Why is Domaining so misunderstood?

I have to say, sometimes I’m amazed at how misunderstood our industry is. Today I received a very negative email from someone that I had reach-out to as a potential buyer for a domain I have AutoLiquidators.us. This person runs an auto liquidation website so I thought – this would be a great name for them! I’ve been doing this for almost three years now and so far small businesses seem pretty happy when you help them get a great domain.

However, in this case the person seemed offended by the entire concept of buying a domain. In fact, he claimed that you should not be able to sell a domain for more than $6.95 because nobody should have to pay more than the reg fee. I did my best to let him know we have an entire industry with domains being bought and sold every day! However this just goes to show how misunderstood our industry is.

Remember, this guy isn’t angry that I emailed him…he’s angry that I’m trying to sell him a domain for more than $6.95. Oh and just for reference I’m looking for $250 for the domain so I’m not talking about ridiculous pricing here! Below is the email I received today – this really shows us just how far we still  have to go before our industry is understood by the average Joe.

I have been here since the beginning and no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it, what you are doing is buying a viable domain name that could and should be used by a legitimate company on a first come first served basis. If you are saying that you think it is worth $250 simply because you had the foresight to snap it up for 6.95 and then hold onto it until someone comes along looking for just such a business name to park their actual company on top of you are seriously misguided.  A company, by the way, which they intend to actually produce something and contribute to society at large with and shouldn’t have to pay a scalper like you for the privilege of doing it.  Either the domain is available or it is not based on first come first served, otherwise Icann can just hold onto it and sell it to the buyer for 6.95, the same price you paid for it.  What gives you the right to profit from nothing? From thin air? From providing zero goods or services, just holding honest bussiness people hostage to your inflated opinion of an internet domain name. You are preying off of people who don;t know any better.  I would never allow any of our clients to pay a cockroach like yourself for a domain because as I stated earlier, it isn;t the name that makes the company, it’s the company that makes the name.

If you are confused about any of this perhaps you should go to your local bookstore, spend 6.95 on a better investment than a domain name and pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Once you have read and absorbed the core principles laid out therein then come back and let’s discuss this topic once more.  Go out and make something of yourself, stop trying to swindle people.  If you have the integrity you purport to have then you are doing yourself a serious disservice in pursuing your current stream of revenue.  Go build something! You have a shiny CS degree, go use it and contribute… the world is waiting. Domains we can already get from godaddy, we don’t need you as shocking as that may seem.

{ 25 comments… add one }

  • timsmith19 April 9, 2010, 9:30 pm

    Morgan, it sounds like somebody is upset with the capitalistic system and decided to take it out on you. Did he get upset at the realtor and previous landowner on which his shop sits? All they did was get to that land before he did and had the nerve to sell it to him for a profit.

    Fortunately there are other auto liquidators out there and one of them will have the foresight and business sense to grab this piece of land before it goes even higher in value.

    Next!

    Reply
    • Morgan April 9, 2010, 9:37 pm

      @TimSmith19 agreed – guess he won’t be happy until the magical world of all $10 domains exists…which apparently is coming soon!

      Reply
  • CheapWebBanners.com April 9, 2010, 9:33 pm

    It sounds to me like he’s just bargaining… Bring your price down to $200 and see what he says then… 😉

    Reply
    • Morgan April 9, 2010, 9:37 pm

      @CheapWebBanners LOL! 🙂

      Reply
  • Paul J. Kapschock April 9, 2010, 9:47 pm

    Well, at least you got some good content for a story.

    Reply
  • Leonard Britt April 9, 2010, 9:55 pm

    Yes, in attempting to utilize social media to market names, I have come across numerous individuals with a similar attitude. Some are developers, others bloggers, others small business people who feel the practice of “squatting” on a domain you aren’t using and asking more than reg fee for it as unethical. Every business attempts to sell a product or service and to stay in business over the long term needs to do so at a price above their cost of acquiring that product or delivering that service. It is easy to find businesses with poor-quality domains where the business will spend on a myriad of services including website design and development and yet the thought of paying for a domain is viewed as vile. Why shouldn’t alerting a business of the availability of a name with potential branding & SEO benefits have a value? Why is a domainer’s time not valued? I suppose it goes with the territory…

    Reply
  • Tia Wood April 9, 2010, 9:55 pm

    Unfortunately, this is the opinion of the people we want to alienate the least and a representation of the problem the domain industry faces today.

    Reply
  • Steve Z April 9, 2010, 10:13 pm

    Ask him how he would feel if he were expected to sell his cars for a $10.00 profit. This moron should move to China!

    Reply
  • Ms Domainer April 9, 2010, 10:27 pm

    *

    Dear Mr Auto Liquidator,

    I have been here since the beginning and no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it, what you are doing is buying a viable car that could and should be used by a legitimate driver on a first come first served basis. If you are saying that you think it is worth $2,500 simply because you had the foresight to snap it up at $250.00 at an auto auction and then hold onto it until someone comes along looking for just such a cream puff auto to park in their garage you are seriously misguided. A company, by the way, which they intend to actually produce something and contribute to society at large with and shouldn’t have to pay a scavenger/dumpster diver like you for the privilege of doing it. Either the car is available or it is not based on first come first served, otherwise the Ford Company can buy it back and just hold onto it and sell it to the buyer for $250.00, the same price you paid for it. What gives you the right to profit from nothing? From thin air? From providing zero goods or services, just holding honest bussiness people hostage to your inflated opinion of an old used automobile. You are preying off of people who don;t know any better. I would never allow any of our clients to pay a cockroach like yourself for a cream puff car because as I stated earlier, it isn;t the cream puff that makes the company, it’s the company that makes the cream puff.

    If you are confused about any of this perhaps you should go to your local bookstore, spend 6.95 on a better investment than a used car and pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Once you have read and absorbed the core principles laid out therein then come back and let’s discuss this topic once more. Go out and make something of yourself, stop trying to swindle people with your overpriced cream puffs. If you have the integrity you purport to have then you are doing yourself a serious disservice in pursuing your current stream of revenue. Go build something! You have a shiny CS degree, go use it and contribute… the world is waiting. Cars we can already get from Ford or or local cream puff corner, we don’t need you as shocking as that may seem.

    How dare you to go out and find all those great automobiles for cheap and try to resell to me for a profit.

    You’re just squatting on all the good cars that I could pick up from my local Cream Puff Corner for cheap, you scurvy cockroach!

    *

    Reply
  • Randall Brown April 9, 2010, 10:30 pm

    Well as the economy get worse we will see more of this happening as well as people loving the something for nothing. I understand he was mad that you tried to sell him the domain. But, Was there really a need to say all that in it. If he thinks Domains are swindlers and prey on the business owners then damn straight we do. Everything is business. Since he sells cars, he tries to get the cheapest price for the car and flip it to make him a few thousand profit. There is not much difference except each domain is unique with its Pre-fix and the suf-fix, where as cars are made in the thousands and are almost all alike from Generation to generation.

    Just my two cents and I might be out of the loop or mis-read it, but I only see it as business.

    Reply
  • T C April 9, 2010, 10:50 pm

    Here are the four points imho on the general misunderstanding of domain names in general and surley attitude sometimes (but this person seems especially rude and lame):

    1. The general confusion with trademark infringers/cybersquatters with generic domain ownership

    2. Because domains are digital assets and you can’t hold them in your hand it is difficult for some people to comprehend the value (they just can’t/won’t wrap their heads around it)…and parting with physical fiat paper makes them muy upset

    3. Mathematically, and this relates to point #2..just because you could go out and register GreatCarRentals.biz for $7 and CarRentals.com undeveloped could be well into the 6 figures, they once again can’t comprehend the difference in revenue potential without relisting all the benefits of domains and those few letters are too much for them to deal with

    4. Once you introduce a valuable name to someone that relates to the business they’re in..if they’re a player hater like this person, in their mind it almost becomes theirs..they want it both ways..they deserve property for free

    Reply
  • Ragnar Danneskjold April 9, 2010, 11:47 pm

    Well look who has committed yet another scurrilous act and posted my copyrighted content without my consent for his own personal gain and aggrandizement. Funny how you all rail against me as “lame” and “rude” when all I am doing is having the audacity to shed light on what you already know to be the truth, what you are doing is a scam. There was one intelligent poster who stated that I represent exactly the type of person you don’t want to offend and who’s opinions shape the future of the web. She’s right. I am not a car guy. I am a web guy… from way back. It is people like me who have pioneered this new technology and followed every advance and mutation with keen interest. What you all are doing here is a malignant mutation. You disagree with my characterization or my tone? Either way I could care less. I’m right and you, amigos, are wrong. Find another industry. At least you aren’t running spam clones pushing your new “industry”… then again, I’m sure some of you are. The two mutations of the internet are similar in many ways I won’t go into here except to say they are both viruses of a new technology that hasn’t had time to nail down the particulars properly.

    You compare yourself with the auto industry. The auto industry is vastly more complex and different than thinking up a good domain name, paying $10 bucks for it and then hoping someone who is actually building a business related to the term will happen along and not be able to get it through the authorized means and will have to come knocking, hat in hand, at your door to get it. Now who’s door is it he is knocking on? Not the realtor’s who has a piece of land that is valued at the going rate or a car salesman who has a bunch of steel and transportation power to sell you at a cost commensurate with the technology being purchased…. no, he’s knocking on your door, the domain name scam artist. What you hold has no special value except that you have stolen it from someone who actually wants to build a business on it. You never had any intention of doing anything productive with it except holding out for a profit. If you want to play buy and hold do it with stocks, it’s much more lucrative. You guys are like lottery addicts who just keep scooping up tickets hoping for the day one of yours will hit. Unfortunately for you to make a “hit” someone else has to pay through the nose for it.

    You think you are so smart? What you are peddling isn’t special. You didn’t create it, develop it, invent it, come up with it, nothing. The rightful owner of the domain is the person who is going to take it and make something meaningful of it. That person shouldn’t have to pay you a fee simply because you thought to yourself, “self, someday someone is going to come up with an idea to sell widgets and when they do they will need a domain name that describes their widgets so people will have an easy way of finding them and when they do… they’ll have to come to me instead of godaddy because I spent my hard earned time and $10 bucks to scam them out of their legitimate idea before it was conceived… SNAP! I’m rolling!!!” It’s sick. It’s stupid. It’s wrong. Sorry if my tone offends your tender sensibilities.

    You are in a dead end “industry” though and that’s what gives me solace. People don’t need what you are selling. If you have autoliquidators.us (which is a lame domain BTW and I wouldn’t pay 6.95 let alone $250 for it) it doesn’t matter. First of all nobody wants autoliquidators.us because it’s a.) .us b.) far too generic in scope and c.) easily gotten around. I would never allow a client to pay a cockroach for a domain name. It’s too easy to achieve the same SEO (and better in this case) by simply going around it. usautoliquidators.com, autoliquidatorsofla.com, hollywoodautoliquidators.com, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Every time I hear about you people spinning your webs off in dark corners of the web I shake my head. Yours is a useless, sometimes profitable but always unethical endeavor. And don’t get me wrong, I am a capitalist to the core but ponzi schemers give capitalists a bad name just as you do. You are perverting capitalism to it’s ugliest manifestation and it won’t be tolerated by the powers that be.

    Nice that Morgan blocked my email address as well. I guess too much truth is enough for one day. Especially a happy birthday like today. I would appreciate it if you would tear down my quoted text above as it was not published with my consent and is, by definition, copyrighted material. I wouldn’t expect you to care about such things but I guess we’ll see.

    Reply
  • Ron April 10, 2010, 1:33 am

    Although there are some end users who will never “get it” (as many like to say), there are a lot of small business owners out there who do “get” the true value of an exact match domain name for products and services in their industry.

    Most just don’t understand the Domain Industry.

    At this moment, I am in the process of closing a deal on a product domain related to the clients’ industry (this end user is smart enough to recognize the true value of the domain name that he owns: I am selling him the .net version of the name that he already own! :-)).

    There are going to always be people out there who look at any type of business person as an opportunist … so it’s par for the course!

    As far as the auto liquidator, I’m sure that he understands business (supply & demand) … otherwise, he wouldn’t be in the business of selling liquidated cars for a living (if cars were sold for what it cost for manufacturing it, we’d all be driving luxury cars:-) ).

    The bottom line is this IMO: he shouldn’t expect to get a domain name at cost, if he’s not selling his cars for the amount that he’s paying for them.

    Reply
  • Braden Pollock April 10, 2010, 1:44 am

    Personally, I hate pitching domains for this reason.
    You’re going to spend far too much time trying to convince some business owner of the value of a good domain…all for $250? Fagetaboutit!
    I’ll wait until they come to me. And even then, I don’t bother with anything less than $2500.
    Your time is your most important asset. Don’t sell it cheap.

    Reply
  • Tim April 10, 2010, 2:17 am

    I think all you commenters missed something big here. I ALSO have been here since the beginning, meaning 1995 when things started to heat up in the domain space, and I am assuming most/all of you posters have not been around this long.

    I know exactly who this guy is. This guy is the pre-commercializaton Internet techie type (even if he sells cars today). I have received this same letter many, many times in several incarnations over the years, starting in 1995. However, these letters were coming left and right at the start from these techies, the BBS types, when their Internet started to change forever.

    Back in 1995 and 1996 when I started to buy domains in bulk I started to receive these same emails, reading almost word for word like this one, and these guys were livid about the fact I was buying up domains. They called me everything under the sun, with the same vitriol of the line where he calls you a cockroach Morgan. They considered the Net to be their own little Utopia where everything was not commercialized and the Web was “used for what it was originally intended”……according to them, ” a fountain of knowledge, a pillar of freedom”….and I was destroying it with “commercialization”. All us comon folk destroyed their Utopia, so they say.

    Think of it like this. You and ten friends find a beautiful lake in the middle of the woods…..pure, clean, virgin. It becomes your little playground. Then one day a boisterous loud-mouth real estate speculator shows up and starts buying up big swaths of land around this lake and does not do anything with it. You and your friends think the land should belong to them, or at least they should have some say-so in how the land is used/managed, but at the very least left to someone who will use it wisely and constructively.

    Now all of a sudden this real estate speculator wants big money for the lots he is selling on the lake. Now you and all your friends see the lake getting trashed with big mansions, mud running into the lake upsetting you guys……the “original lake settlers”. Also, you and your friends, although it is not said, are also upset b/c you did not make any money off the land being sold and not only that you don’t have a place to hang out on the lake b/c all the lots have been sold to rich folks or are still being held by the land speculator. Now you and your buddies have have lost control of your paradise…..it’ll never be the same and you can thank that damn real estate speculator for ruining it.

    So what do you go do now that you have nothing? You leave the Net, I mean the lake, and open a auto liquidation business. You never jumped on the bandwagon and bought a lake lot like everyone else. You sit around in your auto liquidation business all grumpy, mad at the world, and screaming, “UNFAIR!!!! THEY RUINED IT!!!”

    I know this guy in and out…..he is NOT an end user. I’m not joking….. I’d put $1,000 down that this guy is a pissed off old school techie that missed the boat and now is crying like a five year old boy whose ice cream cone just fell to the ground.

    These guys, for reasons I can’t explain, never had a lick of business sense anyhow……so the concept that a domain could be worth money also never ocurred to them until it was too late.

    I’ve actually been threated by one of these old school techies with bodily harm because I “buy domains”.

    Reply
  • everything.tv April 10, 2010, 2:52 am

    Ms. Domainer with the comment of the year imo. Excellent.

    Guy is a total hypocrite. And possibly an idiot. He wanted to bring Ayn Rand into the picture, really ? The creator of objectivsim. The woman that believed that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness or rational self-interest; that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism.

    So reply back with Ms.Domainer’s excellent reply and tell him that your own happiness lies in selling domains.

    If he was an academic I would at least understand, not agree but understand. This dude is in the auto liquidation business he believes he is the great contributor to society ? Get real.

    Reply
  • Jeff April 10, 2010, 5:11 am

    Sorry to hear Morgan and the crazy thing is was you were not asking a lot for it.

    Its like buying a house. Are you going sell after all the years of living there or remodel it and flip it, charge buyer at cost? Is starbucks going allow you buy a venti coffee at there cost? The list goes on and on.

    I had 2 similar thing but not as bad as that one.

    Recently I bought a small traffic .com name and the .net is a end user. I paid 200 for it, makes around 8 dollars a month off ppc and was selling it based cheaply. I said to end user I got a deal on this and you need the name and your traffic is also coming over to my parked page. I said how would 650 sound then reduced it down to 550. Quote good for 24 hours. He is perfectly happy with his .net and dosent get it. So I thanked him, wished him well and said thanks in the extra traffic to my name.

    I think these so called site owners are so hung up on google, these Seo firms and so called experts its complete Bs.

    Oh well the crazy times and funny things we all face at times being domainers, flippers.

    Good post

    J

    Reply
  • Edgar April 10, 2010, 12:10 pm

    Ms Domainer — you’re a legend!

    Reply
  • Tim April 10, 2010, 3:16 pm

    What I’d like to know is how he feels about land speculators that never have any intention to put a house or other construct on the property……no property improvements whatsoever.

    Are they cockroaches too b/c they did not do anything with the empty land that has sat idle for 20+ years?

    I bet he never thought about it like this.

    Reply
  • Bob April 10, 2010, 11:59 pm

    My favorite one in years was the email that I received from a prior owner of a name that I picked up on a drop auction, that started as:

    “This is my domain – you CANNOT have it!”

    After a brief education he changed his attitude and I did him a HUGE favor by selling the name back to him for about a quarter of FMV. In the end he actually thanked me!

    I especially loved the part where he tried to make the comparison that I found his wallet full of money and kept it.

    I rebutted that with the analogy that if he had bought a car for a great price at a public auction, would he feel compelled to sell it back at a loss to the person that had it repossessed?

    Lots of ways to rationalize your actions in this business. As long as you stay ethical, honest, and fair, you will always be able to look yourself in the mirror and know that you’re a good person! 😉

    Reply
    • Morgan April 11, 2010, 5:48 am

      Thanks for sharing your story @Bob – another great example!

      Reply
  • backorder .it April 11, 2010, 9:12 am

    Ms Domainer : you’re a great 😉

    Reply
  • Jim April 12, 2010, 5:01 am

    Wow, this is such a compelling discussion/argument!

    Firstly though guys, I think that it is important to remember to keep these exchanges civil, there’s no need to throw derogatory words around and get personal and emotional and denounce each others’ industries as being the respective roots of all evil. You could say that about just about any and every industry, so it really is futile. Bottom line is, whether one likes it or not, that the world is kept in its perpetual revolution by businesses and transactions which are sometimes fair and sometimes foul. Accept it. Deal.
    Therefore, I think situations like this are indicative of the fact that practically everyone on this Earth is a hypocrite.

    I can appreciate, but not espouse, the opinions of the auto liquidator guy, who I thought put across his argument eloquently, logically and in a well formulated manner. I can also appreciate the opinions of the domainer as well.

    I would consider myself a domainer and have on occasion approached end users in a similar manner to try and procure a sale. In my experience the only correspondence I have received is either willing acceptance which ultimately ends in a sale, or, no repsonse at all. The latter consequence is probably either due to the sheer astonishment at my audacity which is so profound that it renders the recipient physically unable to type a response…or an incredibly efficient spam filter. Either way, I am not at all averse to politely approaching a potential end user nor am I denouncing this method of procuring a sale.

    Now, as I said, I have never received a response like the one Morgan did so reading one has given me the opportunity to see what it must be like to be on the receiving of a domain name proposition. I had never considered this before but you could say it’s akin to a cold call. Nobody enjoys those, so why would anyone welcome receiving an email asking them to part with money in exchange for a domain name? A…domain…name!? Most people only use the internet to tell us how many biscuits they’ve just eaten via Twitter, or post pictures of themselves posing, posturing or pissed on Facebook. Therefore, they don’t understand the inherent value of domain names, it’s beyond their comprehension and indeed interest, which of course is fine. I like to think of domaining, despite its increased popularity in recent years, as being at least a little exclusive so the fact that not everybody understands it or gives a damn is in my opinion a good thing. @TC – good points, well made.
    Auto liquidator guy clearly does have more than a little understanding of domain names but Sir, what is your actual beef?

    The reason I got into domaining about two years ago was to try and make a few extra dollars a month in my spare time, making use of resources that I already had at my disposal, such as my internet connection and my beloved laptop. At the time the World was entering into this recent period of fiscal apocalypse and I knew that if I could supplement my monthly income by an extra few hundred dollars I might be able to take care of one or two bills outright before they even arrived, then I could use my salary to pay off some of my minor debts and build up a little war chest that might keep food on the table and a roof over my head should I, like hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, suffer the misfortune of losing my job at one of the thousands of companies around the world that entered into….drum roll….liquidation. So, Mr Danneskjold, I put it to you that you of all people should understand the tried and tested model of buying low and selling high?

    @Ron “The bottom line is this IMO: he shouldn’t expect to get a domain name at cost, if he’s not selling his cars for the amount that he’s paying for them.”

    I hope this all made sense, I wrote this hurriedly on my lunch break. For those of you interested I intend to start a blog detailing my domaining and minisite development experiences at some point in the foreseeable future. Watch this space.

    Reply
  • Domainace April 18, 2010, 8:11 pm

    I am shocked that somebody could be so fond of Ayn Rand and so wrong about her at the same time.

    “Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.”
    – Ayn Rand

    Yep… good to go here.

    Reply
  • chandan April 20, 2010, 4:05 am

    some idiots wastin my time for free domain for their social activities.

    so you are lucky to get reg fee 😀

    Reply

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