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Whois Email is Not Always Accurate

9

I thought I would share a tip to help people acquire domain names in private. Sometimes the Whois email address is not accurate and an offer or inquiry email will not be received by the intended recipient.

It can be frustrating to email a very good offer to a domain registrant and not even receive a response to the email. I understand that what seems like a very good (reasonable and/or fair value) offer to me may be low to the domain owner. I also understand that some people have no interest in selling a particular domain name regardless of how good the offer is. I think it is courteous to reply, so not receiving a response can be frustrating.

One thing that could prevent a reply from being made is if the domain registrant did not receive the email. Many domain registrants have a credit card on file at their registrar so their domain names are renewed without having to be reminded via email. They may never receive emails about their domain names, but since the domain names automatically renew, this isn't something they even → Read More


How Many Brands Use a Specific Keyword?

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There are a number of ways to gauge how many brands use a certain keyword in their branding. This intel is particularly important when considering the acquisition of a domain name.

When looking at a particular domain name to buy, it is nice to know that there are many companies and brands using the keyword in the event my plans for the domain name change and I want to sell. It is also a good way to ensure the keyword is used widely to avoid buying a name that could be considered infringing on one particular brand.

Sometimes a standard Google search will give me an idea of how many companies have a particular keyword in their branding. Oftentimes, I find that this isn't the case, as Google results return many results with definition and Wiki-like sites to tell me what the keyword means. Not very helpful in this regard.

There is another Google search I use that I find particularly helpful in seeing how widely used a keyword is by different brands: I use a Google Image search. In the search bar, I will type in my keyword + the → Read More


Do Not Pay for a Domain Appraisal Before Selling

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I saw a thread on NamePros from someone asking about a potential scam. Apparently, the person received an offer to buy a domain name but the person said a (paid) domain appraisal would be necessary before doing a deal. This doesn't seem legitimate to me.

From the NamePros thread:

"I just received an offer to buy my domain from a supposedly domain broker and the email seems to come from a large internet company in Japan.

However, the agent says that due to regulations in Japan, the buyer needs to have a proper certification to do a bank transfer due to the price being more than 10k.

The broker then sent me a link to get my domain certified for USD199. "

I can not think of a real reason why an appraisal would be necessary to complete a deal. I can not imagine a legitimate domain buyer or domain broker would require one. From my perspective, it seems like the prospective buyer is trying to induce the domain owner to pay nearly $200 (yes, $200!!!!) for a domain appraisal and will then disappear once the payment is made. I → Read More


Is Mark Zuckerberg a GoDaddy Customer?

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Yesterday afternoon, TechCrunch reported that Priscilla Chan and her husband Mark Zuckerberg had a baby girl named August Zuckerberg. I was curious to know if the couple purchased the matching AugustZuckerberg.com domain name in advance of their baby's birthday. The domain name was registered in June of this year at GoDaddy.

Because AugustZuckerberg.com is registered using GoDaddy's Whois privacy proxy service (Domains By Proxy, LLC), it is not known whether Mark Zuckerberg or his wife registered the domain name. Because of the unique name, I would imagine the domain name was registered by one of them (or a close associate of the family). If you visit AugustZuckerberg.com, you can see a default GoDaddy landing page that does not offer any information about who owns the domain name or how it will be used.

Mark and Priscilla have another daughter (more…) → Read More


Use Escrow for a Deal Closing in the Future

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It is important to use an escrow service when transacting on a domain name acquisition or sale. I think almost everyone in the domain investment space knows this or should know this by now.

If you reach an agreement to sell a domain name that won't close until a date in the future, it may be a good idea to set up escrow when the agreement is signed, even though the deal won't close right away.

Let's say you are selling a domain name that you are using for a website. Once you reach a deal to sell the domain name and the purchase agreement is signed, the buyer should remit the payment to an escrow service and the seller should push the domain name to the control of the escrow service. The seller can notify advertisers and visitors about the sale of the domain name, and the domain name can be used to inform visitors of the pending sale. Once the transaction time comes, the buyer will receive the domain name and the seller will receive the funds.

This is important for two reasons. First, it is (more…) → Read More


Domain Brokers Should Come With an Offer

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I think most domain brokers predominantly represent domain name owners on the sale-side. There are quite a few brokers and brokerage firms who offer acquisition services though (buyer brokers). When a domain broker is working on behalf of a buyer to buy a domain name, they should be ready to make an offer, or at the very least, they should know their client's budget.

I occasionally receive inquiries on my domain names from brokers representing a buyer. The first question I ask the broker is either "what is the offer?" or "what is the budget?" If someone is inquiring about one of my domain names on behalf of a client, it makes sense that they would know how much their client wants to spend or is willing to spend.

I don't generally price my top tier domain names, so coming up with a price isn't always a simple process, especially when I don't have any information about the buyer (beyond the fact that a broker was hired). It usually makes more sense to contemplate an inbound offer rather than just give a price.

When I make → Read More


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