Every day, people receive inquires on their domain names. People ask if specific domain names are for sale and some make offers while others ask the domain owner at what price he would sell the domain name. Now more than ever, it’s important to carefully consider how you respond to domain inquiries. Andrew reported on the OpenDental.com UDRP today, and the panel had one startling opinion:
“Complainant offered to buy the disputed domain name from Respondent for $500-$5000. Respondent’s engagement with Complainant in these offers and counter-offers is evidence of bad faith registration and use.”
So there you have it. If someone inquires about your domain name and you engage in offers and counter offers, you could put the domain name at risk. In my opinion, this is a crock!
Everything I own is for sale at the right price. If someone came to my apartment and asked to buy it, of course I would tell him that I’d sell it for the right price. If he offered me double the book value because he really wanted it, I would sell it ASAP and rent another apartment while my wife finishes graduate school. I am not looking to sell it and don’t want to sell it, but if he was making offers that made it worthwhile, I would consider it, despite the inconvenience it would cause.
Likewise, I would sell my domain names and websites for the right price. I don’t wish to sell any of my geodomain names right now, but I am trying to build a business to make money. If that involves selling my business and domain name for a considerable profit, sure I would consider selling it. I don’t see how negotiating the sale of a domain name or a business implies bad faith ownership of it.
I really think that the OpenDental.com decision is poor, and the language in its findings sets a very bad example that domain owners need to consider. Fortunately, one decision doesn’t necessarily mean others will follow, but it sure should be noted for the next time you receive an offer to sell a domain name.