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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    What is a Dot Com REALLY Worth...??
    Recently I have been on a search for a really nice domain name that I could concentrate on. I have been every where looking for just about anything that would work... BUT... most of the domains I have found are FOR SALE by one of those domain companies...(BuyDomains.com) - Minimum Price for a "good" domain is $27,000...

    Now I realize that these companies bought all these domains to sell for a profit... and great for them.. After all it is the American way... (Reminds me of The Land Rush of 1889)

    The particular domain I am looking at actually costs $27,000.. That is fine but for what..?? The site has never been built on.. no Pagerank.. no traffic stats.. no sales stats.. nothing just a dot com.. They have had it for 5 years.. and that is roughly $45 in yearly renewal fees... I think $26,955 is a ton of profit for buying a domain and sitting on it.....

    Take YouTube.com for example... how much was YouTube.com worth before it was purchased...?? Probably not much.. So why would a domain name be worth $27,000 right out of the box..?? I was told "Marketability" and "Traffic"..?? I understand the "Marketability" part but "Traffic"..? What? Are they assuming a certain amount of traffic...??

    This company also has the dot NET version at a separate price... probably about the same or maybe lower than the dot com... Any company worth it's salt would want BOTH versions and maybe ALL versions... this could run the price up BIG TIME..

    Now the kicker is... it was minimum $700 with no Asking Price at all.. then I asked about it and the ASKING PRICE went to $27,000... and that made me feel like it was all BS... it wasn't worth more than $700 until someone was interested -- then the price went way up... almost like a bait and switch type deal...

    I realize that in the real world it is location location location... but just being an easy to remember dot com doesn't make it LOCATION since the owners of the dot com make their own location on the net by advertising, seo, inbound links and so on... so the real work comes AFTER the domain is purchased... I don't think any one now a days could buy a domain that has sat empty for five years and get 20,000 visitors a day in the first week just in curious type ins because it is such a great name...

    I know some of you buy domains to sell them... so what makes it worth so much... just because of "brandability" or it is "easy to remember".. two words.. one word... and of course dot com... what are your opinions... since we all buy domains... what would make a domain worth $27,000 to you...?



  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    timing and luck plays a big part in it also

    -Timing
    at one time, everybody was looking for
    eNAMEofTHING.com (i.e. eBags, eLoan, eBay, etc)
    then came
    iNAMEofTHING.com (i.e. iWon, etc)
    then came
    myNAMEofTHING.com or YouNAMEofTHING.com

    -Luck
    Somebody or some company might see a value in your domain and offer it for a very high price for it

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    ahh, that explains why I recently bought an OurNameOfThing.com . . .

  4. #4
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    Now the kicker is... it was minimum $700 with no Asking Price at all.. then I asked about it and the ASKING PRICE went to $27,000... and that made me feel like it was all BS... it wasn't worth more than $700 until someone was interested -- then the price went way up... almost like a bait and switch type deal...
    Oh, Sedo lets you set an asking price, too.

    How it goes is, the person can ASK whatever, but the MINIMUM is the lowest bid they'll consider.
    Since you know what the min price was, it's probably safe to ignore the asking price and just bid the min.

    Although personally I wouldn't bid any of that. Try $12. If what I want is taken, I just keep typing in variants until I find an available one. And after reading those prices you mentioned, the fact that it took me 4 hours to find an open Scale domain that doesn't sound goofy suddenly strikes me as time well spent!!

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Leader - "the fact that it took me 4 hours to find an open Scale domain that doesn't sound goofy suddenly strikes me as time well spent!!"

    Oh Yea... 150%...!!

    But this just brings up another question....

    Priceline has both "priceline" and "priceline.com" as registered trademarks...
    Which pretty much makes any .net, .tv version of "Priceline" worthless... if you are in the same type of industry or sales. So why wouldn't it work the other way around...??
    Let's say I registered MyCoolShoppingSite.org or .us.. and trademarked those...?? Wouldn't it do the same thing to the dot com...?? Make it worthless for the same type of business...??

    I understand why everyone wants a dot COM... but is there any REAL reason for it..? Other than the knowledge that dot com is the first one people try...??

    Just a thought.....

  6. #6
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    Let's say I registered MyCoolShoppingSite.org or .us.. and trademarked those...?? Wouldn't it do the same thing to the dot com...?? Make it worthless for the same type of business...??
    Maybe if you actually, officially TM'd the name, because you may be able to legally stop .competition from coming up. Even then, I think what'd happen is people would automatically type in MyCoolShoppingSite.COM even if you advertised the heck out of the other version. So without the legal TM enforced, what I think would happen is a bonanza for whoever registers the .com. And if there was just nothing at all on the .com, the ones who unthinkingly use that extension may just think your site's gone to 404sville!

    In short, I don't think it would work well in reverse.

  7. #7
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I've changed my focus quite a bit, in regards to registering domains. I've been picking up ".tv" domains, simply because so many one word keywords were available to register. And yeah, the domains might not be worth what a '.com' is, as far as worrying about type in traffic, but with the correct topics, that extension can be rather interesting to persue. Even in the case of a domain you want that is taken, many of the domainers are still willing to accept reasonable offers.

    Examples of .tv domains I have picked up and am not yet using would be, Swords.tv , KnifeShow.tv, Debates.tv, RealitySeries.tv, KidFriendly.tv, VegasShows.tv.....

    And yes, there is a downside, registering 'premium' .tv domains could cost you a heck of a lot more annually than a .com . Yet, non premium domains are still available in that extension if you search for them.

    What do you suppose Swords.com might have set me back, if I had bothered to approach them? Probably a bit more than the thirty bucks a year 'swords.tv' will set me back.....! Yet, I could see a streaming video, QVCish site developed there, and in that case, a '.tv' association makes some sense.

    Here is a .com, btw, that I decided against registering this morning, have at it, if you wish: FormalWoman.com .
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Leader...
    No what I am saying is this...
    Is there any where that says a dot com is PRIORITY..??

    I mean does it actually carry any extra legal weight..?

    For example I register widgets.tv and trademark "widgets" and "widgets.tv"...

    I never ask about the dot com... because I know it is at a cybersquatting company... five years later someone registers widgets.com and starts selling widgets...

    Wouldn't I still have the legal right to shut them down..?? Make them forfeit the domain..?? Just like if I had widgets.com and everything trademarked and someone bought widgets.net and starting selling widgets...??

    Doesn't that make logical sense..??

    --------------
    Elbow.. yep still a lot of single word dot TV domains available....

  9. #9

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    A domain is worth $0.00 if you do nothing with it.

  10. #10
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    Here is an example....
    Article Tuffronts Registered Trademark.....

    Here is part of it...
    (( TUFFRONTS submitted a complaint to the National Arbitration Forum in February of 2006 against Profits On The Web, for registered trademark infringement of the TUFFRONTS name. TUFFRONTS' complaint alleged Profits On The Web's purchase and continued holding -- for S. Thomas & Associates -- of www.tuffronts.com and www.tuffronts.net was an infringement of the TUFFRONTS trademark and should entitle the transfer of each domain name to TUFFRONTS. ))

    They didn't even own a domain but they won the domain because of their trademark... It looks like you do not even have to have the DOT COM in the registered trademark... If you own the trademark WIDGETS then any domain that has WIDGETS in it is infringing on your trademark and you have the legal right to pursue it... Wouldn't ya think...???

    So if I registered the trademark and then filed a complaint that a cybersquatting company was sitting on my trademarked name.. why wouldn't they have to forfeit the domain...??

    That is why I ask what a dot com is REALLY worth... it is actually the TRADEMARK that is worth something....

    The value in a domain is just like any other business.. it has to be producing income.. it has to have traffic and statistics to show before it is REALLY worth something... like YouTube.com... they did the work.. spent the money on bandwidth.. advertised on many sites and made the domain worth $1.65 BILLION to Google.... but originally the domain YouTube.com was only $8.95 at GoDaddy... LOL...

    Doesn't that make sense...???

    Opinions Opinions...????

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    I just sent the National Arbitration Forum an e-mail asking them about this scenerio...
    I will post it here when they reply...

    I asked them this:::
    I registered a trademark last week. A cybersquatting company is sitting on my trademarked dot com. The problem is they registered the domain years ago..
    Do I have any recourse blah blah...

    It'll be interesting to see what their answer is.... if any...

  12. #12
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    Oh...

    I don't think .com carries any more legal weight than any other extension.
    But the 5 years of prior registration may...kind of hard to say they're TM-squatting if you just got the TM last week, after all.

    On the other hand, I've read of ICANN rulings both for and against TM holders that aren't what I would have predicted...

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    I am just guessing but I think the Trademark would hold more weight than the domain name or length of domain registration... especially if it is a cybersquatting company sitting on all kinds of perfectly good domain names that would fit any business online or not... holding them hostage for ungodly amounts of money... a trademark is a trademark.. I would think... but who knows...?

    I mean who is to say if I am web savvy or not..?? What if joe blow just starts a business and gives it a catchy name gets a business license and trademarks his name.. as long as it is not a current trademark it is up for grabs... then his freind says hey what about the dot com...?

    Now I am not saying that you could do this over and over again and acquire a bunch of one word domains... but once may just be the ticket...

    I will post a response here when I get one...

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Hey I got a response....

    Here it is ::::

    I am afraid that the questions you have asked are outside the scope of advice the Forum can offer. We are a neutral provider and, as such, cannot give legal advice or suggest arguments that can be made either in the complaint or a response. We must limit the advice we give to procedural steps and avoid addressing any substantive questions. Unfortunately, it would appear that you need the services of an attorney to assist you in this matter.

    ------------------

    So it seems that I would have to file a complaint.. which is kind of pricey...

    ________________________________________________________________
    Domain Names____Single-Member Panel____Three-Member Panel
    1-2-------------------$1,300---------------------$2,600
    3-5-------------------$1,450---------------------$2,900
    6-10------------------$1,800---------------------$3,600
    11-15-----------------$2,250---------------------$5,000
    16 or More------------To be determined in consultation with the Forum
    ________________________________________________________________

    And Hire an attorney.... LOL....
    Then go through all the hoops to get the dispute looked at by the panel...
    Which are pretty intense...

    So it wouldn't be easy... not at all.....
    But it could happen... if I followed through with it...

    I could probably get any domain I wanted sitting at the domain squatters... as long as I had the money and time to spend doing all of this... and probably get it cheaper than any of their INSANE prices... LOL...

    But I won't... I was just curious....

    I do agree with NakedGamer that a domain is worth $0 if it is just sitting there... And I still think that the actual trademark is worth more than the domain...

    I can also see the Domain Squatters point of view... Like the Land Rush of 1889.. first come first served... the early bird gets the worm and so on...
    BUT... I do think that they price these domains they are sitting on WAY to high... almost like the domain is going to instantly get a ton of type ins or something... like buying the domain is all you have to do... which we all know is NOT the case....


    Oh Well nice knowing that info anyway....

  15. #15
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I disagreee with the idea that you would be able to get a domain previously registered by someone else simply by registering a trademark for that term. If anything, I would think they would be able to take the trademark away from you, based on timing, since they were using the term before you were. But I am no lawyer, so who knows.

    But, simply because the domain is parked, that should not imply they are not using the domain, that the domain is not 'active', it is simply an affiliate site in it's most simplest, root form, a parked page that generates income via type in traffic. A slightly different business model, but a business nonetheless.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  16. #16
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    What is a Dot Com REALLY Worth...??

    Like the old saying goes: I will guess that if you must ask, you can't afford it!



    Hey!

    Don't get offended, but I have a .com domain name that I would not let go for anything less than 10 million dollars.

    Even would like to own it today, but...... not yet.

    ...

  17. #17
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    LOL... yep when the price is $27,000.....

    Oh I am not offended... it may seem that I am BASHING the domain squatters... but not really... It is a supply and demand... first come first served kind of thing...

    I was just saying that the prices they put on the domains is outrageous at best...
    Now if the domains had some stats to show like YouTube.com did... then it is worth something.. but right out of the box... it's not worth much... it may sound good and have potential but unless that potential can be proven then it is just a big MAYBE...

    I don't gamble much as you can tell... I wouldn't pay $27,000 for a Maybe dot com...

  18. #18
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    ElbowCreek...
    I disagree... I read that you have to at the very least use the TM for trademark on the name before it is considered previously trademarked.. you can't just write down BLAH and call it yours as far as the Trademark goes...

    I posted an example above... (Article Tuffronts Registered Trademark) and I have yet to find one single instance of the DESCISIONS that the domain did not go to the trademark owner... (and I have looked at a BUNCH).... of course it doesn't say in the DESCISIONS what the time frame was on the purchase of the Trademark and the purchase of the domain...

    Their business model is selling domains that are preregistered... nothing more nothing less... and they do not use the domain itself.. they use a subdomain of their main domain...

    IMHO - I would trademark a name and then wait for the domain squatter to sell it to someone... at that point that person bought the domain AFTER I had the trademark established... so it would be mine regardless...

    But like I said I have yet to find a descision that they made that the trademark went to the domain name holder...

    At this point it is all speculation on what any of the descisions would be...
    It could go either way... just a hypothetical kind of thing....

  19. #19
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Exclamation
    bear in mind that one company must prove three points, not one, not two, before a domain name must be surrendered. you can find this by reading some of the litigation records on the Web.

  20. #20
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Everytime I read this I am curious as to one of my domains. I know its not worth what the free appraisil site says as it came up with $72,000

    I then tried my own name with a .com and found out that domain is worth 7200 hmmmm
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    a. Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that

    (i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

    (ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

    (iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

    In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present.

    Full Policy

    -----------------
    Take this scenerio for example....
    I register zippitydooda.US and trademark zippitydooda and zippitydooda.US....
    I make no beef with the domain squatting company, I go about my business as usual... The domain squatting company decides to sell zippitydooda.com to someone... Once that is done I have the right to go after the dot com...

    Or another scenerio...
    I register zippitydooda.US and trademark zippitydooda and zippitydooda.US....
    I contact the domain squatting company and let them know that I have trademarked a name and that they have the dot com.... "Just to let them know"...
    Do you think they would sell it to anyone knowing this..?? And if they did wouldn't they be liable for selling my trademarked name dot com to someone else...?? Wouldn't that make the dot com version less valuable... if another trademarked site was already running under another extension...??
    --------------

    That is why I say what is a dot com worth... does it matter that you don't have the dot com..?? I don't think so as long as you have the trademark...
    There is no difference between a trademarked dot com going after the dot net version... as there is a trademarked dot net site going after the dot com version... It may seem backwards to us because we think everyone should register the dot com first... but if that is impossible you have no other recourse than to go ahead with business as usual and register your trademarks and extensions...

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    I guess what I am trying to say is this::
    Is this dot com thing just a phsycological barrier we are stuck in...???
    After all my reading and research and asking questions and stuff.. I have found nothing that says that a company must register a dot com first and trademark it to be able to dispute domains using the trademark... That is all I am saying REALLY....

    These domain squatting companies have us all locked into this dot com thing.. when really it doesn't matter at all... if every domain they have whether it be a dot com or not was a registered trademark their inventory would be worthless...

    A dot COM has no more weight than a dot US does when it comes to trademark issues and domain disputes...

    Any opinions on this...???

  23. #23
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    AddHandler, look up the case of etoys.com vs etoy.com - it is exactly dealing with what you are discussing, and let me warn you - you will not like the outcome.

    This is just areally, really quick recap (to save you the searching)
    http://www.wdr.org/etoy.html

  24. #24
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    domain names are worth more when they have "type ins" and .com's are "typed in" more often than any other tld.

    For instance when someone types in kw "diet" and adds ".com" the website diet.com should come up first or 2nd on organic search -- therefore the domain "diet.com" is considered a Very Valuable domain name because you should get ALOT of organic search. And, even though the domain has never
    been developed, if it has type ins, it Will get organic search visitors if it ever is developed seo friendly.

    Plus, short one word/two word .com names are gone. If you want them you will have to pay big.

    So, check and see if that $27,000 domain name has any "type ins" with the .com extension using a good keyword research tool.

    If you really want to scratch your head (or hit it because you didn't think of them first years ago when you could have VERY easily purchased some of these domain names for VERY little) check out the recent high dollar domain name sales at:

    http://dnjournal.com/domainsales.htm

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    chetf - that is a good article... but that is etoys verses etoy... I'll bet the decision would have been different if it was etoys going after another etoys domain...

    If a domain is sitting at a domain squatting site.. it is still going to have to change hands at some point... If you have the registered trademark before it actually changes hands.. then the person who bought it.. got it AFTER you trademarked the name... giving you the right to file a dispute and probably win...

    Although it would suck to have an online business and have a domain squatting company sitting on your dot com..

    gettnthar - As far as I know that is not a type in... a type in is when someone types your domain directly into the browser... what you have described is a search with a dot com attached...

    Also... that is not the only thing that makes a domain valuable... it is the "marketability" of the domain name itself.. and of course if it is a dot com..
    I had rather advertise for shoes.com than my-online-shoe-site.com because shoes.com is way easier to remember making your advertising dollar go that much further... equals marketability...

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