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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

How much would it typically cost to purchase a parked domain?

I bought the domain for "get[ProductName].com" because it was open and I'm wondering whether it's worth it to try to negotiate with the owner of [ProductName].com.

I'm on a pretty low budget, and looks like it's a monetized parked domain, and I'm looking at spending maybe $50-$100 tops, so I'm more or less guessing it's not gonna happen. 

How much of a difference do you think it'd make, and would it be worth it to switch after I can afford it? (redirecting of course)  Or would it just kill and SEO I may have built up and I'd be better off redirecting to my current domain?  (Don't actually have a site up yet)

Probably assumed, but I'll mention it anyway that I don't have a trademark registered or anything (is that something worth doing sooner rather than later?)
DDL Send private email
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 
 
There is a domain that I'd love to get.  The owner isn't using it.  He said he'd sell it to me for $15K  :(

That's anecdotal of course -- but they can go for a lot of money.  And the more you want it, the more they'll charge.
Doug Send private email
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 
 
I'm guessing that [productName] is your product?  I wouldn't worry about it, at least initially.  Concentrate on branding.
dhimes Send private email
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 
 
Yeah that's kinda what I thought, they probably make more in ads per month that I could afford to pay at the moment anyway.  Lots of time, (relatively speaking, working full time, but don't really go out much or have kids or anything) and little money, but figure that's a better time to start out than the other way around.
DDL Send private email
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 
 
It depends on the commercial potential of the domain, whether the person holding it has a sane valuation of it, and a few other factors.

For domains whose primary value is to an end user (i.e. you -- it doesn't occupy a commercially valuable keyword which will return revenue even without substantial development), you're looking anywhere from registration fee to a few hundred or $1,XXX dollars.

For example, christmasbingocards.com is not obviously a money domain unless you are me.  I got that one for $150 in a transaction that was 100% automated.  (I also picked up about 30 domains like it for reg fees, and failed to get halloweenbingocards.com, so I made my site at halloweenbingocards.net instead).
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 
 
Oh, if the domain has commercial potential irrespective of the end user, all bets are off. 

Ask Joel what they paid for copilot.com.  "More money than we spent developing the first version of Fogbugz."  http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/AardvarkMidtermReport.html

Similarly, if your product just happens to be named, oh, creditcards.com, you're pretty screwed now aren't you.
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
 
 
Very interesting question and one that I've been curious about for exactly the same reason.  I've come up with a long list of great domain names for a project I'm working on and invariably they are all Google Ads squatting sites.  How much damage has Google done to the web by encouraging domain squatting with ads?  "Don't be evil" -- yeah right!

As a user, I think it's important.  I never remember get*.com URLs.  For example, getdropbox.com.  Of course, getting the squatter page reminds me and ultimately either I remember the 'get' or I google and find it.  But the point is, it's annoying as a user to have to go through these motions and I imagine some percentage of spoken recommendations are lost because of URL confusion. 

If your product is likely to be something where verbal recommendations are common, getting the right domain name would be more important to you.  Using Patrick's product as an example, I'd imagine some percentage of his sales come from teachers mentioning it to other teachers in the hall and thus confusion caused by a 'get' would be a bad thing.  My project is something that I think will get passed around by verbal recommendation so I think the direct URL is important.
Dave76 Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
I own a lot of domains, and a lot of them are available for sale either because I'm no longer using them or don't need them for a product or idea anymore.

If someone sends me an offer, often I'll take it.  I've sold domains for very little money (well under $1000). 

Don't expect every domain holder to be greedy and expensive.

HOWEVER, someone showing interest in a domain instantly increases its perceived value to the holder, and I'm afraid that a lot of squatters may see that as an opportunity to request a hefty amount of money  :(
Ben Mc Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
If you build up a brand around the product name but use a get prefix and then later try to buy the domain, the price may go up (the owner may see that you're a successful company and then charge more).
BrianL Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
@DDL I am in the business of estimating the value of domain name, but without knowing the domain name it is impossible to tell the price. It can be $10 or $10M.  You can better ask for price quote the owner.
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
If it's possible, I would get the domain, or you may end up spending adwords money to the domain holder to get them to your product anyway.

If you can figure out who owns it, and if possible, any other domains they have, you could ask for offers on about 5 domains all at once.  That way you look more like a fellow spammer than someone interested in a particular domain name.  If you're going to do it, do it before you've released your product, because the price will go up if you start selling that product.  I don't know if you can easily find out how many domains an entity has, but it might work.  Kind of like buying in the markets : make offers on three things before picking up the thing you want to buy.

I once offered a price on a particular domain that I was thinking about building a product around.  They wanted $150.  I dropped the idea in the end anyway, but $150 would have been a pittance in the overall development cost.  It irks to have to pay some squatter for an otherwise-useless domain name, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.
Bruce Chapman Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
How about going the trademark route later?  If I get the trademark on the name would it be a simple matter (I'm sure calling anything involving going to court simple is pretty naive of me) paying some lawyer fees to get the domain name due to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticybersquatting_Consumer_Protection_Act ?

Whois says the domain holder is in the US as am I.
DDL Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
If I do want to at least find out how much he wants, should I just ask him?  Do I offer a price (probably around $50) Do I tell what I want it for if asked?  Sorry I'm pretty much completely new to haggling, used to buying things with clearly marked prices :p

So quick google search shows that the domain I want searched as one word has 28k results, searching as 2 words in quotes has 27k results (I'm sure many overlapping).  2 words without quotes 28.4m.

Adwords price estimate for position 1-3:
as one word $0.05cpc
as two word $0.77cpc

Given that, and again that I'm on a pretty low budget what would you do?
DDL Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
@DDL First get the domain, after that register a trademark. The other way is simple reverse hijacking and I do not suggest it (if domain is owned by somebody else).

"So quick google search shows that the domain I want searched as one word has 28k results, searching as 2 words in quotes has 27k results (I'm sure many overlapping).  2 words without quotes 28.4m."
Ok, let me tell you, don't play with this.
Searching for 2 words have to be done in quotes. Also result have to be normalized on the individual words search count. You need total pages count to normalize or use the result to compare with other 2 words combinations, etc. Also get the search count from Google external keyword tool, CPC etc.
You really don't know how to estimate value of domains.

Because you do not provide the name, this forum can't help you. Just ask the owner.  And don't expect to match to bargaining.
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
@Appraisal,

"Searching for 2 words have to be done in quotes. Also result have to be normalized on the individual words search count. You need total pages count to normalize or use the result to compare with other 2 words combinations, etc"

Do you have good links to learn more about this topic?

Thanks,
Javier Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
"The other way is simple reverse hijacking and I do not suggest it (if domain is owned by somebody else)."

Even if I'm developing a product for sale (and am actually selling by that point) and the other person just has a parked domain?
DDL Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
@Javier No links, but plan to discuss this on my site. The idea of normalization is to filter out coincidence matches. If each word have high frequency, then 2 words combination can be high just by random event, not because this combination form a collocation. This comes from linguistics and NLP. Also having just a number means nothing if it is not compared to the total number of pages (and they increase each day) or to other words.
It is informative to perform searches "inanchor" that gives the idea how many times the words are used in links anchor text.
 
If someone buys a domain to sell software it is more important to look at CPC at Google because the main reason for this purchase is to rank in Google search for given words and to avoid to pay for advertising. (and easy to remember the name)
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
I just spent $1000 on a .com domain that's been parked for ages and with no backlinks to speak of.  It sucked paying that much for it, but I'd put a lot of work into developing the .net, and I really wanted that .com to block out competition.  It was a keyword domain, like creditcards.com except in a much less profitable niche :)

My broad advice to you:
- If you're sure you want to use that product name, buy productname.net and productname.org if they're free.  Put them on private registration so the owner of the .com can't see that you own them.
- Contact the owner to see about buying the .com off them.  I'd suggest not mentioning that you're making a product with that name - that'll make them assume that you really want the .com.  And they'll only want to charge more for it as you develop and publicise your product, make money and lose more and more type-in traffic to that .com.
- You can't go in thinking that you have a right to that domain because you've decided to name your product the same as it.  Most people ensure that they can get the .com *before* they name the product.
- $50 is really not a lot to ask for a domain.  Unless it's a really crap name the owner may just ignore your request if you start negotiations with a price that low. 
- Consider naming your product something different.  Owning the .com is pretty important if you want to build a brand.
MB Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
I have many domains. I would not sell one for 50.00. 500 but not 50. I might be able to sell a product through them someday so I keep them. But it would take 500 for me to sell. I am not greedy just uncertain about the potential business. Sometimes you can do something quickly like co-pilot and have a hit. Other times you can spend 3 years on a product and struggle. A website is an easy way to determine some market value.
Good advice Bruce.
Joe Knapp Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
FYI, you can get a list of all domains belonging to the same squarter (even if he uses private registration) using http://SameOwner.com service (non-free, $6 per report).

This way you'll be able to determine the kind of squatter you are dealing with, and make some assumptions.
NickCEO Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
@NickCEO I will advise you not to use the word "squartter" without knowing the details.
It is not possible to know the private registrations because they are "private" :)
http://www.domaintools.com/ is the place to go for information on given site. They have some payed subscription tools that can give the history of owners and others.
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Thursday, May 28, 2009
 
 
> It is not possible to know the private registrations because they are "private" :)

You are wrong.
http://SameOwner.com finds sites of same owner using persence of same google analytics and google adsense ids inside web pages.  It doesn't anaylyze DNS records.

> http://www.domaintools.com/ is the place to go for information on given site. They have some payed subscription tools that can give the history of owners and others.

It's useless if domain is privately registered.
NickCEO Send private email
Friday, May 29, 2009
 
 
"You are wrong." - no I am not, and didn't want to argue with you. Yes I know it tracks Google Analytic. Do you think that everybody use it? Do you think that parking pages use it? How about multiple accounts. How about sites that use on site analytic?
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Friday, May 29, 2009
 
 
The guy's definitely a squatter:

Gregg, Ostrick
        GNO, Inc.
        P.O. Box 43353
        Birmingham
        AL
        35243-3353
        US

According to domaintools.com he owns 46.5k domains, and Google turns up many complains about him via blogs, and I saw 2 court reports or whatever they're officially called, but looks like neither of those complaints won and got the name so I guess that's probably not a good route to take, since apparently you need to show that the name was registered in bad faith among other things and I definitely don't have that.

Not sure if I should even try to contact him, with that many domains and having suits filed against him I'm sure whatever I can afford won't even be considered.

Oh well, this is just my first project so it'll be mostly a learning experience if nothing else.
DDL Send private email
Saturday, May 30, 2009
 
 
> "You are wrong." - no I am not, and didn't want to argue with you. Yes I know it tracks Google Analytic. Do you think that everybody use it? Do you think that parking pages use it? How about multiple accounts. How about sites that use on site analytic?

Most parked domains run Google AdSense. SameOwner.com matches sites by AdSense ID too.
NickCEO Send private email
Saturday, May 30, 2009
 
 
"The guy's definitely a squatter" - I do not see the reason to call someone "squatter" just because you can't get what you want.
What I see is a legitimate domain investing business.

"saw 2 court reports or whatever they're officially called, but looks like neither of those complaints won"
2 out of 47,426 domains - This have to tell you something.
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Saturday, May 30, 2009
 
 
"2 out of 47,426 domains - This have to tell you something. "

It tells me he is making money.  And he must have a system to manage, sell and acquire these domains.
Perhaps they are more valuable than I thought.
Joe Knapp Send private email
Saturday, May 30, 2009
 
 
Joe I wouldn't necessarily say he's making money on that particular domain.  Yes, he probably has a system in place to make money from domains, most likely an automated adsense application.  But if you stump up $200 for a domain name, that might equal 3 years of earnings from that domain name.  That $200 might allow the guy to purchase another 20 domains that are expiring or something.

Bottom line : you may as well ask the guy.  Now that you know some other domains, it doesn't hurt to ask for prices on about 10 of them, and see what he says.  He can only reply with a price you don't like, or, you might be surprised.  Remember if the product is successful you're giong to be paying adwords money which this guy is going to get anyway, because his domain will come up before yours, or people will type it in by mistake.

Just today I was emailed offering me a .cn version of a domain I own, for $1200.  I'm not interested in the .cn domain, but there was certainly no harm in receiving the email.
Bruce Chapman Send private email
Sunday, May 31, 2009
 
 
Appraisal Mind: '"The guy's definitely a squatter" - I do not see the reason to call someone "squatter" just because you can't get what you want.
What I see is a legitimate domain investing business.'

I see dog in a manger unless the extortion is paid.

It is not as if he developed or built something and is offering it for sale.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Monday, June 01, 2009
 
 
@Gene Wirchenko
So, you want to tell somebody how to do his own business?
Or,... if somebody have some property to give it to you because "hi is not using it properly". Don't make me laugh.
Appraisal Mind Send private email
Monday, June 01, 2009
 
 
Someone gloms domain names so he can charge more for them.  What benefit does he provide you?  If he did not take it, it would be available to you.  If you consider having to pay more a benefit, you are welcome to it.

Now someone who sells rocks can be selling something with value added.  Whether it is gravel or pretty rocks (including semiprecious and precious stones), there has been value added.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
 
 

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