Yesterday afternoon, I spent a couple of hours at a family event. For part of that time, I was chatting with a friend of the family who is Rabbi. I had not spoken with this Rabbi for quite some time, and of course he asked what I do for a living. I told him about my business.
The Rabbi knew a bit about domain names because of an experience he had. He told me he owned Rabbi[Name].com for several years but accidentally let it expire. By the time he realized what happened to the domain name, it was too late to recover it. The domain name is now owned by a large domain investment company and is listed for sale for a little under $3k. The Rabbi couldn’t understand why it would be worth that much money to someone, and he opted to register the .net domain name instead. I briefly explained to him about the business of domain name investing, and he understood the basics.
The Rabbi didn’t pass any judgement about domain name investing, but I felt a bit guilty about what I do. I am sure I buy domain names at expiry auctions that were the result of an accidental expiration. On a rare occasion, I will hear from a former owner, but many who realize they let a domain name expire probably do what the Rabbi did and move on with something else. There is nothing wrong with investing in generic domain names (like his would be considered), but for every name we buy at an expiry auction, it means someone else once owned it. I have no idea how often domain names expire in error, but I am sure the figure would be fairly high.
I am very comfortable with investing in domain names. Last November marked 10 years of being a full time domain name investor, and buying expired and expiring domain names is a big part of running a successful investment business. People need to be responsible for their domain registrations, but I still felt a bit guilty about this aspect of the business.