laptop-new-extensionsImagine websites like Mercedes.Benz, Coca.Cola, Bud.Light, White.House, Disney.World. What if, instead of rolling out a handful of new domain extensions (like the proposed .xxx, .nyc, .web, etc.) each year, all possibilities of domain extensions were instantly available.

In this scenario, instead of picking from existing domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, you could simply choose a name to go before the dot, and a name to go after the dot. You could register Bluth.Company or Moes.Tavern for your business. You could register Kenny.Powers as your personal website or Bedford.Falls for your city.   The possibilities are almost endless.

This system could also disrupt current country code values, especially for the less adopted cTLDs.   Imagine being able to register .usa instead of sticking to .us. or .britain instead of .co.uk.

One of the reasons that new extensions have been relatively unsuccessful thus far is because it is hard to get the word out to the masses. Each new extension (think .mobi, .tel, .museum, .aero, .jobs or .travel) must face this uphill battle alone and attempt to tell the world that they exist. Years after launch, many people still have never heard of these new extensions that are currently available.

What happens if, instead of attempting to announce every new top level domain extension, the public begins to understand that two words connected by a dot signify a website address.

So how would it work? The new system would be similar to the old system in that you pick the part that goes before/to the left of the dot. Next, instead of choosing from a small list of possibilities for the extension, you would pick whatever you want to go after/to the right of the dot. If the combination was not already taken, you could register it. If the extension to the right of the dot did not exist, it would be created instantly. You could register whatever you want and create any extension you want.   Want to register pickle.donkeyknife as your site? Probably not – but you could.


So, would this really be a dot com killer?   Maybe eventually, but probably not anytime soon and perhaps not in our lifetime.   Even if this new system were possible, global advertising dollars and brands would likely still only promote their .com websites.   New TLD extensions have mainly been a footnote in the domain name story thus far and have served to reinforced the importance, trust, authority and value of a .com domain name.


laptop-offersLast Thursday, I received an email from my (redacted) account rep saying, “I hope this email finds you well. I have a buyer looking to buy a domain name and I’d like to include yours- **********.com- in my pitch to him. Would you be interested in selling this name at $700?”

I replied, “No thanks, I get pretty regular offers on that name and they are generally much higher. None that have tempted me to sell yet though.”

She replied, “What’s your asking price? Buyers will lowball you all day long if there isn’t a price expectation on there.”

I said, “If you have a buyer that wants this specific name, tell them to make their best offer and it needs to be a significant offer. If they are not looking specifically at this name, please offer them other names as I am not interested in selling to a buyer who is just looking for a deal on random names.”

She said, “It’s not just this specific buyer. If you’re looking for substantial offers from our marketplace, I recommend setting a price expectation on this name. otherwise, buyers will just lowball you all day long.”

I said, “Thanks for the advice, but as my ‘account manager’ you should be working to get me the maximum price for my names. If you are trying to help someone else get the lowest possible price at my expense, then you are not really servicing my account, you are servicing theirs and that sounds like a conflict of interest.”

She said, “Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office and will respond to your inquiries upon my return on Monday, March 8th, 2010. Please note that your email will not be forwarded. For immediate assistance, please contact my associate **** ******* at ****.*******@(redacted).com. I look forward to responding to your inquiries upon my return.
Have a great day!”

Out of the office? That was an unexpected twist just over an hour later. I got the first email inquiring about the name from her on Thursday at 2:58pm and she was already out of the office by 4:04pm that same day.

Friday, the next day:
I figured that she would respond on Monday when she returned, but then today I got an email inquiring about that same domain name directly from a company interested in purchasing it. I asked the buyer if they were the same ones that were trying to buy it through (redacted) on Thursday and they said yes.

So, is my (redacted) account manager simply trying to help me sell a name, or is she helping the buyer get the best deal possible by saying that this is just one of several names that she wanted to present to him?

I don’t have a problem with (redacted) trying to broker names, and I have had several good $xx,xxx sales in the past after being approached by a (redacted) broker, but I think it might be best if my account manager is not also the broker working for the other party.

Slow weekend, then Monday:
I got a response from my (redacted) account manager saying, “We have buyers and sellers looking to purchase domains all the time. If you are not interested in selling, then it’s not a big deal. We (redacted) can pitch other domains to the buyer. I would like to help you sell your domains at the best price to you possible. Feel free to name your price and I’ll see if the buyer is interested. If not, I’ll relay the message back to you and it’s up to you to decide what you would like to do from there.” Fair enough, if that is the full story, but she definitely still avoided telling me whether or not someone was directly inquiring about my specific domain name.

Fast forward to today:
After contacting me directly, the party interested in this domain has now made a  five figure offer as compared to the $700 suggestion presented to me by my (redacted) account manager.

I expect a few more chapters in this story, but for now I am not selling – I don’t like these games. Perhaps I should be less skeptical, or maybe I just need a new account manager – or a new parking company. 😕

2023 Update:  I did not publish this one back when I was actively blogging, and 13 years later now that I am publishing it seems pointless to call out a company that may no longer be employing this account manager.  Although my blogging days are mostly over, I reread this draft and decided to publish it now (with the names redacted) to show that sometimes brokers claiming to work for you do not necessarily have your best interests in mind.  I decided to not sell the domain name at that time, I did request a different account manager, and ultimately ended up pulling all my domain names from this company.  The company itself is not the problem, and they have delivered plenty of sales and parking revenue to domain owners over the years, this was simply a case of an account manager who may have valued a quick commission over the lifetime value of a client.


I typically like to wait for an end user to approach me with a good offer, however sometimes it is nice to just sell some domains on your own schedule. I have a couple of big purchases on the horizon, so this week I have been testing a few of the auction sites.

First, I went to Bido to see what it was all about. The system there did not seem very intuitive and it appears that you have to pay to list your names, then people have to vote on it, then if you get enough votes it goes to auction, and even then it may or may not sell. I started to list a name there and then canceled the listing and decided to try something else. I know that many people are happy with Bido and it sounds like it is improving each day, but I am just looking for something easier.

Next, I listed a small group of names on Godaddy Auctions. When you visit the Godaddy Auctions page, there is a link that says “list a domain” and you can list it as buy it now, offer/counter offer, offer/counter offer with buy it now, or a seven day auction. If you have names registered at Godaddy, you can also list a name by logging in to your account’s domain manager section, then selecting the name and clicking the tab “cash in” and selecting “List on GoDaddy Auctions.” The only difference here is that I was unable to select the 7 day auction. The buy it now, offer/counter offer, offer/counter offer with buy it now options were there, but no way to push a name from your account to an auction. I would like to be able to send a name from my account to a 7 day auction, and was unable to do so without leaving the account manager section, going to the auctions section, and then manually enter the name and selecting a 7 day auction. Am I missing something here?

I then remembered seeing a “List Now on SnapNames” link in my Moniker account so I decided to try that. I selected a small group of names from my Moniker account and clicked the “List Now on SnapNames” link. I was taken directly to SnapNames and was given the option to set the minimum bid price and auction start time. So far, I have found this to be the easiest way to sell names – just a few clicks and I was done.

If you are in no hurry to sell your names, I think the best places to list them are Sedo and Afternic. If you want to sell some right away, I think that Moniker to SnapNames system is the easiest. Let me know what you think though – where is the best place to sell your domain names?

DomainState.com is for sale
By Ryan | Posted in Forums.

Just received this via email:

After over 7 years of running Domainstate we have decided to sell the site. It is with a sad heart that we have realised that it is no longer something we can commit the same level of energy as we once did.

Our aim is to have the site sold within the next couple of weeks and we are considering offers now so any interested parties please contact us ASAP at admin@domainstate.com.

We’d recommend that anyone with any particularly sensitive information within their private messages take advantage of the archive/delete facility within the private messages section of the user control panel in anticipation of a change of ownership.

We’d like to thank everybody for their contributions to the site over the years and wish everyone well for the future.

Domainstate Admins

There is a thread to discuss this here:


Thanks to Snoopy, Matt and Safesys for creating such a great resource and best of luck with the sale and your future endeavors.


laptop-netsolTen years ago today, I registered my first domain name.   At the time, registrations cost $70 for two years.   Check out the scan of the invoice below.   Also, you did not have to pay right away.   You could actually register a name and they would send you a bill in the mail.   This resulted in the earliest form of “domain tasting” where someone could “register” a name and then try to sell it before they had to pay the bill.   If they sold it, they would pay the bill when it arrived and transfer the name to the buyer.   If they did not sell the name, the would simply not pay the bill.


Also, in case you are wondering, the domain I registered is one I use for my personal email address.   I still like it, but it does not have much resale value.   I didn’t start registering more valuable names until a few years later.


The Bobblehead KingThere was a special surprise at the registration desk given to the first 250 people who arrived at the TRAFFIC conference in New York; a custom Rick “The Domain King” Schwartz bobblehead. The custom bobblehead was produced by Bobbleheads.com owner Warren Royal and approved by the domain king himself. 250 of the bobbleheads were given to attendees of the TRAFFIC conference, and the remaining 250 limited edition bobbleheads are now available for purchase at Bobbleheads.com using the following link:


Update: Michael Berkins is auctioning a signed Rick Schwartz Bobblehead on ebay for charity, ending October 6, 2008.


Check out this great video by the guys at QuietLibrary.com. If you thought all the good names were taken, think again, …AND get your credit card ready!


Also, check out the Domain Name Dollar Store online at www.DomainNameDollarStore.com


Google digs digg!Google is arguable the best search engine out there, and yet when using it we sometimes get poor quality search results and “made for adsense” sites. In fact, many of us in the domain and/or SEO industry are responsible for some of those sites. What is a “made for adsense” site? Well, they can be one page landers or they can be large, multi-page websites and they typically have 3 adsense ad areas per page. On the surface, they seem to contain relevant content, but when you actually read the text you discover that it is keyword rich and information poor. For example, here is an excerpt from a site that I would classify as “made for adsense”

Bacardi’s current headquarters and main production facility is situated most fittingly at an island in the Caribbean known as Puerto Rico. It is at the capital of this Caribbean paradise that one of Bacardi’s major facilities is situated.

What? Did it just take 38 words to say “Bacardi is located in Puerto Rico” 🙄

This is where the Digg voting method could help the search results. Google could display their search results along with a way to vote on the results. Useful sites get voted up, bad sites get voted down. This social search feature would not replace their algorithm, it would likely be one additional factor that they could use to improve the results or pagerank. They could also add digg style reviews or comments for each site.

Keep in mind that this is all simply speculation, but perhaps it is part of the motivation behind the rumored Google purchase of Digg. Obviously, any changes to the Google algorithm will have massive impact on domainers and site owners. If people are able to review site content, it could be bad news for meaningless “made for adsense” sites. On the other hand, it could be good news for people who develop sites with great and unique content. Content (ideally combined with a great domain name) is and always has been king, so those who develop quality sites with great content should have nothing to worry about.


Sold!The auction for Video.us ended at 12pm this afternoon, and this time it sold for $12,000. The name sold for $75,000 last year and then $18,500 earlier this year.

Check out Ron Jackson’s recent post on DNJournal.com for more information about the strange history of this domain name:

In the past 15 months, two previous owners lost big bucks after buying Video.us only to see the registry delete the domain for Nexus/WhoIs violations. Now we will see if the third time is the charm for this star-crossed domain. The story began in April 2007 when a European company bought the domain from its American owner for $75,000 (the highest reported price for a .us domain to date).

Read more…


The puzzle image on the home page is a good fit for this puzzling name.

Ok, so I think I found the worst company name ever combined with the worst choice for domain names ever. This one is so bad, it might even make Aaron from good URL bad URL cry. It is so bad that I had to stop and take a picture of it (check out the picture below). My wife and I were driving to a restaurant when I noticed a sign with a company name – TranDotCom. I said “Hey, that’s a pretty good domain name, Tran.com.” My wife said, “Yeah, but why did they spell out the dot, instead of just using the symbol?”

Company Sign

I quickly pulled out my iPhone and entered “Tran.com” and sure enough, they do not own it. I said, “you don’t think…” and then entered “TranDotCom.com” which not only worked, but made the story even better. TranDotCom.com actually redirects to their company site at “www.TranDotCom.info.” Yep, that’s right, their company website is officially TranDotCom.info. I’m sure they are a great company, but I wonder how much time they waste just explaining their website address to people.

Can you imagine working for that company and talking to a customer on the phone.

Employee: Hello and thank you for calling TranDotCom.
Customer: Hi, I visited Tran.com and I could not find out anything about your company.
Employee: What website did you visit?
Customer: Tran.com
Employee: Oh, our website is actually TranDotCom.info.
Customer: Well, I just entered Tran.com.info and nothing happened.
Employee: Would you prefer to just send us an email?
Customer: Sure, what is your email address?
Employee: Our email address is info@TranDotCom.info
Customer: Ok, got it. info@tran.com.info

Actually, I think that they probably had a few too many conversations like that because after reviewing their website, it appears that for email they are using tdcemail.com. 🙄

Bonus Picture: Employee of the month parking spot
Employee of the Month Parking
Understandably, the employee in charge of domain name selection has never parked there.

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