Domain Manage

Selling a valuable domain name...

Discussion in 'Domain Appraisals' started by outhere, Jan 2, 2006.

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  1. outhere

    outhere Member

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    Hi guys, I was wondering if you may be able to give me some advice on what to do with a valuable domain I own. For privacy reasons, I really don’t want to list the domain(s) in question so I will refer to them as ‘CompanyX.com’ and ‘CompanyX.co.uk’.

    For the past 12 months, I have been running the website ‘CompanyX.com’. I also have a registered trademark in a specific internet field for the use of the name ‘CompanyX.com’.

    6 months ago, I realized that there was a large publicly listed company in the U.K that used the domain ‘CompanyX.co.uk’. This particular company is an old fashion brick and mortar company that has been around for over 50 years. Now this company isn’t just big, it’s huge. I was shocked to find they have assets of over 5 billion dollars USD and last year alone made nearly a billion dollars in profit. They also have a very fancy website which makes me think they are concerned with their online image.

    So over the past few months, I have considered selling my ‘CompanyX.com’ domain name to them, for a hefty price. However, now I’ve just started reading about these Cyber squatting laws against people demanding huge amounts from big companies for their domain names. While I did not purchase my domain name or use it in bad faith what so ever, I am now concerned that it could be seen as cyber squatting if it was reported to the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.)

    One website I visited even said that one of the easiest ways a big company will ‘win’ against a cyber squatters is if that cyber squatter makes first contact with the large trademark holding company and offers to sell it for an inflated price. Does anyone know if this would apply in my circumstances if I have run a legitimate website and own a trademark for the name ‘CompanyX’?

    Secondly, if I choose to send an offer to ‘CompanyX.co.uk’, the big question that keeps going through my mind is how much do I ask for? I’ve done a bit of reading on previous domain name sales and there doesn’t seem to be much consistency. It just seems to be whatever they’re prepared to pay, which could be anything…

    I would really love some feedback, even if you are unsure. Considering it is a multi-billion dollar publicly listed company….how much should I set as my asking price?

    $20,000?
    $50,000?
    $100,000?
    $500,000?

    I would appreciate as many opinions as possible. Thanks to all who reply!
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. retired_member27

    retired_member27 Retired Member

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    Without knowing what the domain name is, it is impossible to give you a valuation. As for cybersquatting that depends if you are using your domain in the same field as the big company, if you are then my advice is NOT to contact then. If it was me I would just wait.
     
  4. outhere

    outhere Member

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    Thanks for your input.

    I really wish I could post the real web address here but am now very cautious about posting anything with the web address in it.

    The .com domain name is not in the same field as the UK Company. In fact, theirs (.co.uk) is an old fashion real estate and construction company whilst mine (.com) is an Internet-based company and website.
     
  5. keys United Kingdom

    keys Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I am sure they are aware of your activities, and probably monitoring use of the domain. If they want it they can contact you easily enough, then would be the time to consider an appropriate figure.

    I would strongly advise against any effort to sell the domain to the company in question because this may be to your disadvantage in the event of a dispute. However, if you no longer want to run your website business there is no reason why you shouldn't publicly offer that for sale along with the domain.
     
  6. outhere

    outhere Member

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    Ok thanks.

    So it's alright to list the domain name as 'for sale' on the main homepage of the website, even at the inflated price ... as long as I wasn't contacting big CompanyX directly. Is that right?
     
  7. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    No. It will weaken your case if you list the domain name as for sale. The best thing that you can do is set up a real website where the content is in no way related to the real-life company concerned. If the domain name could have a different meaning, then create a site about that different meaning. It must seem as though you created your site for a legitimate reason, so that you can demonstrate another valid use of the name if you were ever challenged. Don't put up anything that could be related back to the real company, and don't put up anything that the company could take offence at, e.g. links to its competitors, or unsuitable content that might bring its name into disrepute.

    Then cross your fingers and wait for that e-mail or phone call (obviously make sure you have your contact details on the site!!!)

    This does not constitute legal advice and DYOR etc etc

    All the best

    Accelerator
     
  8. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Correct, don't approach the company, let them contact you if they want the domain.

    If you have run a legitimate website and own the trademark that proves you have valid claim to the domain and can't be challenged for using it. However, I reckon you could jeopardise this if you offer to sell it to the other company.

    Well, if it's a brand name (and not a generic term), I guess it is only of value to them, so you have to wait for their approach and see what they offer. Then you can start your negotiation. Here's some useful information:

    http://www.dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm

    Try and get hold of an annual report for the company, and see what you can gain from that. See if you can find a figure for what they spend on advertising and use this to set your sights. Like you say, if it's a multi-billion operation, you can set your figures accordingly ;) Just get the negotiation process going and don't be afraid to play hard ball. I haven't tried it but I believe companies such as http://www.sedo.co.uk offer a negotiation service for cherished domains, and if you aren't confident in your abilities it might be worth investigating services such as these.

    This is not legal advice, DYOR etc etc

    Good luck

    Accelerator
     
  9. paymatters United Kingdom

    paymatters Active Member

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    Is the company name a generic name?
     
  10. olebean

    olebean Well-Known Member

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    I must agree with the previous posts.

    One of my original domains, I offered for sale to a accountant recruitment agency in London. They offered me reg fees then became abusive and threatened me, and I don't mean just legally.

    They backed off when I informed them that they could not nab the domains off me legally when I informed them that the names are those of my children, and I had informed the police about the activities of the individual that had threatened me.

    Needless to say the sale didnt go through and I still get their emails.
     
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