Home – New Forums Tech talk Selling domain names at exorbitant prices – is that legal???

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  • #990016
    MarketingHat
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    Hi all,
    I enquired about purchasing a domain name that has been bought but not used and received a response from Fairfax Media asking for $8000! There is a law against scalping concert tickets – how do they get away with this?
    regards
    Marian

    #1174945
    arrowwise
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    Are Fairfax Media the actual owner of the domain? If they are they have every right to sell it for whatever price they want – regardless of whether it is being used or not.

    Where the law becomes murky is when third party companies (who don’t own the actual domain) may trick you to renew a domain you own at a higher than market price or try to sell you a domain they do not have full authority on.

    #1174946
    Commander
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    Hi Marian,

    I’m more familiar with this age old problem in the UK, but I’m pretty sure there’s no laws against it unfortunately.

    A lot of individuals make a heap of money by buying domain names of people who, for example, appear in the early stages of the talent show The X-Factor, then sell them at these extortionate prices when the person eventually becomes famous.

    I know there are some ways to get your hands on that domain I’m sure, I had a friend that had a similar issue.

    Good Luck!!

    #1174947
    TehCamel
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    if it’s an Australian domain name, (.com.au or .net.au) then they usually need a reason to be registering it.

    you might have some luck complaining to AUDA, the policy here has some interesting bits,

    http://www.auda.org.au/policies/2012-04/

    “Prohibition on registering domain names for sole purpose of resale
    8. A registrant may not register a domain name for the sole purpose of resale or transfer to another entity.”

    there’s also the ““close and substantial connection” rule, although that ties in with the “monetisation” rule, which also ties in with the “content must be relevant” rule.

    you could try lodging a complaint with AUDA to see if they would drop it.. assuming that:
    1 they don’t have a close & substantial connection (whichi might be hard to prove)
    2. they aren’t monetising it
    3. the content isn’t relevant (if there’s no content, then it’s not relevant..)

    add to your complaint the fact that they tried to sell it to you for $8k

    if it’s not a .AU domain.. there may be similar rules, i’m not sure

    #1174948
    adrian
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    Unless it’s violating a trademark you’re almost certainly out of luck. Instead of wasting time being annoyed, just grab something else. Here’s the sites I tend to use:

    http://impossibility.org/
    http://www.leandomainsearch.com/
    http://www.panabee.com/
    https://domainr.com/
    https://iwantmyname.com/

    Good luck!

    #1174949
    James
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    Unfortunately it’s not worth your time pursuing the domain unless you own the trademark. Even then the domain registrant would have to be in clear violation of your trademark.

    The practice of domain investment certainly has a bad reputation but for the most part is entirely legal – and in my eyes perfectly ethical.

    Domains operate on a first come first served basis and unfortunately it’s something we have to accept. Investing in domains was once a huge risk, just like every other business. It has only recently started to pay off for the investors. In my eyes they actually deserve a pat on the back for correctly assessing the risk. I would like to be in their shoes.

    Even if domains were allocated in some sort of priority order, and domain investment was illegal, it’s safe to say that the queue of suitors for an $8000 domain would have started 10 or 15 years ago, and you would still be in the same predicament.

    Unfortunately your best option is to look at other domains.

    #1174950
    Zava Design
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    Yep, concur with the others. What’s the difference from buying a piece of “real world” property and just sitting on it?

    And in some cases it’s also about being creative. I’m sitting on a few domains myself, short 5 or 6 letter .com’s, that don’t really mean anything but sound kind of funky, and I’m taking the chance (at an investment of $10/year each) that someone might want to buy them in the future.

    I sold one domain a year or so back, vidcrowd.com, for a couple of grand. I did have half an idea of what I might potentially use it for myself, but then the offer came and and so decided to sell. Seems like the current owner hasn’t done anything with it, so who knows perhaps he’s sitting on it too?

    #1174951
    Zava Design
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    Also look for branding domains rather than service/product specific domains (which add zero to SEO nowadays due to the abuse they’ve gone through).

    Example: Five or six years ago I was looking for a new domain name for my web design business, I had used another name for a couple of years but only on a part-time basis, and wasn’t particularly enamoured with it as it was one of those names you always needed to spell (never a good option for a domain). So I spent a few days looking through the various expired domain lists, looking for something with “design” or “media” in it, or something that just spoke to me AND would be relatively easy to remember.

    And along came “zavadesign.com”… “zava”, how simple was that to remember! And now I also own “zavahost”, “zavamail”. And the 4 letter Oz domain “zava.com.au”, which I would use if I didn’t also have a sizable international clientele.

    Be creative!

    #1174952
    JamesNorquay
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    A domain is like waterfront property the good ones will be expensive and the bad ones will be cheap.

    Why complain if they purchased the domain 15 years ago and you missed out. They are free to ask what ever price they want.

    You also need to bear in mind that no offer is final and Fairfax seem keen to sell domains.

    If some one offers $8,000 do some research onto the past sales and counter with an offer of $2500 for example.

    For example recently I wanted to buy a domain in the US a .com, I send a message asking a price I said what are you asking the seller replied – $27,000 I said get real theirs probably 10 end users for this term. I said I will offer you $2,000 if you want to sell now or keep paying reg fees. HE instantly countered for $4,000 because he knew I was serious. Then I think the sale price was like $2700 (10% of what he was originally asking)

    Moral of the story is negotiate and stop crying about it.

    #1174953
    Peter Mead
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    JamesNorquay, post: 203646 wrote:
    A domain is like waterfront property the good ones will be expensive and the bad ones will be cheap.
    ….

    Absolutely James, the good names are only maturing with age, and will go up in value. And for good reason.

    JamesNorquay, post: 203646 wrote:
    You also need to bear in mind that no offer is final and Fairfax seem keen to sell domains….

    Negotiate with these guys to get a fair price. They are very experienced and understand the value of good domains.

    At the end of the day, a premium domain won’t come cheap.

    #1174954
    MatthewKeath
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    Agree with the rest of the posters – supply and demand.

    I don’t think scalping tickets should be illegal either.

    #1174955
    MichaelDigital
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    MarketingHat, post: 203540 wrote:
    Hi all,
    I enquired about purchasing a domain name that has been bought but not used and received a response from Fairfax Media asking for $8000! There is a law against scalping concert tickets – how do they get away with this?
    regards
    Marian

    The world is made up of people who position themselves to profit by what other want and need – if you happen to possess something someone else values you have the right to sell this item for whatever the other person will pay. If you don’t want to pay you don’t have to – no one is forcing you. You can negotiate, make the guy an offer, he can only say “No, sorry”, or he might say OK I see your need and 3 grand is better than no grand. Domain names are no different to other commodities some of them fetch millions of dollars, I think ‘pizza.com’ went for over a million – more often less. It depends how badly you want the name, how profitable it could be for you. The real estate of the internet is becoming more valuable as the online world grows ever more central to our lives, to our commercial world – there is always the fact that names do not have the same significance online as they once did – you do not have to have an exact match domain to succeed (Google.com, Yahoo.com, eBay.com). there is nothing illegal in selling real estate, there is nothing illegal about selling domain names, it is all about perceived value.

    #1174956
    JamesNorquay
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    MatthewKeath, post: 203667 wrote:
    Agree with the rest of the posters – supply and demand.

    I don’t think scalping tickets should be illegal either.

    Scalping tickets is very different if you buy 1000x tickets using fake names and automated process and then only 1,500 tickets are listed. Then 999 people are missing out on attending a specific event because someone is trying to “game” the system this way. This is what Ticket Scalpers usually do.

    Compare that with a domain name –

    You buy ONE GENERIC domain name 10 years ago for say $200, you pay 10 years worth of renewal fee’s. It is like buying an asset and if it is relevant to your business then you 100% have the right to own it because you have been holding the relevant business domain for a long time.

    People who claim it is unfair need to wake up to them selves and go and find another domain.

    #1174957
    Jenny Spring
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    MarketingHat, post: 203540 wrote:
    Hi all,
    I enquired about purchasing a domain name that has been bought but not used and received a response from Fairfax Media asking for $8000! There is a law against scalping concert tickets – how do they get away with this?
    regards
    Marian

    It is a business. Buy domain names and sell them.

    #1174958
    MatthewKeath
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    JamesNorquay, post: 203670 wrote:
    Scalping tickets is very different if you buy 1000x tickets using fake names and automated process and then only 1,500 tickets are listed. Then 999 people are missing out on attending a specific event because someone is trying to “game” the system this way. This is what Ticket Scalpers usually do.

    Compare that with a domain name –

    You buy ONE GENERIC domain name 10 years ago for say $200, you pay 10 years worth of renewal fee’s. It is like buying an asset and if it is relevant to your business then you 100% have the right to own it because you have been holding the relevant business domain for a long time.

    People who claim it is unfair need to wake up to them selves and go and find another domain.They don’t miss out – they can buy the tickets if they like.

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