Buy a $1888 domain?
May 31, 2007 7:44 PM   Subscribe

$1888 for a domain more soon

So i want to buy a domain, lets call it I went to look at it and it is owned by one of those companies that just buys domains and then resells them. The company is They then quoted me $1888 to purchase it. I live in a million person plus city and I am one of two listings for my last name. Can it really be worth that much money for a domain? Thanks in advance.
posted by DJWeezy to Technology (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The domain is worth whatever the market is willing to pay for it.

If they are unable to sell it at $1888, it is not worth $1888.

The problem you face is that it's so cheap to hold on to this domain for the next 10 years that they can keep waiting for a buyer very inexpensively.
posted by twiggy at 7:50 PM on May 31, 2007

Previously. Offer what you're willing to pay for it.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 7:53 PM on May 31, 2007

There's a saying that goes something like "any given thing is worth the price someone pays for it."

My advice is to settle for another domain and save $1,868. Navigation on the internet is probably 90% (a guess) mediated by search engines, which don't care what address you're at and are found through keywords and popularity. The remainder is done by typing a common word as a domain address and hope it's what you want.

If you really like the name and can afford a quarter or a half of what they're asking, you can make them a counter-offer they might accept. But keep in mind that they have no legitimate claim to the name (they aren't using it) and that you are being taken advantage of for wanting a recognizable name (one which they might conceivably resell for more money).

On preview: what they said.
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:59 PM on May 31, 2007

Response by poster: i would usually settle for another domain except this is my last name.
posted by DJWeezy at 8:09 PM on May 31, 2007

Why don't you just go with or

The domain may be worth $1888, if someone will pay it. They could turn around and sell forwarded email addresses to 188 other people for $10 each. Or 18.8 people for $100 each.
posted by acoutu at 8:17 PM on May 31, 2007

On a related note, has anyone done a domain transfer like this? I'd wonder about getting scammed.
posted by frieze at 8:25 PM on May 31, 2007

Don't feed the squatters!
posted by calhound at 8:30 PM on May 31, 2007

Make them an offer; if no one else is interested, they might be agreeable.
posted by Soliloquy at 8:37 PM on May 31, 2007

You can get your last name in a different top level domain. How about or Perhaps a bit more expensive than but nothing like $1888.

"" is a trucking company (specializing in hauling hazardous wastes, it turns out). "" is me. Haven't had any problems...

The "nu" domain is solely controlled by "Nunames".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:20 PM on May 31, 2007

My last name wasnt available. Its owned by some group called "net identity". So I got creative. My last name is McMullin. So I went shopping for an indian domain name. was available so I snapped it up. I set myself up with the subdomain as my blog/website. And Im in the process of linking the domain to googlemail so I can have greg [at] as my email.
posted by gergtreble at 9:47 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Doh! I never made my point!

Perhaps you can do something similar. That is as long as the last to letters in your name are a top level domain somewhere in the world.
posted by gergtreble at 9:48 PM on May 31, 2007

Is there any way that you can trademark or servicemark your own last name?

If you got your last name registered as a trademark, then you could probably go through ICANN's Dispute Resolution policy and might be able to take the domain name hostilely.

I have no idea what it costs to actually dispute a domain's ownership, but it would seem like if you could get some legal claim to the name, and the squatter didn't, you might have a case.

ICANN's Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy is here. In particular, what you'd probably be trying to show is that the squatter is acting in bad faith; look under section 4b.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:38 PM on May 31, 2007

I take it you're after a .com domain. Have you considered the .org, .net, .info possibilities ?
posted by Baud at 10:46 PM on May 31, 2007

It's only worth that much money if you're willing to pay that much. That's what they're counting on.

That said, this is their first offer. You may not have exhausted the possibilities -- obviously, you have alternatives (another TLD, tacking on some word to your name, not using your name at all). If you're only willing to pay $100, offer that. Maybe they'll come down, especially if you are pretty firm. Maybe they'll even come down to a figure that's mutually acceptable. If you don't try, though, you'll never know how low they were really willing to go.

Kadin2048 makes a plausible suggestion. The trouble with using the UDRP, though, is that you have to proceed with getting a "Provider" (basically a private hearing officer -- and maybe more than one). That can run into the thousands of dollars. ICANN doesn't do it for you for free, in other words.

Also, what cowbellemoo said. Read 37signals on Getting Real about naming your app/website. 37signals has their product BaseCamp at, BackPack at, and so forth.
posted by dhartung at 12:07 AM on June 1, 2007

That was a great idea, gergtreble! My last name also ends in "in", and I am now the proud owner of an Indian domain name.

I didn't register my domain through them, but I discovered that IP Mirror sells almost every extension out there.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 1:11 AM on June 1, 2007

If a name has any cache then it may sell for bigger bucks. Maybe there are only two of you in your city but if it is also the name of someone famous for example, then you will be screwed. Try .net or .us or .whatever. For my domain name I wanted something specific that was not available in .com so I picked .net.
posted by JJ86 at 5:49 AM on June 1, 2007

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