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Keeping Sales Confidential - Why?

Discussion in 'General Domain Discussion' started by DavidL, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    I can't for the life of me understand why so often people want to keep their sales or purchases quiet (I'm talking about domainers here, who presumably want to see growth in the industry)

    IMO, these 'undisclosed transactions' hurt the industry as they limit data on values and pricing but moreso suggest that the market is more illiquid than it really is.

    Transparency in the domain aftermarket makes a huge difference - imagine what it would be like without the public dropping domain data, SEDO's results, DNjournal, IDNX even. It would be really hard to benchmark one's own domains and potential purchases and hard to get end-users to appreciate domain value.

    Here are the theories I have as to why people do this:

    1) The sale never happened. It's just a buyer or seller bignoting themselves by inventing a meaty sale that never happened
    2) Some people get off on the mystery of it all. They like to sound cool by making the deal sound like an exclusive underground transaction - 'Sorry would love to tell you but all parties have signed a mutual Non Disclosure Agreement blah blah BS BS"
    3) Some people aren't confident that they got a good deal. They are worried that if the sale were public, they might be criticised for selling too low or paying too much
    4) Maybe some worry that by revealing how much they paid or sold might reveal their 'modus operandi' and compromise future deals or create more competition.

    I don't see any substance to any of the above theories if they do indeed exist.

    There are only 2 cases I can see where a domainer may have a genuine interest in keeping a transaction private:

    1) It's a 'naughty' name (eg they have sold Gooogle.com.au to Google!!)
    2) The buyer bought it for the sole purpose of flipping it and doesn't want a recorded sale price to hurt negotiations with a lined up buyer.

    But other than that, I can't see any reason. There are lots of sales like this, often significant, which go unreported and therefore hurt us all.

    So, fess up, you shy sellers & buyers. Why do you do it? What am I missing? Or, is it really not a big deal and makes no difference to the industry?
     
  2. fcdoms

    fcdoms Membership: VIP

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    There are other reasons. In my experience, the purchasing party sometimes requests non disclosure - whether you buy their reasoning or not, you oblige.

    Constructive things I can think of...

    For those wishing to report their sales, where do you "officially" do it? Is there a specific URL you can point to DavidL? Knowing that could be important to getting more to do so.

    Case 1) Big-noting themselves.
    How can they be bignoting themselves, if they are not reporting their big sale? :)

    There are all sorts of people owning domains. Not all of them do it as part of their profession and some do it like collecting trading cards which they selectively develop and sell slowly over time when a market condition presents itself. A lot of transactions are not reported because those people do not see themselves as part of "the industry" which is not even on their radar.

    We have to admit, it is not "the industry" that non-participants like - it's the domain name they want or need for their business. Agnostic support for those people is the only way forward. If "we" keep trying to tell "them" they need to rely on "us" to keep them safe from those monsters under the stairs, then "they" will have nightmares about what's under those stairs. I really don't like negativity in selling - anything.

    Actually, I love INDX - and would love to see .au domains included in that data. I noticed on another thread here on DNTrade that someone was compiling data from .au sales - via reported transactions - and it seems Drop and NetFleet were both obliging and keen to supply the data.

    Has that data been made public yet? A link? Perhaps our industry leaders could arrange with Thies Lindenthal to license an .au overlay on the official chart. OR from memory, the license for the NDX data is such that one can download it, utilise it as you wish and add to it and disseminate it publicly. I have never contacted Thies - but let me know if the industry would think it's a good thing - and I'll try to make this available for the market here.

    I think doing something like that would be better for "the industry", than the industry making assertions that those who don't use their platforms are doing something naughty.

    EG: Using this line of thought, someone could ask themselves:

    Why doesn't NetFleet use, or publish .au data on the IDNX? Is it because they're trying to fudge the Australian numbers - there can't be any other reason?

    You see what I mean?
     
  3. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Thanks for the reply...

    Yes I agree and I do all the time - but I still wonder why (when it's a domainer)

    Regarding non-domainers, I quite agree that they might not have any interest in reporting the sale as they have no interest in the domaining industry so why bother.

    It's the domainers I am interested in. The very people who are members on this forum who buy and sell domains all the time but go out of their way to keep it quiet. I wouldn't expect them to go and broadcast it from the rooftops but a big sale is probably worth emailing DNjournal about and posting about on DNtrade isn't it?

    Instead some people go to some effort to try and keep it quiet which is what I can't understand so I thought I'd post here to try and get some enlightenment.

    Re NF & IDNX, I'm sure the guys will chime in. I know they have been speaking with Thies but I'm not sure there is sufficient data.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Membership: VIP

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    I've been emailing Thies with every scrap of sale data we have hoping for him to include Australian domains, but as David said the lack of historical sale data has made it difficult for him to include and effectively use the data.

    I'll chase him up as I sent him another batch a couple of weeks ago but never heard back...

    Cheers, Mark
     
  5. fcdoms

    fcdoms Membership: VIP

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    Cheers Mark,

    would you be willing to supply me with the data?
     
  6. neddy

    neddy Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    David, apologies for not replying to this earlier.

    Your post is a good one - and has some excellent points.

    I'm a great believer in "shouting from the rooftops" whenever it is appropriate. As you know, I recently made some posts about a few big sales.
    I want to create excitement about our industry wherever possible.

    But that's me generally acting as a broker selling domains for others. In every instance (out of courtesy) I get both parties permission.

    However, if I purchase a domain at a reseller price, I won't publish that partly because of the reason you mention:

    If I sell a domain at a reseller price, the buyer doesn't want me to publish that for the same reasons.

    Unfortunately, Google search is not our friend.

    Now, about all your purchases and sales - please enlighten us ................ ;)
     
  7. fcdoms

    fcdoms Membership: VIP

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    Good place to add a link to DNTrade's sales reporting section? (I could only find 2011 subsection).

    DNjournal.com (email your sales to: editor@dnjournal.com)

    Cheers Ned, you've made some lovely sales indeed.

    Edit:

    Also Ned, would it be out of the question to have a section on DNTrade like the exclusive section on DNF, for domain sales threads walled off from search engines?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  8. Scott.L

    Scott.L Membership: Trader

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Private sales in real estate are not recorded [sold price not published] why should domain names be any different for private sales?
     
  9. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Here is what I would say,

    For Purchases -

    -Disclosing gives information about what sort of budget a buyer is likely to have with further purchases. Have a sale disclosed and watch and the nutters try to sell you names not worth much for a small fortune, that goes for both domainers and endusers who have bought names.

    -Disclosing gives information to the next buyer. Would an enduser pay $5000 when they know the buyer bought it for $500 recently?

    -Some people don't like it known how much money they spent on something.

    For Sellers -

    -Seller may see it as unprofessional to disclose

    -May not want others knowing information about how much they making

    -May not want discussion of it.

    -Gives information to people they are buying names off, this guy sold domain.com for $XXX, he has loads of money.

    Some people probably like it, some don't, at the end of the day it is a fact of life. May not be good for the industry, but most people would put their own interests up for higher than that of the industry. Lastly some people prefer lower prices than higher, so if not disclosing deflates prices that may be seen as a good thing.
     
  10. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I think a lot of you guys are forgetting a key factor... "the couldn't be bothered factor".

    I have sold lots of domains in the mid $XXX to low-mid $X,XXX and the biggest reason I don't publicly disclose it is because I can't be bothered.

    It's nice when you sell one through NF's catalogue and they automatically record it, but I don't feel compelled to tell the world about a domain sale unless I'm selling a .au domain that nets more than $10,000+ - otherwise it's not really "news worthy".
     
  11. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Yes, good one.
     
  12. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    Some good thoughts there but nothing really hits the nail on the head for me - some points are valid but seem to me at least to be pretty minor.

    Remember I'm taliing about the domainers who agree that greater exposure of sales will help the industry who nevertheless go to efforts to not let a price/sale get out. And why they do this.

    So the following comments, whilst they may well be true don't answer this question.

    Anyeay... just thoughts
     
  13. Cooper Mills DomainLawyer

    Cooper Mills DomainLawyer Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    I agree with Snoopy's summation on why sale prices aren't disclosed by many people.

    It is frustrating not knowing! But being involved in both small and large deals which are off market, I find that vendors are usually the ones that don't want to draw attention to themselves - the guys/girls who do the biggest deals have previously said to me, that they don't want people knowing what their 'formula' is, particularly where it involves a developed website.
     
  14. zerohaze

    zerohaze Membership: Community

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    I sold MasterChef a few years ago and kept that one quite as it's quite embarrassing what i sold it for!!

    I have since learned that when a lawyer calls you to buy a domain, I should sit on it for the night!
     
  15. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    Some of the best lessons need to be learned the hard way....

    :p

    We've all been there.
     
  16. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    Well that's a reason I can understand. Good on you for contributing. The other one is when people are looking to flip a domain as I suggested in the initial post.

    As for the other reasons mentioned in this thread, they may well be true - they don't make logical sense.

    One other reason why people like to keep things quiet, I've since learned, is because they are worried that if their affairs are made public, nutters like this guy - http://www.dntrade.com.au/hello-there-folks-t4714.html might decide to go on the warpath for some reason (most likely envy).

    Another reason is the grey policy from auDA. People are worried that by highlighting a transaction, it might attract attention from auDA and threaten the domain.

    Unfortunate state of affairs...
     
  17. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    Actually that's a great point - when I first got on these forums I was VERY reserved precisely for this reason.

    If there is one things us humans don't deal well with, it's uncertainty.
     
  18. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
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    Snoopy you will laugh at me but yes i have bought domains when i have known the seller bought it not so long ago and i knew they would be making a good profit, BUT i saw the potential and also we all need to make profit and screwing people down becuase they were first and got a BARGAIN doesn't mean they shouldn't benefit.

    its been happening since moses played fullback for collingwood/storm/victory/bushrangers LOL.

    unfortunately most people do not like that you are making HEAPS of profit, its a fact of sales, most people do not value knowledge as part of the cost of purchase BUT think nothing of giving a doctor $50 for 8 minutes of their time, a lawyer $250 an hour, and accountant the same AND stupidly giving a plumber $80 just to show up at your house before he even picks up a spanner !!! but our knowledge, our research, our reading and understanding is not valued.

    SO, buy a domain name for $50 and sell it for $4000 and don't fell guilty.

    ansel adams, american photographer 1930's said " fortune favours the prepared mind" and that rings true for me.

    So the answer is disclose or not disclose but be prepared to back your self and your reasons for the price, "it doesn't matter what i paid for it, its worth THIS...."

    tim
     
  19. Drop.com.au

    Drop.com.au Membership: VIP

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    There's no domain sales list for 2012 - Ned?
     
  20. soj

    soj Founder

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    My apologies Andrew - let me try and blame it on FPR. :D

    I'll get the list up this weekend.

    And having just chatted on the phone, that is one excellent sale you made! Congratulations. :) That will certainly make the Roll of Honour.