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Retired geezer geek
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Hi Rick, I'm that guy that wanders around TRAFFIC with badges of my pretty-darn-good names (,,,,, I'm also one of those cranky old geezers that just keeps holding on to their names. :-) This is a great discussion and reaffirms some of the things that have kept me holding the names rather than selling them off. I'd like to reinforce a few points … You said "If you want end user prices you need to go to that industry and have that auction." Yup! Especially for one-word generics like mine. There's an important choice to make before doing that though -- you need to identify which industry is the best one to take the name to. For example -- is better sold to the "have a beer" vertical or the "get legal services" vertical? How does that research get done? How is the decision made? Tricky, but very important. Kevin said "the fatal flaw is simply the mismatch between the sellers price objectives and the financial resources of the audience" and "very few, if any, end users are ever going to show up at domain conference auctions." Yup! That's the flip side of the earlier point. This isn't necessarily a Bad Thing, it actually helps narrow the focus of the auction (to domain-investor buyers and the sellers who want to reach them). A narrow focus can be a very good thing indeed. Aggro said "Some of these guys are nearing 60 -- They ain't immortal - they need to eventually cash out while they can." Amen! Some of us are *over* 60. The clock is ticking fersure. But that's also an important demographic and psychographic datum. This is probably pretty close to the last shot for us geezers -- we ARE worried about converting these things to cash before we die. So we're being irresponsible to our families if we don't get the best prices for our names. If you're a broker, don't beat me up for my "unreasonable price expectations" -- I'm being reasonable, given my circumstance. You said "The flippers are the ones that domains should be at auction. They are happy with their markup and the domain investor still has enough upside to buy." Yup! More confirmation that the auction-focus should be on domain-investor sellers and buyers. I also agree with the $10k to $100k sweet spot that emerges down-thread. I'd lean away from the high-6/low-7-figure names -- for a lot of the reasons that others have stated -- buyers aren't there, domain-investors can't write checks that big, etc. In my view, these auctions aren't the right way (or place) to sell names like mine. Rich said it well "Successful brokers/auctions need to be run by brokers who: a) understand the marketing/branding departments of large and medium size organizations, b) have developed connections within these organizations, c) have developed the ability to create bidding action between multiple organizations for a single name. This does not exist at this time." Yup! But with a caveat -- I think Rich's point is right on when it comes to super-premium names. But if I read the tea leaves right, that's not the focus of this auction. My suggestion would be to make this clear right from the start. I think this kind of auction could be very successful if it's aimed at the domain-investor who's trying to buy/sell in that $10/100k range -- because transactions of that size can't support the cost of the kind of campaign Rich is describing. Rich also said "I doubt there are many owners of truly premium domain names that are under distress." Yup! Those of us that are left are pretty comfortable -- the distressed folks have already sold. That's another important piece of marketing data for the community -- us geezers don't need the money, we can afford to wait until the kind of broker Rich is describing actually emerges. To sum up -- I like where you're headed. I'd lobby for that narrower focus rather than trying to pull in folks like me and the end-users we want to sell to. An auction with a boatload of $10-100k transactions would be completely nifty.
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Feb 14, 2011