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DATE 8/2/99 Digest # 656
~ Rod Aries
From: Rod Aries <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: The Problem with Domain Names
Mr. Wilkinson refers to The Problem with Domain Names in LED 650,
about people taking domain names that aren't being developed right away or held for resale.
Hmm, MP3.com goes public at $28 and shoots up to $120. What do you
say? "Hey, I didn't buy, but I want in at $28 - can I have a few hundred shares at that price?" Or when it bounces down from $120 to
$60, do you say "Hey, I was gonna sell at the $120, so could you let me do this now, even if it $60 now?" Sorry, doesn't work that
way, in the real world, or on the net...
When I talk to clients about optimizing their sites, I register names right as I am speaking with them. If they have a mortgage
company, if they are an insurance carrier, if they are a software firm, I take names right on the spot. No if's, and's or but's. I
would be doing a disservice to the client if I didn't take additional domain names that can be tweaked to drive traffic to
their site. Especially if that domain name ends up being taken tomorrow by a competitor to my client. I have actually found quite
a few very good two-word domain names that have either expired or just not taken yet.
I also buy domain names and create web sites that I have no intention of operating - I am offering a site that can instantly
produce visitor volume for the new owner. I sell an average of a domain every 15 days. And as far as the domain name, I have
transformed a domain name into a revenue producing site, increasing the value of the 'domain' greatly. I have a huge inventory of
domain names. I went out on the limb to buy these names, I took the risk, and if I can't sell a name, well, then I have lost money and
time. And if I can sell it, well, then I have benefited myself and the buyer.
As far as 'taking names', I would also ask, if that name was so valuable to you, why didn't you take it?
I have a domain name I am developing for resell, and I had a potential buyer call me who had the *.net and *.org versions and he
"I am interested in *Name*.com. Having said that, you beat me to registering for *Name*.com by just a few days and there is no way I
can justify to myself paying anywhere near what you're asking, just for being a few days behind you. Plus, I am aware that the value of
the .com version to anyone else but me is reduced since I control the .net and .org versions. Therefore, my first, best, and final
offer to you is $300, which seems like a pretty good result for you, given that it represents more than tripling your $70
investment, in a month's elapsed time and a few emails of effort. So, if you'd like to sell *Name*.com for $300, please let me know.
This offer expires on Friday, May 28, 1999."
I wrote back:
"I understand your perspective, I have this conversation quite often :) But I don't quite see the value of my domain name as you
do, I see it as worth far more... and with regard to "since I control the .net and .org versions." Hmm, it is actually the
inverse - the value of my site is now worth more when someone else has the
lesser domain names. Tell anybody that you have a company, say, *Name*, and you have a web site. 90% of the time, they are
going to assume it is *.com, even if you tell them *.net, or *.org. They will type *Name*.com looking for you and then tell you how
much they like your site. So when you advertise your .net and .org versions of this site, you are actually advertising the .com as
well; and not the opposite. You are advertising my *Name*.com."
Needless to say we didn't agree on price.
Mr. Wilkinson also wrote,
>Surely, a ruling should be made along the lines of a name has to
be sufficiently used within a few months, else it has to be relinquished. This would be fair to companies such as myself, who
want to register a domain name, and immediately put work on it.<
Near my house, there is a vacant ocean front lot going for $750,000. I heard the owner bought it in 1972 for $25,000. It is
one of the last ocean front lots available. Should we have forced that owner to immediately develop his lot? Should we force him to
sell it at $25,000? What if the lot slid into the ocean, should we say,
"Ahh, that is OK, here is $750,000 for it anyways?" The internet is a marketplace and domains names are just one item
on the supermarket shelf, out of millions of items. If you don't put the name in your shopping basket (shoppingbaskets.com - hey, I
own that...) then someone else will put it in theirs... free enterprise at work, on the net.
At your service, Rod Aries
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