3 Consequences of Cybersquatting

When the risk isn’t worth the return.

Being successful in the domaining industry requires you to take advantage of all sorts of opportunities. Whether you profit from trending news stories, or purchase a valuable domain at a low price in auction, there are plenty of chances for you to capitalize on the right opportunity when it presents itself. While each domain purchase can be considered an investment, given the amount of risk that comes with any purchase, there are some investments that are more risky than others.

When it comes to cybersquatting, or domain squatting, where an individual purchases a domain with the ill intent to profit from another’s trademark, the opportunity isn’t worth the potential consequences.

Lengthy Lawsuit

If you’re infringing on a business’ trademark, there’s always the possibility that a lawsuit can ensue. Whether you’ve purchased a typo version of the trademark, also known as typo squatting, or rushed to register a new product name before the business had the opportunity, you run the risk of entering into a long and unfortunate lawsuit. Not only does this frustrate the company, but it wastes your time because chances are regardless of how many days, weeks, or months you held the name, your return on investment wasn’t nearly enough to cover your time in a legal battle.

Huge Payouts

When pursuing a new opportunity, your end goal is to earn a profit, but what happens when the domain costs you your investment and then millions of dollars on top of that? Chances are that the revenue you earn on owning the domain will not come close to covering legal fees and any potential fines issued by the court, should it get that far. Many companies that win their UDRP filing often win large sums of money, which can turn into a disastrous payout.

Loss of Domain Assets

Not only do you run the risk of losing hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars, but you will also likely lose the domain you have been using in bad faith. So in the end you will have lost much more than your original investment, making what you thought was a genius opportunity a huge flop.

Our Interview with Carissa Pompei, Director of Business Development for Afternic in North America

world hosting days
This month we interview Carissa Pompei, the Director of Business Development for North America here at Afternic.

Hi Carissa! Can you describe your role at Afternic for us?
As Director of Business Development for North America, I am constantly working to increase our distribution network and help our partners grow their premium domains business.  Our premium domains are a great fit for small and medium sized businesses, and 18 of the top 20 largest registrars in the world partner with us to power their premium domain offering.

Over the past few years our reseller network has expanded to include hosting companies, website builders, Internet Service Providers, and more.  And we’re also seeing a lot of interest in our turn-key service that helps New TLD applicants better monetize their offering with premium domains.

What can Afternic provide for new TLD registries?
With more data on premium sales than anyone in the industry, Afternic is uniquely qualified to create and value the reserve premium domain reserved list for applicants.  Our valuation process has been perfected over the past 12 years, and is utilized by many of the industry’s largest registrars on their own portfolios, including our own one million domain names.  Our machine-learning technology reviews more than 40 inputs, including past sales, traffic analysis,  and social media.  After that, a team of experts reviews the list, and works with the TLD applicant to finalize the list based on real-time market conditions and vertical nuances.

Once lists have been defined and valued, the reserved domains are promoted through the Afternic network to ensure they are available to the broadest possible audience of end-users.  The definition of premium domains is changing.  Registries now have the foresight to capitalize from premium price-points on valuable keywords from the beginning, instead of leaving money on the table for someone else to benefit.

There are a lot of providers offering similar services.  What do you think sets Afternic apart?
Afternic has proven itself to be the leading market for the sale of premium domains, consistently selling more premium domains, on more sites, than any other provider.  We outsell our competition, and boast the highest median sales price at $1,288.  According to their published reports, the median sales price of premium names sold through our nearest competitor is $650.

Afternic has built the world’s largest distribution network for premium domains.  The network includes more than 100 resellers, and thousands of wholesale resellers.  Our search API serves almost 100 million searches monthly, and we sold premium domains in over 100 countries last year.

Our partners can also take advantage of the best and largest sales force in the industry – 25 highly trained sales executives that close premium sales nearly round the clock.

Has the process been proven yet on new TLDs?
We were chosen as the premium provider for the launch of .PW, through the registry Radix.  Premium sales of .PW far exceeded expectations.  We have also been chosen as the exclusive premium strategy for many other new TLDs, including DotMenu, DotBuild, DotBuzz, DotKiwi, and many IDNs.

How does your partnership with NameJet work?
In early discussions with applicants, it became clear that registries are looking for a turnkey solution for launching their TLDs. Afternic has cornered the market for premium domain distribution, but we partnered with NameJet to round out our offering to include auctions. We have worked with NameJet for a long time, and have witnessed the success of their technology, customer-base, and ability to sell.  Afternic partnered with NameJet to offer a premium solution for new TLDs that encompasses reserve list definition and valuation; landrush, sunrise, and premium auctions; and ongoing premium sales.

The co-branded partnership allows registries to realize better commission rates and lower pricing.  It’s a win-win.

From Auction Houses to Wholesale Solutions: Premium Domains Always Fit In

world hosting daysThis spring has been very busy for us at Afternic with a number of new distribution partnerships launching around the world. Fixed-price domain listings now appear at NameJet, one of the world’s leading domain auction platforms. Expanding distribution channels further, Afternic is actively promoting premium domains through reseller-oriented domain platforms, now including SRSPlus and the wholesale division of Register.com. In fact, domains listed at Afternic.com now appear on 9 out of 10 of the largest registrar sites in the world, including BigRock, the retail brand of Directi, a $300+ million group of businesses. This is the first stage of a full Premium Promotion integration that will enable ResellerClubLogicBoxes and BigRock customers to buy and sell premium domains through the Afternic network. We extend a warm welcome to all our new partners, and look forward to successful domain sales for years to come.

Domain Industry Events

world hosting daysThis spring Afternic was busy with a number of industry events and trade shows. We covered a wide range of topics from the latest consumer trends at InternetWorld, to domain auctions at TRAFFIC, to new growth vectors at HostingCon. We even combined business and pleasure with a trip to the Great Wall with some of our friends and business partners during the ICANN conference in Beijing, where we launched our new gTLD premium domains initiative for the .MENU registry. We are looking forward to an equally eventful summer with ICANN Durban, and picking up the pace in September with the new gTLD Summit, Ad:Tech, as well as a number of other shows around the world. Stay tuned!

.PW case study: Maximizing TLD Launch Potential

world hosting daysLaunching a TLD is a significant investment, and registries are increasingly tapping into premium domain revenue to improve ROI early in the launch process. As the new gTLD program gets closer to launch, we will see more TLDs follow in the footsteps of .MENU and .BUILD, which have partnered with Afternic to define and distribute the most valuable names in their namespaces through Afternic’s global distribution network. Expansion of Afternic’s inventory through addition of new gTLDs should help registrars choose to promote those TLDs that would bring them the most revenue through premium domain sales.

The horizon is already widening with this year’s launch of .PW, “the professional Web.” This TLD is an undisputed success, having secured over 250,000 registrations in the first months of General Availability. The .PW premium domains are flying off the shelves at PremiumDomains.PW and through direct sales of Afternic’s brokerage team. It is fascinating to see which domains are invested in so early in the lifetime of a TLD, from lucky numbers like 88.PW, to short 1-and 2-character strings, to generic keywords like ‘girls’ and ‘beauty.’

To take this early success to the next level, Afternic has enabled Fast Transfer of .PW domains for its distribution partners, many of which are already accredited to offer .PW registrations. It’s now easier than ever to start offering premium .PW domains at no extra cost. If you are interested in selling .PW premium domains, please get in touch with your account manager at Afternic.

Afternic Weekly Sales: June 17, 2013 to June 23, 2013

Weekly Domain Sales Breakdown
Domain Sales for the week of June 17, 2013 to June 23, 2013

Afternic’s sales totaled $1,157,605.

The top public sale for the past week was Emeraude.com, which sold for $28,000.

The Shopping category came in first, accounting for 13.3% of all domains sold in the past week, followed by Business at 12.6%.

Below please find the list of highlighted public domain sales.

SalesTrend23June13

Want to see your names on this list? Join Afternic today.

To Price or Not to Price?

Why price is more than just a number.

When given the option of including a price in a domain listing or leaving it out, everyone has their own personal preference. While there is no right or wrong approach in this instance, there are clear benefits to pricing your domain.

Communicate Value

To complete a successful domain sale, both the buyer and seller must agree on the value of the domain. This isn’t always easy, however, and can often times lead to a lengthy negotiation process. While including a price will not avoid a negotiation altogether, it serves as a great reference point, which lends to attracting serious buyers.

By providing a price, potential buyers make an immediate judgment call. If they believe the domain is priced reasonably, they agree with the seller’s value and will either make a promising offer or enter into a rational negotiation. On the other hand, a buyer who does not agree with the price, and does not value the domain equally as the seller, will be more likely to continue on without inquiry.

Get Buyers on the Same Page

Along the same lines as communicating value, price allows buyers to get on the same page as sellers before inquiring about the domain. In any purchasing situation, buyers like to have all the information possible in order to make the most informed choice. Given that price is one of the biggest deciding factors in any purchase, having a price available to them from the start will help greatly in their preliminary research quest and the steps towards making the final decision to buy.

Speed up the Sales Process

If you’re after a quick and efficient domain sale, it’s best to offer full disclosure right up front. Whether you have your mind set on a price to make a particular profit, or you’re basing your price on an official domain appraisal, providing the details to potential buyers can help speed along the sale. If a buyer has inquired about the domain, you know that they are already interested, so it is now up to you to convince them that your price is reasonable.

3 Essential Rules to Managing Your Domains

Be in control of your domain portfolio.

Whether you are managing one domain, or a whole portfolio of domains, it’s essential that you are aware of the responsibilities and risks you face with domain ownership. While domains can be relatively low maintenance, you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the establishment of your domain and the tasks that follow in order to maintain your domain for the future.

Only YOU should be responsible for registering your domains.

Registering a domain name can be very simple, but that doesn’t mean you should delegate the task to someone else. While you might be inclined to save yourself some time by trusting another individual to register your domain, you should think twice. Regardless of who you might entrust to complete the mundane task, it’s important that your name and contact information is on the account to ensure you have the correct access to it. By taking the sole responsibility of domain registration, you never risk losing access to your domain, allowing you to be in control of managing your domain at all times.

Protect your WHOIS information.

When registering your domain with an accredited ICANN registrar, you are forced to comply with the WHOIS database requirements. This means that you must provide your personal information that will be displayed and made public in the WHOIS database.

Given the public nature of the database, and the fact that anyone who checks it can view your personal information, it’s understandable to be concerned about potential hacking or spammer risks. In an effort to protect yourself, be sure to inquire about any privacy services that may be offered by your registrar.

Don’t let your domains expire.

Knowing your domain’s expiration date is one thing, but remembering it is a whole other story. If you plan on continuing with your domain, it’s essential that you remember to renew your registration when the time comes, otherwise you risk losing your domain. In most instances you can register your name for a one year period and then continue to renew it each year after that. However, if you plan to use the domain for a greater period of time, upgrading to a registration that lasts for multiple years is certainly a viable option.

Afternic Weekly Sales: June 10, 2013 to June 16, 2013

Weekly Domain Sales Breakdown
Domain Sales for the week of June 10, 2013 to June 16, 2013

Afternic’s sales totaled $1,202,401.

The top public sale for the past week was Quif.com, which sold for $20,000.

The Specials category came in first, accounting for 13.0% of all domains sold in the past week, followed by Computers at 10.4%.

Below please find the list of highlighted public domain sales.

Weekly Sales

Want to see your names on this list? Join Afternic today.

Before You Buy: 3 Purchasing Tips for a Domain Auction

How to prepare for a domain auction.

Whether you are in the market for a particular domain name, or looking to expand your domain portfolio, domain auctions offer a plethora of new investment opportunities worth exploring. Before you start purchasing domains, however, there a few steps you must take to properly prepare for your purchase and ensure that you’re making the most of your investment.

Know Your Budget

One of the greatest draws to a domain auction is the low prices. Whether the auction has low or no reserve prices, you have the chance to name your price and make an offer on a domain. But what happens when you find yourself in a bidding war? This is when knowing your budget is crucial. Your initial offer may be well under the amount you are willing to spend, but if the bidding continues to rise you must know your limit. Setting a budget for yourself, or for a particular domain, will help you to purchase a domain at the appropriate value.

Learn About Your Prospective Domain

Among the long list of domains available in an auction are expired domains, which for one reason or another, current owners have abandoned. While there’s nothing wrong with many expired domains, it is essential to obtain some background information on your prospective domain. Determining how old the domain is and its traffic potential are great starting points, but learning how the domain was originally used is also important. If the domain was used in an illegal manner, such as spamming, it will be difficult to recover its SEO potential should you choose to develop it after purchase.

Be Patient

In any transaction, both the buyer and the seller are anxious to complete the sale in a fast manner. However, this is normally not the case in a domain auction. Domain auctions often run for a specified period of time and each domain is open to any buyer throughout that time period. Unless there is a “Buy Now” option within the auction, you may be stuck watching for opposing bidders throughout the auction’s duration.