VidaliaOnions.com is Growing | DomainInvesting.com
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VidaliaOnions.com is Growing

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Ever since I was a kid, my Mom bought sweet Vidalia onions for cooking. Because of my familiarity with this type of onion, I was a bidder in the NameJet auction for VidaliaOnions.com in 2014. Luckily for Peter Askew, I was the underbidder when Peter bought the domain name for $2,200. This sale now looks like a great bargain.

Shortly after acquiring the domain name, Peter set out to build a business on it. He partnered up with a local farm renown for its Vidalia onions, and the business is growing. In fact, VidaliaOnions.com is now taking orders for its Spring crop, with shipping scheduled to begin on May 1, 2017. As the domain name and branding suggests, the company specializes in the sale of vidalia onions.

I asked Peter about how VidaliaOnions.com went from domain auction win to fully operational business, and here’s what he told me:

“I acquired the domain, felt there was opportunity in farm-to-door delivery, and then partnered with a farm located in the Vidalia, GA region who’s been growing for almost 30 years (M&T Farms). They grow an exceptional Vidalia – their General Manager, Aries Haygood, even won Grower of the Year about a month back. It also helps that I’m located in Atlanta (abt 3hr drive away), so I can visit quite often to lend an extra hand in busy fulfillment periods.”

Peter told me he looks up to Warren Royal, who built a thriving bobblehead business after acquiring the Bobbleheads.com and Bobblehead.com domain names. “I’m a Warren Royal disciple,” he told me. “Buy a domain first, figure out the business second. Leverage the domain authority to compete against folks 50x my size.”

Just about everyone who buys a domain name has an idea of how that domain name will be used – either by them or by someone else. Building a business is a difficult task with a high fail rate. Owning an exact match domain name and building a business on it can help with branding and authority. It’s great to see a business growing on VidaliaOnions.com. I am going to buy a 5lb box to make one of my favorite simple cold appetizers (Vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, black olives, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper).


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 (16)

    Ryan

    Onion estrategy is very hard to launch shipping is just to expensive, for a low cost product such as onions.

    March 28th, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Tony

    I’m curious where their traffic comes from. Certainly not type-ins. Mostly CPC is my guess. A better example would’ve been if it was Onions.com so I assume that would get lots of organic traffic. Pardon the pun.

    March 28th, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Peter Askew

    @Ryan – it’s not easy, you’re right. Shipping is our biggest challenge. It’s something we have to keep a close eye on the entire season.

    @Tony – from lots of sources. PPC, SEO, Twitter, Fbook, Email List, Sponsoring kids basketball teams (Mr. Pike – w00t!) and Word of Mouth..

    March 28th, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Ryan

      @Peter

      Great function use with a domain name, that is the sole purpose of it.
      I almost think selling bulbs, or seeds are a better function.

      First order is a novelty, but cross country, 10 lbs of onions, I think sweet spanish sell for like 19 cents per lb in the store.

      It’s a learning curve for sure, but the ag business is a tough one.

      In reply to Peter Askew | March 28th, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    WQ

    This is such a cool story it brought tears to my eyes.

    March 28th, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Jaybuk

      That’s what’s great about vidalias, no tears.

      In reply to WQ | March 28th, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Peter Askew

      Jaybuk knows what’s up..

      In reply to Jaybuk | March 28th, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Jaybuk

      Great domain Peter, I wish you all the best. We will be placing an order soon!

      In reply to Peter Askew | March 28th, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Donna Mahony

    Way to make it happen Peter!

    March 28th, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Peter Askew

      Thanks Donna!

      In reply to Donna Mahony | March 31st, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Julio Maysonet

    I like everything about this story since I started cooking a few years ago. I’ve made quite a few dishes with vidalia onions the only problem is that my local supermarket doesn’t carry them so I have to get them whenever I go to manhattan.

    March 28th, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Warren Royal

    Wow, thank you very much, Peter and Elliot for the kind mention; we really do appreciate the nice words! Doing it this way (first get the right name then figure out the business ) is certainly the road less traveled – and I do certainly agree it’s the way to go.

    We had similar criticisms of our model when we first started in 2008- it wa a silly idea and would just never work. There were lots of naysayers. Many people told us that bobbleheads were too cheap (in price and in quality), with low margins, too much competition, and not worth the trouble.

    My goodness, these things are given away for free at ball games, so how much value could there be? So it would be a crazy business to get into. And if you think small, I guess that’s true. One bobblehead or one small bag of onions won’t excite anyone. But we’ve got bigger ideas.

    People still don’t get our business even today; I had a couple of people at NamesCon this year tell me that they are really scratching their head that we could make a business out of this. We chuckle, people just have no idea what a great business and industry we are in.

    People don’t understand how the game changes when you are able to scale up – and to actually reinvent an industry, which we have done and which Peter is doing. We have come up with whole new types of products that nobody has ever seen before. And they don’t know how things can change when you make big partnership or distribution deals and figure out how to sell your product through wholesale distribution channels (and through nearly a thousand resellers), or when you figure out how to sell things in an entirely new way- maybe by the pallet, truckload, or the container. Most people don’t think big enough.

    Peter, kudos for having the great vision and the commitment to shake things up and to build something and to make things happen. And building it around the primo domain name for the industry is so smart. This is a great idea and we here would love to help you any way we can, and to exchange ideas with you anytime.

    March 28th, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      Ryan

      Warren, you manufacture your product, it is constant input/output, it is light weight, and cheap to ship.

      Now when you are attempting to charge $7 per pound on a min order of onions, and they are bulky to ship, and are a perishable product you are in a whole different ball game.

      Talk to a farmer, bobbleheads, and farming are two different businesses.

      In reply to Warren Royal | March 29th, 2017 at 1:33 am

      Warren Royal

      Sure, every product has its own challenges, including ours- which are completely handmade, subject to regulation, licensing, and customs (import/export) fees, expensive to ship, can be subject to wild popularity swings and obsolescence, and are produced 12 time zones away from the consumer.

      What could possibly go wrong? :)

      But smart business people will recognize the opportunity, and understand and address the challenges and figure out the best solutions.

      In reply to Ryan | March 29th, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Peter Askew

      Hey Warren – maybe we should make a 40lb bobblehead Vidalia Onion.. and then convince Ryan to purchase it.

      In reply to Warren Royal | March 30th, 2017 at 3:51 pm

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