Cheesecake.com Included in TRAFFIC Domain Auction
101 Domain

Cheesecake.com Included in Rick Latona Auction at TRAFFIC Milan

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CheesecakeWith the TRAFFIC conference in Milan just a couple of weeks away, I was informed that the category killer domain name, Cheesecake.com will be included in the live auction inventory. The reserve price has been set at a modest $100,000 USD, and financing options would be available from companies like Domain Capital or Rick’s DigiLoan.

In my opinion, as a person that loves cheesecake and someone who has sent cheesecakes as gifts, this is a great domain name for an Internet-based business. There are several restaurants and companies like Junior’s Cheesecakes that are known around the world for their decadent cheesecakes, and there are a number of smaller producers that could become instantly recognizable by branding Cheesecake.com as their own. This doesn’t even take the SEO benefits into consideration.

Cheesecake.com is a highly intuitive domain name that comes on the market infrequently, and I think this could be the cornerstone of a successful online operation. With just a $100,000 reserve, I bet it sells at auction.

(Image borrowed from JuniorsCheesecake.com – home of the best cheesecake in NYC).


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (23)

    Elliot

    BTW, this was not a paid post and I wasn’t asked to publicize the auction or this particular domain name.

    April 11th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Michael Berkens

    Elliot

    I don’t doubt this domain will sell but it should be noted that the owner of this domain is operating a business on the domain and if you read about them, they seem like smart people with a long background in that industry.

    So if they couldn’t make it into a business such as they are willing to sell the domain in a tradeshow, its probably a pretty tough business to make money at

    April 11th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Elliot

    @ Mike

    Very fair point. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t ranked in the top 10 in Google for the term “cheesecake” although they are #6 in Yahoo and #2 in Bing (according to Aaron Wall’s search tool). I am a big believe in direct navigation traffic, but on my sites with good direct nav traffic, I still get upwards of 75% of the total traffic from search engines. With their current ranking, they probably aren’t doing that well with search traffic.

    Just because a business located on Main Street closes up shop doesn’t mean that another business can’t succeed with a better business model. We don’t know the quality of the cheesecakes, their overhead costs, materials costs…etc.

    It is something a potential buyer should analyze to see what they are doing wrong and whether that can be righted. IMO, any buyer should order cheesecakes from this company and see the sales process and learn what’s not working.

    April 11th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    PK

    Alternatively are you sure it is cheesecake.com and not the plural, cheesecakes.com that is up for auction?

    April 11th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      Elliot

      @PK

      The email said Cheesecake.com, and the email address that sent it was @cheesecake.com as well.

      April 11th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Tim

    I agree with you Elliot. There are a lot of folks that overspend or spend poorly in running their business.

    I don’t know, but it is possible that this business only can employ five to ten people and maybe he hired 20 since his business plan called for it.

    Many times running a biz on the Net on the cheap is the way to make it. Trying to hit a home run can crush your biz, just look at Communicate.com and how they overextended themselves.

    I’ve seen the tortoise win many times on the Net whilst the rabbit gets shot….LOL.

    As a side note, I did not realize that regular .coms were going to be added to this auction. I thought it was strictly ccTLDs or I would have submitted some domains. :(

    April 11th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Rob Sequin

    I say this site sells to a buyer who will monetize it with porn.

    Yep. Cheesecake is a classic term for pin up girls from WW2 and the 1950s… Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe etc.

    homepage.mac.com/brons/Art/Cheesecake-2-Photos.html

    (not affiliated with me)

    Supposedly the saying goes that looking at these pin up girls was better than cheesecake. So, the term cheesecake is an early term for soft porn.

    I’d say Maxim magazine is “cheesecake” porn.

    So, let’s see who “bites” on this domain :-)

    April 11th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Mark

    Great domain. Not so great product to ship. Very perishable.

    April 11th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Elliot

    @ Mark

    Very true, but so are steaks, lobsters, and fish, which are successfully shipped every day. Juniors’ has shipped plenty of cheesecakes for me (to others) in the past. It’s not so cheap to ship them though.

    April 11th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Dean

    Wow! Cheesecake I am getting a hardon! Guess it must be slow in the domain news world., Lol!

    April 11th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Steve M

    Though I too like the name, I’m wondering whether the product dynamics fit a direct mail model.

    Specifically, the product cost vs market value/sales price and specialized, higher-cost (i.e. cold shipping) distribution factors.

    A better model; or perhaps as an add-on service; would be to include a specialized, paid directory of local cheesecake sellers.

    April 11th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Elliot

    @ Dean

    Wow! You’re reading my blog on a beautiful Sunday. Must be a slow day in your life.

    April 11th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Louise

    @ Rob Sequin, Cheesecake, to me, is more photos of fully made-up, coiffed, glamour girls in a swimsuit or gown with a straw hat, from the ’50’s. Guess it’s vintage, but I don’t think there is nudity: http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/vintage_cheesecake <== This site is a perfect example of the content outweighing the domain name, instead of the other way around!

    April 11th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Elliot

    @ Louise and Rob,

    Man – you guys are old.

    April 11th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Alexander

    “Juniors’ has shipped plenty of cheesecakes for me (to others) in the past.”

    Can you send me one? :-)

    April 11th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Elliot

    @ Alexander

    LOL

    April 11th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Jeff

    Great name and category killer name. I’m a huge cheesecake fan as well.

    Imo a bit much for name and reserve. If end user can’t make it successful, what makes a domainer do it?

    Tough business to make it into a successful business online. Imo.

    April 12th, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Snoopy

    Maybe it will crack 100k, wouldn’t call it a certainty. The name has the same issue as most other food names. It needs national distribution to work and I doubt this is a food that is going to do well in transit. Not sure it is going to work as a brand either, on the site it states,

    “Cheesecake.Com, home of “The World’s Most Indulgent Cheesecake!””

    Would customers really beleive that Cheescake.com makes the world’s most indulgent cheesecakes? It sounds run of the mill rather than special.

    April 12th, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Josh

    All I can say is this…

    If the name was ours, we’d want 6 figs.

    April 12th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Howie Swaim

    Good morning all and thank you Elliot for including a mention of this auction on your site—much appreciated.

    I am the owner of Cheesecake.Com and wanted to clarify a few points that have been addressed on the Comments section here.

    I started acquiring domains in 1995. At the time, Network Solutions had a monopoly on assigning names and there was no cost involved in acquiring a name. One just had to configure their server to respond to the ping, request ownership of the name, and bingo! The name was yours. So, this seemed like a no-brainer to me. I scarfed up as many generic word domain names as I could, among them, Cheesecake.Com.

    Since then I have developed several of the domains, privately sold several and continue to hold others.

    With Cheesecake.Com my strategy was a win-win. I allowed my friend Tami Weinmann of Muddy Paws Cheesecake to increase her visibility and sales by operating through the Cheesecake.Com domain. In addition to her web sales Tami also runs a successful retail outlet in MN. And I highly encourage you to buy her product. She’s a gem and her product is unsurpassed!

    As for me I was never in the cheesecake business, I was and continue to be an investor in real estate, both land and internet based.

    I intentionally priced this property below market with the intent of attracting multiple bidders. In my experience this has been a successful strategy for optimizing profit.

    The possibilities for use of this domain go, as many of you have noted, beyond the sale of cheesecakes and into the venues of pornography, modeling etc. And for this reason the domain will retain and more likely increase in value over time.

    It should be noted that I never spent a dime on promoting this site in search engines and yet, as Elliot notes it ranks very high among the search engines against companies dumping money into achieving the ranking that Cheesecake.Com receives naturally.

    There are a number of heavy hitters in the cheesecake industry. Perhaps most notably The Cheesecake Factory, The Cheesecake Shop chain in Australia, Sara Lee, Junior’s, and Eli’s.

    Assuming you were the head of one of these chains would you benefit from having your competitor operate from this domain? And, given the lasting value of this domain and the cost savings it offers via SEO would it be in your long-term best interest to own it?

    As such is it worth more than 100K? In my opinion the answer to that is a resounding yes to any one of the companies listed above or to any smaller company interested in seriously leapfrogging the competition in visibility and brand memorability.

    I receive numerous e-mails and orders each week from people who assume we are one of the companies named above. Compound those orders and inquiries over the long-term ownership and effective marketing of the Cheesecake.Com brand and you have, as Elliot stated, a category killer.

    Best,

    Howie Swaim

    April 13th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Louise

    Hi, @ Howie Swaim, your explanation puts it in perspective. Thanx for popping your head in our humble discussion – hope CheeseCake.com does well as a cheesecake delivery service, to set a precedent of generic supporting a business’ marketing efforts!

    April 13th, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Harvey

    We purchased this domain and are in process of building the business. While there are challenges to selling items that must be frozen ( shipping costs ) this is not a biz breaker. There are a lot of cheesecakes being sold online now and we will be taking ” a bite ” out of the competition.

    Elliot was right… this is a category killer and in the right hands a potential mutli million dollar business.

    Look for a re-launch of a beautiful new site in about 6 weeks time… And the Cheescakes are amazingly delicious :)

    July 19th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

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