The Non-Disclosure Clause is Bullshit

Morning Folks!!


You read that right! Non Disclosure Clause is Bullshit. It can actually be a benefit to you. The penalty for violating a non disclosure is usually the return of the item and the money. OK. I can buy into that. Let me tell you all my secret deals and see if the buyer wants to give me back the domain for what he or she bought it for.


Get the point? It’s a paper tiger. It means nothing. It only means something during the first days of the deal. After that, meaningless and most of the non disclosure agreements can be violated with no penalty whatsoever.


Aside from that, I have only been involved with 1 non-disclosure deal and while I can never disclose, the buyer never had the broker sign the non-disclosure.


The #1 reason for non-disclosure seems to be “Embarrassment.” True. Companies are scared that others will laugh or think they overpaid. That usually goes away within days of obtaining the domain. Few ever regret buying the domain name.


So when folks want non-disclosure I say no. No! NO! and NO again! Why? Because I am trying to establish a market. The sale has more benefits to me and the domain industry than just the dollars. Look at the story and take out all my sales. Some like Men.com and iReport.com were markers in the sand. Sales like that help to build the foundation for other sales.


So go ahead. If you sold a domain too cheap and it is now worth a lot more, you can talk without fear in most cases. The remedy in most cases is you have to give them their money back and you get the domain if they were to exercise their rights. I am not saying go back on your word, I am talking about the penalty for violating the contract. There really is none.


At the very least you can go back and ask them to release you from that clause. Many have a time limit built in. So after 3 years you can speak. So you can always use that as a backup.


I think folks would be STUNNED by how many deals we never hear about. For example, I would venture to say 3 of every 4 million dollar deals are never reported. Even in the iReport deal that was the final sticking point. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, Not going to happen. Yes, I would walk away from the deal. YES! YES! YES!


Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz


Just a little footnote. On the Meet.me deal, the 3 of us agreed we would not sell with a non-disclosure. That deal would have not happened if a non-disclosure was involved. If it were involved, that information would have never seen the light of day. Nobody would know about that deal. That is why new info is so important and we all have a responsibility to support what we do.




13 thoughts on “The Non-Disclosure Clause is Bullshit

  1. Yan Huang

    I completely agree that non disclosures are bullshit, and if more people understand that, there will be more domain success stories to help inspire and use as a resource.
    Thanks Rick!

    Reply
  2. Leonard Britt

    When I saw your headline, I disagreed because one needs to honor their word. But if you are in a position to turn down respectable offers for the sake of communicating the commercial value of premium domains, then I would agree. I had a $XXXX .TV sale where I announced it on a forum BEFORE the buyer asked me to not disclose it. But it never made DNJ because of the buyer’s request. However, in the future I will not allow post-sale NDA requests.

    Reply
  3. Acro

    So, to recap:
    1. You don’t have to accept an NDA as long as you don’t care about breaking the deal.
    2. You can break an NDA as long as Howard reads the contract.
    But most domainers want the deal and most domainers don’t involve a lawyer in a sale. So signing an NDA is not really a big deal, as long as you don’t need to make the news on DNJournal.

    Reply
  4. Rick Schwartz

    So to Recap Acro you just want to twist my words and be a little brat?
    1. You don’t have to accept an NDA unless you have WEAK negotiating skills in MOST cases.
    2. Bringing Howard into this shows some other shit about you.
    3. Most of my sales don’t involve a lawyer either. Some do. Knowing the difference is key.
    4. Having recorded sales is a help to all.
    I think you are borderline idiot at this point. Now you have another post for Domain Gang.
    You know, you have a lot of talent and you seem to be obsessed with me lately. You may need to take a break or something. You are just looking more foolish with every passing day. Take that talent and do something constructive. You are a great graphics artist. But your business acumen is a bit naive. Go get a real life. Mine does not suit you well. Everyone is watching.

    Reply
  5. Acro

    Rick – I’m sorry that you took my response to be an assault of some sort. It’s far from that. I will say that I’m known for playing the role of a devil’s advocate often. So does George Kirikos, it’s all part of the Greek psyche. I ask stimulating questions to shed light on dark areas; your answers here cleared that 100%. In other words, I’ve just done something positive for your blog :) PS. Rick, you’re a public figure in domaining and as such you’re much talked about. I respect you and I”poke” you on occasion. I also think Howard likes DomainGang more than you do :)

    Reply
  6. Rick Schwartz

    No worries Acro. You give me some of my best artwork. ;-)
    I would rather figure out how to make money together with your talent.
    Good graphic artists are very few and far between especially one with a creative mind.

    Reply
  7. Acro

    Again, I didn’t mean to upset or misconstrue what you said about signing an NDA or not. It’s definitely a choice. Sometimes, an”NDA” can be verbal, like a gentlemen’s agreement. Or a handshake. I understand your point about wanting to get the word out there about particular or sizable domain sales. That’s definitely a must, as the Wall Street seems to not get it. Well now they seem to obsess over .XXX and the lawsuit. How about informing those parrots with all those large sales that mean something? They won’t have to sign an NDA for that! :-)

    Reply
  8. Don

    Just think if these guys did an NDA on meet.me, some of the other .me names would not of increased in value. I say some not all, because not all of the .me make sense to own.
    I don’t own any .me names, that is my fault, but for those of you that do, you should be thanking them for not doing an NDA.
    I think for those that are giving away domain names at low prices”should be the ones doing the NDA” it just hurts everyone else when certain domain names are given away a low prices.
    Donny

    Reply
  9. Kevin

    Most of the time I find a lot of the major buyers don’t want anyone knowing the prices they paid so if they ever want to resell it there isn’t a published reference for the transaction. Or a lot of guys are just super private in their financial dealings and like as much privacy as possible.

    Reply
  10. Dave Wrixon

    The biggest obstacle to creating a market is that by and large markets are for commodities. Domains are not commodities. Each is very individual.
    Yes, I agree that non-disclosures are an obstacle to forming a market place and it is probably more acute in nascent markets such as though for IDN.
    We, however, have rather given up on the whole thing of trying to sell domains. The business model is now just to sit back and watch the traffic grow. Buyers only seem to be interested in getting huge returns in pay per click. But why should I sell to them only to put my money in bank and get bugger all interest on it?

    Reply
  11. steve

    Do a story on why people lie so much. That is what kills so many businesses off. I can’t tell you how many times I get pages and pages from someone telling me how they have the perfect idea and with my help they will make us boat loads of money.
    They either believe their BS or they are lieing. Oh they failed cuz the economy is bad or this or that. They failed because they are failures. They break the deal and don’t pay me because they are liars. They are the reason no business gets done in this country. Because no on trusts anyone else. They don’t even care that they haven’t paid me when repaying me should be #1 on their list.

    Reply
  12. steve

    The main points I get is by hiding the prices of domains we hold down the industry. Look how many more stories could be written about a domain being sold for so much. But companies don’t give a rats ass about that or maybe even getting free advertising from the articles that would be written. They are worried they might lose their job if the feedback is bad on their domain purchase.
    Rick can’t break this rule because he doesn’t do NDA’s.
    So by us using NDA’s we are hurting the chance for future sales at big prices.

    Reply
  13. Mike Hails

    Funny you should raise that subject. I had a company contact me last month wanting to buy a domain. I agreed price and then they sent me email with about 15 clauses ,including non disclosure and one wanting me to agree that I had not broken any of the terms of the agreement with the Registrar whom I regged the domain with. Given the UDRP details written into the Registrars terms & conditions etc I thought better of the latter one straight away.Anyway in and told them I would accept 6 of the 15 clauses ,excluding confidentiliaty etc.

    Reply

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