Domain Name Goldrush

Domain name speculation has been big business for about as long as domain names came onto the free market. Any new type (TLD) has sparked a steep increase in purchases from people who simply registered whatever came to their mind; words and names that may or may not be wanted. If you get lucky, you could be rich overnight!

I have to shamefully admit that I have tried this once… A few years back when .info domains were on a special promotion; any person could freely register 20 of them and only had to pay after 1 year. So I got various 3 character letter/number combinations, and some combinations of keywords aimed at travel, gambling, air tickets etc. and put them on Sedo Parking. Good thing it was free, because I didn’t sell even one of them.

Most recently, the introduction of the “.eu” domain has sparked another gold rush, considerably bigger than the minor ones for country specific domains. Obviously, because .eu does not cover only one country but a large area with in certain cases strong association with the “European Identity”. I can imagine that companies largely selling in Europe, but not specific to one country would love a .eu domain. For exactly this reason, I contacted someone who holds the “.eu” domain of my employer’s name. It was obviously a domain registered for speculation purposes only; You open it and it displays some links and a search, which are not in any way related to the domain name itself. Also, a whois search quickly revealed that the company owning this name was located in the Bahamas!

I have just received a reply to my enquiry regarding what price they’re looking for… 888 Euro! It’s absolutely insane. And this for a name which has no real meaning, is not spelled properly even according to normal perception, and it’s not even a “.com”. Perhaps this company has invested so much in this speculative endeavour and nobody really wants their domains, that in order to cut their losses they need to charge exorbitant amounts for one single domain name…

I for one am of the opinion that this whole affair just makes domain costs spiral out of control unnecessarily. The names are expensive simply because somebody has bought all of them for no valid reason. Same way there are restrictions on registering trademarked names and phrases, there should be rules to prevent this insanity from continuing! There should be trading standards on names, based on how desirable they are, how many letters, which TLD. Not every e-cowboy should be allowed to just occupy large numbers of domain names, and sell them on to others at unjustified premiums; it borders on extortion!

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2 Comments »

  1. odzer Said:

    We have something similar brewing up due to the introduction of .asia domains. They are relatively cheap for now and so we have a mini gold rush I would say. 888 Euro is ridiculous price! Its amazing how they can get away with this, I think there are laws that prevent that kind of thing but since the domain you seek is not spelt exactly like the company where you work I am not so sure of what legal muscle you can flex. May be you should make them a lower counter offer and see what happens….

  2. hedonist666 Said:

    Well actually it is exactly spelled as part of our company name. The issue at hand is that there must be dozens of companies out there with a similar name and there would be no way to prove that these people registered the domain name purposefully to pretend to be us 😉 which would be the applicable rule governing .eu names. There are no rules as such for bulk registering names simply for speculation purposes. Anyway, after I told the guy in a subtle way what I thought of the quote, he crashed to 200 Euro 😉

    Good luck on the .asia domains then; are you going to play? 😉


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