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I can't buy them all up when I search because they need to be approved and there are budgets for each niche. Buying up all of them compresses the profit margins and forces me to raise prices.
[edited by: SEOMike at 4:03 pm (utc) on Oct. 12, 2007]
Did you check a whois to see who got them, and if it was all the same company?
Maybe it's time for a systematic study of this. I unfortunately don't have the time, but if someone wants to do this, we would love you.
Lesson learned if you check it and it is open you better buy it now or it will be bought.
I suspected this couple years did a check on ------- sure enough next day bought..
I would suspect most all of them resell their files at some point and would not trust any register....
checked a domain one day, gone the next
Check again in 5 days to see if the person that registered it is just domain tasting it.
I can't buy them all up when I search because they need to be approved and there are budgets for each niche.
If you buy a lot of domains you can buy/reserve/taste a domain with various services.
[edited by: Webwork at 5:40 pm (utc) on Oct. 13, 2007]
[edit reason] Per Charter we prefer to keep advice generic, versus specific company endorsements [/edit]
The subject of log snooping has been beaten to death here in the past, with no conclusive evidence on either side.
I think the safest way to check domains is with nslookup. Do it on your own Linux system - not on an "nslookup" website. (There is at least one very nice commercial tool for Windows, and I presume free/open source ones as well.) Don't check at a registrar's site - especially a sleazy one.
By doing it this way, you minimize your risk. Somebody would have to have their paws in pretty deep in high places to snarf your inquiry. And they'd be basing any decision to taste on some pretty tenuous evidence - your inquiry wouldn't look any different from somebody just typing-in the name of a non-existent domain name into a browser. But DON'T just type it into a browser, because a negative might simply mean that there is no web site at the domain's base name - but it could still be registered.
By using a registrar's look-up function prior to registration, you are just begging them to look over your shoulder.
That said, I trust my registrar, use their look-up, and have never had any such problem. If you hang out in shadier places, better to use nslookup.
[edited by: Webwork at 5:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 13, 2007]
[edit reason] Urge to solve riddle? Argh. ;-P [/edit]
Having had a similar experience in the past I now just type 'whois' at the command prompt
Sorry, earlier I said I use 'nslookup'. Of course, I meant 'whois'.
Actually, I use a nice commercial whois GUI app that runs on Windows. Although I am trying to transition to Linux for as much as possible, sometimes there's a Windows app that's just too nice to ignore.
Please limit advice about solution providers - WhoIs, tasting, etc. - to generalized guidance, such as listing the type of offerings one might look for when considering a solution provider.
Any version of "You should do business with CompanyX" posts are not the way to go. At least not anywhere in WebmasterWorld.
A number of registrars now offer tasting at reasonable prices, even for just one domain, to anybody. Typically, they charge your account or credit card for the registration, and you have some period (a few days) in which to try it out, make up your mind, whatever. If you decide you don't want it, you either get money back on your credit card or a "store credit", minus a small return fee of well under a dollar.
So, this might be a solution to your problem. It's only a short period of time, though, so it wouldn't be useful if it takes a week or two to make a decision.
Using a whois application directly on your own computer, rather than using the whois search box your registrar kindly provided for you is probably good enough protection.
Check availability directly at the registry that manages the TLD. That is your safest bet as all registrars will query the registry to check availability. Under no circumstances should you continue to check with the registrar that you've been using. Something sounds very corrupt there. When you are ready to buy, pick a reputable registrar, add the domains that you want to your shopping cart and complete your purchase immediately.
One challenge is that while there are anecdotes available aplenty about people checking domain availability and then finding the domain gone the next day or whatever (Woz puts his hand up for this one), there is little if anything in the way of proof. Were we in a court of law then the burden of proof would apply and in the absence of such proof the issue would be dismissed. But then, there is a great difference between law, courts and reality, and the reality is that there is more than enough in the way of anecdotes and circumstantial evidence to support suspicions that the practice is going on. And with the current rise in "domain tasting", that is, domainers registering the domain to test the quantity/quality of traffic and then keeping or releasing them in a few days through a registration loophole, the probability that your whois queries are being monitored can only increase.
It is best then to act under the assumption that the practice IS going on and thus proceed with caution when checking the availability of domains.
My pointers are:-
I find it best to assume that someone is watching my whois queries and when checking the availability of a domain I proceed ready to register it at a moments notice should it be available - I can type in my CC details in about 2 seconds flat. ;)
As far as I know, a name being taken quickly after I checked has never happened to me in my 11 yrs of registering names at many different registars.
Another reason I don't think this is happening is that since at least 90% of domains appear to be basically worthless (most all with no traffic) it sure would involve tremendous wasted time and resources in monitoring all the inquiries, especially since the person watching may not be able to effectively discern the few good names from all the bad ones anyway.
Never have done...until this week!
Checked an unusual widget trade .eu on Tuesday, registered by someone on Wednesday!
This time I'll take it as coincdence however if it happens again then the boys will be round knocking on the door:-)
Perhaps the trick is - not to bother about it..
If it's a name you really need then be prepared to buy it then..
Yet sometimes I like to do it for fun, something jumps in to your head, add to the stupidly growing collection.. etc..
If 1 goes.. there will be another on another day..
If you acquire domains then everyone's got their story of the 1 that got away lol ...
After a few days of the last time I checked for the domain when it was available, it was no more.
Lesson learned: You don't check domains, you buy them :)