Should A Startup Spend VC Funding On A Domain Name?

The ff Venture Capital portfolio is evidence of how much we believe this, e.g., our companies Alerts.com, Gobbler.com, Identified.com, Patents.com, Phone.com, and Plated.com. The awesome story of how CEO Joe Fernandez bought the Klout.com domain is one of many reasons we were excited to lead the seed round in Klout.  I was formerly Founder/CEO of a domain name investment bank, and still own about a hundred domain names personally.

A good domain name can catch attention, biasing people to prefer your company over competitors, and making it easy to reach the website if and when they decide to use it. A bad domain name can sink you.  Like a storefront and location in the offline world, your domain name is the very first vehicle by which potential investors/customers/employees evaluate your company before they even engage. There are three main factors to consider…

via Forbes http://www.shti.cc/3sCu

 

Michelin Guide Obviously Not Happy About Prank Website, Michel In Guides – Website of the Day – Eater National

Oops: the good people over at the Michelin Guides did not register the domain name michelinguides.com, or let it lapse, or something, and now it’s part of a soccer joke. A British prankster named Adam Mascall purchased the name for a mere £6 US $9.42, and then proceeded to put up what he is calling Michel in Guides. It’s a website dedicated to French soccer star Michel Platini, and, according to the site’s Twitter account, ” his life if he were in the Girl Guides” a sort of British Girl Scout. It’s just photo after photoshopped photo of Michel Platini dressed as a Girl Guide.

via Michelin Guide Obviously Not Happy About Prank Website, Michel In Guides – Website of the Day – Eater National.

Apple’s AppStore.com makes stealth Super Bowl debut | Apple – CNET News

Apple may not have its own Super Bowl ad today, but the company quietly launched a new product effort during someone else’s ad spot.

At the end of the commercial for the upcoming “Star Trek: Into Darkness” film, Paramount flashed a quick promotion for its iOS app, complete with an AppStore.com link that takes people right to it. In function it’s identical to what Apple already uses through its iTunes links, but this one’s designed so that people can quickly type it into a mobile device or remember it for later.

Whatever’s after AppStore.com can be changed by developers, which in this case is AppStore.com/StarTrekApp. Developers can pick this out when submitting an app, or plug their company name into it to do a search for multiple apps on the App Store.

via Apple’s AppStore.com makes stealth Super Bowl debut | Apple – CNET News.

Meet Page Howe, He Made Millions Selling 2 Of The World’s Most Expensive Domain Names In The Same Year – Business Insider

In 2002, Howe’s company sold all but 20 of the 4,000 domains. It kept Seniors.com and Guy.com. The following year, Howe began playing around on a forum for domain sellers, DNForum.com. He’d scroll through all the names people didn’t want as he tried to cheaply build up his portfolio again.

“There were maybe 15 good domains each day and I knew that ten of them were names that everybody knew about,” Howe told Jackson. “So I would try to get the other five that I had identified through hard work. My edge was being a professional, doing it full time, searching every day and not just relying on a computer to filter names but literally looking at the lists myself. I was trying to get strong names at the lowest price I could, knowing that I couldn’t get the best names because I wasn’t funded well enough.”

In 2007, Howe’s company sold both Guy.com and Seniors.com for seven figures, four months apart.

Although those two ended up being big wins, Howe did let some domains slip through his fingers. Basic Fusion had owned GasPrices.com, but sold it for $8,000. A few years later it was acquired for $225,000.

Howe still runs his own domain marketplace for the “average joe” buyer called Joe Domains, and he’s the president of BigNameHunters. Howe and his companies own about 25,000 domains total, and they generate between $25,000 to $50,000 in monthly sales.

For more on Howe’s domain flipping career, watch his 2011 video interview with Domain Sherpa. If you can make it through the first minute or two of ads, Howe offers a lot of great business insight.

via Meet Page Howe, He Made Millions Selling 2 Of The World’s Most Expensive Domain Names In The Same Year – Business Insider.

10 Frustrating Things That Happen in the Business of Domain Investing | Elliot’s Blog

  • Last second backorders by several people at NameJet on a domain name that had no bids
  • Forum know it alls who only post when they can put down someone else
  • $60 offers on SedoPrivate negotiations that are sent to auction on Sedo

via 10 Frustrating Things That Happen in the Business of Domain Investing | Elliot’s Blog.

2012 – A Year of Failures | Impulse Communications Corp.: Domain Names and Making Money Online: Domain Names and Making Money Online

Domain Parking – When I shut down my minisites, I switched all 5000 of my unused domains to Frank Schilling’s internettraffic.com domain parking and sales service. So far the parking is making 4-5 times what I was making several years ago when I had the same domains parked. Their sales platform is good and easy to use, although I am not sure if I have sold any additional domains because of it.

Domain Sales – Sales of my domain names have been going strong. I hardly ever make any big sales anymore, but I have just as many small ones $500 – $5000 ones as ever. Now that domain parking income is almost paying for my annual domain fees, it takes the pressure off for me having to sell domains just to pay the fees.

via 2012 – A Year of Failures | Impulse Communications Corp.: Domain Names and Making Money Online: Domain Names and Making Money Online.

InternetTraffic becomes more flexible for smaller portfolios – Hybrid Domainer

With Frank opening the platform to more and more domainers that don’t possess the big time parking revenue the $500 threshold to get paid seemed daunting.

Now that InternetTraffic has added a paypal option, I emailed John Smrekar and he told me that the min payout for Paypal is $100, even though the terms of service say $500.

This is a nice move on their part and more domainers will be able to meet the monthly minimum.

via InternetTraffic becomes more flexible for smaller portfolios – Hybrid Domainer.

DomainNameSales Goes on a Tear With a Hand in  EVERY ONE of This  Week’s 11 BIggest Domain Sales – DN Journal

Line.com $118,000 DomainNameSales

2. Glamorous.com $115,000 DomainNameSales/DomainAdvisors

3. Fobo.com $57,500 DomainNameSales

4. LifePrograms.com $55,000 DomainNameSales

5. Zebu.com $40,000 DomainNameSales

6. FirstNames.com $30,000 DomainNameSales

7. ArrestRecord.com $27,500 DomainNameSales

8 BuyGoldBullion.com $25,400 DomainNamesSales/DomainAdvisors

9. tie CDKeys.com $25,000 DomainNameSales

9. tie RGP.net $25,000 DomainNameSales/DomainAdvisors

via DomainNameSales Goes on a Tear With a Hand in  EVERY ONE of This  Week’s 11 BIggest Domain Sales.

What kind of domains are selling for under $1,000? – Domain Name Wire

4. In other cases, the domains could have just as easily sold for $1k-$3k. These domains look like ones that I wouldn’t be surprised to see sell for more than $1,000:

Chartmate.com $865

FruitfulThinking.com $895

NeighborhoodSocial.com $688

UnleashFitness.com $688

via What kind of domains are selling for under $1,000? – Domain Name Wire.

A shady domain broker practice – Domain Name Wire

The broker doesn’t really have a buyer for the specific domain, but wants to get the domain owner to agree to have the broker find a buyer for it based on this lie.

Essentially, the broker uses the lie that someone is interested in the domain in order to get a “listing” from the owner. He then works his contacts to try to sell the domain shortly after getting the commitment.

via A shady domain broker practice – Domain Name Wire.

Think longer when regging names to save yourself money – Hybrid Domainer

If you think its a name you are going to develop or hold onto for years then you can take advantage of the pricing at Name.com. Name.com offers $10.99 registrations for .tv the cheapest in the industry. You can get that price for multi year registrations. If you only reg it for one year because you are not sure about the name or you just don’t like to register for more than one year, you are costing yourself money. The renewal is $35 for a .tv, of course you could transfer out and find a $24 transfer/renewal.

That is still costing you more money than regging a name for 4 years at $10.99 and not having to worry about renewals.

via Think longer when regging names to save yourself money – Hybrid Domainer.

Tip To Find a Domain Buyer Contact Email | Elliot’s Blog

That said, it seems that most operational websites, especially those with an ecommerce component, have a privacy page. Many of these privacy pages are created by privacy policy page generators, which means many have one thing in common: a contact email address. This can be used to quickly and easily get in touch with the owner of the domain name.

via Tip To Find a Domain Buyer Contact Email | Elliot’s Blog.

Jamie Zoch Rebrands Zearn to Drop Alert | Elliot’s Blog

This evening, Jamie announced (via Facebook) that the platform’s name was changing from Zearn to Drop Alert. Based on his announcement, it would seem that someone acquired the Zearn.com domain name from him, and that was the impetus for the rebranding.

Whatever the case may be, I personally like the move because Drop Alert sounds more appropriate than Zearn, especially because it’s a new brand with limited marketing spend.

via Jamie Zoch Rebrands Zearn to Drop Alert | Elliot’s Blog.

Craig Agranoff: Domain Names, Trademarks and Infringements

Now the ABC-123 Toy Company owns the trademark for “ABC 123” and has decided to begin a new toy line under the name. They registered the TM a couple of years before, but have not been using it up to this point. When they go to register the domain, they see that the domain owner who recently purchased the domain is asking $10,000 for it.

They have three options: offer to buy it, sue to take it, or inform the owner of the infringement and see if he or she will hand it over. In the first case, a lot of trouble and attorney fees can be saved, but a lot of money is spent regardlessly. In the second case, the fight could drag out and end up costing more than the purchase price. In the third case, the seller may not have any plans to hand it over and might jack up the price now that he knows someone really wants it.

Except that in the third case, the seller has now been informed that someone owns the TM for the domain they have and so the only legal buyer is now the ABC-123 Toy Company. If the seller attempts to sell to another party, or does sell to another party, then the seller or the new owner can be taken to arbitration and will almost certainly lose the domain with no recompense from ABC-123 because the seller had previously been informed that the domain name infringed on a trademark.

That opens a new can of worms for the seller, who is now likely liable under the law for fraud.

via Craig Agranoff: Domain Names, Trademarks and Infringements.

What happens after domain names expire? | Go Daddy Help | Go Daddy Support

What happens after domain names expire?
Date Submitted: 11-15-2012
Once a domain name expires, it goes through many stages before being released to the open market. Go Daddy sends five renewal emails to the domain name’s administrative contact prior to the expiration date. Below is a timeline based on .com domain names. NOTE: These timelines do not apply to ccTLD domain names.

  • Days after expiration ActionDay 1 We make the first of three billing attempts to renew the domain name. If the billing fails, the domain name expires. The domain name can be renewed by the registrant at no extra cost.
  • Day 5 We make the second billing attempt. If the billing fails again, the domain name is parked. The domain name can still be renewed by the registrant at no extra cost.
  • Day 12 We make the third and final attempt to renew the domain name. The domain name can still be renewable by the registrant at no extra cost.
  • Day 19 The domain name can be renewed by the registrant for the cost of a one-year renewal plus an $80.00 redemption fee.
  • Day 26 We add the domain name to an expired domain name auction.
  • Day 36 The expired domain name auction ends. If there are no backorders and no bidders in the expired domain name auction, we list the domain name in a closeout auction.
  • Day 41 The closeout auction ends.
  • Day 43 We assign the domain name to the winner of the expired domain name auction, backorder, or closeout. If there are no bidders, we return the domain name to the registry.
  • Note: A registrant can renew an expired domain name at no extra cost up to day 18. If they renew an expired domain name anytime between day 19 and day 42, they must also pay an $80.00 redemption fee. The domain name cannot be renewed after day 42.

via What happens after domain names expire? | Go Daddy Help | Go Daddy Support.

Domain Name Drop Times and Partner Domains

Another favorite DotWeekly post salvaged from archive.org  It’s likely that some of this info has changed since 2008

posted by Jamie Zoch in March 3rd, 2008

Domain Name Drop Times

.com & .net = 1:00-2:15 PM Central Standard Time

.org = 8:30-9:30 AM Central Standard Time

.info = 3:30-4:00 AM Central Standard Time

.biz = 1:30-2:00 AM Central Standard Time

.us = 12:00-12:30 AM Central Standard Time

 

ALL .com & .net domain names that you Really want should be back ordered via a 3rd party drop cathing service like SnapNames.com or NameJet.com. If you are interested in trying to “grab” or register the domain name as it becomes available, you can do this now the AGP process has been adjusted. Again, it’s best to use SnapNames if you really want the domain as it increases your chances greatly.

Partner Domains

There are also domains that are considered “partner” domains. Partner domains are domain names that are registered threw certain registrars which partner with auction services. Another plus about getting a partnered domain compared to a Pending Delete domain, is the partnered domain will NOT lose it’s original registration date and it will hold it’s “age” which is a big plus for SEO. (Search Engine Optimization)

If a domain is not back ordered, or no bids are placed at one of the below auction services, then the domain name goes threw the normal drop process and at some point will go into Pending Delete and “drop” after being in the Pending Delete status for 5 days and drop on the 6th day.

To find out who a domain name is registered threw, use a Domain Name Whois service like www.Whois.sc .

If a domain name expires and is registered at NetworkSolutions.com, Enom.com, NameSecure.com, BulkRegister.com and several other Enom Reseller accounts, the domain will Always go to NameJet.com auction service.

Domain Names with Godaddy.com or Wild West Domains all go to Auction.Godaddy auction service.

Domains registered with the registrar Melbourne IT, go to Afternic.com auction service.

Domians registered with Moniker.com, MyDomain.com, Register.com, Dotster.com, Answerable.com and any Registrar that looks like answerable.com go to SnapNames.com auction service.

You will need to place a Back Order for the domain. NameJet.com uses Pre-Release, but SnapNames and Pool use back ordering. If you are the only person to back order, you will get the domain for the min back order price. If their is more then one back order, a 3 day auction will take place.

Jamie Zoch

Expired Godaddy Domain Name Information

Jamie’s site, DotWeekly.com fell off the internet. Fortunately for us, I was able to find some of his posts available at archive.org. Things may have changed since Jamie published this.
posted by Jamie Zoch in February 3rd, 2010

Have you been watching a domain names expire date that is registered with the domain name registrar Godaddy.com and hoping it will expire? Maybe you wonder what happens to a domain name when it expires at Godaddy.com? In this post I will provide all the details you need to know and understand about expired domain names registered with the domain name registrar Godaddy.com .

Godaddy has an in-house domain name auction service and all of it’s expired domain names end up there. The name used for this part of it’s site is call Godaddy Auctions.

Type Of Auctions

There is not only expired domain names at Godaddy Auctions. There is a mix of expired domain names and domain names listed by members. By clicking on a domain (at auction) you can clearly see what type of listing it is by looking at the Sale Type. If the sale type is Expired, then it is an expired domain name auction. Member listed domain names sale type will include Buy Now , Offer/Counter Offer or Offer/Counter Offer with Buy Now.

Expire Timeline

If you happen to be watching a specific domain name using the whois system and the expire date is coming up, when may the domain name reach auction? The first thing you need to understand is that many people wait until the last minute to renew. The expire date is a little deceiving as well.

If the expire date is reached:

  • 25 days after the expire date is when the auction would start
  • Auction length is 10 days
  • You receive the domain 5-7 days after that

Keep in mind that the previous owner has all those days to still use redemption to renew the domain name. If you win the auction, pay for the domain name and the old owner uses the redemption option, you get a refund from Godaddy and the old owner keeps the domain name! This does happen but not very much when the auction runs it’s full process. The domain name is more likely to get renewed during the 10 day auction if at all.

If no bids are placed during the auction, Godaddy then runs a Fire Sale on the domain name. The first day of the fire sale, the domain is priced at $9 buy it now. The second day if not purchased is $8 and all the way down to $5 on the 5th day of fire sale. Each domain purchased is the price of the auction + domain name renewal fees (normal renewal fees).

Redemption time frame and fees

If you happen to be the owner of an expired domain name, the following are the fees and time frame of those fees to use the redemption

Days Late 1 – 25 is $0
Days Late 26 – 32 is $20
Days Late 33(plus) is $80

You will also have to add on the domain renewal fee. The prices stated above are only the redemption fees.

Auto Renew Period

So you were watching a specific domain name and it reached the expire date but when you checked the domain name whois again, it “looks like” the domain name was renewed for another year? This is likely Auto Renew Period. A domain name registrar that auctions expired domain name will automatically extend renewal for one year, so they can auction off the domain name. Although the auto renew function is used, the auto renew can be removed by the domain name registrar and the domain name can continue the expiring process if no bids are place on the domain name.

If no bids were placed during the auction and the old owner did not renew, on the 71st day after the expire date, the domain name status would turn to PendingDelete. The PendingDelete status lasts for 5 days. On the 76th day the domain name will be removed from the registry and be available for public registration.

Small Tid Bits

Q.) What if somebody wins the auction and doesn’t pay?

A.) If you were the second highest bidder, Godaddy will ask if you would still like to purchase the domain and the bid price will be lowered to the point where you would of won the auction if the highest bidder didn’t bid it up.

Q.) Are the answers above for all TLD’s?

A.) No. They cover the most popular like .com, .net and .org. The auction process may differ a little depending on some specific TLD’s.

Q.) How do I tell if an expired domain name is in Auto Renew status?

A.) For Godaddy, if you visit the domain name directly in your address bar (direct navigation), on the top of the screen it will say the domain name expired on a specific date and is pending renewal or deletion like below

That is the best way to tell if the domain name is still expired or not as Auto Renew does not always show up in whois data. I have seen autorenew in .org whois records but not for .com or .net domains.

Q.) What time do Godaddy Auction end at?

A.) Godaddy auctions end at all different times of the day, even on weekends. Each auction will specifically show it’s ending time.

I hope this answers some or all of the questions you may have that are not always displayed very clearly. If I happened not to answer your question, please feel free to contact me or post a comment below and I will reply.

Getting Paid for Premium Listings | Go Daddy Help | Go Daddy Support

Trying to figure out how to add payee acct. info to all Premium Listings rather than just one at a time. Here’s what support said:

Thank you for contacting Online Support.
You would simply need to enable your Payee account, this account will be used for any payout for any of your Premium Listings. Unless you create Multiple Payee accounts then you would need to assign them as needed. If you have any further questions or concerns do not hesitate to reply to this email.

Which for me suggests I delete one of the Payees on my account.

If Your Premium Listing Sells on Go Daddy Auctions®

Payment differs depending on the selling price of the Premium Listing.

  • When a Premium Listing Sells for Less Than $1,000:
    • We deduct a 10 percent commission from the sale price of a domain name.
    • After the sale, we hold the funds for 20 days, beginning on the date the buyer paid for the domain name. This is called the Transaction Assurance period.
    • We release the funds on the 21st day. It might take up to five business days to submit the funds to the PayPal or Good As Gold account you entered when listing the domain name.
    • If more than 26 days has passed since you received notice of the buyer’s payment, you can contact disputes@tdnam.com to see if the buyer filed a dispute for non-receipt of the domain name.
  • When a Premium Listing Sells for $1,000 or More:
    • We deduct a 10 percent commission (includes escrow) from the sale price of the domain name.
    • We process Premium Listings through Escrow.com, an escrow service that deducts processing fees from your proceeds. The buyer submits funds to Escrow.com, which holds the funds in a non-interest bearing account, and then pays you by an Escrow.com check, ACH, or wire transfer.
    • Escrow.com verifies the funds and notifies you. You initiate moving the domain name. When the buyer receives the domain name, the buyer notifies Escrow.com, and then Escrow.com releases the funds to you.

If Your Premium Listing Sells on GoDaddy.com

We deduct a 30 percent commission from the sale price of your Premium Listing.

When your Premium Listing sells, we hold the funds for five days to prevent fraud. After the holding period, how quickly you receive funds depends on the payment method you selected in the Domain Manager:

  • Electronic (ACH) — Processed the same day and remitted within two business days, depending on your financial institution
  • PayPal® — Processed the same day and remitted within one business day
  • Good As Gold — Processed the same day and remitted within one business day
  • Check— Processed weekly and mailed to you within 9 business daysNOTE: If you do not select a payment method, we will send you a check by default. Starting Jan. 1, 2013, we will deduct a $25 processing fee from check payments.

For more information about receiving payment for Premium Listings, see Getting Paid for Premium Listings

To Add Payee Accounts to Your Premium Listings

  1. Log in to your Account Manager.
  2. Next to Domains, click Launch. The Domain Manager displays.
  3. From Buy/Sell, select Premium Listings. Your Premium Listings display.
  4. In the Account column, click Add payee account for the listing you want to update. (If necessary, scroll your Web page to the right to view this column.) The Edit Premium Listing window displays.
  5. To use an existing payee account, select it from the Payee account list.
  6. To create a new payee account, click Manage payee accounts, and then do the following:
    1. On the Payee Accounts page, click Add Payee.
    2. Complete the required fields, and then click Save Changes. For more information, see Entering Payee Tax Information.
    3. Return to the Domain Manager, and then select the new Payee account.
  7. Read the legal agreements that display, and then select I have read and agree to the terms and conditions.
  8. Click OK. A confirmation message displays.
  9. Click OK.

via Getting Paid for Premium Listings | Go Daddy Help | Go Daddy Support.