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NameMedia launches to help businesses find a name

September 26, 2012Afternic, Domain Services, Domaining, Domainnamewire,, NameMediaComments Off on NameMedia launches to help businesses find a name

NameFind makes finding a company or product identity much easier.

NameMedia, the company behind Afternic and BuyDomains, today launched a new name finding service called NameFind.

There are a bunch of sites out there that help entrepreneurs find available domain names based on topics or keywords. NameFind goes several steps further and has a key component that makes if valuable to domain name investors.

In addition to finding unregistered and for sale domain names, the site pulls up matching social media handles from Facebook, Twitter, and over a dozen other social networks so you can quickly see if they are available. (Through a partnership with you can register all of them at once for a fee.) It also runs a check against the U.S. Trademark database to show you if there’s an exact match.

Users can narrow down their list of ideas and invite friends to vote on them. (This approach seems much smarter than some crowdsourcing services out there that let anyone see your idea.)

I’d argue all of this is pretty slick functionality, wrapped into a package that’s better than many competing services. It’s a great service for people going through a company or product naming process.

But that’s not what excites me the most. What excites me is that NameFind educates people that they can buy the ideal domain name, often times at a price that is well within budget. Too many people say “My ideal name is taken. I’ll look for another.” But that ideal domain name might be available for less than $2,000. If a domain name is listed on Afternic it will show up along with its price.

© 2012. This is copyrighted content. Do not republish.

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Why BuyDomains’ lawsuit over makes sense

May 7, 2012buydomains, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, NameMedia, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on Why BuyDomains’ lawsuit over makes sense

Lawsuit over is about more than just a single domain name.

In April I wrote about how a WIPO panel “stole” from BuyDomains (NameMedia) in a faulty UDRP decision. I also mentioned that I hoped BuyDomains would turn to the courts to over the issue.

On Friday George Kirikos noticed that the company did indeed turn to the courts, filing a lawsuit in Massachusetts. The suit is fairly bread-and-butter for declaratory and injunctive relief.

NameMedia doesn’t always challenge adverse UDRP decisions in court. But filing this suit was a smart move. Here’s why.

It can keep the domain

This one is kind of obvious. By filing the lawsuit the UDRP will be stayed and NameMedia can keep the domain pending the outcome of the suit.

I’m not sure how much the company would have sold this domain for. Odds are it will spend more on the lawsuit than the domain is worth to it. But…

Ward off future UDRPs

The biggest reason to file a case like this is to put other potential complainants on notice: you’ll fight to protect your property.

Tucows has sent this message loud and clear. If you file a UDRP against the company they will take you to court. In Ontario, no less. It amazes me that some companies still file UDRPs against Tucows’ surnames portfolio. It’s a waste of money. If you win the UDRP you’ll find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit. I guess some complainants still don’t know how to use Google to find the many stories about Tucows doing this.

Have a cleaner image

UDRP losses can be used against you in future UDRP cases. If NameMedia wins this lawsuit, then any future complainant that cites the loss will be greeted with a response about how that loss didn’t stick.

There’s also the issue of retroactive penalties for UDRP losses. ICANN’s guidebook for new top level domains labels anyone who has three “final” adverse cybersquatting rulings within a specified period of time as a bad apple. They (technically) can’t apply for new TLDs. Who knows when another retroactive penalty will be slapped on domain name owners?

© 2011.

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NameMedia Pulls Listings from Sedo

October 5, 2011Afternic, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMedia, sedoComments Off on NameMedia Pulls Listings from Sedo

Company removes listings from Sedo but it may be only temporary.

Notice anything missing from Sedo lately?

NameMedia, which operates BuyDomains and Afternic, has yanked all of its domains from Sedo. The company previously listed its owned and operated domain names on Sedo’s marketplace.

Sedo changed its commission rate and terms and conditions a few months ago, although Sedo says this wasn’t the reason for the removal.

Sedo Marketing Team Manager Heather DelCarpini informs me:

“While NameMedia did temporarily remove their names from our marketplace, this had nothing to do with the change to our terms and conditions. Their contract with us expired, and at that time the names were removed.”

NameMedia owns about one million domain names.

© 2011.

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NameMedia Sends “School Webmasters” Back to School

September 8, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMedia, National Arbitration Forum, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on NameMedia Sends “School Webmasters” Back to School

Arizona company loses domain name dispute over

NameMedia, which runs domain name marketplaces Afternic and BuyDomains, has taught the owner of a lesson.

ScribeWrite, LLC operates as School Webmasters (, which provides web site services to schools and teachers. It filed a complaint with National Arbitration Forum in July, asking for it to award the domain name (singular) to it.

NameMedia acquired in 2006 after it expired. This was months before ScribeWrite even started using “School Webmaster” as a mark in commerce according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records.

Nevertheless, ScribeWrite didn’t want to to pay much for the domain name. It sent a cease and desist letter to NameMedia demanding the domain name for $800.

When that failed it paid $1,000+ to hire a lawyer and file a UDRP.

The UDRP panelist found the domain name wasn’t registered in bad faith and that NameMedia has rights and legitimate interests in the domain — one of hundreds it owns that combine a generic term with “webmaster”.

NameMedia’s current asking price for Just $3,088. A little negotiation could get that down to $2,000 or $2,500. So I’m confused by ScribeWrite’s approach to getting the domain.

© 2011.

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NameMedia Expands With London Office

July 11, 2011Afternic, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMediaComments Off on NameMedia Expands With London Office

Company expands European footprint.

NameMedia is expanding its European footprint with a new office in London. The company will announce the expansion today.

The domain seller, which operates Afternic and BuyDomains, has hired Nadya Morozova as its European Business Development Manager. Morozova was previously Director of Community Outreach for the .tel registry.

Afternic is well known for its sales prowess through the U.S. registrar channel. But earlier this year it signed a deal with three European companies that collectively own 12 domain registrars to join its distribution network.

Customers can list their domains on Afternic using the “Premium” promotion level to get their domains listed for sale on these registrars. Registrar customers can buy the domain names like they would a typical domain name and get it instantly transferred into their account.

The new office and employee will help the company expand these registrar distribution relationships.

Afternic is still relatively weak on country code and non-English domain names, so it will be interesting to see if one of the goals here is to expand its offerings outside of .com/.net/.org.

© 2011.

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NameMedia sells for $61,600

September 28, 2010Afternic, buydomains, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMedia, yummynamesComments Off on NameMedia sells for $61,600

Four character domain name appears to go from end user to end user.

NameMedia, which operates Afternic and BuyDomains, has brokered the sale of for $61,600. Historical whois records show the seller is Metro Communications Company, Inc of Illinois. The buyer is using whois privacy, but is now forwarding to, the site of Elektrikom Satellite Services.

Other notable .com sales include: $18,000.00 $10,000.00 $8,800.00 $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $7,088.00 $7,000.00 $7,000.00 $5,839.00 $5,600.00 $5,400.00 $5,188.00 $5,140.00 $4,888.00 $4,788.00 $4,750.00 $4,000.00 $3,988.00 $3,807.00 $3,670.00 $3,500.00 $3,500.00 $3,500.00 $3,404.00 $3,300.00 $3,190.00 $3,188.00 $3,000.00

The company also brokered along with Tucows’ YummyNames for $11,000. Other .net/.org sales include: $4,900.00 $4,188.00 $3,988.00 $2,889.00 $2,188.00 $2,160.00 $2,088.00 $2,088.00 $2,088.00 $2,027.00

© 2010.

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NameMedia: List Once. Sell Everywhere.

September 15, 2010Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMediaComments Off on NameMedia: List Once. Sell Everywhere.

NameMedia files trademark application for new slogan.

I suppose a company has marketed itself well when you see a trademark application, haven’t yet seen who filed it, yet can guess who filed it.

That’s the case with a new service mark application from NameMedia, the company behind BuyDomains and Afternic. Last week the company filed for “List Once. Sell Everywhere.” After seeing the trademark yet before seeing who filed it I thought “I bet this is NameMedia.” I was right.

The mark was filed for goods and services related to “Providing information concerning the availability of domain names; brokerage in the field of Internet domain names, namely, matching buyers and sellers of Internet domain names.”

Although many companies have tried, NameMedia has made the most inroads into creating a unified listing service for selling domain names. It offers three different levels of distribution; top tiers distribute domain listings to over 30 sites. The company has also inked deals with Network Solutions and that not only allow domains to be sold in their registration paths but also to be instantly sold and transferred if they are registered at either of the registrars.

Other services offering multi-site distribution include Domain Distribution Network and Sedo MLS.

© 2010.

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The Truth About NameMedia, Afternic, and BuyDomains

September 2, 2010Afternic, buydomains, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMediaComments Off on The Truth About NameMedia, Afternic, and BuyDomains

Here’s why NameMedia sells more of its own domains than clients’ domains.

Every once in a while I feel like going on a rant. So here goes.

There’s been a lot of talk on both my blog and others about NameMedia, which operates BuyDomains and AfternicDLS.

NameMedia owns its own portfolio of domains which it sells through its platform. It also allows other domain owners (i.e., you) to sell domains via its AfternicDLS system, which then syndicates through its sales network.

Here’s the issue people raise: when NameMedia used to report its weekly sales, most of the domains that sold were NameMedia’s own domains. Why was there not a proportionate number of customer domains selling?

I’ll tell you why. Because NameMedia has a disproportionate amount of reasonably priced and categorized domains for sale on its premium distribution network.

Priced (reasonably) and categorized

When you list with Afternic you have a choice of listing a price or as “make offer”. If you list an actual price your domain is much more likely to sell to an end user.

You can also categorize your domain. Domains that are categorized are 2.8 times more likely to sell than uncategorized listings.

So if you haven’t priced your domains and categorized them, you won’t sell nearly as many as NameMedia does. And if you don’t price your domains within the end-user sweet spot of under $5k (more like $1k-$2k), it will be even harder to sell.

Promotion Levels

You have three choices when it comes to selling your domains with NameMedia through AfternicDLS.

The first is Basic Distribution. This means your domains are just listed on Afternic.

I suspect that most people who complain about lack of success with AfternicDLS choose basic distribution and don’t price their domains.

There’s absolutely no way you can sell the same percentage of your domains on AfternicDLS as NameMedia does if this is how you’re listing your domains.

The second level is Expanded Distribution, which syndicates your listings to 20 partners. This is definitely a step up from basic listings, and all things being equal your domain on Expanded is three times as likely to sell as on Basic.

But the magic is in the third listing level, Premium Distribution. These domains also show up when people search for domains at Network Solutions and More importantly, customers are able to buy the domains directly at those registrars and instantly get the domain in their account.

Domains listed in Premium Distribution have 18x the sales velocity of domains in Basic Distribution.

So let’s assume you have actually priced all of your domains reasonably and categorized them well. Let’s also assume your domains are comparable to NameMedia’s own portfolio and you have as many domains at the company owns. But you list them on Basic. NameMedia is still going to outsell you 18-to-1.

You’re really comparing apples to oranges if you gripe about that.

Now there’s only one advantage NameMedia has to you if you actually use the Premium level and all other factors are kept constant: NameMedia’s own domains are syndicated through the GoDaddy registration path. That is not currently an option for its customers (although you can do that directly with GoDaddy).

But isn’t there a salesperson conflict of interest?

This is a fair question. Wouldn’t NameMedia’s phone sales reps have an incentive to sell the company’s own domains rather than yours?

The answer is yes, only if you don’t price your domains correctly and list them at the Premium level.

Sales reps make the same commission selling one of your names as one of NameMedia’s. But let’s put yourself in a sales rep’s shoes.

Phone rings. Person is interested in two domains, one of which is a customer domain and one is the company’s own domain. I can quote the buyer a price on the NameMedia domain and sell it to them instantly, which is a big advantage for me as a salesperson. If the AfternicDLS customer has priced the domain, I can quote the price and sell it instantly only if it is priced and listed at Premium level.

Now the customer starts to bargain. Both domains are priced at $3,000 and the seller wants to spend $2,000. For the NameMedia domain I can run down the hall to my sales manager and see if he will let it go for $2,000.

I can’t do that with the client’s domain. Or can I? Actually, yes. If the client put a floor price on his listing, I can negotiate directly with the buyer without even contacting the seller.

So, in a nut shell, here’s how to get a NameMedia sales rep to sell your domain on part with its own:

-Price it reasonably
-Add a floor price
-Choose Premium Distribution so they can sell and transfer the domain immediately to the buyer

The bottom line

Have you ever purchased a product at that was sold by a third party? It’s interesting. Amazon actually lists its competitors and their prices next to the product. You can either buy it from Amazon or buy it from a partner and Amazon takes a commission. They don’t discriminate; if a third party seller offers it for less they’ll actually list the competitor above in the purchase options.

It’s the same thing here. If you compare apples to apples, NameMedia will sell the same proportion of your domains as it does its own.

I’ll leave you with one thought: if NameMedia sells so few client domains, why does it spend so much money courting domainers to sell on its system? Surely it should just cut domainers out of the picture and concentrate on selling its own domains. That would save a lot of hassles.

Hmm. I hope the tides never change so much that NameMedia considers doing that. That would be a big loss for domainers.

© 2010.

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  3. 10 Reasons You’re Not Selling More Domains Domain Sells for $42,500

August 4, 2010Afternic, buydomains, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMediaComments Off on Domain Sells for $42,500

Rates are low, but domain prices are high.

If you’ve shopped for a certificate of deposit rate recently, you were probably disappointed by the results. Bankrate reports the typical 6-month CD is returning just 0.85%. Perhaps you should invest in domain names instead? One of NameMedia’s (runs Afternic and BuyDomains) top reported sales this week was for at $42,500. The domain gets some traffic according to

NameMedia releases only a small fraction of its weekly sales, but here are some other notable ones from the past week: $10,000.00 $8,790.00 $8,000.00 $7,500.00 $5,000.00 $3,000.00 $3,000.00 $2,800.00 $2,799.00 $2,750.00 $2,750.00 $2,750.00 $2,500.00 $2,500.00 $2,495.00 $2,488.00 $2,399.00 $2,200.00 $2,088.00 $2,000.00 $2,000.00 $1,895.00 $1,860.00 $1,600.00 $1,595.00 $1,562.00

© 2010.

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UDRP Panelist Rules NameMedia Can Keep Generic

June 29, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, NameMedia, pantaloons, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on UDRP Panelist Rules NameMedia Can Keep Generic

NameMedia wins UDRP case brought by Indian retailer.

PantaloonsNameMedia has successfully staved off an attack by Indian clothing retailer Pantaloon Retail for the domain name The retailer is part of Future Group, and owns, but not the pural version.

Pantaloons is a generic, albeit somewhat antiquated, clothing term. But it’s still a generic word, the panelist noted.

NameMedia put up a SmartName shop on the domain name, which shows numerous product listings for pantaloons. Interestingly, the panelist questioned this online shop’s validity:

the offering of pantaloons for sale at the website, appears to the Panel to be contrived and there may well be grounds for questioning its validity. Clearly, from the evidence provided, Respondent is not itself offering pantaloons for sale, it is merely providing links to eBay and other sites where such offers are made. However, in the light of the Panel’s conclusions in relation to Respondent’s second proposition, it is unnecessary for the Panel to decide that question.

NameMedia’s actual response in the case isn’t public, but from reading the panelist’s summary of the response, it doesn’t appear that the company actually inferred that it personally sold pantaloons. Instead, it showed that it was using the domain name in a way that didn’t infringe on the complainant’s mark and only used the generic nature of the term.

The panelist ruled that NameMedia had rights or legitimate interests in the domain name.

© 2010.

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