Morning Folks!!

This note has just been sent out to all clients and since I did this all so publicly I think you are entiled to see it as well.

Rick Schwartz

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Clients.

The decision to take on 3rd party domains came as a result of a discussion on back in the early fall of last year. I personally thought it would be the right time and having domains even better than my own would help give us credibility and accelerate our vision.

Well instead of accelerating our vision it actually led us off that path just a bit and as you will read further below the delay of the new gTLD's factored in as well.

Business to me is a very solemn obligation. It is even more so when I deal with third parties. And even more paramount when I personally know most of you and even those I have not met, we have had a healthy amount of chat and emails etc so we do know each other.

So your domains became a priority. We have worked diligently for months developing these pitch pages for each and every domain. But the further we got down the road the more overwhelming the task became.

We spent many days and hours with the sales team trying to train them to be effective and professional. Most important to me was "Do no harm". I know some types of marketing will lower the value of a domain so we were very sensitive to that. And while we had 2 or 3 go getters, there was just nothing to get at this moment.

I had hoped at this point to have several successes to point to that we could build on. I can't do that.

I had hoped by December 31st that we would have presented enough evidence and enough successes for you all to swing with us for another year. But I can't do that either.

In fact, I can't even ask you for the next 6 months. We are not out to tie up your property and so I hear-by release each and every one of you and the contracts we have with you effective July 1. I would hope you allow us to pursue any active contacts. There are a few names we have ongoing and active negotiations on and I want to ask those folks to stay on board. &,, But these all have multiple parties interested and we have ongoing and active negotiations. Deals are all within reach and we are working to get those deals.

There are a few others like, and that we have had some talks but nothing concrete yet and think movement will occur.

So while I would like to keep running with those domains, not up to me. I know we have planted a lot of seeds on many other domains and in time they may sprout.

Our current clients can even forward us future inquiries if you would like me to respond in your behalf. I still see GOLD in them thar hills! But if the timing is wrong, I would rather preserve our relationship until the day when the timing is better. There is NO QUESTION that domain leasing or lease/option is the way of the future. I still see it happening by the end of next year. But it is too far off on the horizon to ask you to tie up your assets any longer.

Bottom line, we were not able to meet our own goals that we set. Bigger is not always better and scaling back to regroup and get more proof of concept on my own domains before doing anything with 3rd parties is the right thing to do at this point.

I am all about timing. I saw the future last fall and jumped on board. As you have seen, Leasing has become the buzzword around over the last 6 months or so. It is still coming. Delayed but not canceled. And that is why I would rather release our obligation now and have the ability to come back when we are ready and the future is a little closer.

I want to thank each and every one of you so much for believing in us and I am sorry we let you down. Truly sorry!! It weighs heavy on me personally as we promised so much and delivered so little.

It was not from lack of will, desire or belief. Many of us have given what we had as we were "All in" and we reached deep looking for a success. I still think a success lays in the future. I will still be trying to blaze that trail a little bit each and every day. But reality trumps what Danny Welsh and I see when we are talking about YOU and your assets and the TIME to accomplish what we set out to do.

So effective immediately the JointVentures site will be pulled down in the coming days and I will be replacing it with something else. I have not abandoned my original idea of Joint Ventures or leasing domains. In fact I am working on a brand new site that will be online in the next few weeks. More streamlined and hopefully more effective. Maybe more geared to PURE Joint Ventures as this is where at least we have the ball rolling and have had some limited success.

It saddens me more than words can say that we let you down. We created as much momentum as we could and it caught on. We took the lead on leasing premium domain names in a new direction and the marketplace was just not ready to buy into our concept. YET!!!!!!! 


But I still maintain that day will happen and I still believe that that gTLD's will be the catalyst for that event. We expected them to start rolling out in April-May and planned a T.R.A.F.F.I.C. event in May in Las Vegas to capture that excitement. 


We almost lost our shirt on that show in Las Vegas but it came together and we pulled it out and it was a success for the attendees. But as we all see the delays, it won't be until October or beyond before we will see what we expected to see months ago. That was the KEY component in my timing and expectations throughout this. 

So it is so long, not good bye. Delayed but not over. Just waiting for the universe to catch up with the future. 

Rick Schwartz aka Domain King®

Chairman, CEO & Co-founder

32 thoughts on “ Bulletin

  1. Mitch

    Got the email, too. I am as surprised as Abdul. I know this will work and hope to partner with you again in the future, as well. Best to you and Danny.

  2. Davinderpal S Bhatia

    Hi Rick/Danny,

    Things always do not work as planned. But you tried.

    I emailed you for some info and look forward to your email.

    Hope to work with you in future.

    Best regards,

    Dave Bhatia

  3. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,

    When one door closes another opens.

    Thanks for opening the next door.

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

  4. Declan

    As an outsider looking in its disappointing to read that things haven’t developed as hoped. It still surprises me how many companies are still reluctant or blind to the opportunity, and that is not just these names under JV. Maybe we expect too much but stats don’t lie, this is only going one way.

  5. Jeff K

    As someone who actually is developing a 100kvalued website, I can say I am not surprised. Tis very very very hard. Still not profitable after 3 years. If I had a nut to cover…yikes!!!!

  6. (@gtldnamesellers)

    Some stop to semll the roses, others grow the roses that some stop to smell. No shame in trying only lessons learned that hone our skills and thoughts and prepare us for the next wave. Happy surfing to you and all involved.

  7. Newgrl

    It was an Honor to be on Your Team…an opportunity I will never forget.
    Thank you and Danny..We may be down for now, but Never Out!

  8. Josh

    Maybe too big, too early. But I still think the joint venture model is a great idea. This setback will make the rounds in various places and people will throw it in your face. But you have my respect for trying it publicly on the record, something few are really willing to do. And while it didn’t work this time, I’m sure you folks learned a lot. That will help with the second run at the hill.

  9. Too Early

    A bit ahead of its time, Rick. Give it another year or two until AFTER the upcoming gtld .fail and then try it again. As you said in an earlier post, this is the calm before the storm. Definitely not a time to make any drastic decisions.

  10. Lord Grillo

    It was a bad idea to begin with. The problem with leasing is that you are asking someone to invest time and money into something that they don’t ultimately control. Not a single serious domainer in the world would EVER lease a name from someone else for a serious business venture.

    Sorry, but the concept puts all of the risk on the person who is leasing the name. What happens if the registered owner drops dead? These are big issues. WHat happens if the registered owner gets a huge offer for the name from a 3rd party and tries to get out of the lease agreement? Sure, there may be a contract, but you guys were just flat out dreaming with this concept. Domains are dead. Good and great names will always be desirable, but I cannot think of one instance where a known domainer ever did a less seasoned domainer a favor by selling him a GREAT name for a reasonable price.

    It has been an insiders game for quite a while, and the insiders try to lead the novices around and tell them what is good. The only thing that is good is dotcom names that make sense. Every other idiot project is no good.

  11. steve

    With what I know about people made me think was doomed to begin with. People are a problem and the lack of skill out there is another. I just would never enter into a contract like this after being screwed over so many times.
    I think the biggest problem is the lack of skill or the people with skill are not interested or don’t know about the website.
    Gotta love the try tho!

  12. CateTV (@CateTV)

    There is definitely an interest and I continue to have ongoing dialogue with individuals/companies on several of the names I represented. Like any other conversation – communication/strategies/negotiations take time. Pipelines are built one connection/introduction at a time. Nothing more/nothing less. I believe in this business model. Like any other “relatively new to the masses” sales model it will evolve with the early adopters on both sides of the sales (lease :) ) equation. Steady as she goes

  13. shanecultra

    I appreciate the open honesty. Thanks for sharing. I commend you for attacking a big hill. Nothing wrong with going back to the bottom to regroup and try to climb it later.

  14. domain guy

    timing is everything! An honest post and we all appreciate it!
    There is no doubt in my mind you will retool and restart!. Its called stubbing your toe!It goes to show the visable thinking of the domain king and how sometimes a left hand turn is required in the domain biz.We all look forward to learning more thanks rick!

  15. Anita

    No matter how tasty a fruit is, when we bite more than we can chew its better to spit it out rather than choke on it… That’s exactly what Rick’s done. This is not a failure in any sense either for Rick or for the leasing business. Its like some people are saying “what’s the use of leasing/renting a shop for business if the shop is potentially never going to be mine” – doesn’t that sound silly. I bet the first people who tried to rent out their property to businesses (probably centuries ago) had people laugh at them – only resulting in them laughing their way to the bank after being successful at it.

  16. brandonbreshears

    I was really disappointed when I got this email. I think it is still a great business model and seriously valuable. I hope you’ll lease to me in the future when I need an amazing url to launch a business in the future. You guys were doing it better and more legit than anyone else. I believe it will work and you’ll be the guy to do it. I think really highly of you and Danny. Let me know if I can ever be of service in the future.

  17. Mike

    No dishonor at all in having tried our very best and, then, honestly admitting the timing was not quiet sound yet. One step backward for, a bit later, a huge bound forward… Many of the world’s best business concepts have not had a different fate. Do what you have to do now and, in due course, come back with your brilliant JV concept. I already can’t wait to get on board again.

    Best of luck.



  18. Louise

    You brought legitimacy to the concept of joint ventures. You started the discussion in earnest. Nokta has a category for leasing domains:
    and MediaOptions offered Zeal on lease-to-own:
    and Francois has added, lease-to-own on the CAX submission form:
    “Seller financing (rent to own ~ optional purchase through a payment plan).”
    It is peculiar to me you are pulling up stakes, except that your business model depended on the new gTLDs being approved – I don’t get it. You started the conversation. The sales reps already did work, I’m sure. Joint Ventures is only a few months old. I was looking forward to news of your happy clients!

  19. Sean Sullivan


    Kudos for taking a real shot at it. Parking is on its last legs and you have been the person who’s been the most vocal about it. Asking others to stop complaining and to do something about it, so you did.

    Domain leasing and JV deals are a great and viable option and I commend you for making such a great effort to help return the balance of power to the domain owner. Ultimately that’s your goal, and it’s really the most difficult one you could have taken on.

    You can’t do it all on your own. If anything, at the very least, your efforts have helped further establish how others can do it on their own if they put some effort into it. Look forward to seeing you at either some party in South Florida, or at the next TRAFFIC. Your efforts are appreciated and will not be forgotten by those who know what is at stake.

  20. Eric Borgos

    In my 17 years as a domainer, I have had over 1000 domain name sales, and only around 25 were leases (with the option to buy). But, even more important, 24 of those 25 were only done as a lease because the buyer did not have enough money so doing it as a lease with a small down payment was a way to make the deal happen. It was really more like owner financing. Only once did I have a company want to do a real lease, and that was for around $4000 for a year, but they did not renew.

    So, I think there are plenty of companies willing to do a lease as long as the domain is held in escrow (like at, but I think it is very hard to make a business out of it. Most people just want to buy with a low down payment.

  21. UFO

    I think leasing only really works on the best of the best where the entry cost to acquire the name so large that a smaller SME can see the leverage by leasing.

    I think leasing in a traditional model is not quite the right perspective, as Eric B points out above what most ‘investors’ are buying is an Option and you the domain owner the potential to sell for a market value at some later point. Effectively these ‘options’ are financing.

    Anyway, onwards and upwards….

  22. tcr

    very genuine and transparent post, I give you credit for trying and you giving a very honest view of the current state of domain leasing, good luck to you

  23. farmer

    Rick, Danny:

    It has worked in the past. And it will work (perhaps with a simple tweak of “option to buy”). Timing is the key that will unlock the door to leasing. It hasn’t worked yet because of a simple reason: Business decision makers are hopelessly ignorant of the DIRECT, proven benefits of a great domain to the business’s bottom line.

    I see it everyday in my real estate, offline world. I work under a top, “boutique” luxury real estate company that generates an upward of $5-10m/year in revenue (this is a conservative estimate) but I can almost GUARANTEE to you that if I approached my CEO today and offered my income generating real estate website (personally owned & operated) for them to lease at a heretical $200/month — I will be sure to be rejected. Is this the fault of the domain which has CONSISTENTLY produced $1-2m of sales per year for me, the last thee years?

    Seeing my numbers the past 4 years, i can honestly tell you, it will not take 2 seconds for me to reject an offer of $5000 per month lease for my real estate properties.

    Did I mention that my two top domains are not even PREMIUM. One is a dot org that is killing my umbrella company’s website in the top search engines with tens of thousand of dollars of budget. My dot org just happened to be a exact match domain.

    [The dollar benefit of this business model will one day FORCE business to listen.

    (Note: Rob Grant has already inked 2 deals with local real estate companies ( in the past. And was bought by owners.]


  24. farmer

    Rick, Danny:

    But right now, the vast majority are too lazy/coward to look at the data or to make a “leap”. We cannot afford to wait. I started years ago with my own peanut capital precisely because of this snail-pace thinking.

    Business people are asking the wrong questions “how can this fit in our advertising budget?” and looking at unproven/flaky sources of business (social media — rarely has users with urgent needs to be fulfilled) because of band-wagon affirmation…

  25. farmer


    In the online world, if there’s 2 things I’ve learned the last 7 years. It is exact match domains save you $10,000 a year in advertising/marketing costs and the earlier you start and commit mistakes, you are one step away from hitting the “jackpot”.

    Like wine, domain and website aging are PARAMOUNT to success because of acquisition of data.

    Rick, you and Danny have taken a GIANT step forward in that direction for which I am personally grateful for.


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