A couple weeks ago, my colleague Mike McConville brokered the domain iFunding.com to the previously branded iFunding.co; we will not be disclosing price in this article.
The Value . . .
I have said it before, and I will say it again: brands sell. Domains with the prefix “i” carry an inherit value, and we can largely thank Apple for that. The suffix, “funding” relates to the field of finance. Short .com domains in the financial category have historically sold for exceptionally high prices.
The previous Owner of iFunding.com was actually using it as the core domain of their business. When you arrive in situations like this, the amount a domain can sell for varies greatly. The typical market valuations that may exist on a “for sale” domain do not necessarily apply. In this case, as is common, there were switching costs for the Seller. This, coupled with the actual value of the domain, is what ultimately determined its price.
Why They Needed This
Now, I’m not saying that you can’t ever use a .co for your brand, but there are situations where you definitely shouldn’t. First and foremost, if you’re deciding to go with a .co because the .com is in use by another company, pick a different brand.
If you are going to use a .co, make sure you also own the .com and other relevant extensions. Otherwise, you may wind up in a similar situation. When setting up email addresses for a company, it’s a rather common practice to create what’s called a catch-all email. In short, this means all emails directed to a domain are received. This helps to avoid losing emails due to misspelling.
The Owners of iFunding.com did this very thing. Messages that were intended to be sent to the .co were actually being received by the .com due to a mistype on the actual domain. The birthday invitations paled in comparison to the key financial documents lost to the wrong recipient.
In addition, people internally at the .co were mistakenly messaging and cc’ing one another on the .com. A few times, they accidentally sent tweets directing consumers to visit their brand, at the .com.
At this point it was clear this was not a nice to have but a must have.
Remove the Emotion
Situations like this can bring out a lot of emotion in all parties involved. I highly recommend that if you’re in a similar situation you hire a broker to guide and advise you. The overall time saved and proper guidance will more than justify the fee.
Mike explains it this way:
“The Buyer felt like they were being held hostage by a squatter, which wasn’t the case. They were so angry at their own mistake of not owning the .com they couldn’t and wouldn’t rationally negotiate.”
“The Seller was insulted and felt mistreated while they were trying to resolve a major business problem forwarding emails. Ultimately they became so angry with the Buyer they couldn’t negotiate fairly either.
Reaching a Deal
“Both the Buyer and the Seller were so frustrated and exasperated by the email situation; neither could reasonably look at making a fair deal. It took someone able to remove the emotion from communication on both sides to help them find a middle ground.”
Having a proper digital strategy in a place from day one is crucial. Taking the time to research and make intelligent decisions will save time and money in the not so distant future. There are a wealth of great brokerage firms out there that can provide assistance. Whether it be Igloo, NameCorp, DomainNamesSales, eNaming, MediaOptions, or us at DomainHoldings. We’re more than happy and qualified to advise and assist.