Buying Domain Names

Did Lebron James Acquire Lebron.com?

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If you visit the Lebron.com domain name right now, you can see that it forwards to LebronJames.com, the website for NBA superstar Lebron James. Lebron.com is currently registered under privacy at GoDaddy, so it is unclear if Mr. James acquired the domain name, but it appears that someone associated with James may now control it. This was reported this morning in a tweet from Daryl Lopes:

In early January, Joshua Schoen also reported that the domain name was forwarding to Lebron James’ website:

Buying Tip: Look at the “News” Section of a Website

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I want to share a bit of a domain name buying tip that has been helpful to me over the years. When visiting a developed domain name that is an acquisition target, look at the section with company news to see how recently and regularly updated it is.

Risk & Reward of Buying a Domain Portfolio

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I am occasionally offered the opportunity to purchase a domain name portfolio. Most of the time, the portfolios I am sent are relatively small, but the portfolios can be comprised of a wide variety of domain names in them. Last week, Mark Levine tweeted about buying portfolios, and he likened it to the A&E television show, Storage Wars.

Sedo Comments on Domain Theft & Verification Policy

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Over the years, I have received a number of emails about domain names that were (sometimes) allegedly stolen and re-sold on domain name marketplaces and platforms. I have also read forum and blog posts, as well as seen tweets and other complaints regarding the purchase of domain names that were previously stolen. Domain name theft is still a major issue that plagues the business of domain investing.

Contact a Former Registrant for Due Diligence – Even for Auctions

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Due diligence is an important aspect of buying a domain name. Whether a buyer is acquiring a domain name privately without the assistance of a third party, using a domain broker, buying a domain name via auction, or using an aftermarket platform, due diligence is critical to ensure the domain name acquisition is legitimate.

I don’t think auction platforms do much (or enough) due diligence on domain names that are listed for sale. I believe some confirm that the customer who listed the domain name is the registrant of said domain name, but I am not even sure if that happens for every domain name nor do I know if it happens with every venue. Even if this is true, a thief who stole a domain name and has possession of it could easily prove possession of the domain name, so this is not much help.

As part of doing due diligence, it can be helpful to contact previous domain registrants to track the history of the domain name. DomainTools’ Whois history tool is the primary tool I use to see the historical Whois records for domain names. I believe DomainIQ also has some historical Whois records as well. Google searching for Whois and the domain name may also reveal some (spotty) results.

Elon Musk on What it Took to Acquire Tesla.com

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How much did Tesla pay to buy The Tesla.com domain name? Elon Musk might have just revealed the price.

Tesla Motors operated its business in TeslaMotors.com for a number of years. In February of 2016, it was widely reported that the company bought the Tesla.com domain name. The purchase price of the domain name was not publicly announced though.

Late last night on Twitter, CEO Elon Musk commented about what it took to finally acquire the Tesla.com domain name:

It is unclear if the $11 million figure was the actual amount Tesla paid to buy Tesla.com or if that figure also includes additional costs or terms (such as legal fees or if this figure includes stock in the company which could fluctuate in value).

Now that Mr. Musk has publicly discussed the acquisition, it would be great if the Tesla Investor Relations team clarified the purchase price component a bit. It would likely be one of the largest domain name sales of all time.

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