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Kak

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Long story short, in the month of April I noticed a pro-athlete went on a popular sports podcast and at the end of the episode dropped his new website for his online store. It turned out they hadn't purchased the domain yet - so I bought it and then contacted his management and explained I didn't want to be a dick and take advantage of them and offered to sell it for $1500 to them.
Really stupid athlete... however... You holding his domain hostage even for $1500 was a total dick move.

You think you are entitled to be part of this guy’s business just because you sneakily bought his domain for $11 on Godaddy? Bullshit. They probably agreed to your terms to buy time to talk to lawyers.

This was cringeworthy.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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Really stupid athlete... however... You holding his domain hostage even for $1500 was a total dick move.

You think you are entitled to be part of this guy’s business just because you sneakily bought his domain for $11 on Godaddy? Bullshit.

This was cringeworthy.
Kak - I even said to the guy, that I would give it to him for free but would take the memorabilia. I did not hold it hostage I just initially said Id sell it for $1500.

I never felt entitled to be a part of his business. After we agreed on some signed gear, I for the hell of it sent him a bunch of notes/advice of tips he can follow when they launch. He thanked me and asked how much it would cost for me to setup a shopify store. That's when I said $2500.

He agreed to pay the $2500. There is nothing anywhere about being entitled. All I want is to be paid for the work I did - I don't want to be paid going forward.
 

MHP368

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So.

Yeh that was a weak move stealing the domain. So obviously youre off to a bad start , I dont know why you thought this person would actually respect his would be blackmailer as a business partner.

You own the site but its making sales because of the athletes name.

So let me ask you , if a pro athlete decided to sue you , just out of spite , what could you do? If an easy fifteen hundred bucks sounded like a great idea I imagine what you could do is go bankrupt trying to defend yourself. A pro athlete gets paid enough to file frivolous lawsuits against you every week and not go sweat it.


I think since you're only out the money for the domain and the time spent making a site you might want to walk away. I think you're in over your head.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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So.

Yeh that was a weak move stealing the domain. So obviously youre off to a bad start , I dont know why you thought this person would actually respect his would be blackmailer as a business partner.

You own the site but its making sales because of the athletes name.

So let me ask you , if a pro athlete decided to sue you , just out of spite , what could you do? If an easy fifteen hundred bucks sounded like a great idea I imagine what you could do is go bankrupt trying to defend yourself. A pro athlete gets paid enough to file frivolous lawsuits against you every week and not go sweat it.


I think since you're only out the money for the domain and the time spent making a site you might want to walk away. I think you're in over your head.
I appreciate your reply and your blunt honesty. This is why I'm here and why I posted. If I didn't buy the domain someone else would have and they would have parked it and refused to sell it for $10,000. I did not blackmail him in anyway... he thanked me for being so 'chill' about the whole ordeal and offered signed gear instead which I said sure. I even said afterwards that they can just have it for free.

So we agreed to give the domain over to him - that's when he ASKED ME how much to set them up with a store. I in no way forced him to hire me.
 

MHP368

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Ok so even if you didnt have negative intent.

Do you have an agreement in writing?

His name , his fame , his win if it goes to court (if you take merchandise money)

Even if he's the one being a jerk now the dude has a better hand to play than you do.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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Ok so even if you didnt have negative intent.

Do you have an agreement in writing?

His name , his fame , his win if it goes to court (if you take merchandise money)

Even if he's the one being a jerk now the dude has a better hand to play than you do.
Good call. Again - I appreciate your stone cold honesty this is what I'm after. So at this point I've definitely decided against tampering with the website. That's not under consideration any longer so thank you.

I can't stress how much the entire time how thankful he's been - DM'ing every day and working together. It wasn't until recently (1.5 week ago) he out of the blue said he spoke to the athlete and 2500 is good and he'd get the payment out to me. Just since then he's been quiet after he said he'd fill me in shortly.

Maybe I should just re-enable sales on the site and play the waiting game and hope for the best at this point. You're right that tampering with the site would be stupid.

Can I in theory say that if I'm not paid for my work within x amount of days then I regretfully have to sell the domain on the open market. Yes - there was no written contract but this would probably fall within reliance/restitution. You don't always need a contract.

Please advise on this one. Again - thank you to yourself and Kak for taking the time to write back.
 

ApparentHorizon

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I hope you're not in the US.

If they brought on lawyers with any sense, they would have torn you a new one with cybersquatting laws.

First you wanted something in exchange for the domain. Then you went and built a store on it. Even if you had no intent of profiting and eventually gave it up. Holy crap son.

Can I in theory say that if I'm not paid for my work within x amount of days then I regretfully have to sell the domain on the open market. Yes - there was no written contract but this would probably fall within reliance/restitution. You don't always need a contract.
If it's in text/email form, it has weight in court. But you'd be retarded to bring that to a judge after doing the above with the domain.

Remove your code from the website and just let them have it. If they want the files, tell them you'll give it to them after the money hits your account.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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I hope you're not in the US.

If they brought on lawyers with any sense, they would have torn you a new one with cybersquatting laws.

First you wanted something in exchange for the domain. Then you went and built a store on it. Even if you had no intent of profiting and eventually gave it up. Holy crap son.



If it's in text/email form, it has weight in court. But you'd be retarded to bring that to a judge after doing the above with the domain.

Remove your code from the website and just let them have it. If they want the files, tell them you'll give it to them after the money hits your account.
Thank you to all of you!! I've decided to just re-enable sales after being scared by some of the posts. It's only been disabled for a day and as it stands they only get like 1 sale a day which is of $20.

I am just going to play the waiting game after getting a little scared from some of the posts. That might be my best chance. If they pay me, the pay me. If not I just get to help them out for free here and there for the hell of it which I don't mind.
 
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Kak

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Thank you to all of you!! I've decided to just re-enable sales after being scared by some of the posts. It's only been disabled for a day and as it stands they only get like 1 sale a day which is of $20.

I am just going to play the waiting game after getting a little scared from some of the posts. That might be my best chance. If they pay me, the pay me. If not I just get to help them out for free here and there for the hell of it which I don't mind.
You should probably just admit to them you were a dick, tell them the work is gratis, hand it all over and wish them well.

Maybe that will win you a little respect and perhaps some legitimate business from them, but probably not.

You played this all wrong... I would have bought it to give it to them in the first place and then in my benevolence and awesomeness, I would have asked for their business to build and maintain their site long term.

Then you would have a high profile paying client to tout to new potential customers.

You had a choice... Be the cool guy that watched their back. Or... Be the guy that blackmailed them. One has an extremely shortsighted view, the other has long term horizons.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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You should probably just admit to them you were a dick, tell them the work is gratis, hand it all over and wish them well.

Maybe that will win you a little respect and perhaps some legitimate business from them.

You played this all wrong... I would have bought it to give it to them in the first place and then in my benevolence and awesomeness, I would have asked for their business to build and maintain their site long term.
What you describe yourself doing is more or less what happen. Trust me when I say this manager thanked me thousands of times even phoning me to thank me during the entire month. It's hard to gauge the situation without seeing our chats so I understand where you're coming from.

The manager told me a week ago they wanted to add new shirts soon. And the athlete just said on instagram live literally 2 days ago more stuff coming to the store. So they will for sure ask me to add more stuff at least sometime soon so that's probably my best opportunity to see about payment.
 

Damien Dev

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You're worried that you're being scammed? Might have missed something but you come across as a leech, piggy backing off someone else's name and success and then limiting his/her options by locking them into working with you. Highly exploitative and opportunistic. I'd play along and then screw you the second I got the chance too.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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You're worried that you're being scammed? Might have missed something but you come across as a leech, piggy backing off someone else's name and success and then limiting his/her options by locking them into working with you. Highly exploitative and opportunistic. I'd play along and then screw you the second I got the chance too.
Damien - how did I lock them into working with me? After we agreed on exchanging the domain for a signed shirt I sent them a ton of advice on some things they could do out of pure kindness. That's when the guy replied the next day saying "It looks like you really know your stuff. The guy who was supposed to be handling this f*cked up. How much would it cost for you to make us a Shopify?"
 

Xeon

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They probably agreed to your terms to buy time to talk to lawyers.


Side note to OP, maybe it would be better if you had just given them the domain for free and ask for an endorsement or some sort of social proof in exchange. That's actually better than any $2.5K.
 

Damien Dev

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If you were acting with such noble intentions you'd have handed the domain over for $0 and then given them the option to work with you.

Reminds me of that time I played the computer game "roller coaster tycoon" I let patrons into my theme park, built a wall around them until they got hungry and thirsty, and then stuck a single hot dog stand down for $200 each. They paid up but ran for the exit as soon as I knocked it down.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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Side note to OP, maybe it would be better if you had just given them the domain for free and ask for an endorsement or some sort of social proof in exchange. That's actually better than any $2.5K.
Actually I never gave any terms. I said id give the website in exchange for a signed shirt. Then the next day he out of nowhere asked me if I would make a website for them as their guy F*cked it up.

But I think you are right. I am just going to give him the domain for free. I never wanted to charge at all but external influences were telling me I should. My gut from the beginning said do it for free. My gut also tells me these guys are grateful judging from all the chats we've had and how closely we've worked together.
 
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StickyNoteMap

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So Update: I got spooked and DM'd an hour ago and said I will give the website for free and I'm just glad to work with them and to forget the 2500. Just got off the phone with him. He phoned me out of the blue to say first lesson in business is never to work for free. Essentially assured me and said to just hold up as the money is going to be split up soon and he's going to pay me.
 
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Jsoh

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explained I didn't want to be a dick and take advantage of them
You don't wanna be a dick and take advantage of them? Then why would you try and profit off a domain that is in their name? Is it trademarked? In any case, you're in business to turn a profit... and you saw an opportunity and pulled the trigger. Once you did that though, did you go about it the right way??? I know of cybersquatting, but I'm not too familiar in regard to the specifics and what can or can't be done... (and I'm not a lawyer so don't take anything I say as legal advice)

Maybe this will help

I created the shopify but I transferred it over to him and set his email as admin account leaving me a staff account.
Forgetting about the domain for a second... You built a Shopify store for somebody and went based off what I consider to be a gentleman's agreement? Am I correct? No signed contract or anything?

That's your first mistake...

Business is business and needs to be treated as such. I would make it clear the site is coming down until the terms of your agreement are fulfilled. And make it clear that he'll be losing 10x more money by mucking around with you.

Let him know you're ready to help them make this money on auto-pilot. All they have to do is "pay the man".

If they don't want to do it then fine, but at least it won't be a win-lose.

Can I in theory add my own product on the website since he's not responding and have it linked to my personal shopify and get paid that way since in theory I own the website?
Personally I think you're opening up yourself to more trouble doing this... One way or another it will probably get back to the athlete... And really, is it a good judgement call?

Anyways, If you haven't talked to the athlete then I'd try and get in touch with him because right now you're dealing with the middle man.

At the end of the day what they are doing (if the athlete even knows the deal) is losing a lot of money. Ask them if they're ok with that over a measly $2k.

Good luck
 

MHP368

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Now that the site is live does it require any maintenance from you as is?
 

biophase

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Like others have said, you did a dick move by registering the domain and then asking for $1500. You should’ve just offered it to him for free. I would’ve said this, hey man I heard you mention this domain on the podcast and I realized that you had not registered it yet. I bought it so that I can give it to you so that somebody else wouldn’t buy it and then try to sell it to you for $10,000.

Asking to exchange it for a sign to Jersey is not giving it to him.

If he offered $2500 to you, that was to build a Shopify site for the domain because he would’ve given him the domain for free.

Anyway lesson learned, sounds like it is being worked out.
 

Kak

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He phoned me out of the blue to say first lesson in business is never to work for free.
So off base it is not even funny. Do NOT take this as gospel just because some Jerry McGuire wannabe said it.

Most scalable businesses take months or years of hard work with very little pay off in the early stages.

If you build that "never work for free" cognitive wall, you will end up being a freelancer for the rest of your life where input=output.
 

MHP368

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not really to be honest beyond uploading new products when they release new stuff
So heres my take , turn sales back on. Send an email with all the access passwords to the site.

Yell them you're done involving yourself until you get paid but if they're willing you will continue to manage the site for a monthly fee once the agreed upon 2500$ materializes.


If they want to they can just reset the passwords and lock you out and ghost you , you're out some time , lesson learned.


Flipside you get paid and they give you a monthly retainer to upload new content and keep things humming.


Thats how I would play this , next time try applying the golden rule during business dealings.
 

MJ DeMarco

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You might have been scammed?

This thread is cringeworthy.
 

B. Cole

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You squatted a domain name - built a store on it, published it and allowed him to begin conducting business on something he didn’t own - even worse, he started conducting business on something he didn’t own. And now it’s all fakked up on who owes who, with everybody playing the good guy/victim at the same time.

Holy smokes son. I’m sure ya’ll will work it out. :rofl:

I’m gonna go beat my phone on a tree real quick.
 
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mikey3times

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Great lesson here... for the athlete.
Call me naive, but I think @StickyNoteMap learned a lesson, too. He came in here chasing money, but seems to have genuinely learned that helping people is the right way, while scamming them is the wrong way. Yeah, he thought he was getting scammed, but he seems to be changing his tune bit by bit. And of course he has a long way to go, but we have all been there.

As MJ said, this started off cringeworthy, but I do see some small steps in the right direction. Learning is a long process made up of tons of small lessons and corrections.

I vote for giving him the benefit of the doubt as long as he keeps progressing in the right direction. In my mind, this could be a win for the forum.

@StickyNoteMap, please don’t give everyone here a reason to PM me with a, “told-ya-so.”
 

Jeff Noel

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He came in here chasing money, but seems to have genuinely learned that helping people is the right way,
That's the biggest takeaway here, along with suggestions of what he should've done by more experienced entrepreneurs here.
Don't chase money, provide value. Drown them in value.


"Hey, I purchased the domain name you mentioned in the podcast just to make sure you guys have it and it doesn't get stolen. Get in touch with me so we can fill in/update the registrar's details.

By the way, I'm a web developer, so if you need the website up and running really quick, I can do that too ! Call me if you're interested: XXX-XXX-XXXX

Keep being awesome at Basketball by the way.

-Jeff"
 
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StickyNoteMap

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Thanks a lot guys. It is hard to convey the entire situation to everyone through text so there is a lot being left out in the context - you would actually see that I had been genuine the entire time but it's been a little lost in translation (partly due to the fact that i could've written it better)

But you're all right on the learning aspect of it all. I learned a lot for sure from this and i'm on the same page as all of you at this point.
 

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