We’ve all been there. We have an amazing concept for a corporation and we log onto a website registrar. We sort our dream area identify, hit enter, and bam. Someone is sitting on it, doing nothing. We attempt a couple of different permutations they usually’re already taken, or worse, the names are horrible.
Where can we go?
I’ve purchased solely two domains through the years, each on the secondary market. I paid $25,000 for the primary one, and $B,200 for the second. Here are the 2 tales.
Kegerator.com: Take a bag of cash and lightweight it on hearth
In the early 2000s, I labored for Living Direct, a community of shopper-based mostly ecommerce websites. Our main property was CompactAppliance.com, a vendor of small-area home equipment. We instantly sourced most home equipment underneath our personal personal label.
We had seen a robust progress in our beer phase. We have been sourcing barely modified fridges from factories in Asia and kitting them along with CO2 tanks from a D.R. provider and keg tapping and pouring elements from one other. Put all these collectively, add a one-half keg of beer, and also you’ve acquired a kegerator (keg + fridge) on wheels that matches in a dorm room or man cave for round $500.
We had a great deal of success promoting kegerators on CompactAppliance.com, however there was (and is) a robust group of lovers within the area and we thought that a branded microsite would convert extra and rank larger, in natural search outcomes, than the product and class pages of CompactAppliance.com.
We had the product. Launching the microsite on our present website structure was easy. We have been utilizing Demandware, the ecommerce platform. A new website launch was simple with a brand new class construction and content material.
All we would have liked was a model.
We had recognized for a number of years that the area Kegerator.com was parked — somebody had bought the area, however was not in any other case utilizing it. We additionally knew that we might purchase a two-phrase area — e.g., kegeratorstore.com — for $10 or so. The extra we mentioned it, the extra we thought the Kegerator.com area would convey probably the most authority to consumers. We thought, “We are the kegerator specialists. It’s there in our identify!” Additionally, we thought a one-phrase, branded area would assist us rank larger in natural search outcomes.
We determined we should always make a play for Kegerator.com.
We emailed the proprietor of Kegerator.com. He indicated that he was , however insisted that we make the primary supply. We met with our AdWords worker, did somewhat key phrase analysis, and projected the worth of the area, assuming the Kegerator.com would allow us to rank just a little larger.
Based on our paid advert spend, we decided that the Kegerator.com was value about $eighty,000 per yr to us in “free” advert spend by way of natural search.
And right here’s the place we made our massive mistake.
We provided $20,000 for the area. The proprietor countered, and we ended up at $25,000. This was a yr or two after CreditCards.com bought for $P.P million. So we figured this was an incredible deal. And, positive sufficient, seek for “kegerator” now, 10 years later, and the primary natural result's from Kegerator.com.
We launched the location, did over $B million in income on simply that microsite itself within the first 12 months, and grew it from there.
So it labored out!
But, there’s a postscript to this story.
A few months after we purchased the area, I met with an Internet marketer good friend. He owns Kegerators.com (observe the “s” on the finish). It’s an affiliate website, driving visitors to different retailers.
He requested me concerning the Kegerator.com area story. Since he is an effective good friend, I advised him. When I acquired to the half about providing $20,000 for the area, he laughed. But requested me to complete the story. I did, and requested him what was so humorous.
It turned out he had tried to purchase the identical area, simply earlier than we did. He provided $P,000, and the proprietor accepted. But earlier than my good friend wired the funds, the proprietor emailed him once more and stated that the deal was off.
And the deal was off as a result of we had naively provided 10 occasions extra.
FringeSports.com: Slowly, inexorably, politely creep the worth up
Kegerator.com was nonetheless a very good deal. We paid a suitable worth based mostly on the worth the area offered. However, we paid greater than 10 occasions the quantity we in any other case might have.
When I launched FringeSport.com, somebody had already registered FringeSports.com (observe the “s” once more). We initially didn’t fear about it. After all, we're Fringe Sport, not Fringe Sports.
But from an early stage, many individuals verbally referred to as us Fringe Sports. And our Google Analytics confirmed that one of many prime searched phrases for us was Fringe Sports. So I started negotiating with the proprietor for FringeSports.com. I discovered his e-mail handle from a Whois.com search.
I emailed him from my private (not FringeSport.com) e mail tackle and provided $200 for the area. He responded. I was even capable of acquire his cellphone quantity. But he politely declined, stating that he had a dream to have an internet enterprise at that area.
After that, I emailed, texted, or referred to as him each month for 2 years, elevating my supply worth barely and politely asking him to promote. Sometimes he responded (within the unfavourable); principally he ignored me. Finally, when my supply crept previous $B,000, he responded that he was contemplating my supply.
We negotiated a bit additional and landed on $B,200 with the understanding that he might maintain a FringeSports.com branded e mail handle for six months. I by no means informed him I owned FringeSport.com till after the area switch accomplished — and he by no means requested.
We redirected FringeSports.com to FringeSport.com, and moved on.
Have you ever bought or bought a website? How did your expertise go?