In my sales roundup this week, I’ve chosen five sales from DNJournal’s May 13th, 2020 edition of its weekly chart. I’m going behind the names to find out exactly why certain domains sold for the prices they did. This week, I’ve chosen Louise.com ($15,000), Boycott.org ($15,000), Winemaker.com ($100,000), Tasawoq.com ($18,000), and FWW.com ($35,000).
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Louise.com – $15,000 – Sedo
My first highlighted sale is that of Louise.com, a common first-name domain that sold for $15,000 on Sedo. While Sedo is more predominantly an end-user platform, they are also known for facilitating investor acquisitions, too. I believe that Louise.com was an investor acquisition and a good one at that.
Louise.com was previously owned by Conversant Inc, the brand that owns companies such as Commission Junction (CJ), although it wasn’t clear to me why they owned this name. In 2017, though, the name seems to have moved into investor hands where looks to have stayed ever since.
The $15,000 price tag was achieved after Louise.com was sold at Sedo’s Great Domains Auction, a monthly event that does tend to attract investor attention thanks to its inventory. In this case, Louise.com certainly does look to have been acquired by an investor as it now redirects to a SquadHelp “for sale” landing page, so I’d expect this name to sell for a higher price in the future.
How much can first-name .COM domains sell for? In the past couple of years, Katie.com reportedly sold for $100,000 and Fiona.com sold for $75,000. First-name .COM domains can make great brand names, too. Take Dave, for example, a highly popular banking app branded around the Dave.com domain.
According to HowManyOfMe.com, Louise is the 168th most popular first-name in the US, with 379,966 people called Louise. While there may not appear to be many obvious commercial applications for Louise.com, there are over 22,000 company listings for the term “Louise” on LinkedIn, which may signify the potential usage, especially within the fashion and media industries.
Boycott.org – $15,000
I’m featuring a .ORG domain in this edition of the Sales Roundup, as it’s an intriguing name that I was fascinated to discover more details about. Boycott.org is an activist domain name, with the keyword “boycott” fitting the .ORG extension well. The .ORG extension lends itself well to this type of name that can be used to affect change in society. Change.org, for example, is a highly popular petition website.
Substantial one-word .ORG domain sales are relatively rare though, according to NameBio. Statistics show that just four one-word .ORG names sold for more than $15,000 in the past year.
Who would pay such a fee to acquire Boycott.org? Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure at this stage, but the domain is now being managed by Safenames. SafeNames is a British-based company that handles domain names for hundreds of organizations. Domains under ownership at SafeNames include Bond.com.
What could the domain be used for? The most obvious use would be as a platform for grassroots activism involving boycotting certain brands.
Winemaker.com – $100,000
The sale of Winemaker.com is another domain sold by investor Garry Chernoff. His previous sales include Signet.com for $300,000, Drink.com for $500,000, and LEV.com for $200,000. In short, Garry does not sell his domains cheaply, and Winemaker.com for $100,000 is another example of this.
The domain was acquired by Winemaker World SA, a company founded by Elian Kool, an entrepreneur and angel investor based in Zurich, Switzerland. Elian was previously the CEO of Netcentric, a large digital service company.
As of writing, Winemaker.com is showing just a basic site, but Elian has described the Winemaker.com venture as being the “new way to discover wine.” Wine discovery is a popular area at the moment, with apps such as Delectable and Vivino leading the way.
According to NameBio, there have been several high-value “wine” related domain sales in the past. Both Wine.com and Wines.com sold for seven-figures a piece, but Winemaker.com ranks as the fifth-highest “wine” keyword domain sale of all time, and the only six-figure “wine” sale of the last five years.
Tasawoq.com – $18,000
Sold at Sedo for $18,000, Tasawoq.com is a name that, on the surface, I would pass at an auction, and I wouldn’t be asking $18,000 for the name. So why did the name sell for $18,000?
The domain was acquired by a company in Kuwait, a country with a predominantly Arabic-speaking population. As far as I can tell, Tasawoq is the English translation for “trolley” or “cart” in Arabic. This would certainly explain the current use of the name.
As of writing, the domain hosts an e-commerce site from Tasawoq Inc.
FWW.com – $35,000
Back in 2015-2016, this name would have easily fetched $60,000-$70,000 thanks to the Chinese domain boom that made three-letter .COM domains in particular so desirable for Chinese investors. In fact, according to DomainIQ, the name is now in the hands of a Chinese investor.
What makes FWW.com so desirable to a Chinese buyer? According to Kassey Lee, “FWW is very powerful because it ends with the letter W, which can be the acronym for Wang (网=network). There are many companies with their name ending with Wang.”
Previous three-letter .COM sales ending in “W” include JJW.com for $65,000, and HNW.com for $55,595, sold in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Although FWW.com sold for significantly less than it could have done in 2015-2016, it does represent one of the largest three-letter .COM sales so far in 2020, way ahead of the likes of KPH.com ($24,999), QTY.com ($22,500), and HYW.com ($21,850).
The FWW.com domain was sold by Franklin Display Group, an Illinois-based company that used to be called Franklin Wire Works (FWW). As of writing, the company still has an “@FWW.com” email address listed on its site.