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Buying Domain Names

Does a Domain’s Value Change When Acquired by an Investor?

At NamesCon last week, I had a chance to briefly speak with Andy Booth. I have known and done a modest amount of business with Andy and his brother James Booth, and I was sorry I did not have much time to speak with them. One topic Andy and I chatted about was if the value of a domain name changes (at least on a psychological level) when the domain name is acquired by a domain investor from a larger company. Andy thought it would be neat to spark a discussion about the topic, and we are both eager to see what readers think.

Lock in the .com to Save on a Rebrand

There are several startups currently interested in one of my domain names, and I am in discussions to sell it. None of these startups seem to have the capital available to make the purchase, but I am very confident one is going to be able to come to terms with my company in the next couple of months. My bet is that the deal I strike will likely be some sort of creative financing option, although I would be very happy to sell it outright.

While all of these startups understand the value of owning the brand match .com domain name, I don’t think any of them are looking at the biggest picture. I want to share this with you (without mentioning the specific domain name) because I think it is a good talking point on your own negotiations.

Mercury.com: How Mercury Got Its Domain Name

In December of 2019, I wrote about Mercury acquiring its brand match Mercury.com domain name. The company had been operating on the Mercury.CO domain name, but it had anticipated moving to the Mercury.com domain name at some point in the future. That migration has happened, and the company can now be found by visiting Mercury.com.

Notably, Mercury founder Immad Akhund shared how the company was able to acquire its brand match domain name. In a series of tweets, which I have posted chronologically below, Immad shared details of how it acquired Mercury.com from HP. Although he did not share the price of the domain name, I am sure it was very expensive. I think the eighth and final tweet explains why acquiring Mercury.com was so crucial for the banking brand:

Rev.com Was Reportedly Acquired for $400,000

Sean Markey tweeted a link to the My First Million podcast interview featuring Rev.com founder Jason Chicola. In the podcast, there was a discussion about the brand naming process and how the company ended up buying Rev.com for a reported $400,000:

Analysis: What Are Illness / Outbreak Domain Names Worth?

Whenever there is some sort of global health scare or illness outbreak that is reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it seems that a lot of corresponding domain names are registered. Some are probably registered by entities offering information about the illness, while others are registered by speculators who believe these domain names may become worth something in the short term or possibly long term.

Instead of just saying “LOL, you’re wasting your money” to people who register domain names with the name of the latest virus or illness in them, I thought I would use NameBio to see what the public sales data looks like for illness related domain names. Past performance doesn’t always indicate future value, but I think seeing the number of public sales – and their prices – might be worth looking at if people are considering registering domain names like these.

I’ve Been Texting Much More on Negotiations

One thing that has changed for me during the past couple of years is that I have been negotiating on purchases and sales via text message much more than in prior years. I have closed a few deals on both sides via text message, and it seems to be more acceptable these days than in prior years.

On my Embrace.com price request inquiry form, I have an optional field for the prospect to leave a phone number. Typically, I will send a canned reply via email with the price of the domain name and a bit of a sales pitch. If the prospect left a contact phone number, I will usually send a text message to let them know their request was received and a reply was sent.

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