Will TigerDirect Flip Computer.com?
Thursday, September 20th, 2007
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.