Advice

One Thing I Look at When Bidding in a Domain Auction

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I am currently involved in a domain auction with a handful of bidders. I want to share a relatively common sense tip that can sometimes help me determine how much I am willing to pay to acquire a domain name.

There is about a day left in the auction, so I am internally trying to determine the maximum number I am comfortable paying. I checked a very similar name (plural vs. singular) to see how it is used and who owns it. I noticed that the similar domain name is listed for sale on a popular aftermarket website. That domain name has a buy it now price of a little under $2,000.

Some might argue the other domain name is more valuable than the name in auction. I could go either way on it, although a case could be made for either domain name. The keyphrase of the domain name in auction has has one extension registered while the comparable name has 5 of the most popular extensions registered.

If I would win the auction and price the domain name in the

Make Sure the Offer is Firm

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As a domain investor, there are few things that are more annoying / frustrating / angering than agreeing to a deal with a buyer and having the deal fall through to no fault of your own. Deals fall through all the time and for many different reasons.

When I am negotiating with a prospective buyer, I regularly learn that the domain name we are discussing is one of the domain names they are considering. Oftentimes, when faced with an inquiry or offer form that requires an offer to be submitted, a prospective will enter a tentative offer. This may be the amount they would be willing to pay if they choose this domain name. They may not have finalized their domain name choice and they may be negotiating to buy several domain names when they just need one.

On one hand, I understand what they are doing. They like a few names and need to buy just one. Because many domain owners won’t negotiate with someone who isn’t a serious buyer, they need to negotiate as if they are actually buying a domain name before a decision is made. As a domain investor,

When Buying a Domain Name, a .edu Email Address Tells Me…

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For some reason, people still claim to be students in order to try and get a lower price on a domain name. Whether a person is a student or not, many people tell domain owners they are students to influence the price of a domain name. I think people must read advice columns that suggested this tactic, and they don’t know any better. Sorry, but the “poor student” routine doesn’t work.

I occasionally get inquiries from people with .edu email addresses. This could indicate that the person is a student, but it could also mean the person is an alumnus of the college or university and retained their email address. With all of the email services out there, people who use a .edu email address likely do so to show that they are students.

When I see a .edu email address on an inquiry, it tells me that the person is almost certainly not willing to pay what my domain name is worth. They are either a student with a low budget (for real) or they are pretending to be a student so they can claim to have a low budget. Unfortunately,

How I Deal With Problems

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Last week, I had what amounts to a billing issue with a company. The bank told me one thing that appeared to blame the company for the issue. I called the company, didn’t get an answer right away, and I quickly escalated the issue to the executive office. I let company President’s administrative assistant know what I thought happened, and I made it clear that I was unhappy and thought there was some sort of ethical lapse.

To make a long story short, the company investigated and it turns out it was a bank issue. For whatever reason, the bank erred in explaining what happened, and when the branch manager called the bank’s call center, the information he received was similar to mine. It took him meeting with a company representative to figure out what happened.

After learning what happened, I apologized to the company for my attitude.

I regularly see people post complaints and sometimes borderline defamatory comments about domain industry companies on forums, in blog comments, on Twitter, on review websites, and various other publications. People get upset (often rightfully), and they fire away to make sure others know about their poor experience. I don’t think this is generally the best approach.

Had I written something online about what I thought happened – which had initially been confirmed

Using LinkedIn for Bounced Email Contacts

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It can be a bit frustrating to receive an immediate response to an email from the “Mail Delivery Subsystem” email letting me know that the email I just sent bounced. These undeliverable emails can prevent me from contacting a domain registrant when I want to buy or sell a particular domain name.

This is a regular occurence in the domain business – and other businesses as well. Although it may be frustrating to not be able to get in touch with someone, it can be a good sign because others probably had the same result when they emailed the same email address.

In some cases, I have found that using LinkedIn can be a good way to contact a person whose email bounces back as undeliverable. For whatever reason, some people keep their LinkedIn contact information more updated than their Whois information. It’s a bit peculiar since a domain name may have substantial value, but when an email bounces and/or a phone number doesn’t work, I have found LinkedIn to be a good resource.

One thing I do when I use LinkedIn is

Beware of Domain Registrar “Ghost Records”

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I received an email from Network Solutions last week to remind me about renewing a domain name. They even offered me a special discount code for renewing this domain name, which I previously won on NameJet:

The only problem with this email is that the domain name was transferred to GoDaddy back in March. A Whois search confirms that the domain name is no longer registered at Network Solutions.

It would appear that the UsedAgain.com record in my Network Solutions account is known as a “ghost record.” This means that it would appear to exist within my Network Solutions account, but it is really at GoDaddy. I would not be able to modify nameservers, set up forwarding, or do anything else with the domain name from within Network Solutions.

The big question I have is whether

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