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Choice domain names pitched as investments

Joab Jackson | Aug. 19, 2010
Stocks.com, alcohol.com and others to be auction off Wednesday, possibly bringing in millions

In May, the company sold Slots.com for $5.5 million, and dating.com for $1.75 million, both on the same day. On Tuesday, the company sold a set of t-shirt related domain names (Tshirt.com, T-shirt.com, T-shirts.com, Tee-shirts.com) for $1.265 million.

The company also offers a set of management services for other domain name brokers, including appraisals and escrow services.

Thus far, the company has held about 10 auctions over the past four years. This week's auction will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. eastern time. Bids can also be submitted online, via a simulcast. A live caller, who has auctioned homes, cattle and all manner of other physical assets, will oversee the proceedings.

"The benefit of the live action is to allow everyone in the room, and on the Internet, to immediately know the value of a domain name through the auction process," Kupietzky said. The reserve, or the minimum bidding price, for the highest profile names, such as stocks.com, will likely start at $1 million or more.

Bidders are required to preregister, so Oversee.net can check to see if they have the financial wherewithal to purchase a name. Through a partner, Oversee.net can offer financing for up to 80 percent of the cost of the name, using the name as collateral.

Some of the domain names will also come with complete businesses as well. "We're seeing a model where the domain name has all the value and [the business] just comes with it," said Kupietzky.

"Think of it like commercial real estate. If I sold you a property on Columbus Circle in New York, there may be an old apartment building on it. While you know the apartment building brings in some rent, the real value is the location. Ultimately, you will tear that down and build a much more expensive property," he said.

 

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