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Buying Domain Names

Whois Email is Not Always Accurate


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

Do Not Pay for a Domain Appraisal Before Selling


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

Privacy Laws Could Make Domain Investing More Difficult


Andrew Allemann wrote about the changing privacy laws that could mark the end of public Whois information. If Whois information is no longer available to the general public (domain investors), I think the business of domain name investing is going to become much more challenging.

I acquire the majority of high value domain names my company owns via email with the owner. The contact information is almost always found via Whois lookup, and if the information is private, I might use a tool like DomainTools Whois History Tool or DomainIQ to find the correct owner information. If Whois information is no longer accessible, it will be far more difficult to acquire domain names in private.

If a domain name doesn't resolve and the Whois information is not listed anywhere, it will become much harder to contact the owner of a domain name.

Domain sale platforms will likely be the beneficiaries of disappearing Whois lookups. Domain owners will need to be more proactive with the sale of their domain names, as the Whois inquiries will → Read More

Is Mark Zuckerberg a GoDaddy Customer?


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 domain name in advance of their baby's birthday. The domain name was registered in June of this year at GoDaddy.

Because 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, 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

Mayweather Bought “Girl Collection” Domain Name via BuyDomains


In the lead up to the big Floyd Mayweather vs. Connor McGregor fight in Las Vegas tonight, Floyd Mayweather has been spending the evenings at his new Las Vegas strip club called "Girl Collection." Smartly, it looks like Mayweather (and his team) bought the exact match domain name, which is being used for its website. They were also able to secure the exact match @girlcollection Twitter account and @girlcollection Instagram account.

Using the DomainTools Historical Whois tool, I was able to see that the domain name was previously owned by BuyDomains, one of the largest domain portfolio owners. The domain name was originally registered in December of 2001.

Because BuyDomains typically reports the prices of the domain names it sells, I was able to find the price listed on NameBio. It looks like the domain name was acquired for (more…) → Read More

Domain Brokers Should Come With an Offer


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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