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advice Advice on getting control of company related domains

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itdirector

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Hello. Apologies in advance for not being knowledgeable in this area and using the incorrect terms. I started a year ago at a family run company which has 150m in revenue and has been around for 50 years. The original name for the company is three words, two and then the thing we do. Say for example Happy Tree Landscaping. We are almost exclusively a B2B company so we're not well known to the public and our social and web presence is very small despite us having very high profile customers. Our website runs on what would be the equivalent of htlandscaping.net. We don't own the equivalent .com, never have as far as I know. We also own the full name of the company .com but it's not in use.

I came across some emails from my predecessor and the owners where they were discussing trying to get the .com as well as the equivalent of HappyTreeGroup.com, since the company has purchased other companies over the years and use this term as an umbrella. This name is utilized as our Linkedin page for example. I don't know if Happy Tree Group is trademarked, probably not. I know that about a year ago my predecessor tried to have godaddy negotiate for the domains on our behalf but there was no response from the seller. I can see that as of today, the .com and the group are owned by hugedomains/namebright and they are asking for 9k and 3k respectively. I know for certain the company will never pay the 9k but the 3k might be possible.

In simplified terms, is there any reasonable expectation that my company would have a legitimate legal claim to htlandscaping.com, does it matter that we have been using the .net for ~20 years? I think even more so the company does want to acquire the HappyTreeGroup.com - should I advise them just to pay and not risk the company researching us and raising the price even higher? Would attorney and other fees wind up being close to or more than the 3K they are asking to begin with?

Thank you
 
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Thanks Brad. So they would just hold the domain for what, another 10 years? I really can't see that anyone else in our industry coming along and buying it, especially not for 9 grand. Do you happen to know who makes the final decision on negotiating down? Is it the person you first speak to on the phone or do they have to go back and talk to "the boss", etc?
I am not exactly sure who makes the decision there, but the company behind Huge Domains / NameBright owns millions of domains.

The truth is they are not likely to care much about some random domain sale. It is not going to make or break their business.

In this field you can sell a tiny % of your domains, and still make good money. For instance one $3,000 sale could renew (300) .COM for a year.

If you DM more information I can provide my thoughts on the actual domain in question.

Brad
 
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Accepting that you are using an example domain and not the real one. What do find when you do a search on the two letter prefix and word (I would separate and combine them in a search and use quotation marks) If you don't find any competitive or company use, then your probably in a strong position to get a good price with Huge domains. Maybe even Let them know you've purchased the preferred domain from their inventory at $3k and your looking for a similar price. Now you hold the better domain there is no harm done.
HOWEVER
If your search turns up options (as for other buyers) for Huge domains, then your hand is weakened. you could then try the anonymous approach for negotiating down the price. still nothing lost.
Pleased you got the main domain the company valued
 
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You aren’t wrong but at the same time you don’t understand the business, their expenses and investments. They tend to be very conservative with spend and it’s served them well for over 50 years, the business is low margin but has never lost money and never done layoffs. For them to spend over 10 grand on domain names isn’t insignificant.

Then why are you still here?

Your company makes lots and lots of money, but they are cheap as dirt and won't spend $9K on their exact-match in .COM. So they either buy it or they don't and above you just stated they won't - see ya!

If you go the UDRP route, Huge Domains will fight it, and probably win, thus costing you thousands in lost legal & filing fees that your cheapass company, by your own admission, will not spend.

So again, why are you still here?
 
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Then why are you still here?

Your company makes lots and lots of money, but they are cheap as dirt and won't spend $9K on their exact-match in .COM. So they either buy it or they don't and above you just stated they won't - see ya!

If you go the UDRP route, Huge Domains will fight it, and probably win, thus costing you thousands in lost legal & filing fees that your cheapass company, by your own admission, will not spend.

So again, why are you still here?
Thanks for your helpful insight
 
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Thanks Brad. So they would just hold the domain for what, another 10 years? I really can't see that anyone else in our industry coming along and buying it, especially not for 9 grand. Do you happen to know who makes the final decision on negotiating down? Is it the person you first speak to on the phone or do they have to go back and talk to "the boss", etc?

Owners of large domain portfolios typically look at their portfolios in aggregate. As long as the overall portfolio is profitable enough to cover domain name registration fees, it makes sense for them to continue to renew the entire portfolio, since they don't know which domain names will ultimately sell.

If they hold 50 domains like the one you want to buy, at a registration cost of $5000 over 10 years, and sell one of those for $10,000 - they've more than broken even.
 
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