A week ago, Rick Schwartz posted an interesting article regarding Google’s announcement about the launch of Helpouts and its acquisition of the Helpout.com and Helpouts.com domain names. Rick linked to an old DNForum post from 5 years ago where the former owner of Helpouts.com had it listed for $250 and then reduced to $100.
There were no subsequent posts in the Helpouts.com sales thread, so I don’t know if the domain owner ended up selling it. Judging by the domain name’s creation date of March 20, 2010, it appears that the domain name was dropped and re-registered by someone else who had privacy guard in place. Although it changed registrars a couple of times, the domain name registration remained under privacy until July of this year.
Whatever happened in the case of this domain name, I don’t think a domain owner should regret deals that are made, no matter who the buyer is. Many companies have budgets for domain acquisitions, and if the domain owner insists on more than that number for the domain name, that company, no matter how large they are, might opt to pass. In some cases when a company needs the domain name, the domain owner has more leverage, but it comes down to negotiating and having the guts to pass on an offer that you should take with the hopes of getting an even better offer. It feels pretty shitty to be gutsy and turn down a $50,000 cash offer when I paid $8,000 for a domain name, and then not sell it.
If the company opts to not buy your domain name but buys something similar for its brand, it would become difficult for the domain owner to sell it since another person couldn’t monetize that traffic easily without violating a trademark. In addition, it’s unlikely another company would build a different brand on a similar domain name because that would likely lead to consumer confusion, as Andrew Rosener pointed out.
As someone who frequently buys and sells domain names, I can’t help but wonder if I could have made more on a particular domain name than the selling price. I don’t dwell on this because it’s speculation that does me no good. When I sell a domain name, it’s for a price that I deem acceptable, and I use the money to fund other acquisitions and to fund the growth of my business.
When you are making a deal on one of your domain names, you need to do what is best for your business at the time of the deal and not have any regrets.