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  1. #1
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    I am having a hard time finding the practice of buying misspelled domain names of your competitive affiliates ethical.

    Affiliates band together on so many levels but it disturbs me to see that some then turn around and purchase a domain name either misspelled, or adding an S, taking away an S at the end and so on.

    As an affiliate manager I have seen this a number of times and felt the frustration of those affiliates who were vicitmized.

    Thank goodness domain names are so inexpensive! Also, thank goodness for Whois.net so that you can see who the culprit of frustration is.


    Thank you in advance for any thoughts on this that you all may have.

    -Liz
    Lizabeth Sorensen
    Affiliate Program Consultant
    lizATemerchantconsultingDOTCOM
    www.emerchantconsulting.com
    518-233-7431 EST.

  2. #2
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    This is a legal issue closely related to "Domain Squatting". If you were to buy up the domain amozon.com and put up a book site, amazon would sue your pants off! The reason: Amazon.com is probably trademark protected. The solution to your problem may be to register your site name as a trademark if the domain name itself identifies what you do.

    Seek an attorney, my advice is only worth a little more than you paid.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I don't think it's ethical and it's not something I would do.

    The same thing was done to a domain name I purchased within a week of it being published by the registrar. The joke's on the guy who bought it though as I've backburnered that site for the time being. My hope is that he decides to build his copycat domain name which will ultimately benefit me.

    If you have an established brand name then I think you'd want to buy every reasonable variant form of that name. At $9.95 per, it's cheap insurance.

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I don't "aim at" other domain names. I think up doms off the top of my head and see if they're available.

    But if I've thought of a domain, and find it taken, what I do depends on what it's taken by. I try to stay away from well-known doms and "real" sites, but if there's some crappy generic search engine or "parked" page on my original pick, I have no qualms in using a similar name.

    Sometimes this is dangerous since occasionally it turns out that the reason the similar one is availabe is because some domain-park place already got it BANNED from all the SEs and that's why they released it!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I do sometimes deliberately buy mis-spelled or variants of domain names, but only as an act of guerrilla politics. I've never done it for commercial gain, although I have had it done to me by someone who also ripped off about 100 pages of stuff.

    No, I don't believe it's ethical for financial gain. As a political statement it's a well-known technique though.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  6. #6
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    I understand that the practice is smart business sense, however my point is that affiliates who band together on so many levels are turning around and buying up their fellow affiliates misspelled domain names and that is ridiculous and corrupt.

    L

  7. #7
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    It all depends on what the name is. If it is some generic term like 'housewares', then it is ok as far as I am concerned to buy the plural or a misspelling. If it is something more unique then I don't approve, but your best bet is to buy the misspellings yourself.

  8. #8
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    Trust me on this in 99.9% of the cases it doesn't worth the risk

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Steveinid's Avatar
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    I don't have the money to hire a lawyer and all, so I spend a little extra and get a couple of variants on the name. If I feel it is a good name, I will buy the .net and .org extension as well.

    I've thought of a good name and have purchased up to 6 variants on it just to ensure I have that name. I think it is cheaper than the trouble it may cause, or the lost revenue from mystyping.
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  10. #10
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    are we talking about doing this to an affiliate or a merchant site? the merchants have more to lose with branding issues.

  11. #11
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    Hi,

    I was bringing it up about "super affiliates" doing it to other affiliates. The victims being affiliates who are making a name for themselves with good domain names and traffic.

    Specifically in this case, a "super affiliate" who has a habit of doing this activity to other affiliates.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago the person from BigBigSavings.com bought up wwwflamingoworld.com, wwwclevermoms.com, wwwfatwallet.com and a few others....they took them down really fast when we all working together got nasty with them.

  13. #13
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    to be fair, this affiliate did not purposely buy this domain that is close to my domain (in fact they have owned it 2 more years than I have owned mine), but the fact that this happens in the affiliate community is why I started this thread.

    I would hope however that if we nicely ask for the domain to be transferred that we can get it without being extorted for $ as it seems so often happens.

    L

  14. #14
    I like traffic lights
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    What Jimbo said.

    And would you believe someone has a TM on "honey baked ham" ?

  15. #15
    I like traffic lights
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by eMerchant Consulting:
    to be fair, this affiliate did not purposely buy this domain that is close to my domain (in fact they have owned it 2 more years than I have owned mine).

    I would hope however that if we nicely ask for the domain to be transferred that we can get it without being extorted for $ as it seems so often happens.

    L <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Cough hack WHAT?

    They had the domain name TWO YEARS before you bought yours and you think you have some sort of "rights" that exceed theres.

    I tell you what, if it were me you were about to approach to buy the domain you claim you have better rights on, the decimal place on the price would have just shifted to the right a couple of places, once I found out your attitude!

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Connie Berg:
    A couple of years ago the person from BigBigSavings.com bought up wwwflamingoworld.com, wwwclevermoms.com, wwwfatwallet.com and a few others....they took them down really fast when we all working together got nasty with them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Connie, funny that you mention BigBigSavings.com he now runs a spamming outfit called Azoogleads http://www.azoogleads.com/ I get more spam from the spammers regarding their #1 site that is run by them as I'm sure many others do (GiftFox.com)
    for free bbqs and DVD Players in exchange for filling out their lead generation forms so they can turn around and send you more spam.

  17. #17
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    Drewbert,

    I have edited my inital post as no, I do not have a right nor did I say that I had a right to all names like my domain. I am not concerned and do not feel that having that domain would make a difference in my business plan.

    However, my point is that this is happening around us and it is contradictory to this family like atmosphere.

    With Connie's example, that adds to my list of "super affiliates" who are practicing these fine marketing arts.



    L

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Liz, with what you have said here, it would seem this other site should be upset with you for buying up a domain that is a mis-spelling of theirs..
    I would say if they had it first, they have the "rights" to it, not you.

  19. #19
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    I guess they can be upset if they want, but I had no idea that they owned it as they are not doing anything with it I really didn't know.

    I was just recently advised to look at all of the domains close to mine and there it was. When I saw the name I recalled an experience that an co worker of mine had had about 2 years ago when this same person bought a domain name similar to my co workers and is still redirecting to their site to this day. That is why I initially thought that this was the same case. As I have found out that it is not, I do not care to pursue it any further. My site is an original thought and original content and I am confident that karma prevails.

  20. #20
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    If I owned a domain name 2 years longer than you owned yours and you came to me and tried to extort me out of my domain based on the fact it was similar to the one you now own, I would laugh at you, then turn the tables around and demand since I owned mine first you need to ante up since you are infringing on my rights.

    What a joke.

    Unless it is a domain name of a well known business IE: Walmart or something like that, that has been in in existence for years & is trademarked, you don't have a prayer.
    ~Michelle
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  21. #21
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I was just recently advised to look at all of the domains close to mine <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Was it a lawyer scouting for some action who advised you?

  22. #22
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    No, not a lawyer- my web designer.

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