Start Up Blog

Domain name speculating

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 2, 2009

I recently got an email from a domain name provider called hostess.com.au. It was about selling domains names with some recent examples. The title of the email was ‘Your domain name could be worth big dolllars’.

Here’s a screen grab.

Picture 70

It’s easy to think that this type of behaviour is ‘unethical’. But the reality is we live in a capitalist society. Speed and noticing opportunities is a key business skill. So my view is if you’ve savvy enough to find and speculate on domain names and make some cash – good luck to you. There is no shortage of examples of people who’ve made a bundle doing it.

So how to do it? Well, here’s a couple tips on some people have done it:

  1. Spelling mistakes of popular domains. Then sell advertising or back to original (Tiwtter.com)
  2. Buying the .com of popular country specific domains. Eg http://www.theage.com – they sell advertising.
  3. Moving quick on new words, phrases entering the common vernacular. (eg tweet, roadrage, soccermom)
  4. New brand name launches
  5. register technology advances, and economic terminology. (GFC.com?)
  6. Short words of a made up nature. Popular for startups.

I’m sure you can think of some other ideas, or methods used in such speculating…. be sure to add them in the comments.

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4 Responses

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  1. Ross Hill said, on August 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    If you register variants of trademarks it’s quite possible they’ll just take them off you, without paying. I reckon this was a real hot area a few years back but these days it’s hard to find anything good that is unregistered. Perhaps trading is where it’s at – but you’d have to be taking it pretty seriously to profit there?

  2. Pieter said, on August 2, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    They can take .com.au from you if its trademarked, but I don’t think .coms?

  3. Tim Cinel said, on August 3, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    As Ross pointed out – if intellectual property relating to the domain is held (eg. Registered Trademark), then it will be taken from you, possibly regardless of the TLD.

    I think you’re onto something with words, phrases and names entering the vernacular – these are the ones that are still available and, if you’re lucky, will be in high demand. I had an idea of a script that scanned for trending words on various sites – never got further than an idea, though.

    Hasn’t the AuDA got requirements for .com.au registration – like ABN / RBN / TFN – to reduce the instances of squatting?

  4. Steve Sammartino said, on August 3, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I think you’ve really picked up on the area of opportunity Tim. It’s about spotting the opportunity on key growth areas and taking the .com registrations. That said it’s still pretty easy to register a business name in Australia for less than $100 and start blogging about the chosen topic to justify business status,

    No doubt there is money to be made here….. just because something is a little ‘out of vogue’ doesn’t mean it can make a savvy entrepreneur some coin.

    Steve


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