Rick Latona Pulls Plug on Auction Business; Endorses Sedo’s Auction Platform

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LatonasAs you may have heard, Rick Latona threw in the towel on domain auctions and has endorsed Sedo’s auction services. According to Rick, “Sedo dominates the online domain auction space and they do it well.” In fact, Rick has his own no reserve auction on Sedo ending in about an hour (ISU.com, KansasCity.net, DayTraders.net…etc).

I think it’s a very smart move to withdraw from a venture that isn’t working, even one as high profile as his auctions. As the old saying goes, there’s no sense in throwing good money after bad, and I think it got to that point that the auctions were becoming money losing efforts.

Rick was in a tough spot because the auctions he was running weren’t all doing well. I am sure he felt pressure auctioning other people’s domain names for lower amounts than he hoped, and he was also auctioning his company’s inventory as well. Not only was it damaging his reputation, but it was hurting his bottom line.

I admire Rick for his audacity in the domain space. He doesn’t do anything half-assed, and he puts a big effort into all of the challenges he undertakes. Although some might say his TRAFFIC conference partnership didn’t end successfully, I had a great time at the Amsterdam conference, and I was planning on attending the Hong Kong conference. This is a tribute to his efforts, as I generally wouldn’t travel to another continent for a conference unless it was for something special.

When you are trying new things, there are going to be some that fail. In a small industry like this one, those failures are usually amplified. Rick spent a lot of money on his auction venture, made some waves in the industry with very good results, but he ultimately realized it wasn’t going to work out for his company, and he pulled the plug.

I think it’s great to see people trying new things to better the industry and drive more revenue for domain investors, and I look forward to his next audacious endeavor.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Very well said Elliot. It just shows that even the big, successful guys don’t always get it right. Often the difference between them and those that don’t make it is that they know when to concede and move on. Everyone fails and it’s just a matter of learning from it and trying something different.

  2. I admire Rick and his ambitions. I have done much business with him over the years….Sausalito.com, FortPierce.com, 216 CityNailSalons.com, Bourbons.com, and he has always been a gentleman and true to his word. I think in a better economy, Rick might have prospered with his auctions. It seems like investors are buying only at rock bottom prices, but that soon will change. Good luck Rick, and good post E!

  3. I just think TRAFFIC hit it’s peak and is the same old folks in every picture now.

    Nothing exciting anymore and there was nothing Rick could do to reinvigorate it. Not his fault…..just bad timing with it’s staleness and the bad economy.

  4. That was a smart move. Rick’s one of the most dynamic entrepreneurs in our industry.

    Sometimes though when you are really successful, people come to you with all sorts of exciting venture opportunities and it’s real easy to get more deals going on your plate than you can manage and handle effectively. TRAFFIC alone is a full time gig to deal with. And then you add in auctions and every other thing and you’re energies are all over the place.

    In entrepreneuring, we all tend to forget the golden rule that you only have to be great at one venture to achieve immense success. And just because you’ve got that golden touch with your one big hit never assume it assures the golden touch will happen with every other venture you do.

    Also one of the biggest wealth killers for entrepreneurs is not realizing when it is time to throw in the towel and cut your losses on a deal that’s not working.

  5. Rick has been our Sponsor and Main Speaker at the Spanish Domainers Conference in 2009 in Valencia. I am still greatful he came all the way to Spain for this event.

    He is a real great Person in any aspect. And yes, he knows to pull the plug. But I am sure we are going to hear news about new ventures, which involve Rick.

  6. hello Elliot I hope you cover mobile payments and mobile wallet related domain even Mike Mann said next big thing is mobile payments it’s creating a buzz in wall street. Thanks

  7. Ricks shop had successfully brokered out a domain and is my biggest sale so far.

    I don’t know him to well, mainly know Toby better since we co brokered a top sale in 2010. I got the buyer and Toby had done the closing. Learned a few things by Toby.

    now having said this, when he did the auction platform things changed. He should have stuck to the newsletter imo. Sometimes making things easy works better then have all the whistles to things.

    As far as traffic conference goes and auctions what puzzles me is this. Why flood the .co names in a so called high roller auction with a bunch of .com guys? Not sure who’s decision this was or .co sponsor heat but .com is king and .com works. Why was overpriced .co generic names being allowed with crazy reserves but yet a direct navigation traffic name making 50 to 100 in ppc being rejected and .com. Was a frustrated experience

    There is nothing wrong with cutting the losses and it makes sense. Brokering and auctions are nuts. Anyone who thinks brokering is easy is crazy.

    I am sure rick and Toby will be involved in brokering bigger .com stuff and they know who the buyers are, tons of email addresses and prospects.

    Judging by hints I am sensing they could be entering the ppc parking business. Not really sure but this is what my gut is telling me. Also these watches and watch trade shows have huge margin. One of my friends has a few rolex watches. Buying and selling watches looks like a promising area for them. Buy a watch for 5k sell for 12k or whatever.

    Should be interesting see how things play out. Good luck in future plans.

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