The Power Of Domain Names

gtldsThis is the power of domain names that some people don’t understand or pretend not to understand.

I got an inquiry for one of my domain names, AthensTaxi.com, the other day. Now that I also own AthensTaxi.gr, I can write the story.

I replied to the inquiry with what seemed to me a modest quote only to be counter offered with “Actually we don’t have so much money.What about 50€?”.

Really? 50€ for a domain name registered in 2004 that will make you at least 50€ more in a week for a single taxi?

No, thanks. This is actually an insult. Because either you have no idea what domain names are worth and what value they can bring to your business or you didn’t have any money but decided to inquire nevertheless and waste my time.

Or you know the value of the domain but you were looking for an owner that is part of a charity or stupid enough to sell you this domain for 50€ and lose some money in the process.

This is the equivalent of me coming to your taxi and offering you 100€ for your car and taxi license. I bet that if did that you would tell me to f**k off or threaten me.

But this happens daily with thousands of inquiries. Maybe domain name owners should start responding either by swearing or by educating “buyers”. I am not sure what is best because 99% of the “buyer’s” think they know what they are talking about despite referring to a domain name as an IP address or similar.

I know that taxi licenses are worth thousands here in Greece and together with a car will set you back at least 50,000 Euro just to get started. And you want to spend 50 Euro for your domain name? A domain name that will easily bring you 10 Euro of pure profit per day. And this is really a very low end estimation.

Taxis are big business in Athens. Especially with the 20 million tourists that arrive in Greece every year. The fare from Athens airport to Athens centre is: Day time (05:00-24:00) 35 € and Night time (24:00-05:00) 50 €. There are 14,000 licensed taxis in Athens.

And of course this 10 Euro estimation is for a single taxi owner. I did a very brief google search and found a company with a taxi fleet of 270 cars. They are using athens-taxi.gr and radiotaxiikaros.gr. There are a lot of companies in this size. What would you think a tourist will more likely visit? A bad .gr that will probably don’t know it exists as an extension or a .com?

Just imagine a small 1% increase in profit per day per car using this domain name. That would be 1 Euro times 365 day times 270 cars: 98,550 Euro. This is about 100k increase in profit. Now that I did the calculations maybe I am not asking enough for the domain name…

Athens-taxi

Imagine this domain name on hundreds of taxis in Athens.

This domain was just an example to explain what is the power of domains that a lot of people don’t understand or pretend not to understand. And if they don’t then they will fail.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

26 comments

  1. That’s the most common experience, isn’t it? Getting unrealistically low offers – low enough to be insulting. Back when I was still using DomainNameSales, the amounts were absurd – $20, $5, possibly as high as $100, even $1. My favorite was an offer measured in pennies: $1.99.

    For all my comments on domain blogs, most of my daily discussions about domains are with non-domainers – outsiders who usually don’t understand the value of domain names in today’s market. So I’m comfortable being patient and giving that first explanation about value, supplying links to verifiable sales data, etc.

    But when it comes to people submitting low-ball offers, I find half of them react with willful ignorance. Rather than raise their price expectations or at least say thanks for pointing them toward informational resources, many of these individuals get nasty. Their sense of entitlement is offended by real-world prices they regard as too high. They call us scammers, squatters, and thieves. Tell us we’re idiots who will burn in hell, and so forth. If we’re firm, then they complain to the website about us as if we’re minimum-wage customer service employees obliged to humor their whims.

    Uninformed buyers will come along. At this point, I’m willing to educate them if they’re willing to be educated. But if they can’t be bothered to adjust their $21 offers or thank me for my time (which amounts to roughly $50 per hour in average renewal fee bills), then they don’t deserve respect.

    • When you have paid $6,000 or even $10 some 10 years ago it is still insulting.
      Like offering $100 for a Picasso just because it was worth that 50 years ago.

    • I also use DomainNameSales and am disgusted with not only all the insulting low ball offers, but that half the inquiries have no offer and not even any message that it is even a purchase inquiry at all. What sales platform did you move to?

      • @Kevin,

        Currently parking at Afternic and Sedo for the mot part. My domains were already listed at those platforms, but in the old days I parked the majority at DomainNameSales. A large percentage of inquiries always come from the domain itself. Since shifting parking away from DomainNameSales, I have seen a noticeable increase in qualified opening offers, negotiated sales, and BIN sales.

  2. As I have mentioned before, domains as brands are still years away from reaching mass acceptance. Thus, rather than comparing domains to real estate, they are often viewed as trivial but necessary $xx costs to launch a website (like a hosting account).

    Here in West Palm Beach it seems to be a frequent occurrence to have restaurants, retail outlets and even a bookstore close down – then a new store or restaurant opens up in the same location. There is ample traffic in the area but rents are high making it difficult to stay in business if the business is not managed well.

    Meanwhile companies will spend five figures on website development costs and five figures on advertising but cannot budget more than $xx for the domain name which will represent their company for the next several years. Hmm…

  3. J.P. made some very valid points which is exactly why we’ve tried to (more recently) buy what we at least feel may beomce “Institutional” quality names re HavanaBrands.com etc.among others in an effort to deal with companies that can see major league value from a name. That said we own a well known city “auto”.com and on a smaller scale the right person in the car business could build an entire company around this name that lasts a lifetime. I believe it’s simply a matter of education as in the case of AthensTaxi.com – of course you have to have the patience for that and we don’t so we’ll keep looking for those future “instituional’ quality names.

  4. FS wants $37k for tarifas .com 😀

  5. Creation Date:23-09-2015
    Expiration Date:22-09-2017

    Did you hand register AthensTaxi.gr ?!?

      • It does not have anything to do with this post, but can you explain please how .gr are managed? I mean, I checked some .gr domains on nic.gr and I didn’t see any data about the registrant, nothing, not even the email or the name. Complete Whois privacy given by default?

      • That is correct. If you want to know who owns a domain you need to get a court order or file a complaint and pay the arbitration fee. Not a great system… They make it hard for sellers too. It is not just the default. It is mandatory.

      • At least it doesn’t require approval by the Archbishop!

        I bought a .GR in the aftermarket almost 10 years ago, via Sedo. It required the exchange of signed papers between seller and buyer.

      • This is still the case. Paperwork, signatures, stamps, photocopies of IDs, official company documents and if you lucky and the moon is right you might transfer a domain to its new registrant.

  6. It is sad how domain names are undervalued and I’ve gotten ridiculous low-ball offers as well.

    I try educating the buyers as best I can.

    It may not be worth the time in all cases, but i’d rather have the buyer look at the business benefits, how other companies use domains, comparative sales, etc and then have them refuse.

    At least they know that others/the market values domains much higher than they do and it’s not some delusional domain owner.

  7. There is a third reason for counter offering a low price. That is to purely insult the domain owner and get some psychological satisfaction from insulting him/her. There are a lot out there.

  8. athenstaxicab.com and athenstaxicabs.com are available to register if you’re interested.

  9. You are right, people like to play dumb or simply do not understand the power of the domain name. They fail to realize that the domain name they choose is a huge part of their brand too, not just for aesthetics and keywords (if they chose a keyword domain).

  10. After reading several thousand complaints about joe.public not understanding the value of
    NAMES it would be reasonable to suggest a rebranding of the industry to PROPERTY which is more fitting to value. joe.public would have a better understanding with re-branding.
    20+ years and the industry still has a problem with educating joe.public
    There are several thousand examples of owners upgrading to better NAMES.
    It’s time the industry apply it’s own advise. A very simple modification to improve perception by the joe.public that “just doesn’t understand”

  11. I had a similar experience last week. Low ball $20 offer for a domain that I could easily get 4 figures for and possibly even 5 figures. My first reply was to say we are miles apart in our valuations, then I didn’t hear from him for a few days after which he came back again ‘upping’ his offer to a mighty $40! This time I ignored him, but another few days past and he emailed me again asking what I thought of his ‘offer’. So I told him I didn’t think it was worth wasting time negotiating and he came back again asking for my price. And I haven’t heard since…

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