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Help with Huge Domains

Labeled as advice in Domain Buying and Selling Discussion, started by CallumUK, Aug 24, 2020

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  1. CallumUK

    CallumUK New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been reading this forum for a few years now. I have purchased and negotiated the sale of a few .com domains in the last 15 years for small-medium businesses and start-ups, even purchasing some from Buy Domains and Huge Domains, but I'm gutted that my first post on here is something of domain clumsiness on my part!

    I have a story I'm sure you've all read many times before... but I figured my situation is a little different to existing threads on the forum so there's no harm in hearing some thoughts and advice from you Name Pros!

    I had a .com domain that I purchased back in 2010 for personal use and for a YouTube channel which I ran as a hobby. I purchased 7 years worth of registration at the time, but fast forward 7 years to 2017 and the registrars attempts to remind me to renew went into the junk folder. (Not relevant, but I stopped uploading to the YouTube channel in 2014). I want to recover the domain name so I can get access to the email addresses connected to the TLD and also recover the Google account paired to my old channel. (I have reached a dead end with Google support).

    Just to summarise the Huge Domains pricing:

    • In 2017, before I approached Huge Domains their asking price was $2,595.
    • After getting in touch, they offered me their Previous Owner Price of $1,300.
    • After multiple exchanges via Email they sent me a final offer of $1,075 with no expiry date.
    For me personally, $1,075 is a lot of money, and to justify spending that much to recover a domain name back into my ownership for hobby purposes is difficult. I have been gradually saving up over the last two years to purchase the domain (as a payment plan or lease option was not available at the time) as I felt avoiding any legal processes was the easiest and cheapest way to resolve the issue.

    Having now got the full amount saved, I have approached Huge Domains again using the original email thread so a member of the team could see the existing discussion. To my disgust, they're not willing to budge on their new asking price of $4,295. This post isn't to publicly vent and rant about my anger at Huge Domains for purchasing the domain I originally owned, as I understand they did so legally, but nevertheless I'm appalled at the ransom-like behaviour. Unfortunately it seems the person I was negotiating with has left the company.

    Does anyone have any advice before I proceed down the legal route? (This would be cheaper than their asking price compared to a legal quote I received today from a UK law firm - but obviously with no guarantee of success. Just to add, I used this particular law firm on behalf of a client in a dispute with Buy Domains, and won! I explained this to Huge Domains in the initial negotiations and that's when they dropped the Previous Owner Price of $1,300 to $1,075).

    Thanks for your time reading this.
     
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  2. CJ6

    CJ6 My favorite movies are too offensive now. Whimps. VIP

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    So, the negotiations were back in 2017? I don't blame them for marking up the price. I don't know what the domain was, but keywords can change the value of a domain. What if you had a cryptoshop.com domain in 2006? It would probably be worthless back then. But, now it would be worth a fortune. If I was selling crypto.com and made an offer for an amount years ago, I wouldn't use the same offer years later.

    In other words, if you disappeared for 3 years, don't expect the same offer.
     
  3. CallumUK

    CallumUK New Member

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    I agree, the same offer shouldn't be expected, but I'm nevertheless disappointed with their ransom approach.

    To be fair they did just return my voicemail and I had a brief chat with one of their staff. They say they no longer offer any Previous Owner Pricing and wouldn't be able to apply goodwill. I asked if this could be escalated higher for consideration but they said there is no one.

    The domain in terms of trends has actually gone down in value. Using GoDaddy's valuer on both occasions;
    2017 Estimated Value: $1,880
    2020 Estimated Value: $1,239

    I'm thinking I might just come up with a new name and persue Google Support and re-brand the YouTube Channel. It's a real shame because I hold the trademark for the .com in question so it's not like anyone else could easily buy and trade under it.
     
  4. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I suppose that HugeDomains is not really unlike others, when a name has inquiries the perceived value goes up, and pricing in some cases. That said, it is highly unfortunate that they do not honour a previously offered price, or at least near that.

    I had not realized until your second post that you own a trademark.
    Does whoever you have talked to realize you own a trademark that predates their registration.

    Now I have never been involved with a UDRP, but it seems that a strong case. You have prior use, You have a trademark. You have made a reasonable offer for the domain name, in fact equal to a previous offered price. Now typically a UDRP as I understand it would cost more than your offer (when both fees to be represented and the filing fee are taken into account), and of course no guarantee of success.

    I really feel for you. It seems to me that their answer is that there is no one above to make your case to must surely not be true. I would request again.

    It is unfortunate that HD did not then offer payment plans (they do now) as it sounds like that would have been acceptable to both back then.

    I really hope you are successful somehow.

    Bob
     
  5. CJ6

    CJ6 My favorite movies are too offensive now. Whimps. VIP

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    I agree. If he has held on to the trademark for years, that changes things. Of course, it all takes money... which is the hard part.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  6. CallumUK

    CallumUK New Member

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    Hi both,

    Appreciate the insight.

    If HD offered payment plans back then I absolutely would have proceeded to purchase using that method.

    I have emailed the Sales team again to ask a fourth time for further consideration from someone higher but I imagine me repeating myself will only annoy them.

    I know I've got a strong case but at the end of the day it doesn't mean you'll absolutely get the desired outcome as we all know. That's without the vast amount of time that would need to be invested and the legal costs associated with the process. I just wish they would offer me a sensible figure under the circumstances like they did back in 2017.
     
  7. Start

    Start Established Member

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    They sound very arrogant.

    But how about this idea?

    I've noticed that for most/all of their domains, they offer payment plans spread-out over 12 months. What if you just sign-up for that payment plan, and just do it for 1 month? You can setup your old email addresses and do what you need in that time, and then won't need to pay anymore after that?

    And I see on their payment plan page that you aren't required to continue payments:
    "No obligation and no contract - cancel anytime for any reason!"

    I guess 1 month would probably be around $400, and then you wouldn't need to pay more after that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  8. karmaco

    karmaco Top Contributor VIP

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    Nothing costs what it did 3 years ago so the fact that the price has been raised isn’t strange. You let the name drop they picked it up. So it is kind of your fault.

    Giving Huge Domains etc the benefit of the doubt, they along with many domainers get frequent sob stories and tales such as yours. I am a student, its a charity, no money, dropped by accident, etc. If you resort to threats communication will likely end.

    As far as UDRP, it depends on the domain. You have a trademark in one class but the words might apply to other classes. Trademark doesn’t mean you own the word and nobody else can use that word/words. The fact that you have waited 3 years since the drop to take any action I don’t know what that does for your chances.

    Lawyers do not come cheap and as you said no guarantee. I would find out what this will cost you first and then decide.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  9. Way3

    Way3 TheMainDomains

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    I would do just that. Rebrand for now (along with the new channel, try to keep the old YT name though!). But keep on moving. HD is taking a risk if you own the trademark of the dot com, and it's a unique set of words, that lowers the value of the domain among end users & most serious investors. You may find down the road that the price will come back down as it lingers.

    Note: Over the past 15 years that I've worked online, I've had several domains that accidentally dropped. And was able to pick them back up several years later, as they really only had value to me - I didn't have official trademarks, but I owned all the major social media channels. That always helps to reduce the risk of value to someone else. Obviously somewhat the opposite of strong investing for resale tactics. But I'm a brander by day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  10. CallumUK

    CallumUK New Member

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    Hi all,

    Just to update you, earlier this month we decided to close the YT channel and the associated UK business for reasons unrelated to the domain name.

    We'll be keeping an occasional eye on the domain name in question and should anyone ever buy it I'll have great pleasure sending them our trademark paperwork (which we've decided to keep active for the foreseeable future).

    Thanks again for your replies and opinions.

    P.S. Before the closure I did reach out to Andrew personally. He replied quickly to say he'd have a look but (understandably) with no promises. He hasn't replied to date but obviously it's all irrelevant now.
     
  11. Jimmysun

    Jimmysun Established Member

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    I doubled prices every year, either hold or drop.
     
  12. Start

    Start Established Member

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    Hi, just saw your new post.

    Did you see my post above? I detail how you could simply make 1 payment to essentially rent the domain for a month -- so you can recover the email address you need, and login to Google/YouTube and switch usage to a different domain name.
     
  13. hollywood

    hollywood Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If huge domains sells the domain I would think they would be profiting from your mark.

    But if you just wait and go after a new owner, especially after discontinuing your trade or business, I would not approve. Enough trolls in the world already.

    UDRP
    Look it up like Bob said. Let us know.
     

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