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James Iles

Breaking: Aron Meystedt Sells XF.com and OC.com

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By James Iles, Aug 11, 2017 at 6:06 PM
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Aron Meystedt (@XF.com), domain investor, owner of Napkin.com Investments and entrepreneur in residence at Heritage Auctions has just confirmed the news that he has sold two two-letter .COM domain names from his personal portfolio. Those names are OC.com and XF.com.

    In July, Domain Name Wire confirmed Aron's acquisition of Napkin.com whilst also confirming that his company was due to change its name from XF.com to the aforementioned Napkin.com. Soon after, XF.com started to show a for sale sign.

    IMG_0195.JPG
    Less than a month after the for sale sign went up with an asking price of $3.5 million, it looks like a deal has been reached. Aron said:
    There are currently no clues as to who the new owner of XF.com is, but given Aaron's asking price this may well be a seven figure deal.

    Aron's second sale of this week was that of OC.com. On July 26th, Elliot Silver confirmed the news that Aron acquired OC.com after the name was brokered by Heritage Auctions. In a quick flip, Aron has sold the name onto an as yet unknown party, with the domain currently under privacy protection at Network Solutions.

    Despite selling these two names, Aron's portfolio still boasts names including March.com and the oldest .COM domain in existence, Symbolics.com.

    Aron's new home on the Internet is Napkin.com, which offers venture capital funding. However, in an email confirming the sales of both XF.com and OC.com, Aron said he will still be buying and selling domain names.

    Congratulations to Aron on an incredible week.
     
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com, domain name investor and broker. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: james@namepros.com

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  5. Comments (40)

  6. Josh R

    Josh R Founder of BrandConsultants.com NamePros Supporter VIP

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    Congrats Aron.

    Am I correct in thinking that the events occurred as follows?

    1) Attempts to broker the sale of OC.com
    2) Doesn't sell it, and offers to buy it.
    3) Sells it a month later as the owner.
     
  7. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com NamePros Supporter

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    Sure seems that way
     
  8. XF.com

    XF.com Heritage Auctions Heritage Auctions VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Correct. Elliot accurately covered the reasons for the purchase on his blog.
     
  9. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Business Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    A link is in the article above but for those interested, here is a quick link to Elliot's piece on OC.com.

    By the way, I think a change of username is needed @XF.com @Eric Lyon ;)
     
  10. jstenn13

    jstenn13 UltraDomains.com NamePros Supporter

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  11. hookbox

    hookbox Active Member VIP

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    Actually no. #1 is right. #2 is right. #3 is actually like 2 weeks. :)

    Seems like the best way to make money is to broker names. Not to actually broker the name but act like you are, and then purchase it for cheap and flip it a couple weeks later.

    It sure seems odd that you can't find a buyer when you are the broker for 3 months, but when it's yours you get a buyer in a couple weeks. Funny this industry! Funny, oh so Funny!
     
  12. LarryDomain

    LarryDomain Established Member

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    In defense to some of your comments. Aron did have prices set on OC.com and XF.com. So sometimes the potential buyers comes back at a later date and decides to buy.

    In my own opinion and dealings with Aron, he's pretty transparent.
     
  13. hookbox

    hookbox Active Member VIP

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    Do you have any idea how big the pool of buyers is for OC.com? Most short domains have to match up each letter to the company name. With OC you only have to match up the letter O since C could stand for Corp or Corporation. So simply put any single word company that starts with letter O is a potential buyer. That's a MASSIVE list. I like Aron and he seems like a nice straight up guy but I look at things from all angles no matter who is involved in the sale.
     
  14. Domainscoop.com

    Domainscoop.com Established Member

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    Aka domaining similar to all those domain auction conferences,
     
  15. JB Lions

    JB Lions Business Member Business Account VIP

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    Article says both domains were sold via "China-based domain broker."

    So have to find out who that broker is or just use China based ones to sell those 2 letter domains.
     
  16. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Active Member VIP

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    Huge...Gigantic...Enormous...So Big,...I wish i had a chance to broker a two letter domain name like this!!!!
     
  17. 1Darko

    1Darko Established Member

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    Congrats and all the best to Aron!(y)
     
  18. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    I'm surprised Heritage Auctions allow their brokers/employees to buy the items they are brokering. That seems to create a conflict of interest.

    It's an awkward look for Heritage Auctions when the broker they have assigned to the name doesn't manage to sell it, then buys it "on the cheap" himself to help seller move the name quickly, then goes on to sell it, presumably for a lot more, just a few weeks later... I certainly would not be happy if I was the original owner of OC.com and saw this chain of events transpire, especially within such a short time frame.
     
  19. tksfrm

    tksfrm Established Member

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    Sometime things happen behind scenes! Perhaps seller needed money very urgently. You do not sell domains, when you are in real hurry, because you need to be patient.

    I have feeling, that HA done a favour to seller of domain - knowing that it is a good investment and will sell good - just not in timeline of domain seller. So they helped seller (perhaps in financial trouble) - and when buyer saw there will be no "quick deal" - they agreed to "fair price".

    Can be many other scenarios as well - but I doubt, that Aaron and HA would risk their reputation.
    My two cents :)
     
  20. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Established Member

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    Congrats!..Double whammy!...But we need to discuss this...Just to clear the air, can somebody explain how this is not a conflict of interest?
     
  21. LarryDomain

    LarryDomain Established Member

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    This situation will probably happen all the time.

    1. Seller goes to broker and say help me sell this name x.com.
    2. Broker says, okay I will announce to all my contacts to sell at this price xx,xxx,xxx.
    3. No one accepts the offer.
    4. Broker says if you want I can purchase it from you right now at x,xx,xxx.
    5. Seller says, okie dokie. I need money bad to pay the IRS.
    6. One of the buyers who saw the offer decides to buy it later at xx,xxx,xxx.
    7. Sold!

    It's not very uncommon. No one says you can't buy from your client. If they agree, they agree! I see ZERO conflict of interest here.

     
  22. pchip

    pchip Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    My thoughts exactly. This industry is something else.
     
  23. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    Heritage Auctions and Aaron couldn't find a buyer when he was brokering the name, which enabled him to buy the name himself. But when he became the new owner, a buyer was found immediately (the sale has just been announced, but negotiations for the name, sales agreement, and fund transfer probably started some time ago, in other words almost right after Heritage Auctions/Aaron took control of the domain). So did he go the extra mile or utilize another set of contacts when he sold the name on his on behalf rather than for the Heritage Auctions client?

    I don't know if Aaron was the owner as an individual, because the initial statement about the purchase said that they decided that "Heritage [auctions] and I would give the seller liquidity and purchase the name ourselves." Not selling the domain on behalf of the client, and buying it himself and then selling it on his own behalf instead, allowed him/Heritage Auctions to pocket a significant amount of money, more than if they had merely sold the name on behalf of the client.

    Do you not think there is a possibility that the chance to take ownership of the domain at a reasonable price and flipping it may have unduly influenced the brokering of the name towards the end of the brokering timeline? They stood to gain a lot more financially by buying the name and flipping it on their own behalf. Not a good look when the auction house buys the name from you, and then flips it for a higher amount almost directly afterwards. The name seemingly went from being unsellable to sellable in weeks, with the only significant difference being who owned the name.

    The broker/brokerage gained financially from doing this, and this situation creates a set of circumstances where their actions as the brokerage/auction house might be unduly influenced by the financial gain that can be achieved by buying the name for a cheap price themselves, and then flipping it for a higher price.

    A conflict of interest does NOT mean that something improper has taken place, but describes a situation where there is a chance/risk that decisions/actions may be inappropriately influenced by secondary interests such as financial gain. Aaron/Heritage Auctions achieved a significant financial gain by buying the name from their client and flipping it for a higher price themselves right afterwards. They may not have been influenced by this secondary interest at all while initial brokering the name, but that does not mean that there is "ZERO" conflict of interest in this situation (which, again, is not the same as the occurrence of impropriety).
     
  24. dordomai

    dordomai Active Member VIP

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    No not correct.

    Heritage lists domains and it also may or may not market them to potential buyers but they are not brokers in the sense that they sell by going around contacting buyers.

    Heritage tends to sell to their clientele which may be different than domain brokers attempt to sell to. They run open auctions. A broker sells privately.

    Aron was not a broker for oc.com.
     
  25. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Established Member

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    That's odd. According to the DomainInvesting.com article, "Heritage Auctions (HA) had been brokering the OC.com domain name on behalf of a Dallas company called Open Connect."
     
  26. dordomai

    dordomai Active Member VIP

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    that is complete BS of course. It is not that easy to sell a 2L.com even when there are thousands of companies with that name.

    Why do you think most of these go to China? They are often not used as acronyms for the company name.

    Truth is that HA has limited ability to sell a 2L.com in a short period of time. Look at other domain sales like black.com. They are not getting the highest prices due to their auctions format and small buyer pool and the limited time they have to sell them.

    Aron had to use an asian based broker to do so and pay him a commission which means he wasn't capable of sellling the domain himself.

    The results are what you would expect if you use an US based auction house to sell a product that is most popular in the far east.
     
  27. dordomai

    dordomai Active Member VIP

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    HA is running auctions, they do market to potential buyers as well, that is making them aware of the auctions but they don't broker them 1 to 1 like the typical domain broker seen in this industry.
     
  28. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Established Member

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    I agree, they don't broker them 1 to 1 like the typical domain broker. That's why we are having this discussion.
     
  29. hookbox

    hookbox Active Member VIP

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    That is hilarious. We call ourselves brokers but we only contact our own clients that buy baseball cards. Seriously? That has got to be the worst excuse I have ever read.
     
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