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Industry Specific Domain Auctions

In an email to an acquaintance of mine back in October of 2006, I suggested that it would be beneficial for his company to introduce industry-specific live domain auctions. At the time, there had been three (or so) successful Moniker live auctions at TRAFFIC shows, but I don’t recall any industry specific auctions. Although the live auctions found success targeting domain investors, I thought domain owners were missing the sweet spot in selling their domain names to end users.

Although my acquaintance never organized an industry specific auction, there has been some success with domain auctions targeting end users. Moniker created Internext and the Casino Affiliate Convention, which I believe are good starts. However, I believe we should continue to educate end users and ultimately target them for industry specific domain names – possibly sponsoring auctions at their own tradeshows.

Back in a June post on my blog, I suggested that a company work in conjunction with an industry specific tradeshow to sponsor a seminar about the value of domain names. If we teach end users about why domain names are valuable, just maybe they will want to buy great domain names for their business. If we can do this, why not hold industry specific auctions at their tradeshows? There will be a captive and newly educated audience in attendance. In my opinion, it is something to consider, and I think a company like BuyDomains.com or Moniker could undertake successfully.

Below is the content from the email I sent to an acquaintance in October:

“I have an idea for your company. Would you be interested in organizing monthly industry-specific live auctions? With your connections, you could run a live auction once a month, inviting end-users and domainers alike to bid on industry-specific auctions. For example, in January, you could have a telecommunication-specific domain auction. For this, you could invite some end user contacts such as Verizon, Vonage, ATT, SBC

Introducing Hulu

News Corp, NBC Universal To Name Online Video Venture ‘Hulu’

A few months after announcing they were planning a video sharing website as a possible rival to Google.

Growth Challenge

How does a domain investor grow his business? The biggest challenge facing many domain investors is branching out once success is found in the business of buying a selling names for a profit. This is especially difficult if the person has a good business acumen but lacks the technical know how to develop his domain names.

I have had the good fortune of being involved with some nice domain sales. I also have the good fortune of owning some top quality domain names (such as Devices.com, FlightDiscounts.com, and a recent acquisition that will be published next week). The biggest challenge I am facing right now is growing this from a hobby into a business.

In my opinion, there is still time left to buy good domain names at reasonable prices and make money selling them for a profit. Eventually, this market will dry up, and it will be difficult to be successful with this as the primary business plan.

I believe that the best way to grow my company is by developing some of the gems I own. Building an actual business is the key to development (as Darren Cleveland posted on Sahar’s Blog). Instead of using our domain names as parking lots, we are going to have to start building apartment buildings, stores, houses…etc

The challenge will be finding the right partners (web architects, if you will) to help me build some of my parking lots into beautiful virtual businesses. I have my eye on a couple of domain names that I want to buy. I have the business plan in place if I can reach an agreement with the owner. Now, I just need to find the right team.

Ebay’s Pulse

Did you know that you can see the most watched auctions in each category on Ebay? Check out pulse.ebay.com and select the category of your choice. Personally, I keep my eye on the Domain Name section.

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.

Be Cautious and Vigilant with your Domain Names

1

Back in April, I received a phone call from a person with Sendori asking me about an application made using my domain names. The submitted email address was different than my Whois email address, and they wanted to verify the application. I thought it might have been made by a web developer working on my behalf since I never heard of the company before the phone call, but it turns out a scammer had applied for an account using my domain names and reputation.

For a couple of weeks in April, I put 5 domain names in my DNForum signature, and I had one new registration listed for sale in the offers section. Someone used those 6 domain names to apply for at least one parking company account (ParkingPanel.com) in addition to an account at Sendori. Perhaps they applied to other companies, but these were the two that contacted me due to the difference in the application email and my Whois email. The purpose of doing this, as I later found out, was to generate click fraud. The scammer somehow masked traffic and clicks to generate revenue. I am not good with the technical aspect of domain management, but apparently traffic looked like it was coming from these domain names even though the DNS was set elsewhere.

When ParkingPanel caught on, they immediately called me and told me what occurred. The account manager heard of me on one of the forums and knew I wouldn

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