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Networking

12 July 2010

How I Made Friends with the Guy Who Registered a Domain 5 Minutes Before I Did

Sometimes things turn out well when you least expect them.

While browsing NameClerk’s list of 884 Available Keyword Domains last night, I made a note of a few that I liked, and added them to my cart. A few of the best names had already been snapped up earlier that day, but I found three that I thought were decent. One of them was UsedLuxuryCars.org. As I was looking over the list, I knew it would be in my best interest to process the transaction right away, in case somebody else happened to be after one of the same names, but as usual, I took a few minutes to look over the list to make sure I hadn’t missed any gems.

Once I’d completed my order and paid for the names, I received the dreaded email stating that UsedLuxuryCars could not be registered, because it was already taken. In a 5 minute span! Out of curiosity, I checked DomainTools to see who the owner was. I wasn’t mad, because after all they had as much of a chance of getting the domain as I did, but I found the whole thing amusing, so I sent the guy a short email congratulating him on the registration.

He sent a friendly reply back, and it turned out that he was from Vancouver and in the car business, so this particular domain had a great deal of value and meaning for him. He asked if I was also in the car business, which of course I’m not, and it actually made me happy that the domain had gone to someone who would genuinely use it. He already owns a collection of sites on the subject, so the development potential for him is huge, whereas for me, it would have just been a minisite or a quick sale.

A domain is always more valuable in the hands of someone who has a a real knowledge and passion for the subject matter, who can develop it properly.

We exchanged several emails over the course of an hour, and he even told me a story about a friend of a friend who had (stupidly) registered a name with the word “Microsoft” in it and was sued for $2 million. A word of warning to the newbies out there who are so keen on registering trademarked names. His friend lost all his money.

So the moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to extend a friendly gesture and write to someone who outbids you in an auction or closes a sale faster than you.

There’s no telling who you might meet.

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About Nadia

Nadia is the editor of DomainSushi. Her love affair with domain names and web development dates back to 1998, and she is passionate about educating the tech community, small business owners, and laymen about domain name strategy. Follow her on Twitter: @DomainSushi.

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