Domain Detective: InfraredThermometer.com Sells for $2,407 on Go Daddy Auctions

Product Domains are on fire right now, especially in the expiry market where one man’s garbage is turning out to be gold for many domain investors. Today I was involved in the expired auction for InfraredThermometer.com, a product domain with 4,400 local monthly searches, 9,900 global monthly searches, and a CPC of $3.29. It is always interesting to me when names like this drop and then sell for thousands of dollars, and the detective inside me just has to know a bit more about who dropped it.

Using Domain Tools, my trusty sidekick for pretty much every purchase decision I make, I took a look at the WHOIS History. The domain name was originally registered back in June of 1999 by a company called MotionNet in Vancouver, Washington. This company held-onto the domain, well, forever until dropping it this year. When you visit MotionNet.com it shows a website for a company called USDMedia, as you can see below:

usd_mediaThis company is a division of US Digital, a company that makes optical encoders, inclinometers, and other motion control components.You can see their website below and a few of the products that they are selling. One product you might notice is missing from the line is…infrared thermometers.

usdigitalSo here’s what the detective inside me thinks might have happened here, and yes I’m a huge geek and do enjoy understanding how end-users and businesses think about domain names. I think that US Digital was ahead of their time, in 1999 they started registering domains for products they were thinking of making. As far as forward-thinking goes I think this is pretty impressive for a company to understand the value of a product domain back in 1999.

Then they never made an Infrared Thermometer and finally decided, 12 years later that it was time to stop paying the $8/year to renew the name. While $2,407 is probably chump change for them it still would have allowed them to recoup their initial investment plus make a few thousand bucks, however like many companies and end-users, they probably didn’t know our industry existed.

I thought this was a great example of how good domain names expire. I know there are a number of people that feel like everything that is dropping is another Domainers garbage, but in this case, and many others it is actually the garbage of an end-user or big company that didn’t know what to do with the domain. I’ll be following this as I am interested to see what the new owner will do with it…something tells me they’ll park it first and see what kind of traffic and revenue it gets, however you never know when another company could pick this up and use it to help build their own brand around a product like this.

Let me know if you like posts like this where I do a bit of detective work…I have fun doing it but am not sure if people like reading about this or not. Since I do this when I’m looking at expired domains anyways I thought, why not share it with all of you? That’s all for detective Morgan for now – let me know if you’d like to see more of this or if I should keep my detective work to myself πŸ™‚

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jamie July 8, 2011, 11:11 am

    You missed the other (at least) xx-xxx amount of domains they also are letting expire, many that match the products on the site as you stated.

    They owned several other generic terms relating to other services they also let drop. FindFlight.com for an example that sold for $1,005. I did some detective work this morning as well, likely the same time you were. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Morgan July 8, 2011, 11:14 am

    @Jamie – very true…didn’t want to talk about the other since I’m bidding on a few of them πŸ™‚

    Just picked-up LaserSensor(dot)com which I’m pretty happy about! Looks like this company registered a bunch of these in 1999 and today is the day they’re dropping, some good stuff still avail!

    Reply
  • Jamie July 8, 2011, 11:21 am

    I have my eye on a few “feature” ones that should make it to auction πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Tony July 8, 2011, 11:39 am

    Getting a good deal on godaddy auctions is so rare these days.

    Reply
  • Morgan July 8, 2011, 5:06 pm

    @Tony – so true!

    Reply
  • AndyO July 8, 2011, 8:58 pm

    And I let my GD auctions membership expire… I just might have to sign up again!

    Reply
  • jackugly July 9, 2011, 12:47 am

    I let my gd auction membership expire as well .,not too fussed

    Reply
  • Svein Tore July 9, 2011, 6:50 am

    Continue wrting about the detective work Morgan i like it.

    Reply
  • William John Raitt July 9, 2011, 11:23 am

    I usually stay away from the featured auctions as they get too nutty on GD but tons of huge scores lately on Brandables I’ve been finding…I’ve recently set all my domains I wouldn’t mind parting with as Premium Listings and been averaging 3-5 sales a month from that…People are really scouping up these brandables and random words that end in R like Flickr, tumblr lately from me..

    Morgan, I would still love to meet up when your free to talk shop on start-ups and just get to know another like minded guy in LA. I signed up for SocialDomainers and I hope it gains traction as we need something like that here.
    -William John Raitt

    Reply

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