Discussing My Lilac.com Tweet

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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.

40 COMMENTS

  1. Just my 2 cents but I think the $75,000 (net) offer was a very very good one given the current state of the aftermarket. Magenta was bought by DTAG one of the 10 biggest companies in germany. That $75,000 was probably a once in 5 years offer. Just saying.

    • That sale played a role. If someone wants a color name like this, they can’t buy Magenta.com and they probably couldn’t get Violet.com at anywhere near its prior sales price. They also couldn’t get Purple.com. There aren’t many options available to them.

      Even if it is a once in 5 years type of offer, I can wait another 5 years for the next one

    • There were not necessarily looking for a “shade of purple” type of name but just something that could work as a brand. The fact that they went with another domain in the end, shows that they had multiple options (as most companies with that budget have) and then just went down the list to the next one.
      Sure you can wait and hope to get lucky in 4-5 years with another offer in that range, but you have to consider that you could have invested the $75,000 right now in a portfolio of tech – or high dividend shares. In 5 years that portfolio might be worth north of 100k. So that is the amount of money you really passed on. Then again, the stock market could tank and your $75k might end up being worth only $40-50k.

    • “you could have invested the $75,000 right now in a portfolio of tech – or high dividend shares. In 5 years that portfolio might be worth north of 100k. So that is the amount of money you really passed on. ”

      I can still do that if I want to do that. As I said, it’s not like I need to sell this name or others to fund other opportunities. My business is domain names – not investing in stocks or anything else. I stick to what I know.

    • I meant especially that amount of that deal. Opportunity costs. Domains are dead money when not parked. And even then…

      Oftentimes the emotional component plays a big role in these kind of deals. “Domainers” tend to keep some of their names for too long because they have other “feelings” towards their domain names than endusers. A domainer knows when he bought a certain domain, he can remember every aspect of the negotiation years after and most can recall the feeling when it finally cleared escrow and transferred. A domainer gets attached to certain names, while for an enduser or possible buyer a domain is just a business asset. If he can’t have it at his budgeted amount he just moves on to the next. A domainer is an individual (even when they hold their domains through a company) while an enduser is most likely a corporation. Not saying that you didn’t sell because you were too attached to the name, but I saw it a lot in my years of domaining.

    • >”given the current state of the aftermarket”

      And that is exactly how you do NOT evaluate and “appraise” a domain no matter what the alleged “state” of the market is…

  2. Curious to know how you got the Godaddy appraisal system to change the price of Lilac. com?…..The price was well below the 25,000 and now above. The reason I ask is I got a one worder that is undervalued at GD appraisal and I can see it being an issue from a sales perspective. Thanks

    • It was 16,595. It’s copied straight off GD to the Namepros thread…. I agree that is a very low price and absolutely a “joke”. Thats why I asked the original question, which is how you got it changed?

    • Thanks. I emailed Paul Nicks to see if he can comment about it.

      I know you aren’t being accusatory, but I don’t like the idea that it looks like I may have influenced them to make a change.

      I am also curious if someone at GoDaddy can make those changes by hand. IMO, it would be sketcht if they could (or did) change the appraised values of their own portfolio to make them look more valuable or align with their prices.

    • “I can see it being an issue from a sales perspective”

      Indeed, Aaron, exactly what I’ve been talking about all these months when it comes to these online “appraisal” things like Estibot…

    • Hi folks, to clarify we do not change valuations for individual domains. We did not do so for lilac.com and will not do so if asked to.

      The ML algorithm is continually being tweaked to better reflect the data we have, so I can only assume that a short one-worder like lilac benefited from a recent update.

    • Thanks Paul…Naturally I did not get the answer I was hoping for in this discussion. My domain valuation for a single dictionary word remains extremely undervalued and the reason, I was told, was based on the last sale recorded. You mention “ML” which is Machine Learning. A “Machine Learning” algo will have specific protocols based on a reward system. If your algo is true Machine Learning than why is my domain valuation based predominately on one single metric?….Thank you.

  3. This is just like any other domain negotiation, if the offer isn’t what you want, and you don’t need the money, then don’t sell. The best position to be in is when you don’t need to make a sale and can hold out for an offer at the top end of your range. A five letter one word .com with positive meaning like this one has a good chance of getting a better (6 figure?) offer in the future, the way things look now. By that I mean it looks like the new gtlds are getting adopted at a very slow pace, if at all, and good to great .com’s are still the most sought after.

  4. I see one major potential buyer, operating from LilacClothing.com – it’s the top result for “lilac” in Google, with that keyword as part of their domain. Fashion is a perfect fit for this color, that emits feminine vibes.

    Regarding its valuation, I can’t say I’d turn down a $75k net offer, as long as my acquisition cost was in the teens.

    The GoDaddy valuation tool is an absolute joke and offers no value to domain owners or potential buyers, that would face reality when seeking to buy premium domains at discounted valuation rates.

  5. This domain/brand is worth at least six figures. That said, I have long felt that you seem to like this one and think it is better than some of your others which I have evaluated as being worth a lot more than you apparently think they are, like Stallion.com for instance.

  6. Violet.com is not on the same page as lilac.com, Violet is very popular female name also, and integrated into much more branding.

    A name is really only worth what the best offer on the table is, and if you are willing to accept it, otherwise wait for it.

    I can see many people throwing $10K out there, but the stand alone colors just as blue, red, purple, black, green trade on a totally different spectrum.

    Maybe you should great a Lilac Coin, tweet that you are going to sign some big contracts with Nasdaq companies, and cash out for $10B, then the name won’t matter so much, seems to be what everyone else is doing these days.

  7. Think this is an ok offer but not exactly amazing either. I think these colour names are in high demand, and this one is very short. On the downside that colour is probably not universally known and it may not pass the radio test. It isn’t purple.com or violet.com.

    Violet.com is a rung up quality wise (would say 2-3 times the value) and purple.com a couple of rungs up (would say 10+ times the value).

    I’d suggest looking for around 200k on lilac.com.

  8. …and this, for example, is *merely one* of the numerous and obvious mega-bucks commercial EMD opportunities such a domain is good for (Stallion dot com), *let alone* the incredible and incredibly diverse non-EMD super (make no mistake) “brandable” possibilities:

    “How ‘America’s most valuable stallion’ makes over $35 million a year without setting hoof on the track”

    “https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/how-americas-most-valuable-stallion-makes-35-million-a-year.html

    Film at 11…

  9. …and this, for example, is *merely one* of the numerous and obvious mega-bucks commercial EMD opportunities such a domain is good for (Stallion dot com), *let alone* the incredible and incredibly diverse non-EMD super (make no mistake) “brandable” possibilities:

    “How ‘America’s most valuable stallion’ makes over $35 million a year without setting hoof on the track”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/how-americas-most-valuable-stallion-makes-35-million-a-year.html

    Film at 11…

    • Speaking of one of his other ones I mentioned, Stallion dot com, this for example is merely one of the numerous and obvious
      mega-bucks commercial EMD opportunities alone such a domain is good for (let alone the diverse and potentially very lucrative
      non-EMD super “brandable” outside-the-box possibilities):

      “How ‘America’s most valuable stallion’ makes over $35 million a year
      without setting hoof on the track”

      “https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/how-americas-most-valuable-stallion-makes-35-million-a-year.html

    • Speaking of one of his other ones I mentioned, Stallion dot com, this for example is merely one of the numerous and obvious
      mega-bucks commercial EMD opportunities alone such a domain is good for (let alone the diverse and potentially very lucrative
      non-EMD super “brandable” outside-the-box possibilities):

      “How ‘America’s most valuable stallion’ makes over $35 million a year
      without setting hoof on the track”

      https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/how-americas-most-valuable-stallion-makes-35-million-a-year.html

    • Speaking of one of his other ones I mentioned, Stallion dot com, this for example is merely one of the numerous and only obvious
      mega-bucks commercial EMD opportunities alone such a domain is good for (let alone the diverse and potentially very lucrative
      non-EMD super “brandable” outside-the-box possibilities):

      “How ‘America’s most valuable stallion’ makes over $35 million a year
      without setting hoof on the track”

      www . cnbc . com/2017/06/07/how-americas-most-valuable-stallion-makes-35-million-a-year.html

  10. I like Lilac.com better as representing a flower than a color. Would be perfect for an online florist, perfume company, or anything feminine, as Acro said, with both meanings having a feminine connotation.

    Best of luck with it, Elliot!

  11. I do not know of any companies with “Lilac” as their branding.

    There are nearly 50 companies using Lilac in their branding and trademarks based on USPTO. Plausible one of them reached out to you. No idea why a broker at Sedo would contact you if the domain isn’t registered there. The end user must be a highly motivated buyer. You’ll likely get the price you are seeking, especially if they return this year. Hopefully we see it in the top 25 public on DN Journal this year. Good luck.

    • That’s possible happens all the time. $75k rejection is serious. If I had $75k right now, I could flip that to $250K via a generic domain flip. But you are well positioned. So hold tight until you are ready to sell.

  12. This domain name is in the 7-8 figures in my bucket list.Hold on to it, even if at all…Pass on this domain name to your family and let it generate it’s right price at the right time.Good luck

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