Domain name vultures

8 May

There’s a saying that even in a recession, the undertaker’s is the only business that is unaffected. It seems that in a digital age, this applies also to domain name vultures.

As a rule of thumb, domain names are leased for fixed length periods from a registry such as Nominet or ICANN. The domain name ‘owner’ will generally do this through a third party, such as Go Daddy. When the fixed term is up, they chose to renew the domain name, or they let it slide. If they choose to let the domain name go it is then released on the open market again.

Companies exist whose sole business model is to pick up lapsed domain names and then sell them on to either the same punter or different ones. A bit like a digital rag and bone man.

One such example was my father-in-law, who mistakenly let his domain go – – and it was picked up by some such company who have now held onto it for 3 years. There can’t be many people who want this domain name (it’s his surname. Georgian surname), and it has cost this company somewhere in the region of £50 to renew it for 3 years. More fool them, I thought. And then it happened to me…

I have a site that helps you keep track of your finances with graphs and so on called Pimp My Statement. Now when I first set the site up, I bought both the .com and the TLDs. But this being a recession and the site not performing that well, I decided to keep the and dump the .com.

A few days after the expiry I received this:


I’m currently considering selling the domain name As you own a very similar domain I was wondering whether you’d like to submit a bid or offer for (Price range $2500 to $5000)

Warm regards,


And it was early in the morning. And I hadn’t had a cup of tea yet. And this made me grumpy, so…

don’t be so silly

I owned the domain until the 18th March this year, when I decided it wasn’t worth the $19 fee.

You then picked it up for $19 and now, a few days later, you are only ‘considering’ selling it? Pull the other one. This schtick may work, and evidently keeps your business afloat, but the domain name isn’t worth $5 to me, let alone $5,000.

Good luck with selling it to some schmuck, but I think you’ve just wasted your $19

Good day


Result? That person relinquished the domain name a day after I sent this email. Could be a good tactic for getting your domain name back from the vultures

1 Response to Domain name vultures


Mark Pettigrew

January 10th, 2014 at 3:39 am

Domain name vultures, like all vultures, are scavengers. Ethically, they are reprehensible maggots. I had registered the domain name But I experience financial hardship, so I couldn’t afford to keep re-registering the name with The people who bought the name as an “investment” probably couldn’t have cared less about Christianity or the arts.

I think that there should be some kind of affordable insurance plan that would prevent that kind of thing from happening. It should cost a lot less than re-registering the name itself. Feasible? I do not know.

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