Welcome to the eleventh post in our Behind the Sale series on the Efty blog. In this series, I talk with domain name investors who share the details behind a recent sale. You will learn how they bought low and sold high, how the negotiations went down and much more.
Today, I am chatting with Larry St John, a retired media executive and publisher from the United States.
Larry, tell me a little bit about yourself.
My background is in radio and tv broadcasting, advertising, magazine publishing, direct mail, and most recently as an owner and operator of FreshNews.com…. a technology Internet news aggregator for 20 years.
Along the way in the late 90’s I purchased a variety of dot com domain names to save for a rainy day in case I got tired of retirement and wanted to test myself with a new business. One that I could operate on my own. One that wouldn’t wake me up at all hours and where I could make deals on my own without employees…have a little action on my own time and negotiate at my own leisure.
About 3 years ago I found Efty and LSJDomains.com was born. The right deals didn’t come along very frequently the first couple of years when I began the domain business, but they did come along. I am in no rush to sell the domains and had learned to be patient when I was actively involved in broadcast brokering as it took months to put deals together.
What is the domain name that you’ve sold?
I sold VideoBible.com in March of this year after having received a first opening offer from this buyer for the domain via my marketplace in May 2020.
How much did you pay for the domain and how much did it sell for?
As far as I can tell I was the first to register VideoBible.com in December 1999. I owned it for nearly 21 years.
I thought of the domain name VideoBible.com when the Internet was erupting with more demand for video viewing and the technical quality issues were slowly improving. I also didn’t want to just ride on the overtones of something being religious as I was thinking more of being sure the word “Video” was in the domain name and “Bible” could be thought of religious phrasing and also meaning an extensive listing for videos for the general public. Either way VideoBible.com could then draw a variety of potential buyers. However, I also wasn’t going to try to sell it in 1999 but just put it away like a potentially valuable baseball card and one day pull it out when the market was ready.
The domain sold for $12,000 and the transaction was completed smoothly via Escrow.com with the buyer paying all escrow fees.
Can you share how the negotiations for this domain name went down?
My initial contact with my buyer began last year in May of 2020. I had listed the domain on LSJDomains.com as Make an Offer. The first offer from my buyer was $500. Which of course I shot down. He came back with $3,000. I decided I should be clearer that this wasn’t a domain I would sell with such a low offer. Low ball offers were not going to be taken seriously. I recall revising my listing and moving it to a minimum offer of $12,000. Nearly a year passed and the offer was raised to $7,000 in a surprising email I received in March of 2021. I again said no. He asked me to make a counteroffer that was closer to $12,000 since that was what I had listed as a revised opening offer. I said $12,000 was closer and that was my counteroffer. Within a few hours a deal was made.
Thank you for sharing Larry, is there anything else you like to add?
I wish I could say that all you have to be is an incredible negotiator. I’d rather be lucky and perceptive as to what might sell and be in or a little ahead of the market. You definitely have to be patient. Any sign of breaking down on your part in a negotiation will show your lack of confidence and a potential loss in income on your side. Don’t chase your buyer. Be confident that you have a solid and valuable domain name for someone out there. You can’t force someone to buy a domain name that won’t work for them. You obviously own something valuable they want. If it isn’t this buyer it could be another buyer that will be willing to pay a fair price for it.
Just like I put VideoBible.com away like a potentially valuable baseball card, I am also doing that with other domains that I own like MakeLoveNotWar.com, TechVideo.com, FreshMoney.com and my sentimental favorite FreshNews.com.
I operated FreshNews.com as a tech news aggregator website for 20 years and also have that on the market now for a domain name only sale. I am also slowly adding more names here and there. I only represent myself and work part-time in domain sales. Dealing with domain “flipping” has spiced up my life while in media retirement. I currently have 100+ domains on LSJDomains.com that I personally own and represent. Feel free to take a visit!