Buying Domain Names

AC/DC Acquires ACDC.com Legitimately

AC/DC wins back website from porn business

According to this news article, AC/DC now owns the domain name ACDC.com. Although the article’s title led me to believe that this was a WIPO decision (“wins” rather than “buys”), it appears they acquired it the old-fashioned way – paying for it. From the article:

“For years the domain name acdc.com was held by a porn site with metal fans perhaps getting more than they bargained for every time they clicked.

But after years of wry tolerance the band’s management in New York has finished negotiations to reclaim the name and launch the brand at its rightful place online.” — Source: News.Com.Au

This really was a smart move by the band’s management team. Considering the amount of traffic the domain name probably receives, the price was clearly significant. The band could have easily tried to take the name in an underhanded way, via WIPO filing, but they opted to go about it the more legitimate way. Had they filed a WIPO, it would have cost the owners quite a bit of money to defend the name, and it might have irritated them enough not to consider selling it had a decision gone in their favor.

Kudos to AC/DC and their management for realizing the importance of ACDC.com, and for buying the domain name that is of highest value to them.

Avi Gets It!

As Frank Schilling pointed out yesterday afternoon, the Swim.com auction netted $214,500. By clicking on the bidder ID of the winner, everyone could see that the email address was none other than the owner of ClubSwim.com, Avi Benaroya. Some quick research shows that Avi also is the owner of other swimming related domain names such as SwimOutlet.com, Swimmer.com, SwimLessons.com, SwimmingInstructor(s).com, and many more. With his purchase of Swim.com, it shows that Avi and his company get it! They know the most valuable domain name in their category is Swim.com. They fought off other bidders, and they won the crown jewel domain name. Very impressive.

Location, Location, Location

One of the first lessons in a real estate course is that the most important factor in site selection is the location. As the famous saying goes, “location, location, location!” If location is the most important factor in where to purchase real estate, why wouldn’t the domain name be one of the most important factors in where to open an online business? Why is it that most business schools merely gloss over the domain business?

I don’t believe a bad domain name can break a company with a good business model. I think a bad name can be detrimental, but it’s nothing that good SEO, Keyword advertising and old fashion marketing can’t fix at a high cost of course. I do believe that a great generic domain name can position a company much better, and it can make it easier for customers to find the company. If two companies offer the same product, same customer service and fulfillment, and similar advertising, I believe the company with the better domain name will see better results both in terms of search engine placement and natural traffic.

After 4 Years, Salesforce.com Buys Force.com

Salesforce.com and the Force family name
Pricing a domain name doesn’t always have to do with a specific valuation strategy. Sometimes a person has a sentimental attachment to a domain name, and he is unwilling to sell it for any price. Take Gordon Force, Sr. of San Jose, CA. for example. He registered Force.com in the early 1990’s for his company, Force Technology, a technology consulting and design services company. After nearly 4 years of negotiations (WOW!), Salesforce.com was finally able to acquire Force.com from Mr. Force. They must have made one big offer!

Emailing Domain Owners

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed a huge increase in the amount of domain inquiry spam I receive, and others have noticed, too. With the Domain Research Tool (DRT), people are able to research domain names based on various search queries, providing huge lists of domain names that meet the user’s requirements. Unfortunately, DRT can also append the email addresses of the domain name owner for each name on the list, making it far too easy for users to send out mass quantities of spam.

Although this “spam/mass email strategy” must have worked at some point, I think people should realize that it has become a nuisance for domain owners. Perhaps 5-10 owners will respond out of 5,000 emails, but for the other 4,990 people, the emailer will have tarnished his reputation and be known as a “spammer.” Just look at this thread as evidence.

In my opinion, DRT mass emails are spam by nature as they are bulk emails of a commercial nature for which the recipient cannot opt-out. Personalized emails aren’t done in bulk and are fair game. When I am interested in acquiring a domain name, I tell the owner of my interest and make a legitimate offer for the name in the initial email. When sending out mass emails, making a reasonable offer out of the gate is impossible. I believe this is what distinguishes the real offers from spammers.

I wonder if the registrars are behind some of these mass spam email campaigns to encourage users to buy their privacy guard upsell!! (Just joking)

BuyDomains.com Introduces Live Chat

In an effort to connect with users around the world, BuyDomains.com recently introduced a live chat feature on their website. While searching for a domain name, a small pop-up appeared, asking me to chat with a representative.

At almost any time of the day, click the “Chat Now” button, enter your name, and begin chatting with a BuyDomains.com. According to the representative I chatted with, the service is available long hours to accommodate the growing worldwide need for domain names. BuyDomains.com has been making headway in countries such as China, and this could be a good way to communicate (language issues aside, of course).

Based on my two short conversations, I would suggest a couple of things to enhance the service:

– Ask for the customer’s email address while logging in to chat to make a follow-up conversation easier (and to resume a conversation if it is dropped)
– Follow-up each chat with an email from the representative thanking the customer for chatting and offering domain names that might be of interest.
– If there is a wait, let the customer know how long the wait will be.

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