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Is $1,000 worth it?

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  • Is $1,000 worth it?

    I've been approached by a person who wants to buy the "jayhawk" instagram username. I told this person I had the Twitter account of the same name and the person wanted to buy both. I said it would be $1,000 each, and the person decided to just go with Instagram.

    Now that I am looking into it, it's against the terms of service. Even if I get by that, I have "friends" who are connected to me and I'd be selling their connection and that seems wrong. This person could be trying to give someone a cool x-mas present. But this person could be nefarious. I have no clue. I don't need the money and I wasn't looking to sell; I am not sure why I even tossed the number out (it's sort of like a Make Me Move price on Zillow when you're not really looking to sell your house). Hmmm.

  • #2
    If you don’t need the money, then I was say it’s a definite “no”.

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    • #3
      That's my thinking as well. I am trying to figure out why I provided the $1,000 figure. I was hoping more to sell the Twitter account because I forget about it most of the time, but I still use Instagram.

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      • #4
        I don’t do social media, so I compare it to changing your email address. It seems like a big hassle for $1000. If I was in my 20’s (when that was a huge amount of $ to me), I may have a different stance.

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        • #5
          Even if it's against the TOS, I'm not sure how the respective platforms could conclude that you sold the accounts. Both Twitter and Instagram utilize IP detection as part of their security settings, but it's not anything that can't be navigated with security codes like any password recovery functionality.

          That being said, I'd be against it for a few reasons:

          1. I'd feel a little scuzzy about selling my connections like that.
          2. $1K seems low to me, especially if the buyer has a business interest in the accounts (which may or may not be the case, but if they're offering money, I'd lean towards the former).
          3. From what you say, I can't tell if the buyer is legit. If I were to go through with it, I'd demand at least 2/3 of the money up front.

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          • #6
            I thought I could just change my username and keep all of my followers. I change my username to something else (e.g., jayhawksean) and then I immediately grab jayhawk again and then I sell it. The person wanted the username and never said anything about the connections I've made. This would at least give me peace of mind, but I don't see that this works and that's the hang-up. On Twitter it would work and I've changed another username that I use professionally from my full name to my first name and then initials and kept all of my followers, etc.

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            • #7
              2018 problems

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              • #8
                If I knew I was selling to someone connected with the program who was going to use it in a "semi-official" capacity, or even an official capacity, then I'd sell it and not lose sleep over it. If it's just some random dude (who might be a Mizzou fan, even), then no. I wouldn't sell it for $1000.

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                • #9
                  I believe you should be able to coordinate with them to change your username and have them swoop it up at the same time.

                  $1,000 is a very reasonable number given that you just pulled it out of your ass, but it's almost certainly worth more than that. I'd put it in the 2k-5k range. I would be surprised if the buyer is not a digital marketer, but in this particular case I could see it maybe being a fan.

                  Edit - Actually, I'd take the $1k and run if you can do the above process. Can't imagine what a marketer can do with it without running into trademark issues. I wonder if there's any remote chance it's KU trying to buy it. Would make sense that they'd want to control it, and IG won't turn usernames over to you even if you own the trademark.
                  Last edited by LARPHawk; 2 weeks ago.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, you're right. I'd do Twitter for $1,000, but if I am selling Instagram Jayhawk then I want enough to buy a new camera for $2,500. This person doesn't seem like a KU fan after a bit more interaction. I would rather keep it in house anyway. Thanks all.

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                    • #11
                      Have you considered the fact that it might be unlawful of you to sell it?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EasyDisease View Post
                        Have you considered the fact that it might be unlawful of you to sell it?
                        Is that possible? Trademark law? Instagram suggests that as long as you’re not using the account in a way that could confuse consumers then you’re in the clear. I would think if you’re not infringing on their trademark then you’re also in the clear to sell it. But you would know better than me.

                        My gf sold her IG account to a vape company with the same name about a year ago. $500. In that case it was an account she hadn’t used in years.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LARPHawk View Post

                          Is that possible? Trademark law? Instagram suggests that as long as you’re not using the account in a way that could confuse consumers then you’re in the clear. I would think if you’re not infringing on their trademark then you’re also in the clear to sell it. But you would know better than me.

                          My gf sold her IG account to a vape company with the same name about a year ago. $500. In that case it was an account she hadn’t used in years.
                          I don't know if it's likely, but I would at least look into it before pulling the trigger. I don't practice in this area, so I can't claim to be an expert. But I can easily imagine a school putting pressure on someone trying to profit off their registered trademark (See, e.g., Joe College). It's one thing if your gf acquired the handle before she was aware of the existence of said brand (or more importantly before said brand was a registered trademark). Sean could claim no such ignorance here. Granted it's a one-off thing that would be unlikely to even be a blip on the radar, but Sean strikes me as a guy who wouldn't knowingly wade into potential legal or ethical uncertainty. But honestly, I don't know. I know back in the day, early internet prospectors would squat on potentially lucrative domains, but my gut tells me the law has probably evolved as the internet has matured. Like I said, I have nothing other than my gut to go on, but I'd definitely do some research before knowingly profiting on a Trademark I don't own or have license to. This is in no way intended to be legal advice. Instead, I'm merely flagging a potential issue that should be more fully explored to avoid potential headaches. #BigYugeDisclaimer.

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                          • #14
                            Is it still squatting if someone’s using the account in the manner in which the social media company intended? I figure it wouldn’t matter if a judge ruled that KU had a right to the username via trademark, but genuinely curious since Sean seems to post to those pages somewhat regularly and doesn’t try to pass them off as being connected with KU in any form.
                            Last edited by NoPantsChico; 2 weeks ago.

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                            • #15
                              I think what ED means is that you should up your price and move quickly. It would probably also behove you to sell said potential buyer a pen for several grand and then just throw in the username as a show of goodwill.

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