Inc.com On Value of Killer Domain: Purchased For $12K Turned Into $19 Million Yr Business

Inc.com just published the story of Jesse Stein who bought the domain SportsMemorabilia.com for just $12,500 and turned it into a $19.5 million retail business.

Its a domainers dream story.

SportsMemorabilia.com was purchased by Mr.  Stein in 2006, for $12,500 from Moniker.com in March 2006

At the time it was a parked domain and in “just six years Stein turned it into a recognized retail brand with more than 450,000 products from across 13 sports–taking in $19.5 million in 2012 and earning a three-year growth rate of 270 percent”.

“”"The serial entrepreneur and Wharton graduate was inspired to buy the domain after attending a Las Vegas conference that suggested there was money to be made in e-commerce sites with “category killing” domain names”.

It seems that Mr. Stein may have attended TRAFFIC 2005 that was held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

“Stein began pursuing some 200 category-defining domain names–such as hobbies, biking, and boating.com–with the hopes of turning the ones that showed potential into e-commerce empires”.

“SportsMemorabila.com was the first one of these killer domains that looked promising, so Stein purchased it for $12,500 and set about transforming it into a fully functioning website where customers could buy authentic, signed sports paraphernalia”.

Its a great story about which serves as further proof that a domain name like no other asset on earth can launch a life changing business.

Comments

  1. says

    “Its a great story about which serves as further proof that a domain name like no other asset on earth can launch a life changing business.”

    Now that would make one hell of a story line for a Super Bowl commercial :)

  2. says

    Hello MHB,

    Congratulations on sluething this one out. End Users relate to other end users stories, and this is certainly a third Party confirmation, on how really important a strategic asset .COM Foundations are, for any businesses that are intent on winning the day. Thank You

    Gratefully, Jeff schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  3. says

    @Jeff:

    “cheap knockoff Typo Sight” [SIC]

    Our site is neither cheap nor typo. It’s a full fledged business. It is not duplicating Schwartz’s effort, but complimenting it. Rick has stated that he is at full capacity at 300 domains, that leaves millions of names to cherry pick for us. I warn you, our standards are much more stringent. We deal exclusively from the business side. We first get the business, then we look for the name. Whereas, JointVentures.com does the contrary. So, I don’t know why you say we are a duplicate. Besides, the market place welcomes competition for the benefit of the consumer, and the domainer. We consider Rick the king, not God. We intend to do this right, strong and bullish. Sit back and enjoy this epic.

  4. says

    this is “by far” more important that the domain:

    * ” he instructed Tesoriero that the first step for the company was Google-rank dominance over its competitors. But rather than pursuing the typical metadata strategy, the company went for something more organic.

    “We started the company by creating content that was meant for actual human consumption–not just stuff that was meant for Google,” Tesoriero says. “We researched the memorabilia industry and wrote articles on the various nuances of collecting and athletes. I conducted a lot of interviews with fan sites about products, players, and what people were looking for at the time. People starting linking to our content and Google started to give us credit and rank us accordingly.”

    *quoted from the same article.

    There is not such a thing as “just add water ” domains.

  5. says

    Domo Sapiens is correct.

    As for leasing domains, that is a obviously a bad idea except in some very unusual circumstances. The same guy promoting the ideas talks about having a business dependent of Google. Instead, your business is going to dependent on some fruit loop who posts a blog full of cursing and rants? Just read his blog for 5 minutes and it is clear he has no intention of adding any value to any business and the only purpose is to extract as much as possible from the suckers who sign up. Now we have people trying to knock off that idea. Just learn how to develop a web site that people will use.

  6. says

    Even though the domain cost 12k and it’s now a $19 million business, a lot of it also had to do with hard work and effort to grow the business. What % of the success would be attributed to the domain? I agree the exact match term is definitely helpful.

  7. jose says

    ok, so the guy gets a business of millions $ because of the domain name… am i the only one that finds it far fetched? :)

    on the other end picking JointVenturefy.com is horrible, no offense domenclature.

    the other day there was a great domain that you or “the king” could try to fetch that was ingloriously dropped and lost to the registry: JV.NET. I am sure for an amount of $5k the owners would have negotiated the sale instead of dropping it.

    that is because the majority of people AND end-users don’t give much importance to domains and we already have plenty of users on the Internet.

    and, food for thought, most domainers would pay only 10% of the value they think a domain is worth it they have it and the reason is not just because of money management.

  8. says

    Hi Domenclature,

    I am sorry for raining on youre parade. Its just that there will be hundreds of imitators of Ricks Beautiful Blueprint for Business expansion. I can’t blame you for hopping on board with the concept.

    Good luck!

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

Join the Discussion