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Median sales price at Uniregistry stays steady as sales grow

September 19, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Median sales price at Uniregistry stays steady as sales grow

Median price has dropped slightly so far this year.

Uniregistry issued a release this morning with sales data from the first eight months of 2017.

The total number of sales increased 24% to 3,617. The total value was $29 million (up from $25 million), or an average of $8,017 per domain.

The release noted that the average sales price was down from $9,110 last year.

But averages are misleading. I generally ignore them when marketplaces release them. They can be drastically affected by one or two big sales and don’t paint an accurate picture of what’s going on.

The median–the point at which half the sales are above and half are below–is a better measure for a marketplace. I reached out to Uniregistry to get this number.

The median price this year has been $4,000. Last year it was $4,200, so there was little movement on that front.

This median number is a good one for domain sellers to think about.



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Lack of disclosure leads to Reverse Domain Name Hijacking finding

September 19, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Lack of disclosure leads to Reverse Domain Name Hijacking finding

Mexican resort operator failed to disclose business relationship with domain owner.

Trouble in Paradise.

The operators of two Mexican resorts–Golden Parnassus Paradise of the Gods and Great Parnassus Paradise of the Gods–have been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH) in a recent cybersquatting complaint.

The resorts filed UDRPs against the domains GoldenParnassusCancun.com and GreatParnassusCancun.com. The domains are owned by a company in Florida that wholesales vacation packages to travel agencies.

The UDRP filings missed several critical details and failed to disclose a 10+ year relationship between the complainants and the domain owner. It turns out that the Florida company has a long-running business deal to wholesale vacation packages to the resorts. It has even received the resort owner’s approval for changes to websites on the domains at issue.

Although the domain owner didn’t ask for a finding of RDNH, the panel considered it anyway and determined that the filing was made in bad faith:

After reviewing all the evidence, the Panel has come to the conclusion that the Complainant has failed to disclose a number of material facts, including the existence of the long standing business relationship between the parties and the specific facts recited in this decision at paragraph 6.B, which were critical to the Panel’s finding that Respondent holds legitimate rights and interests in the disputed domain names, and which were obviously known to the Complainants before they began these proceedings. In these circumstances, the filing of the Complaint represents an abuse of process which the Panel finds entirely unacceptable. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainants have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.



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My thoughts on employee turnover at Uniregistry

September 19, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on My thoughts on employee turnover at Uniregistry

Here are some probable reasons you’re seeing visible turnover at Uniregistry.

On Friday, Konstantinos Zournas at OnlineDomain wrote about something people have been mumbling about on message boards for a couple months now: turnover at Frank Schilling’s company Uniregistry.

Konstantinos is correct. There has been quite a bit of visible turnover at the company. A lot happened over the summer, but there has certainly been turnover for a while. I have explained DNW to a couple marketing people at Uniregistry, only to have them leave a week or two later. (I hope that’s not correlated!)

I think there are many reasons for this.

First, I should state that I know for a fact that not everyone leaving Uniregistry has been let go. Some have left on their own volition. Others have been fired.

I also know that headcount at the company is at or near its peak. So the company isn’t laying off people as a cut-your-way-to-profitability plan.

That said, here are some reasons I think Uniregistry has had visible turnover lately:

1. Grand Cayman. Not everyone who works at the company lives in Cayman. But for those that relocate there, I imagine it takes a special circumstance to really embrace it. It’s a small place and certainly not for everyone. I could never talk my family into moving there. If I did, I think they’d constantly nag me to return to the States. Some people love it, but it would be hard for others.

2. Frank is a demanding guy. Frank Schilling didn’t get rich just by being lucky. Read any profile of the man and you’ll know he worked like crazy to snap up domains in the early 2000s. He’s going to expect his employees to work extremely hard, too. His extreme expectations might not mix with the balance some employees seek.

3. It’s a sales organization. While there are a lot of tech employees at Uniregistry, a large number of employees are salespeople. Sales departments have lots of turnover. It’s a numbers game. (I imagine sales head Jeffrey Gabriel is also a demanding, numbers-driven boss. Otherwise, he’d no longer be with the company.)

4. New TLDs. New top level domains aren’t doing well. Uniregistry’s TLDs aren’t hitting the numbers the company hoped for and that’s not going to change anytime soon. I’m not sure if some layoffs were directly related to new TLD sales, but when sales are going gangbusters at a company they often don’t bother to cut the dead weight. A revenue miss will lead any company owner to take a hard look at his or her team and make some difficult decisions.

That’s my four cents.



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Analysis: next generation companies in China still prefer .com

September 18, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Analysis: next generation companies in China still prefer .com

Kassey Lee reviews top level domain usage by top new internet companies in China.

Several years ago some domain experts predicted that the next generation companies would prefer new extensions because of better names at lower prices than .com. Is this trend happening now? I want to know, so do people investing in the Chinese domain market.

Long established magazine CI Week has recently published the “2017 Top 300 New Internet Companies” (2017新互联网公司TOP300) list, which provides an excellent source to study this trend.

I have selected the top 30 companies from the list for a detailed analysis. For each of the companies, I used Baidu search to find the domain name for its corporate site. The result is shown in the table below.

RankNameNameDomain
1京东金融Jing Dong Jin RongJR.JD.com
2众安保险Zhongg An Bao XianZhongan.com
3易鑫金融Yi Xin Jin RongDaikuan.com
4摩拜单车Mo Bai Dan Che (Mobike)Mobike.com
5泰康在线Tai Kang Zai XianTK.cn
6微众银行Wei Zhong Yin HangWebank.com
7蜻蜓FMQing Ting FMQingting.fm
851信用卡51 Xin Yong KaU51.com
9熊猫TVXiong Mao TVPanda.tv
10乐视体育Le Shi Ti YuLesports.com
11瓜子二手车直卖网Gua Zi Er Shou Che Zhi Mai WangGuazi.com
12美菜网Mei Cai WangMeicai.cn
13趣分期Qu Fen QiQufenqi.com
14小赢理财Xiao Ying Li CaiXiaoying.com
15中商惠民网Zhong Shang Hui Min WangHuimin.cn
16龙珠TVLong ZhuLongzhu.com
17ofo共享单车OFO Gong Xiang Dan CheOFO.so (OFO.com)
18摩比神奇360 SecurityMo Bi Shen Qi 360360securityapps.com
19碳云智能科技Tan Yun Zhi Neng Ke JiiCarbonx.com
20好屋中国Hao Wu Zhong GuoHaowu.com
21掌众金融Zhang Zhong Jin RongWeshare.com.cn
22波奇网Bo Qi WangBoqii.com
23理财网Li Cai WangXGQQ.com
24贝贝网Bei Bei WangBeibei.com
25TalkingData(腾云天下)TalkingDataTalkingdata.com
26车和家Che He JiaChehejia.com
27云鸟配送Yun Niao Pei SongYunniao.cn
28e袋洗e Dai XieDaixi.com
29斗鱼TVDou Yu TVDouyu.com
30人人车Ren Ren CheRenrenche.com

The result is very clear: 77% of the next generation companies prefer .com and only 17% use .cn. The only two non-mainstream extensions spotted are .tv and .fm. Therefore, .com is still king! If you want the largest pool of corporate buyers, stick with .com.

Why no change at all? Consumers are busy, and remembering less is better. However, new extensions require consumers to remember not just the name but also the extension of a domain name. This is a big ask. Amazon knows this issue well. They popularized one-click online shopping, after all.

Digging deeper, we see that 70% of the domain names match their brands. This means most startups in China understand the power of a brand-matching domain name: if you remember a brand, you know what products it represents and where to buy them online.

You may notice Pinyin names are popular: 60% of the domain names are Pinyin. However, I caution startups to study their desired Pinyin name to make sure it can be used globally. Is it easy to pronounce? Some good Pinyin names in the list are Beibei.com and Douyu.com. On the other hand, names such as Zhongan.com and Qufenqi.com may be challenging outside China. There is a workaround, however, by upgrading to a short acronym such as ZG.com and QFQ.com in this example.

In short, .com will remain the golden standard in corporate China.



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Will Chatbots change the web? – DNW Podcast #153

September 18, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Will Chatbots change the web? – DNW Podcast #153

How you can leverage chatbots in your business.

dnw-podcastEveryone is talking about Chatbots. This week I talk to chatbot expert Peter Lisoskie of Chatbot Nation about how businesses can use chatbots and how they might change our interaction with the web. There’s an interesting use case for domain registrars, too. Listening to this episode might give you some great business ideas. Also: Trending names, a $275k value, Hurrican Irma, Topcoin, strong new TLD sales and more.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)



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Google reminds everyone how .mobi domains are stupid

September 18, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Google reminds everyone how .mobi domains are stupid

.Mobi domains used to have a point. Now they don’t.

Last week Google posted a quick guide to moving from a subdomain for a mobile site to just using the same domain and a responsive site. The post doesn’t mention .mobi, but the same concept applies: In 2017, there’s no reason to have a separate website for mobile browsers.

.Mobi made a lot of sense when it was launched in 2006. It seemed quite prescient the following year when Apple launched the original iPhone.

But maintaining separate websites for mobile and larger browsers doesn’t make much sense anymore. Now, everyone should create a responsive website that adjusts based on the size of the browser.

Maintaining two different sites is bad for SEO and costs more money.



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Domain name humor in Catastrophe

September 16, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Domain name humor in Catastrophe

Having fun with fake top level domain names.

In this scene in Catastrophe, Sharon and Rob make up fake top level domain names.

If you want a good laugh, you should definitely check out the Amazon Original Series Catastrophe. There’s even some domain name humor in the season finale of season two.

Sharon and Rob are fighting, and Rob points out that they need to make arrangements for the kids:

Sharon: You can e-mail me.
Rob: OK. Is your e-mail address still Impatient[explicit]@Mean.jerk?
Sharon: Yeah. Yeah, it is. Is yours still FatIdiot@BadBreath.[explicit]?

Rob then walks to the car, where his drug-and-alcohol addicted friend Fergal is waiting for him. Fergal turns to Rob.

Fergal: Dot [explicit]. That’s awesome. Is that an actual domain name? Because if it is, I will buy that.

My guess is the part I’ve blanked out here (a derogatory term commonly used in Britain) would not pass ICANN’s rules for a top level domain. But you never know what will happen in round 2!



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My first domain name sale through DomainAgents

September 15, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on My first domain name sale through DomainAgents

Here’s how my first sale went down.

domain agents

At NamesCon this year I met up with Ryan McKegney of domain sales service DomainAgents. After talking with him, I finally decided to take the ten minutes necessary to add my domain portfolio to DomainAgents.

This month I made my first sale with DomainAgents, but it actually wasn’t one of the domains I listed for sale. It was just a lead that came in through one of DomainAgents partners.

DomainAgents has deals with domain registrars, Whois sites and name spinners/suggestion tools. It syndicates some domain listings to them and also lets people make an offer on any domain name. In my case, the partner that generated the lead was a name spinning site.

Here’s the kicker: Potential buyers have to pay a $19.95 fee to submit an offer. They get their money back if they don’t receive a response from the owner.

DomainAgents pays domain owners $10 for responding to an offer. So even if the buyer doesn’t make a good offer, at least you’re getting a little bit of money for your time.

The other interesting thing is that the buyer pays all of the fees for the transaction, including DomainAgents’ fee. As a seller, you just see their offer and your counteroffers. The buyer, on the other hand, sees the itemized fees when they interact with the negotiation system.

Once a deal is struck, it’s sent to Escrow.com as a brokerage transaction.

I ended up selling my domain for about what I would have received after the commission had it been sold at my “buy now” price listed on Afternic.

Even though the domain I sold wasn’t listed on DomainAgents, I think it’s worth taking ten minutes to add your portfolio there. You never know…



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Foster agency files UDRP against domain “held for ransom”

September 15, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Foster agency files UDRP against domain “held for ransom”

Agency decided to file cybersquatting complaint rather than pay £9,000.

Earlier this month I wrote about a UK foster agency that forgot to renew its domain name and then complained that it was being “held for ransom” by someone who registered it upon expiration.

The person who bought LittleAcornsFostering.com allegedly asked the foster agency for £9,000 if it wanted to buy the domain from him.

That’s a pretty hefty price for this domain name, so the foster agency decided to take another approach that could result in the domain owner getting nothing. It filed a UDRP with World Intellectual Property Organization.

Companies that have let domain names lapse have won UDRPs in the past, and I’d guess this case is in the foster agency’s hands to lose.



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Company files UDRP against a relative, but it’s RDNH

September 14, 2017Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Company files UDRP against a relative, but it’s RDNH

What’s Italian for domain hijacking?

Colussi S.p.A. of Milan, Italy has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH) over the domain name Colussi.com.

The domain name is owned by Andrea Colussi, a cousin of the current Chairman and a shareholder of Colussi S.p.A., and nephew of Angelo Colussi, the founder of Colussi S.p.A.

This was a dead-on-arrival case. How could you show that someone whose last name is Colussi doesn’t have a legitimate interest in the domain name Colussi.com?

The complaint suggests that Andrea Colussi should have transferred rights in the Colussi name along with a business sale that took place in 1999. The World Intellectual Property Organization panelist reviewed the documentation around that agreement but probably didn’t need to. It seems to be outside the scope of a UDRP.

The panelist listed five reasons for finding RDNH. The first one was reason enough:

…the Complainant was clearly aware of the Respondent’s identity and of his family name, Colussi, which is identical to the disputed domain name, and thus the Complainant had a clear knowledge of the Respondent’s rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.



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