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Web Domain White Elephant Exchange (docs.google.com)
112 points by shakes on Dec 20, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 97 comments

Domain guy here. Years in this business.

From my experience I've seen plenty of domains over time that have been deleted that end up getting purchased by someone sometimes for a large amount of money.

The carrying cost is quite nominal.

As a general rule if you own a large amount of wacky domains that you think have little value (that are .com I have to stress that) someone will come along at some point and offer to buy it from you.

If you want proof of this go see some of the domains that are listed on buydomains.com and the price for those domains. Ask yourself if you owned any of those domains whether you would have let them go or not (I'm talking about the ones that sell for $750 to $2000 not the obvious hi value ones).

Here's a few I just found (random)

sourcingintelligence.com $1488

pearline.com $2500


Add: One thing I have to stress is this.

When someone comes along and wants to buy your wacky domain close the deal. You very well will not have another chance for 5 or 10 years. Get as much as you can and do the deal.

What is the usual process for exchanging a domain name? Do you use a domain escrow service?

Those buydomains.com numbers are the asking prices. I'm sure most of those are never going to sell or will sell far below asking price.

I've negotiated a 5 letter .net from BuyDomains.com from $1488 to $488. I didn't buy it, but yeah, never buy a domain name without negotiating first.

I feel like any one of those people on Hoarders when they must choose the first thing to let go of. Not pretty.

Awesome idea. Really makes me regret not holding on to whatswrongwithmypenis.com just so that I could gift it to some poor soul as part of this.

Interesting idea, but if you are seeing the full list, what's stopping you from just assigning yourself to the domains that you want?

Because I'm not an asshole?

P.S. I showed this to a friend and her response was: "Little does that guy know, you're totally an asshole." So there's that...

I'm sold.

I'm sold.

My persuasion skills are impeccable.

Two domains I'm not using, stretchier.com and loners.org, are expiring this month. Anyone want either? They're regged at namecheap, can either transfer there or give you a code for another registrar

Don't want to do this exchange because I really don't want another two domains :P

I might want to take loners.org from you, and create "facebook, without the ability to add friends".


People ask why I'm not on Facebook. I tell them I'm anti-social and thus will only join anti-social networks. They don't usually get it.

haha, that's actually a pretty funny idea

One that has been done, fwiw. https://about.me/

I'd love to have loners.org to use for a (free, non-commercial, and personally-funded) resource for introverts, and I promise not to give you a domain in return!

Don't drop loners.org

It's worth holding on to for sure.

Not great that it's a .org but as a general rule a name like that is worth keeping and paying the reg fee on.

stretchier.com same thing. I would hold onto it it's worth the gamble.

I used to hold >100 domains of similar quality, until I realized I was paying $1k/year on registration, and the value of my portfolio was increasing much more slowly.

It's certainly possible to profit from domains if you actively seek out buyers, but if you're not going to, it's not worth holding on to domains of that quality. It's a poor investment.

He already tried that. You're not helping.

Tried what?

Holding onto it, probably for long enough that he's noticed even his other, more obviously valuable domains aren't drawing huge offers either.

Long enough?

Sorry a year or two is not a long time in domains as anyone who is in that business knows (such as myself).



Creation Date: 2012-12-30 17:28:00Z


Domain Name:LONERS.ORG

Created On:14-Jan-2013 22:17:50 UTC

I'd take loners.org from you.

Can I have Stretchier?

sure, drop me an email, my username at gmail.com

So I can exchange a domain I don't want for a domain I don't want, correct?

Yes, that's exactly the point. Have some fun & do stupid things.

(With that said... there are some really, really great domains in this list. So you might get lucky.)

I signed up. Will you share the list of domains after they've been exchanged? Thanks for doing this, it should be fun!

That's the plan! Going to post a list of all domains and who sent/received them at webdomainwhiteelephantexchange.com

You really need to shorten that to wdwee.com which is available.

Actually, I really don't need to do that. The absurd length is part of the humor. Plus, WDWEE.com is 10x more difficult to type.

Well you know about humor (from your profile) and I know about domains and naming.

It's (part of) what I do.

And I make plenty of money doing it (both buying and selling) as well as consulting for people who you have heard of and who you trust and that pay me for my opinion.

So given that we are talking about +-$12 or so for wdwee.com while you may not feel you need it there really isn't much in going with the expert opinion on the subject.

I mean if I decided to do standup comedy and you told me to "drink 3 glasses of water and piss before going on stage" I'd probably take your word for it and not tell you "I really don't think I need to do that". And I'm guessing I'm probably better at domains than you are at comedy.

Agree that wdwee is hard to type. But so is a long domain name (chance of typos is greater with more letters, in general). Not saying you should use it instead of the ironic name but as an additional short acronym.

Feel free to buy it and donate it to the cause. I'm already investing hundreds of dollars in opportunity cost for a dumb way to give people a few laughs, so I don't feel like throwing down another $10. :)

Is webdomainwhiteelephantexchange.com one of the domains in the exchange? :)

Was going to ask how you saw the list before noticing that you created it.

:) Yep!

Aw, I let a lot of my unwanted domains expire this year instead of hoarding them. But given that they were all rubbish, it does mean that heapt.com (you know, like 'heaped', piles of things!) and f6ing.com (a gaming thing...) are free and unencumbered.

If you had them for a while, not necessarily likely... the squatting companies tend to do a grab of recently expired domains... most that I've let go over the years (tend to get 2-3 new ones, and let 2-3 go a year) are in that group.

I let streamingcrack.com expire a while back after sitting on it a couple years, and it's still free. YMMV.

Somewhat related: Some time ago I wanted to create a dyndns service for Rasperry Pi devices.

I registered the domains (my-pi.net, my-py.net, my-pi.de) but never created the actual website. So if anyone wants these domains for free, contact me.

Made me smile for a minute but really unpractical. I'll probably register aksjfgkahgiowetiuwj.info from Godaddy for 99cents just to get involved

Why would this be practical? Do you know what a white elephant gift is? Wikipedia: "A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable but burdensome possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth." Get with it.

I believe there's a 60 or 90 day period before you can transfer a domain after you've registered it anyways.

You can usually transfer it to another user on the same registrar. They just don't want to lose it to another company. (At least, that's my super rough understanding of it.)

You should match people that have submitted domains from the same registrar so fees are avoided in most cases.

That sounds like a wonderful idea... but far too much work for it to be worth it. Maybe next year...

Oh it's simple really.

  $conn = fsockopen ('whois.verisign-grs.com', 43, $errno, $errstr, 1);
  fputs($conn, $domain."\r\n");
	$output .= fgets($conn,128);
  $registrar = reset(explode("\n",end(explode('Registrar:',$output))));

Awesome! Thanks for this. I'll play with it over the weekend. Still working on the specifics.

You could make the source available and let some of us help contribute to make this possible.

Not if I register it first.

Do any registrars charge to transfer domains between account on their system? I would want to ensure I didn't get one of those.

Eh, if you don't want it and it costs money to transfer, then you don't have to take it. It's not like there will be a grim reaper debt collector coming after you.......

This reassures me since I know you are not asshole.

I'm sold.

I fully expect something to go very wrong with this, so I'm just preparing to not care when it does. :)

The funny thing is someone didn't know the above was sarcasm based on your previous response. I like the idea and I think it'll turn out fine.

People will always try to put us down.:)

So, I suck. I couldn't let go of any of my precious precious hoarded domains, so I bought a new one for the occasion.

That's fine... you're only an asshole who broke the rules.

JK – I'll let if fly. :)

Bummer. I have a .de domain that I really don't want/need. The web form won't accept it.

Try again... I disabled the URL validation on that field. However, the validation required http:// in front, so that may have been the issue.

Probably was the missing http:// It works now. This should be fun.

I'm building www.nametagup.com for this type of trade/exchange year round.

I really hope you don't get stuck with these domains then... because most of them would never be purchased willingly. :)

Agreed. I was going to throw "vaginawear" at this (which I drunkenly bought at a bar), before realizing that I had rather prudently allowed it to expire.

Nah, the owners will still maintain their domains. I'm guessing moving/purchasing through us in the future.

this is great. i have a strange compulsion to buy awful domain names, regardless of their usefulness. is there any rule against multiple entries (aside from the possibility of exchanging with yourself?)

Nope! Right now I'm allowing multiple domains, up to a point. (Maximum is 3) Enjoy!

Cool, added two more.

I just signed up. I feel sorry for whoever gets my throwaway domains when http://1n73r.net is my "good" domain.

This is a fun idea. If you do this match on the 25th it will actually be like receiving a timely gift. Looking forward to the post-exchange discussion.

Any possibility of adding a counter displaying the number of domains on the list.

May help hoarders like me to finally hit submit, peer pressure and all that :)

We just hit 300 people/domains who have signed up. Is that enough for you? ;)

Good idea. Signed up. The domain I'm offering was actually inspired by a few people at HN. Never had the time to develop it.

Fun idea! I just signed up with an old domain, hope someone else might have the time to do something hilarious with it.

Tossed one of my domains in. Awesome idea, took a while to figure out what domain to let go though

Presumably when you publish the new owner list you won't make everyones email address public?

Emails will definitely stay private. Your name, @username, and personal website will likely be published.

I hope that no one gives away a domain that has a trademark or trademark "typo" in it.

I like it, I've signed up with one of my hey-this-could-work-but-oh-i-got-lazy ideas.

There's a handful of those in the list: interesting old names for apps. Then there are a lot of "Wouldn't it be funny if I bought ____?" domains. Those are pretty great too.

What do you do if you don't have a twitter account? It's required in the form.

Maybe, create an account using the name of the domain? (if possible)

It's a domain name that no one wants, ergo one might presume that the twitter handle is equally undesirable?

Just put "N/A" or something. It doesn't matter that much. I just wanted 2 ways to reach out to people.

Sign up?

That's a neat idea. But why twitter account is mandatory for this?

Because it's useful to have two ways to contact someone in case the exchange goes awry. It's already come in handy today.

I have boip.com but I have no idea what to do with it. Any suggestions?

Neat. I'll might throw in koshercloud.net :)

Fun idea Daniel. I'll throw something in.

Ok, just added one ... this actually kinda fun

Thanks for organizing this, I added one in.

Submitted, this is pretty sweet!

Great idea! Signed up.

Neat. So tempted...

Ok, i'm in :)

this is hilarious

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