PriveCo President Tom Nardone told XBIZ that Enema.com’s owner was running the site as a simple traffic-pusher to Enemas.com, another site the person owns, and though was unwilling to sell, agreed to a partnership that allows PriveCo to run it as a retail site.
“Some things just aren’t available to buy, and this person owns a bunch of premium names but doesn’t want to sell them,” Nardone said. “Since we’re in the business of running stores, and run our own warehouse, we said we could do that side of the business. Like any good partnership, there are pros for both of us.”
Nardone said the company’s flagship retail site, ShopInPrivate.com, sold a lot of enema supplies, and current runs EnemaSupply.com and EnemaEquipment.com with a large share of the market — maybe 20 percent, he estimated. But PriveCo did not own the premium domain name, so it set out to get it.
“Is it competing with our own websites?” Nardone said. “Yes, absolutely. For every dollar sold, there’s a 20 percent change it could have gone to one of our other sites, but there’s also an 80 percent chance we wouldn’t have gotten it at all. The fact that we’re partnering with this [site] means one of our competitors isn’t.
“We think in the long term, sites with root names will be the big players and everyone else is going to struggle.”
Nardone said PriveCo is in the business of selling products online that consumers tend to be embarrassed to purchase in person, including sex toys, condoms and particular medical equipment, and looks for domainers who own those types of names.
“Our strategy is to secure a great domain [in a specific market], be a big fish in a small bowl,” Nardone said. “This year we’re doing a push to find people who own names directly related to things we want to sell.”
PriveCo bought Vibrators.com in 2008 for $1 million after partnering with the former owner for six years. It also owns Bachelorette.com, ShopInPrivate.com and RomanticGifts.com, among others.
Nardone said it’s often difficult to get domainers like these on board, however, for being a domainer is a business in and of itself, and it’s tough to convince owners of these sites who are used to generating revenue one way to work with PriveCo to build them into entire brands.
“They sign up with a company that handles traffic and get paid on that,” he said. “That works well this month and next, but a couple years down road they’re not finding growth but are still getting paid every month so hard to convince them to switch over to our brand. It’s a really small market for what we’re trying to do.”