in order to even have chance in showing up in the organic search results for “bouquet” or any flower-related keyword phrases.
I wouldn’t say it’s an uphill battle, SEO wise. The domain had a flower shop on it starting late 2004. There are <70 links so it's not like it was spammed or anything blackhat. Elliot linking out is probably the strongest backlink yet.
Love these kinds of stories. Bill sounds like he has a tremendous amount of passion for what he does. Bouquet.com is a fantastic domain.
That is incredible deployment. Did he have previous vendor relationships in place with eflowers/ftd?
Great name and fantastic price. I hope to be in a position to have the cash to make these kind of buys when they present themselves someday.
Not sure about the business strategy of entering the flower business himself though as the competition is fierce and you are really up against some monster brands.
I do agree on the valuation though. Easily a six figure name.
Bill that was quick! Still an awesome name.
@Paul looking at the Source code it looks like they already had a site at floristflowersdelivery.com
Looks much the same so maybe he was already in the business?
Do they have their own distribution/shipping network?
Is it an affiliate site?
Develop develop develop if you can!
Easier said than done for most people.
This is clear evidence that the ‘Internet Gold Rush’ is not over. In fact it is still early. This highlights the need to ensure you have liquid cash available for when these opportunities unexpectedly pop up!
Congrats to the winning bidder. Awesome name BOUQUET.COM as Elliot said the best domain name listed for sale.
Good to see that the name has got its structure and is now functional. Love the TM byline – A smile with every bouquet.
page 3 on google for: bouquet
It’s a dog with fleas…people don’t search for “bouquet” to buy flowers, they search for “bouquet toss songs” and “bouquet garni” (herbs).
$30,000 was too much for this dog.
First of all, Bouquet.com is a great brand name, aside from any search engine benefits.
Secondly, it may be on page three, but the site was launched yesterday.
Finally, I’ll trust the guy who already had a 7 figure exit in that space over the random blog commenter.
Hard to spell….and the masses cannot spell! Good luck…ya gotta try!
Alexa Traffic Rank: 8,883,039 for bouquet.com
Bill should buy the plural bouquets.com from Madison Web Design co……to strengthen the brand……..
I believe the plural was being brokered for $250,000 recently. I don’t think that domain name is needed.
The term Bouquet is very unique, it is considered a ‘collective plural’ so the real plural form is not needed here and would probably be valued alot less.
In addition to that, people go online to purchase a bouquet, they do not generally buy multiple bouquets.
People don’t go online to purchase “bouquets”; but rather, they go online to purchase “flowers”.
This purchase was a dog; they won’t be successful…just calling it like I see it.
Why don’t you share the name of the brand you are starting that you referenced on my blog the other day (the one that got the Media Bistro “mention”? I think the same thing can be said about your brand, and you would probably tell me you are building a brand, which is exactly what Bill is doing.
With that in mind, I think it’s hypocritical for you to crap on someone else’s brand, especially when that person has proven to be successful in his endeavors and you are commenting here anonymously.
I’m not anonymous; my name is Mike Taylor.
My two brands are Long Island Star & New York City Star; each domain was registered for $9. I’m selling advertising, wrapped inside of hyperlocal news delivery…not comparable to bouquets and flowers.
A more appropriate comparison for this conversation would be to try branding and selling bananas on bunch.com…it doesn’t make sense from a branding perspective. These guys with bouquet have a very steep hill to climb to ever get to profitability and they know it.
The $30,000 purchase price was too high. I’m guessing they’re hoping to flip it for $200,000 after quickly building a little site and getting some “domaining” press.
If you could afford it, wouldn’t you rather own Star.com?
Assuming you would like to own Star.com, do you think people who are searching for the word “Star” would expect to find your hyperlocal news?
In any case, the bottom line is this:
You will probably spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars building your brand if you are serious about it. Should your business model fail for whatever reason, all of your costs are sunk. Your domain names are likely worth very little.
If the situation happens to Bill, he will have added value to Bouquet.com. With a name like that, as long as he isn’t harming it with spam or other illicit activity, he is increasing the value of said domain name. A descriptive domain name like this has “burn down” value.
For my NY-focused business, no I would not rather have star.com; for my purposes, newyorkcitystar.com and longislandstar.com are preferable…and they only cost 9 bucks each.
There is inherent risk in any venture, but I’m not concerned about my “burn-down” value…only a loser approaches a business with this in mind.
One might say only a loser is commenting on domain blogs at 7pm on a Saturday night 🙂
That makes two of us then;)
Bill, thank you for sharing your success with Elliot.
Regardless of what previously written silly remarks we have….. These are the stories that motive “ALL”
….and to think, this amazing success story started at the Traffic Conference. It really pays to attend these industry events!
The traffic auction yielded very little results; many would call it a complete failure.
You never know who you will meet at a Traffic Domain conference or other conference as well. I am amazed there are few CEO’s who can pick up a gem or make a friend who owns a gem in one place for such a low entry fee. We do own many properties in the flower business. This was a no brainer, like it or not. I bought one of the first ones years ago at auction DiscountFlowerShop.com and have build a nice business. bouquet.com, hmm I like it. Bill Mac
People don’t go online to buy Amazons either.
It’s not a keyword play.
It’s a brand, no different than if they bought ‘gear.com’ and made it into a car site.
Of course, these sorts of things are not plug and play.
Good luck with the venture. Very competitive space to try and middle, if thats your plan.
I guess the market is big enough for Bouquet.com to decently start covering the cost of their domain as well a greater ROI.
I think it is a great name and the Website looks awesome! Any insight into it and the ‘florist flowers delivery’ design and content. Are they an affiliate of FTD or something?
Wonderful story and such a fast business plan, from domain purchase to site production. There is always going to be an issue with the spelling of bouquet, no matter what folk say, however this did not seem to reflect in the final sale price.
Furthermore, the sites architecture appears excellent.
Great history, this guy more that a domainer its a business man he Khows how to make money in long term, that vision. hes investement its brandeable, memorable, short and related to the business.
I just found out that Bouquets.com is for sale at Media Options for $150000