Don't Develop a non .com Domain
I'm going to share with you a loose/loose/loose broker deal... and it's not my fault :-)
A business owner came to me a while back with a dilemma. He developed his business on a generic
city + industry .net geodomain.
What I call a city + industry geodomain is a geodomain that is a city (say Boston) and an
industry (say Lawyers) so BostonLawyers.com (but this is not the domain name, just an example).
So, he spent lots of time and money building a company at (example) BostonLawyers.net. He
had tried in the past to get the .com but it was never easily available. He told me that he knew that he would
want and need the .com someday but he kept putting it off... until he found me. We talked and I gave him some
tempered encouragement but since I knew the owner, I didn't think it would be easy... or cheap.
He was noticeably passionate about getting the .com and had a decent budget to acquire the domain. He
always felt the .com was "his" domain since he was the only person developing any BostonLaywers.whatever
I knew right away that there were several obstacles.
1. The owner of the .com domain is well known in the domain industry and is not known to be a seller of
2. IF I could even bring this person to the negotiating table, the price would be high especially since he
probably already knew about my client's domain and successful company.
3. My client's success has increased the traffic and revenue to the .com.
So, I decide to take on the client in hopes that maybe I could appeal to a "brother" in the industry and to his
sense of decency knowing that my client is running a successful business and that the traffic and
revenue of the .com has only increased due to my client's hard work.
I was very upfront with the owner from the very beginning. I told him about my client's .net domain, business
model, history, etc.
I am able to get my "brother" to the table after many weeks of trying to make a long story short. I wish I could
give you all the back and forth but I can't.
The owner seemed interested to make some sort of deal work but he was unrealistic in his pricing, unrealistic in
his options and honestly seemed to be fudging the traffic and revenue numbers.
I was, and still am, very disappointed in my domain industry brother for his lack of understanding and
I know he's not obligated to be realistic and could simply have said the domain is not for sale but why are we
in this business? We're in it to make money now and in the future. We're in it to get the maximum value out of our
investments.Well, negotiations went on for a couple months. My client was always positive and moving in the
owner's favor with higher offers. I was always positive with both parties even during times when one was not happy
with the other.
So, the owner will enjoy the bleed from the .net traffic but I doubt anyone will ever be interested in his
.com (not a BostonLawyers.com, this domain is a much smaller industry niche) ever again.
My client is so disappointed knowing that he cannot ever get the .com that he is now planning to relaunch on a
.com. The transition will take him about three months and he will probably lose some search engine placement but he
is a very local company so word of mouth and local advertising bring in most of his business.
Then, the traffic to the .com will die and the owner will have lost his only buyer. All because the owner was
unrealistic, yes I will say selfish too. The owner has lost my respect too because of the way he handled this.
So, the owner loses.
The owner of the .net business loses... temporarily until he rebuilds on a .com
The broker loses.
Not all domain broker stories have a happy ending.