Earlier today, I wrote about the re-branding of T-Mobile and Orange into a new company called Everything Everywhere. I mentioned that the company also acquired the domain name EverythingEverywhere.com in private, and The Register had a story in which the domain owner revealed that the domain name was sold in private (for a “nominal sum”) via Sedo just before the news was announced.
Owen Frager had an article about the sale, laying the blame squarely on Sedo doorstep, “Sedo Throws Domainers Under the Bus,” and I don’t agree with this at all. Sedo doesn’t and shouldn’t personally interact with all buyers and sellers. In fact, I can’t remember one completed purchase or sale that I’ve been involved with that had a Sedo account representative involved during the negotiation process.
With hundreds of domain sales a month, it wouldn’t make sense for Sedo to monitor all domain negotiations. I could understand the anger if they misrepresented who the buyer was, but if an agent acted on behalf of the buyer, Sedo would have no reason to know if it was a huge conglomerate or a mom and pop shop. Likewise, if the buyer and seller negotiated using Sedo’s automated system, there would be no reason for a Sedo representative to be involved.
As badly as the former domain owner must feel about possibly leaving money on the table, I think he needs to take a step back and realize that he got the price he wanted. Someone else may have wanted more and possibly gotten it, but it is what it is. The former owner probably bought it for registration fee, and if he sold it for a few hundred dollars, it’s more than he had before.
This reminds me of the ChatRoulette.com sale where people commented about the “poor guy” who sold the name to Adam Strong for under $1,500 only to see it sell for $151,000. At least in this case, there will be no further sale of the domain name, so the money left on the table is all imaginary and doesn’t exist.
Congrats to the former owner for thinking of and buying a great domain name. There are plenty of people in the advertising and marketing business who would love to know their idea for a big brand was used.
For the future, domain owners may want to consider checking other extensions to see what companies own those and may give an indication of who would want the .com. Interestingly, EverythingEverywhere.net was owned by Buy Domains as late as March 23, 2010 before Melbourne IT bought it.