Fuller Moehagen is not a full time domain investor. He merely plays around with them but he has a story that I thought was pretty good. He recently sold Kanye West WatchTheThrone.com for $12,000. I’m not sure which would be more fun, getting the money or getting to negotiate with Kanye West on a price. I was going to tell the story but I think Fuller tells it so well I’ll just let him put it in his own words.
Back in August of 2010, Kanye West posted this tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/kanyewest/status/22302385486
I’m a huge fan, so I was following him while dabbling in domain purchasing here and there. I thought…”wow, Jay-Z and Kanye, arguably two of the biggest rappers…actually, music artists, in the world…this album is going to be huge.” Immediately after reading the tweet I went to watchthethrone.com thinking they might have posted a preview track or teaser video of some kind. Nope. Blank page. I was sort of shocked. So I went ahead and purchased it myself. Months went by and I nearly forgot that I owned the domain. I wasn’t trying to sell it at that point. Like I said, I was an amateur!
To be fair, nobody really knew if the album was actually going to come out. It wasn’t actually confirmed anywhere at this point. The release date would be announced and pushed back several times over. Then a video was released of Kanye and Jay-Z together at a party. With the single from the album, entitled “H.A.M.” blaring in the background, Kanye announces on the microphone that the record is complete. That same day I started getting emails from people asking me for the domain…which I had forwarding to my then clothing brand’s web site, called Early Grave. One guy even claimed he was starting a furniture company, specializing in thrones. Knowing he was full of it, I replied asking him for $100,000. Needless to say, he didn’t respond.
However, one message that did get through to me was from Don Crawley, Jr. The name sounded familiar. After a quick Google search, I found that it was Kanye’s best friend and manager. I explained the situation to Don, letting him know that I WANTED to sell to him and would ignore the other offers based on my own moral/business principles.
After initially asking for $15,000, Don said the best they could do was $12,000. We went back and forth on the phone ironing out the detail. In fact, at one point he was with Kanye in Abu-Dhabi and talking on the phone with me. It was pretty hilarious. For an amateur like myself, this was not too shabby. PLUS, this was a situation where Jay-Z or Kanye could have simply used “Kanyewest.com/Throne” or whatever. They didn’t really need this web site. In fact, for the first few months of having it they simply forwarded to Facebook. That being said, I didn’t want to get too greedy on my $7 investment.
The transaction came through in January 2011 through Escrow.com. I went ahead and attached a screenshot if you’d like to use it.
In terms of what I did with the money, sure I can tell you. First off, I gave $2,000 to my mother. The rest of it went into student loans, other various debts and some much needed maintenance/upgrades to my vehicle. One of my best friends got married soon after this all happened, so I spent a nice chunk of change on accommodations for a bachelor party weekend. Also, I’m originally from Wisconsin (I moved to Florida two years ago) – so I bought myself a plane ticket to fly up for the Super Bowl and completely surprised my family. It was great. All and all, I had some fun with the money and made good use of it.
I’m still buying domain names these days I am looking to sell nocalories.net and brain-potential.com as we speak, but I can’t say I’ve received anything as large as the Kanye deal. It definitely makes for a good story though…to those who believe me, at least!
Some may argue that he took advantage of Kanye’s lack of knowledge about getting a domain before talking about it, but I’m not sure that 99% of the people reading this story wouldn’t have done the same thing. Of course Kanye’s not one to hold to many things close to the chest either. For all we know his people said keep quiet for a few days while we get some legal done and get the domain, and he couldn’t hold back. Regardless, Kanye got what he needed for the price of a hotel room in Dubai and Fuller got to go the Superbowl and see his family. Sounds like a good story to me. For those “pictures or it didnt happen” here’s a screenshot of the escrow. Kanye’s rep’s name blacked out for privacy reasons.