Sweetest Day in 14 Years! Many more to Come……

Morning Folks!!

I always had a vision that I would come to the table as a landowner by owning the domain name and I would hook up with a developer or end user and together we would make money. So on July 18th one more distant vision became a close reality. With the opening of Candy.com a new era has begun. Days of selling category killer domains for just cash is over. We have reached the point where an “Equity stake” will become common place. How do you find partners like that? By saying “no” an awful lot of times. No to this, no to that and no to everything in between. Candy.com joins Property.com as a non-ending sale.

Candy.com represents something special as together we will watch this most basic of domain names blossom into a major powerhouse. Melville Candy Company has been in business for some 38 years. However it was July 18th that will be the day of their re-birth. In the same month that Hershey’s decided to put their tale between their legs and close their online operation, Candy.com opens their doors. WOW!!!!! WOW!!! and WOW!!!!! What a vivid picture of the future and the past. How a company like Hershey’s can fail online is absolutely mind boggling. I would love to grill the CEO of Hershey’s. I would turn up the heat so high I would chase him out of his own office. At the end of the day, he is the one responsible for their failure. Responsible for keeping them in the last century.

So we have the Hotel industry that failed by not figuring out Hotels.com and now we can add the candy industry big shots who failed for missing out on Candy.com. I see these failures as inexcusable. Not one exec at any of these companies could figure out why they needed such a domain. Why that “Strategic Asset” will prove to be their biggest collective failures. Make no mistake the candy industry has failed in the vision category. Two guys from Mass. are going to clean their clock.

Let me take it even further………none of the founders of these companies would have screwed up like this. Today, corporations are just not in sync. Few have strong leaders. CEO’s come and go. The rack and file is caged in their cubicle. Decisions are hardly made. Dare they speak out? No way! Let's have a MEETING!!

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

31 thoughts on “Sweetest Day in 14 Years! Many more to Come……

  1. FruitfulDomains.Com

    That’s right Rick…CEO’s have to have a unique vision to move their companies and they should stay tuned with RickBlog.com :)
    Mr. Muhtar Kent, the new Coca-Cola CEO is an old friend of my father and we sometimes speak him about the future…He has a unique vision and strategy for the online presence of Coca-Cola and we will see the”big change” soon…Setting up new bottling plants is not enough and he knows this very well…
    He moved forward several companies here in Turkey and now Coca-Cola will enjoy his fantastic business.
    Other”so called” CEO’s must watch him closer.

  2. owen frager

    First congrats. Second this Candy.com is on to something bigger. It’s not vending machine candy but the nostalgic penny candy that carries a deep emotional connection to consumers and evokes memories that get passed on from one generation to another. This, like sheet music, is a product that’s hard to find locally any more (unless you vacation in p-town or atlantic city)… so it’s a perfect match for e-commerce.
    Rick’s partners are also social media savvy so they are already building alliances on Facebook and Twitter. You might note that sending iconic digital candy like this is a Facebook staple. There has to be an opportunity here.
    Finally let me just expand on what Rick said. Regardless of what you are hearing about the economy and recession being due to bad fiscal policy or outsourcring to China- it’s really about the consequence of the great masses who failed to accept and embrace the Internet early on.
    In 1999 experts predicted the wipeout of entire industries as the Internet-savvy find new and better ways of delivering products to customers, disinter mediating all the fat, shrinking time and distance along the way.
    Now reality is here and it’s too late for stragglers because the Internet never pauses or sleeps for anyone to catch up.
    Many know that I have been works on a book for the last ten years collecting examples of a demise in the making from my days cold calling corporations about domain names to my blogging to make a record of corporate morons who led their ship to sink.
    My book title”Failure to Innovate” sums it all up. Why domains are good and corporations are bad. How corporations missed the targets. And most importantly, three simple words”Failure to Innovate” sum up the reason behind everything this blog has been bitching about.
    And moreover, these three words explain the deepening recession and why it’s a hole we may never dig out from.
    “There is only one fool proof system for determining advertising effectiveness. That’s the cash register.”
    ~~Allen Kay (Correct)

  3. S. Reynolds

    On a side note, six mentions of”candy” and not one link. Your blog is pretty popular, just curious why you’ve never given candy.com (or property.com) some link juice.

  4. Andrea

    …and the interesting thing is that Candy.com, a million dollar business, has been built on a Shopping Cart system costing just few dollars/month…
    We can be sure that CEO’s in similar situations, after 15 or 20 meetings, choose IBM million dollars e-commerce solutions…

  5. Gazzip

    Congrats to you both, that’s a very nice looking website and easy to navigate – SWEET !
    Shame they’re not shipping Internationally just now, their site had me drooling :)
    It must be very satisfying for you to reach this stage of sales/partnerships after so many years.
    Many Congrats

  6. UFO

    As I have said before I believe generic names are great for SMEs, they are not so great for the exceedingly large corporations who have all sorts of prior business arrangements which reduce the benefits of going this”generic route”.
    Hershey’s probably couldn’t sell via a generic domain channel as it would breech most likely a whole bunch of contracts it has with its distributors. The benefits of Hershey going a generic domain route would have to be offset against the costs of unwinding and modifying previous arrangements, if effect it would be the marginal benefit coming into play. Marketing budgets and branding dwarfs the value of these domains.
    However, do believe that Hershey’s missed a trick by closing out SME competitors that can attack its market share via this channel. Also believe that the domain could have been used generically in different advertising to direct customers to seeing the whole”family” product range without feeling they were being directed solely to the parent company website. Like say advertising to kids, kids can spell candy, not so much with hershes.
    So in summary, they did miss a trick on the barriers to entry and the better segmentation/identification of different consumers.

  7. Anthony

    Fantastic start Rick … site is very interesting … chat should be one with the internet … open 24/7/365 … the internet never sleeps :)

  8. Mandus

    Great job pulling that”life time commission” deal with candy.com, but somehow I expected more developement of all your other domain names, ever since reading your”the bulldozers are out..” text.
    Still I understand your doing as social sharing with you giving others the opportunity to”build on your ground” and profit from it.
    And smelling the ashes now, I think the Hershey´s CEO is no good for the 21st century..

  9. Anthony

    Hershey´s CEO should be fired for failing marketing 101 in the real world.

  10. Alan

    I looked at the search position of eleven important candy keywords. As of today, candy.com ranks 113 for”candy” on Google with no rank for the other ten keywords. On Yahoo and Bing there is no rank for all eleven keywords. I wish Candy.com all the best as the entire domain industry will gain instant creditability with your success.

  11. joseph davidovic

    Some are missing the point by making excuses for Hershey. Regardless of any sales channel available to Hersheys had it purchased candy.com, the universal exposure and limitless possibilities to expose new products and old brands within any context would have been priceless. Who visits hersheys.com? But candy.com breaks the self-serving link and allows Hershey to position all of it’s products in a neutral setting, almost giving it a third-party sort of testimonial which would break brand avertising overload resistance (how’s that for a mouthful) Did that make sense?
    Joseph Davidovic

  12. jp

    Candy.com Rocks. I just went there to find out I could buy a 25lb bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. I want to buy it just to see what it looks like :) I am imagining something of a dog food bag filled with peanut butter cups.

  13. Anunt

    Sorry Rick, but there is a huge difference between candy.com and hotels.com
    The domain name hotels.com can actually help the hotel business alot…while owning a domain name like candy.com will not boost candy sales that much…it will definately help…but not $3 million dollars worth…if the new owner of candy.com tries to sell the domain name back to Rick for $2 million dollars, i bet Rick will not buy it back…not even for $2 million…the new owner over paid and got screwed by Rick…the new owner of candy.com will never make $3 million profit selling candy online…NEVER. People do buy candy online..but not much…think about it…when was the last time you bought candy online…NEVER…i drive to the local store to get my candy and so do most of you guys. Anyways, i wish candy.com the best of luck!

  14. UFO

    But it’s not necessarily an upfront payment. It might be 150k PA x 20 years. At a discount rate of say a measly 5% then you’d be looking at PV 1.96m over 20 years… sort of like leasing a big shop.
    Joseph D
    What you say has some merits, but on the same merits most huge companies completely go for non generics as branding propositions. Another point to consider in addition to the ones I have already pointed out that they can get traffic with banners and affiliates, you don’t need the domain name, just like you don’t need to own the newspapers you advertise in. Another issue is that really large corporates spend vast sums on any new activity, if they went after candy.com I bet you they would spend another million by the time they did what they wanted to do with it.
    Lastly, I wish people would stop simply blanketing large corps and saying they don’t get it, they actually do get it and they are full of switched on people and consultants but there’s loads of reasons they won’t shell out millions for a naming convention to connect to the internet.
    And very lastly, I see that candy.com has some coding of jelly belly and shares some similarities with their website (jelly belly are well down the road in the affiliate world). Whether or not these sites and owners are connected doesn’t change the fact that the likes of Hershey’s etc will supply branded product at wholesale prices.
    There are many ways to skin a cat.

  15. owen frager

    Jamie- I’ve been after Rick to put his story on film abnd I know part of doing the blog he does is to help document his vision and events as erealestate has done. He already owns the perfect domain”webfather.com”. On his old board we used to have fun casting the film with the colorful characters in this business. But there’s still a bigger ending to be written. This candy deal will be looked on 20 years from now as child’s play compared to what such domains are worth then.
    Rick is truly an inspiration and role model to anyone wanting to succeed in business.

  16. owen frager

    “People do buy candy online..but not much…think about it…when was the last time you bought candy online…”
    Aunt- you are totally misinformed. Ever heard of wholesale? Or Valentines Day. Google 1-800-flowers and read how acquisition of major candy companies and adding candy to the mail-order mix gave that brand a second life and hundreds of millions of dollars in recurring revenue from loyal customers who have standing orders for the occasions on file:
    I suggest anyone serious about selling a retail domain become an avid reader of InternetRetailer. The numbers at stake become an eye-opening experience.

  17. Steve

    Awesome Candy.com site! Great to see a smaller player jump to the front of the candy line!
    Not all but many corporations are top heavy with a lot of dead wood. The tide is changing, you NAILED this one. Congratulations, all the best!

  18. Kevin

    Why is it whenever someone buys a domain for millions all the haters have to jump all over it????
    I don’t get you guys. Can’t you just be happy for once that another great sale transpired for our industry???
    Do you have to write crap like the buyer got screwed by Rick?? Rick didn’t screw anybody.
    Nobody holds a gun to the head of these big sale buyers. Do you think they are stupid people if they have $3 Million to buy a domain? Anyone who buys a domain for a million dollars is a sophisticated investor and already a millionaire. So to them it was a good deal because they have big plans for it and will multiply it’s value immensely beyond $3 Mil.
    And like Owen said above people who buy flowers online which is millions will now also be able to go to Candy.com and easily send candy as gifts. That’s where the bulk of the sales will come from, GIFT ORDERS, not people looking to buy a candy bar for themselves!
    If you ask me it’s not the CEO of Hershey’s that needs a tap on the head, it’s the CEO of Flowers.com (1-800-Flowers) Jim McCann, who was had the opportunity presented to him to buy this domain also, but couldn’t come to terms with Rick, and didn’t pull the trigger on it at the price Rick wanted.
    Jim could have taken Candy.com perfectly along side his 1-800-Flowers brand and gotten a ton of publicity and a bargain priced asset. $3 Million is peanuts for what Flowers could have done with it. Hesitating will cost you opportunities every time and this is a classic example of it.

  19. Altaf

    I see a billion dollar Candy (not chocolate)biz company already pips into its head up who will definitely be interested to buy Candy.com one day at a very high value than we (or Anant)could even think at today.Rick cannot do mistake and the company who bought it cannot be fool either whileto take a decision to spend that much money.

  20. randomo

    What ever happened with the slogan contest? I was sure my entry would win. :-)
    BTW, the Candy.com site will look more professional if it’s given a careful proofreading. Right now, for example, an item near the bottom right of the homepage says”Shipping Statment”. Typos make a site look amateurish & unreliable. LMK if you want me to take a thorough look (I was a proofreader for many years).

  21. neopolus

    Well Rick, what can we all say ! .. Congrats, and many more to come for a true master at domaining. In regards to what you say it is entirely correct, a lot of CEO’s miss the opportunities to leverage their products or services by acquiring the rigth domains to promote a brand. the era of digital marketing now is taking a turn with the diferent ways that companies look at the factors that relates to a brand, a larger niche with great generic words as well as the hype of social networking to trying to improve the ultimate goal .. profitability..

  22. Chris Desouza

    A category killer name helps. But, a business does not fail or succeed because of its use of a category killer domain name.
    You’ve never operated a fortune 500 company. Stop coming off as an authority governing every business. Makes you look stupid.
    Congrats on your successes and may you keep inspiring others.

  23. randomo

    Now that”Shipping Statment” has been fixed, I’ve found a huge number of other errors on the Candy.com website. The quality of the text on this site is just terrible. I hope they reply to the email I just sent, offering my proofreading services!

  24. Mike

    Brilliant King! Congrats!
    But let’s also face the reality for others – there is really only a handful of names with that type of potential and value. Glad you got it ;o) Cheers bud, M.

  25. Stephen Douglas

    Well Rick,
    I have no comments to the contrary on what you posted! GOOD GRIEF! Shangrila is just around the corner! Candy.com will rock the candy world.
    your pal,

  26. DavisDomain

    The Candy.Com site is really neat. I think it will go over really great.
    I am new the Domaining but not to Candy and I could not buy the bulk because I would become very bulky.


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