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Try to Outbound in the “Offseason”

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I don’t do much outbound marketing to sell domain names these days. In the past, I spent a fair amount of time reaching out to prospective buyers, and the timing of emails is important. I don’t have the data to share what day or time of day is best to send emails, but I do think it is important to send outbound sales pitch emails during the “offseason” or “shoulder season.”

Place.com Acquired for $3 Million

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On Wednesday, GeekWire reported on the $100 million funding round of a real estate startup called Place. The company is now valued at $1 Billion, and it wisely uses Place.com for its website. Most interestingly to domain investors, the article shared that Place.com was acquired for $3 million. Jeff Eckhaus spotted the sale price and shared it on Twitter:

Here’s an excerpt from the article discussing the purchase price for the Place.com domain name:

BINs Taking Away Some of the Fun

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For the last few years, I have found domain investing to be a bit less fun than before. Business has been quite good for the last several years, so it’s not the money issue that has made it less exciting. I haven’t really been able to pinpoint the issue until I was chatting with a friend this morning.

I came to the realization that my usage of buy it now (BIN) pricing on 90+% of my portfolio is making this business less fun. I have nearly all of my inventory listed on Dan.com and GoDaddy with BIN prices. After having the best sales year last year and the first half of the year on fire, I removed the Make Offer functionality on almost all of my Dan.com listings under $10k. People can either buy the domain name for the list price or purchase it via payment plan.

Google Acquired Navigator.com

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Navigator.com has been acquired by Google. The Whois record for Navigator.com became public for the first time since 2018, and the registrant is now Google LLC. The acquisition was first reported by Jamie Zoch on Sunday morning:

Getting Equity is Not Usually the Answer

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In response to my article yesterday, a couple of people suggested asking for equity from wanna-be startup entrepreneurs who can’t afford to pay for a domain name. I like the idea of having equity serve as upside in a deal, but in practice, it is more challenging than simply asking for and getting the equity.

There are many considerations I make before even considering whether or not to ask a startup for equity in the company. Most importantly, I have to believe in the vision of the founder and team. There are plenty of successful startups that I think suck, but if I can’t see how the company would achieve a valuation that would give me enough upside, I am not going to offer a special deal to sell a domain name.

“Would You Sell…” is a Fishing Expedition

When someone emails to ask, “would you sell X for $xx,xxx?” I look at as a fishing expedition. Some may also call it tire kicking, but people who ask about buying a domain name at a certain price are usually more interested in fishing for the right number rather than simply kicking the tires on a domain name. I know this because I sometimes do it when I am trying to buy a domain name.

Asking “would you sell…” is non-committal. If the domain registrant replies affirmatively, the person who inquired can say something like “I will get back to you.” This is contrasted with a direct offer that is something like “I would like to offer you $xx,xxx to buy X.” If the domain registrant agrees, that is pretty much like a handshake deal from my perspective.

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