The concept of buying a domain is simple enough. You think up of a domain or website address that will best suit your purpose. If the website is still available, you can buy it and finally claim it as your own. Then you can begin the process of building a website.
The most crucial part of buying a domain is not the fact that you have to shell out money for it. It’s actually securing the domain name that you want; you can only have it if it is available, and by that we mean either of two things: no one has bought and registered it yet, or someone has already purchased it but just had it parked. “Parking” a domain means the owner isn’t making a website for the domain. It is simply a single page with little content, including a sign that says the site is parked and is up for sale.
Domain parking is a common custom among domainers who are making a business out of buying and selling domain names. It works this way: if you happen to own a domain that another person or business entity wants so much, you can sell it at a price much higher than the one you originally paid for. If there are many interested buyers, you can put up the domain for bidding. In fact, some of the most expensive domains even sold for millions.
Candy.com – sold for $3 million
Clothes.com – sold for $4.9 million
Toys.com – sold for $5.1 million
Diamond.com – sold for $7.5 million
Porn.com – sold for 9.5 million
Sex.com – sold for $13 million
Until such time that a buyer turns up for your domains, you need to “park” them first.
This is how domainers make additional income. They think up of domains that are most likely to have a high demand, buy them first and then sell them at a more expensive price. They can also start monetizing the domain while being parked. They can populate it with informational content and post ads. While making money from “defunct” sites may sound strange for the layman, domainers know better; Lawrence Ng, along with a team of focused individuals, grew and raised a business around this concept. Under his leadership, their site, Oversee.net, earned more than $200 million in 2007 alone.
So What Does Parking Have To Do With The Biggest No-No When Buying A Domain?
It is necessary to mention all this because it explains why there’s such a thing as domain name front running. This is the practice of monitoring which domain names are being checked for availability. Then before the buyer can go to a registrar and purchase the domain, they snatch the thing, park it, and tag it with a more expensive price.
People who do this may have taken the idea from domain companies that monetize parked pages, only they don’t actually do any monetization work. Their strategy is an underhanded one. They practically steal a domain right under a buyer’s nose, as opposed to Oversee.net’s strategy of ranking and monetizing the page to the advantage of anyone who decides to buy it from them.
What Should You NOT Do Then?
If you already have a domain name in mind that you intend to buy, do not, I repeat, do not try to search for it and check if it is still available. Just in case it’s already bought and in use, prepare a list of possible alternatives and arrange them in order of greatest preference. Go directly to the domain registrar you’ve chosen and inquire about your number one choice, then the second if it is unavailable.
Do not check the availability of your domain name on numerous registrars too. It’s not only independent domainers that are guilty of domain name front running as well. It has been found that one domain registrar is doing something similar.
The registrar has been keeping track of all domains entered into its availability checker. It would then snap up these domains. Although it will not offer them for a price higher than they regularly charge, it forces customers to purchase and register the domain with that registrar alone. Customers won’t be able to switch to another registrar, should they wish to do so.
Registering Domains Require Serious Intent
It is therefore important to make up your mind about buying a domain and to stick to that decision the moment you go to a domain registrar. You should be ready to pay for it right away. Go to the buy button right away instead of hitting the checker first. Anyway the registrar will inform you if the domain you want is available or not. The moment the registrar declares the domain available, finalize the purchase immediately and don’t wait another day. It could be easily bought by another hours or even minutes after you.
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver based company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. Please contact www.pitstopmedia.com, if you would like to invite Emma to write for your blog/website.