Here are some stories that domain investors may be interested in.

Drop.com.au comes under attack

In Australia, there is currently only one expired domain name “catcher”. That is Drop. Every day at 1.30pm, expired domains are purged at the registry, and Drop with its “drop catching software” enables domain investors and other registrants to make a bid on any domain they want. The problem in the past is that this was a secretive process. Fast forward to 12th April this year, and Drop introduced some transparency into the bidding process. However, there are many that are not happy – particularly given that Drop itself acquired a domain name for a supposed $10,000. And they weren’t happy with prices being published by Domainer! Have a read of this story to get the gist of the antipathy against their conduct. Given that our regulator auDA is striving for transparency and accountability in the .au space, one wonders why they allow this sort of secrecy from one of their registrars?

Another Drop Catcher

As indicated in last weeks “Snippets”, domain investors (and probably auDA) will be pleased to know that a competitor to Drop is on its way. I have been given an inside scoop on this new operation, and will be writing about it later this week. Competition is good!

Complaints

Browsing through some recent auDRP complaints (.au Dispute Resolution Policy), I found two that were very interesting.

  • A current one is Parramatta.com.au. What makes this notable is that the registrant of this domain is Publishing Australia (formerly involved with the ownership of Netfleet). For the life of me I cannot see how any complainant could succeed on a geographic name like this? But maybe there are some factors I don’t know?
  • A previous complaint is intriguing for a number of reasons. This is on the domain Bromance.com.au. Firstly, the registrant lost the domain via a split decision. Secondly, the punitive measure was not a transfer of domain – it was cancellation. This is rare. Have a read of the case – it is really interesting. Andrew Christie and John Swinson were in the majority; The Hon Neil Brown Q.C. dissented quite firmly. What makes this even more notable is that because the domain name was cancelled, it went back on the expired auctions on the 28th November 2020, and was purchased by the same registrant!

Sales

Domainer has been reliably informed that the domain Amber.com.au was recently sold for $27,500. The purchaser was Amber Electric, and the seller was well respected domain investor Luke Smorgon of Activate / Turbine. Luke had purchased this domain via the expired auctions fairly recently. Congratulations to buyer and seller.

20 thoughts on “Domain News Snippets

  • April 26, 2021 at 8:40 am
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    The auDRP complaint on Parramatta.com.au seems insane. I can’t wait to find out who the complainant is and how easily the current owners defend this. Crazy.

    The Bromance.com.au auDRP certainly is interesting. The complainant went through all that time and money, only to see the original owner still having the domain name. There’s lessons to be learned there.

    My upcoming Affirm.com.au auDRP is also going to be interesting. Full article coming soon… you’ll be amazed!

    Great sale of Amber.com.au by Turbine! Congrats Luke, you’re quite consistent at picking and investing in strong names.

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  • April 26, 2021 at 8:47 am
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    Good fast flip Luke, but what will you invest in now?

    Amber.com.au is the one and only good domain that has expired since the new auDA policy. Think you may have undersold.

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    • April 26, 2021 at 9:22 am
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      New opportunities in this industry come every day. They never stop.

    • April 26, 2021 at 10:31 am
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      Thanks Gary. There’s never a shortage of investment opportunities in the digital space!

      You have to be a reasonable seller otherwise too many domains are horded without realising any returns.

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      • April 26, 2021 at 8:32 pm
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        Fair enough. Just saying, you’d be surprised at what buyers pay. Sooner or later you’ll sell something at the same level as Rob and others I’m sure.

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        • April 26, 2021 at 8:41 pm
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          And thanks again for publishing the sale. Keep up the great work

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        • April 27, 2021 at 7:06 am
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          And what sales have you made “Gary” that you can share with us?

          • April 27, 2021 at 8:56 am
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            I can’t unfortunately. Luke’s ROI is pretty good, 250% in 2 weeks – not many places you can do that. I just fear that it could’ve been more like 800-1,000% in 2 months on that one, based on my industry knowledge and discussions with others who do more than just domain flipping.

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            • April 27, 2021 at 9:18 am
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              If you look at the top sales on Domainer, Turbine is killing it! Very consistent. Every domain investor finds their sweet spots…

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              • April 27, 2021 at 9:44 am
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                Only because:

                (1) Your list is incomplete; and

                (2) Luke is one of few who publishes sales; and

                (3) The general rule is that high sales are subject to non disclosure agreements

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  • April 26, 2021 at 4:46 pm
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    Nicely done on that sale Luke! 👏😎👍

    I believe you should always leave some money on the table for the next person!

    Sooner or later, you end up being that next person when you want to buy a name.

    Pricing domains for sale is always challenging, but many domain owners are simply delusional with their asking prices. They will be holding out for the rest of their days and then some!

    As you said, the opportunities are endless in the digital space.

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    • April 26, 2021 at 6:09 pm
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      Ed, I’d like to buy your house. Please sell it for less than fair value and leave some money on the table for me.

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    • April 26, 2021 at 6:37 pm
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      Great comments and insight Ed.

      I had a good talk with Luke today, and I believe he adopts a very pragmatic approach to pricing. He doesn’t give away domains like I do 😅, but he doesn’t hold out for top dollar either. He has found a happy medium.

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  • April 26, 2021 at 6:06 pm
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    The Parramatta.com.au auDRP decision was made on Friday 23rd April, and published today.

    As was to be expected, Panellist Philip Argy ruled in favour of the Respondent; and further made a finding of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking against the Complainant (City of Parramatta).

    There is justice in the online world.

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    • April 26, 2021 at 6:42 pm
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      This reminds me of:

      NewZealand.com – the NZ govt had to pay $1 million in the end

      https://www.theregister.com/2003/05/01/nz_gov_coughs_up_nz/

      GoldCoast.com – the tourism body found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking and unwilling or unable to acquire the domain, is now stuck with DestinationGoldCoast.com (what a mouthful – older site visitors will die before they finish typing it on an iPad)

      https://domainnamewire.com/2013/11/25/gold-coast-tourism-corporation-guilty-of-reverse-domain-name-hijacking/

      -THE LESSON-

      Always remember that lawyers look for irrational and contrarian angles. When things are clear cut and black and white, their business diminishes considerably.

      So don’t be surprised if a suit tries to convince you he or she can somehow argue the untenable and that you have a winning case. If it was a winning case, you wouldn’t be aggrieved in the first place or justice would not require his or her assistance.

      Reverse domain name hijacking is actionable for damages in the Federal Court.

      Is it worth going down that path and exposing your entity to significant risk?

      Is it worth tarnishing the reputation of your organisation?

      Do you want to be known as the person who had a crack using underhanded tactics and failed miserably? How will your CV look?

      Option B is this:

      Graciously and respectfully approach the domain name owner, make an offer commensurate with fair value, and even pay a premium if needed, to bed down the asset.

      Save time, avoid headaches, deliver on the other KPIs and recoup the cost by passing it on to customers.

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    • April 27, 2021 at 9:15 am
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      Honestly. These clowns who think they can just steal generic domain names from others who are legitimately using them dumbfound me. We will keep exposing these geese and educating them.

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    • April 28, 2021 at 8:31 am
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      wow – this Parramatta decision needs an article.

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  • April 27, 2021 at 4:40 am
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    Ratepayers of Parramatta unknowingly stumped up the cash for legal representation in this ridiculous action, and a self-represented respondent wipes the floor with them.

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