.ForSale Domain Names Bought for Political Reasons

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There’s an interesting Associated Press article published by the New York Times this morning discussing the purchase of .ForSale domain names for political purposes. “The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee acknowledged to the AP that it had quietly purchased the addresses, which use a new internet suffix “forsale,” in March for at least 27 incumbent senators facing re-election this fall and in 2020, without telling the senators,” wrote the AP.

According to the article, the implication was going to be made that some US Senators were “for sale.” Now that these domain registrations have been revealed publicly in advance of launching websites, I would imagine it will be unlikely that we will see these domain names used, marketed, or publicized – unless someone else picks up the torch somewhere.

As I carefully navigate the often murky territory of discussing politics on my domain investing blog, I think this would have been pretty creative. They could have used [Senator]IsForSale.com, but the .ForSale extension usage could have drawn more attention because they are pretty unique and rarely seen in the mainstream. On the other hand, people who saw them may not have even realized that these were domain names and may not have even visited them thinking it was creativity along the lines of Booking.Yeah. We may never know.

Here’s another interesting excerpt from the article discussing political .ForSale domain names:

“The mysterious “forsale” purchases set off alarms. AP’s review found roughly 280 political web addresses registered under the “forsale” domain, targeting President Donald Trump, the GOP, Supreme Court and National Rifle Association, as well as individual Democrats and Republicans. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said it was responsible for at least 27 of them targeting U.S. senators and didn’t provide further details.”

I am not sure why this is such a big deal though. Someone could have easily done the same thing with .Sucks or something else that could have a negative connotation depending on its usage. They could have made up longer .com domain names as well if they wanted to do that.

It’s an interesting article about how some new gTLD domain names could be used for political reasons.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. I’m guessing the main use is for real estate agents selling homes so brand.forsale, town.forsale domains more common. In this case .forsale wins against .sucks because of semantics. Politically, it’s been popular to claim politicians are for sale (vs. sucking!).

    Stepping back a little, I think that the more phrasal, meaningful and semantic the full domain (left/right) is, the more powerful it can be.

    We don’t think of user experience too much when talking about domain names but maybe we should. A phone may be easy to use and intuitive. The service we receive at a bank may go above and beyond being helpful. The experience we have typing in a domain name may be short but it invokes a feeling…

    Is the domain short, easy to spell and remember, as we type it are we getting excited (or at least feeling something – anticipation?) about what gets delivered when we press enter? Also does anything, as we type, detract from that?

    In the case of [senator]isforsale.com vs [senator].forsale the latter checks more boxes.

    It’s shorter, more meaningful, logical, .com detracts (although new gTLD also detracts yet adds meaning). [senator].forsale sends a message of certainty… it’s more convincing, removes doubt and has more authority in it’s message that the senator is for sale (in fewer words). [senator]isforsale.com – feels like more of a reach, less certainty.

    There’s always many perspectives. Putting aside the domain investor view, for end users there are opportunities to build on memorable brands or launch powerful short term campaigns.

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