Daily Poll: Is Domain Investing Ethical?

I regularly see people discuss whether certain aspects of the domain investment business are ethical. People question the ethical nature of what happens with expiring domain names, auction bidding, trademark registration, pay per click parking, affiliate marketing, and a variety of other issues and topics related to investing in domain names.

Some people outside of the domain investment business don’t think investing in domain names is ethical at all. It’s certainly legal, but some people question the ethical nature of domain name investing. I thought it would be interesting to poll domain investors to ask if their business – the domain investing business – is ethical.

Vote in today’s poll and feel free to expand with a comment:

Yesterday’s poll: Daily Poll: How Often Do You Make Purchase Inquiries and Offers?

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Of course domainers are gonna tell you it’s ethical. Ask developers or angels the same question and you’ll get a different answer.

    • Domain investors aren’t the only readers. Lots of service providers read, for instance, and most wouldn’t consider themselves investors.

  2. They are not only ethical
    Sometimes even poetical
    I thought my life was all in vain
    And then I sold it – a domain
    I buy them cheap, I sell them good
    This way I can afford some food

    • The reason for my asking this is because I see so many people saying various aspects of the domain business are unethical, and I thought I would see if people think the overall business of domain investing is unethical.

  3. Is investing ethical? That’s the question. Doesn’t matter if its securities or real estate or intellectual property you’re investing in. People who say no usually strike me as naive or jealous.

    • Then they should live in a socialist or communist country.
      It is greed that powers innovation.

      Even in Socialist or Communist countries esp Russia, the Czars are the ones making the money!!

      Money is the root of all evils ha ha…it is Having NO MONEY that is the MAIN ROOT OF ALL EVILS!!

  4. First of all there is a fine line between an investment and speculation. I’d say most domainers are speculators.
    Is real estate speculation ethical? I’d say yes.
    Is food speculation ethical, i.e. betting on soft commodity futures? I’d say probably not.
    Is it ethical to bet against a country’s currency and maybe profit from a currency crisis like in Turkey at the moment or as George Soros did with the Bank of England? I’d say probably not.

    All of the above are legal nevertheless, and as long as capitalism exists there will be speculation.
    Domains are just another vehicle for speculation amongst thousands of others, and to me that speculation feels a lot more ethical than the ones that I mentioned above.

  5. Nothing is objectively ethical or unethical, Elliot, as ethicalness – or moral “right” and “wrong” – is just an idea which cannot be exactly defined, not a reality of nature. The question is whether domain investing should be legal, with a lot of people thinking it shouldn’t be.

    I think it should be, as it harms no one (including trademark owners who should not, in my opinion, have a right to any domain), helps make people aware of the power and importance of names and domains, and supports domain registrars, which thrive and are able to offer all kinds of services free or inexpensively thanks to us dumb domainers who register tons worthless domains:)

  6. Let’s say you weren’t allowed to invest in domains and couldn’t just have them sitting there empty. A long long long time ago companies would have come along and put something up on these domains as their business. Maybe 1,000 mini sites on 1,000 domains, who knows. If I had a bunch of good domains and was at risk of losing them, I would definitely invest a little more to make sure they stayed mine. People who get upset that they can’t have a premium domain in 2018 aren’t very imaginative.

    Do they really think nobody over the last 30 years wouldn’t have come along and started something on that domain? Thousands of people have tried to register the best domains out there. These people are just complaining because deep down they are upset with themselves that they were the 1,000th person with the idea.

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