There was a post on Namepros that called into question the Chocolate.com sale. “NDA Keeps A FAKE Multi-Million $ Sale of Chocolate.com from being exposed”
I wrote previously about the Chocolate.com sale and the buyer being revealed here.
Kate decided to address these Namepros threads in the open letter below:
An Open Letter from Kate Buckley:
It’s been called to my attention by concerned colleagues that NamePros user @offthehandle (no name, no photo, gender listed as male), has repeatedly called into question my sales and/or the sales prices of the following domain names: chocolate.com, inspection.com, sleeping.com and snoring.com.
I wasn’t going to respond as my duty is to my clients, colleagues, and our industry, not nameless, faceless avatars indulging in trolling on NamePros. However, as these libelous and toxic allegations are extremely damaging to our industry, I decided it was in everyone’s best interest for me to respond.
First, who are you @offthehandle? No one knows. He’s a nameless, faceless agitator, hiding behind an avatar in order to peddle his libel without consequence. There’s a name for people like that: bullies.
Given the volume of posts he’s made on the topic, it’s clearly keeping him up at night. Why then had he not reached out to me directly to inquire? As any one who follows me on LinkedIn or Twitter knows, I’m extremely easy to contact. No, he was clearly more comfortable weaving conspiracy theories over at NamePros then having a logical, reasonable dialogue with a professional.
Moreover, these sales have been confirmed on DNJournal (and we all know Ron Jackson’s impeccable level of journalistic integrity) as well as listed on NameBio, so why question them? As anyone who reads DNJournal knows, there are many brokerages and investors who publicly report sales. I don’t see agitators like @offthehandle questioning their sales. So why single out mine?
Could it be because I’m a woman? As any successful woman in business can tell you, there is a certain ilk of man who is at best intimidated and at worst caustic toward women who’ve achieved any measure of success. Or, could it be because he hasn’t achieved any measure of success of his own?
Moreover, why weren’t the press releases and subsequent media coverage, and ensuing reporting on DNJournal and NameBio enough for him? In fact, many of the press releases include quotes from either the buyer and/or seller—it would involved a level of conspiracy and subterfuge in par with a John le Carré novel to “fake” those sales!
Any why question the prices? Those in the know can tell you that only a fraction of high-value domain transactions are reported. These publicly-reported sales at both DNJournal and NameBio are just the tip of the iceberg. If @offthehandle doesn’t believe premium domains are worth real money, he’s clearly in the wrong business.
Another common refrain is that these are “fake sales” because @offthehandle doesn’t like their current usage or because they’re not in usage yet. Again, if @offthehandle really knew domains, he’d know that there are many reasons they are acquired. They’re not only appreciating assets, but constitute an alternative asset class. They are purchased both offensively and defensively, and sometimes in stealth mode—held in wait for release with the right platform at the right time. But the bottom line is that whatever the acquirers of any domains do or do not do with their bought-and-paid for assets is no ones’s business but their own.
Any what of my credibility…and legal exposure? Would I risk not only my hard-earned reputation for professional ethics and integrity, but also risk being sued just to report a fake sale? That’s insane!
One of my favorite classes in undergrad was Logic (a class I’d highly recommend to @offthehandle). Would respected investors on the level of Michael Castello, Roy Messer and Shane Cultra entrust me with their valuable assets if I were employing any sort of questionable business practice?
“Kate is an indispensable strategic partner, handling the high-end sales of my legacy domains. Her experience, strategic outlook, negotiation skills, and knowledge of the space are second to none—allowing me to realize top dollar returns on my domain portfolio.
Last year alone, she sold seven figures worth of domains for me. I recommend her to anyone looking to maximize their domain investments.” —Roy Messer, CEO, Nett Corp, Inc
“Kate is one of the domain experts in the field of domain name appraisal and brokerage that I would trust to handle my portfolio. Kate is a long time associate and friend and I trust her to make sound negotiations for me and my business.” —Michael Castello, CEO, CCIN/The Castello Brothers
So…I decided to do what I do best: work collaboratively and with transparency. I reached out to the companies who handled the escrow services for all the of the domain sales that @offthehandle has called into question, and asked them if they’d be willing to issue a statement confirming the sales without compromising any confidential information. Here’s what they had to say:
“All transactions are confidential by default on Escrow.com but in this case we took the unusual step of contacting all of the parties in both of the transactions to get their agreement to release details. I can confirm on Escrow.com‘s behalf that transactions for Chocolate.com and Sleeping.com/Snoring.com were both 7 figure domain deals transacted through Escrow.com in 2019 and 2018 respectively.” —Jackson Elsegood, General Manager, escrow.com
“I confirm that I served as escrow attorney for the transaction of Inspection.com which Kate Buckley sold for $335,000 in 2018.” —Dean Bell, Esq.
I think we all can agree that libelous agitation and conspiracy theories hatched without a shred of proof or legitimacy (let alone common sense), cheapen us all. In future, I’d invite trolls like @offthehandle to consider acting with civility and professional ethics. And the rest of you, keep being awesome!
All my best,
Bill Sweetman says
Kudos to my colleague Kate for standing up to this hateful troll even though it’s sad she had to. This is just one of many examples of how women brokers in our industry are treated with less respect than male brokers. As an industry, we can and should do better.
Harry L Shields says
Not a man woman thing for me or most. We don’t believe any of you without proof.
What she has done and continues to do is a tremendous accomplishment and should be respected for it, it is not easy.
Kate and her firm have worked as a broker for me on a few IP assets.
Always hardworking, candid, resourceful and strategic…
Why anyone would question her sales or integrity is perplexing and troubling.
In cases like this wherein someone is attacking her character and business, I feel the party should be revealed, at least by IP address.
Richard B Morris says
Kate…i’m Richard Morris, a business guy from Virginia Beach, Va and I’m as transparent on NP and the internet as anyone can be. Can I assume you’re a Democrat? A liberal? If not you certainly talk like one.
I don’t know who “offthehandle” is, and I frankly don’t care. Assuming he’s a misogyonist (woman hater) is every bit as bad as Don Lemon, CNN and the Democratic party referring to me as a racist when they don’t know the first thing about me. For the record, I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican who voted for Hillary Clinton last election, and former President Barack Obama before her. This brings me to the 2020 election, and while my views are recorded on facebook, I’ve promised to never vote for a damn Democrat again as long as I live.
I don’t take being FALSELY accused of anything like I was on NP by another member, ironically named Kate, as long as I live. Your industry Kate has HUGE problems, and I can assure you I’m not one of them. However, for you to “possibly” accuse offthehandle of being a misogynist is incredulous. The kind of rehtoric you spew makes me want to VOMIT!
Are you going to be in Austin Kate…maybe we should meet:)
Yep, she definitely sounds like a leftist. Gross. And I don’t believe any of those sales either- people are so gullible.
Michael Curving says
1. Why are you attempting to turn this political? What does ANY of this have to do with the realm of political parties or who someone voted for?
2. Although this post has nothing to do with you personally, your comment is conspicuously all about ‘me, me, me’
3. “The kind of rehtoric (sic) you spew ..” Oh the irony. Her open letter was carefully thought out, well-worded and deliberate, whereas your comment appears as something very much “spewed” forth, as some long-winded rant.
4. “Your industry” … why not “our industry”?
5. That last line with the little smiley, following your diatribe, did not strike me as wholly innocuous. I hope I am wrong. Perhaps you should clarify. Why would you say something that can be perceived as vaguely intimidating towards Ms. Buckley? If indeed it was intended to be, there is absolutely NO call for that. NONE.
6. The fact you cite there are problems in the domain industry (which there are) but then attempt to qualify that you are not one of them, is what is truly incredulous here. One of the biggest problems I see is the constant shit stirring, which your comment appears to be perpetuating.
Mark Thorpe says
Namepros member @offthehandle should be revealed!
Robert McLean says
I am here to attest that the motives and tactics of the well heeled of the “Domain Name Industry”, namely
the two dozen or so, first to the circa 1995-1999 .com domain name registration trough, are not as lily white as
the brokers for which, male or female would like us to believe.
It is understandable that knowing from where your bread is buttered and bowing to those that have ALL the valuable domains.
These self same “kings” of the industry, the ones who’s portfolios from which come an embarrassing percentage of significant sales week in and week out and month in month out, are not all the paragons of virtue that the broker for the sale of Chocolate.com would have us believe.
I can report that there is no room for anyone else in the domain name business but for the two dozen or so first to the .com trough circa 1995-1999!
If you are not cowing to these 24 or so kings, in one form or another, your are doomed in the domain name business no matter the initiative or work you exert.
I have the scars to show as proof.
Utter nonsense, nothing to do with the post and no one knows you to hold you back. Go make your own way.
So this is going to become a gender issue??? Bullshit! No one cares, people have questioned Mann’s sales many a time. There was a thread on namepros that questioned berkens, something about newyork condos or some crap.
This is not about gender, its more about a clique of people who are successful and many cliques who are not.
Why did Elliot (no talent) Sivler copy your article?
Elliot (no talent) Sivler says
I messaged Kate about the NamePros thread on Friday to ask if she had a comment, and she emailed me the statement at the same time she emailed Ray today.
Ray was able to post it faster than I posted it, but I did not copy anything as you allege.
Raymond Hackney says
I can verify that when Kate and I communicated on Friday, she mentioned that Elliot contacted her. Kate was not sure how she was going to reply and I emailed her today saying that one person did not reply. She then decided to do an open letter.
Kate Buckley says
I emailed the same open letter to both Elliot and Raymond as they had both reached out to me about the allegations. The domain industry benefits from both of their journalistic integrity and professionalism.
Disappointed in Raymond participating in this… Loyalty should be to Namepros
Raymond Hackney says
Participating in what?
Morgan Linton says
Kate is one of the most hard working, open, and honest people I have ever met. There’s no doubt that Kate has been one of the most successful domain brokers and she’s built up a name for herself and a successful business quickly.
It’s absolutely ridiculous to hear that someone could attack her like this, definitely seems to me like a combination of sexism and jealousy. Let’s ban this troll and keep the conversation on NamePros focused on the issues that really matter to Domainers.
Who are you to say what matters to domainers, and Namepros sure as hell is not banning offthehandle, keep dreaming startupboy
Raymond Hackney says
I would concur they are not banning offthehandle.
That women card blows it all up.
It’s very easy to be doubtful of what is reported, because this is one of the shadiest businesses around. Her reputation, or anyone else in this industry for that matter, only gets you that far. It’s not a permanent guarantee that you are legit and will never be corrupted. Vigilance and scepticism are welcome.
That said, I didn’t read the thread nor I have any interest in reading it. My time is precious. But unless any allegation or conspiracy theory made on that thread call out for her “women condition” that defense adds only to the toxic masculinity conspiracy.
I agree once the woman card is played I am out. Sad thedomains gave her a platform for this.
Agreed- disgusting. Today’s leftist women pull the woman card without proof against any man who would dare question their ethics or honesty. Her doing this makes me not believe a word she is saying.
Kate Buckley says
The woman card? So sayeth the bro-vatars. That was one line (in a very long and considered letter complete with substantiation of all reported sales…which, also, didn’t mention my politics, so that’s another bizarre statement) musing as to @offthehandle’s reasoning for singling out ONLY my reported sales. Why just mine? Hmmmm. Very interesting that you bros honed in on just that. Now, I’m done having debates with nameless, faceless avatars. To quote David Castello, “It’s like having a duel with a guy who hides behind his mother’s skirt.” #backtowork
Are these avatars gender specific? Because guess what? I’m a woman and I scoffed at the woman card being played. As a woman that should be the last place we go unless there is proof positive that was the motive. Oh and my mother would have kicked David Castello’s ass in a duel.
Why such a strong reaction to “women” comment? This article gets more comments than the one that questions legitimacy of the reported domain sales.
Don’t we all want all reported domain sales to be legit and as transparent as possible?
I think its always good to question when uncertain. Accusations on the other hand are rarely productive and if not true are hurtful.
That said the company in question that bought the domains was interviewed a few days ago and this is what they said that may have led to uncertainty.
After mentiining domain names including chocolate….
Mike: Does Wazimo own the domain properties or do you work in partnership with premium domain owners? If not, is that a possible future path?
Danielle: We formed a partnership with the domain owners.
cesspool of liars trolls and shills. Pros spew fake stats insisting its true and np dont do shit. I called one ‘pro’ an idiot in pm cuz he posting blantant lies to trying to discredit actual facts and I got restricted. They nurture these idiots. Here’s what the mod team wrote me for standing up for truth:
“Why are you sending all of these irrelevant messages to us? We do not care what opinions are expressed on NamePros as long as they follow the rules. You are explaining your opinion to us as if we care what someone says and as if we will only allow the posts if we agree with them, which is incorrect. The opinions that appear on NamePros have nothing to do with us, and that is clearly stated on every page where a member has posted. Look, we can’t help you if you are going to be outsmarted by members who can follow simple instructions.”
So there you have it! I was outsmarted! Obviously there ARE 6 FIGURE SALES in .com EVERYDAY, right!?! Yup pro insisted it’s fact to discredit actual facts being posted and np called it opinion then restricted my acct to oblivion. Actual ‘pros’! Disgusting, no regard.
So what do you expect? Mods get off on it all. Reap what you sow!
Kudos to you Kate!
Interesting the so many that have nothing but negative and don’t-believe-it rants about domain sales and early investors, they hate the industry and the profits made by ‘not them’, yet keep visiting and reading all the forums and blog posts. I guess it’s easier to spend time down-playing and critiquing, then chasing their own dreams and fortunes. Que sera.
Ben pedri says
your giving this heckler exactly what he or she wants,it sounds like your on trial and need to prove your innocence by bringing in character witnesses.This actually shows weakness ,even if it’s to a small degree,just keep on doing what your doing and Let jealous slugs drown in their bloody envy.
Fat Anon says
I have read and re-read that thread and don’t see anything by the OP that would look like a personal attack to me. There is no indication that the post has ever been edited.
Maybe I am being dumb, but then could somebody point me to where exactly these “personal attacks” are?
All I can see is a person questioning these sales. Whats the big idea? Significant sales are being questioned all the time. Insignificant are being questioned as well. Follow the “report your sale” thread and from time to time you see a fight even over some low XXX sale credibility.
The current user does not look serious to me either, but would they get hurt by the fact some people are like that? I don’t think so. Yet if they are concerned with some of the public’s reaction, could just provide a little clarity about their project, business, plans etc. (After all, this is about a domain name, and the primary purpose of domain names is public usage). That’d clear up a lot of doubts. If any kind of response from any involved party was needed at all, that would do.
Instead, I see a lot personal attacks towards that thread’s OP now here and on another blog as well. Ban him, burn him, impale him, crucify him. “Hateful troll”? So having doubts and raising a question makes one a “hateful troll” now? Is this North Korea? Are you all being serious, people?
Are you off the handle?
Off the handle seems to have found a friend .or is he his own friend?
We were one fo the lucky ones to work with Kate and i have no doubt of what she reports is true. Ironically the troll stated this on NamePros now operated by Rob Monster whose reported sales came out to be unfinished.
Bob Hawkes says
Kate (or indeed anyone else) should not have to justify sales that were already substantiated and accepted by the two most trusted sources of sales information within our industry. She has a remarkable record of success in premium domains. I felt fortunate to be able to hear her superb and insightful presentation at NamesCon. I am glad that she has stood up in this way to the anonymous critic through her powerfully written open letter. I hope it will be a step towards increasing professionalism in the domain industry, and that we all will keep the points she made in mind the next time we see some unsubstantiated claim from an anonymous poster.
The only thing that has me coming back to this article at this point is a pot twist where @offthehandle turns out to be a woman.
I’m kidding of course, just thought Id lighten the mood. I cannot believe how vicious this small niche industry has become with itself.
Raymond Hackney says
Become? In 2006 I was talking guys out of hopping on a plane to punch someone in the face because they didn’t like their .tv domain.
There are a lot of people that plain don’t like one another. Do you know how many comments I have modded here and TLDinvestors because someone was hoping someone drowned or jumped off a bridge. It’s a nasty industry.
Macho Max says
The nastiness of an industry is oftentimes directly correlated with the average IQ of “industry participants”. Most def the case here.
That being said, I don’t believe her.
Not sure if it is worse, that’s true maybe it’s just me.
I just have no desire to wake up in the morning and hurt someone, physically or emotionally so when I see people attack each other, people they do not even truly know and seem to enjoy it, sad stuff.
End of day, sales will always and have always been questioned to some degree, nothing new. What Kate has done is amazing, hats off to her. I personally wouldn’t let anyone defame me either and she has made her point. Water off a ducks back is what I would say to her going forward.
Raymond Hackney says
That’s why you are Legendary Josh. I agree I never really got it, I mean unless I knew you were bragging on Namepros and I knew the sale was bogus because a friend of mine owned it and told me what it sold for, why would you ever say a thing.
I think the thing normally is about people don’t like how other people spend their money (Not Kate or any broker) but the end user. They spent $1milllion and the site only looks like that? It’s like yes maybe you would do different but it’s their money and their website.
For years the bigger complaint or conspiracy when there is no broker involved, is people that don’t have a lot of money cannot believe people spend that much money on a domain name. Years ago someone who was not wealthy nor successful in domaining told me they never asked for more than $1,500 for their names. Because they thought anyone paying more than that was foolish and overpaying. I said well you are a domainer, and they said, “Raymond I am not a domainer, please don’t ever call me that.”
I still don’t get it. Regardless if you believe or not believe the legitimacy of the sales report, why get angry at the person reporting the sales? He/She is not the one that buys or sells the domain name.
Even in real estate with similar transaction patterns, I didn’t read about people who are angry at the brokers. I just don’t get it.
Domo Sapiens says
“We are only halfway through 2018 yet Kate already has three of this year’s top 15 sales to date – Sleeping.com and Snoring.com at $502,225 each and Inspection.com at $335,000. ”
On re to chocolate.com: “That in no way diminishes the significance of a sale that Kate told us closed in the mid to low 7-figure range. Seems to me that would make somewhere around $3.5-$4 million a pretty good guess. ”
why not mention the prices?
Jim B. says
I have no reason to dispute the validity of these sales, especially since they have been reported by independent websites. However I do have a problem with the “I’m a Woman” card.
By using this kind of response, you are hurting the gender inequality issue rather than helping it. Off the handle made no reference to gender and yet you went out of the way to play that card. This is no different than women coming out claiming #metoo movement for