Before You Buy a Domain Name, Check How It Was Used
My daughter was watching a movie on our flight home, and I used this time to think of some potential domain name acquisition opportunities. I spent a few minutes doing Whois searches for keyword domain names, and I found a great kids product domain name that was parked and listed for sale for under $1,000. I took the next step to buy it (clicking the DomainTools “for sale” link) when I noticed a giant “XXX” in the header of the parked page. Thanks, but I will pass.
Although many domain investors don’t really care all that much how a domain name was used in the past, I think it is important that we research the various iterations of how the domain name was used by its former owners. The domain name I found yesterday was one I would have bought in order to re-sell, and I would not want to have to explain why it had adult links at one time, assuming a prospective buyer sees that it was once laden with adult links.
In the future, when a prospective buyer has an interest in a domain name, you can bet he or she will want to know how it was used. Perhaps they won’t mention this to you, but I would imagine most buyers looking to develop a website or build a brand will check to see its prior usage, especially as it relates to any spam issues or Google penalties. If a domain name was used for spam, illegal activities, or maybe even adult content, the buyer may opt to buy something else. If this is the domain name that is desired for better or worse, the prospect may use this information as a negotiation tactic to get a better price.
It’s important for a domain name owner to check his landing pages to make sure there isn’t anything objectionable on them, but it’s equally important for a buyer to know what had been displayed on that domain name in the past. It is frustrating to buy a domain name, have a prospect want to buy it, and then have them lose interest because of the nature of what was on the website before.
Now I need to decide whether to tell the domain owner and/or parking company about their domain name.
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