RealTime IT News

E-Buy Bid a Hoax

Yesterday there was a groovy tidbit on cyber-newsstands that caught my eye about a Brit entrepreneur who turned down the handsome sum of 7 million buckaroos for his domain name, e-buy.com. Journalists couldn't seem to figure out how the bloke could walk away from such a king's ransom.

Simple. The story was nothing but a hoax. Anyone who bought it should check their beer goggles at the door. First off, most gold-plated domain offers that mysteriously wind their way around the Web are phony-baloney seven days a week and twice on Sunday. It's a rare find indeed when an offer can simply be substantiated, let alone backed up with cash.

The sad fact is that this kind of hysteria only serves to fan the flames of get-rich-quick pipe dreams. I can't tell you how many times I've had not-so Net savvy acquaintances stumble over themselves to tell me about their newest brilliant idea to mint a million.

I end up shaking my head at seeing an Internic bill with a few thousand dollars flushed down the commode. This story always ends the same way, but they never listen to me.

So back to this pesky e-buy business. Peter Littke wants awestruck Web enthusiasts to buy the ridiculous tale of turning his back on the greenbacks because he has this nagging dream of opening his very own cyber-department store this summer. Half the story is true, but the rest is hogwash thrown in for effect to net some free publicity for his novel idea of selling books, CDs and the like over the World Wide Web.

Why? Well first off, nobody in their right mind would pay that sum for ebuy.com, let alone e-dash-buy-dot-com. When business.com legitimately went for a comparable amount, B2B was hotter than a grease fire. In this case, we're talking about a plain vanilla B2C domain, and not a very good one at that.

Look no further than fellow UK-based Boo.com's highly publicized implosion. The entire company's assets fetched a paltry $375,000. And that's probably the biggest understatement this side of the new millennium. I'm sure there's a VC associate abroad who's getting talked down from a ledge as we speak. The Boo fiasco was the last nail in the coffin for most wide-eyed lofty B2C plans that might entail a $7 million domain name grab.

Littke cooed, "Of course it was tempting. It's enough money to live on for the rest of your life. But you have to ask 'Do I believe in my business?' I know we will get much more value from the name in the long term." As expected, Littke was milking his fifteen minutes, soliciting handouts for venture backing.

There won't be any takers here, just gullible media willing to spread a little manure. But, can't blame the guy for trying.

Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel free to forward them to kblack@internet.com.