The squatter's main intent is to squat on domains to sell them for profit, right? Why, then, is it so hard to reach them?
The way it works is you pay for an "appraisal" of the domain, then they work on commission (a percentage of the eventual selling price of the domain).
The broker I worked with was able to get ahold of the domain owner, but the price they wanted was way out of line with reality. The broker claimed to have aggressively negotiated, and went back to the domain owner several times over the following months, but no sale was ever made. The commission-based compensation model seems to me to be an inherent conflict of interest, but my impression was that the broker was negotiating on my behalf in good faith.
Would be curious if anyone has a success story here. I know someone who used a different brokerage service (BuyDomains) to attempt to purchase a different domain, and were also unsuccessful - in that case the broker was also unable to reach the owner listed on WHOIS.
I was not able to locate the owner because he did not answer emails to the whois address but he had the same whois info for other sites that were active. I went to one of those sites and was able to go get in contact with him. Price was ten times what I was willing to pay so I passed.
Then stop wasting time on it. You must have way more important things to do.
Here's a thought: Get a virgin domain name for $6 and market the shit out of it. You really didn't expect to skip the marketing step with a domain name that someone else thought was important, did you?
How To Trademark a Domain Name: http://www.allbusiness.com/technology/internet-domain-names/...
ICANN Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy: http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp.htm
If you aren't registering for the purpose of selling to the complainant, it's not bad faith. And it's hard to have bough it to sell to a TM that didn't exist when you registered. You really don't have to tell that much of a story in order to justify your squatting.
See, for instance, (.doc, blame WIPO) http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/word/2009/d2009...
To win via UDRP, the complainant has to prove: 1) the domain name is confusing, 2) there is no legitimate use of the domain name, and 3) bad faith in use.
UDRP is nice because it is administrative and lawyers typically aren't used. You just file paperwork.
However, with the Anti Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), bad faith is met by proving bad faith in registration, not in use. That is a much easier standard to prevail on.
ACPA is civil litigation. It has more teeth to it when you win and lose, so lawyers are recommended because you may lose your right to appeal if you don't do things correctly during trial.
Also, remember that trademarks only exist when used to identify goods in the stream of commerce. A person does not acquire a trademark simply by registering a domain name. Therefore, old-gregg may own the trademark if he was the first to use it to identify goods in the stream of commerce.
Side note: if your "squatter" is outside the US, you have to use UDRP because you can't get jurisdiction in VA for ACPA when the person isn't in the US.
I was making the assumptions that 1. the OP wants the name for legitimate business use (not resale), 2. the name isn't already trademarked elsewhere, 3. the name isn't confusingly similar to another legitimate business.
My suggestion was more to incorporate the business, and launch with a similar domain name, trademark everything, and get the business started before trying to take the name from the squatter.
- the squatter was
NOKTA INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES
2887 College Ave. 3
I have contacted them - but they want $30k , I think they are counting on PDR standing for physicians desk reference not - Paintless dent repair .... (our industry isn't as wealthy as the doctors) .. the squatter couldn't even reason out their value - although I reasoned them our offer (10k).
- but yeah its frustrating ...
- I did have some success recently buying Hail.org from a individual... but hail.com (currently a not updated in 10 years) website about hail technology... he seemed intent on teaching me a lesson about something, (just a pissed off out dated old computer nerd..the kind that hate the 'new blood')
I have domains that I don't use. People have contacted me, made a decent offer, and I've sold the domain to them. So, if it looks like the domain is held by someone who just isn't using it (like me), then you may be able to make a reasonable offer.
I was curious and went to the site a few months later. The fucker is a domain shark on the side and the sites a parked page with a forsale contact on it.
Moral of the story is to google their name and spend a few minutes before giving/selling domains.
I had registered getwellconnected.com, which I had vague plans to use for a nonprofit idea to let sick kids in hospitals connect together.
I got an email from someone claiming to be a consultant working for a small hospital. They were building a site and wanted to use that domain name. They offered a fair but relatively small price, and since I didn't have immediate plans to work on my idea, I agreed to sell at the offered price - no higher.
A year later today, I see that the domain is parked. It's quite a good and general domain name. I registered it with plans to use it. What a ploy.
As already pointed out here, you do need a strong case and a existing trademark. In our case, we were looking to obtain rights to top-level .COM domain that was an acronym of our current site's fullname URL--the acronym was favorable for obvious reasons and we/our users had used the acronym extensively to reference our site.
You basically have to prove all three of these things:
(i) The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and
(ii) The owner(s) have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
(iii) The domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith. (source: ICANN)
If you haven't gotten a response from the owner based on the WHOIS info, you can file a different type of ICANN complaint (free to file this one) that should force the registrar to contact the owner, who will update the WHOIS information. We had gone through this while trying to buy the domain from the squatter and not getting a response. We think he just updated WHOIS info with fictitious contact information again.
Domain squatting is an abuse of a public resource for personal gain. There are more evil things to do, but it's hardly moral.
Do not give them money. (micks56 e.a. suggest other ways of getting your hands on the domain you want.)
Not necessarily. Much domaining is about monetising traffic with minimal effort. A .com costs around $6 a year. Two cents a day in ad revenue makes you a profit.
Serious domainers do this on names that cost them much more than $6 to buy, but the renewal rates will still only be $6 a year, and the traffic revenue will be a lot more than two cents a day.
To them each domain is a small money-making business. They'll sell if the price is right, on discounted cashflow and all that, but that's not the primary intent. The main goal is to increase the number of domains making money and increase the amount of money each domain is making.
Not only do they, but they have an entire scheme just for it:
> those sites merely serve to annoy ppl
Actually, parked domains convert really well.
Typosquatters and the like, yes, they're annoying, but that's not what we're talking about here. Most of these are vaguely generic domains or things that people are typing in because they assume there will be something useful on them. A well parked domain then directs them off to where they actually want to be (and makes some money in the process).
Don't forget, you only need to earn two cents per day to make a profit.
I think the problem stems from an unregulated marketplace. Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for domain reselling to be regulated, I'm just saying the consequences of the reality of the situation is that somewhere along the way it became okay to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a $10/year commodity. Because of that, everyone thinks they can strike it rich by being greedy.
Personally I think a new model is needed for a majority of domain reselling. I've been working on a model that prices regular domains at cost to the owner times a premium factor. For instance, if you had a domain for ten years at $10/year, and multiplied it by a premium factor of not less than 1.5 and not greater than 3, the domain would sell for between $150 and $300. Not bad for a $100 investment. The premium factor would be calculated based on traditional characteristics (length, traffic, etc).
Don't get me wrong, I've been asked by buyers for domains I own and I'm not doing anything with and I see the dollar signs. But at the end of the day, I'd actually sell a domain using the above formula. And when I'm buying domains, it doesn't take that much effort to find an alternative to a taken domain... just use some imagination.
If you're doing to make the real estate argument, then new domain purchases should also have variables pricing from the same domain provider such that somekeywords.com is more than gobblygook.com, don't you think?
Unclaimed domain names are like parts of the wild west handed out to early claiments, they all had the same value/acre (=almost nothing).
Then when a city had been built on them (=you have a brand) then the price goes up. Even if the owner didn't do any work to build the city, having an empty lot in the middle of it is still valuable.
A domain I wanted was once held by an amateur squatter. I made a decent offer, she counter-offered way too high, I declined. Thinking nobody would buy it if I wouldn't, she let it expire. I snatched it up for $10.
Squatters, while I acknowledge their right to do what they do, are quite frustrating.
The cost of keeping a domain is so low that people generally aren't losing much by hanging onto it, particularly if they have a pretty decent parking page setup.
Maybe the reason you didn't get an answer is that they weren't interested in selling - you don't respond to every random email you get do you?
Find a name that isn't taken and then register all the variations.
That's a fraction of the price and none of the hassle.