I want a URL, the price keeps changing, now it's too high.
August 12, 2014 11:37 PM   Subscribe

I would like to own a URL, but the price keeps changing. Now it's really up there. It's owned by one of those huge domain companies. A year ago I looked at it, and it was over $1200. A few months later it was down to $900. Now it's $2495! What gives? Why does it keep changing? How do I get it at a lower price? For what it's worth, I noticed that a site using the .org version now exists, and I don't believe it was there earlier if memory serves . Does that have an impact? Help me get this URL at a reasonable price, please.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The fact of the matter is that they own it, and they can set the price. Is the price truly indicative of value or supply and demand? Maybe not. But unless you can get an individual with whom you can negotiate, it doesn't much matter. Given that it's owned by a big company, you're very likely just out of luck. I would recommend contacting the company directly and trying to deal, but if they're unwilling, you may just need to look for alternate domains.
posted by tau_ceti at 12:42 AM on August 13, 2014

Maybe they are changing the price based on interest. The more you visit the page, the higher the price goes.

Look on the bright side: before you thought the price was high, now you know it was cheap! :)
posted by devnull at 1:23 AM on August 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

What do you think it's worth? Offer that amount. I'm guessing that these prices are softer than you think. And, believe me, it's like the character in The Plague who focused on the first line of his great novel, no need to fret over the URL.
posted by learnsome at 1:27 AM on August 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Does the price change if you clear cookies or access the site from another computer? I wonder if they're tracking your interest.
posted by quercus23 at 1:50 AM on August 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

The trick to determining a fair price to pay for something is not to fall in love with it to the extent that you are blind to alternatives. With domain names it is easy to fall into this trick - believing that life will be great ONLY if you have the domain name that your heart is set on - possibly because you've noted that all the viable alternatives also appear to be snagged.

Which is why I recommend you spend some time with Wordoid. This lets you set rules for what character strings your proposed domain name must contain, what its maximum length should be and what languages it should be compatible (ie pronounceable) in. Then it lets you see which of your results are taken (and by whom) - and which are free.

With this tool, if you are lucky, you might discover a great option which is not taken. Failing that you should be able to uncover some alternatives which are. Try to find out the price of those alternatives. That should give you a better idea of the price that you should be willing to offer.
posted by rongorongo at 2:46 AM on August 13, 2014 [7 favorites]

You can definitely negotiate with these companies. I paid well under half of the listing price for a domain that I bought from one. Just make a low offer and see what they say. Definitely mention the lower listing prices that you saw within the last year.
posted by neat graffitist at 4:01 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Domain squatters are scum but the registrars love them because they hoover up lots of otherwise useless domain names. The specific domain name is not terribly important compared to being discoverable on search engines, pronunciation, recognition, immunity to misspelling etc (who knew what a "google" was all those years ago?). Now with the hordes of new top level domains you even have the option of mydomain.this, mydomain.that etc.

It is worth trying clearing cookies or using a different computer to search (though this does push up and diversify the apparent level of interest). Everything is negotiable, so offer them a fraction of what they are asking and look for other alternative TLDs to search in.
posted by epo at 4:59 AM on August 13, 2014

I inquired about a domain some time ago, and still get followups. I'll bet if I offered a low amount, I'd eventually get to an okay amount.
posted by theora55 at 8:35 AM on August 13, 2014

Unless that URL is something like paperclips.com and you sell hundreds of thousands of dollars of paperclips a year it's most likely not worth it. People just use google to find you anyway, or click on an existing link. As long as the link is associated with what you do (ie, if you sell paperclips is not WeOnlySellFutons.com) you'll be fine.

From a marketing perspective, if there's a .org that you have no association with, I might urge you to come up with another idea just to make it ultra-clear that there is no association.

But, all that said, nthing everyone to offer them what you think is acceptable. My guess is they'll take it since it clearly hasn't sold in a while.
posted by beep-bop-robot at 8:58 AM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

If they haven't sold it in a year, I suspect the demand for the URL is not high and they're trying to sucker someone into paying their asking price. Make a lowball offer to the WHOIS administrative contact for the domain (I'd probably start around $100-200) and see what happens.
posted by Aleyn at 4:47 PM on August 13, 2014

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