Yup, however you might wanna make sure and wait for someone else here to confirm it as I am on the fence. Better yet, why don't you give a call to the iPage guys because they can assist you better...
1. Please can someone tell me if I am allowed to sell my HostGator to a competing company?.
Absolutely. If CoolProduct Company doesn't want a competitor getting the domain, it should pay up..
2. Should I tell "anotherbigcompany" how much I want?.
I would first contact the CoolProduct Company (via formal letter) letting them know that this HostGator "became available". As someone said, there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy. Try to put what CoolProduct Company did to you earlier. Your best revenge is to profit as much $ as you can. I would not show your "cards" just yet about anotherbigcompany. Wait first..
3. Should I tell the "anotherbigcompany" that I was made an offer from "bigcompany" but do not disclose the figure when in fact I haven't had an offer?.
First of all, DON'T LIE. It will eventually catch up to you. There is no ethical issues should you decide to proceed with anotherbigcompany. Let the HostGator value stand on it's own merits and ask what they think will pay..
4. How much do you think I could get for this website, I know without knowing the name it will be difficult to know this but perhaps a ball park figure? Bearing in mind that I approached "anotherbigcompany" and asked them if they wanted to buy it not the other way around….
No way to value without knowing the HostGator name. We can all sit here and guess $xxx to $x,xxx,xxx but other than dreaming about scoring $1M+, this value would not help you. Matter of fact, it may work against you. Find some senior forum members and PM them for appraisals..
5. Do I forget about the whole thing and walk away and forget it ever happened?.
That is your perogative. But I think you would be walking away from potential profit. If that's the case, I am sure everyone (incl. myself) will offer $50 and gladly take it off your hands (j/k)!.
6. Slit my wrists and hope that it’s a long painful death?.
Life is short. Why cut it even shorter?.
Traffic is very minimal, it's at about 10/20 hits a day but this is because I never did any marketing with it, it merely sits and gathers dust. However, searching for the name on google reveals a different story. the name is plastered everywhere we are talking thousands of pages with the name refering to the "coolproduct" but not with "coolproduct.com", and I'm not really sure if having thousands of pages with the name on google counts towards a bigger sum of money being on the table.. just to keep you on my level the name is not in the dictionary, it has 7 letters, and has a double letter, a word which looks something like "telroot".... but cooler..
Great advice, I've been told that a few times today. I think I'll make a note of that..
I shall take on board all your advice, thank you..
$50! Done deal, seriously though, I'm only joking.
Regarding the slitting of my wrists, If I end up with a massive lawsuit I may want a short life!..
I think the sedo idea is good. I'd just want to get out of the mess..
How'd you come up with the HostGator name anyways, was it speculation or was it pure coincidence?.
A true moment of coincidence. I thought it was a cool name as I have a few names which follow a similar pattern..
About this Sedo, as a newbie to this I always worry about entering into things I am not clued up on. Is it safe? do you think I would get the most out of this domain? Is it a lengthy process? Can pull out at any time? etc.
Another question, if the "bigcompany" were to suddenly TM their "coolproduct" will that leave me in the poo?..
Not necessarily b/c your registration of the name predates the TM that is necessary, but not sufficient, however: make sure your use of the HostGator is unrelated to their product minimally develop it, don't park it, and make sure the content is not related to their product...
Sedo is a safe place to conduct your business. You have two choices, you can negotiate by using the traditional offer-counter system or you can contact Sedo if they would perhaps list your HostGator in the auction with a reserve..
This way you can protect yourself for selling the HostGator for a price you don't want to let it go for..
With the traditional negotiation process you can receive offers for your HostGator and send your counter offer if/when you feel necessary to counter offer..
Of course with the auction the negotiations are out of the scene and if there are two big companies involved as you describe they will probably be bidding against each other. And not knowing the HostGator perhaps there is even a chance other bidders will join in..
Creating a more competive area which can only lead to a better end sale for your domain..
1:I would get the most out of this domain?.
- With two highly interested big companies involved in a auction i'm sure you're getting the best value out of your domain..
2:Is it a lengthy process?.
- Auction can last for 7 days or 14 days or you can negotiate in the traditional offer-counter system and could even be faster to close the deal, but would you get the best price then? Auction would be better if you can get into auction either with a reserve or a bid that is to your liking..
In the traditional offer-counter system you can decide to push the HostGator into auction at any time. The last bid you received when you push the HostGator into auction will be your reserve price. So keep an eye on this and don't push the HostGator into auction untill you have reached a minimum price during the normal negotiations that meets your reserve..
Or take a chance and push it into auction at the first chance you get. That is a risk that is up to you..
3:Can pull out at any time? etc.
-When you are in traditional negotiations you can stop at any time but if you have agreed on a received bid, you have accepted the offer of the bidder you are contractually binded to sell the HostGator to the bidder for the offer you have accepted...
I've just had a thought, if "anotherbigcompany" was to win the auction, surely "bigcompany" wouldn't allow "anotherbigcompany" to display their product under their product name. What if "bigcompany" was to TM the name after "anotherbigcompany" won the auction, then surely "bigcompany" would pull out the lawsuits, but then why would I care, I've sold the domain....
This is a tricky one... Perhaps one of you want to buy it from me and save me the hassle..
Before making any action, putting up for sale, parking it, or otherwise. I would be 100% sure that you are.
A) not infringing on any trademarks.
B) acting in good faith.
C) working to maintain an amicable relationship with the companies.
-RJ- posted a good list of HostGator name lawyers in the disputes section, it may be worth it to give them a call..
After you successfully sold the domain, it doesn't matter what big company does to not-so-big company. they can have their legal battles until the sun doesn't shine anymore, your business is conducted at this time, you can walk away from the show..
As many others already indicated, I would list the HostGator for auction and write an open letter to both companies. explain to them that you are trying to keep the playing field fair and therefore listed the HostGator for auction. this way all participants have an equal chance of obtaining the domain..
Result: thus far, you have not violated any TM laws, you are giving everyone a fair shot and last but not least, you'll walk away with cash in your pocket..
I'm not sure if I agree with sedo on the auctioneers part. sedo controls too much of the communication between bidder/seller and has a notorious habit of reacting too slow and delaying messages..
I'd find a different auctioneer, but would clearly state that the winning bidder also pays the escrow fees..
Best of luck, and when you cash in for your 35 ft yacht, post some pictures!..
Hard to believe it"s bigcomanies product and it"s not tmed..