Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers and their Managers
PRIORITY DOMAIN AVAILABILITY NOTICE
For quite a good many years I have periodically received emails from various suspicious sources requesting that I consider purchasing one domain or another that "according to our records" was close to a domain name (URL) that I had already registered in my name, a dealership I was working for, or was registered in my favorite Rottweiler's name, Haley Paglia... Usually the domain name i was being tempted with in these emails was a different Top-Level Domain extension of a URL I already owned or controlled. In the past I always deleted these messages and simply assumed they were a form of spam generated by my public listing as the owner of the similar domain names.
Recently I received the following letter and have to admit the "bait" got me hooked... The sender of the letter asked if i was interested in the domain www.SocialDealers.com and I fell for it and visited the website referenced in the email shown below:
Now that the ADM Professional Community has some advertising revenue, which creates somewhat of an "Investigative Journalism" budget, as well as sending Keith Shetterly to Digital Dealer Conferences, I decided to go along with the solicitation and attempt to purchase www.SocialDealers.com and report on what happens.
When I got to the website, I was presented with an order form that looked like this:
Amazingly enough, I was able to make the purchase, and set up domain forwarding after my credit card payment cleared the Intrust Domains payment processing system. So, now when you go to the domain www.SocialDealers.com it takes you to the ADM Professional Community Showroom page... Hmmmm... What I had thought for so many years was a Russian hacker scam to bilk me or my dealers out of an exorbitant amount of money was actually just what the email had stated. An offer to sell a domain for a price.
As you can see by the date on the email message screen capture, the domain purchase I made from the email solicitation was over a month ago and so far so good... No additional unauthorized charges on my credit card and the domain is working fine.
Has anybody else had an experience with these types of domain selling email solicitations? If so, then please share your experience with the ADM Professional Community using a comment form below, or respond to any comments already shown.
|.aero||air-transport industry||Must verify eligibility for registration; only those in various categories of air-travel-related entities may register.||No||No|
|.asia||Asia-Pacific region||This is a TLD for companies, organizations, and individuals based in the region of Asia, Australia, and the Pacific.||Yes||Yes|
|.biz||business||This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register; however, registrations may be challenged later if they are not held by commercial entities in accordance with the domain's charter. This TLD was created to provide relief for the wildly-popular .com TLD.||No||Yes|
|.cat||Catalan||This is a TLD for Web sites in the Catalan language or related to Catalan culture.||Yes||Yes|
|.com||commercial||This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register. Though originally intended for for-profit business entities, for a number of reasons it became the "main" TLD for domain names and is currently used by all types of entities including nonprofits, schools and private individuals. Domain name registrations may be challenged if the holder cannot prove an outside relation justifying reservation of the name, to prevent "squatting".||Yes||Yes|
|.coop||cooperatives||The .coop TLD is limited to cooperatives as defined by the Rochdale Principles.||No||No|
|.edu||educational||The .edu TLD is limited to specific educational institutions such as, but not limited to, primary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, colleges, and universities. In the US, its usability was limited in 2001 to post-secondary institutions accredited by an agency on the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies maintained by the United States Department of Education. This domain is therefore almost exclusively used by U.S. colleges and universities. Some institutions that do not meet the current registration criteria have grandfathered domain names.||No||Yes|
|.gov||governmental||The .gov TLD is limited to U.S. governmental entities and agencies.||No||Yes|
|.info||information||This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register.||Yes||Yes|
|.int||international organizations||The .int TLD is strictly limited to organizations, offices, and programs which are endorsed by a treaty between two or more nations.||No||No|
|.jobs||companies||The .jobs TLD is designed to be added after the names of established companies with jobs to advertise. At this time, owners of a "company.jobs" domain are not permitted to post jobs of third party employers.||No||No|
|.mil||U.S. military||The .mil TLD is limited to use by the U.S. military.||No||No|
|.mobi||mobile devices||Must be used for mobile-compatible sites in accordance with standards.||No||No|
|.museum||museums||Must be verified as a legitimate museum.||Yes||Yes|
|.name||individuals, by name||This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register; however, registrations may be challenged later if they are not by individuals (or the owners of fictional characters) in accordance with the domain's charter.||Yes||No|
|.net||network||This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register. Originally intended for use by domains pointing to a distributed network of computers, or "umbrella" sites that act as the portal to a set of smaller websites.||No||Yes|
|.org||organization||This is an open TLD; any person or entity is permitted to register. Originally intended for use by non-profit organizations, and still primarily used by same.||Yes||Yes|
|.pro||professions||Currently, .pro is reserved for licensed or certified lawyers, accountants, physicians and engineers in France, Canada, NL, UK and the U.S. A professional seeking to register a .pro domain must provide their registrar with the appropriate credentials.||No||No|
|.tel||Internet communication services||A contact directory housing all types of contact information directly in the Domain Name System.||Yes||No|
|.travel||travel and tourism industry related sites||Must be verified as a legitimate travel-related entity.||No||No|
|.xxx||adult entertainment||For sites providing sexually-explicit content.||No||No|
Sometimes the broker owns them and sometimes they are waiting for them to be redeemed after expiration and still other times they never have been owned and they are fishing for a likely buyer. Brian offers good advice...in addition you can go to godaddy.com and whois.com and do some research before jumping. godaddy can "back order" an expired domain for you and you will not pay a premium... I understand that they use the same software as the brokers use to scoop domains the instant they become available. I had a domain that was getting close and the ball got dropped a couple of times trying to re-up before expiration, long story shortened, I had to buy it back after it expired....give yourself plenty of time and dont wait until you get your 2 month warning like I did. Much info good and bad on this thread from those who have used InTrust:
All good guidance, thank you... I personally use Network Solutions and have enough volume with them to get my cost down to $9.25 for their full bundle of premium services per domain, per year.
Generally speaking, I prefer to own and manage all my domains within Network Solutions after years of experimenting with services such as GoDaddy, PowerPipe, Registrar, 1and1 and the fairly low volume service providers such as InTrust. Personally experiencing some of the problems with the other providers, i have come to the point where I use Network Solutions almost exclusively, except for the rare excursion such as the example shown here.
I think you got a good deal here, Ralph. www.socialdealers.com is a pretty useful domain name for $148.
Interestingly it doesn't come up in a Google search for 'social car dealers' (might take a while for the site to get re-indexed with your real social dealers content). And you have some competition from socialdealer.com -- I wonder what they paid for their URL.
Of course, searches for 'social dealers' will bring you a lot of traffic (and a high bounce rate) from folks looking for something other than cars(!); but the prospects you want will add 'car' to their search, should work out fine. Unfortunately, socialcardealers.com is already taken (antisocialcardealers.com is still available, hehe).
It's hard to overstate the importance of a good URL in highly competitive markets like car sales. Some dealers are really exploiting this -- creating separate domains for each brand and location, and new vs. used. And why not? Domains are a pretty inexpensive way to obtain valuable SEO and SEM advantages.
And good points from the other posters about the pitfalls of buying brokered URLs.
Bruce - As long as www.SocialDealers.com points to another website and is not set up using domain masking, it will not get indexed by search engines...
The exception to this rule is when there are enough back links using a non-masked forwarded domain, such as www.ADMblogs.com which has been indexed despite being forwarded without masking because of sheer weight of referring back links that use www.ADMblogs.com
I understand. Didn't realize you were going to leave SocialDealers.com empty and just redirect to another site. Still might be worthwhile, but you'd attract a lot more traffic (and creds with Google) if you populated SocialDealers.com with some auto dealer-related content and meta tags. [Could still re-direct to another site.]
We have done this for several of our clients (examples at https://www.semantic-ad.com/SEO.html). This not only enhances their search engine optimization; it also improves PPC quality scores, lowering their SEM costs.
We recently went through the exact same thing not but a couple of months ago. At the time we had www.customdealershipapps.com We were not thrilled about the long URL name but it was the best URL we could get that described what we do. Then about 6 weeks ago, we get an email almost to the exact wording of yours. They were offering me www.dealershipapps.com for $100 dollars. I was very interested but also very skeptical because, just like you, I would normally hit "junk" immediately but since the name was so useful I looked into it.
I looked at their website, pulled up the whois on godaddy and everything matched (technical phone numbers, contact names, business). I then called the number to speak to a real person and someone answered . I told them that I was very interested but needed more proof that the had ownership and control of the domain. To do so I had them put a file on their server (at the time it was still theirs ). They put a file on it and I was able to hit it. www.dealershipapps.com/yesweownthis04052011.txt. It took them a couple of minutes to put it on, and once I was able to hit it I purchased.
No problems since! So yes, somehow someway... there are legit URL companies out there!
Not a bad deal? I bought a reseller account from GoDaddy.com almost 10 years ago (http://123BrandMe.com ) where I can sell domains for even less than them and without the annoying ads.
You can also check if a domain is available and if is taken see who owns the name.
If you decide to buy the domain name, it's $10 a year ! If it is not available and someone owns the domain like the case above, you can backorder the domain name !Domain Alert® Pro Backordering:
I had owned a domain name and the above service searched for a year and a half (even after I forgot about it) and bought the domain name.
I own about 20 domain names and I get letters in the mail asking to renew for $75 a year !
Feel free to use http://123BrandMe.com where I profit $1 from each domain name purchase!
By the way my site has a control panel where you set up a free website, personalized email, blog and photo site with each domain name.
If anything Ralph make sure the company you purchased it from allows you to move it to your own account with a registrar like GoDaddy or http://123BrandMe.com so you have control of renewals and such.