I’ve been doing quite a bit of emailing to business owners seeking advertisements on my websites or domain sales. I have noticed that many sites only have a phone number on the contact page, which prevents me from emailing the company directly. When I encounter a website without an email address, I generally do a Whois search to find a good contact email.
You wouldn’t believe how many domain names appear to have the contact information for web developers and designers instead of the actual business owner. I am sure this is either because the developer sold a package to the business and registered the business domain name in their own company name or they just wanted to have control of the domain name so they wouldn’t have to rely on the business owner to make DNS changes…etc.
This can and does lead to problems for business owners. On a personal level, I bought a domain name at auction that was complementary to one of my developed websites. A couple weeks later, I received emails from the company and its webmaster informing me about all of the marketing and advertising they have done for this generic domain name and asking me to sell it back. According to them, one of the designer’s employees had control of the domain name and no longer works at the company, so the name expired.
Whether it’s accidental or malicious, this type of thing happens quite a bit. Most domain investors don’t face this issue, but most domain investors know small business owners who might be inclined to do this, and there are more reasons why they shouldn’t do it than should.