My tweet about an offer I turned down for Lilac.com yielded some good discussion on Twitter and at NamePros a couple of weeks ago. I don’t generally share sales data or offers, so this was out of the ordinary for me. It was also a bit strange seeing people discuss it publicly, although some good points were made. I thought I would share a bit more about my rationale for passing on the offer and the status of the domain name.
First, some background. I bought Lilac.com privately several years ago. I think it is a meaningful domain name that can be used by a company in virtually any field. For those unaware, lilac is a color in the purple palate, and it is also a shrub with beautiful purple flowers. We have several wild lilac bushes on the side of our driveway, and they bloom in the Spring as the temperatures get warmer. It is my sign that the Spring is coming. It is also my daughter’s favorite color. I think it would be a positive and happy brand, perhaps with a touch feminine. It is easy to spell and is memorable.
I want to share some of my rationale for passing on the offer:
- The offer was made via Sedo broker, so I have no idea who the prospective buyer is. The domain name is not listed for sale via Sedo though.
- I have a list of color .com sales that were publicly reported. While I do not think Lilac.com is worth as much as Purple.com (which likely sold for 7 figures late last year), I do think it is worth at (the very) least as much as Magenta.com (which sold for $100,000). I think it is similar in value to Violet.com, which sold for $65,000 several years ago, and I think that price is a bargain today. I think names like these have been increasing in value considerably over the last few years. I also don’t think there are many names in that hue available to buy right now, making this one substantially more valuable.
- I receive inquiries and offers all the time for Lilac.com. Most aren’t close to what I think it is worth, but it is highly desired. I have turned down quite a few 5 figure offers.
- I do not know of any companies with “Lilac” as their branding. Some might see this as limiting the potential field of buyers. I disagree. I think a major company could rebrand as Lilac or a well-funded startup could build a brand using the domain name without causing brand confusion with another company.
- Money is what fuels the growth of my business, but I am not in a position where I need to sell something to buy something. Put simply, I would rather own Lilac.com than have that cash.
- At the time, I thought the buyer might increase his offer. If he or she really wanted the domain name, they may have made a better offer to induce me to sell.
- When someone makes a lower offer in the future, I can reference the tweet. People regularly lie about offers, so the fact that I shared it publicly – with a well known brokerage – shows that it was legit.
Exact match, meaningful .com domain names like this are quite valuable and they are difficult to replace. I am always looking to buy names, and I don’t see any other real / well-known color .com domain names available for around this figure.
Perhaps Interestingly, I wrote that it was a $75,000 offer. In fact, the offer presented to me was $75,000 net (buyer pays commission). This would mean the offer was actually closer to $85,000 – $90,000 considering a 15% commission rate. In the end, that buyer ended up choosing another domain name.
I am happy to hang on to Lilac.com until the right buyer comes around with the right budget. Until then, I will use the tweet as a reference point when lower offers are submitted in the future.