An unassuming lady walks into an ice cream shop. She orders two ice cream cones. She pays the $12 tab with cash, and she walks out of the shop. In the parking lot, the lady walks up to a Tesla and hands the man behind the wheel the two ice cream cones. The driver is none other than Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
As the ice cream hand-off is taking place, a domain investor is walking in to the ice cream shop to order his regular – a four scoop banana split with extra whipped cream on top. When he gets to the counter to place an order with the friendly shop owner, the domain investor can’t contain himself. “You idiot,” he bellows. “Those two ice cream cones were bought by Elon Musk! The guy is worth billions. You should have charged him $10,000 for those cones. Maybe if you were smarter, you would be a great domain investor like me,” he continued.
Nearly every time a notable domain name is sold, there will almost always be some domain investors who immediately criticize the owner for selling the domain name cheaply. When the newly named Washington Commanders announced their Commanders rebrand, there were some people who were quick to comment about how cheap the domain name was at $20,000 when it sold this Summer via Sedo.
Yes, in hindsight, Commanders.com at $20k seems like a great deal for a professional sports team. On the flip side, if the NFL team chose a different name – the Red Hogs or the Red Wolves, Commanders.com at $20k seems a bit expensive with limited prospective buyers.
According to NBC, “Washington co-owner and CEO Tanya Snyder confirmed a list of eight finalists for the new name in September.” This is about two months after the domain name was sold in July. Put simply, the seller of Commanders.com didn’t necessarily have any idea the NFL team was going to want to buy Commanders.com. By the time Commanders was revealed as a finalist for the team name, the brand match domain name had already been sold – likely to the NFL team.
Like the domain name seller, the ice cream shop owner did not know Elon Musk was behind the ice cream cone purchase. Maybe he could have charged more, but maybe Musk would have gone elsewhere. Who knows what role the cost of the brand match .com domain name played into the rebranding process. Maybe the relatively light cost on the domain name was the factor that pushed this domain name over another option. Who knows.
Of course, a domain name is a unique asset – unlike an ice cream cone. No two domain names are alike, and you can only sell a domain name once. You give a price and the buyer can take it or walk. Some people don’t care about letting a buyer walk. They want the best deal possible or they won’t sell. That’s a fine business model for those who can afford to pass on good offers with the hopes of getting a great offer. Awesome for those who do maximize every sale but there’s no need to shit on someone else for having a different business model.
When someone blindly inquires about one of my unpriced domain names, I do some market research and then provide a purchase price. I make money selling domain names – not sitting on them until I die. I use the cash flow to continue to improve my portfolio. I use the cash flow to support my family and our lifestyle. I do not have the luxury of sitting on a portfolio of priceless domain names I bought 30 years ago where I could close one massive deal every year or two to make the same living I make now. I don’t think I would enjoy this business much if I was only going to sell one domain name a year.
I am sure I leave money on the table on a regular basis, but I am not going to complain after booking a solid sale. I am certainly not going to insult someone else for doing the same.
Yes – it looks like the Washington Commanders scored a great deal when they likely bought Commanders.com for $20k. I think the NFL team deserves praise for its timely acquisition rather than criticizing the domain investor who sold it.