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.
Who pays attention to fragger anyway??
Not anyone with common sense, anyway.
I read articles on topics of interest.
In real estate you have a sellers agent and/or attorney and a buyers agent and/or attorney to mitigate a conflict of interest. My point was that the domain brokerage industry doesn’t work this way so there will always be a conflict of interest. So in order to protect yourself as a seller (especially with call-to-action domains where there are m metrics and the value is often unseen) YOU need to do the homework just as Elliot suggested.
When you do that from an ad industry perspective (Google Tagline: “Everything Everywhere”) you’d find 100s of prospects using this tagline including JP Morgan and yet only one of them can own the matching domain. That’s what makes it valuable- but few reading this would ever understand that.
One BIG downside about getting offers through a 3rd party service…. no real way to tell who the offer is from!
No research to be done if you have no clue who is making it.
Often times, a personal system, parking service, whois etc. for interested parties to contact you directly is the best way to go.
“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.”
Also, if you own only the singular or plural domain, you should check on the ownership of the other, especially when inquiries arrive in your inbox. 🙂
“…you’d find 100s of prospects using this tagline including JP Morgan and yet only one of them can own the matching domain. That’s what makes it valuable- but few reading this would ever understand that.”
That’s a rather arrogant statement.
Owning call-to-action domains is implicitly directed toward selling to large companies and their marketing departments. Even with a very popular phrase it’e still a lottery ticket. So the point is that most domainers are too stupid to realize this?
There’s nothing magical about being in the “advertising” or “marketing” world. It’s just common sense so get off the high horse.
Bottom line is that the guy who sold everythingeverywhere.com got a perfectly fair price, no matter what it was. Otherwise he wouldn’t have hit the “accept” button. It’s simply the reverse of caveat emptor and Sedo shouldn’t be demonized through implying there’s some type of conspiracy operating behind the scenes.
Just because it was a big company buying it, it doesn’t mean that you should inflate the price sky high.
I am sure that if sellers did not think price was fair(e.g. price was low) he could just keep it to himself.
Therefore he sold domain for a fair price, that he thought the domain is worth for him.
Why suddenly he decided he sold too cheap?
Just another ignorant pissed of seller who thinks that you can charge tons of money for cheap names, that otherwise have 0 to nothing value.
Thank you Elliot for taking time to address The Frager Factor article and Sedo’s position of anonymity and neutrality during buyer/seller negotiations. We have worked hard to educate end users, especially companies from large corporations to small businesses, on the importance of utilizing domains to strengthen their business objectives by building their brand and presence via online marketing. In doing so, we believe we have helped bring the world of domains to more people and have built a level of trust with existing, new and potential clients. We believe that educating end users and ensuring fair market prices in our marketplace not only benefits Sedo, but the entire domain industry, since we all benefit from a larger audience of domain buyers. To jeopardize these relationships by being anything besides neutral during buyer or seller negotiations would not be worth the long term loss of trust and future business we would endure with a few short term gains. Protecting the anonymity of both buyers and sellers and ensuring that domains are sold at a fair market value is not only central to our philosophy, but it is the key to earning and retaining the trust of our clients. We know how important returning clients are to the foundation of this business, both for us as a marketplace and for the overall domain industry, and we would never comprise the trust our buyers and sellers have in our marketplace by encouraging anything other than fair market values for domain prices. We are excited to see that the number of end users and first time buyers using our marketplace has grown over the last quarter, and we will continue our outreach and education about the value of domains to grow our community and bring the right buyers to the clients selling within our marketplace.