I received an email from David Clements this weekend announcing that Cheesecake.com is on the market. Clements and a partner launched an e-commerce website over a year ago and has decided to put the business up for sale.
According to Clements, “the site, contacts, photography, logo, etc are included. We use a third-party for the shopping cart and some other functionality so the new owner would need to continue that business relationship or do some coding.” The price for Cheesecake.com is $500,000.
I am a big fan of cheesecake, and I think it’s a great gift. In fact, I sent clients and friends cheesecakes from Junior’s for the holidays a few years ago. Google’s Adwords keyword tool shows an exact match search volume of 0ver 200,000, so there are a lot of people looking to buy cheesecake.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a company like Junior’s or even 1-800-Flowers make a play for this domain name. If you happen to be interested in discussing a sale, be in touch with David. I am sure you could also reach out to Domain Capital for financing options if that’s of interest.
* This was NOT a paid post, and I wasn’t asked to post this nor am I being compensated in any way.
The problem is
for that kind of money
you can have your own
Shocked that you didn’t say something about .CO… LOL
It has page 1 Google listing. That’s good. 🙂
Yep… for me, it ranks #4, right below 3 listings from The Cheesecake Factory.
The days of $xxx,xxx for .com are over unfortunately
with the advent of the Right of the Dot Era.
is very special in this Era.
“The days of $xxx,xxx for .com are over ”
So I guess you were full of shit when you said you made a $50,000 sale. You still haven’t sent me the Escrow info like you said you would.
The days of $mmm,mmm for .com are over unfortunately
with the advent of the Right of the Dot Era.
is very special in this Era.
Well, my conscious woke up
and said don’t fall for it
what am i trying to prove.
This wasn’t for me
this was to pump my chest
and point fingers at you to say
I told you.
and I am better than this.
But the sale does put me in the
top 1-2% of so called domainers.
You’re pumping .CO and were begging for help to pay your bills. That was pathetic. As far as I am concerned, you’re just a blog comment troll.
I wasn’t pumping anything
to say a good extension is good
is just speaking plainly.
so I take it all fund raising activity can all be
construed as begging
let’s see I recall Oprah seeing donations for
her school, for her kids to school, etc.
No upside to this
What’s the revenues. The profits?
If latona can’t Sell shit at 4 year multiples what makes you think this will sell.
They paid 100k for name. Nice name. But this has been shopped out all ready imo.
“No upside to this
What’s the revenues. The profits?”
Your comment makes no sense. Why would you say “No upside to this” without having a clue about revenues and profits?
I have no idea if there’s upside, but I wouldn’t guess without knowing those important numbers. LOL.
I would imagine a company that produces its own cheesecakes and has the fulfillment down could make this profitable. Just because one operator wants to sell doesn’t mean another company with more experience can’t make it work.
Yes, Oprah asked for people to donate to her non-profit organization. You asked people to help you pay for your expenses. Obviously different unless you happen to have little common sense and/or intellect.
In the Right of the Dot Age
there is no reason for people
to be paying anything over like $25,000 – $30,000
for any .com
In fact, I think you will see even higher prices in
other extensions like the beloved .Co
YOU eat cheesecake-you will be FAT, so I am not buying
For anyone who wants to host your high traffic websites, here the challenge:
Need to know the numbers
@Robert Cline top 1-2% because you sold 1 name for 50k?
Lol good stuff. Oh and if you aren’t a troll then Stfu and don’t post here again. Go on Mr 1-2% let’s see you stop posting and become the top domainer ever. You are almost there !
Until “Robert Cline” registers and uses the domain epier.co instead of his .com, I think we should all ignore him and his posts. Even then, I will be hard pressed to listen to this nonsense…
If he needs help paying his bills, perhaps he should get a job. This domaining thing can’t be working out too well for him.
is the site netting around 125k a year? What’s the traffic? Direct navigation? Etc
If this was such a great deal- all of this would have been disclosed.
When I say no upside do you think the buyer can flip this name and site? I highly doubt it imo.
Buyer would have redo everything imo and make it work.
Dead money from a domainers view point. This has been shopped out every angle possible imo.
Just my 2 cents. I love cheese cakes. David is a good guy.
The days of 07 are over.
I would like to see their financials. My gut tells me that it ain’t making enough to pay the debt and their living expenses at the same time and they have decided to make their headache someone else’s.
If you can’t make it with a first page google ranking and top tier domain then you put too much debt into financing the venture.
So many “domainers” harp and harp about business owners that “get it”. Perhaps we should also acknowledge business owners that “got it too much”?
and now Cheesecake.com…?
I am fairly sure all of those situations are different from each other.
I give Shaun (Kelowna.com) major props for putting his money behind the site, trying to make it work, and changing the site’s direction when he couldn’t make it work. As ar as I know, he put his own money behind the venture.
You should get answers / numbers first before forming opinions. It’s like the person who pours salt all over his food before tasting it.
BTW, prior sale was just for domain name. It now presumably has clients, search rankings, traffic, and suppliers.
“”As far as I am concerned, you’re just a blog comment troll.””
Which is compounded by the admission of such, and baffling refusal of (the better) bloggers to ban him and his consistent nonsense. Even as more and more readers complain of, and are being turned off of having to see and read blogs ‘filled’ with his numerous off topic and rambling comments, he’s welcomed to ‘keep posting’.
I may disagree with the guy and I may think he’s wrong, but I am not going to ban him because he’s not posting simply to post his spam links.
It’s the people that constantly post just so they can link to their sites or domain names that really piss me off and are banned.
His annoying posts do spur discussion.
You think so Elliot? My gut is saying this is not a good deal and been shopped out
You have a gut feeling on things and domains. I have a gut feeling on this deal and its not a good deal imo. Your audience is domain community. Do you think cheese cake factory reads your blog? No. They been approached I’m sure.
You don’t like my posts. Ok. I get it.
I have no idea if it’s a good deal or not – I haven’t looked at the numbers. I wouldn’t make an assumption either way without them though. I do know of companies that sell cheesecakes online, but I have no idea what they spend to make a sale, so I couldn’t comment on that business model either.
I don’t think CF reads my blog, and I have no idea if they’ve been approached. Perhaps they have and perhaps the wrong person at the company was contacted. I don’t know.
It’s not that I don’t like your posts. It’s that I don’t like it when assumptions are made that aren’t based on fact but are based on emotion.
What is the size of the cheesecake market?
What are the financials for Cheesecake.com?
Could the company be profitable if they made their own cheesecakes and fulfilled orders rather than drop shipping them?
What’s the traffic like?
How much is spent on marketing vs. organic?
What’s the profit margin on selling cheesecakes?
Could cheesecakes be made in the same factory as other products like cookies (ie could a cookie company use its biz model and move to the cheesecake business)?
Is the sales price firm?
Could financing be possible?
These are all important questions to ask before deciding whether it’s worth pursuing.
.Com is King
It’s a good name and works Great for the right end user.
Personally, I like PumpkinCheesecake whenever I have it.
TheCheesecake Factory should buy it.
Hope they get the $500K.
The value for this name is for either as Elliott mentioned 1-800 flowers or I think for cheesecake factory.
Juniors (which by the way has 3 times the traffic to cheesecake.com which only has about 5 or 6k visitors per month according to compete)
doesn’t appear to be the type of organization that will go for a low 6 figure amount let alone a mid 6 figure amount.
Cheesecake.com isn’t baking they are getting a cut from whoever is baking the cheesecake. Based on the traffic I simply don’t see how any money is being made to justify the price based on multiples.
I can see cheesecake factory maybe wanting the name in order to expand their brand past whatever negatives there are to using “factory” after their name for things other than the restaurant.
(Like on the backside of a butt similar to Pink..)
This is my favorite:
Bankruptcy aside, I could see a company like Harry & David’s (with its factories and fulfillment channels solidified) wanting to buy a name like this. A company that can make its own (good) cheesecakes and be able to ship them could likely make this work for the right price.
Yeah I get all this
My gut still saying a no on this
If this sells above 450k by year end and its a reported say with documentation I will donate 200 dollars to your favorite charity in nyc. The Ronald McDonald place
In the meantime good luck to crew.
Interesting article on today’s Miami Herald On PopsyCakes Co. since we are on the topic of Deserts. They own PopsyCakes.com (very low exact search) yet they seem be doing well and growing.
I bet they go for a Big number down the road.
The marketplace does exist for desserts and with a name like CheeseCake so universally known $500K may be low to the right buyer.
Thanks for the post Elliot. I hope you and Karen are both having a great weekend. We have been approached and an unsolicited offer has been made. It’s not enough, but it’s from a company that already ships out desserts nationwide. In the past 2 years they’ve sold over $20M in desserts and gifts. This company knows things that matter to someone in their position, things like the fact that cheesecake.com doesn’t just rank in the top 10 for the keyword cheesecake, we rank in the top 10 for over 200 keywords – some that are very high ROI keywords. Harvey and I want end user pricing if we sell, plain and simple. We’re both savvy domain investors and we’ve developed this business beyond merely a domain name in this case. There isn’t a company in this thread that isn’t talking to us right now so we’ll see. Again, thanks for sharing the news.
@ Trey. We took our best shot on Kelowna.com, spent our own money and made enough mistakes along the way to come up short. Shit happens; lessons learned. I’m starting on my next venture as I speak…
I commend you for your effort. My point was not to cast you in a bad light, shit does happen and it happens to the best of us.
My point was to illuminate the flawed “domainer” belief that a keyword domain is 99% of what is needed to have a successful online business.
There are so many “domainer’s” that parrot the belief all day long that when someone drops a big bank roll for a keyword domain that they “get it” and act like the buyer is just a few technicalities away from stardom.
This is simply not true.
A domain can help, but the degree of help is up in the air.
Yet we continually see domain bloggers highlighting domainers that have yet to prove they have any success at all in the development arena.
Look at Kevin Ham. There are few people that own domains as good as he does, yet everytime he trys to develop one of them it is a flat out failure. The man can buy domains, sure, but he sure can’t build a successful business on one, no matter how good the domain is.
My point is there is a huge difference between owning high quality domains and building a high quality online business.
That is also the difference between a domainer and a businessman.
This difference is the difference between Junior’s and Cheesecake.com. It’s the difference between Groupon.com and Goodnews.com. It’s the difference between Candy.com and CandyWarehouse.com.
Those that have the courage to try but occasionally fail, like your Kelowna.com and SanDiego.com are not the targets of my rants. The target of my rants are domainers that think buying a premium domain shows that someone “gets it”. These are domainers that lack the brains to see the forest for the trees.
I still see great value in a keyword domain, but I only see it as 20% of a businesses success effort and much much less than 20% once a business gets highly popular.
You don’t “get it” just because you buy a premium domain… and sometimes and at some prices buying a premium domain can make you a fool.
STFU up dude, there’s no forum you don’t spam with your nonsense. A post might be bearable, but a dozen???
$500K is reasonable. Cheesecake factory can easily afford that.
“Yet we continually see domain bloggers highlighting domainers that have yet to prove they have any success at all in the development arena.”
This is a domain blog, so I discuss great keyword domain names. Sometimes there are successes (DogWalker.com) and sometimes things don’t work out as hoped/planned (Torah.com). The thing is though, Torah.com may not be doing as well as I hoped, but I still have a great domain name and have options. Same thing goes for Shaun with Kelowna.com. Had I used eTorah.com or GetTorah.com, I would be in a different position.
HERE ARE SOME NUMBERS ON CHEESECAKE.COM :
According To Our Estimation Cheesecake.Com Makes $11.06 Per Day And Is Worth About $9,144.The Current Alexa Ranking Is 907,047. Cheesecake.Com Receives About 4,633 Page Views Per Day. It Has A Google Page Rank Of 4.The Site Is 16 Years 109 Days Old.It Has A Total Of 45 Backlinks. The Site Is Hosted In Suwanee, United States And Is Active On The IP 126.96.36.199
Websitecheesecake.com Worth:Estimated $9,144 USD
Global Rank 907,047 Google Page Rank Back Links:45Daily Page Views: 4,633Daily
Earning:$11.06Monthly Earnings:$364.909425862Website TitleCheesecake Delivery – Free Cheesecake Recipes –
Cheesecake.comWebsite Keywordscheesecake, cheesecakes, cheese, cake, cheese, cakes, cheescake, cheescakes, cake, cookie, recipe, recipes, cakes, cookies, New, York, NY, Chicago, no, bake, easy, chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin, turtle, brownie, brownies, fruit, fruits, gift, basket, gift, baskets, birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgi, Website DescriptionWe are the cheesecake experts. Buy Gifts online for delivery easy cheesecake recipes and How To cheesecake videos.
Good luck David. I’d love to see how this one will turn out. Please give us the lowdown if possible when it is done.
One of the benefits of living close to Calabasas CA is the occasionaly spotting and smelling of a Kardashian.
Another benefit is driving on Agoura road and spotting and smelling the headquarters of The Cheesecake Factory. This is the location where they often operate 24/7 making incredibly delicious cheesecakes for nation wide customers.
I would imagine that they would be extremely interested in acquiring an online presence with Cheesecake.com. But then again, maybe not.
I can tell you from firsthand experience and speaking with major online food marketers that often the traffic coming from direct nav and search is looking not to purchase a food product but rather they are seeking a recipe. This major hurdle requires a great deal of landing page work in order to turn inquiries into actual orders. A great deal of conversion work is required to make food sites profitable.
Hopefully for David’s sake I am wrong, but Cheesecake Factory seems like a company that wants to stay on its brand. A company like 1800 Flowers could adapt since it already operates other brands and it specializes in delivering perishable items.
Very right on post! Just having a top one word domain does not guarantee a successful online business.
The benefit of using a strong domain is the never ending flow of type-in traffic that enables you to fail at a development and pickup again and try another approach. This still does not guarantee success, but at least it gives you multiple opportunities.
I think the majority of domain investors do not have all the skillsets you need to make an online business really fly. And having the deepest of pockets doesn’t mean much either as we’ve seen over the years with some of the wealthiest domainers with unlimited capital fail at many development projects on their top domains. You can hire the best dev team, do a great site, good marketing and for whatever reason some ventures just don’t get traction and don’t hit it big. That’s business you win some you lose many.
Any top entrepreneur will admit they’ve failed 9 times out of 10. It’s usually only a handful of deals that truly succeed to grand proportions. If it was easy everyone would be a Billionaire. There are only 1,200 Billionaires out of 7 Billion people on the entire planet. That says it all!
So bottom line there is every opportunity for someone using TheBestCheesecakeEver.com to do just as well as the guy using Cheesecake.com for their online venture.
having a generic product domain means nothing and it will works against you if you ARE not the producer of that product.
for example, google jade plants or anything that relates to jade plants, my site is on the 1st of the 1st of google page.
Why–because I own those products, I talk about it and passionate about jade plants.
@ trey … you made some good points and I agree with some of what you are saying. In my opinion, a category defining name is great start for an online business and can be a big asset in SEO, SEM and easy to remember brand. That said, if you don’t have a good business plan and execution, the name won’t save you.
Good luck Harvey and David on Cheesecake.com!
To me Cheesecake.com will always says Juniors! And they do a hell of a mail order business:
But it’s also a great app name.
This is the year 2011, not 2003.
Names like this inspire grand visions of all these whale end-users coming to your door looking to spend the big bucks but the reality of the matter is, most of the time, if they wanted it bad enough to pay the ‘domainer dream’ price, they would have done so already.
At this point, what you’re left with is something that impresses the hell out of domainers, but no one else… not to mention it’s entirely possible (assume: likely) that they have already shopped this name to the whale end users. If those parties were interested in it, the current owners wouldn’t be trying to sell it to other domainers.
Would be interesting to see the financials, how much it’s earning. Again, all too easy to engage in the fantasy of ‘potential’ – about how many people are searching for cheesecake, about how many of them buy cheesecake online- but what matters is what the enterprise is doing right now. How much is it making? What kind of multiple is it being sold for, relative to that? The bang-on domain is nice, but with a P1 organic serp, the web-side performance potential has been close to fully realized. That performance figure should at least give you a baseline of what sort of upside the site has, if it’s marketed right. If it were as hot as all the dreamers dream about, I seriously doubt they’d be selling it for 500k.
“If it were as hot as all the dreamers dream about, I seriously doubt they’d be selling it for 500k.”
They don’t make the product, so the profit margin is far lower (obviously overhead is lower as well). If they were a producer and were selling, I’d be more inclined to agree with you. I don’t think it’s being used to its potential right now.
Considering Cheesecake Factory owns and parks CheesecakeFactory.com and does not even forward it to TheCheesecakeFactory.com, I don’t think domains are a big focus for them.
Considering the foregoing, especially BFitz’s points, I therefore offer David $5000 for the name; my offer is open for 36 hours.
While the critics have a valid point that a premium .COM domain is no guarantee of business success, Cheesecake.com has a lot going for it – type-in, search engine traffic and brand value. Note I believe it is a mistake to focus exclusively on exact search volume as a developed website can potentially rank for hundreds of long-tail search phrases. Of course there is a huge difference between a page one ranking of #10 vs #1! It would be interesting to know average monthly traffic stats and revenue and see how that compares to the asking price. Now here’s a question I have always pondered – why is it that a growth stock can trade at a 20-30+ earnings multiple while a website will often sell at a mid-single digit multiple? Perhaps risk is higher due to the falloff in traffic if a search ranking drops a few levels, Google alters its ranking methodology, time & costs involved in managing the site which may not be considered in the gross website earnings figures, doubts about the reported earnings figures, etc.
I’m in no position to comment on the value of the domain. If I was CEO of Cheesecake Fact. I’d buy it. But I would have bought restaurants.com too. They spend over $4,000,000 to open one restaurant, like most blue chip companies.
I think your last sentence answers the question. Too many confuse revenue with earnings. Earnings are revenue minus cost. Any cost; SEO, PPC, renewals, programming, hosting, salary to thy self, etc.
Rick Schwartz wrote a great piece recently stating that if you have a domain EARNING $10,000 a year it is equivalent of a business doing $100K in REVENUE.
Cheesecake Factory Restaurant is not in the business of Cheesecakes. It’s a great restaurant with big portions, from sea food to pasta, to your continental dishes. the best one being the at the Marina in Los Angeles, CA.
The domain is best sold to a domainer for now. I want it.
“Cheesecake Factory Restaurant is not in the business of Cheesecakes.”
They sell their cheesecakes online: http://shop.thecheesecakefactory.com/
$52.50+ shipping for a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake.
I had no idea.
I stand corrected.
I love eating at their Restaurants because the dishes are huge!
I haven’t been many times, but the couple times I was there, I remember I couldn’t find much room for cheesecake 🙂
Why in the world are you marketing this crap of a name ?
You could have easily titled this thread
“GoOnDiet.com Goes on the Market”
From what I gather you have written on this crappy domain
no less than 2 articles.
I am sure there are 100,000 plus better domains you can write that they are on the market.
Are you getting some sort of kick back if they sell it.
Are they friends of yours, cousins. What is it ?
Because this domain name really sucks.
Are you promoting people to get fat and get diabetes ?
Please give equal opportunity to all 100,000 plus better domains on the market . So now you will have to write about 1000 other better keyword domains on the market every day.
“Are you getting some sort of kick back if they sell it.”
Perhaps you can’t read plain English, so I will post it again:
“* This was NOT a paid post, and I wasn’t asked to post this nor am I being compensated in any way.”
That includes if/when this domain name sells. I won’t make a dime and don’t need to make money. The fact that there are 50+ comments on a Sunday shows why I posted it.
No, there is always some reason
why you are writing about it.
yes, the fact that you have written
“* This was NOT a paid post, and I wasn’t asked to post this nor am I being compensated in any way.”
makes it even more interesting of a question
why you have written this article
“Cheesecake.com Goes on the Market”
Dig deep. What is the motivation.
One or some of your neurons cells decided to
write this for some reason.
I am sure one or some of your neurons cells didn’t just say
oh it is lazy Sunday and I am going to promote cheesecake.
Even you might know it but there is an underlying reason.
Search for it. Search deep. I am sure the answer will be there.
The Cheesecake Factory stinks, IMO…….overpriced and mediocre food. The desserts are great though.
Check out all the ads on the site… those advertisers like visitors.
You’re on very thin ice. There have been several people who have asked me to ban you from posting. Keep it up and you can stick to Namepros.
thin ice for what
for asking tough and difficult questions.
Even you must agree there are 100,000 equally good
domains that are on the market today.
Yes, I speak plainly
and I will ask questions that are fair
Personally I would not pay more than $300 for cheesecake.com
They sell over $100 million a year in cheesecake produced in 2 plants. Retail and even other restaurants can buy their cheesecakes wholesale to resell. Every one is frozen.
Don’t take it out on E because you regret turning down that $500 for a LLL. CO
Lol. Sold 2 last week and all renewals are covered for July. Just raised prices. How is your plan coming?
I don’t care what you think at all. If you are actually a real person (sometimes I hope you are just someone’s creation to be funny), I feel sorry for you.
I can’t be any more clear. I have nothing at stake with regards to Cheesecake.com or any other domain name I don’t own. I don’t broker domain names, and I haven’t been compensated nor will I be compensated for this.
When I saw it go up for sale again, I thought it would be interesting to write about and would certainly lead to a discussion.
Anyway, thin ice for having your IP banned and not being able to comment on my blog.
ok fair enough
It was really just a simple question.
Personally, I am against cheesecakes. They should be banned. They are on the same level as cigarettes, marijuana, etc.
I don’t regret anything like that.
I am working on creating a marketplace for buying and selling domain names on my LLL.Co sites. With 10,000 plus main page views, it is going to be great.
Cline, you won’t sell a lll dot co for $500 and you would not spend $300 on cheesecake.com yet you are going to create a market place for buying and selling domains.
Now that is funny.
you know that I run a marketplace right now with 30,000 plus visitors a month.
Just announced sale of
LVP.ch for $16,440 on Sedo
and I own
I think this is important of note for many reasons
least of which is as I have been saying
LLL on country code and gTLDs command $5,000 – $20,000
500K for Cheesecake.Com is a steal of a deal.2 years from now it will be worth 10 fold.
i wonder which is better
LVP.ch or LVP.co
any idea ?
If you could ban the cynical digital losers from polluting your blog, I, and I believe others would appreciate it.
The name is great, but I wouldnt pay for the site.
I read all the comments on this article and it seems there are only 2 potential buyers? The Cheesecake Factory and 1-800 Flowers.
If you only have two potential buyers and you are asking $500K for the website, it’s gonna be hard to sell, specially when the buyers know they are your only hope. I also believe those potential buyers were already contacted and they didn’t close a deal, so a press release is their next option to find more buyers.
Elliot mentioned “They don’t make the product, so the profit margin is far lower”, this kills the interest for 100% of domainers out there, unless you are a domainer and happen to own a cheesecake factory.
Thinking as a web developer, if i had $500K to spend on a new business venture i would rather get a less expensive domain and use the rest of the budget for advertising and SEO optimization. I don’t think it will be that hard to reach the first page for that term and i will have plenty of money left.
I think the problem is that any existing multi-million dollar cheesecake business (such as The Cheesecake Factory) would totally redo the site, and not offer the same exact products, so I am not sure how much the fact that it is a developed domain is worth to them.
If a buyer buys it to keep it like it is, then it all depends on how well it is doing now, but it seems unlikely a new owner could do better than the current owner unless they are already big in the cheesecake business.
All that being said, it might be a good investment for one of the big cheesecake companies, even at $500,000. The existing traffic and customers lowers the risk somewhat, and having the #1 domain in the industry could give the new buyer a huge boost in business. And, if they are already doing magazine and TV ads, having a memorable website name is worth a lot.
Cheesecake Factory has a $1.5 billion market cap and about that in annual revenue, $80 mil in annual earnings and is growing despite the economy. They will spend more than $500k in private jet fuel this week. If they want it, they will take it. The CEO is the founder, his mom had a Cheesecake shop and he took it from their. Traffic, earnings, etc will not matter to them. They will serve over 150,000 meals, TODAY. Even if the site was doing $2 mil, its nothing on the balance sheet. Pure domain play or even defensive.
Eric Borgos is the smartest, and the most honest domainer in the world. While Rick Schwarz is the domain King, and domain prophet.
There you have my awards.
Elliot please ban this idiot or at least make an open vote.
To: Eric Borgos,
I hope you are still around the thread. Now that I gave you an award, I have a question 🙂
I like what you are doing with your LOCALAREA.COM
My question is about a few domains I have in that vein, namely:
and so on…
What can I or we do?
I sent him an email with a link to advise him of your comment.
You are invaluable, Elliot, thanks.
Uzoma – I paid $4500 for the LocalArea.com and put a lot of automated content (not unique content though) on the site, but so far it gets only one or two visitors a day. It has only been 2 months though.
So, I really am not good with geo domains/sites. Your domains might do better though because at least they are targeted, so they have a better chance of getting listed higher in the search engines.
I think having a mix of unique content and automated content would be best for your domains. I did something like that for my network of 350 floral geo sites at http://www.findflorists.com , where I had somebody write a custom paragraph describing for each city and then I automatically added florist listings from a business database I bought.
The florist sites make exactly enough to cover the domain registration fees for the 350 domains, which is at least much better than the vast majority of my minisite type sites.
Anyone know what Cheesecake.com sold for recently?