.Rocks is Fine

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I bought a 3 word .com domain name at NameJet in 2011 for around $500. The following year, a prospective buyer and I negotiated the sale of this domain name for $20,000. The buyer had explained that he had wanted the name for several years and was surprised the former owner sold it (it expired, but that’s not important). When it came time to pay, the prospect disappeared and despite several attempts to finalize the deal, it never went through.

Last week, a totally different buyer inquired about the domain name. He offered $500 to buy it, and I told him the price is $25,000. I priced it that high several years ago more as a penalty in case the first buyer came back, especially if it was through an alternative channel. Put simply, I did not want him to get a better deal or me to lose on the initial deal by dropping the price. The domain name may not warrant a $25,000 price tag right now, but that’s the price.

This second buyer told me he wants to buy my domain name to use for his unsigned band’s website. Unfortunately, his best offer was $1,000, and I passed. I would sell this particular name to this prospect for less than my $25,000 price, but it’s not worth doing a deal at $1,000.

The prospect told me he registered the 3 word .Rocks domain name instead, and I think that is a good decision. Spending $20,000 – $25,000 on a 3 word .com domain name is probably not worth the investment for an unsigned band. For a band website like this prospect’s, the .Rocks domain name should work out just fine.

I am obviously a .com investor, but I think a .Rocks domain name will work out fine for this band. If they feel the .Rocks is confusing or limiting, the .com may still be available in the future. The only concern is if the first buyer comes back. I reconnected with the guy who said he still wants it, but when I reminded him of what he offered, he disappeared again.

56 COMMENTS

    • Possibly. Their 5 day old website indicates they have an album already.

      Either way, I think it’s a good decision even though I didn’t sell my name. Hopefully they make it big and buy my name.

  1. Fantasy of making offers, becomes a reality when you go to do a transfer. He doesn’t have the money, and most likely never will, you are punishing your domain because of a fantasy offer. The end of the rainbow tastes so bitter sometimes. We all been here with these people who go back, and forth like clockwork, until it’s time to pay, and they are on vacation, and can’t simply respond with that, and not a few clicks on their banking app to seal the deal. It’s only going to get worse with a new generation of buyers.

    • You may be right about that, but if someone else were to come with a serious offer, I would consider it.

      $1k is not enough to pique my interest.

  2. Maybe ask him in a few months: Is he is more happy with the .rocks than the .com, now that he’s been using it? And what are other peoples reactions when he explains the domain? Perhaps, does he think he could get more traffic if he had the .com, or au contraire?

  3. I’ve been reading domaining blogs regularly for like two years already and honestly don’t remember 3-word names being a focus of discussion. Except for the commentor John, and then often there is Snoopy and other people having fun at him and his views, so you can’t really call that a discussion.

    Although I remember there was a reported sale of 3-word name for something like 1.7-1.8 mln, something game related or quiz related, in general this is rarely being discussed and you could think that decent 3-names sales are outliers, so its good to find more evidence they are not.

      • Elliot, responding here because I could not reply inline below.

        I was the founder of CoolMathGames.com. The contract negotiated was for our company as an end-user.

        CoolMathGames.com, now owned by Coolmath.com LLC, is now one of the largest gaming websites in the world serving 700-800 million visitors per year.

          • Sorry, the situation and outcome is still a bit confusing to me. When I read your profile on VPN it says, “One of his favorite transactions was CoolMathGames.com, which he contracted for $1.8 million.”

            From my reading of what you wrote, it sounds like you are stating that you either bought or sold CoolMathGames.com for $1.8 million. The part about “contracted” makes it sound unclear, but it looks like you are stating that it was a done deal you closed. Moo also wrote, “Michael Gargiulo of VPN.com states he had brokered CoolMathGames.com for 1.8.”

            In reading the DNW article after reading that, my interpretation was that you had some sort of deal in place at a value of $1.8 million and that may have been derailed by the litigation. I really don’t know what happened and I don’t like to guess especially when the person who shared the information can easily clarify. As mentioned, the impression I got after seeing your VPN profile is that you either bought or sold the name for $1.8 million, but the “contracted” wording muddies that up.

            I presume you wouldn’t have that down as one of your favorite transactions if it wasn’t completed. For instance, if you signed a deal but that deal was derailed due to litigation, it doesn’t seem like something to highlight. For instance, if I signed a lease with an option deal for String.com for the $99/month starter rate with a $1.5m option to buy it, I wouldn’t tout that I had contracted a $1.5m deal if I only paid for a few months of the lease.

            Maybe it’s just me, but it would be interesting to know the details around the $1.8m deal for that 3 word domain name because some people interpret it as a closed deal but I don’t really understand what happened.

          • The page I referenced is the only source of information that I know of, and I wrote “brokered”, because the page is full of titles about broker-broker-brokers where the quoted part is hierarchically subordinate, so I believe my interpretation “brokered” was a natural, logical assumption based on that.

            Michael seems to have already clarified that it was in fact a sale, however to me its now unclear, whether it was a pure domain sale, or did it include software/content of the website as well.

          • Wait…no, the statement in the second paragraph of my message above is wrong. Looks like he says he had acquired it. Not sure anymore 😒

      • This is just a feedback regarding the reply function. I’m seeing the same “could not reply inline below” issue as well.

    • There is some decent 3 word domains out there, but not the 3/4 word stuff that John has been registering.

      Very rare for 3/4 words to get very high prices, eg none in 2019 or 2018 Dnjournal Top 100. The last once was 2017, “UsedCarsForSale.com” 100k, It has to be bang on.

          • Great discussion. For clarity, CoolMathGames.com was $1.8 million. At the time we acquired the leasing contract to purchase it was doing more than 300,000 visitors per month simply via direct traffic, no search or paid.

            Any domain with this type of direct traffic is a seven-figure name… three words, two words or one word.

            I do agree with Moo though, premium three-word premiums are very difficult to come by and justify.

            As Elliot previously covered, CarInsuranceQuotes.com was sold to Red Ventures for $7.5 million in 2011 which included an existing website though. This is the only other three-word domain I know that was in the seven-figures.

            https://domaininvesting.com/bankrate-reports-over-80-million-in-domain-name-acquisitions/

          • Sorry – what you wrote is a bit confusing. Did you sell CoolMathGames.com for $1.8 million or did you buy it for $1.8 million? I don’t understand what you wrote.

            DNW wrote about a lawsuit involving the domain name: https://domainnamewire.com/2014/09/17/coolmath-com-files-cybersquatting-suit-against-leased-domain-name/

            On the footer of the website now it says, “© 2020 Coolmath.com LLC. All Rights Reserved,” so I presume you mean you sold it for $1.8 million but that is unclear.

          • Good info. Thanks. I guess people already knew that website so they go to it through their bookmarks or through recurring type-ins? Usually, if people don’t know the website and try to do this kind of type-in, they just type MathGame.com or MathGames.com without any prefix like Cool, Fun, Great, etc.

            As for CarInsuranceQuotes.com, since it was not a pure domain sale, I would not categorize it as a seven-figure domain sale.

          • I guess the monthly 300,000 visitors are people who already knew the website, not first-time type-in’ers. Usually, if people don’t know that website and try to do this kind of type-in, they just type MathGame.com or MathGames.com without adjectives like Cool, Fun, Great, etc.

            As for CarInsuranceQuotes.com, since it was not a pure domain sale, I would not categorize it as a seven-figure domain sale.

        • It looks like I’m not the only one who is encountering the “could not reply inline below” issue. So let me reply at here then.

          Regarding the monthly 300,000 visitors Michael mentioned, not sure if my understanding is correct, but I guess they are people who already knew the website, not first-time type-in’ers? Usually, if people don’t know that website and try to do this kind of type-in, they just type MathGame.com or MathGames.com without adjectives like Cool, Fun, Great, etc.

          As for CarInsuranceQuotes.com, since it was not a pure domain sale, I don’t know if it’s okay to categorize it as a seven-figure domain sale.

        • Nonsense. Gargiulo was sued for using that domain name and is under a court order prohibiting him from “making or displaying any statement or representation that is likely to lead the public or the trade to believe that its goods and services are in any manner associated or affiliated with or approved, endorsed, licensed, sponsored, authorized or franchised by or are otherwise connected with Coolmath”. The fact that he keeps claiming to the be the “founder” or that he made some great deal, should tell you something…

          https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.428233.26.0.pdf

      • Thanks for showing everyone how irrationally obsessed and sick in the head you are, Snoopy. Not only have I been saying all along all these years that it’s about quality, but I have also never revealed a single example of the “3/4 word stuff that John has been registering” as you put it in some strange fantasy you are rebutting there.

        So yes – Elliot’s post here, among other things, proves my point about the best long domains having substantial value, at least for those who have no need of collections of six figure luxury watches and collections of six to seven figure cars.

        • It has been several year since I sold a 3 word .com domain name for a substantial amount of money, and I wouldn’t rely on that bit of information to prove a point today.

          I like luxury watches and cars though!

          • Elliot, one of these days you may just figure out that *usually* I’m extremely precise and deliberate in what I say, notwithstanding any typos, hence inclusions like “…among other things…”

            As for the value of the best 3, 4, 5 word .coms, and in extremely rare cases beyond that, I definitely knew of their value long before I discovered you and your blog…

            And as for luxury watches and super expensive cars in the six and seven figure range, it’s often just a lot of genuine idolatry, just like what happened at Mt. Sinai, and exactly what one of the “ten commandments” addresses, a not smart and often frivolous and foolish use of money and wealth, etc. But most everyone already knows most of that. People can waste their money all they want, but when they need to have things like that in their life and it leads them to “dishonesty in domaining” because of the self-centered and greedy zero sum thinking that can lead to, that’s a problem for everyone…

  4. Agree, there is no way they should spend 20k on domain. The .rocks domain isn’t good though, unless they are going to do virtually nothing with it they are going to run into constant confusion issues.

    Would suggest they add a word on the end (eg band or online) and get a .com.

    • I would not say .rocks isn’t good. It’s just not for traditional businesses such as bank, finance, realty, etc. But it’s still good for a cool and fashionable entity which is related to band, entertainment, fun stuff, etc.

      And I would seriously avoid appending a redundant word to a brand name just for getting a .com, because that would cause the domain name to become longer and brand-mismatching. That’s my opinion, of course.

  5. As for the band, I’d go for the .rocks too given the same circumstances. That one is actually kind of fun and likable. Just a rare case of contextual new gTLD desirability, however, but also with a huge risk of leading to a much higher .com price should they ever take off.

      • Not sure if “Maybe you could” is offensive or contains negative connotation in English, but please let me know if it is. I’m not a native English speaker.

        I meant to say that, if you don’t mind doing them a favor, they would be happy to know there is the .band TLD.

        • I guess I don’t understand the point in doing that and continuing the conversation. I presume they evaluated their options and chose the .Rocks domain name. I think it works well for them. I don’t really see the benefit to spending more time chatting with them about domain names that aren’t mine.

          • I see. Maybe it’s just me that gets used to doing small favors. But I think your choosing not to continue the conversion is also understandable. If continuing the conversation could potentially make them perplexed about my purpose, I would choose not to do that as well. Anyway, it depends.

          • I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think telling them that another new gTLD extension is a favor. I don’t think one is distinguishably better than the other (.rocks vs. .band), and they are already using their domain name anyway.

  6. I’m doing a flip flop. I’ve already said it before: I’d never name a biz without the .com being available. Why should it be any different for a band? Who am I kidding? I’d choose a new name for the band and get the .com.

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