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Reason #2,142 the Internet is Stupid: The Perceived Value of Domain Names

I still can’t quite understand why there is still such a thing as a “domain aftermarket,” because in case no one noticed, domain names don’t really have any value. With the exception of a good one-word domain name, such as shop.com for a shopping site, feed.com for a news aggregator or farm supply store, buzz.com for an electrician, beekeeper, or celebrity gossip site, or slick.com for a hair gel, oil spill, or latex fetish site, there is simply no reason to spend the ridiculous amounts of money so-called “domain name prospectors” seem to think they can command. What is this, 2002?

Speaking of 2002, I used to work for a certain charismatic lunatic who spent something like 40 grand on a domain name for an imaginary site that would compete with Friendster. He never developed the site, though he did get a baseball hat with a pretty sweet logo on it. The point being: it’s not the domain that matters, it’s the content. I don’t write this as though it’s some sort of new revelation…the revelation is that it still doesn’t seem obvious to everyone.

Yesterday, I had this idea that I wanted to buy the domain, “MaketheLogoBigger.com,” and start a site that would combine the best elements of Smashing Magazine, Lifehacker, and DeviantArt. Since then, I realized that about 30,000 bloggers are already doing the same thing, so I kind of scrapped the idea as soon as I had it. But not before I had this ridiculous exchange:

————–

jacob wrote:

What is your offer for makethelogobigger.com? Let me know.

Best Regards,
*Jacob* | *AcquireThisName.com*
AcquireThisName.com

————–

From: Malcolm
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 12:41 PM
To: jacob
Subject: Re: Offer on makethelogobigger.com

$100

————–

jacob wrote:
Hello Malcolm,

The seller is asking $5,000 USD for makethelogobigger.com. Let me know.

Best Regards,
Jacob
AcquireThisName.com

————–

From: Malcolm
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 1:17 PM
To: jacob
Subject: Re: Offer on makethelogobigger.com

All set. Thanks.

————–

jacob wrote:

You are welcome to make a counter offer. Let me know.

Best Regards,
Jacob | AcquireThisName.com
AcquireThisName.com

————–

From: Malcolm
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 2:47 PM
To: jacob
Subject: Re: Offer on makethelogobigger.com

$150

————–

jacob wrote:
The seller’s counter offer is $2,500.

Best Regards,

Jacob | AcquireThisName.com
AcquireThisName.com

————–

From: Malcolm
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 3:59 PM
To: jacob
Subject: Re: Offer on makethelogobigger.com

$160, and that’s my final offer.

————–

jacob wrote:
I’m sorry the seller won’t agree to that.

Best Regards,
Jacob | AcquireThisName.com
AcquireThisName.com

————–

From: Malcolm
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 5:40 PM
To: jacob
Subject: Re: Offer on makethelogobigger.com

Fair enough. Thanks.

————–

Based on him slashing his asking price in half, I almost expected the seller to go ahead and accept my “final offer.” I also expected “Jacob” would suspect that I was having a little bit of fun with him. But the point is, I can think of very few reasons to buy a $5,000 domain. I can just as easily start my new site on “BorkNack.com” and have it be just as successful, that is, if the content was killer and the idea wasn’t already done to death by a ton of people more qualified than I. The domain aftermarket is dumb, and it’s time for this “business” to go away.

There Are 2 Responses So Far. »

  1. Your last line reminds me of this: If I remember my internet history right, the domain name “business.com” once sold for $7 million. The seller said, “People told me I was crazy to buy this name for $100,000.” If you go to business.com, you get one of those fakey index pages that means nobody is home.

  2. Whew!! Not to sound creepy or anything but I just finished reading the blog from its hoary beginning to today. For several reasons: 1. To track in a somewhat linear manner a journey similar to one I’ve begun with plans to move to da Yucatan 2. I enjoy y’all’s (it is a word, look it up) writing, and 3. I really have no life.

    I realize this should be posted under “Contact Us,” but the form doesn’t open for me. Anyhoo, leaving for Merida again tomorrow and looking forward to meeting you Friday noche.

    I am sunsh9e.

    Francis

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