If you were offered $10,000 for a Dot Com domain you owned and operated for almost a decade, would you take the money? I was in that situation a couple of weeks ago. The first offer was $4,000 and the final offer was $10,000. In the end, I turned down the $10,000. The URL of the site in question, http://goinside.com, is home to one of the first online magazines run entirely for, and by, new writers looking to get their first publication and for established writers who seek to write their bliss for no profit.

As the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Go Inside, I never accept advertising at Go Inside Magazine though many people tried to get us to give them access to your eyes over the years. It was smart, in the end, to not pay writers and to not take any money because that made everyone’s vested interest in the same: We were in it for the goodness of each other. If one cent had been taken for anything related to Go Inside Magazine everything would have immediately soured.

Sure, I could have probably taken the money and divided it up for all my writers over the last decade, but to do that would be to give in to the corruption of commerce against honorable ideals — the lust for money cannot rule every intention and instinct and sometimes you do things simply for the benefit putting good energy back into the world. Go Inside Magazine always tries to be a safe place for the expression of, and the reception of, a selfless interchange between writer and reader.

Many times our readers become our writers! As the Publisher of Go Inside Magazine, I had several people accuse me of somehow making money on the back end or under the table. They could not believe I, or any of my writing staff, would write for free. I told them there was no money anywhere and that publishing the magazine cost me money out of my own pocket to pay for server space and bandwidth. The reason the magazine works because it is totally transparent.

There is no mystery. We are owned by no one but ourselves. Some people can never get over the idea there are actually people in the world who prefer the hard work of building something from nothing instead of the easier, meandering, path of pulling down was others built. If you ask the buyer why they want your domain they will not tell you and it doesn’t matter the reason, really, because once you sell the domain they can do whatever they wish unless you take the time to contract out terms but that doesn’t happen in the real world because these purchases are fast and dirty.

There are three main reasons, in my experience, why someone wants to buy an existing, established, domain:

1. The domain has a lot of incoming links. Go Inside has a lot of links everywhere that my writers forged with excellent reviews. To “transform” those incoming links into either a porn site or into another site that sells something can lead to sales. Many link-checking programs only check to see if the link is valid, not if the content has changed. They are buying 10 years worth of link backs that they can use, for however short a time, to get eyes on products and services. I don’t believe that was the case in for my domain.

2. They’ve always loved the domain. Many people yearn for a particular domain. I yearn for several I do not own and to buy an in-use domain outright instead of waiting for it to come on the market is a quick way to get what you want. I don’t think that was the case for my domain because the company who wanted to buy it was a venture capital fund.

3. They have a similar site and they want to add growth value by using an established domain name with links. This, I believe, in the bit of research I did, was the case for my domain. They were planning on launching a new website for writers — likely a for-profit portal type site — and they were trolling around for established domain names that brought back high hit returns in web searches and Go Inside does that well in several key areas.

The $10,000 for offer for http://goinside.com was a test: Is there a price for the integrity of a good idea? If the answer is “not for sale” at $10,000, then it must remain “not for sale” at $50,000 or $100,000 or $1,000,000 because what is at stake is not money.

What is at stake is something we can never know, but can never quite forget: Doing the right thing is the only currency with values.

4 Comments

  1. Go Inside Magazine is great and I commend you running that over the years! What a great site and opportunity for writers.
    That said, I probably don’t have the integrity that you have with running a such site. I would have found every possible way to make a buck and would have sold it easily for $10,000.
    I make a great income through my job, but I am always open to making a little more money. But that’s just me.
    So, way to go with keeping the site! I will definitely keep reading and will spread the word some more about your great site!

  2. Hi Zanke!
    Thanks for the support and for your honesty.
    99.9% of the people I know would have leapt at the initial $4,000 offer for the domain and not even negotiated to get to the final $10,000 offer.
    I just couldn’t accept the offer in the end because so many people gave so much of their donated effort and time to build the site over the years.
    If the domain held stuff that only I had created I might have felt differently.