This is not exactly domain-related news, but it’s big news for a domain investor who has become one of the dominant online bobblehead retailers since acquiring Bobblehead.com and Bobbleheads.com for $36,000. Congrats to Warren Royal and his growing bobble empire! This goes to show what you can do when you acquire a category killer domain name in a vertical you like.
From the Royal Bobbles press release:
The officially licensed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bobblehead will be available for pre-orders in mid-December through Bobbleheads.com and other quality bobblehead dealers. Produced by Royal Bobbles LLC, this oversized, limited-edition model with exquisite details—crafted in high-quality resin—will come in a colorful collector’s box and be sold at the King Center, museums, gift shops, and through online web stores, like Bobbleheads.com.
“We are honored that the King Estate has granted us the opportunity to produce the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bobblehead as the first in our series of great ‘American Heroes’, said Warren Royal, Founder of Royal Bobbles. “The King Estate is rightly very selective about the products which they authorize, and the outstanding quality of our product line was a major factor in their decision to work with us on this exciting product.”
Best known for his “I Have a Dream” speech—delivered at the 1963 March on Washington—Martin Luther King Jr., the youngest man to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, is considered one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement. And since his assassination on April 4, 1968, political, civil rights, and historical memorabilia collectors around the world have grown increasingly interested in preserving his memory.
However, with most of the documents, personal items, and artifacts related to this slain civil-rights leader’s life rightfully gathered in institutional collections, MLK memorabilia collectors will have an exciting opportunity to acquire their own treasured centerpiece of American history with Royal Bobbles targeted release for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bobblehead on King’s birthday (January 18, 2010), an historically significant time of the year when interest in and the value of King Memorabilia consistently rises.
There was an article in Long Island Business News yesterday focusing primarily on Andrew Hazen, a Long Island Internet marketer and domain investor. The article discussed how Andrew got started with his domain investments and on how domain investors are finding success. Although the article requires a subscription, you can read a free version, here.
In addition to information about Andrew, the article also quoted Mike “Zappy” Zapolin about his company’s Beer.com purchase for $80,000 and subsequent sale for $7,000,000.
I was also quoted in the article:
“Elliot Silver, chief executive of Manhattan’s Top Notch Domains, is not as gung ho as Zapolin. “There’s no such thing as easy money in the domain investment industry, but if you know what you’re doing and take calculated risks, it can be lucrative,” Silver said.”
When the reporter reached out to me, it seemed that it was going to be an article about how lucrative the industry is. Based on first hand experience and observation, I know it’s not as simple as it seems to make money. I hate to be the “Debbie downer” but I don’t like to see people blindly enter our industry thinking they are easily going to get rich by buying and selling domain names. I’m no rocket scientist, but it did take a few years before I was able to do this full time.
One recommendation I have for anyone who is just getting involved in the industry or anyone who wants to grow their domain investment business, is to read advice from successful domain owners.
In a shrewd move that many (probably most) companies don’t consider before launching a new product or service, Microsoft went ahead and purchased many Bing related typo domain names prior to launch. Some of the domain names now owned by Microsoft include, Bimg.com, Bibg.com, Bihg.com, and Binf.com.
All of these typo domain names were previously owned by other people and companies before Microsoft acquired them. One common link between these names is that it appears they were acquired by a company known as Media Market of Boise, Idaho between being owned by the former owner and Microsoft. You can see the Whois lookup for Bibg.com from February as an example.
One interesting domain acquisition they made was Bing.com. The reason it’s particularly interesting to me is that it was previously owned by General Mills, another Fortune 500 company.
Unfortunately, there were many Bing typos that Microsoft didn’t and/or couldn’t acquire. Among them include Bong.com, Bingo.com, Bin.com, Big.com, and Ing.com. I don’t know if the traffic increase can be linked directly with the Bing launch, but just look at the Compete scores for Bong.com, Bung.com and Bin.com after May.