Looks Like HD.com Was Sold

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In my DomainTools Domain Monitor alerts this morning, I saw that HD.com was transferred from a China-based domain registrar to GoDaddy. The Whois registrant information has a privacy proxy service and the nameservers are generic GoDaddy nameservers, so the current owner of HD.com is still unknown. With this transfer to a different registrar (and a GoDaddy default landing page), it appears that the domain name was sold.

When I saw the transfer, my first thought was that Home Depot acquired the domain name. In my opinion, HD.com would be the perfect fit for the publicly traded company with a market cap of nearly $195 billion (disclosure: I own some HD stock). Based on the fact that Home Depot registers its domain names via CSC Corporate Domains and HD.com is currently registered at GoDaddy, my guess is that is unlikely.

There are quite a few large companies with HD as initials including:

  • Home Depot
  • Harley Davidson
  • Hunter Douglas
  • Häagen-Dazs
  • Harry & David
  • Helzberg Diamonds

Like I wrote about Home Depot, all of the companies above (except Helzberg Diamonds) register their domain names with brand protection firms CSC or MarkMonitor. Helzberg Diamonds’ domain name is registered at Network Solutions. Interestingly, Harley Davidson owns H-D.com, but that domain name is registered at MarkMonitor.

It is possible that a transfer was done to GoDaddy to continue to keep the buyer’s identity private until a later date. Perhaps the buyer or buyer’s representative did not want the seller to see the domain name transferred to a corporate registrar fearing the seller would back out of the deal to try and get a higher price. According to a tweet from George Kirikos in 2015, HD.com appears to have transferred to a China-based registrant in May of 2015. Prior to that, the domain name was registered to a NY-based entity that had the domain name registered at CSC.

In my opinion, HD.com is easily a 7 figure domain name. Since the Whois registration information is private, we won’t know who acquired the domain name (assuming it was sold) until the domain name is used. It is always fun to speculate in the meantime.

17 COMMENTS

    • I am not sure I follow. It looks like the person who owned it moved it to a China-based registrar from CSC in May of 2015. If it is the same owner, why would it have been moved to a China-based registrar in the first place?

    • Home bias, mislead patriotism, a discount code.. could be a lot of reasons. Then he noticed the tighter Chinese regulations on Crypto, ICO bans, money laundering, and he thought to himself maybe move it to a big ship in the US instead. Or his Chinese registrar ran into trouble, doesn’t offer 2-factor authentification, fired his favorite support contact.. all pure speculation.

  1. I really hope this is a Home Depot buy. Makes the most sense for them, and their staff refers to the Web portion of the company as “hd.com” instead of “HomeDepot.com”.

  2. Maybe Godaddy bought it for their own portfolio. They have been buying up portfolios so buying single high end domains makes sense to me.

  3. @Richard – Many Chinese investors have moved domains over to GoDaddy – it’s difficult to tell whether they’ve sold or not. Although as you say, it’s likely to take them out of Chinese juristriction. The usual trait seems to be that the domain moves from a Chinese registrar over to GoDaddy under privacy protection. The names usually also move nameservers, with most switching to Bodis nameservers (dp.com, dy.com, fj.com have all done this recently).

    HD.com looks to have a history with 62.com and the last WHOIS record before it went under privacy was for ??? (Liu Xiaosheng), owner of IWO group that owns 62.com. They may have bought the domain, or they just moved it out from a Chinese registrar.

    A useful report Elliot, thanks.

  4. I assume seler receive more offers and higher offers for a domain name when it is not linked to any Chinese entity. How often, Eliot, you reach Chinese seller to strike a deal? When I see a domain name is in Chinese hands, I personally don’t inquire about the name at all. When it’s registered (or it seems to be registered) by a Western entity, I do send inquiry when I’m interested. Is this just me?

  5. Doesn’t Bob Parsons own a piece of Harley-Davidson or something like that?

    On another patriotic note, since nobody mentioned it I certainly will:

    Haagen-Dazs, that great ubiquitous mega-giant you can scarcely avoid seeing almost every day, operates on .US, not .com. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Or rather, put that in your cone and…

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