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  Ask Slashdot: Buying a Domain From a Cybersquatter on Thursday June 04, @07:57AM

    Posted by samzenpus on Thursday June 04, @07:57AM
    from the ask-nicely-but-bring-a-big-stick dept.
    Nevo writes "A partner and I are in the planning stages of a business. We've decided on a name that we'd like to use but the domain name is already registered. The owner has a single 'search' page up (similar to the one at clearly not a legitimate business interest, but since we don't own a trademark on this name it doesn't qualify as bad faith, I don't think. Does anyone have any experience buying domains from these operators? Do you have any advice on how to approach the owners of these domains to get them at a reasonable cost?"

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      • Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

        When I've accidentally typed in an address wrong, I've been brought to a page with "premium" domains that a squatter is sitting on [] listing the prices for them. They were all pretty bland and stupid sites like or but they listed the prices anywhere from $100 to $5,000. Unfortunately what you have to realize if you're going to make this offer is that they're doing this for those few times a year they strike it rich so it's probably going to be closer to $5,000 or more. If the site is like two last names or something readable, it's probably going to be pretty high cost. Far less than a court case you probably wouldn't win though.

        The last thing you need to realize is that whatever money you give this guy is just going to fund him to buy up more domains and keep his hands on others longer. If you wanted to do the most conscious thing for the community, you would just find another domain and not give this scum one red cent.
        • Re:Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ed Avis (5917) <> on Thursday June 04, @08:57AM (#28208161) Homepage

          The last thing you need to realize is that whatever money you give this guy is just going to fund him to buy up more domains and keep his hands on others longer.

          That's the same if you buy anything from anybody. Do you believe that domain names should not be bought and sold but handed out by Santa according to who is good and who is naughty? If you accept that people have the right to resell domain names they own, it's entirely their own business what fee to charge. Of course if someone else owns something you want, and won't give it up without payment, it's natural to feel aggrieved and vilify the other person. That doesn't mean they are scum. It is the odd system of domain names and artificial scarcity that causes domain names to have a high value. Either pay what it's worth (and no, what it's worth is not the same as 'the price I think I should be able to buy it for') or choose a different domain.

              • Re:Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

                by rbarreira (836272) on Thursday June 04, @12:18PM (#28210979) Homepage

                Car robbers add value.

                Car robbers add value for car owners. If I own a car, don't care about money and decide I don't want it anymore, I can wait for a robber to take the car. Without a car robber, I'd have to sell it myself.

                Car robber also add value for car purchasers who want to pay a smaller price. Assume the car shop is selling used cars for $50,000. But people are willing to pay $10,000. Car robbers allocate the cars to those who are willing to pay $2,000 for the car.

                I fully support car robbers and do not understand the hatred for them.

        • Re:Unfortunate (Score:5, Informative)

          by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Thursday June 04, @09:11AM (#28208327)

          I appreciate the idealism here, but it isn't always so simple. We paid a squatter $3k for our domain when we really had better things to spend our money on; that was 5% of our start-up capital. We still regard it as the best investment we made. (Our original name was 25 characters and we got down to 7)

          Just be sure to set up a backup domain name in case things fall through and to give yourself better bargaining position. I think he wanted $6k for it.

          Another word to the wise-- don't make a domain extortion be your first purchase for a start-up. Sort out more important things first like getting clients. If your web presence is all you have going, things get harder.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, @08:14AM (#28207739)

            A co-worker of mine did that for a while.

            He purchased a bunch of green bullshit names and then put add pages on them. When people contacted him about purchase he would be like, well it means a lot too me and I want to start a site, but I haven't done much yet, what is it worth to you?

            Generally that was the end f it, but pretty much any offer was accepted.

            I'd like to meet your coworker in the alley behind where you work. If you give him a whole bunch of whiskey so that he can barely stand before he gets there, maybe I could offer you some money once the trunk of my car shuts?

            It would mean a lot to me ...

              • Re:Unfortunate (Score:4, Insightful)

                by billcopc (196330) <> on Thursday June 04, @08:59AM (#28208189) Homepage

                The problem of course is that a domain name is not a piece of land.

                In meatspace, if a business sets up in a poor location, it affects their traffic because it is a PHYSICAL business. More importantly, no land = no business. On the internet, very few people even type URLs anymore, they google everything. All that domain registration does is place a few letters in the address bar of people's browsers. We could probably go back to publishing dotted IP addresses and the common imbecile would not notice nor care, as long as google can find it.

                For those mental midgets who require an analogy, you're not squatting a piece of land, it's more like an unlit signpost.

                • IP Address (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Comboman (895500) on Thursday June 04, @09:29AM (#28208517)

                  We could probably go back to publishing dotted IP addresses and the common imbecile would not notice nor care, as long as google can find it.

                  That's the real tricky part though. If you change your web host (and thus change IP address) all the work you've done to improve your Google ranking (not to mention links from other websites, bookmarks, etc) is gone and you'd have to start over again. Having a URL is still a necessity (though having a memorable URL is not as important as it once was).

                • by an.echte.trilingue (1063180) on Thursday June 04, @09:49AM (#28208779) Homepage

                  In meatspace, if a business sets up in a poor location, it affects their traffic because it is a PHYSICAL business. More importantly, no land = no business. On the internet, very few people even type URLs anymore, they google everything. All that domain registration does is place a few letters in the address bar of people's browsers.

                  Of course, the name does enormous things for your placement in google. Just do a google search for "buy flowers": at least half the results have the search the search terms right in the domain name. This is not a coincidence. If the name describes what you do and is also your branded name, your success in google is almost guaranteed.

                  Having a domain name that describes your company is tremendously important for a variety of reasons, not least of which is google ranking. Further, with modern browsers, the address bar searches your history. If you have your name or your product in the domain, this helps people find you a second time. Google Chrome is even better: search and address bar are the same. While I despise these people who park pages, their price is usually worth it if you are a company and the name is good.

                  So, in the cyber-world, picking the name actually does make a big difference in the amount of traffic you get. Having "" really is the equivalent of being off of the highway, while "" is really miles down the road.

                  Also, giving up domain names means completely abdicating your surfing to search engines and people who know SEO. Not a good idea.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, @09:06AM (#28208253)

                It's nothing personal; just business.

                When watching movies, people cheer when the douchebag that keeps saying this gets shot to death (or fed into a wood chipper, or boiled alive, etc.)

              • Re:Unfortunate (Score:4, Interesting)

                by malkavian (9512) on Thursday June 04, @09:23AM (#28208437) Homepage

                Bad analogy. More like (where domain tasting in in play, which is a fair portion of the time) you have a shop selling land at a given price for the area. You then prevent anyone entering this shop to bid on the land at a fair price, so nobody can buy it.
                You then sit a crack hut on this site, and claim that "it's a fair use", and you take a cut of the crack sales as "rent".
                When the rest of the area becomes built up (by whatever means), all of a sudden, this piece of land is valuable, but still nobody can get in to buy this plot of land from the vendor, at the fair price.
                One day, somebody asks to purchase this, and you quote them a price 100 fold the price of the surrounding land plots, because otherwise they can take the business elsewhere.

                It's legal, but it's definitely not ethical.

              • Re:Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

                by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday June 04, @09:51AM (#28208819)

                As the original question is about purchasing a name for a company he hasn't started yet. That's not technically "cybersquatting", they got his name first. I agree, this is more of a "gold rush" issue where people stake claims on a bunch of land they don't intend to work, just in case somebody else might make money off "their" domain idea. The way the government dealt with it was requiring presence and requiring taxes be paid to keep physical land based on it's value, if you can't afford the property tax, then the land gets redistributed to somebody that can make enough money from the property to pay it.... There used to be a time "real" land was just as plentiful as domain names.. and we did just fine.

                I think the solution was ICANN's idea to make the 20 cent fee non refundable, or to force registrars to actually take the money and stop "tasting" periods. Most of the professionals aren't paying, they just keep "tasting" names between shell companies. If there was a little bit of "treading water" added it would be more costly. It would still happen, but people would have to pay the $10 so they'd be "stuck" with it... for 10 or even 100 names that's not much money, but for the 10,000 these guys are running it would at least tie up their wallets.

              • by EgoWumpus (638704) on Thursday June 04, @10:18AM (#28209185)

                Without getting all commie, people who have a lot of money, or opportunity, or options, always whine "It's nothing personal, just business." When you have the option to buy domains and sell them for 100x-1000x the price, why wouldn't you? Legally, of course, it's totally legit. Ethically, it's totally not. And I'll tell you why.

                When you buy a piece of land, the law assumes that you are doing your bit to maintain and develop that land. In fact, most property law revolves around that idea of having to put work into it. You pay taxes on it, and you are generally expected to be doing something to maintain it's value. When a property falls into total - or dangerous - disrepair, they come to you with the fines. If your sidewalk is hazardous, you can get sued. This is all considered the price of ownership.

                With domains, there is no such cost associated. In fact, all that buying up domains does is suck money from actual wealth-generating sectors of the economy. If I start a business called AwesomeWorldChangingWidgets, I can't get that domain if you're squatting on it without first paying you way more for that domain than you did. Now, if you were society at large, and that additional value was being spread across those people who help to bring value to the domain name itself (such as the internet routers, the municipalities that maintain fiber, ICANN, or any of the host of other sectors that make the Internet viable), that would be fair. But you're just taking the money and running: you're taking the money for someone else's work.

                The only complaint anyone ever has with capitalism is the 'I got here first' problem. When you start out with resources others didn't have a fair opportunity at, and then exchange them for disproportionately large sums of money, you're playing into this. Yes, it makes your life easier, but you've only helped yourself - and at the expense of literally everyone else. That makes you unethical.

                    • Re:Unfortunate (Score:4, Insightful)

                      by fifedrum (611338) on Thursday June 04, @09:56AM (#28208875) Journal

                      that's nonesense

                      you purchase the property, you pay your taxes, you mow the lawn (if the municipality requires it), there's nothing wrong with speculating on property. Real or imaginary.

                      • Re:Unfortunate (Score:4, Insightful)

                        by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday June 04, @10:21AM (#28209249)
                        No, what you say is nonsense. If you buy up a domain name to which you have no legitimate right, just for the purpose of extorting money from or preventing use by someone who does, then you are just being an asswipe. Just because the law doesn't prevent you from doing this doesn't mean your action has any moral legitimacy.

                        By your reasoning, the Mafia's protection rackets in the 1920s and '30s would have been perfectly legitimate, since there was no legal system to prevent it.
                      • Re:Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

                        by El Torico (732160) <> on Thursday June 04, @10:15AM (#28209131)

                        Not only that, but speculation using debt is also the root cause of every financial collapse in modern history (except those caused by war), including the one we're going through now. It's not just "jackassery," it's also harmful to society at large!

                        There. Fixed that for you.
                        Debt is indentured servitude.

                • Re:Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, @09:57AM (#28208897)
                  Buying thousands of shares of a troubled company for less than $1 each and then hoping later, when the company recovers, to sell them at a huge profit is also scumbaggy then? It seems to be the same thing.
      • Make an offer (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday June 04, @08:04AM (#28207647)
        If they are a squatter they will have contact info on their page. If not you can find the registered owner with WHOIS. I would make them a reasonable offer and stick to it. Remember that there may be available alternatives ( .org, .net, .us, etc.)
        • Re:Make an offer (Score:5, Insightful)

          by noundi (1044080) on Thursday June 04, @08:36AM (#28207927)
          There are always alternatives. The guy is however starting is business on the wrong end. My 2 cents are: register at another top domain, create a brand for yourself, if things work out fine then trademark that brand, then go ahead and seize any domain violating your trademark. Don't go worrying about the domain name to be perfect before you even have anything to showcase for, a domain is shit without content so focus on that first.
          • Re:Make an offer (Score:4, Informative)

            by weave (48069) * on Thursday June 04, @09:25AM (#28208475) Journal

            register at another top domain, create a brand for yourself, if things work out fine then trademark that brand, then go ahead and seize any domain violating your trademark.

            Resisting urge to curse

            I've owned a domain name in .org that is my cat's name. It's been a personal domain since then. Someone registered the .net variant of it and then trademarked the name. The .com variant was parked for years by a third party. I did a backorder on the .com and got it, and registered it.

            About a year later the guy with the .net started to threaten me because he got a trademark on the name and wanted both the .org and .com. I offered to turn over the .com at no profit to myself because I didn't really need it nor was using it, but then he starts to insist I also turn over the .org variant as well.

            I stood my ground and threatened to fight him as much as it took in court if necessary and sent him numerous cases where trademark doesn't mean ownership of the corresponding domain, especially if that domain is in active use and was around before the trademark.

            He eventually dropped his demand for the .org.

            And to think I just let him have the .com at my cost as well. I should have just let it get snapped up by a squatter and he'd have spent thousands for it.

              • Re:Make an offer (Score:4, Informative)

                by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday June 04, @10:08AM (#28209027)

                A while back Madonna sezied, which was used as a legitimate adult site,

                Actually, while it had been used as an adult site in the past, when Madonna sued for it the site was simply squatting the domain. From the WIPO Complaint: []

                By March 4, 1999, it appears that Respondent removed the explicit sexual content from the web site. By May 31, 1999, it appears that the site merely contained the above notice, the disputed domain name and the statement "Coming soon Madonna Gaming and Sportsbook."

                But the most damning bit:

                By his own admission, Respondent has registered a large number of other domain names, including names that matched the trademarks of others. Other domain names registered by Respondent include <> and <>.

                So IMHO, this guy was a squatter and deserved to have taken away. It takes some brass balls to register :)

            • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday June 04, @08:52AM (#28208089)

              do you need to rent a baseball bat?

              Depending on the part of the world he is located in you may have to use a cricket bat. Don't worry, Gartner says that most hired thugs cross skill on these alternatives with a very shallow learning curve.

      • by shoemakc (448730) on Thursday June 04, @08:05AM (#28207649) Homepage

        I was at a wedding over the weekend and one of the people at our table was talking about how their son runs a fairly profitable business in providing capital specifically for the purchasing of domain names. I can't recall if the business model involved a fixed interest rate, or a percentage of income, but it's the sort thing i never thought you could finance. I wonder how long before they start packaging them and selling them as securities on Wall Street :-)


      • by Ihlosi (895663) on Thursday June 04, @08:07AM (#28207673)
        (And whatever the answer to that question is - never, ever give it to the cybersquatter).

        Don't sound too interested when talking to them, mention possible alternatives. Lower your offer if the negotiations drag out - cybersquatters are in this for the money, and not selling the name means that they're not making any.

      • no (Score:4, Insightful)

        by larry bagina (561269) on Thursday June 04, @08:09AM (#28207681) Journal
        You don't own the trademark and even if you registered for it, you're doing so too late. Either pay for it or find another name. If it's a low volume domain (or one they scooped up when it expired) they may not renew it, in which case you can get it that way, if you want to wait.

        If your business plan depends on owning one specific domain then your business plan sucks.

      • by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday June 04, @08:09AM (#28207691)
        I would suggest finding another Domain that they own and first asking them if you could buy that one. That will give you a high end price. Tell them no thank you. Wait a day and say you also like the real one. Then offer to buy it at 1/2 the price they gave for the first one.
        • I would suggest finding another Domain that they own and first asking them if you could buy that one. That will give you a high end price. Tell them no thank you. Wait a day and say you also like the real one. Then offer to buy it at 1/2 the price they gave for the first one.

          Above all else, be prepared to walk away. It's only a domain name, there are lots of others, and if the guy isn't willing to give you a decent price you can afford to pay, tell him you're not interested. It's like buying a car: there's lots of wiggle room (even more than there is with a car!). Just like in poker, you always wait until the absolute last minute to show 'em your cards.

      • Ideas (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Max Romantschuk (132276) <> on Thursday June 04, @08:09AM (#28207699) Homepage

        One option already noted is giving a reasonable offer and sticking with it.

        Another option is simply asking for a quote, but don't for the love of god tell them you're planning a business. Rather just send an informal message in the style of "I think $domain is a cool name, yadda yadda...".

        Personally I'd opt for trying to figure out a name for the business that's not taken. Nonsense words that are easy to learn and not profanity in major languages are good bets.

      • by D-Cypell (446534) on Thursday June 04, @08:10AM (#28207709)

        Surely the process is pretty simple,

        Send the guy an email asking if the domain is for sale. If the owner is a *pinky to mouth* "One million dollars", kind of guy, it is unlikely that there is any approach you can take that will force him away from a ridiculous price anyway. The only advice that seems valid is, "Don't make the email sound like you are both wealthy and desperate".

        Personally, I would make it a short one line email, "Is this domain for sale? If so, please respond with your asking price", then just take it from there. I like to believe that there is nobody that is still stuck in the late 90's when it comes to cybersquat domain prices, but you never know. If the price you get back from him indicates that he is acting like a 90's squatter just email back with, "Ok, thank you". Keep it terse, and keep the ball in his court. Most of all, don't get attached to this particular domain until *your* name is on the whois!

      • by C_Kode (102755) on Thursday June 04, @08:11AM (#28207715) Homepage Journal

        Murder in the first. ;)

      • low ball (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tresstatus (260408) on Thursday June 04, @08:16AM (#28207757)
        within the past year, my company went around purchasing the .net, .us, .biz, etc TLDs for our domain. none of them were taken except for the .net version. we called the guy up and said we were interested and asked what his asking price was. he said $2000, to which we said that was way too high. he came back to us with, "well how much do you want to offer for it". i think that our final buying price was between $300 and $500.

        in that experience, i realized that some squatters are just one or two guys that sat around and registered a ton of domains for a couple of dollars a piece. they are going to use the car salesman mentality by "hit em really high... then scrape them off the ceiling so you can get the price you want to sell for". so they slap you with the $2000 as their asking price knowing that you won't pay it. they know that you won't come back with a $50 offer since their first offer was so high. if they had first said $500, then you probably wouldn't offer them as much. if you really want to play their game and you are just getting started, it might be safe to just kill your webserver while you are on the phone with them so that they can't see what type of company you are or if you has the money bags.

        anyway, just go into it like you are buying a car. don't seem too interested or you will pay way more than you should.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, @08:21AM (#28207803)

        Many of the successful internet companies make up their own name. google, hulu, reddit, slashdot, etc. Make up a word that doesn't exist and go with it.

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday June 04, @08:22AM (#28207811) Homepage Journal is just as good for google as would be because browsers autocomplete from left to right. I type news, the google site comes right up.

        So if you want but thats taken then register and create a subdomain

        Down the track you may be able to snap up the domain you originally wanted, or you may have a better idea by then.
      • by KyroTerra (1569451) on Thursday June 04, @08:22AM (#28207813)
        My boss received an e-mail from a cybersquatter that sought to sell us a URL that was very similar to a URL we currently owned. My boss, being the URL hound he is asked me to purchase it. I offered the squatterâ(TM)s auto-bid website $50, which it automatically turned down and told me I had to offer a minimum of $500. I walked from the deal, only to receive an e-mail an hour later from the squatter, agreeing to my $50 bid.
      • by charliebear (887653) on Thursday June 04, @08:26AM (#28207847)
        Just wait until it expires, then swoop in and register it. /then email the squatter and ask them if they want to buy it back
      • by salesgeek (263995) on Thursday June 04, @08:27AM (#28207857) Homepage

        Here's a quick warning: there's a lot of scamming in the domain marktplace. It's easy for scammers to get you to buy, then never transfer the domain.

        1. Set your PayPal account to draw against a credit card, not your bank account. You have both your credit card's consumer protections as well as PayPal's this way, the difference being you can actually get someone on the phone at your credit card company. When they yank the money from PayPal, suddenly PayPal will care.
        2. Use an escrow service. Buyer puts the money in, you transfer the domain, and then you get paid. Most scams happen when people do direct purchases. Lots of domainers use It works.
        3. Make sure you are dealing with a legitimate business or a real person. A little due diligence goes a long way.

      • Easy (Score:5, Funny)

        by Jamamala (983884) on Thursday June 04, @08:28AM (#28207869)
        Give us the address, we'll give his server so much traffic he'll be begging to give the domain away.
      • Don't look big (Score:5, Insightful)

        by superdana (1211758) on Thursday June 04, @08:30AM (#28207887)
        We buy a lot of domains where I work--a big honkin' national enterprise--but we never use our work email addresses when we approach a squatter. That way we don't tip them off to how much money we have. So, my advice is to be aware of how you present yourself, and be careful not to give the squatter the impression that you're anything more than a casual buyer. Don't mention that you have a partner, for example, and don't reveal why you want the domain.
      • by lalena (1221394) on Thursday June 04, @08:32AM (#28207907) Homepage
        First lookup the owner of that domain. Then, there are many sites out there that will tell you which domains that person owns. The way you handle this will be very different if he owns 10 vs 10 thousand domains.
        Do a search with some of the "Buy this Premium Domain" sites to see if he has listed any of his sites to see how reasonable he is. Those prices are usually 1-2x's a real max bid starting point.
        When you do ask for a price, ask him for the price of several of his domains at once. Act like you are not specifically interested in just of those domains and any would work for you. Maybe pretend to be another reseller interested in building your portfolio.
        Some of the other advice above is also good. Don't be desparate, and the first email should be very short.
      • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 04, @08:38AM (#28207955)

        They will not type in your company name in the URL bar and add .com. They will type your company name into google and click on the result. If they're recurring customers, they will bookmark your page.

        URLs are no longer really important. I know people who have no idea what that funny bar on top of their browser is for that displays some funky random characters whenever they click on a link and a page loads.

      • Squatter (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mseeger (40923) on Thursday June 04, @08:48AM (#28208023) Homepage


        I had to solve such a problem once for a customer of us. A domain expired by accident and fell into the hands of a domainsquatter. The poor ex-owner had already advertisement material printed with his domain name on it. Damages would have ranged at about 10K$.

        The problem: If a german company tries to purchase the domain, the prices tend to skyrocket (probably the same for US companies). So we created a fake russian student (not very rich) who wanted to use the domain for his private web site. He had a russian email address, had a small home page with his russian ISP etc. This way with a little negotiation, we managed to purchase the domain at a very reasonable price.

        You have to be careful to become the owner of the domain. At first they tried to "lease" the domain to us by just setting the records. But it was completely in accordance with our virtual pesonality to display some paranoia and insist on a complete domain transfer.

        Sincerely yours, Martin

        • Re:url? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ikkonoishi (674762) on Thursday June 04, @08:30AM (#28207883) Journal

          Telling the actual URL in question would be a bad idea as it may cause the current holder to up their asking price since it was linked on slashdot.

            • Re:url? (Score:5, Informative)

              by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday June 04, @09:41AM (#28208653) Homepage Journal
              Use the Microsoft approach (see []). Make a large offer for the domain. Once they accept, withdraw the offer and forward the paperwork to ICANN. The agreement to sell can then be used as evidence in arbitration and the anti-cybersquatting rules mean that they can have the domain taken away from them.
                • Re:url? (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Sancho (17056) * on Thursday June 04, @11:11AM (#28209977) Homepage

                  Strange, then, that speculating on land is considered reasonable.

                  especially since there's a lot more domain-name space than useful land.

                  • Re:url? (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <> on Thursday June 04, @12:17PM (#28210973) Journal

                    Unlike the above, squatters also clog up my search results, and pretend to be some sort of resource in their own right, feigning relevance to whatever search I did. That's more difficult to make an analogy, but I'll try...

                    It's like buying thousands of houses that you guess a few might be undervalued, putting a sign outside that says "Bed & Breakfast" or "Ye Olde Antique Shop", and when people come in looking for something entirely different, you either refer them to someone down the block who paid you for it, or you try to sell them the house.

                    It is generally quite dishonest.

                    Now, there may indeed be some cybersquatter rule that I can use to hurt them, but either way, I absolutely refuse to support their business model. If it's some kid who bought a personal domain and isn't doing much with it, fine -- but if it's yet another "What you need, when you need it" bullshit site, they can rot.

        • I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday June 04, @08:54AM (#28208111) Journal

          If you buy domain names on speculation, you're a cybersquatter - someone who reserves space for no reason other than to occupy the space a resell it. There is no legitimate reason to hoard domains, except to capitalize on the scarcity.

          Now, since you appear to be a cybersquatter, I can see how you are a bit touchy and are looking to legitimize your business plan. That's fine. That's why houses are called "resales" and not "used." A "Domainer" (aside from sounding like something out of Waterworld) is just a nicer name for a cybersquatter - but you do the exact same thing.

        • by SQLGuru (980662) on Thursday June 04, @09:04AM (#28208247)

          If you want to buy the domain make an offer, but a fair one or you will be added to ignore list after the first message. We get loads of offers which are too low by two-three orders of magnitude and reading all off them is not really an option.

          I think this is the key sticking point. What is "too low"? We all know that your costs are $10 per year (probably less due to bulk, but let's just go with that number) plus some administrative $$$'s. We know that the domains do generate some income from ads. This isn't a case of having registered because that was your name and you can sell it to the company for 1 bazillion dollars. It's a speculation. I'm ok with some level of "profit" or reward for that but there is no brand associated with the domain already (*you* aren't marketing it), so what constitutes reasonable? I think that $500 is on the high end of what an undeveloped domain name is worth, but when I see $5,000, that just floors me. The key being that the domain is undeveloped. Marketing is the key to whether a domain is successful or not and speculative registration does nothing for that.

      BE ALERT!!!! (The world needs more lerts...)