Been Up So Long, It Looks Like Down To Me

|

Toys 'R' Us bought toys.com last week for $5.1 million, making it the biggest domain name purchase this year. The deal puts toys.com in the ranks of seniors.com and porn.com as one the Top 10 Most Expensive Domain Names ever purchased.

And what's more, Toys 'R' Us got a hold of the name only after a heated bidding war with National A-1 Advertising. 

As if to spite old-world models, U.S. domain name prices have remained stable in the past few years even as the rest of the world goes Kerplunk. Average domain names are going for $2,688 a pop and in England, "[s]ales have tripled as businesses see the value in having a presence online," said Nora Nanayakkara, business development manager for Sedo UK domain name seller.

The toys.com purchase wasn't all good news, though. Ron Jackson, editor and publisher of the Domain Name Journal, said:

Had it not been such a recession, I think it probably would have gone for a little bit more than that.

By "a little bit more," he meant $2-3 million.

So…healthy competition is good thing?

Sez Jackson:

The severe recession is forcing businesses to look for the most cost effective, efficient way they can possibly operate and for many that means establishing or reinforcing a web presence.

This is especially true of brick and mortar retailers. There is much less overhead involved in selling toys for example online than through hundreds of cash-draining big box retail stores.

Boy, those businesses better stop being so innovative if they want a piece of the bailout action.

Back in the the virtual world, it should be no surprise that sex sells.  Reason's coverage of the seedier side of domain name practices here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Euros Wowed by New Administration, Box of DVDs

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Even 5.3 mil is probably too much. What sort of customer honestly sits down at a computer and says, “I want a toy. Maybe if I type toy.com I can find something?” Similarly, if I want to buy some milk at a retail outlet, I don’t wander into random houses hoping one of them is actually a supermarket.

    Customers online, real customers, follow content – just like the customers of physical retail outlets. I don’t go to SHOE STORE, I go to Foot Locker. Customers don’t go to auction.com, they go to ebay.

  2. correction – 5.1 mil. oof

  3. I’m not letting foamscape go for less than $10,000,00

  4. EH! Who slashed my minimum bid by 10x?
    10 Million. You hear me? Not a penny less.

  5. And in England, “Sales have tripled as businesses see the value in having a presence online,” said Nora Nanayakkara, business development manager for Sedo UK domain name seller.

    Cutting edge entrepreneurs there, all right.

  6. max, I agree, but (I am not an advertising dude) I believe that it would be considered a branding thing. “weather.com”, “pets.com”, “dictionary.com”, etc. are all recognizable as branding.

    That said, what would “goatse.com” go for?

  7. Epi – this is part of why I half-seriously believe advertising people are business vampires. How’d pets.com go?

    Check out this gawker link on the pepsi logo

    http://gawker.com/5150582/breathtaking-document-reveals-pepsis-logo-is-pinnacle-of-entire-universe

    How many tens (if not hundreds) of million did pepsi pay for several pages of metaphysical crazy?

  8. “Even 5.3 mil is probably too much. What sort of customer honestly sits down at a computer and says, “I want a toy. Maybe if I type toy.com I can find something?””

    You would be surprised. Type-in traffic can be huge on one-word or product specific terms. Speaking from personal experience, my low-tech wife does exactly that for almost everything she looks for online – despite my laughter.

  9. max, advertising has its place, but I agree that to some extent Madison Avenue has the business world thinking it’s more important than it is. I remember reading something about this and I just tried to google it but I failed. I’ll try some more and see if I can hunt it down.

  10. I think the Arnell Group was responsible for the Pepsi rebranding.

    Here’s another one of their screw-ups:

    http://www.logodesignlove.com/peter-arnell-defends-tropicana-rebrand

  11. Is johnyoo.com taken? I have plans within plans within plans for it.

  12. I remember reading something about this and I just tried to google it but I failed. I’ll try some more and see if I can hunt it down.

    Maybe if what you read had an easy to remember URL you wouldn’t be in this pickle.

  13. Max – Rick is right. Actually I’m pissed I didn’t come up with this myself. A kid from my neighborhood owns cellphones.com. He never sold it; he’s just been raking in money for every click from every person who doesn’t know any better (several hundred K/year). There are a lot of people who look for information that way.

  14. Maybe if what you read had an easy to remember URL you wouldn’t be in this pickle.

    fuckyou.com

  15. That’s fuckyoo.com, Episiarch. Get bitter, man!

  16. fuckyouevenmore.com

  17. Yoo’ll be sorry, Episiarch.

  18. Is penismightier.com available?

  19. Is penismightier.com available?

    Not sure but this http://www.penisland.net/ is where one goes for ‘the best custom made pens on the net!’

  20. After reading just a couple Gay Fonz ads, I’m already scared to click the ‘sex sells’ link.

  21. ads should have been articles. WTFIWWMT?!

  22. Alcoholism Intervention: If you are a friend or a family member of someone who is either abusing alcohol or already addicted, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help. The biggest problem you face is that the abuser or addict thinks this is YOUR problem, or you’re making a fuss over nothing. “I can handle it.” The last one in the room to know there is a problem is the one who has it.

    ==========

    Anderson110

    Drug Intervention

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.