There was an article (paywall protected) on Business Insider that covered a lawsuit involving the Wormhole.com domain name. Attorney Evan Brown also wrote an article about the case. This morning, Decrypt published an article that revealed a settlement had reportedly been reached.
Here’s how Decrypt described the negotiation for the sale of Wormhole.com.
“In June of 2021, someone at Jump used a third-party domain broker to approach Merryman and offer $2,500 for the name. The latter rebuffed the request, saying—perhaps in jest—that the price was a “firm US$50000.”
From what I understand, the offer was made through the DomainAgents platform. I have used DomainAgents before, and as far as I am aware, the registrant would have had to create an account and agree to the platform’s TOS before even seeing the offer. He then would have the option to accept, decline, or counter the offer. Apparently, the owner was surprised when the buyer accepted his price.
There has been considerable discussion about the deal on Twitter, but I want to focus on something else – the “fuck off” pricing that some people give when they don’t want to sell a domain name.
Long-time registrants of excellent domain names have likely received many offers and inquiries for their domain names. These routinely come in whether a domain name is listed for sale or not. In the case of a domain name this is actively used, either for a website or email, these inquiries can be annoying. There are tire kickers, dreamers, brokers, and legit buyers who want good domain names, and inbound offers are regularly so low that they are laughable. There are also persistent people that keep coming back and never get the message that their offer isn’t of interest.
One thing I have seen before is what amounts to a “fuck off” price. The number is so eye-wateringly high, the recipient will either think the registrant is crazy or completely unreasonable. Whatever the case may be, this is usually a good way to get the prospect to leave you alone.
The trouble is that in order for the fuck off price to be effective and get someone to go away forever, it has to be very high. I don’t know if the domain registrant in this particular case was trying to get the prospective buyer to go away by reportedly giving a $50k price, but $50k is not an unreasonable number.
If you’re going to name a fuck-off price to get someone to go away, it has to be ridiculously high.