Get your catchy domain at it.com

interviews Inside Interview: Why This Business Owner Paid $650,000 for Furniture.co.uk

NameSilo
The Inside Interview series has focused on talking to end users who have acquired high value names. Up until now, we have interviewed 26 people or companies to find out why they acquired a specific domain.

Today, we bring you an Inside Interview that is slightly different. Graham Haynes (@betthelot) is a British businessman who is also a domain name investor, and an active member at NamePros. In July 2016, TheDomains.com reported that Graham had acquired furniture.co.uk and purple.co.uk for $650,000 and £108,000 respectively.

In this interview, Graham tells us about his existing business called BedroomFurniture.co.uk, why he bought furniture.co.uk, and he also reveals another domain name that he acquired for $100,000.

Screen Shot 2016-10-24 at 18.01.24.png

Graham's existing business, BedroomFurniture.co.uk
Can you tell us about yourself and the company behind furniture.co.uk?
I’ve been a part time domainer since 2000 and full time business owner since 1994. I have a number of companies and started in the furniture business on the back of buying BedroomFurniture.co.uk in 2009.
We launched in 2012 and have grown quickly selling online only. I have to say that I have had an interest in furniture since the age of 14 when I started restoring antique furniture. However the Antique Furniture market completely dived when I was 19 and therefore I started other businesses. I still have a passion for Antique Furniture and own AntiqueFurniture.com and will develop that website in the next 10 years.

Why did you decide to buy the domain furniture.co.uk?
Very simply, authority. When you buy online, sub consciously you make a judgement on the company behind the website. Having the exact match domain gives you instant authority, which would take a lot of marketing dollars to achieve with a newly regged name.

How did you find out that Furniture.co.uk was available to buy? Was it offered to you, or did you seek it out?
I sought out the name. Its was parked with Sedo and I requested the help of Dave Evason who did a great job. It was tortuous as the seller defaulted on a verbal agreement and it took 6 months to finally settle.

How did you determine that the domain was worth $650,000 to you?
The furniture market in the UK is worth around $20 billion per year.

Would you have considered paying more for the domain than you did?
Yes but after they reneged on the deal I would not pay 1 cent more.

Do you have specific plans for furniture.co.uk, or will it continue to forward to BedroomFurniture.co.uk?
We will use it in future for marketing and as an informational site. To be used in advertising/billboards campaigns.

You also acquired the domain purple.co.uk for £108,000. Why did you acquire this name? Was it an investment, or part of a business venture?
Purple.co.uk will be our main retail website. Its all about memory retention and the radio test. There are other reasons why we opted for this name, its the favorite color for women in the UK, who are our largest buyers and it has positive connotations, such as being used as a logo color in many quality brands; there is such a color called royal purple, which the queen used for branding for her 90th birthday celebrations. There are many reasons, too many to list but it's all about marketing and branding.

Why did you opt to acquire a .CO.UK domains over a .COM domain?
In the UK .com is seen as US centric and therefore UK people don’t click on a .com as often as a .co.uk - it's something like a 60% better click through rate for a .co.uk

Have you bought any other domains? If so, can you reveal the names and the prices you paid?
Bought many, heavily in LLL.coms NNNN.coms and EMD for products. AntiqueFurniture.com I paid $100,000 and many for 1-10k USD. I have made mistakes in my investments to give some balance, many English words in .cn and many Chinese character IDN names that don’t resolve in the main Chinese search engines.

Still hold some of them as you never know I may develop one of them. From about 500 of them I have dropped 300 and of the other 200 only had one offer in 10 years. Ouch!

What would your advice be to other startups or companies looking at buying a premium domain name?
Avoid the nGTLDs. They look far too spammy and you have to explain them all the time. You will leak emails and traffic to your competitors.

Think long term; as a domainer you are likely to be an entrepreneurs and can adapt more quickly to changing environments than the big corporation. Be a dictator. Force change through in your start up company. You will get resistance as soon as you have to employ people, but push change through. Your end goal should be to sell to a Top 100 company and the domain portfolio you hold will be seen as an asset.

No furniture company in the UK has a domain used purely for information advertising billboards such as Furniture.co.uk. None have a brand which is instantly retained such as Purple.co.uk (they all use FurnitureWorld FurnitureLand JohnsForBeds etc). None do vertical marketing. We will be offering one-off unique pieces of furniture under StatementDesigns.co.uk.

We will develop a strategy based around domain names that the corporations could never be nimble enough to do but will want to buy once we demonstrate the financial success, rather than organically grow their own. Think big, keep focused and don’t sell for less than $100 million.

Thanks to Graham for taking the time to speak with us. It’s interesting to get a different perspective on an end-user sale, since this specific end-user is also a domain name investor.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Inside Interviews is a blog series profiling the buyers of high-value domain names. Find out their motives, negotiation tactics, and their opinions on popular domaining topics only on the NamePros Blog.
 
28 0
•••
The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
Impact
4,712
Great Interview! Learned alot from it.
I wish more businesses understood the value of domains.

Thanks @betthelot
 
Impact
3,091
Where did you hear this @betthelot? What are your thoughts on .UK and .CO.UK?

Why did you opt to acquire a .CO.UK domains over a .COM domain?

In the UK .com is seen as US centric and therefore UK people don’t click on a .com as often as a .co.uk - its something like a 60% better click through rate for a .co.uk

Yup. Many IT Admins are blocking ALL new domains. Too much spam.

What would your advice be to other startups or companies looking at buying a premium domain name?

Avoid the nGTLDs. They look far too spammy and you have to explain them all the time. You will leak emails and traffic to your competitors.
 

John0

Established Member
Impact
329
^^^^^^cant edit above opps. Meant to add :laugh: at end. and also send congrats to @betthelot with the name purchase.
 
Wasn't this posted before? Maybe on thedomains, old news. Ooo well ;)

Graham did write a couple of comments in the TheDomains comment section, but no - this hasn't been posted before :)
 

London555

Top Contributor
Impact
897
Great interview-great insight. Here's a guy with ZERO offers on 200 domains in 10 yrs and he's still a great success. Thanks for this post.
 
Impact
5,700
Emd in the correct country code, no surprises really, Just a process of the best buyer finding them.
~
Huh? ........... Brought many, heavily in LLL.coms NNNN.coms ...... NO OFFERS ......Huh ??
 

elevator

DNCombo.com
Impact
1,324
Graham Haynes is full of experienced and very focus businessman. Congrats on all your aquisitions.
Thanks for the interview @James Iles .
Cheers.
 

WatchDogue

Top Contributor
Impact
17,684
Excellent questions James, questions that produced superb responses from Graham!

Much of what I always believed about domain name usage was validated many times over by Graham's marketing plans and success!

Thanks to both you and Graham for the terrific interview!
 
Name Worth
Top down