Will TigerDirect Flip Computer.com?

Domain may be on auction block at TRAFFIC East Auction. This is bad news for the domain industry.

Rick Schwartz, the face behind the domain industry’s popular T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conferences, sent an email this morning saying that Computer.com will be featured in the next Moniker auction at TRAFFIC East in Miami next month:

The auction will have some GREAT domains and we are hoping for another record setting event. One domain that may get some interest is Computer.com that is owned by TigerDirect.com. No doubt one of the very finest domains.

At first blush, this sounds great. A premium domain that could fetch several million dollars is on the block.

But this is actually bad news for the domain industry.

A year ago tomorrow, Domain Name Wire first reported that Internet Real Estate Group sold Computer.com to TigerDirect, a subsidiary of Systemax (NYSE: SYX). So why, just a year later, would TigerDirect look to sell the domain? Is it not realizing the value it expected from thousands of type-in visitors? Is the domain not that valuable to TigerDirect, a company facing fierce competition for sales of computers and electronic goods? TigerDirect is a classic example of the end user, the very entity that domainers are trying to convince should buy these premium domains.

Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems. Perhaps TigerDirect just feels that the domain is more valuable to a computer manufacturer or another computer retailer. Or perhaps the domain has a reserve that captures 5-10 years of the value the company currently gets from the domain.

So while other people are excited that this domain is on the auction block, I’ll quietly wonder if this is bad news.


  1. says

    I think it is purely a business decision. Every good investor will liquidate their asset(s) when the time is right, at the right price. Maybe the time and price is perfect for TigerDirect to sell, judging from the somewhat “exhorbitant” prices of generics nowadays. (especially from TRAFFIC auctions :)


  2. Andrew says

    I accidentally deleted David Castello’s comment. He pointed out that this domain would be better if it were Computers.com, as with many generics (like Cars.com.)

    Sorry David!

  3. says

    No problem, Andrew.
    I do believe Tiger Direct’s mistake was buying Computer.com instead of Computers.com. It would be harder to imagine marketing Hotel.com instead of Hotels.com, Apartment.com instead of Apartments.com or Car.com instead of Cars.com. The public’s natural branding intuition leans much more towards the plural with these mega-generic names.

  4. says

    I think it is interesting, that what is perceived as the targeted end-user would put back on the market a domain its owned for only a year.

    However, I considered that perhaps what the domain was acquired for and what it is delivering were not on par.

    Lets say the domain brings to the company an additional $5,000 in sales per month. Thats 60k for the entire year. If they paid a million for the domain name, Im not sure thats a reasonable return on that kind of investment…

    Now, my numbers are completely hypothetical, but you get the point.


  5. william says

    newbie question. how would I get a domain listed on the TRAFFIC auction? It is only for conference attendees?

  6. Andrew says

    William, you need to submit your domains through Moniker. Visit Moniker.com or your Moniker account rep to learn more.

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