Not Owning the EMD Could Be a “Liability”

I wish every startup founder, brand manager, and other people responsible for buying company domain names could read an article published by Zalmi Duchman on today. The article is entitled, “How I Blew 50 Grand On My Journey For The Perfect Domain Name,” and it offers some valuable insight to people considering a domain name that isn’t the exact .com match (EMD) to their brand.

Duchman discusses his startup called Fresh Diet. Instead of buying the EMD from the owner of the domain name, Duchman hand registered Duchman explained that the owner of was asking $20,000 for the domain name, and he opted to not spend the money. Long (but interesting) story short, Fresh Diet became a big thing, and Ducman wrote that “our continued growth fueled my concerns that not owing would become a liability over time.”

The company ended up buying for much more than the original asking price, and they were able to get a deal done using a payment plan. Interestingly, based on the Whois information, it looks like Duchman’s deal was with Michael Berkens, whose company, Most Wanted Domains, owns some exceptional domain names.

The article offers excellent advice to others who might be in the same position as Duchman when it comes to buying the right domain name for their business instead of settling on something that may hurt the business:

“The main lesson I learned from this mistake: as an entrepreneur, I need to think out of the box and find creative ways to get things done now. Back in 2007 when I originally wanted to purchase the domain name, I should have spent more time strategizing how I might secure the domain without writing a large check. I knew that as I grew my brand the domain would become more expensive, but I was too inexperienced to realize the importance of getting it done immediately.”

There are many ways to be creative in securing a domain name. Prospective buyers can work out a payment plan (as Duchman mentioned above), they can finance it using the services of a company like Domain Capital, they can agree to a lease with a future option to buy, they can offer equity in the company, or they can do other things to come up with the cash to buy it immediately.

I wish more people would read articles like this instead of bitching about not being able to afford the exact match domain name of their new business or filing a UDRP or other legal action to try to take something they have no right to take. Thank you to Mr. Duchman for sharing his story and congratulations on the success of Fresh Diet.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Stories like this are always interesting to read.

    It’s easy to understand why business owners struggle to purchase 5-6 figure domains (even though it could benefit them).

    Beyond the name, business owners have a lot on their plate to get the business to be profitable that the upfront cost of owning a good/great a domain name seems nuts.

    The upfront cost of the domain is a money they could put into the business.

    For domain owners, patience and flexibility in structuring the deal are the takeaways here.

  2. I added a little more light on this story on my Facebook page if anyone is interested. In short, this was Mike Berkens’ name and while Zalmi made the initial approach early on when a 20K price was quoted and he didn’t pursue, it was my meeting with him later at a local charity event that ignited new interest and made way for a deal to happen. You never know who you gonna meet at those charity events.

  3. Great story, Elliot. Thanks for sharing it. What I like best is that Zalmi’s decision-making process is outlined… why he knew his company needed the correct domain name. Definitely a page to bookmark.

  4. what do i know

    but it seems to me that in years from now 3 and 4 letter domains will be worth $7 while 4 word exact match domains will be worth at least more than $7.

    i can’t see an internet option that isn’t based on keyword search and keywords and emd are one of a kind.

    excuse me for bothering those of you who know what you are talking about


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