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Commercial Resale of Domain Names
An economic effect of the widespread usage of domain names has been the resale market for generic domain names that has sprung up in the last decade. Certain domains, especially those related to business, gambling, pornography, and other commercially lucrative fields of digital world trade have become very much in demand to corporations and entrepreneurs due to their intrinsic value in attracting clients. The most expensive Internet domain name to date, according to Guinness World Records, is business.com which was resold in 1999 for $7.5 million, but this was $7.5 million in stock options, not in cash. Later the stock was valued at, not sold, for $2 million and may even be worth less today Newsweek . There are disputes about the high values of domain names claimed and the actual prices of many sales.
During the height of the dot-com era, the domain was earning millions of dollars per month in advertising revenue from the large influx of visitors that arrived daily. Two long-running U.S. lawsuits resulted, one against the thief and one against the domain registrar VeriSign. In one of the cases, Kremen v. Network Solutions, the court found in favor of the plaintiff, leading to an unprecedented ruling that classified domain names as property, granting them the same legal protections. In 1999, Microsoft traded the valuable name Bob.com with internet entrepreneur Bob Kerstein for the name Windows2000.com which was the name of their new operating system.
One of the reasons for the value of domain names is that even without advertising or marketing, they attract clients seeking services and products who simply type in the generic name. Furthermore, generic domain names such as movies.com or Books.com are extremely easy for potential customers to remember, increasing the probability that they become repeat customers or regular clients.
Although the current domain market is nowhere as strong as it was during the dot-com heyday, it remains strong and is currently experiencing solid growth again. Annually tens of millions of dollars change hands due to the resale of domains. Large numbers of registered domain names lapse and are deleted each year.
On average 25,000 domain names drop (are deleted) every day.
People who buy and sell domain names are known as domainers.
When generic top-level domains were first implemented, in January 1985, there were six:
While .net was not listed in the original RFC document describing the domain name system, it was added by the time the first group of names were implemented.
The .com, .net, and .org gTLDs, despite their original different uses, are now in practice open for use by anybody for any purpose.
In November 1988, another gTLD was introduced, .int. This gTLD was introduced in response to NATO's request for a domain name which adequately reflected its character as an international organization. It was also originally planned to be used for some Internet infrastructure databases, such as .ip6.int, the IPv6 equivalent of .in-addr.arpa. However, in May 2000, the Internet Architecture Board proposed to close the .int domain to new infrastructure databases. All future such databases would be created in .arpa (a legacy of the pre-TLD system), and existing ones would move to .arpa wherever feasible, which led to the use of .ip6.arpa for IPv6 reverse lookups.
By the mid-1990s there was pressure for more gTLDs to be introduced. Jon Postel, as head of IANA, invited applications from interested parties . In early 1995, Postel created "Draft Postel", an Internet draft containing the procedures to create new domain name registries and new TLDs. Draft Postel created a number of small committees to approve the new TLDs. Because of the increasing interest, a number of large organizations took over the process under the Internet Society's umbrella. This second attempt involved the setting up of a temporary organization called the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). On February 4, 1997, the IAHC issued a report ignoring the Draft Postel recommendations and instead recommended the introduction of seven new gTLDs (.arts, .firm, .info, .nom, .rec, .store, and .web). However, progress on this stalled after the U.S. government intervened and nothing ever came of it.
In October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formed to take over the task of managing domain names. After a call for proposals (August 15, 2000) and a brief period of public consultation, ICANN announced on November 16, 2000 its selection of the following seven new gTLDs:
These new gTLDs started to come into use in June 2001, and by the end of that year all except .pro existed, with .biz, .info and .museum already in full operation. .name and .coop became fully operational in January 2002, and .aero followed later in the year. .pro became a gTLD in May 2002, but did not become fully operational until June 2004.
ICANN is adding further gTLDs, starting with a set of sponsored top-level domains (like the previous .aero, .coop, and .museum). The application period for these lasted from 15 December 2003 until 16 March 2004, and resulted in ten applications. As of June 2005, ICANN had announced the approval in principle of several new TLDs, with details still being worked out and implementation still in the future:
Get your domain name first before you start your new business or website.
Many times people start a brand new business by picking out and establishing the business name, then they attempt to buy a domain name. The new business owners soon find out that every variation of the business name is taken and they are not sure what domain name to use.
Microsoft made a huge mistake when they spent millions marketing their new Zune MP3 Player. They didn’t secure the domain name zune.com and as of this writing the domain zune.com is still under someone else’s name with an under construction sign. Microsoft had purchased the zune.net domain name after the Zune name had been released. This was a huge blunder for the Microsoft marketing team not to secure the zune.com domain name before marketing their brand name.
Naming a website after its domain name can also be very important; when people think of your website, they'll think of it by the name. A good example of this is amazon.com; so if your business name is also your URL, the customer will automatically know where to go.
If you have already spent a lot time and money to establish your business name and you didn’t purchase a domain name. You can play around with some variations to try to get an easy name. If you find that your business name is taken in every way thinkable, you can:
Your domain name should be short, easy to say and spell.
Domain names can be of any length up to 67 characters. Someone actually bought the domain name shown below and let it go back. I wonder why???
Shorter domain names are much better, especially for people who have to type them in. There is less chance for a typo when they are shorter. Premium domains with less than 8 characters are more desirable and very hard to find. You may have to put together some word combinations to come up with a good domain name. I would try to keep the name under 16 characters if at all possible.
Type out the domain name you are interested in buying – take a good look at it and say it out loud. Get friends to look at it and give their advice at what they first see.
Many websites use prefixes in their main domain name such as i and e. The i is most commonly for "Internet," e for "electronic". Many other prefixes such as all, my, best, pro, go, buy, best, and many more can be used.
These prefixes mentioned above should only be used when there is absolutely no hope for finding a good domain name.
Hyphenated or Numbered Domain Names?
Many people forget to type in the hyphen when typing in a domain name. It can be hard to say when giving the domain name out. It would be easier to say littleredschoolhouse.com instead of little hyphen/dash red hyphen/dash school hyphen/dash house .com.
Most of the good domains are taken and you may have to take a domain that has a hyphen in it to get the domain name you want. I would try to avoid the hyphenated names if possible.
Domains which contain numbers have some problems in that you will have to explain that it is a number 4 instead of the word for or four. 4salesonline.com is a good example of the confusion in telling the domain name to someone.
Of course if you owned 500.com or 5555.com these would be great names that are worth a lot of money and easy to remember. All of these good domains are already taken and very hard to find even on the secondary market.
A domain name like 94529875.com would be hard for someone to remember.
COM, ORG, NET, etc?
Typically most businesses use .com domain names. Most .net domain names have been used by Internet organizations and .org is frequently used by non-profit organizations.
Most people have .com on the brain, and when typing a domain name in, they will almost always assume it's a .com domain. Dot com’s are the most sought after. That’s all I own.