Buzzfeed published an article about the history of TMZ, the celebrity news website and media network. If you follow TMZ, you’ll probably find the article fascinating. In my opinion, the most interesting aspect of the article pertains to how the company (and its founder Harvey Levin) was able to acquire the TMZ.com domain name and for how much.
Here’s how the acquisition of the TMZ.com domain name went down, according to the Buzzfeed article:
“According to a staffer from that time, Levin called the owner up and offered $5,000 for the URL — but without revealing who he was or what, exactly, the URL was for. The guy jumped at the offer, but Levin, according to a source, also knew that if he showed up with the cash in his Porsche, the URL owner would immediately up the asking price. His solution: Borrow a staff member’s totally average car. Hand over $5,000 in cash. The URL — and the brand — was theirs.”
I bet cash deals like this happen more often than we hear about and are fairly common. Although I almost exclusively use Escrow.com when buying a domain name from someone, there are people who would prefer to do an all cash deal for a variety of reasons. If I can be assured that the deal will get done and I won’t get robbed, I would probably consider it, especially on a lower value deal. In fact, I did consider this recently, although the seller later agreed to use Escrow.com.
Sometimes a nice wad of cash can help a buyer close a deal, and it looks like $5,000 was what it took to acquire the TMZ.com domain name.