Domain Name Wars
Posted on April 25, 2014
Monday a.m. I get up and check my email. The usual stuff, save one note that had my URL in the title, so I opened it to see what was up. The email was from a company in the UK wanting to know if I wanted to buy the .com extension of a URL I use for my business.
Time Machine Backstory
When I started my company I liked the name Transmission. Had for a while. Obviously transmission.com wasn’t available for quick pick up on GoDaddy, so alternate routes I went. I did some research and found that XMSN was the official technical abbreviation for transmission. Smart enough to get me on theFWA no doubt. I looked at the domains, and no one was using any of them, although the .com iteration was taken. I went ahead and picked up the fashion forward .co and .us extensions.
I set about using .co. One problem though: some email clients at the time refused to accept a .co email address. So that was that for then. I didn’t like .us back then. I’m married, and had spent enough time in maternal doctor’s offices to strongly associate .us with Us Magazine. A flaw, but it’s me. So I just said whatever, and came up with a horrible domain extension for transmission I don’t even care to list. It was that bad. I was tired from having a baby and just wanted to get on with it.
After a while, my business grew as did our baby. With both came more restful nights. With this perspective, I began to feel like my domain name needed a recharge, again because it was b school case study review worthy stupid. Some more thinking and finally, I just figured .us was good enough for now. So I changed things up and switched to xmsn.us.
And then, about a year and change later, the email arrived. XMSN.com is for sale. Got me thinking. Since .com is so ubiquitous, perhaps it would be nice to get it. Then research mode. So I checked on GoDaddy, entering the domain for the hell of it to see about availability. Lo and behold an good old fashion auction was going on for XMSN.com.
Domain Name Auction Time
The auction was a few days in. The bid was around 70 dollars. Feels good to see your brand so highly valued. The auction had a day and half left, so I just watched. I watched a total of 12 squatter pirate dick heads, I mean bidders, bid than vanish, get outbid, then vanish. Finally, the last hour of the process, I watched the domain move from the mid 100s all the way up to $699.
Should I bid?
Less than a minute left.
But, maybe I should?
Nah. I’ve succeed with bad domain names before.
At $699 it stayed, going no higher. In reading the auction guidelines, a name sold at auction can be pulled back if a reserve isn’t met. So it’s possible whoever contacted me wanted me to drive up the price. Whatever. I passed. A .com domain name is nice, but not necessary. I respect their right to conduct biz, free market and all, but it would be nice if you actually use a domain, you could get other extensions without being poked at by the Jack Sparrows of the ‘Net.
The Free Market
In closing, I am a bit disappointed that GoDaddy would take an extension domain that one of its long-time customers (us) owned and used, and rather than offer it to us at a decent mark up and cast it to the free market. I do understand the free market, though, so GoDaddy shouldn’t be surprised if I take more than $699 worth of annual business elsewhere. Maybe I’ll put my domain name and hosting biz up for auction.