Pizza Domain Makes Dough For Md. Man
Amusement park rides can be thrilling, but for Chris Clark and his family, the real excitement on a recent trip to Disney World was on the laptop in their hotel room.
Clark was auctioning off Pizza.com, and the family watched bids climb from the initial $100 on March 27. The winning price: $2.6 million.
"I didn't know what to think in the beginning of the auction," Clark said. "My family and I were glued to the laptop in the hotel room every day in anticipation. It's really happenstance and luck."
Clark registered the domain in 1994 for $20 to jump-start his Web consulting company, hoping to get a contract from a pizza company. The North Potomac resident kept paying the annual registration fee and ran the site as a pizza-related index site for advertising.
Around this time last year, Clark, his wife and a friend transformed the site into a portal, adding a pizza directory, coupons and forums.
Then, when he heard that domain auctioneer Sedo sold Vodka.com for $3 million -- the site's biggest sale ever -- he was intrigued.
"I called and asked if they were able to handle a bid for Pizza.com, in hopes of getting close to what Vodka.com was sold for," Clark said.
The $2.6 million for Pizza.com was Sedo's second-biggest sale; its third was Chinese.com, for $1.12 million.
Sedo declined to name the winning bidder.
The auctioneer has sold other local domains, on a smaller scale.
Virginia-based Videoclip.com sold for $38,500; Beautymark.com, also of Virginia, sold for $32,000; Maryland's Grind.com sold for $29,000; and VTG.com of the District sold for $19,466, according to Sedo.
Clark is putting the money into his company, Minestream.com, which makes devices that protect kids and businesses online.
-- Dimetrius Simon