Fashion.com and Democracy.com Both Sold

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There were two high value domain names reportedly coming up for auction in the last several weeks. Democracy.com was listed for sale via Heritage Auctions, and the domain name was reportedly sold privately before it went to auction. Fashion.com was also reportedly up for auction in October. Fashion.com and Democracy.com are generic domain names that can be turned into powerful brands.

According to an article in the New York Times yesterday, the Democracy.com domain name was acquired by Mark Cuban. Here’s what the NY Times reported about Cuban’s acquisition of the domain name:

“After going up for auction last month, Democracy.com has officially been sold. Its new owner is Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

Mr. Cuban, who is also famous for his role on the reality television show “Shark Tank,” confirmed the sale in an email exchange with The New York Times. He explained that he had no plans for the highly symbolic address and had purchased the domain to protect it from abuse — or, in his words, “to make sure someone didn’t do something crazy with it.”

While Mr. Cuban does not have plans for the domain name yet, it has the potential to be turned into a notable brand.

According to an article on NamePros this morning, the Fashion.com domain name was sold. The sale report is based on a graphic and statement on the Fashion.com landing page that indicates the domain name has sold:

Because Fashion.com has a privacy proxy in the Whois record, it is unclear if the domain name transferred to a new registrant yet. According to the landing page, the buyer and price will remain private:

“It’s official: Fashion’s most desired address belongs to a new owner!

We congratulate the winner on their exquisite taste…

As a result of this exciting development, the public auction will no longer occur as initially scheduled.

The identity of the winning bidder will remain confidential — as will the amount paid.​”

For both Democracy.com and Fashion.com, the sale prices are unknown. I doubt we will learn either sale price, but both of these domain names are exceptional.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Because of how beaten down the industry has been *both* from within and without, it is unlikely Fashion.com sold for what it should have based on its true commercial and intangible worth, which is at least 9 figures. If it sold for less than 8 figures, however, then whoever sold it and whoever was involved in helping sell it should be charged with some kind of crime against reality and truth.

    Sorry to see a domain like Democracy.com go to Mark Cuban, but could have been much worse. Don’t bother asking me why now, I’m not in the mood today. And life as not that simplistic either, so there are certainly some things I like about him, and while I hardly ever watch any TV of any kind lately (except high value “truth” oriented pieces on YouTube that have also been televised), I did love Shark Tank when I was watching it regularly and considered it to be a great show with definite elements of value.

  2. Mark Cuban buying Democracy.com is great publicity for the Domain Industry and it just made me excited again. Good for Cuban…even though he’s a Republican.

  3. He nay be a Republican, but he certainly seems to have better values than many public officials these days.

    At the same time, ironic to see a name like “Democracy,com” go to a billionaire.

    Another sign of the times.

  4. Mark Cuban for PRESIDENT!!
    I will vote for him.
    Right now,Trump will be the president again.

    Interesting to see billionaires pitted against each other for domain names.
    Money is not the issue.

        • 9 figures is lunch money to the entities to whom Fashion.com is worth 10 figures and more and priceless in terms of the intangible dimension.

          • Like I’ve said before, you are both simply clueless and lack vision. You are in “reverse la la land.” Disney bought LucasFilm for $4 billion when it was estimated to be worth only $10 billion over time. In this case it’s more like many billions, and I should have said 11 figures, but even comparing only $100 million cost to $9.9 billion profit (or much less) still conveys the idea well enough when talking about “9 vs. 10” figures and 9 being “lunch money.” This is a priceless domain worth billions over time. But keep doubling down on your crazy ideas about how only $1 – $2 million are appropriate for it. And I didn’t write all that for you, but for everyone else and the benefit of this industry. You can just keep doubling down. And in case you still don’t get it, the part about the domain industry being “beaten down *both* from within and without” includes people like you.

  5. Someone needs to find out how much Fashion.com and Democracy.com sold for!
    I’m assuming Democracy.com sold for high 6 figures or low 7 figures.
    Fashion.com probably sold for low 8 figures.

  6. I read that Cuban is an independent and not a Republican. I can see how one might assume he is a Republican, however, and maybe he was before.

  7. Like I’ve said before, you are both simply clueless and lack vision. You are in “reverse la la land.” Disney bought LucasFilm for $4 billion when it was estimated to be worth only $10 billion over time. In this case it’s more like many billions, and I should have said 11 figures, but even comparing only $100 million cost to $9.9 billion profit (or much less) still conveys the idea well enough when talking about “9 vs. 10” figures and 9 being “lunch money.” This is a priceless domain worth billions over time. But keep doubling down on your crazy ideas about how only $1 – $2 million are appropriate for it. And I didn’t write all that for you, but for everyone else and the benefit of this industry. You can just keep doubling down. And in case you still don’t get it, the part about the domain industry being “beaten down *both* from within and without” includes people like you.

    • Sorry, but it is nonsense to suggest this is a 9 figure name. Easy for people to come out with wild amounts when there is a zero price information. I guess something has to fill the vacuum.

      • You are the one talking nonsense and are out of touch with the real world of commercial end users. $1 – $2 million is not even laughable because there’s nothing funny about something that clueless. But you are certainly a buyer’s dream.

  8. If I could take a wild guess Fashion.com sold for 7 million. I might personally be satisfied selling this between 2 and 10 million depending on who I could get at the table. Sounds like a good brand for an online magazine, a wholesaler, or maybe another clothing store. It’s generic but at the same time kind feels kind of tethered to its industry (albeit a very profitable one), compared to a name like amazon.com, black.com, etc. which are generic, but much more versatile. It’s only the shockingly huge profits the fashion labels rake in which would lead me to valuate it above 10 million.

    • After the first private auction failed, Fashion.com announced two important facts: 1) that there was a reserve price (minimum) of $10 million for the sale, and 2) that there were 22 interested parties who had already put up $25,000 to bid in the first auction. The second auction, the public auction with a $10 million reserve price, never occurred and it was announced that the domain had been sold. I wouldn’t be surprised if the sale was in the $25 – $40 million range.

      • If the first private auction failed why would it then be sold at 2.5-4x the reserve price? Surely this suggests nobody was willing to pay the reserve?

        • Who knows if the Reserve Price wasn’t higher for Fashion.com’s private auction as that wasn’t revealed. The $10 million reserve price that I stated was for the Public (second) auction.

          It seems that anything less than $50 million for Fashion.com is actually almost a giveaway with all of the potential ways to monetize that domain name and a website platform built around it.

          Moreover, imagine if you were the CEO of a major company that bid, or maybe that didn’t participate in the first auction, you now know for certain that there were 22 interested parties in the first auction, some of whom may be your direct competitors, who could all exploit the name in a way that would be potentially ruinous to your business.

          Keep in mind that companies such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and even Walmart, have major brand campaigns with the word “Fashion” in them. “Amazon Fashion”, “eBay Fashion”, “Alibaba Fashion”, “Walmart Fashion”, and the list can go on. A competitor owning Fashion.com, at a minimum, presents the huge potential for brand confusion, especially if the new owner of Fashion.com invests heavily in marketing and advertising this new, extremely memorable, and global, digital brand. The same thing would exist for domain names such as Apparel.com and Clothing.com, although they are more focused and targeted than Fashion.com, but with huge global potential as well.

          “Fashion.com is a rare one: iconic, highly memorable and easily searched. It should generate strong sales numbers while saving its buyer millions in sales and marketing costs,” stated Internet Marketing Expert and CEO Karine Kugler, in one of the articles about the auction. (https://techstartups.com/2019/10/01/fashion-com-sale-looking-new-owner/)

          Any of the bidders in the first auction, where the reserve price had not been announced, may have entered a low bid hoping to steal the name, but now it’s do or die in the second auction, with a clear, lowest-case price (reserve) of $10 million. If you were a CEO, wouldn’t you pay, if not to capitalize for yourself in a huge way, but also to ensure that your competition cannot? As eCommerce grows exponentially a competitor could use this to control the market, and obliterate its competition.

          Also, reserve prices in auction can be significantly lower than the “Buy Now” price or target price for the seller(s). The Fashion.com owners stated that they had a “Buy Now” for the first auction, but they didn’t reveal what it was. But we can make an educated guess from the media and PR that they put out that it appeared to be in the $30 million to $50 million range.

          Even some in the media thought this sale might be a record-breaker sale. One article’s headline read, “Record price hopes as fashion.com goes to auction.” (https://www.mybusiness.com.au/technology/6295-record-price-hopes-as-fashion-com-goes-to-auction)

          Escrow.com General Manager Jackson Elsegood stated, “Experience tells us Fashion.com will garner huge global interest from major enterprises recognizing its exceptional branding and marketing potential.”

          The $30 million recently paid for Voice.com, as well as other more expensive domain name transactions, were promoted in the media before the auction. This suggests that the buyers were looking for a price above $30 million.

          I think it is hard to disagree with this quote, which was in the media prior to the auction:

          “With the worldwide race in online fashion, I would expect fashion.com to attract a lot of interest from giant retailers and well-known brands, along with successful smaller players and new entrants looking for a competitive edge,” said Karine Kugler, CEO of The Three Marketers, a firm specializing in Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing. “As a result this could be one of the highest prices ever paid for a domain,” Kugler concluded. (https://techstartups.com/2019/10/01/fashion-com-sale-looking-new-owner/)

          I believe that a business case with an obvious ROI, or just the defensive acquisition, would easily support a price over $50 million for any of the companies mentioned above, or for that matter, any major apparel company, a major Internet company or PE firm.

          Look, I am just speculating, as I am clearly not a CEO. But if you were Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or anyone else in this space, wouldn’t you look to the future and decide that a small investment now, that could potentially be worth billions in cash flow over time and/or prevent your competitors from this potential benefit, is worth making?

          It seems obvious to me.

          • A sale in the tens of millions wouldn’t surprise. These kinds of purchases may have tax advantages over time if not in the same year. I always thought domains represent great value, even with some seemingly lofty asking prices. But I don’t think it’s positive sign when markets suddenly boom, and money is too easily spent. The low cost of borrowing can also distort things like that.

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