Domain Spotlight:

It Should Have No Bearing On My Post Purchase Attitude…But it Does

I thought I’d share a funny story about what happened today.  A story that most of you might be able to relate to.  I was happy.  I bought a domain I really liked. Successor dot c o m.  I am a fifth generation owner of the business and have a daughter that is sixth and hopefully will join the business as well.  Succession and estate taxes are one of the most important and difficult things we deal with. I am a successor and loved the name.  I saw John Lee had it up for sale at Dnforum and it immediately caught my interest.

Like all buyers I came up with what I thought it was worth. Then I did some checks on Google and Namebio and saw that it had sold for $2600 at Namejet back in the early part of 2012.  I figured John had bought it and evidently was willing to take a loss.  I felt John had paid a fair price at the auction but considering I may be putting it up for sale I knew I couldn’t pay that price or even within 20%.  So I came up with what I thought was a good low price.  As he should, he negotiated back and I said no thank you, get back to me when you are interested.  The next day he agree to sell it at the price I offered.   I’m pretty excited. I like the name, I thought I got a good price and had confirmation that it was as compared to a recent auction.  All is well.

Today I get 4 emails congratulating me on the purchase of the name.  My first answer was “thank you”.  Then I got to thinking.   “Hey, I bought that in a private sale, how would anyone even know I just bought it?  I haven’t said anything except to one person who I bragged about my good buy”  I emailed back Andrew Alleman who was one of the emailers and asked how he knew about it.  He said it was on the Sedo/Afternic sales results yesterday.  So I took a look and sure enough.  Successor sold for $900.  A LOT less than what I paid for it.  Not half but close.  Little ‘ole John Lee acted like he was selling for a lot less but in reality, the person that bought it at auction had taken a bath or some other scenario that would let it go for $900.  He actually did VERY well with the sale to me.  The reason I got so many emails is that people saw the great price for the domain, looked to see who got it and my name is on the WHOIS.   They thought I got it for $900 and were emailing me to congratulate me.  What they were actually doing is making me feel like a fool.  But why should it?

It does because its human nature to be the person that gets the best deal.  When somebody gets a better deal than you it makes us upset.  If you bought a Ferrari that last year cost $100,000 and you bought it for $20K you would be excited.  That is until you hear that you could have gotten it for $10,000.   This is the case here.  I had no problem paying what I did. I think I can sell it for more in the near future. It’s a good name.  There is history saying that someone is willing to pay more.  But there is new history.  History that wasn’t public until I bought it.  This new history hurts the price and that’s the other thing that bothers me.  The public release of the recent sale now adds new price history that reduces its value to the general public.  I don’t think the real value went down but now everyone who is interested in buying it will see that sale and think that it must not be worth much more than that because it JUST sold for that cheap.

That’s the good and the bad of weekly sales list. I put them up every week so really have no problem with them.  They help us all determine value but also hurt because buyers often know exactly what we purchased the name for. It’s only that this week’s list hurt a little.  While it was nice to have people think that I made a hell of a buy, and I still think I did,  I just paid a little more than I had to.

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19 Replies to “It Should Have No Bearing On My Post Purchase Attitude…But it Does”

  1. To clarify, so he bought it for $900, then flipped it to you for significantly more. But the original $900 sale wasn’t made public until some time (presumably weeks/months) after you bought it from him ?

    Sh*tty feeling but like you say all that matters is whether or not you can turn a profit on the name. Then there will be 2 winners in the equation. And I’m sure I speak for most when I say that we appreciate your openness with your purchases/sales.

    1. M,
      Exactly. To be precise, the price was made public less than a week. Good for him and hopefully good for me down the road :). Thanks for the comment

  2. I’m glad M asked the question, because I didn’t have a clue. No offense, but this wasn’t very clear.

    1. Jason,


      I bought a name. Happy with price
      Happy because it sold at auction earlier in the year for much MORE than I paid
      Three days after a Sedo recent sales list come out with same domain on it for $900, much LESS than I paid
      Upset that somebody made good money selling domain to me when I could have had it much cheaper or waited three days and seen what he paid for it.


  3. You know there is a third possibility; there could be something more sinister at work, with the Sedo sale reportage? Did you verify if the Sedo sale in fact occurred? I’m just saying, you might have, unwittingly, uncovered something much much bigger here. Please verify if the Sedo sale happened simultaneously as your Forum sale…

  4. No offense here Shane but tell me if I am right or wrong that the only reason you put the sellers name “John Lee” in this story is to out him to everyone else because you think he did you wrong? There is no other clear reason to put his name in this story which I think is a bit unfair because you, I and everyone else would have clearly sold this name exactly the way John Lee did. I don’t even know this guy but I feel like I should defend him. Maybe I am reading the story wrong. Maybe.

  5. Shane,
    I could be wrong but I think most people
    can’t spell well.
    “Successor dot c o m” is difficult
    because of the question…how many c and how many s?

  6. Reminds me of the time I forgot about the end of an auction and paid more than double (in 5 figs) to get it from the new owner privately shortly thereafter. People researching the name in the future will only see the much lower public sale price.

  7. I agree with todd.

    Shane, I think you got a very good deal on the domain and when you say that you paid a little more than you had to, aren’t you presuming that the buyer would have sold it to you for less than he did?

    IMO this was a win-win for both seller and buyer.

  8. Let us know when you sell this name and for what price.

    That would certainly make for more interesting reading.

  9. Have faith in your own insight. Didn’t Rick Schwartz instantly pay some huge sum over what the last guy paid for

    I bought a 1961 Fender Stratocaster from a pawn shop for $5000, who you know had just bought it off some poor SOB for $1000, and wound up reselling it for *a lot* more than that not two weeks later.

  10. Could a similar situation have played out where the Dnforum seller listed it without yet owning it? i.e List for sale > negotiate with you > buy from Afternic > sell to you? That’s how I was afraid your story was going to end.

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