Link.com.au sold for $66,000

Three weeks ago we wrote this article about someone making a complaint against the premium generic domain name Link.com.au that caused it to drop.

Many questioned why and how auDA had approved the complaint after an auDRP against the name had failed.

Melbourne entrepreneur and domain investor Luke Smorgon, who purchased the name on the drops, just informed Domainer he has now sold the domain name;

Hey Rob,

Thought I’d share with you an update on link.com.au

We have just sold the domain name to the guys from The Link Collective for $66,000.

I know they got a bad rep from their auDRP case, but after dealing with James their CEO I can vouch they are a group of genuinely passionate entrepreneurs that just didn’t know what the right process was.

They are excited about building their business and were completely above board to deal with. They put their cards on the table about their desire to own the domain name and their willingness to purchase it.

After some negotiations we agreed on a price that I think represents great value for them and their brand, and I’m pleased to see another organisation who was eager to acquire their matching ‘.com.au’ domain name and pay an equitable amount for it and plan to put the name to good use.

A special mention to Erhan Karabardak who introduced James to us.

Cheers,

Luke Smorgon

50 thoughts on “Link.com.au sold for $66,000

  • Avatar
    May 28, 2020 at 8:13 pm
    Permalink

    Absolutely awesome sale, Luke!

    You’ve just made the top 5 sales!

    Really good to see this Link Collective company go through the process and finally understand how to acquire a great domain name and the true value of premium Australian digital real estate.

    Good on ’em, and good on you Luke – and nice intro, Erhan 🙂

    I look forward to seeing the domain name fully developed.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 28, 2020 at 9:03 pm
    Permalink

    Not the top 5, not even top 10 Rob

    Gotta update your list mate, with the following .com.au sales:

    Basketball $90,000
    CarInsurance $250,000
    CarLoan $200,000
    Cars $1,600,000
    Cruises $110,000
    Deals $100,000
    Flowers $153,000
    InvestmentProperty $137,501
    Jobs $300,000
    Poker $100,000
    Toys $90,585

    These are just public ones. Most big sales are not published due to NDAs, the higher they are the more likely it is that it will be subject to NDA.

    Like
    8 people like this.
    Reply
        • Luke
          May 29, 2020 at 11:18 am
          Permalink

          Thanks Damien, much appreciated. I’ve already covered the original cars.com.au sale, please see excerpt from the list below:
          “cars.com.au ($1,600,000)
          […]
          cars.com.au ($141,000 in 2002 – later sold for much more)”

          The property.com.au sale isn’t on the list as it was sold as a going concern (including the website, etc). Whilst the domain was a/the significant factor in the sale, I’m only listing sales that solely involve domain names. I’m aware of many other sales involving additional IP or going concerns, but I have to draw the line somewhere!

          Thanks for taking the time to share those details.

          Like
          2 people like this.
          Reply
        • Avatar
          May 30, 2020 at 8:17 am
          Permalink

          Please, property.com.au was a massive site, it was the main competitor to realestate.com.au for a long time.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            May 30, 2020 at 9:11 am
            Permalink

            No it wasn’t. It was a poor, low quality and low content site in my opinion.

            Readers can visit this link to see for themselves:

            https://web.archive.org/web/20040615232511/http:/www.property.com.au/

            15 June 2004. Only 2 days later the Archive.org record shows REA had gained control of the domain.

            REA said they bought it because it was only domain name that could ever rival RealEstate.com.au, that they wanted to lock it up. And because they did so, Domain.com.au still today doesn’t even touch REA group.

            And by the way Wotif paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Travel.com.au according to old annual reports.

            Health.com.au sold for several hundreds of thousands of dollars as a raw domain. It was then developed and sold for tens of millions of dollars to NIB.

            Like
            5 people like this.
            Reply
            • Avatar
              May 30, 2020 at 9:33 am
              Permalink

              Haha .. Snoopy please stop making up stuff as you go. I would like to buy Clue.com.au for you but it’s taken and newly developed. Sold in the past 3 years by Domain Active.

              Like
              3 people like this.
              Reply
            • Avatar
              May 30, 2020 at 9:38 am
              Permalink

              We’re you around back then?

              There was two main realestate sites in Australia In the late 90s, realestate.com.au was #1 and property.com.au was #2.

              Reply
                • Avatar
                  May 30, 2020 at 4:48 pm
                  Permalink

                  200k would be the 2nd highest .com.au on record. This is all wishful thinking, no way is it that good of a name.

                  Like
                  Anonymous likes this.
                  Reply
                  • Avatar
                    May 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm
                    Permalink

                    Wrong again.

                    Per Luke’s list:

                    cars.com.au ($1,600,000)
                    money.com.au ($400,000)
                    jobs.com.au ($300,000)
                    carinsurance.com.au ($250,000 – sold on eBay!)
                    carloan.com.au ($200,000+)

                    $200,000 is a big number for a published sale, but many sales are never made public. I can count on two hands the number of 6 figure offers I have declined.

                    Like
                    2 people like this.
                    Reply
                    • Avatar
                      May 31, 2020 at 5:23 pm
                      Permalink

                      Most of that list isn’t real, eg cars.com.au $1.6million and carinsurance.com.au $250k.

                      There is an accurate list at the bottom of this page,

                      “ Money.com.au – $400,000 C.Mills
                      Pay.com.au – $168,000 N.O’Meara
                      Fetch.com.au – $132,000 DBR
                      Sleep.com.au – $100,000 Drop”

                      Like
              • Avatar
                May 30, 2020 at 10:06 am
                Permalink

                We are not talking about the late 90s. That’s when the internet was beginning to emerge as something important. We are talking about mid 2004 when the domain name sold. And at the time Property.com.au was NOT number 2. Domain.com.au was number 2.

                Like
                Anonymous likes this.
                Reply
                • Avatar
                  May 30, 2020 at 10:24 am
                  Permalink

                  If Property.com.au had still been #2 in 2004 the business would have been likely worth more than $9million. Obviously they were losing market share by then.

                  This is one competitor buying another, not a domain sale. They had a fierce rivalry for a long time. If it was a domain sale they wouldn’t have kept running the site, they bought a business.

                  Reply
                  • Avatar
                    May 30, 2020 at 10:32 am
                    Permalink

                    ????

                    Have you clicked on Mike’s link? – Domain.com.au owned by Fairfax had 130,471 listings in mid June 2004. It was always number 2. What happened in the 90s is irrelevant, the internet was only starting up. In 2004, RealEstate.com.au had to buy Property.com.au so that Domain.com.au didn’t get it.

                    Like
                    6 people like this.
                    Reply
                    • Avatar
                      May 30, 2020 at 2:59 pm
                      Permalink

                      I’m not disputing that Domain was bigger by 2004 but this was a very large property site in the late 90s. To pretend it was a domain sale and “What happened in the 90s is irrelevant” is nonsense.

                      They bought a competitor and that competitor likely knew the writing was on the wall by 2004. Realestate.com.au almost went bust in the early 2000s also. Rupert Murdoch saved it by offering $11million for a 44% stake. ie worth a bit more than double property.com.au. That is not the price the domain was worth, that was the value of loss making businesses in the dot com bust era.

                      “News’s bid for the company followed a statement from Mr Murdoch that his company did not view the internet as a current or even potential profit centre.”

                      Like
                      Anonymous likes this.
                  • Avatar
                    May 30, 2020 at 10:36 am
                    Permalink

                    People often sell a low quality web site along with the domain name as a going concern for tax purposes.

                    Just admit you got it wrong Snoopy.

                    Like
                    3 people like this.
                    Reply
                    • Avatar
                      May 30, 2020 at 3:16 pm
                      Permalink

                      Well the sale certainly would have had “tax purposes” involved, because the owner of property.com.au burnt up a lot more than $9 million building the site.

  • Avatar
    May 28, 2020 at 9:37 pm
    Permalink

    So the old Registrant lost out on $66,000 and had to go through the auDRP which they won?

    It doesn’t answer how and why auDA deleted the name? Who got them to do that?

    There is no way the RDNH culprits from The Link Collective could be seen to be naive or to have acted fairly to the old valid Registrant… they screwed them over big time and in the end got the name but paid for it anyway!

    https://domainer.com.au/link-com-au-dropping-due-to-a-complaint/

    06/02/2020 16/03/2020 RI-auDRP02/20 link.com.au Complaint Denied
    https://www.resolution.institute/documents/item/4191

    It seems the “Bad Rap” for The Link Collective and those behind how this played out was justified.

    What was this bought for on the drop auctions recently?

    The name is easily worth $66,000. A pure Premium 1 Word Generic .com.au

    Like
    9 people like this.
    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 29, 2020 at 5:05 am
      Permalink

      They still got it too cheap.

      Luke, you sold Fleet.com.au too cheap and now this one too cheap!

      Once a good name sells it is gone FOREVER.

      $66k is a drop in the bucket for any business with more than a dozen staff.

      It’s the cost of a receptionist for one year. The domain name will add much more value to the business than a receptionist. AND it sits on the balance sheet as an asset and can be resold ie not a sunk cost.

      Like
      8 people like this.
      Reply
      • Avatar
        May 29, 2020 at 9:04 am
        Permalink

        It’s not easy selling domain names. Luke is out there making great sales. It’s easy to call “too cheap” when you’re not making any big sales yourself.

        5-figure .com.au sales are nothing to sneeze at.

        As Ned has said in the past, sometimes it’s a good idea to clean out domain names you’re not using, so you can invest in more premium names you have a stronger interest in.

        Like
        Anonymous likes this.
        Reply
        • Avatar
          May 30, 2020 at 6:53 am
          Permalink

          Selling is not hard when people have come to you, if you are not interested in selling or don’t need the money you will be surprised just how much ppl pay for a domain

          Like
          4 people like this.
          Reply
          • Avatar
            May 30, 2020 at 7:51 am
            Permalink

            Spot-on Mike.

            If you receive an inbound enquiry on your name, and you aren’t desperate to sell, you’ll be able to sell it for much more money, than if you’re actively trying to outbound sell it. Many portfolio holders have discovered that outbound selling their domains are a waste of time. It’s more a waiting game of acquiring the best QUALITY domain names they can and being PATIENT. Great names attract hearty offers, it’s simply a matter of time.

            The thing is, the person who’s wanting to buy your domain name on an INBOUND enquiry, I see it as meaning; The more money they’re offering you to buy the domain, the more confident they’re going to feel that they’re going to make a ton of profit themselves with the brand and name once they’ve acquired it from you, because THEY GET HOW IMPORTANT SHORT PREMIUM DOMAIN NAMES ARE in the marketing and ‘brand authority’ sense. Then, in this regard, the buyer DESERVES to reap the rewards for their bold acquisition. Because, as the old saying goes, it takes money…

            Like
            5 people like this.
            Reply
      • Avatar
        May 29, 2020 at 9:57 am
        Permalink

        You don’t get six figures unless you turn down five figures. They would’ve paid six figures. These guys earn $500+ per hour. They would’ve wasted more than 70 hours on this since the auDRP. 70 x $500 = $45,000

        Plus paid lawyers. In the end they paid $120,000 but $66,000 went to Luke.

        They had already invested $45,000. Thus Luke could’ve asked $100,000 and they would’ve paid it.

        All in my opinion

        Like
        4 people like this.
        Reply
          • Avatar
            May 29, 2020 at 11:11 am
            Permalink

            Where’s the line to sell though, Damien… Take $66k now, or hold onto the domain for another 5 years for ‘maybe’ another $20k-$30k more?

            Like
            2 people like this.
            Reply
            • Avatar
              May 29, 2020 at 11:19 am
              Permalink

              Hi Rob, a good question. But a question most web developers don’t have to worry about.

              Because Link.com.au could’ve easily been turned into anything from a lead gen site to a niche industry directory and more than returned $66k in its first year (a lot of work mind you).

              Don’t get me wrong Luke has done well, $56k profit in 3 weeks is excellent. And thank you Luke for sharing the sale as few domainers do.

              Like
              7 people like this.
              Reply
            • Avatar
              May 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm
              Permalink

              Hmmm .. if you have a good portfolio of domains you don’t need to sell at the first 5 figure offer you get.

              You have plenty of domains you could sell if you wanted to.

              Like
              4 people like this.
              Reply
          • Avatar
            May 30, 2020 at 8:21 am
            Permalink

            Why would they have paid 200k? You are making stuff up as you go.

            Reply
            • Avatar
              May 30, 2020 at 9:29 am
              Permalink

              Why wouldn’t they? If they were given the opportunity and said no then it would be a very bad decision.

              Like
              6 people like this.
              Reply
              • Avatar
                May 30, 2020 at 1:26 pm
                Permalink

                They are called “Link Market Services” and it is a B2B business. I don’t see why they would be interested in paying such a price.

                Reply
                • Avatar
                  May 30, 2020 at 2:01 pm
                  Permalink

                  Despite owning Shares.com.au you don’t seem to know much about share registries. Link is one of the 5 biggest share registries in Australia. Millions of Australian retail share investors use Link.

                  What is more, b2b is irrelevant for a brandable domain name. There is much value in brand positioning for any business, and sometimes it is critical for a b2b to have a truly ‘boss’ domain name. Impressions matter. Link Advisors are b2b and they clearly see the value of the domain, even if you can’t.

                  Like
                  6 people like this.
                  Reply
                  • Avatar
                    May 30, 2020 at 3:20 pm
                    Permalink

                    What is the point in arguing all that when they obviously didn’t buy it and it sold for 30% of what you are claiming they would have paid?

                    Millions of retail investors use it but they are not the customers. The customers are businesses who want to outsource registry operations.

                    They don’t care about the domain, it is not going to impress their clients, every major corporate in Australian knows them already.

                    Reply
                    • Avatar
                      May 30, 2020 at 3:43 pm
                      Permalink

                      Were they given the opportunity to buy it? I doubt it.

                      Huh?! Millions of retail investors are periodically told to login at

                      https://investorcentre.linkmarketservices.com.au/Login/Login

                      to manage their shares. Switching to Link.com.au is much better for boomers with iPads. It’s a no-brainer Snoopy.

                      And resting on laurels is a sure-fire way to lose market share over time. It would’ve given Link an edge over the other registries on the marketing front that’s for sure.

                      Like
                      5 people like this.
                • Avatar
                  May 30, 2020 at 4:25 pm
                  Permalink

                  $200k isn’t much. By the time you pay tax on it what’ve you’re got left and what are you supposed to do with? Buy a car space or a crap office?

                  Like
                  3 people like this.
                  Reply
                  • Avatar
                    May 31, 2020 at 10:37 am
                    Permalink

                    It would be the 2nd highest .com.au on record at $200,000. Have you ever sold one for that amount?

                    Reply
                    • Avatar
                      May 31, 2020 at 10:59 am
                      Permalink

                      I would rather keep my domain names then sell them. I can do more with them developed than cashing out.

                      Like
                      3 people like this.
  • Avatar
    May 29, 2020 at 8:59 am
    Permalink

    Congrats Luke – great sale! 🙂

    Like
    6 people like this.
    Reply
  • Avatar
    May 30, 2020 at 10:35 am
    Permalink

    “I know they got a bad rep from their auDRP case, but after dealing with James their CEO I can vouch they are a group of genuinely passionate entrepreneurs that just didn’t know what the right process was.”

    This is just because “James” gave the owner $66,000 yes? Suddenly they just “didn’t know the right process” and are all good.

    This is a company that filed a frivolous auDRP. After that it seems someone went the auDA path to get it deleted. The old registrant should be looking at legal action against these people in my view. I’d like to see auDA brought into court also and the identity of the auDA complainant revealed.

    Like
    5 people like this.
    Reply
    • Avatar
      May 30, 2020 at 11:44 am
      Permalink

      I don’t buy the “we didn’t know” excuse. These people are in the business of knowing how to do things.

      Like
      7 people like this.
      Reply
      • Avatar
        May 30, 2020 at 1:31 pm
        Permalink

        Yep, they tried highly unethical practices to get this name from a legitimate owner for no payment and I’m very curious if they have involvement in the deletion also.

        At the end of the day the true owner has lost his name, they should be seeing if they have cause for damages, return of the name etc.

        Industry must stand up against this rather than accepting lame excuses.

        Like
        3 people like this.
        Reply
  • Avatar
    May 31, 2020 at 8:21 pm
    Permalink

    Hahaha what did I miss

    Snoopy you own Shares.com.au and have previously said you wouldn’t sell it for $200,000, yet you still downramp .com.au?

    You say $9 million in development was spent on this web site:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20040615232511/http:/www.property.com.au/

    Er, no.

    You say the $1.6m sale of Cars.com.au by Tony Paterson of E-info didn’t happen and that CarInsurance.com.au and other sales didn’t happen.

    Cars.com.au DID happen, call Tony for details and do your own investigations. To locate Tony’s publicly available phone number search “Einfo” “Dubbo”.

    CarInsurance.com.au $250,000 was a public sale on eBay and it was reported widely:

    http://jamesnorquay.com/carinsurance-com-au-sells-250000/

    Like
    6 people like this.
    Reply
    • Avatar
      June 2, 2020 at 7:37 pm
      Permalink

      The carinsurance.com.au sale was fake, it was nothing more than an eBay listing.

      Cars.com.au was sold and the price is not known, a sale price was made up by domainers, “guessed at”, which is often what happens when there is no information.

      The amount invested into Property.com.au was into 8 figures. It was owned by a large public company (PMP Communications) so there is plenty of news stories about it. That was nothing unusual in the dot com boom.

      Realestate.com.au was a similar situation with large losses but it had a lifeline thrown at it after the crash. The prices paid was for the businesses, nobody was paying $9 million for domains, that was the value of significant internet companies after the bust!

      Reply
      • Avatar
        June 3, 2020 at 5:50 am
        Permalink

        Lol wrong on all counts

        Property.com.au was owned by PMP Communications from 1995 to mid 2001

        https://web.archive.org/web/20001018104158/http://new.property.com.au/html2/about/index.cfm

        And during that time not even $200,000 had been spent on the site imo, let alone “8 figures”. Your storytelling about a fierce rivalry between RealEstate.com.au and Property.com.au in the 90s is laughable.

        In mid 2001 it was bought out by RP Data (now Core Logic) who also ran the generic sites Realtor.com.au, HeavyEquipment.com.au and CarShow.com.au

        https://web.archive.org/web/20011214032342/http://property.com.au/real_estate/about/index.html

        Even RP Data did not spend “8 figures” on development of Property.com.au, by the looks of things the figure across the 3 years they owned it (mid 2001 to mid 2004) was likely closer to $500,000.

        It would defy basic commercial acumen to throw more than $500,000 in web development at a site and then throw more without seeing a return.

        That kind of return was just not there in the early 2000s for this kind of site due to the premature nature of the Internet.

        Sale of the domain in mid 2004 for $9 million would not have occurred if the site was cash flow positive. If the site was never cash flow positive then RP Data certainly would not have thrown more than $500,000 at it.

        Cars.com.au was a sale that a number of domainers have verified and one of the Lye brothers first reported on Netfleet.com.au. Are you saying their article is false or that Netfleet is engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct? I have personally spoken to Tony and he has confirmed the sale was seven figures.

        CarInsurance.com.au was not a mere listing, James Norquay did a screen grab and many of us saw the result on eBay for ourselves at the time:

        http://jamesnorquay.com/carinsurance-com-au-sells-250000/

        CarInsurance.com.au was purchased by the the CarLoans.com.au business that was headed by Shaun McGowan, following his success with that domain.

        I’d ask you to stop the cynical downramping but it serves a purpose. Thanks for adding to the debate and giving intelligent readers the chance to decide for themselves.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        June 3, 2020 at 10:28 am
        Permalink

        Your comments are fake we all saw the sale on ebay! Was bought by CarLoans.com.au

        Like
        5 people like this.
        Reply
      • Avatar
        June 5, 2020 at 7:12 am
        Permalink

        Property.com.au was a low quality directory that PMP sold to RP Data in mid 2001.

        RP Data threw a bit of money at it post-purchase, but certainly not more than $500k. The returns were just not there back then. If they were, then RP Data would’ve retained the domain name instead of cashing out.

        Cars.com.au was 7 figures, this is what I have been told by Tony himself. The $1.6 million I have read, but have heard also that it was $2.2m. If someone would care to investigate my inkling is it could’ve been $2.2m.

        CarSales has paid 6 figures for a number of .com.au domain names including NewCars and UsedCars (both .com.au). It has a near complete portfolio of .com.au domain names within the automotive vertical.

        REA did not have the luxury of being so aggressive due to post .com bust difficulties that you mention. As a result of this, Rent, Lease, Home (all .com.au) and other great domains all highly developed belong to unrelated companies.

        View.com.au is a domain that always had a price tag of $200k+. The REIV bought it a few years ago.

        Anyone who has done shopping at the high end of town knows exactly what good quality .com.au domains are worth. As I am aware, you’ve never done that that kind of shopping, which is why you just don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to .com.au.

        PS. Link.com.au is now live and looks fantastic!

        Like
        8 people like this.
        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *