Generic domain names
Before the web happened, there was FTP and email and Gopher. In those days, I was entranced by how much domain-names resembled the call-letters I used to get for radio stations — very cool way to “name” things. So, long before the domain-name land-rush, I got a handful of generic domain names. The list includes the domain for this site (haven.com oops, that one accidentally sold, replaced with haven2.com), bar.com, grill.com, pub.com, place.com, shelter.com, cafes.com, corp.com and a few that got sold — television.com, ing.com and company.com. Some of those last ones made me a buncha dough.
Before you approach me about the ones I still have, please read this FAQ about my domains. It will dampen your enthusiasm, I bet.
Mike’s Pretty Good Domain FAQ
In an effort to reduce my email load and save you time, here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about these domains of mine.
Is this domain for sale?
I’m not actively marketing these domains. I really do have a scheme in mind for each, but haven’t gotten around to cranking them all up. On the other hand, everything’s for sale if the right offer comes along. I’m just not a terribly motivated seller.
How much are you asking?
Without going into a huge long rant, my belief is that these “generic” dot-com domain names were (and are) pretty valuable. They’re sort of the Internet version of real estate and I represent the Internet equivalent of a farmer who finds himself next to a rapidly growing city that’s going through rapid boom and bust cycles. So my stupid names (which people thought I was nuts to get) are worth a lot of money (and used to be worth even more).
How much? It’s still hard to say. The market for domain names has matured a lot since the early ’90’s when I got these domains. There was a period in 1999 and 2000 when prices went crazy. My take as I wrote this in 2002 was that it would take another 3 to 5 years for things to really settle down. I’m still waiting.
Meanwhile, ICANN is rolling out new top level names and guess what? Three of my names are exact matches — .bar, .pub and .place. I watched .corp get pulled from the new-TLD list due to problems caused by name collisions — a debate to which I contributed because of the name-collision traffic that arrives at corp.com.
Please don’t write me just to debate prices or my selling strategy. Consider it the ravings of a lunatic if you like. The point is that I’m reluctant to sell right now because I don’t think the market is valuing these names very well at the moment.
That’s not an answer, is it… Here’s another way to approach that question.
What’s the biggest offer you’ve turned down?
So far the biggest is $1.75 million. I’ve turned down lots that are smaller.
No no no! How much are you asking for the domain?
I never set a price for the domains. If you really really really want it, you have to go first. Make an offer.
Do you have other domains?
Bah! I spit on you! You are one of those slimy “cybersquatters” — why don’t you just give the names back if you’re not using them?
To put a fine point on things, I don’t consider myself a cybersquatter. A cybersquatter is a person who gets domain names with an eye to selling those names to somebody else (or profiting from the traffic) — either a trademark holder, or a business that just hasn’t been quite fast enough on the ball. I didn’t get these domains for that reason — I got them because I have an idea for each.
If you look at the list, you’ll see that I’m a community type guy — in most cases these names will some day be used to build communities on the Internet.
But under no circumstances will I just give the names up. Any more than a farmer who finds himself on land that is now worth too much to farm would just give it up.
Have you ever sold a domain? How much did you get?
Yep, I’ve sold or exchanged several domains. Nope, I’m not at liberty to tell you the terms of the deals. The domains were;
Where can I go to sell a domain? Are you a broker? Will you do it for me?
I’m not a broker; I can’t help you sell your domains. Remember, I’m just a geek who got a handful of interesting names long before the Web happened. I don’t know much about the hurly burly of the domain-name marketplace, except these super-premium generics that I have.