Domain Squatters
July 19, 2004 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Domain Squating. These people have a domain I want. Are they reputable? Anyone dealt with them, or companies like them? Is it generally safe to send companies like this $50 in order to get the domain I want? Or is it all a scam?
posted by ChasFile to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sedo is a respectable company, I sold some domains there a while ago. They made a good job.
posted by tcp at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2004

They made did a good job.
posted by tcp at 12:15 PM on July 19, 2004

A domain name is worth about $9.95. Please don't encourage the speculators to try to sell more unused namespace.
posted by majick at 12:22 PM on July 19, 2004

majick, there are situations in which a domain sale makes sense IMO. I was lucky and registered a pretty frequented domain name in the mid-90s but later on I didn't have the time to maintain it any longer, I could have let the site fall asleep but decided to sell it (for a rather small amount). Of course I could just have cancelled the domain, but I was young and needed the money :o)

A domain name is worth the amount someone is willing to pay for it, blame it on capitalism. Someone who is willing to pay a high amount of money for a domain will for sure buy it in order to make money.

ChasFile: use Sedo's escrow service, it served me well back in the days.
posted by tcp at 12:45 PM on July 19, 2004

Sell all the domains you want, but seriously, don't buy them from people like this. Just find yourself a new domain that's available. It's cheaper and you won't be encouraging squatters.
posted by bshort at 2:06 PM on July 19, 2004

A "squatter' would be someone who registers a domain named the same as an existing (preferably large) company that doesn't yet have an Internet presence, in the hopes of extracting a large payment from them when they decide to set up a Web site. There are basically no real squatters these days because 1) there are very few existing big companies that don't already have their domain, and 2) the domain dispute resolution rules now favor the registered trademark holder.

Speculation is a common feature of markets, and there is no reason to discourage it in itself.
posted by kindall at 2:42 PM on July 19, 2004

What kindall said.

A friend of mine recently bought the .com domain for his compay name for several thousand dollars because it is worth it to him to both the top-level domain name as well as the one. This is not squatting, just speculation on the part of the person he bought it from that it would be worth something one day. For $50, it hardly seems worth it, but you may have some success with offering them a lower price, as my friend did, given that the bottom has fallen out of the market somewhat. If it is worth $50 to you, buy it. If not, don't. It is as simple as that.
posted by dg at 3:06 PM on July 19, 2004

If it is worth $50 to you, buy it. If not, don't. It is as simple as that.

I was more interested in the idea of doing this than the actual price. I haven't even really thoroughly checked out what it would cost; I pulled the number 50 entirely out of the air. I just thought to myself, "Whats to stop these guys from billing my credit card and then not handing over anything to me?" and "Once they have me on the hook and know I'll pay $9.95, what's to keep them from pulling the old-bait and switch and charging me 10x that amount because they know I want the domain?" and the only answers I could come up with were "ethics" and "nothing." So I was wondering if anyone had experience with this, that's all.

Thanks for the help and answers so far, though, all very helpful.
posted by ChasFile at 10:42 PM on July 19, 2004

>Whats to stop these guys from billing my credit card and then not handing over anything to me?

You reversing the charges. Without even so much as a signiture on a bill of sale, they lose. Period. Absolutely, positively, no argument about this (unless, of course, you work at a major credit card company and disagree / have real life experiences to the contrary).
posted by shepd at 5:05 AM on July 20, 2004

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