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Australian Businessman Set to Make $10 Million for This Shopping Domain

A businessman based in Auckland is selling his prime domain name, shopping.co.nz, and several related domain names, which he believes could fetch him up to $10 million.

Although Stephen Hudson is certain his domain properties are worth that much, he said he's willing to listen to "any serious offers" from $1 million upwards. He shouldn't have to settle for that little though, as industry experts believe that he can expect to get anything between $5 million and $10 million for his domains.

Hudson believes that whoever buys the URL and its accompanying assets will be getting a good deal. He has publically stated that he is willing to sell the domain on its own, or together with the other online properties, depending on the preference of interested parties.

Hudson already placed an advert in Trade Me for his planned auction, writing that he is "seeking expression of interest" from interested buyers of the company: Shopping Limited, which he noted to prospective buyers is complete with the "0800 Shopping" telephone number, domain name assets, plus the existing website.

Hudson noted in the ad that what makes his domain names auctioning different is the large number of key NZ Domain Names, the like of which rarely become available. In total, Hudson is offering for auction 33 domain names. Interestingly, each of the domain names has its own partner. For example, he not registered NewZealandBusinesses.nz to accompany NewZealandBusinesses.co.nz.

Hudson explains that he bought his portfolio of domain names just as the Internet arrived on the shores of New Zealand some 25 years ago.

He recalls that importing businesses were spending a lot of money putting up adverts in the Yellow Pages at the time; as much as $80,000 per year. That gave him an idea, and he and others began to pioneer setting up web-based shopping stores. He snapped up shopping.co.nz.

Hudson said back then the domain name cost him $50,000, with his total expenses reaching $250,000 after he'd bought and created his shopping properties.

But the investment never really bore fruit, as his importing businesses, Autogates Ltd Automation and Valve Supplies NZ began to flourish and he never had need to develop the websites. Hudson also owns a casket importing business, Chomp Fishing Products, and was once a part of an asbestos removal company.

Now, he's looking get a bit of a windfall after a top auditing firm valued his domain properties in the million dollar range, specifically quoting between $5m and $10m.

The most lucrative domain sales deals

Hudson's acquisition of the domain names was not planned as a domain investment per se, but there are lots of people who engage in daily "domain flipping" Flipping involves purchasing with a view to quickly selling for a profit. A related idea to domain flipping is "website flipping", in which websites are bought, and either sold immediately, or promoted further and sold on at a profit.

There is also a concept called "cybersquatting" where a domain is installed with the intention of using another brand's name and/or reputation. If a business feels an act of cybersquatting by another individual has breached their trademark rights, they can file for a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

While registering a new domain name costs just a small sum, there are plenty of premium domain names like Hudson's that are bought for huge prices. VacationRentals.com is one of the most expensive domain names, selling for an incredible $35 million in 2007, to stand as one of the highest ever deals made to buy a domain. Another unbelievably sale was PrivateJet.com, which was sold for $30.18 million in 2012.

"Old technology"

Hudson is not oblivious of the fact that the domain names are 25 years old, and the sites will need major sprucing up to get them up to date. He concedes that at nearly three decades old, the site's technology is grossly outdated. The value he is selling is primarily the domains, not the sites.

Hudson said he had set up shopping.co.nz because he wanted to create an Internet shopping site that could serve as a one-stop-shop for consumers. That idea spun other domain name ideas, including nzbusinesses.co.nz and nzcompanies.co.nz, where business owners could list their products.

Then that gave birth to another idea; to create a website that would help the businesses conveniently hire staff. So he also set up newzealandjobs.co.nz; which then led to the acquisition of newzealandproperty.co.nz and newzealandproperties.nz. Hudson said by purchasing the domain name shopping.co.nz, he successfully shut out others trying to mimic his idea, a strategy that helped raise the value of his product.

The 53-year-old business owner affirmed that by virtue of his ownership of these domains, he killed off any form of competition in that regard, as he had acquired all the value domain names he could. His striving to control the New Zealand online market has led to the auction Hudson is enjoying today.

Hudson is expecting potential buyers to include top brands like Kmart, Trade Me, The Warehouse and other major businesses and website operators.

He revealed that a buyer has already expressed interest in acquiring newzealandjobs.co.nz. Got an idea? See if the domain name is available at .nz Domain Name Registration | Find & Register Domains Instantly | Freeparking

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