Inside Rick’s $1.35MM eBet.com Sale

Morning Folks!!

I am now able to release the domain name I sold and the details behind it. The domain is eBet.com. Hand registered by me in 1996.

Here is the play by play anatomy of this sale for whatever it may or may not be worth.

The deal was agreed to on September 16th.

Network Solutions contacted me on August 29th with a $50,000 offer. I did not think anything of it as I get these all the time.

I countered at $1.8M and went about my business.

On September 3rd voila the buyer comes back at $1MM

The day after Labor Day and the day I have been pointing to all summer. Talk about a ship coming in on time!

Here are just 2 of those INTENSE posts I made pointing to labor day and what was to come after!

http://www.ricksblog.com/2013/09/my-first-few-days-in-domains-1995-1996-alone-then-the-gold-rush-of-1998/

http://www.ricksblog.com/2013/08/domain-industry-fire-sale-what-happened-to-domaining/

So, I thought about it for 45 minutes and countered at $1.6MM if it were all cash.

A week passes. No biggie. I expect it to take some time. The buyer may even be pissed since I passed on $1MM. But I can't control that, they will just have to get over it.

On Friday September 6th the buyer counters at $1.1MM

30 minutes later I think I can either go tit for tat and go down to $1.5MM or I can give them an opportunity to SAY YES!

So I think, how to get that number where I can live with and at the same time they can live with.

So I counter at $1.35MM and that was my final offer.

I hear nothing until the following Friday. September 16th.

They accept the offer!

It really does not matter that I hand registered eBet.com in 1996 for $100. It is the value today, tomorrow and more importantly, the value to the buyer which will play a role in transforming their company and online business.

Now I know the next thing is everyone starts pointing to 4 letter domains. Sorry, has nothing to do with 4 letters. Has to do with a 3 letter WORD and a prefix related to the Internet. The word being commercial and referencing a high number and high profit industry.

So now I have two sales in the $1.3MM range and I have two sales in excess of $3 Million plus lifetime royalties. I believe this is sale #20. And I am working on sale #21. It is just a 6 figure deal but on another hand registered domain. Details next month.

When do I sell? When the domain name is ripe. When is it ripe? When the right buyer comes along.

I believe I will have 2 more 7 figure domain sales within the year. One more possibly this year. In 2003 it was a very big deal. Today, no big deal at all. Commonplace and becoming more common and more acceptable.

All I can do is share the path and the story. Nothing more, nothing less.

As for NDA, there is none and it was never discussed. Had it been, I would have walked from the deal before I would have agreed to a non-disclosure. Men.com, Candy.com, Property.com, eBet.com are the building blocks not just for me, but for many. From 1995-2003 it was all theory. From 2003 to 2013 it has been solid evidence. Like I said, now common place. It may not even be one of the top 10 sales of the year by the time it is all said and done. And of course the domains under non-disclosure alone probably dwarf all the public sales listed.

Rick Schwartz

 

 



69 thoughts on “Inside Rick’s $1.35MM eBet.com Sale

  1. UFO

    $1.35m is actually cheap if you consider all the money these bookmakers put into physical retail space and online is the most profitable of the lot. It costs a couple of hundred k to have a shop with staff in it for a year… so whats a million for global reach and branding? peanuts.

    Reply
  2. sem

    Rick, congrats.

    It is so true. A great word with an internet prefix. The “e” will always be big. Awesome

    Reply
  3. sem

    In terms of the industry you sold to, I’m surprised you gave them such a bargain. When you consider eFlowers.com sold for 1 mill. back in 2003, I think they got a pretty good deal.

    Reply
  4. Tom Runyon

    Rick,
    Congrats!
    Pay no attention to those saying you sold too low. I don’t think any of them had a domain deal like that. good job.

    Reply
  5. Robbie

    Tom don’t get your panties ruffled, with online gaming going legal and live in the US now, and Rick always preaching about the importance of holding onto something that is still to be fully appreciated, some of us find this pricing logic contradicting to a degree…

    Reply
  6. Ramahn

    Rick you talk a lot about finding the right buyer(s) for names. How much of “getting to know” the buyer goes on during the negotiations of these deals? For this deal, did you “check this buyer out”? Did you/do you care about what the name will be used for? I get the feeling this wasn’t a candy.com type of deal.

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing the details.

    Reply
  7. Jeff Edelman

    Way to go, Rick, and thanks for all the details. I’m already psyched to hear about your next 7 figure deal. Congrats. I also agree that these deals are commonplace now because as you point out, the number of deals done in non-disclosure dwarf the number of deals that get publicly disclosed. Furthermore, many of the very best domains that change hands now are domains that have developed websites on them. In many cases, they are really domain sales because the overwhelming value of the deal is in the domain itself and the buyer may be buying the domain to use in a completely different way than it is being used now. However, now that we’re in 2013, if you own one of the best domains, you will have likely developed it in some form by now.

    Reply
  8. Homero A. Gonzalez

    Rick, Thank you for sharing the details. Congratulations again!. Keep up the good work!! :-)!!

    Reply
  9. Jacek

    Inspired by Rick’s story I’ve just hand registered eIntercourse.com which I’ll use for …. (don’t know yet)

    Reply
  10. Leonard Britt

    Congrats on the conviction (other words could be used :) ) to turn down a $1 million offer. Great sale and thanks for reporting.

    Reply
    1. Homero A. Gonzalez

      Owen, in the USA, yes. New Jersey is following Nevada’s lead. In Spain they have been selling Online lottery tickets for several years now… You can eBet.com that online gambling and Lottery Playing Online in the USA will become a HUGE Business, its a matter of time.

      Reply
  11. Red

    They wasted their money big time…e is so yesterday. Congrats to you on your sale and thank you so much for explaining the deal in such detail. They are not making .com real estate anymore so your high value philosophy is right on…just not this domain…

    Reply
  12. Pat W

    Fantastic deal Rick & Dynamite Domain Name — ebet.com — Unbelievable but True great counter offers on your side first at a $50K Bet — then to a $ 1.1 Million Bet & a $1.5 Million Bet — it is “Nerves of Steel or Titanium” — and is definitely one or the other — also like you said in many ways there is that one (or very few) Dot-Com category killer’s that big business execs & owners and leaders could not seem to understand or figure it out (and still can not) until it is to late and extremely expensive and with little room to bargain with…
    This Very Smart Buyer for – ebet.com – Paid a Lot but still got a super great deal and the Upside Potential is a almost a sure thing because the Domain & Internet business in reality is still in the infant stages and growing fast Big Time and has no where to go But Up…
    Very vest to you and again thanks for sharing your incredible info…

    Reply
  13. Observer

    A product of 3 essential factors. Quality Domain, Seller’s Conviction, and Buyer’s Effective Demand. Congrats again.

    Reply
  14. UFO

    @Red

    Have you ever seen how much it costs to completely rebrand a decent sized company? More than that cost of that domain. ‘If it aint broke don’t fix it’. Trying to get another domain and rebrand and promote sounds like a lot of money down the toilet for what incremental uplift in takings? Not much, if any, or less.

    A domain isn’t valued what a domain appears to be worth, its worth what its worth to the entity that uses it, it could be worth tens of millions to one company and zero to another.

    Most gamblers are more interested in the concept that the firm will pay out and gives good odds. A bit ‘yesterday’ doesn’t work against them much in that respect. There’s quite a few large players around using similar type names, like bet365.com etc etc.

    Top draw names are getting near impossible to find, and even if you can find a willing seller they’ll want top dollar. The bookmaking industry is at the leading edge of digitial tech, it makes or breaks them now.

    Reply
  15. Red

    ohhh…the people who bought the domain were already using the brand? Kind of busy today so not focusing too much on this…if that is the case then yes the domain price was well worth it! I then agree.

    Reply
  16. Jeff Schneider

    @ UFO

    I Like your quote ” A domain isn’t valued what a domain appears to be worth, its worth what its worth to the entity that uses it, it could be worth tens of millions to one company and zero to another.

    The perfect sale is waiting for the eye of an interested beholder.

    Great display of Patience Rick!

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    Reply
  17. UFO

    This ‘I wager’ is the buyer. http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/companyInfo.do?by=asxCode&asxCode=EBT

    Probably should have stuck to 1.3m + 500k of shares.

    The stock price is on a roll and looks like their gearing up to launch themselves more globally. Looks like they have some IT platform developments etc. ebet.com puts all their stray URLs under one clear and concise banner. Think we’ll see the stock jump a bit Friday Aus time.. lets see…..

    Reply
  18. @Domains

    Congrats on another big sale. It is great you share the details of the negotiation back and forth so others can learn how these deals go down. Like the kind of time it takes between counter offers and how the price can move significantly from a first offer. Some people think ‘e’ domains are passe but ‘ebet’ has a good ring to it and makes a good gambling industry brand.

    Reply
  19. Anita

    Congrats Rick!! I’m curious to know how come you didn’t push for shares or stake in the domain (like some of your previous deals) seeing its obvious potential? Any particular reasons for the all cash deal preference?

    Reply
  20. LSM

    That’s a helluva domain name.
    I would’ve sold it for that price. Given the amount of money that sloshes around online gaming/sports betting, the improving regulation landscape and the immense gravity of that as a brand, it’s win/win. You got a million bucks cash, they got a legitimate million bucks worth of domain name.

    Reply
  21. Samit

    Congrats Rick, great sale.

    Just don’t know how many of us would have the cojones to walk away from a $1mm offer… or the domains to match, but it’s nice to know it’s possible.

    You said it right “Men.com, Candy.com, Property.com, eBet.com are the building blocks not just for me, but for many.”

    Reply
  22. NEIL

    Congrats, King Rick!
    The Sale was a Magic Symphony, from the beginning to the end…
    My eBetBet.com, 2Bet.me, 4Bet.me has to wait 17 years to be sold. Then, I will by the 2030 aventador. Kind Regards, Neil@NuggetSales.com

    Reply
  23. NEIL

    Rick,
    I insist asking you please to think about writing a book, about your Magic Success Stories.
    Your book will be a best seller, 1Bet.me…
    Good Luck! Kind regards, Neil

    Reply
  24. UFO

    Yes, I’ve said that before, there are so many interesting characters in this industry that it would be easy to write a book with a chapter to various people and how they went fishing and caught whales.

    Just need a ghost writer to basically write up what you all reel off.

    I can just imagine seeing it in the ‘investing’ section of bookshops… people will be curious, people making so much money off domain names…

    Domains are so connected to business that there’s loads of business logic and strategy that can be intertwined. Would be definitely a good read if done properly.

    Reply
  25. Mark Bradford

    Congrats Rick! I can’t imagine getting a deal up from 50K to over a million. That’s incredible!

    I’ve invested in some gambling domains myself, and have BET.DO (www.bet.do) available, for anyone who wants to take a gamble on an almost unknown domain extension. I market .DO domains as “The new worldwide .com for anything you can DO!” (A couple well-known .DO sites/apps are ANY.DO and LIFT.DO. I also have POKER.DO available :) Please forgive the pitch!

    Reply
  26. LSM

    That comment was for Mark Bradford and his selling “.do’s” in the context of a post discussing the seven figure sale of eBet.com.

    Reply
  27. Mike

    Awesome, Rick! Congratulations, once more. Thank you for sharing… Keep going towards the pinnacle…, domain King!

    Reply
  28. Richard L

    Congrats Rick! Deals happen but only an elite few share the details.

    As you say you are sharing the path and the story. It’s an inspiration and others should do the same more often (including me)

    .

    Reply
  29. Denis Grant

    Hello, does rick do appraisals on domain names? I have a few and i need some advice on pricing, and he seems to be the man who knows what hes talking about. If anybody knows drop me a message thank you.

    Reply
  30. Denis

    Does rick do appraisals on domains? He knows what hes talking about. Let me know folks, thanks

    Reply

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