Domain Industry News

Domain Impact of the Weak Dollar

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Back in the 1980s when the US economy was facing tough times and the dollar was weak against Asian currency, the Japanese swooped in and purchased a tremendous amount of New York City real estate. They realized that they could buy valuable real estate at a fraction of the real value. Once the dollar rebounded in the 1990s and US investors like Donald Trump began buying it back, many Japanese real estate investors made a fortune. With the recent currency woes facing the US dollar against the Euro and Canadian dollar, I believe we may see the same thing happen to domain name assets. Foreign investors now have the advantage of stronger currencies against the the US dollar, and they can afford to go on a domain spending spree.People may counter this theory by saying that because PPC payouts are made in US dollars it wouldn’t be a good deal for foreign investors to buy domain names. Do these people think that when the Mitsubishi Estate Company of Japan bought the Rockefeller Building in New York City, rent was paid to them in Yen? I am sure rent was paid in US dollars, and they were happy to buy this US property jewel at a discount.While the Euro is strongest against the US dollar, I don’t believe Europeans will be the most active buyers. There are too many European extensions that are popular (.uk and .de for example), so they may not take full advantage of the discounted US prices.I believe the spending spree will start north of the border in Canada. Some of the most prolific domain investment companies reside in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since Canada is so close to the US and .com names are certainly common in Canada, I predict the Canadians will be the biggest buyers of domain names while the dollar is weak. For the first time in 31 years, the Canadian dollar is on par with the US dollar, and it has grown 62% since 2002. Canadians are proud that their economy seems to be outperforming the economy of their US counterparts. What better way to show their economic advantage than buying property? Instead of just a real estate boom, I foresee a virtual real estate boom, and our friends north of the border could be leading that charge.

No More 60 Day Transfer Policy at Godaddy?

GoDaddy May Have to Stop ’60 Day’ Transfer Policy

According to DomainNameWire.com, Godaddy may be forced to eliminate their 60 day transfer prohibition policy enacted when a client changes Whois information.    ICANN’s new advisory, in the public comment state for the next 30 days would appear to prohibit Godaddy’s policy:

“1. Registrars are prohibited from denying a domain name transfer request based on non-payment of fees for pending or future registration periods during the Auto-Renew Grace Period
2. A registrant change to Whois information is not a valid basis for denying a transfer request.”
— Source: DomainNameWire.com

I’ve always found this policy to be an annoyance.    I shouldn’t have to keep my domain names at Godaddy simply because of a change in Whois contact information.    I understand the 60 day policy pertaining to new registrations because I should register my domain names at my registrar of choice, however, when buying domain names in the aftermarket, I am not given my choice of registrar.    

Just as Andrew (the editor of DomainNameWire.com) stated, I was also able to contact my Executive Account Manager at Godaddy to request that the policy be lifted for individual domain names.    They were always willing to accommodate me, but it was annoying to have to take this extra step.

Televisions.com – A Steal at $215k

Televisions.com Tunes In $215,000 In the Week’s Top Reported Sale

Televisions.com sold for just $215,000 according to the newest addition of DNJournal.com‘s weekly sales report. This is a great price for the buyer, as I believe this name was worth well over half a million dollars. Recently, Cameras.com sold for well over a million, and I would value this name similarly. My only reasoning for the low price is that people might be searching for TVs rather than Televisions. Although television margins aren’t huge, I think the new owner could open up a tv store without open box inventory. The price paid is much less than what it would cost to open a television business in a typical shopping mall, and the reach is far greater with Televisions.com.

NBA Team Buys Bobcats.com for $50k

Basketball Bobcats get shorter name from wildlife breeder

Barbara Roe, bobcat breeder and owner of Bitterroot Bobcat and Lynx, of Stevensville, MT., sold the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats her Bobcats.com domain name. The team had been inquiring about it since 2004, but she rejected their offer of just a couple thousand dollars.

Realizing how much traffic they were losing by using BobcatsBasketball.com for the past few years, the team and Roe reached an agreement to sell the name for $50,000 – a bargain price, in my opinion. Although the owner couldn’t have monetized the domain name for basketball or tickets without infringing on the rights of the NBA Bobcats, the name was probably worth much more to the Charlotte Bobcats than to Bitterroot Bobcat and Lynx. This is a good deal for the buyer.

Industry Wide Price Increase

I just received an email from Moniker notifying me of the price increase on domain names. On October 15, 2007, the price of registering .com and .net domain names is increasing by $.50. While this 7.2% price increase may not seem too bad, it can add up depending on the size of a person’s portfolio. I haven’t received an email like this from other registrars, but I imagine everyone will be in the same boat.

“INDUSTRY WIDE PRICE INCREASE – OCTOBER 2007

As you may (or may not) have heard, there will be an industry wide price increase on October 15th 2007. .com and .net prices are going up approximately $.50 each. If you own domains that you’re looking to hold onto for long term, save money by renewing and/or registering today!” — Source: Email from Moniker

Ignorance is no Excuse

Candidates locked in name game over Web domains

I’ve been seeing quite a few articles about politicians buying the domain names of their opponents, but I haven’t seen something as blatant as what the lady in the aforementioned article has been doing. The lady apparently believes that she can buy the domain names of realtors, doctors and other professionals in the hopes of selling to them for a profit. I think this is a case of ignorance more than anything else, but it certainly isn’t right. This is straight-up cybersquatting.

As domain investing becomes more mainstream, educating new investors is going to be important. I believe it is the job of the registrars’ to educate their buyers. Companies like Godaddy have gone mainstream, but I believe they are failing to educate their consumers. You wouldn’t leave out seatbelts in a Ferrari, so registrars should educate their buyers on the laws of cybersquatting and the penalties they could bring. As I said in this post, consumers should have “to check off a box acknowledging that they are aware of the Lanham Act and its penalties before every registration.

Someone needs to give this “domain reseller” a clue.

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