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Domain Names for Charity

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Below are a few unregistered domain names I believe have good potential. Although I am not charging anything for researching these names, I am requesting that the person who registers each makes a donation to a non-profit organization.

DiscountOliveOils.com
DomainInvestmentTips.com
SailboatingLessons.com
CustomBicycleHelmets.com
PreownedMP3.com
PreownedWheelchairs.com
ItalianInstructors.com
GermanInstructors.com
HebrewInstructors.com
JapaneseInstructors.com
ArabicInstructors.com
ArabicGuides.com

You don’t need to tell me how much was donated, but I would love to know which charity was helped, so please drop me a line after!

A few non-profits I recommend (with the link to make a donation):

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
ALS Association
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure for Breast Cancer
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Meir Panim

Charities Previously Helped:
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

After 4 Years, Salesforce.com Buys Force.com

Salesforce.com and the Force family name
Pricing a domain name doesn’t always have to do with a specific valuation strategy. Sometimes a person has a sentimental attachment to a domain name, and he is unwilling to sell it for any price. Take Gordon Force, Sr. of San Jose, CA. for example. He registered Force.com in the early 1990’s for his company, Force Technology, a technology consulting and design services company. After nearly 4 years of negotiations (WOW!), Salesforce.com was finally able to acquire Force.com from Mr. Force. They must have made one big offer!

10 Domain Investment Tips for Beginners

Sahar’s post and a thread on Rick Schwartz’ Targeted Traffic Forum got me thinking about what advice I would give to someone looking to enter the domain investment business. Since I have a couple of friends who recently started out in this business as a hobby, I have a few pieces of advice that I shared with them and will publicly share.

1.) NEVER ever register domain names with famous or somewhat famous trademarks (or trademark typos). Either you will get burned or live in fear if you buy them. Not to mention that the money producing ones are registered (mostly by keyword scripts), so it would be a waste. Additionally, stay away from domain names of athletes, celebrities, politicians…etc.

2.) Read as much information about domain names and the industry as possible. It takes a gut feel to be able to do well in this business without spending a fortune on new registrations. You may end up wasting alot of time and money registering domain names that have no meaning or value to anyone but you. I have a list of valuable domain resources in my blogroll, and you can go from there.

3.) Get a feel of what’s selling in DNJournal’s weekly sales list. See previous sales prices on DNSalePrice.com. Check out what’s closing on Sedo and Afternic as it is more likely that a rookie will have access to names that don’t make DNJournal’s sales list. It might be wise to focus on a particular niche at first (like LLL.com names or financial names for example). Try to find unregistered domain names that are similar to ones that have sold.

4.) Sign up for one of the public domain forums and read as much as you can. I believe DNForum.com offers the widest variety of information, but DomainState.com and NamePros.com are also great.

5.) Always be honest in your business dealings. Although most business is done online in the cyber world, almost everything is traceable. No matter how many online personas you may create, you will be known for what you post and how you post it. If you are dishonest, it will probably haunt you, so don’t start off on the wrong foot. There is no such thing as “easy money.”

6.) Ask some of the more seasoned domain investors for advice. I’ve met many people who have been successful in this business, and most are very willing to give out advice. Alot of people spend hours in front of their computers focusing on various projects, and human interaction is greatly appreciated. Personally, I like speaking about domain names, and it’s great to see new people in this business finding success.

7.) Read the news, popular blogs, trade journals…etc to find and become knowledgeable about current events and new trends.    Buy non-trademarked names related to those trends you spot.    Never try to capitalize on a tragedy or other event no matter how much money you can make in a short period of time, unless you intend to build a “real” memorial site. Think of it this way, would you want a New York Times headline to read: “Cybersquatter John Doe Takes Advantage of Families of XXXXXXXXX Tragedy?”

8.) Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a single name until you have a plan that does not solely rely on ppc monetization.    It is likely that the seller isn’t selling a high earning ppc name for less than market value, so it will be difficult to find a deal.    Also, don’t buy an expensive name until you have the resources already aligned to implement your plan.    As Darren Cleveland mentioned in this post, development is difficult, can be expensive, and can be time consuming.    Unless you need to act immediately, hold off on buying high value names.

9.) Do your due diligence when buying a name in the aftermarket.    As I said in this post, you should do a Whois history check, call previous owners and search the forums/boards for any issues.    If you buy a stolen domain you may lose your money and the domain name.    Aftermarket sites like Sedo are not immune from domain thieves.    You should also use an escrow service like Moniker or Escrow.com for higher value transactions.

10.). Keep good records of your domain portfolio, sales, expenses and contacts.    Use the contacts as leads for other domain names or even for open discussion.    Track your domain names as you would track stocks in your investment portfolio.    Always be honest on your taxes because the penalties could be much more than what you would gain.

Domain investing is a great hobby or profession for many people. I believe it is still the “wild west,” and as such, special precautions need to be taken when going into this business. If something seems too good to be true, it really probably is. Trust your gut, and if you need help, feel free to ask.

Tool to View Unreleased Information

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It may be possible to see what projects a company has planned by using the Reverse IP tool, found at DomainTools. In case you weren’t aware, you can see what domain names reside on different servers by using this tool. By seeing the domain names registered by a particular company, you may be able to learn unreleased information about what projects (or type of projects) the registrant has in the works.

Unfortunately, this tool isn’t free, but is a part of your Domaintools membership, which I highly recommend. Other member tools such as the Whois History check are invaluable and can help determine a domain’s provenance when considering a purchase.

As reported on WebProNews.com this morning via another post on ResourceShelf.com, Google registered CouponGoogle.com on 9/13, and it is pointed to Google nameservers. It would only be speculation to predict what Google intends to do with the domain name, but speculation is half of the fun!

Dumber.com – On Snapnames 9/17

I have put Dumber.com up for auction on Snapnames on Monday, September 17th. The reserve price is only set at $499, so this is a great opportunity to buy a great domain name at a bargain basement price. Back in 2005, the name was appraised by Sedo at a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum value of $30,000.

Place your bids tonight!

CarryOn.com: Protecting Children Online

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Carry On the Domain Charity

Thanks to Jay Westerdahl for bringing this to my attention.    The brainchild of Anthony Peppler and Sania Faucher, CarryOn.com is a 501c3 non-profit charity that allows domain owners to donate their adult domain names in lieu of monetizing them, letting them drop, expire or cancelling them.

Owners of domain names are occasionally in a bad position when they want to cleanse their portfolios of “dirty” names.    With domain tasting being so popular, pretty much any dropped/cancelled/expired domain name is picked up by someone and monetized.    Since domain owners are indefinitely listed on the virtual ownership paperwork, they are forever linked to every domain name they’ve owned.    CarryOn.com allows domain owners to donate their domain names without having to worry about them falling into the wrong hands.    Domain owners may also be eligible for a tax deduction.

This type of service could also be beneficial to owners of domain names with trademarks in them.    However, I believe this would be too risky for any charity, as the charity could become liable should the trademark owner seek financial compensation under the ACPA.    Additionally, the former domain owner would technically remain liable for owning it at one time.

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