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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Selling a Domain Name?
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01/05/2008 08:37:09 AM · #1
Hi,

I own //www.benrobertsphotography.co.uk and have done for about a year and a half. When I was first registering it I wanted .com but it was already taken by what appeared to be another hobbyist. It now appears his website has improved dramatically and he's in business.

He fairly politely emailed me saying "for business reasons I'm not exactly over the moon about (you buying the .co.uk equivalent of my domain)" asking if I would be willing to sell the .co.uk domain to him.

I don't really know about this. I have a few hundred full colour business cards printed with that my URL on it, as well as cards and flyers up in a lot of local shops, so if I were to sell the name it would have to be for more than just the domain, surely? Because that is only £5 a year. I'd have to replace all my cards, which were quite expensive, and go through the hassle of coming up with a new domain name, designing new cards, having them printed, handing them out to the shops again and making sure I find and take down all the old ones. Then there are people who may have already picked up one of my cards and are keeping it handy for future reference - I don't even know who they are!

If I'm being honest I've not drummed up a lot of business from the domain but once I finish university this summer I'm going to concentrate on making it more profitable.

What would anyone suggest doing? I'm a bit stuck. I do need some money :P

Message edited by author 2008-01-05 08:37:30.
01/05/2008 08:47:06 AM · #2
I would probably just keep your site the way it is. Like you've said, you have already made business cards and handed some out. I doubt he is willing to pay enough to make it worth your while to redesign and print everything, because he is just one person, and not a large corporation that has interests in the domain name.

Your website domain is your identity, so unless you can find another address that incorporates your name, I would just keep it.
01/05/2008 09:13:53 AM · #3
My opinion differs slightly.. If this guy is doing business as the same name you are it may be better to find a new domain name anyways.

I would give him a quote for the price of printing new cards,the cost of the new name, the number of hours it will take you to move the sight,the total amount of sales you made from the sight last year, as well as some xx% of the rand total total as good will.

if he's not willing to pay that then ask him what he would be willing to pay, then explain to him the expense you already incurred around this name. if he doesn't budge I'd tell him to pound sand... but the next time he asks the price will be higher. :)

The thing is you won't know what he will pay until you start talking money.

Message edited by author 2008-01-05 09:14:06.
01/05/2008 09:18:53 AM · #4
Everybody has his or her price. Give him a quot; see what's his reaction going to be. Both you guys have same names, so it's also your right to keep that domain if you wish... you might be running business in the future, or expend your current one using the same URL... So, it's totally up to you, if he was polite, I say give him something to think about... maybe you both guys be happy at the end :)
01/05/2008 09:25:33 AM · #5
This man is talking about buying a portion of your bizz(wether youve made nothing or a billion from it,doesnt matter)...unless hes ready to fork over serious amounts of cash I wouldnt take him seriously. I think its pretty selfish of him to not want you to have your website because the address is too close to his. thats like saying you couldnt open up shop next to him... you two are over 100 miles apart which means you wouldnt even attract the same possable clients.

I would come up with a crazy off the wall price...I would add up the price of a new camera(what ever one youve had your eye on) and maybe the cost of your rent/mortgage(for 6 mths-a year),new bizz cards and flyers,a new website and the cost of designing it.if he slops the cash down take it and run.start again but definately make it worth more than your while.
01/05/2008 09:32:35 AM · #6
I'm with David. First, you haven't established your business yet, so choosing another business name that doesn't compete with an established business is probably a good idea. Second, business cards are $20 or so, so not a major hinderance. and Third, Explain to him the costs involved in reestablishing your identity with another domain and ask him to pay that cost plus whatever 'convenience fee' you deem reasonable.
If he isn't willing, you keep what you have. If he is, you might get a bit of profit out of it and end up with something that works even better for you.
01/05/2008 09:47:19 AM · #7
I don't know how I feel about this; but it's really interesting.

The guy doesn't want people going to your site and mistaking your work for his; so he wants you to relinquish your domain/identity.

You are an excellent young photographer; and who's to say that you might not feel the same way about him over time?

It strikes me as a friendly pissing contest over who is the real Ben Roberts.

What if Ansel Adams had a website and early on sold it to some schmuck who posted photos of stuffed animals or something? Wouldn't he regret that?

Maybe you should both decide to mutually take down your sites and never sell them to anyone.
01/05/2008 11:53:47 AM · #8
I notice that your .co.uk addy gets redirected to konador.com anyway...

R.
01/05/2008 12:00:53 PM · #9
1 domain for 1 Canon EOS 5D. :-D

Now would be the time to "re-establish" instead of later when you actually do have something to lose. But, I certainly don't think it's unreasonable to ask for re-establishing fees.
01/05/2008 12:01:19 PM · #10
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I notice that your .co.uk addy gets redirected to konador.com anyway...

R.


Same as in www.mixedphotos.com but I will use that later for other reasons... so, maybe he will use co.uk to do something else, or konador.com to do something else.
01/05/2008 12:10:20 PM · #11
Yeh I didn't think konador.com was very memorable for a local photography service, but that's where my hosting is so I just forward the photography URL.

Thanks for the advice, I'll email back asking what he would be willing to offer me, and let him know what I have already set up.
01/05/2008 12:37:05 PM · #12
For what it's worth, I am more impressed by your site than his. I would be more concerned with folks going to his site thinking it was you than the reverse.
01/05/2008 12:42:57 PM · #13
Originally posted by Nobody:

For what it's worth, I am more impressed by your site than his. I would be more concerned with folks going to his site thinking it was you than the reverse.


Ditto.
01/05/2008 07:32:37 PM · #14
Aw thanks :)
Looks like he's much more successful than me! I've sent him a reply tho and am awaiting a response
01/09/2008 10:28:37 PM · #15
Originally posted by rox_rox:

Originally posted by Nobody:

For what it's worth, I am more impressed by your site than his. I would be more concerned with folks going to his site thinking it was you than the reverse.


Ditto.


Ill have to third that "Ditto" I looked at both sites and find yours more appealing, along with some seriously stunning photos
01/10/2008 12:04:44 AM · #16
Another "ditto" here. Nice site, nice photos.
Also another, "give him an outlandish, obscene price" recommendation; cost of new cards, new business identity, hassle, time spent making all the changes, redesigns...the possibilities are endless
If you DO decide to keep the domain, be sure to have it go to //www.benrobertsphotography.co.uk/ and not the redirected ...that could confuse people ("but wait, I thought I was at benroberts...").
01/10/2008 09:24:08 AM · #17
Domain names are a business commodity and can be a big part of your "brand". For starters I think its silly for him to e-mail you stating displeasure over you registering a domain that is just as applicable to you as it is to him. Its his own lack of planning and foresight that he didnt buy all the applicable domains to begin with.

I also agree that its certainly not out of line for you to bundle compensation for your time and energy into building your business around your domain. You dont owe this person anything and I certainly wouldnt feel obligated to sell it or offer him any special deal. Ask for what YOU feel its worth and he can take it or leave it.

You may however want to consider if continueing with that domain is a good idea, assuming he doesnt buy it. Of course thats a decision each of us has to make on our own. If he doesnt buy it you may want to look at transitioning to a new domain where you can scoop up ALL the names and simply redirect your old domain to the new.
01/10/2008 09:38:01 AM · #18
I've been to a domain name service before where it told me the amount I would need to pay in order to buy a domain name. I'm not sure which service it was, but it was a great help in understanding prices. Check into this, you could get more out of it than you think.
01/10/2008 10:46:39 AM · #19
Originally posted by TygerPawz:

I've been to a domain name service before where it told me the amount I would need to pay in order to buy a domain name. I'm not sure which service it was, but it was a great help in understanding prices. Check into this, you could get more out of it than you think.


They can really only tell you what you need to pay if the name is for sale and a price for it is set. Other sites "estimate" the value of a domain by its page rank, trafic and link backs. If a name has never been registered or is registered an nver used it wont have trafic, a page rank or link baks so many sites will claim it not worth much. So, in short, Many of these places display a price based on the effort into already put into an existing domain in terms of trafic links etc and dont take into account what you may already have invested in teerms of building your own brand that includes thye site (ie business cards, perhaps business name etc etc).

In the end however a domain is worth what someone will pay for it. You can request a million bucks but if someone wont pay it does that mean its worth it?
01/10/2008 10:51:17 AM · #20
If you do sell your domain name and your worried about people trying to find you that have that URL from business cards, marketing material, etc. You could make an arrangement with the buyer to have a link to your new domian posted in the main page of his site for a set period of time (6 months or 1 year).

Something like

"Looking for Konador (Ben Roberts in the UK)? Click here: www.konador.com"

That should give you enough lead time to get your new materials out there.

This is not an unusual arrangement when selling a domain name.
01/10/2008 11:08:09 AM · #21
I went through a very similar experience last year.

You have to take into consideration many issues when deciding to sell the domain, and in coming up with a price. You will have to consider how much advertising you have out there, how many people use that email address, and most importantly don't forget to add on the "hassle" fee. Changing domains is a pain in the butt, especially when there are people that already know your domain.

You also have to remember that you already have the domain, and don't need to get rid of it. You didn't seek him out to sell it, he came to you. So when you quote the price to the prospective buyer, come up with a price where you feel that it is worth it to you. There is nothing lost if he just declines--as a matter of fact, it would be easier for you.

In a very similar situation, although I was not actively using the domain any more, I asked for $1000 and the buyers accepted.

Good luck to you!
01/10/2008 04:01:59 PM · #22
Or how about, you agree a transition period of say 6 months, where you keep the domain for now, but it redirects to whatever your new url is (whether konador or a brandnew one), but all your promotional materials/business cards from now on only give out the new url, so that after 6months (say) he can buy it from you, by which time any potential clients will be using the new domain.

and i echo the general sentiment that you have a very nice site.
01/10/2008 04:25:59 PM · #23
Just looked at your site, too. Very nice.

One note, the on your prints page,

//www.konador.com/prints/index.htm

The graphic below the portfolio book doesn't show. I get the broken graphic symbol.
01/10/2008 04:26:27 PM · #24
Originally posted by kirsty_mcn:

Or how about, you agree a transition period of say 6 months, where you keep the domain for now, but it redirects to whatever your new url is (whether konador or a brandnew one), but all your promotional materials/business cards from now on only give out the new url, so that after 6months (say) he can buy it from you, by which time any potential clients will be using the new domain.

and i echo the general sentiment that you have a very nice site.

There's a good idea. Fair for both parties, I think.
01/10/2008 04:53:58 PM · #25
The question I don't see an answer for is "Is this OTHER Ben Robert also a photographer in th UK?" Looking at the .com site leads me to believe he is, but his site is hardly one I'd expect to see as a promotional website. It looks like a rather dull blog. If he's concerned about you being competition, he should make improvements to his site.

I say don't worry about it and be sure to have your registration set to auto-renew.
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