With the economy being the way it is right now, with everyone fighting for every last dollar, every last cent, trying to make just a little bit more money for yourself and your family, I seems as if everyone is out for themselves–and not thinking of others. Every so often, an opportunity comes up when you can do something good. Yesterday, I had that opportunity. I gave a domain name back to its former owner.
The former owner called me on the phone, told me that the domain name I bought several years ago at a Godaddy TDNAM domain name auction, was their former family-owned website. They had started it back in 1996. He had written a bunch of short stories and put it up on the site. I still owned the domain name and he was wondering if there’s anything he could do.
Without hesitation, I told David, the former owner of the domain, that if was serious and wanted the domain back, I would transfer it back to him. Needless to say, he sounded estatic on the phone. I could literally see him jumping for joy, right at that moment. He offered to pay me a very reasonable amount for the domain name (which I am going to donate to a local charity or local animal shelter), which he promptly did: I think it took about a total of an hour to receive the money, transfer the domain name to him, and confirm everything on the phone.
At a time where there Domainers (that’s what we call people who buy/sell domain names for a living) are more interested in making a buck by sniping a domain name at an auction, grabbing all domain names that might have any sort of value to them, by parking them to get the money from the clicks on domain name parking ads, Domainers need to consider the fact that “doing the right thing” from time to time goes a long way.
Sure, I could have not answered the phone yesterday. I could have talked to this former domain owner and told him that I owned the domain now and it would cost him $1000 to get it back. Or $5,000. Or I could just continue to keep the domain name, continue to park it, and earn money from now on. Or I could give it back to the former owner if he asked for it back. I chose the latter.
If you’re a domainer, it’s time to consider the fact that sure, we’re all out here to “make a buck”. And sure, in this economy, every extra dollar, every extra click counts. But you also need to realize that the internet is not just made up of a bunch of PCs and bots.
There are real people out there clicking on those domain parking ads making you revenue. There are real people out there who are running businesses, struggling for every dollar just like you and I am. Those are advertisers. They are paying to advertise their business. If they make money from quality traffic that your parked domain sends them, they’ll continue to pay for those ads.
There are real people out there who forget to renew their domain names. Or they change their email address and don’t “get notification” that it’s time to renew. They’re human, they make mistakes just like you and I do. So, if someone calls you asking for their domain name back, you might actually reconsider.
I’m not saying that if you buy a domain name that’s generic in nature (e.g. a domain name that includes a keyword that people search at a search engine) and the former owner asks for the domain name back, you reconsider giving that domain name back to them. Business is business, and domain names that have a lot of value that are not trademarked names are highly sought after: and the market is going to ultimately determine the value of those through auctions or third party or private sales.
TropicalBirds.com has a lot of value: myfamilyname.com only has value for one person: the former owner.
As a part-time domainer myself, I’m calling on other domainers to start focusing on domain names that really have value and stop trying to ‘screw to little guy’ so to speak, and gouge them by putting outrageous price tags on domains that just don’t warrant high prices. There are other ways to make a buck.