Purchased For Less Than 4K Last Year, FreeBookings.com To Become The US Arm Of A Company That Raised $62M

TechCrunch.com just covered the site Live Bookings which TechCrunch referred to as the Opentable.com of Europe.

The company just picked up $24 Million more in funding bringing it total capital raised by the company to $62 Million dollars.

The London based company, in a Press Release clearly laid out its plans to use the domain name FreeBookings.com in the US for its online reservation system or the equivalent of its Live Bookings site in the Europe

Live Bookings bought the domain name FreeBookings.com for just $3,900 in November 2011.

The seller is a domainer.

The company started with the domain name LiveBookings.net and that is still the official site listed by CrunchBase.


We write these stories from time to time not to embarrass or to make the sellers of the domain feel badly for missing out on a big payday but to educate.

The bottom line is you don’t know who might be interested in buying your domain and any chance you have to figure it completely disappears when the domain is listed with a Buy It Now (BIN) option, as this domain was.

There are even those who feel we have sold domains way too cheap.

A blogger wrote last week about our meet.me sale for 450,000 who felt we could have gotten seven figures or more for the domain and quite possible we could have.

At the end of the day its virtually impossible to fetch the maximum price a buyer is willing to spent.

We are not privy to their budget or plans for the domain.

As a domain owner need to put yourself in the best position to know who your buyer could be.

Its one thing to walk away with mid-six figures for a domain that may have fetched 7 figures and quite another to walk away with just a few thousand.

So here is another cautionary tale of putting domains up for sale with a small BIN price only to find out months later that the buyer has tens of millions in the bank.



  1. says

    I’ve been going back and forth for three months with a French company over a .tv domain that I’ve held for less than two years. Using StatCounter, I track traffic to my specific sales landing pages, so I can see where the traffic is coming from, sometimes I can even see the company name.

    Well anyway, everytime the French company would go to my site, a Chinese company would follow them like clockwork roughly two hours later. After doing some research, I discovered that the Chinese company uses the same two characters from my .tv and there is significant money behind the Chinese venture. I believe the French company was nothing but a front for the Chinese company and so far they’ve gone from $1,000, to $3,000, to $6,500.

    Thus far, I’ve held firm at a much higher number.

  2. says

    By the way, the domain to which I’m referring is not “5D” – not disclosing that unless and until we get a deal done.

  3. Ghost says

    Just because a company raises 62mm doesn’t mean they have 1% of that- or even 1/2% of that- budgeted to acquire a domain name. Or maybe they do.

    OrangeJuice.com isn’t owned by Dole or Sunkist. They don’t feel it’s worth a minuscule fraction of their annual budget, yet pursuant to domainer-logic, if they came along and paid $55K for it in an auction, that seller was leaving money on the table because clearly, they could’ve paid $55,000,000!!!!!

    The churn and burn model of domain sales means that sometimes, you’re going to sell a domain cheap, but you’re also going to be making a ton of money and fantastic ROI on domains that people who use the ‘ego price’ model will carry on their books forever as a cashflow negative liability, waiting for that homerun that never comes.

    We all have our own business math.

  4. says

    Was going to blog about this but haven’t the time re: cybersquatters, Calle statements and buyers taking advantage of investors like this in general- blame ICANN for throwing domainers under the bus with this right of the dot crap. As Stephen Douglas said in a brilliant editorial last weekend on Domainer’s losing sales to Facebook.com/ “The Domain Industry really has one path to take to gain financial profits on their investments. That is communicating directly with END USUERS for your domains. It won’t come from other domainers trying to pick off your domains for cheap, or if you let them expire. ”

    The issue is that ICANN needs to be using its war chest rather than entertain itself, but to educate end users and selling the after market. But they get no $ so instead they sell out the aftermarket by plastering every media in the world with statements like new right of the dot domains are needed because all the dotCOMs are “taken” And when they say “taken” they subtly invoke the “C” word implying taken hostage- they are saying the way around the cybersquatter is our new plan rather than making a plan to help end users and help us.

    Or playing on what Pat Condell suggested for justice for Osama: “Domainers should form a firing squad then line up past and present crooked leadership of ICANN and take them out of our misery. Or we can hang them alive like trophies at the Ritz next october dressed in “pink slips” covered with bait for mosquitos; a huge pork chop holding their mouths and a fire axe up their arses so we can give our shackles to them the ax!” http://dotsub.com/view/26655849-5998-4895-ac4e-3a073a16f639

  5. Dean says

    The weekly sales list from Sedo and Afternic emphasize the percentage of BIN sales. The percentage hovers around 40-50% of reported sales. Most of the tools that are used to valuate domains, will tell you that your domain is worth a fraction of it’s value. It’s all subjective to a greater rather than lesser degree. A lot of money falls through the cracks and in someone else’s pockets if you adhere strictly to these industry recognized mechanisms.

  6. says

    Again folks, Domaining is just a bunch of BS word game.

    It is all relative and pathetic subjective.

    Live with it, enjoy each moment of your life- do not stress out if/what/should/could/would have this or not.

    Just be content and read ‘BullS” -your perspective will be in check.

    BTW- wear sunscreen…

  7. 3D is my life says

    5D, thanks for the tall tale, I needed a good laugh this evening. Now please join Robert Cline in the holding cell.

  8. Jp says

    Shouldn’t neccissarily assume that this particular buyer would have spent tons more for FreeBookikgs.com. Maybe, if this was that domain they just could not live without. Just IMHO it’s a nice domain choice for them however they probably had a few others in and out of their cart to choose between because this domain isn’t really that impressive. Perhaps if it was make an offer they wouldn’t have even bothered and just picked up some other BIN. Name that they were just as happy with. BIN may be what sold this one.

    For me at least, I think the BIN rule goes better for really great domains (Like Meet.me). Category killers need to be negotiated. FreeBookings.com, depends on your business model as a domainer.

  9. Overpriced says

    FreeBookings.com is not that good of a domain name. Just because the buyer raised $64 million in funding does not make this domain name worth 6-figures. It will take time to build the domain name into a notable website.

    Informing domainers to negotiate with buyers will reduce their domain sales. You have to build a reputation first before you can begin sell high.

    It is these type of articles which give domainers hope that they can sell 6-7 figure domain names. End-users know who they are dealing with as well. They can perform whois with many different websites.

    How would the seller know buyer’s identity at Sedo when the negotiation process is private? Unless there is some unethical practices going on between the seller and a domain company, the domain negotiation process is private (IMO).

    Secondly, the 8 year domain age (at the time of the domain sale) is not worth above $20K. Any end-user can gain millions in seed funding on a mediocre domain. A good idea probably attracted the funding. Does that make you believe that just because you own a domain name that you are entitled to a company’s innovative ideas?

    Domainers need to sell their domains to keep their business in motion. Using “make offer” on domains can delay the process. Negotiation can go on for many months, and may stall out. Once a domainer makes enough money, then they can ask much higher prices.

    In my opinion, FreeBookings.com is not that good of a domain name. The end-user’s prior success (nothing to brag about) and their new idea attracted the millions in funding. It does not make the domain name worth 6-7 figures.

    It is possible the domainer invested the $4k in more domain names to resell at a profit. As you mentioned before, the best end-user may pay the best price. What happens if the end-user is turned off by the high price? As a result, the domainer is not stuck with waiting to make a future sale. Another buyer willing to pay their price may never come along again.

    You have to sell domains at cheaper prices to reach success. It does not make sense to fire back a 6-figure price on a mediocre domain name. With domaining, you sell and forget. If you sit back evaluating every domain sale on should’ve and could’ve, then you should choose another niche. You’ll end up becoming an angry domain investor.

    LiveBookings.net is not that great of a domain name. Their monthly traffic is unimpressive. Asking them to pay low to mid 6-figures would have resulted in a lost sale. When you need to make a domain sale, you can’t look back on lost opportunities. Greed is what ultimately fails a business.

  10. Overpriced says

    Corrections: $62m in funding. “begin selling high”. “Unless there are some unethical practices going on between the seller and a domain company, the domain negotiation process is thus private (IMO).” “now stuck with waiting” and a few others. Thanks.

  11. says

    INSTEAD OF CREATING STUPID NEW GTLDS (THE ANA CONSIDERS THE COSTS FOR BRANDOWNERS TO 250 BILLION USD), THE CIRA (the same that decided domain name wasn’t a property and decided in 2011 it was a fuc… personnal property) to answer the same way you speak… Look down can you say country tld code is applying to each extension domain name… no? Just beffore starting the newgtlds CIRA (Canada) said that the half of newgtlds will fail, why because not brandable, not bankable : what you wanted to buy a car.car for yourself ???In fact it is like counterfeit the Internet Government is considering that putting in place specific extensions could contain COUNTERFEIT…what happens when a government is increasing the price of cigarettes… ANSWER… AN ILLEGAL PARRALLEL MARKET IS CREATED, what happened to you ? you want to create a dot med to contain I don’t know online Viagra…dO NOT WORRY 100000 websites will be created with this in dot com and improve counterfeit but not only this field…, the problem to consider would be more in BANKING MOVEMENTS and ETHICS I think…


    Do you really think Internet has unlimited space ? Do you think a thing or a system has no limit, no border lines? Ok, I disagree look at the Planet Earth Can Anyone say today everybody has medication, food and water and the planet earth can contain I dunno 250 billion people, or say the fossil energy is unlimited ?? DO NOT THINK SO !


  12. BrianWick says

    With what they are trying to do they need a gimmick name to compoete with the countless other competitors – and that is what they bought – a gimmick – and i will bet if the guy wanted 25k – they would have gone elsewhere

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