Kate Buckley Responds to Allegations Made on NamePros

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Last week, I saw a thread on NamePros with an allegation made about the sale of Chocolate.com. I reached out to Kate Buckley, the domain broker who brokered the sale of Chocolate.com to see if she had any comment about the allegation that was made. This evening, Kate reached out to me with an open letter to be shared with the domain investment community.

In addition to her own commentary about the sales and her business, Kate shared comments from several clients about their experience working with her. In addition, Jackson Elsegood, General Manager of Escrow.com, confirmed that two deals in question “were both 7 figure domain deals transacted through Escrow.com in 2019 and 2018 respectively.” With regards to a third transaction, an attorney named Dean Bell confirmed he acted as escrow agent for that deal.

Here’s the letter I received from Kate:

An Open Letter from Kate Buckley:

It’s been called to my attention by concerned colleagues that NamePros user @offthehandle (no name, no photo, gender listed as male), has repeatedly called into question my sales and/or the sales prices of the following domain names: chocolate.com, inspection.com, sleeping.com and snoring.com.

I wasn’t going to respond as my duty is to my clients, colleagues, and our industry, not nameless, faceless avatars indulging in trolling on NamePros. However, as these libelous and toxic allegations are extremely damaging to our industry, I decided it was in everyone’s best interest for me to respond.

First, who are you @offthehandle? No one knows. He’s a nameless, faceless agitator, hiding behind an avatar in order to peddle his libel without consequence. There’s a name for people like that: bullies.

Given the volume of posts he’s made on the topic, it’s clearly keeping him up at night. Why then had he not reached out to me directly to inquire? As any one who follows me on LinkedIn or Twitter knows, I’m extremely easy to contact. No, he was clearly more comfortable weaving conspiracy theories over at NamePros then having a logical, reasonable dialogue with a professional.

Moreover, these sales have been confirmed on DNJournal (and we all know Ron Jackson’s impeccable level of journalistic integrity) as well as listed on NameBio, so why question them? As anyone who reads DNJournal knows, there are many brokerages and investors who publicly report sales. I don’t see agitators like @offthehandle questioning their sales. So why single out mine?

Could it be because I’m a woman? As any successful woman in business can tell you, there is a certain ilk of man who is at best intimidated and at worst caustic toward women who’ve achieved any measure of success. Or, could it be because he hasn’t achieved any measure of success of his own?

Moreover, why weren’t the press releases and subsequent media coverage, and ensuing reporting on DNJournal and NameBio enough for him? In fact, many of the press releases include quotes from either the buyer and/or seller—it would involved a level of conspiracy and subterfuge in par with a John le Carré novel to “fake” those sales!

Any why question the prices? Those in the know can tell you that only a fraction of high-value domain transactions are reported. These publicly-reported sales at both DNJournal and NameBio are just the tip of the iceberg. If @offthehandle doesn’t believe premium domains are worth real money, he’s clearly in the wrong business.

Another common refrain is that these are “fake sales” because @offthehandle doesn’t like their current usage or because they’re not in usage yet. Again, if @offthehandle really knew domains, he’d know that there are many reasons they are acquired. They’re not only appreciating assets, but constitute an alternative asset class. They are purchased both offensively and defensively, and sometimes in stealth mode—held in wait for release with the right platform at the right time. But the bottom line is that whatever the acquirers of any domains do or do not do with their bought-and-paid for assets is no ones’s business but their own.

Any what of my credibility…and legal exposure? Would I risk not only my hard-earned reputation for professional ethics and integrity, but also risk being sued just to report a fake sale? That’s insane!

One of my favorite classes in undergrad was Logic (a class I’d highly recommend to @offthehandle). Would respected investors on the level of Michael Castello, Roy Messer and Shane Cultra entrust me with their valuable assets if I were employing any sort of questionable business practice?

“Kate is an indispensable strategic partner, handling the high-end sales of my legacy domains. Her experience, strategic outlook, negotiation skills, and knowledge of the space are second to none—allowing me to realize top dollar returns on my domain portfolio. Last year alone, she sold seven figures worth of domains for me. I recommend her to anyone looking to maximize their domain investments.” —Roy Messer, CEO, Nett Corp, Inc

“Kate is one of the domain experts in the field of domain name appraisal and brokerage that I would trust to handle my portfolio. Kate is a long time associate and friend and I trust her to make sound negotiations for me and my business.” —Michael Castello, CEO, CCIN/The Castello Brothers

So…I decided to do what I do best: work collaboratively and with transparency. I reached out to the companies who handled the escrow services for all the of the domain sales that @offthehandle has called into question, and asked them if they’d be willing to issue a statement confirming the sales without compromising any confidential information. Here’s what they had to say:

“All transactions are confidential by default on Escrow.com but in this case we took the unusual step of contacting all of the parties in both of the transactions to get their agreement to release details. I can confirm on Escrow.com’s behalf that transactions for Chocolate.com and Sleeping.com/Snoring.com were both 7 figure domain deals transacted through Escrow.com in 2019 and 2018 respectively.” —Jackson Elsegood, General Manager, escrow.com

“I confirm that I served as escrow attorney for the transaction of Inspection.com which Kate Buckley sold for $335,000 in 2018.” —Dean Bell, Esq.

I think we all can agree that libelous agitation and conspiracy theories hatched without a shred of proof or legitimacy (let alone common sense), cheapen us all. In future, I’d invite trolls like @offthehandle to consider acting with civility and professional ethics. And the rest of you, keep being awesome!

All my best,
Kate

23 COMMENTS

  1. Kate is, without a doubt, one of the most intelligent and professional individuals in the domain brokerage industry. Her integrity is at the highest level. I have worked with her on several projects, and I am also fortunate enough to call her a friend. Anyone that knows her would have zero doubts about any numbers she would release and announce.

  2. +1 to that, Kate is one of the most incredible brokers in the domain industry and everyone I know who has worked with her has had a great experience. I was surprised to hear about these allegations and IMO NamePros should ban accounts when they find bullies like this – it degrades the brand of the forum and lessens the impact of so many great people who do contribute to it.

    Anyone who has ever worked with Kate will tell you she’s been so successful for a reason – she’s incredibly good at what she does and there’s no doubt in my mind she will continue to be one of the top brokers in our industry.

  3. For Kate to refer to someone as a misogynist she doesn’t know speaks volumes to me about her as well. I had someone on NP ironically by the name of “Kate” who FALSELY accused me of wrongdoing, and when her case of mistaken identity proved her malicious attack FALSE, she cowardly hid behind her moniker…very SAD!

    richard@MakeSomethingHappen.com
    757 439-9902

    • That’s quite egregious to imply Kate Buckley as the culprit from someone’s post named “Kate”. Really?!
      We don’t hide behind partial names, masked accounts or paint false innuendo.

      This industry is feeding off it’s self. Sad.

    • I concur…this person should be revealed. He has impugned Kate’s character and reputation in an industry where reputations are vital.

      Per revealing sales data, I’ve had to sign NDAs myself as seller for 5 transactions. These were public companies involving their attorneys who always are risk averse.

      I’m perplexed about the ire expressed towards Kate…she’s been working in the industry for many years and she has built a successful branding and marketing firm…and she puts in enormous time to make deals happen

  4. Fred and Morgan, I so appreciate your kind words. You both epitomize class and professionalism in this industry and I’m honored. Thank you.

    Richard, I suggest you reread my letter. Sorry about your experience with someone who happens to share my first name.

    Michael, I couldn’t agree more! I’ve reported @offthehandle but I suspect that other voices added to the issue wouldn’t go amiss.

    • Then I apologize for the insinuation. The first Kate left a real bad taste with me in that she, unlike what I just did for you, NEVER APOLOGIZED. She’s supposedly from Australia and has a close relationship with John Berryhill, a lawyer from Philadelphia. Most everyone in this industry know both these individuals. I’m surprised you don’t?

      richard@MakeSomethingHappen.com
      757 439-9902

  5. It really is unfortunate that some choose to spread their negative, baseless judgements in our domainer community.

    How cowardly can one get?

    I have been in the community for over 20 years and I am extremely grateful for her many contributions. Her interviews, writings, seminars and solid sales experience are obvious.

    Thank you, Kate! Keep up the great work.

  6. Kate is one of the most well respected people in this industry. NamePros is full of trolls and always will be. Just keep doing what you are doing Kate as you do an amazing job. Haters will always be there. It means you are doing a good job.

  7. I think its always good to question when uncertain. Accusations on the other hand are rarely productive and if not true are hurtful.
    That said the company in question that bought the domains was interviewed a few days ago and this is what they said that may have led to uncertainty.

    After mentiining domain names including chocolate….

    Mike: Does Wazimo own the domain properties or do you work in partnership with premium domain owners? If not, is that a possible future path?

    Danielle: We formed a partnership with the domain owners.

    Im surprised by your comment michael, seemed a bit harsh coming from you.

  8. Kate 7 – 0 @offthehandle

    Game over!

    Congrats Kate, keep up the good work and thanks again to share these great sales that help the domaining industry.

  9. Funny,
    There are plenty of domainers to attack for fake sales over the years.
    Kate is definitely not one of them!
    Just amazing what losers can come up with and have no proof, no nothing.
    Not a good reflection on Namepros either for allowing this nonsense to stand!

  10. Lot of sour grapes on Namepros, Kate. I don’t think any domainer with half a brain would ever buy into his story. You didn’t have to respond, but in doing so, know that you have a ton of support from real business people. Namepros ought to clean up.

  11. Kate is one of the most professional people I work with of all the different industries I dabble in. Thank you Elliot for gathering the data that proves what we didn’t need proven.

    Three things need to happen. An apology needs to be made public. @offthehandle ‘s name needs to be made public since he feels so comfortable slandering someone publicly, he should feel comfortable doing it with his real name behind it. Namepros needs to be remove him. They won’t but pretty sure they have a long list of reports from other Namepro users about him be hostile.

  12. We were one fo the lucky ones to work with Kate and i have no doubt of what she reports is true. Ironically the troll stated this on NamePros now operated by Rob Monster whose reported sales came out to be unfinished.

  13. Kate is 100% correct and legit, except for the Shane Cultra part, who is not respected. Kudos to Kate though, keep up the great work.

  14. After all that has been said and done, even Escrow.com took a step forward to set the record straight,

    totally uncommon and against their policies.

    Namepros this is a great opportunity to show all for what you stand, will you take a step forward or

    you’ll walk of the field for a rotten apple and take Namepros community with you…….. the Mic is yours

    Will know soon

  15. Ppl are arrogant to believe they’re entitled to know, often not believing until they see your bank statement. I’ve seen namepros debating how ethical someone who doesn’t post proof is…along those lines. He obviously wanted you to bend over backwards for him.

    Liars gonna post fake sales all the time. I didn’t read the threads, but let me point out, if he rly cared, he would have asked your cost to acquire too.

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