Back in April, Chinese mobile device maker Xiaomi purchased Mi.com for $3.6 million, some reporters noted that the MI made perfect sense for the company as Mi can work as an acronym for Mobile Internet.
Since that acquisition it seems that brand protection specialist Mark Monitor has been out scooping up Mi domains in other country codes. Mi.co.uk was reported sold on DN Journal for $14,000. The domain was reported sold by DomainNameSales.com. This domain was reported sold before the Mi.com sale, roughly two weeks before.
This week Mi.co.id (Indonesia) sold for $60,000 on Sedo. Now right off the bat it makes you wonder did the negotiation skills of the .co.id just transcend that of the .co.uk owner, or did the .co.uk owner not push the negotiation ? .Co.uk certainly is a much more liquid and popular extension. Now in the weekly report from Sedo that we posted, one commenter said he sold Mi.co.za.
Well this is VERY upsetting to say the least and confusing!
I sold MI.co.za to MarkMoniter via SEDO a few weeks back for only $2,000!
Obviously at the time I did not know who the buyer is (One of my pet hates about SEDO). I certainly resisted the price and really struggled to get them up to 2k. My initial offer was 9k and theirs was just 1k!
So I really pushed and they were not interested in going further. Hindsight being 20/20 I now wonder what would have happened had I said no? Had I known it was Markmonitor I probably would have said no as they conned me before on a global product name for Nestle.
I think large corporates and TMs have a damn cheek trying to be surreptitious about their names especially with something generic like an abbreviation or two letter name. A bit like Apple registering a whole new dummy company just to try pretend to the owner of apple.co.uk that they were someone else!!!
So why spend so much on a totally unknown ccTLD like co.id?
As a result of this secrecy SEDO affords buyers I stick to Afternic which at least gives you a username…
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The commenter makes a good point about one of the perils of negotiating on a platform that provides you little due diligence. Of course the Co.id seller also used Sedo and got $60,000. I would have thought the .co.uk could have gone for $60,000 especially since DomainNameSales.com gives you more tools when a lead comes in.
It also seems that Mark Monitor has scooped up Mi.sg the country code of Singapore. Xiaomi has an office in Singapore.
None of the domains point to any corporate website. They actually don’t even resolve in most cases, the .Co.Za just has a placeholder saying, “This domain is registered and protected by MarkMonitor”
Mi.asia also sold back in May but the whois is not Mark Monitor, that domain sold for $1,110. The domain is parked at Sedo currently. Xiaomi does own Mi.cn and redirects it to the .com website.
There is always a debate that rages back and forth when negotiating with a mostly anonymous buyer on a platform like Sedo. I have read some people say they always negotiate like it is Apple or Google on the other side of the email and others feel content to just go for the price they want.
Certainly when you own a short LL domain that domain can have a lot of value to a lot of corporate interests around the world. Mi is a very good two letter combo, pronounceable, has meaning, good acronym possibilities. It will be interesting to see who Mark Monitor has been scooping up all these Mi domains for.