It goes 1 of 3 ways: Drop and good luck on the catch/auction, redeem and keep, co-operate/redeem/sell.
If it's a good domain you won't be the only person angling for the drop and therefore they'll be an auction. Get ready to bid.
If you call AND you actually reach someone (in time) that person can be unaware and thankful (you get thanked, but you don't get the domain), aware and indifferent (won't lift a finger), unaware and now kindly disposed (you pay the redemption fee and something for their assistance), unaware-now aware-now thinking they may have something. (Too bad for you.)
It's a roll of the dice.
When I've made the call it tended to work in my favor about 1 in 3 times. I haven't done this for awhile (I've got too many already) but "not so long ago" getting a 1-in-3 return was a heckuva lot better than any other approach.
Make the call. Be nice. Be honest. Be fair.
At the very least you will be doing someone a favor most of the time.
Webwork covered all the bases in his post, but I should elaborate on an option he implied but did not set-out.
If you think the domain is only valuable to you and the squatter, then I would say take the chance to grab it and don't make the call. Remember to register with the 3-4 major drop-catchers if you take this route. May the Force be with you.
If you don't know the objective value of the domain, do the research: check backlinks, overture etc.
That said, I like the good karma solution that he described!
I took Webwork's advice about 18 months ago on a name that was about to drop. I offered the guy $250 for a name that he had originally bought for a school project for one of his kids. He was a programmer, so he was tech-savvy, and he owned a few web sites so it wasn't like he didn't understand webmastering. He acted like he knew the name had some value, but he wanted the $250 more than he wanted to keep the domain name.
So far it's made me about $45,000.
If you are planning to call this guy to attempt to negotiate a deal - with the thought "squatter" in the back of your mind - he may pick up on your negativity/hostility towards him and that might kill the chances of any deal.
[edited by: Webwork at 4:29 pm (utc) on Aug. 21, 2005]
[edit reason] Removed some chaff and kept the kernel. [/edit]
If the domain owner registered the domain with a hosting company instead of directly with a domain register (see Technical Contact in the whois), you may want to contact the hosting party asking them for the name plus a hosting package. I did this just a few weeks ago and it worked out just fine, at no extra cost.
<<I did this just a few weeks ago and it worked out just fine...>>
Great idea, joost. Do you remember what phase the domain was in when you contacted the hosting company?
|Do you remember what phase the domain was in.. |
It was 3 weeks after expiration date, I don't remember what that's called. Redemption period?
The hosting company was happy because the former owner had stopped paying for the domain and hosting, and now they had a new customer.
Update: Got the domain.
Decided to take my chances with the drop catchers and one of them got it.
So, does that make you the "squatter" now?
I'm imagining maybe someone else would sort of like to have it.
Actually, it will have a site on it by next week, since the domain name matches the business's trademark.
Yay for you!
This reminds me of a few years ago—someone contacted me about selling their .com domain to me. I owned the .net and had developed it to some great degree. They wanted $50 for it, so at first I thought, "What the heck. I'll buy it."
Then I thought about how utterly useless this name was for anyone else. It's just a weird, somewhat obscure word. I wanted it because . . . well, I'm weird! ;)
I don't know why this person bought the .com version of the domain (they owned it before I'd bought the .net). But I got kind of annoyed that they were trying to leech $50 out of me for a domain name that no one else would want. I decided that I could live without it, since I was doing just fine with the .net. Later, I found that the squatter had not renewed the .com (since it was so useless!). I then bought it. (No one else is going to want it!) I use it to some extent, but the .net domain is still predominant.
|But I got kind of annoyed that they were trying to leech $50 out of me for a domain name that no one else would want. |
It sounds like they were just trying to recover their reg fees. I certainly wouldn't consider $50 as gouging, by any means.
|It sounds like they were just trying to recover their reg fees. I certainly wouldn't consider $50 as gouging, by any means. |
A $50 price covers far more than registration fees. They weren't just hoping to "break even." They were hoping to make a little bit of a profit. When I registered the domain I think I paid $12 for it or something.
Had they been smart enough to buy a domain name that was worth something to more than one person, they would have made a little profit. But since the only potential buyer was me, and only me, I decided, "Forget this leech. I can wait them out." And I did.
I don't know—the whole thing rubbed me the wrong way. They sat on a domain name—did nothing with it—in hopes of making a profit. Well, they made a poor choice. They chose a domain name that had value for only one person—and obviously not that much value, since I decided I could take it or leave it. And they wanted to make a nice little profit on it anyway.
But instead, they got $0. I cannot feel sorry for them.
$50 was not an unreasonable price to ask, no matter how obscure or weird the domain name was.
If they registered it before you registered your .net, they must have had something in mind besides gouging you. :)
If it wasn't worth $50 to you, then it made sense to say no thanks, but you shouldn't resent their effort to make a few bucks (and/or recoup some of their costs).
|If they registered it before you registered your .net, they must have had something in mind besides gouging you. |
I somehow doubt it. They contacted me through one of those "This domain is for sale" services. The impression I got through the whole process was that this is what they did routinely—bought up domain names, only to resell them to those who really did want them.
I don't want to leave the impression that I was livid about their offer. I just saw it as a waste of money, and somewhat of a con. They were hoping to get me to pay 3 or 4 times what I'd have to pay for something if I just waited. (i.e. if I waited for the domain to expire.) I knew full well that they'd not renew the domain. It would have been money down a rathole.
I kind of liken it to someone trying to sell a product for an inflated price to someone who doesn't want the product all that bad, and furthermore, knows that the product can be had later at a "normal" price if they willing to wait a little while. Why would anyone pay an inflated price for something that, ultimately, no one else wants? It was silly for the domain squatter to expect to make a profit under such circumstances.
|A $50 price covers far more than registration fees. They weren't just hoping to "break even." They were hoping to make a little bit of a profit. When I registered the domain I think I paid $12 for it or something. |
Just because you paid $12 for it, doesn't mean they paid $12. Some people register domains for more than 1 year and some people pay way more than $12/year. That being said, everyone is in business to make money. As you had developed your .net to some extent, I personally feel that their offer was more than fair. The situation worked out in your favor, but in reality, your cost was $12 plus the risk you took that someone else might register the name before you.
You can't always look at the value of things as what is the lowest price that you can pay. What is the value of sleeping well at night knowing that a competitor doesn't own the .com? What is the value of a lost opportunity? What is the value of saving time or energy and avoiding aggravation?
|Just because you paid $12 for it, doesn't mean they paid $12. |
So perhaps they paid $35, at the most. I doubt it somehow—my guess is that domain squatters don't pay a premium for the domains they buy on spec.
|Some people register domains for more than 1 year and some people pay way more than $12/year. |
I doubt this guy paid for more than a year, since the domain expired a few months after he made the offer to me.
|The situation worked out in your favor, but in reality, your cost was $12 plus the risk you took that someone else might register the name before you. |
The odds of that happening were extremely remote. Without giving away the domain name, it's an obscure word that apparently has no utility for anyone else. I recently bought the .info, .org and .biz domains, (mostly on a whim) since no one else has ever bothered to register them. Nobody cares. Nobody but me.
|What is the value of sleeping well at night knowing that a competitor doesn't own the .com? |
THERE WERE NO COMPETITORS! That's the whole point. The name had little value to anyone but me. It's not for a business site. The site makes a little money, based on my unique content. The name I chose doesn't help increase the value of the site at all.
The .net domain I own covers several topics that already have many competitors, who typically choose domain names that are far more appropriate for their content. Why any competitor would try to use my obscure, oddball domain name when there are far more logical and descriptive ones out there—well, it wouldn't make any sense. Many people don't even know what the word I chose means. It's that oddball. Why this speculator bought up the .com, I'll never know. It was money down the drain for him, obviously.
In summary, there was only one potential customer for that name: me. And I didn't want it all that badly.
|since the domain name matches the business's trademark. |
Ahh. That sounds a little different than "sort of like to have."
This whole forum is full of people tossing around the term "squatter" where it likely just isn't applicable. Maybe it was in your case.
"Squatter" has nothing to do with whether an active website is present, so I'm not sure why you brought that up.
Gents (and ladies?), since the original issue of this post/thread has been successfully resolved (congrats!) lets move on to new ideas and issues and new, valuable educational threads.