Fashion.com going up for auction

It has been announced that the domain name fashion.com will be sold at auction this autumn. The announcement was made on the final day of Paris Fashion Week.

“With the worldwide race in online fashion, I would expect fashion.com to attract a lot of interest from giant retailers and well-known brands, along with successful smaller players and new entrants looking for a competitive edge,” said Karine Kugler, CEO of The Three Marketers, a firm specializing in Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing. “As a result,” Kugler concluded, “this could be one of the highest prices ever paid for a domain. Fashion.com is a rare one: iconic, highly memorable and easily searched. It should generate strong sales numbers while saving its buyer millions in sales and marketing costs.”

Dozens of companies and individuals have made cash offers to buy fashion.com over the past 25 years, according to Peter Johnston, the international business advisor who represents the domain’s three owners; in 1994, the trio was working on a fashion project and searched for a domain that might meet their needs. They discovered fashion.com was unclaimed and bought it. After plans for their project changed, the domain sat unused.

In the decades since, the fashion industry has exploded worldwide, reaching an estimated $2 trillion in annual value, with online sales leading the way and set to increase to $700 billion by 2022.

“The owners of fashion.com have decided that a formal bidding process is the best way to systematically and fairly address interest from so many parties around the globe,” said Johnston. “This approach ensures that all those wanting to acquire the domain will be given an opportunity to do so.”

To account for the fact that some buyers are sensitive about the amount of their winning bids being made public, the auction for fashion.com will incorporate both private bidding, beginning October 24th, and as necessary, a public auction scheduled for November 21st. Registration for all bidders opens October 10th.

Official service providers include Escrow.com, and Auction-Experts, which will oversee the auction and related technology.

Auction services provided by: Auction-Experts, Amsterdam

Escrow services provided by: Escrow.com, San Francisco

For further information: go to www.fashion.com or contact PeterJohnston@nailimited.com.

AUCTION OVERVIEW

To systematically and fairly address interest from so many wide-ranging parties around the globe, it has been agreed by the owners of fashion.com that a formal bidding process will be used to determine the domain’s appropriate cash value—while ensuring that all those interested in acquiring fashion.com will have an opportunity to own it.

To account for the fact that some buyers are sensitive about the amount of their winning bids being made public, the auction for fashion.com will incorporate both private bidding, beginning October 24th, and as necessary, a public auction scheduled for November 21st.

Official service providers for the auction process include San Francisco-based Escrow.com and the pioneering Dutch online auction firm Auction-Experts (www.auction-experts.com), which will conduct and oversee the auction.

Please note that all details on this page are unofficial descriptions of the bidding process for fashion.com, with the official rules to be formally detailed as part of the bidding registration process which begins October 10th.​

PRIVATE BIDDING PHASE

  • The private bidding process will be conducted as follows: those interested in acquiring the domain can visit fashion.com beginning Thursday, October 10th, 2019 at 2 PM EST to register as a bidder through links here at fashion.com.

  • Registration will include bidders supplying basic credentials to confirm their identity, along with a nominal $25,000 down payment to be held by Escrow.com. This payment will be non-refundable for the winner of the overall bidding process but will be refunded to all other bidders once a winner has been announced.

  • Bidding will begin on Thursday, October 24th at 2 PM EST, with pre-qualified, registered bidders being able to enter a single private bid online per organization/individual. The bidding process will be conducted by the auction firm Auction-Experts, based in Amsterdam. After the private bidding begins, any bid that meets or exceeds the domain’s Buy It Now price becomes the winning bid—assuming this bid is higher than all other private bids submitted as of 11 PM EST on the day that a successful Buy It Now bid is first submitted. The domain’s Buy It Now price will be shared confidentially in writing with an arm’s length third-party before the bidding begins. Each bidder is limited to one private bid in total. There will be no opportunity to increase your bid against other bidders as all bids are confidential. At the end of the private bidding phase, even if the highest price is below the Buy It Now price, the seller reserves the right to accept the highest private bid.

  • Funds due for a winning bid must be received in escrow within five (5) business days of the winner being notified. Once funds have been received and the transfer of the domain to the winner has been completed, other bidders will be informed that the domain is no longer available. Details regarding the winner’s identity and the amount to be paid will remain confidential and subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”) between the seller and the buyer.

  • Any winner must satisfy the buyer criteria detailed during the registration process.

  • If no private bid is deemed a winner during the private bidding phase, all private bids will remain binding and confidential and carry over to the public phase of the auction. Bidders are still eligible to win if their bid is the highest private bid and higher than the top public auction price. There is no Buy It Now mechanism for the public auction.

  • Private bidding closes at 11 PM EST on Thursday, November 7th, 2019.

PUBLIC AUCTION PHASE

  • If there is no winning private bid, the highest price resulting from the public auction on Thursday, November 21st will be compared to the highest private bid, with the higher of these two bidders becoming the new owner of fashion.com.

  • Private bidders are automatically eligible to make additional bids in the public auction with their existing credentials, giving them the flexibility to bid if their private bid is surpassed at any point and they still want the opportunity to keep bidding. In such cases, bidders recognize that their identity and the amount they’ve paid may naturally become known through their use of the fashion.com domain if they do indeed win. The seller, however, will not publicly identify the winning bidder unless this is agreed between the buyer and seller, or the winning bidder defaults on their commitment to purchase the domain as promised.

  • The public auction will be an ascending price auction, whereby Auction-Experts in Holland will begin online bidding at a given level, with each subsequent electronic bid required to be higher than the previous bid by a minimum increment—until no participant chooses to bid higher. If a bidder wanting to participate in the public auction has not registered for the private bidding process, they must be fully registered for the public auction before 11 PM EST on Monday, November 18th in order to be eligible.

  • The public auction will begin at 2 PM EST on Thursday, November 21st. It is initially scheduled to last an hour, with any bids received during the final ten (10) minutes of the auction’s end automatically extending the auction for another twenty (20) minutes to allow for further bidding, with multiple extensions possible until bidders no longer continue to bid.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE WINNER

  • The highest price in the public auction will be compared to the highest price from the private bidding with the higher of these two prices being declared the winner, assuming this winning bid is at or above the Reservation Price set confidentially in writing by the sellers with an arm’s length third-party prior to the commencement of the public auction. For any highest price below this Reservation Price—the minimum acceptable price—the owners reserve the right not to sell. If there were a tie between the top private and public prices, the two bidders will be asked to submit additional bids until the tie is broken.

PAYMENT, CLOSING & ESCROW

  • The domain will be placed in escrow with Escrow.com in order to facilitate its transfer to the winning bidder.

  • The winning bidder will transfer funds within five (5) business days to Escrow.com. If these funds are not submitted by the deadline, the seller has the right to award the domain to the second-place bidder, to not sell, or to sell through other means, including the possibility of another auction.

  • It is assumed that the winning bid amount will be paid in its entirety through a single payment to the seller by any successful bidder. However, if, at the seller’s sole discretion, the winning bidder as a counterpart represents an acceptable credit risk, the seller may accept payment over a maximum of three (3) years while ensuring all appropriate protections are in place against defaults.

  • The seller will provide all deal documentation (agreements) related to the transaction.

  • The domain is being sold as is, without any representations as to trademarks or any competing intellectual property claims. The sellers know of no reason why the domain cannot be sold and used as is, but it is left entirely to any potential buyer or buyer to ensure proper due diligence has been performed in this respect.

  • Any applicable sales taxes will be the buyer’s responsibility and expense, along with all costs associated with services provided by Escrow.com.

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About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

9 comments

  1. What should happen: 8 figure minimum

    What (realistically) happen: 8 figures

    What is it actually worth to the top end users who could easily afford it? Minimum of 9 figures

    What would be a complete travesty: 7 figures

    One of the most commercially valuable domains in the world. And I’m the proponent of truth in domaining who will always tell you when a one word domain is worth far less than domains with 2, 3, 4 and even sometimes more.

    Had it not been for the lack of truth in domaining by so many cynical dog-eat-dog domainers shooting themselves and everyone else in the foot, 9 figures would actually be a realistic expectation now.

  2. There won’t be a buyers beyond very low 7 figures in my view, $1million-$2million. Very unlikely to be enduser interest in this, doesn’t have a strong business case beyond some kind of blog or news site.

    9 figures etc is nonsense talk.

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