Domain name companies that send out emails about potential sales could be damaging the industry according to reports from news site TheDomains.com.
Editor-in-Chief Michael Berkens has reproduced an email that the industry website received that offered them the chance to purchase domain name BocaRatonPlasticSurgery.com.
“My name is Mark Vierra and my design firm own BocaRatonPlasticSurgeon.com, a domain name that we acquired for a plastic surgeon in Boca Raton way back in 1994 for whom we were building a webpage,” the email began.
“Since we are not plastic surgeons, and the name is of no use to my firm, we have decided to let it go for what we paid for it in 1994, which was $4,100.00,” it says, before going on to pitch the website.
Selling points brought up in the email include the potential for high Google ranking and ideal key words so that the buyer would “never have to pay anyone for advertisements again.”
But as Berkens has since found out, the domain name was not even registered in 1994. He also says that if the domain name had sold for $4100 in 1994 it would have been one of the highest sales at the time.
“Of course back in 1994 domain names were free so they didn’t cost anything to register,” he writes.
Berkens says these kinds of emails are damaging to the industry, particularly when it comes to legitimate domain name sellers.
“Because when people outside of the domain space get emails like this it hurts the credibility of other company’s that are trying to sell their domains and gives domainers or domain investors a black eye,” he says.
In some cases people may legitimately be approached by a domain name seller by email, but typically the process will start with an equiry from an interested buyer or domain name broker.
And regardless of whether or not the company trying to sell this particular website is legitimate, the fact that the email seems generic and poorly targeted to the people who received it makes it look like a scam.
In fact, there have been a number of domain name email scams in the past. Some may offer to sell you a particular domain name, while others may warn you that there are people trying to register domain names that are the same as ones you already own.
The Victorian Consumer Affairs Website even has a page dedicated to outlining other domain name email scams that trick businesses into making payments for domains they do not own.
Simply put, even if someone was to send out an email with a domain name sale offer, the history of scams would make it seem instantly suspicious at worst and unprofessional at best.
The bottom line is this: if you have a domain name to sell or want to buy one, it is better to be safe – and go through the familiar channels and processes – than send or reply to an email that could be more trouble than its worth.