$10 Million Fund.com Domain Name Expires

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It’s not every day that you see a $10 million domain name expire. According to the current Whois entry and its Directnic landing page, Fund.com expired at the end of September, and it has not been renewed as of yet.

According to a report from back in 2008, Fund.com was sold for just under $10 million USD. Some people (like Andrew Allemann) questioned whether the $10 million purchase / sale was legitimate. Domaining.com lists the Fund.com sale as the second largest domain sale of all time.

If you are interested in purchasing Fund.com, the name is scheduled to goto auction on NameJet in a little under a month. There are 166 bidders so far, with a high bid of $10,000 (not an affiliate link). If it were to go to auction, I certainly would think the name would end up being the largest sale on NameJet.

Although I would think it is most likely that the domain name will be renewed by the current owners, one complication is that the Whois email on file is a @fund.com email address. With its expiration and change to Directnic DNS, I believe that emails to this inbox will no longer work.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

h/t to TLD.org who first reported it today.

28 COMMENTS

  1. The email doesn’t work but the whois phone number does and it goes directly to his office so I am sure his voicemail is full. LOL Signaturegaming.com will possibly give you a better email.

    This email I found online from the whois contact Michael Hlvasa

    “I am no longer associated with Fund.com as of December 2011. I rarely but do check e-mails once in a while.”
    Michael

    Many things going on with this name and company as can be seen from Andrews previous article. Spend just a little time searching around and you will see for yourself. Hlvasa wants nothing to do with this name because of responsibilities associated with it. This name will not be renewed by him and will not be sold by him and it will go to auction.

  2. The whois was last updated in 2011 and the expiry date is given as 2013.

    Owner Fund.com Inc

    Record last updated 12-07-2011 04:13:32 PM
    Record expires on 09-28-2013
    Record created on 09-29-1994

    Carl

    • Happens hundreds of times a month. Generally speaking, the owners will either renew the name on their own because website/email don’t work, or someone will contact them privately and make them a large offer they couldn’t refuse.

    • I very much doubt domains are actually sold this way. Sure they might be contacted privately but the contacter will low-ball (otherwise they’d wait to get it in the drop auctions at market value) and the registrant will baulk.

      Even if they did offer a fair and reasonable price the holder would become interested and seek other buyers.

      But most likely the registrant would just renew and say ‘not for sale’.

      Very hard to try and buy something off someone who has not previously indicated a willingness to sell. Especially something it’s hard to put a market value on. And doubly so when they’ve just realised they might have nearly lost it and they are all jittery.

    • Disagree… I know plenty of times when this has happened. Oftentimes, owners forget about names and someone makes an offer that is like found money to them.

      With respect to very high value names, most of the time it’s an oversight that is corrected quickly, like DallasCowboys.com.

    • Really? Can you provide an example?

      I can’t see how it can possibly be commercially viable.

      You’d have to

      a) identify the prospect domains using some sort of automated valuer (no point hitting up domains worth less than $500 is there?)
      b) try to contact them all (difficult because many whois emails may not function such as in this case)
      c) manually put a wholesale value on the few % of people who do respond
      d) make an offer at 20%(?) of that value to make it worthwhile
      e) try and progress to a deal.

      In my experience most endusers will say their domain is worth many times the real wholesale value not a fraction of it.

      I agree with your logic (that they were nearly going to lose it anyway) but human nature gets in the way. All of a sudden this neglected domain becomes ‘an intrinsic part of our digital strategy’… bullshit bullshit…

      • Someone scans list of names set to goto auction on NameJet in 30 days or less using a tool like FreshDrop. They see a name that they think is worth $10-15k to the right buyer. They get in touch with the owner and offer $500. The owner counters at $2,000 and they do a deal at $1,500. The name is renewed and a transaction is started. Owner is happy to make $1,500 on a domain name he didn’t realize he owned or didn’t pay much attention to. Buyer gets a $10-15k name for a fraction of the price.

        I don’t think it’s something that can be automated well or done in bulk, but if you do this 3x a month and make $10k/profit each, you can see the money adds up.

        It’s the same thing as going out and prospecting for names that aren’t expiring. However, in the case of expiring names, you’re primarily dealing with people who

        1) Forgot they own the name and weren’t getting renewal emails
        2) Didn’t want to renew any more because they didn’t think it was worth the cost
        3) Change of email and whois email is invalid
        4) Someone who simply forgot to renew or had a bad credit card on file
        5) Other

        The ability to buy a name changes based on the reason for expiration.

      • Sorry but I can’t see it happening. There are too many obstacles for this to be a viable ongoing model.

        1) How many 15K names expire each month
        2) Owner will be hard to contact esp as a high likelihood whois details out of date
        3) If you do get in touch, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll be the only one who spots it so you’re likely to be competing with dozens of others
        4) Before agreeing a price vast majority of owners will do some sort of research. A simple Google search will lead them to DNJournal or Estibot where they will immediately think their name is worth $1m
        5) Even if you can get in touch, they are open to the idea, they don’t do any research and nobody else spots the domain… in my experience it’s going to be damn hard to grab a $15K domain for 10% of it’s value – generally they want 1000%
        6) Lastly, you still need to sell the domain to realise the profit

        I’m not saying it’s never happened but it’s very very rare.

        PS A few years ago I hit up the owners of about 1,000 premium unresolved (theoretically unloved) domains to try and buy them. After weeks of effort, I think I bought about 2 and for about wholesale anyway – certainly nothing special.

        • I did it. Just once though.

          Name was bid up to $500 on Godaddy auctions a couple days before the auction closed. I didn’t want to pay more than $500 but knew it would sell for more. I called the Whois number and we worked out a deal for $500. he renewed and then pushed it to me.

          Lot of angry people when that auction cancelled. But anyone of them could have done what I did. It was not dishonest or illegal. It was simply business.

          I sold it couple years later for $3200. A decent profit but nothing crazy. I sold it in a domainer auction so it was resell value.

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