Once owned by CNET China, 55BBS.com sells for big bucks at DropCatch.com.
As someone who enjoyed the golden days of BBS, I thought I knew exactly what 55BBS.com was developed for. How wrong I was!
BBS is the acronym for “Bulletin Board System”, an internet service very popular in the 1980s and 1990s. I still remember that day when I posted a message on a BBS, which resulted in a long-term partnership with a Japanese company.
Actually, 55BBS.com has nothing to do with BBS. It was launched in 2004 as a forum for young Chinese women to discuss fashion, shopping, and other life style issues, with discounts on products offered to registered members. The brand name was Wo Ai Da Zhe (我爱打折=I love discount). The idea was a big hit, yet the company did not upgrade to the matching WADZ.com (which did not resolve at that time).
In 2008, 55BBS.com was sold to CNET China for about 55 million yuan ($8.3 million) as CNET was expanding into the lifestyle and fashion areas. The brand name remained Wo Ai Da Zhe, but apparently, no efforts were made to acquire WADZ.com, which still did not resolve.
In 2015, CNET sold 55BBS.com for only 6.8 million yuan (about $1 million). The new owner changed the brand name to “55Style” and then applied to list it on NEEQ (新三板). However, they did not upgrade to the brand-matching 55Style.com, which was listed for sale with multiple contact methods.
On May 29, 2019, the website disappeared from Wayback Machine records, so apparently the business was gone. Just a few days ago, 55BBS.com sold for $70,050 in an auction after it had expired.
The domains WADZ.com and 55Style.com were not expensive to acquire, but the companies failed to recognize the importance of acquiring brand-matching domains. In fact, this issue exists even today, so there are still a lot of opportunities in selling your domains to China as upgrades.