I recently learned about a large company that was re-branding one of its business units. I did some domain research to see if they had acquired a matching domain name, and the domain name is now owned by one of the large brand management and protection firms. I wanted to see if I could learn how it was acquired, and that’s where it got interesting.
A couple of years ago, the domain name was owned by a domain investor. I don’t believe I know the person, but the registrant name makes it pretty clear that it was owned by a domain investor. It’s also parked at Internet Traffic still, so that makes me think the brand management firm hasn’t changed the DNS yet.
In between the domain name being owned by the domain investor and brand management company, there was an interesting registrant. Based on the website associated with that email address, it appeared the buyer would be “in the business” associated with the domain name, but most likely not a major brand seeking to buy the domain name. This was probably a website set up to make the buyer appear as if he or she was the owner of a small brand within that vertical.
My guess is that someone used the @website email to covertly buy the domain name from the domain investor. The domain investor probably assumed it was a random person in that space who couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money on the name. After the sale, it was then transferred to the brand management firm that manages the domain names for the large company.
When you’re in the process of selling a domain name to someone who inquired, it is critical to do due diligence. There are many ways large brands and protection companies can hide, but we need to make sure we are maximizing the sale price of our assets. In the example above, I was able to use a few clues (aside from the final destination of the domain name) to determine that it was likely a ruse.
I obviously don’t know how the domain investor was approached or if he or she could have investigated further, but it’s our job to know who wants to buy our assets.