Money Handling Lags Behind Technology [in big chunks]

Finally, on 5/22, I got the payment through for cobb.com, sold 8 days earlier. As I suspected, the buyer has positioned the domain as a parking site. Whether or not the owners will now try to sell it to a "Cobb" business, I don't know. I contacted as many of those as I could ahead of the auction and they we obviously outbid by the new owner.

The length of time it took to complete the transaction was surprisingly long. What we have right now in the transaction field is a strange mix of models and technologies. Some transactions seem fast. For example, deposits to, and debit purchases from, my Bank of XXXX account seem almost immediate, although the 'posting cycle' may not match always match what you see when monitoring online. Paypal seems to happen fast and top-ups from my bank account are pretty quick.

But try moving a lot of money and things slow down. When you go from moving hundreds of dollars to shifting thousands, your choices start shrinking. At the same time, confidence in the system and trust in the customer seems to decline (as anyone who has heard the dreaded words come through the drive-thru speaker: "There'll be a hold on these funds").

As with all things commerce-related, it's all about trust and so far there is little evidence that the new forms of trust enabled by technology have outpaced the new forms of trust-abuse, a.k.a. fraud, that technology has engendered.

Anyway, cobb.com has gone, long live cobbsblog.com!

Domain Name Selling Not Cool for Quick Cash

Okay, so the auction of cobb.com ended a little after noon on May 14. Some 5 days have passed without payment actually arriving in my bank account. The domain 'broker' assures me this is normal.

Ergo, don't look to a domain name sale to raise really quick cash. I will let you know when the money does come through, and share a few tips on how to speed up the process (hint: you'll need to know your EPP code to get paid for your domain). I will also share some thoughts on the final price and tell you who bought it.

BTW, at this point I have not been told who bought cobb.com but my guess is: A domain name speculator.

Cobb.com Valuation Backed by Domain Name Expert

Interesting article came out in print on Friday, now online under headline "Cobb.com domain name worth at least $45K, experts say." [Sorry, subscription required.]

The writer of the article spoke to Ron Jackson, publisher of Domain Name Journal who had this to say: "As difficult as it is to quantify the industry, so too is appraising a name's value. Like real estate, its value often depends on someone's imagination for how it can be used. But unlike appraising real estate, it's often difficult to base estimates on comparable sales."
"Still, Jackson said cobb.com could reasonably bring $50,000 to $150,000. "It could go for more.""

Here's hoping...I don't have many finger nails left!

Five Figures by Thursday

The bid price on cobb.com passed the $10,000 mark some time on Thursday afternoon. Perhaps the PR is working, but I am still worried that the only bidders right now are domain name speculators, not serious end-users. Maybe the problem is that the various companies that identify themselves as "Cobb" are not Web 2.0 companies. I still believe that the one-time purchase of cobb.com would do more for a 'cobb-related/named company' seeking web visibility than a one-time $100K print/media campaign. (Disclaimer: that's what they call a self-serving statement--albeit one that I believe in).

Auction Fun: In a nail biting, nerve-racking kind of way

So, the auctioning of cobb.com got under way at noon on Monday. By Tuesday evening it had barely met the reserve price. This was set at $5,000 on the recommendations of Sedo, the auctioneers, whose position is as follows:
Our experience has shown that the more accessible you set the reserve, the greater the degree of competitive interest and the earlier bidding wars are likely to begin. I would strongly suggest setting the reserve as low as possible.

By Wednesday night the price had not budged from $5,000.00 and I was "too bummed to blog." (Anyone else out there ever get that feeling? You just can't find it in you to post something, even though part of you is itching to type?)

I had spent much of Tuesday emailing...

Countdown to cobb.com Auction at Sedo.com

Just under an hour to go until the start of the cobb.com auction, that is, the auctioning of the domain name "cobb.com" to the highest bidder. It should show up here under Auction Listings.

Not sure if anyone has ever blogged the auctioning of their domain name before (although, given the size of the blogosphere today, it has probably been done many times already).

I did quite a bit of research ahead of time and found a great blog about domain names, Frank Schilling's Seven Mile. Here's an interesting discussion that took place there relative to the value of cobb.com. (And here's Frank's listing in Wikipedia, just in case you don't know who he is, and I admit I didn't until I started looking at the domain market.)

What prompted the discussion was a somewhat embarrassing lack of clarity on my part when I put out a press release about recent domain name values, like strauss.com selling for $50,000 and walkers.com going for $175,000. My intention had been to show the range of values for recent sales of 'last name' domains and perhaps my mistake was to list Tandberg.com going for $1.5M. Some people took that to mean I was asking $1.5M for cobb.com when I would be happy with something closer to walkers.com or maybe even moka.com ($72K). The latter is a good example of a four-letter dot-com name. Even better might be blue.com which was purchased for $500K, but has a more generic appeal.

Anyway, as it turns out, the only reliable way to put a price on a domain name is to sell it. "As in real estate, so in virtual real estate." Even among experts there is a huge range of pre-sale valuations (e.g. I got responses ranging from $40K to $600K in the valuations I commissioned).

So, let the bidding begin. And stay tuned for my reports on how this kind of auction feels when you are on the 'receiving end' so to speak.

Cobb.com Goes to Auction: Hot Domain Market Puts Venerable Name In Play

Here's the press release that went out Thursday:

Jacksonville, Florida, May 3, 2007 - One of the oldest 'dot com' domain names, cobb.com, will go up for sale next week in an auction conducted by Sedo, a global leader in domain marketing. The auction commences 12PM EST, May 7 (sedo.com), will last for seven days, and cobb.com will go to the highest bidder .

Tweaking the Template: Getting close to 'live'

Okay, so I have settled on an Andreas Viklund template [wp-andreas01-12]. This is available from the Wordpress themes site. I already use the andreas02 web theme for my business site (CobbAssociates.com). You can download that from Andreas' own site.

For me, this blog template is just the right balance of good looks and usability. Any issues you might have with the look "as-modified-by-me" are the result of me being a. aesthetically-challenged, and b. color-blind. They are certainly no fault of wonderful Mr. Viklund.

Now begins the long task of merging, into this blog, a number my other blogs, namely:

  • cobbontech.blogspot.com

  • cobbon.blogspot.com

  • cobbonae.blogspot.com

  • cobbontheroad.blogspot.com

  • cobbonpolitics.com

  • scobbrules.blogspot.com

  • gradez.blogspot.com