Frederick Schiwek – The man who sold VooDoo.com for $300k

FrederickSchiwek3

I’m excited to introduce a man that I had a pleasure of meeting, Frederick Schiwek, aka Freddy. I remember  watching an AfterMarket.com auction and the highest sale of the auction was VooDoo.com.  I later find out that Freddy was the seller and Donny Simonton from Parked.com was the buyer. When I saw Freddy last year at the Ad-tech convention I asked him about the sale, Freddy proudly answered I bought the name for $31k and sold it for $300k. Wow, I was amazed to hear that Freddy had bought the name for so cheap. This is the one thing that I admire about domainers who find the time to search for domain owners and turn that purchase into a histological profit.

Freddy has his hands in Domains for more than 10 years. In the mid 90´s he was a Webmaster and Marketing Assistant for the MLM Company; later he managed the Sales Department for a local Luxembourgish ISP. That was not enough, and he moved unto EuroDNS. With his support, EuroDNS.com (created in 2002) has become a leading Domain Registrar. He followed up this success only two years later with VoipGATE, a European Voice over IP Company, where Frederick is a Co-Founder. Now part of the same group, both companies share values of openness and excellence aimed at consumers and broader markets.

Since its creation, EuroDNS has sought to offer a global and direct service to its customers by strengthening links with a continuing addition of Top Level Domain Registries around the world. As a “one stop shop” for customers willing to consolidate their portfolio in several extensions and the Domainer Community, EuroDNS offers a variety of automated and streamlined services to ensure the market becomes as unrestricted as possible. This makes it possible for everybody to benefit quickly from the marketing potential of Domain names, across the globe. A firm believer in accessibility of Domain Names for everyone, Freddy supported as one of the first Registrars to offer Proxy Registrations in .FR, .IT and .DE and has successfully lobbied for the opening of other ccTLDs in the region.

Freddy, I see that you are industry for quite some time, how long exactly?

Uff, it has been a while. You say “Industry”, when did Domaining become an Industry? In the Internet Industry I am since ´96 or maybe earlier, lets call it earning money because of the Internet. My first Email Address I got in the early 90´s. Yes, a long time ago.  It took a few years until I registered my first domain, but this happened in ´96, at this time I was definitely not commercial enough to see the potential of the Domaining (Domain Industry).

What was the highest amount that you ever paid for domain name?

We paid around half a million USD for a .de domain name. At this stage we do not want to make public which name it is, but I will let you know as soon we will publish it.

Freddy tell us a bit about DomainInvest and what are the goals for the company?

Most domain investment companies concentrate on the .com market, of course there are some big domainers investing in ccTLD´s. But we had the idea to raise money from very rich individuals and from professional investors, so we raised more than 10 Million Euro and going for more. What we are doing is buying out Domainers which maybe want to exit our industry or sell a part of their portfolio. We did some very nice deals last year, because not so many Investors are able to pay a few million for ccTLD´s.  The main goal is of course to park these domains, but also to resell them like we did with the voodoo.com 300,000 USD or with Gartenmoebel Gartenmöbel.de for 300,000 Euro. Looks like all our names going for 300k, if it stays like that I am happy! :-)

I was there with you when you purchased Whiskey.com, what are your plans with the domain?

Oh, I forgot about that one! No way! I am kidding. Hmmm, it was an opportunity acquisition. It simply looked like a good deal. I swear we had not planed to buy it! Today it is in our cellar parked with thousands of other names, of course this name is praying for being developed, but developing domains is not our main business. Maybe tomorrow someone will show up with this great and perfect idea and we might partner.

How many domain names do you own? And what percentage of them are dot coms?

We have around 20,000 Domains today, 50% are .com but they are getting diluted. We concentrate now totally on ccTLDs, on which exactly, I do not want to disclose, sorry. All I can tell you is, that these are not only Europeans, we look also into south America and Asia.

Do you develop any of your portfolio or are you strictly concentrating on buying and selling?

There are some plans to develop a few in 2010.

If you are parking your domains which platform are you using?

We have some at Streamic, DDC, Sedo, Parklogic, Domain Sponsor, Skenzo, TrafficZ and so on, we really use everybody.

What is a typical day for you?

I think its very similar to most other domainers. In the morning I check the blogs and forums like the most of us, and then try to fight the incoming emails. In the early morning I work with the Asia/Pacific market, during the day with Europe and in the afternoon till the night with the Americans…. A typical Euro-domainer life!

BTW, where do u live? Married? Any kids? Girlfriend?

I live in Germany, very close to the the Luxembourg border, maybe just 300 meters. I am married  nearly 10 years and have a 9 year old son, he wants to become a domainer, “Oh My G-d”!

Any advice to my readers?

You chose the right industry! Just keep your eyes open, opportunities are every day in your inbox. The big boys usually don’t need any advice. From the smaller domainer I hear sometimes complains about paying the fees for attending Targeted Traffic, DomainFest or Domain RoundTable. I can tell you that it is worth going there. You learn a lot from people, just by listening to them. You can not find a better place to make better deals in a short time. And if you think it is not worth the time and money, then you did something wrong. I usually get paid back on the first day, you buy there a domain which u would not have not bought if you stay at home, like I did with wishkey.com, or you sell a domain, even better! Put domains in the auction and if you go to the event do marketing for your domains. The only way to become bigger and better in this industry is to get a training, the best training you can get is to learn from your competitors face to face. ( Great advice Freddy).

And last the question Freddy: If you can change one thing about this industry what would that be?

I would add a zero to all my sales, just one, I do not want to be greedy. ;)

Well thats all folks, I know you want to read more about Freddy but thats all for now. I want to thank Freddy for taking the time to do the interview with me. I wish him more success in all that he does and look forward to interviewing him in the future again.

Stayed tuned to my next post where I interview a man who went from being in the car business  to an executive position with the biggest domain company in the world.

Comments

25 Responses to “Frederick Schiwek – The man who sold VooDoo.com for $300k”
  1. Voodoo says:

    $300K for voodoo.com must be the worst purchase in the history of domain names.

    Simply amazing. Worth $5,000 tops.

  2. Felsbar says:

    Freddie is one of the most competent nicest straightforward guys you can meet at these conferences for Chrissake.

    His success should not be surprising to anyone (especially now that he bought a city domain with a huge population on the cheap).

    I think the lesson here is to do one good deal at a time, and not rush too quickly (and start a telco on the side while you’re at it)

  3. DomainDart says:

    Now is the time to take stock of our domain success and reach out.

    Redirecting Haiti.com toward rescue efforts would result in good deed and good reputations for our community.

  4. Great interview Steven! Nice advices from Freddy :)

  5. Steve says:

    Thanks Danny, like Felsbar said above “Freddie is one of the most competent nicest straightforward guys you can meet at these conferences for Chrissake.” I agree

  6. Steve says:

    @voodoo, $5k I’m not too sure about that, according to estibot the value is $150k and valuate.com has it at $308k

    get me a name like that and I’ll pay you double

    Best wishes in 2010

  7. Steve says:

    BTW, Happy B’day to you Daniel and did you know that Freddy was born in Poland…………..

  8. THX Steve! :) And sure I knew Freddy was born in Poland :)

  9. Sell the sizzle not the steak!

    John R. Carlisle

  10. Dan says:

    Thanks for bringing us this interview.

    Great sale..

  11. Hi Freddy, This all sounds so familiar… In 2006 I bought the domain “Modulars.com” for $3,000. I built a simple website for it and sold it just a few moths later for $150,000. But wait, it gets better. Since the buyer did not have the cash, I self financed it for the buyer. My terms were 15 years with Interest, bringing the total pay out price to over $400,000. Ironically, three years later, the buyer defaulted on the loan and I got the domain back after receiving a total of $110,000 in payments. The site is still running today in my ownership while waiting for a new buyer. Any takers?

  12. Steve says:

    John – Lol, that’s a good one

  13. Steve says:

    Thanks Dan

    good to see you here :-)

  14. Steve says:

    @ Tony

    “Any takers?” put it up for auction or give to Andrew @ MediaOptions.com to put in his newsletter.

    Modulars.com – great name, would make a perfect lead gen site…oops, I see that it is a lead gen site, did you build the site yourself?

  15. NetJohn says:

    Hey Feddie,

    $300,000k for VooDoo.com — monster sale achievement !

    How do you do that domain VooDoo that you do do, so well ???

    See ya at the upcoming domain shows… if you’re at TRAFFIC Las Vegas next week, the VooDoo Lounge is just 2 miles away from the Hard Rock Casino, on top of the Rio Hotel & Casino….they have a huge, colorful & potent drink on the specialty menu called “What the Witch Doctor Ordered” … really ! — LOL
    ———————————
    Sub notes:

    a) Hey Voodoo — VooDoo.com is worth way-way more than $5,000K …even in a fire sale to wholesale buyers

    b) Tony, how in the world did ya hijack this thready about Freddy and convert it into a personal sales thread about Modulars.com ??? — Must be via a VooDoo spell ! – LOL

    No Worries mates !!!

  16. Steve says:

    @ John

    I just pissed in my pants – that was Hilarious!

  17. Freddy says:

    Hey Guys!
    Thank you to everybody for the nice words! The voodoo Sales is about 1 year ago, I think the purchaser and the seller did a good deal. to give you a bit more info, the monthly net revenue was low 4 figures (USD) when we sold it. Check out how commercial the voodoo industry is! You can buy spells online! There is still upside!
    In the first row we concentrate on ccTLD´s, there we have also some nice 6 figure sales, you could see them on DNJournal. And still buying!

  18. Freddy says:

    hi DomainDart, I think its a good idea to turn some Haiti related domains into the direction of redcross or whom ever who collects money for them. We collected some smaller funds in our office as well.

  19. Hi John,
    Nice to hear from you. We havn’t spoken in quite a while.
    The last time I saw you was at the Playboy Mansion. You were in the pool nude with the girls. Ouch, what a sight :-)
    What ever happend to Lunch in NYC?
    I didnt want to hijack the thread but had an overwhelming sence of Deja Vu when I read it.
    Now I have nothing left for my Domainers Digest Interview.

  20. Steve,
    Yes, I built it in-house. Thanks for the input but I am not really looking to sell Modulars.com right now because it is a good lead generation site and bringing in revenue. At this point I wouldnt put it up for auction because it’s certainly more than just a good domain. Of course, if I got the right offer I would take it.

  21. Great Job Steven!! I enjoyed this article a lot, this sites gonna go a long way if you keep this up!

    Good Luck!

  22. Steve says:

    Thanks Shai Guy……

  23. anon22339 says:

    Good interview. Thanks Steve and Freddy!

  24. NetJohn says:

    I am certain that Freddy will have his game face on here at DomainFest in the Live Moniker auction. He wil proudly be waving his bidding paddle with determination and a smile.

    Go-Go-Go Freddy !

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