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www.Example.com taken - Do I go for hyphenated version

     
11:16 am on Jul 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I would really appreciate some advice, opinions on this.

We have just released our new product that we called (for example) <Example>. We have since found that www.Example.com has been bought up by one of these stock pile url companies and want to charge us ridiculous amounts for it. Well about $999. Which actually might not be too much in the long run. However, being a start up company it is currently out of our price range.

Would it be a sensible move to buy www.Example-.com (note the hyphen). I am worried about a few things:

1) Someone buying www.Example.com (no hyphen) and using big financial resources to copy our site but seemingly doing it better. Being fairly new to web marketing, I am concerned about this. Should I be?

2) Does putting a hyphen between the words -effectively splitting up the brand- create inconsistencies with the brand? Or is this subjective?

3) If the company owning the url saw that I rolled with the hyphenated version, would they pump up the price of the one they owned?

4) If I go with the hyphenated version, do I add a hyphen to my logo? Again, this could be subjective and maybe not relevant, sorry.

If anyone has opinions or any good examples of this having happened that would be fantastic for me.

Thanks

MrTDude

[edited by: Webwork at 1:41 pm (utc) on July 20, 2009]
[edit reason] Per Charter we use Example.com and not existing registered domain names [/edit]

2:55 pm on July 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is the owner of the domain firm on that price? Depending upon the name and the seller, they may be willing to come down a bit from their asking price to close a sale. If it's still out of your price range, then ...

1)If you have the first use in commerce and someone comes along and deliberately tries to capitalize on your business with that other domain (i.e. uses it in bad faith) you MAY have legal recourse. But I'm not a lawyer, so I suggest you run that scenario by yours.

3)Possibly.

4:52 pm on July 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You've created a product/brand/something based upon a name and didn't check out the domain name first?

However, being a start up company it is currently out of our price range.

You can't afford $999 for your own name?

I'm not being rude however if finances are that tight then you should reconsider even starting a business. It's hard out there in Internetland and you'll need some good resources, experimentation, time and plenty of patience before any kind of payback happens.

Having read some of your other postings and ideas are you sure that you actually need a .com?

11:28 am on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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When you can buy a url for 5 that is great and bang on your brand, I think that $999 is a rip off.

Husky Pup, you can't name me a successful business that started with low finances? Our resources are fantastic, I am fully committed and have been testing for a year, so I believe the site will work. However, your right, I am not exactly sure that we need a .com. The site is going to be international. We're UK based but most of our users come from USA.

Would a .net manage the same SEO success as a .com?

1:45 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Looking at the SERPs I'll venture the assertion that neither .net nor .org gTLD extensions are in any discernible disfavor with any search engine.
4:50 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Would a .net manage the same SEO success as a .com?

Absolutely, personally I've always favoured the aesthetic look of .net to .com :-) If the .net is available for a normal registration fee, i.e. a one-off registration should not be more than $12, but these do sell for good money as well. I recently bought a 4 letter .net acronym and I had to pay, surprise, surprise $1,118.00.

you can't name me a successful business that started with low finances?

Loads but that's not what this thread is about:-)

8:34 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys.

So, if I bought www.example-url.com and bought www.exampleurl.net/co.uk/info/org etc my only real concern would be that when someone typed in www.exampleurl.com into the browser they found a site that sold urls.

12:00 am on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree that $999 is better spent on other projects but if but if it's the perfect name then it might save you time and advertising expenses later on. For example, do you really want to change your company name to fit your second choice for a domain name?

On the flip side of that coin, my company name already had a hypen in it. I got the hyphenated version .com but not the non-hyphen. Even though the domain I own matches my hypenated company name, I would still rather have the non-hyphen version, but it's worth way more than I can afford.

As for those domain selling sites that has your desired name... in my limited experience with those companies, if you don't accept their offer then they will keep sending you emailed reminders that the name is available, and that they're having some big sale, or whatever. The emails seem to indicate that they're willing to negotiate. So if you have the time and patience you might be able to get it from them for less.

3:59 am on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The .net isn't a bad choice for now. My largest, most popular site is a .net, it is keywordkeyword.net and ranks very well for the two keyword combination. Like really good.

If I was you, I'd scoop up example.net and example.org if available. You could also try offering $500 for the example.com domain. You might be surprised... think about how many people will pay $999 for that domain? Not many people and there probably aren't a whole lot of buyers. So they just might go for $500... you have nothing to lose.

6:32 am on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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$999 is a steal and most likely negotiable. Get it while you can before it gets auctioned off somewhere. While you're at it, get the .net, .org and whatever other TLDs are going to be of importance from a brand protection standpoint.

Hyphenated domain name? Not unless the words are naturally hyphenated and you have the unhyphenated version. Without the two together, you're running at 50%. Hyphenated domains are a nightmare from a promotional standpoint and many just are not used to seeing them and few are going to type them correctly the first time.

3:13 pm on July 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Here's a sort of work around. Let's say you want example*.com, but instead you can only get:
example-*.com (hyphenated version)
example*.net
example-*.net (hyphenated version)

So if you advertise the hyphenated .net, and people get confused then they're still likely to get to your site. The chances of them getting both things wrong is slighter than if you advertise either the hyphenated .com or the non-hyphen .net

Given that option or a $999 .com, I would take the .com. But I still think the above concept would help minimize the loss due to confusion over the name.

 

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