Daily Deals Site Coming to Sold.com

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I was doing some research today, and I saw a Google Adsense banner that caught my attention.  Generally, an ad for a daily deals website wouldn’t receive any attention from me, but the name of this new website is what caught my eye: Sold.com.

Sold.com is owned by a company called Dominion Enterprises, which operates a number of websites in many verticals (see list of businesses here). Some of these businesses operate on great descriptive domain names, like Homes.com, Boats.com, Parenthood.com, HotelCoupons.com, and a few others.

Previously, based on cached pages indexed in Google, it appears that Sold.com was a real estate website, working in conjunction with two Dominion Enterprises websites,  Homes.com and ForRent.com.

In my opinion, the daily deals vertical seems to be a fairly saturated market with companies like Groupon operating and marketing heavily. With very limited barriers to entry though, it seems pretty easy for a company to open up shop, and owning a fantastic domain name like Sold.com can only help the company.

If you are interested in learning more about what Sold.com will offer or when it will launch, the website encourages people to follow its Facebook page.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Aggregators like Yipit, Dealery, and Yahoo have commoditized this space. Groupon is simply one deal among dozens offered in each city each day. The only differentiator that is left is that Groupon’s mailing list may be larger and they have locked in certain merchants for a period of time. However, this is not a lasting advantage and all group buying sites will have to deal with the fact that they are now commodities some having larger mailing lists than others.

    There are two ways to compete: 1) to lower commissions 2) get rid of commissions all together and make money by advertising. I think that most of these sites will compete on commission (they can be profitable but not necessarily wildly profitable). Some may simply give the mailing away for free and replace commissions with advertising – Google may go down this route.

    Groupon understands this and is trying to rush an IPO before the earnings problems reveal themselves. My guess is that the IPO will not happen and Groupon will be another crash and burn that is no too different than the multitude of tech firms that vanished after the last tech bubble burst. Heck, maybe we will be able to buy the domain in a year from now. 🙂

  2. I worked for a startup in the late 90’s that was trying to sell permission based email platforms to local merchants, the local market is tought to crack, consumers will feel saturated when they are getting to much “spam”…I still think the opt in, permission based opportunities have a lot of upside as the merchant is specifically targeting only their customers at this point.

  3. Great domain. Should’ve actually done something with it years ago, rather than holding it and trying to coattail an industry that’s rapidly saturating.

    Whatever marketing advantage a great domain might have is totally negated when you don’t use it to innovate. At this point, you may as well be using Fuzu.com and a Groupon clone script.

  4. The space has been great for adsense revenue for hospitality sites. Also, some lucrative affiliate programs are out there from the smaller companies trying to catch up to Groupon. If you have a restaurant page, optimize for these advertisers. CTR is great as consumets are well conditioned to hamd over their email for deals.

    • @ Sonya

      Why did the company choose to kill off Sold.com as a real estate site, and turn it into a daily deal site? When I think of “sold.com” I think of the sold sign on the home for sale signs you see throughout various neighborhoods. I guess the domain name doesn’t evoke the same feelings for the deals/coupon offering.

  5. Elliott, my understanding is that the Sold.com domain was a ‘park’ site for our Homes.com business, and wasn’t being optimized. So when we made the decision to embark on a daily deals business, it was a no-brainer for us to pick the domain that had a close match to the business type, and that would allow for easy brand recall.
    I agree that the name can evoke a real estate related vision, but I do believe we will be able to build a strong brand around the ‘deals’ space with Sold.com.

  6. @Sonya

    I have found group buying companies to be a great match for developed restaurant domains. Half of Yelp’s content and a large percentage of the group buying offers are restaurant related. Then of course there is OpenTable.

    Do you offer an affiliate program?

    Thank you.

  7. @Sonya

    Remember me when the profits hit the roof …

    The best name on any domainers portfolio

    would be.

    SOLD.com

    What a monster sales tool,

    All the Best ….

  8. Elliot,

    I thought I would share this as I didn’t see this news circulated (though I may have missed it).

    Dec 21, 2011
    http://blog.sold.com/2011/12/so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish/

    “First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for signing up with Sold.com. Start-ups are a difficult undertaking and we greatly appreciate your patience and encouragement over the last year.

    However, it is with sad puppy dog eyes and a heavy tin-man heart that we have recently decided to take our company in a different direction and therefore will no longer be offering local daily deals in your area. Since our launch earlier this year, we have grown as a team and learned a lot in the process. Our customers and merchants played a big part of that learning experience and have always been foremost in our thoughts and considerations.”

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