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Sunday Updates

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We’re in the middle of a nice weekend, and hope you’re enjoying your weekend as well. We bought a bbq grill a few weeks ago, and it seems like we’ve been grilling most weekends. It’s one of the perks of living in the suburbs.

Here are some news bits, updates, and a domain tip or two:

  • The Hilco Streambank auction for names like Bargain.com, ETM.com, and Tweeter.com begins on Monday. If you want to bid, you’ll have to sign up ahead of time since a $10k deposit is required from bidders.
  • There was a bid of a tense discussion on my blog post yesterday about numeric domain names. Discussion diverted from the topic of numeric names onto the topic of domain flipping, but it was interesting nonetheless. I don’t care what anyone else says, but if you can buy a name for $5-20k and re-sell it a month later for $50-200k, it’s a pretty good business model if it can scale to any extent.
  • Are you going to the TRAFFIC conference in Vegas and want to get together? Drop me a note if you want to meet up. I’ll be out there from Monday – Sunday.
  • More on this topic later this week I think, but if you want to quickly check to see at what price a domain name previous sold, NameBio probably has the info if the price was ever publicized by the sales venue.
  • One of the newer blogs I’ve been reading and like is DomainPicks.com. Mark shares some interesting anecdotes in his dropping domain picks articles, and if you haven’t checked out his site before, I recommend it.
  • I’ll be watching the Arsenal game with my brother this morning. He’s a big fan of the Gunners, and I’ve had fun following the team this season.It’s the first time I’ve actually been excited about a EPL game. If you want some domain consulting services, fly us out to an Arsenal game in London next season, and you’ll have an entire weekend to pick my brain! On that note, it’s time to crack open a Guinness.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (55)

    Elliot Silver

    After Arsenal’s win this morning, Sunday is off to a good start. Time to get the grill going!

    May 19th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Mark Hershiser

    Thank you Elliot. I really enjoy reading your posts also…

    May 19th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    M.G.

    Tweeter.com is VIP ticket for UDRP.

    May 19th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Elliot Silver

      So now you are an expert in intellectual property law?

      Tweeter was a huge music store chain until it went out of business couple of years ago. I am quite sure a music store or company could use these domain names without any problem. I would not use it for anything related to Twitter though.

      May 19th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      M.G.

      @Elliot – Do you have a problem? Yes, I am a lawyer and investor and I am sure there is 90%+ chance of UDRP. I believe you are not that stupid to not know that UDRP is wrong tool that can be easily used in this case…

      May 19th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Elliot Silver

      You remember you effectively called me stupid yesterday, right? Considering the fact that I’ve been pretty successful with my “stupid” domain investment strategy for many years, I’ve taken personal offense to your commentary on my blog, especially given the fact that you are posting anonymously. So yes, that is my problem with you.

      I am not an attorney but I would assume that you know “tweeter” is an English dictionary term (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweeter) and the bankrupt company had/has trademarks for that term, and they aren’t related with Twitter or Twitter’s offering.

      I assume you learned in law school that another company could use a dictionary term without violating a trademark owner’s rights. For example, I am quite sure I could sell apple sauce on Apple.com if I owned it, but I couldn’t sell phones, computers…etc. This is a reason why domain investors can own dictionary .com words (like Customs.com, Devices.com, Planners.com…etc all names I’ve sold) without too much risk. There’s always some risk, of course.

      Perhaps the value of the traffic on Tweeter.com is related to twitter confusion, but as long as an owner doesn’t violate Twitter’s trademarks, I would assume they are safe. For instance, a speaker or sound system store could probably use Tweeter.com without issue since that’s how it was used waaaay before Twitter was born.

      May 19th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      M.G.

      @Elliot – You don’t have to teach me what Tweeter is/was, etc. Regarding yesterday’s post – read it again – I didn’t call YOU stupid, I posted comment regarding stupid domainers who hurt domaining market – and it was YOU who took it that way that I was talking about YOU. Anyway. I like your blog because you are the only one who does not remove comments based on opinion. Going back to today’s topic – UDRP is not law, it is tool, very bad one, and no serious investor buy Tweeter.com due to such fact. If you don’t agree, go ahead and buy it.

      May 19th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I don’t censor or delete posts. I think it’s educational when people disagree.

      It does frustrate me when people comment anonymously though, especially when they have such strong opinions but won’t let anyone know who they are, and/or what their background is.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      M.G.

      @Elliot – You don’t censor or delete posts, but you want to know all about that people? C’mon. Freedom is a fuel of speech.

      May 20th, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Elliot Silver

      In general, yes, that is right, especially when discussing inflammatory topics such as politics or religion. On my blog, in a small business, where we are exchanging ideas and discourse, I think it is helpful to know the experience level of other peoples who are conversing.

      When Rick Schwartz or Frank Schilling offer me advice about domain names, I listen. When a random person gives me advice about what domain names to buy, I think it would be prudent to know their background before taking their advice.

      May 20th, 2013 at 8:43 am

      TC

      + 1 Elliot

      May 20th, 2013 at 4:26 am

      M.G.

      @TC – Yeah – big plus from anonymous :)

      May 20th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Francois

    I am afraid M.G be right there.

    Twitter lawyers are probably waitting this move… Until now the domain was protected but as soon he will change hands it should be easy for them to take it, the name simply sounds the same as Twitter.com, the confusion is really flagrant and any buer cannot ignore it.

    Any domain attorney is welcome to give a more accurate/experienced opinion.

    May 19th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I am sure they might want the name, but that doesn’t mean they will have any more right to it than they do to Twister.com.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Francois

      Twister is different, it does not sound the same.

      These past years I typed-in tweeter thousands times by error because it sounds the same. In fact many time I was unsure if I should spell it with a ee or i.

      I will add our conversation is comic (to not say absurd), because you, as me, as everyone know the only value of this domain is due to the notoriety of the Twitter brand. Otherwise the name will have not been auctionned nor you will be paid to promote the auction like many other bloggers are, nor I will be here warning potential buyers against potential risks.

      If we don’t want people continue treating domainers of cybersquatters we also must refrain to promote such auctions.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I disagree, as I mentioned in 2009 before Twitter was as big and well known as it is now. http://www.domaininvesting.com/will-twitter-buy-tweeter

      Perhaps I am strongly opinionated because there was a Tweeter store about 3 miles from where I grew up, and I am very familiar with Tweeter the store. I’ve known Tweeter much, much longer than Twitter.

      Let me add one thing to this. I still think the Tweeter brand is well known and respected, especially in the New England states where it was founded, and a music company can take advantage of the 40+ years of goodwill (although the last couple of years weren’t so great for customers and employees).

      I would bet a considerable amount of inbound links to Tweeter.com are music-related, although I don’t have time/desire to search.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      M.G.

      @Elliot – What is your PERSONAL experience with UDRP? How many YOUR domains YOU won in UDRP? Nada…

      May 20th, 2013 at 1:41 am

      Elliot Silver

      I don’t have to have a heart attack to know that I need to keep my LDL cholesterol level down and that I need to work out on a regular basis. :-)

      I am fortunate to never have dealt with a UDRP on one of my domain names, but I read as many interesting UDRP decisions as I can. I am very cautious to not show infringing content on descriptive domain names that have trademarks associated with them.

      May 20th, 2013 at 8:39 am

      Francois

      For a no english person tweeter is a twitter typo and nothing else. I was unaware tweeter was also an english descriptive word for a speaker, so yes, anyone who buy it for a speaker, hifi or music related site should be quiet, for all the others use there is a real risk.

      May 20th, 2013 at 5:34 am

    Josh

    I agree it may be a chance for them to make a move on it but this is not a sure win for a few reasons. It erks me to think that new business can simply reach back in time and take what they’d like if it is similar to their newer use just because a registrant has changed. This name could be defended imo but who wants that challenge and cost, sometimes these are the things you weigh in a purchase.

    May 19th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Domenclature.com

    Score

    M.G 2
    Elliot 0

    May 19th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Elliot Silver

      When a legal expert opines and tells me I am wrong, I’ll concede.

      Mike Berkens just posted his opinion on Twitter “Can someone use Tweeter.com without violating Twitter’s rights? Of course”

      https://twitter.com/thedomains/status/336243221048987648

      Mike is actually an attorney, and I think his opinion holds more weight. With all respect to the opinions shared here, I’d trust my dentist about a filling rather than a hairstylist. 😉

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Domenclature.com

      I believe the coloration of M.G’s statement regarding Tweeter.com is ‘potential’ for UDRP. The exact quote is “Tweeter.com is VIP ticket for UDRP”.

      Definition for Potential – Adjective

      Having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.

      So, Elliot you are not portraying his sentiments correctly. I saw your interaction with Berkens on Twitter.

      One mustn’t change the color of a debate to skew the results. I must caution M.G to debate with better attitude, and not disrespect Elliot, who is a friend of mine, even tho he is often wrong on these things.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

      Elliot Silver

      MG said he is 90% sure they will file a UDRP. If Twitter wanted to file a UDRP, they would have done so already in my opinion. If you visit Tweeter.com, you can actually see ads for Twitter.

      http://www.domaininvesting.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Screen-Shot-2013-05-19-at-6.38.31-PM.png

      I think the time to have filed a UDRP would have been when the name was somewhat in limbo with this auction pending rather than after an auction when another party could buy it and use it without violating Twitter trademarks. If someone uses it without violating Twitter’s marks, there would be no reason to file a UDRP, which is what I was arguing.

      The fact that Twitter did not and has not filed a UDRP shows me that they don’t believe they have rights to it.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Domenclature.com

      The only reason I decided to chime in on this debate is because I believe that The Hilco Streambank auction is a sponsor of your blog, and you could be defending the position because of that influence. Am I right? And I say that because, ordinarily, you are a cautious, and prudent guy; I doubt if you would recommend buying the name knowing that a potential UDRP lurks in the future. It is a well established fact that an original registrant could be safe, if the registration precedes the complainant’s trademark; however, an opening exists for the complainant once there’s a transfer. I happen to dislike this, but it’s reality.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Elliot Silver

      Absolutely not.. they’ve paid and it’s a one time thing. You can suggest that my mentioning the auction today was to help them out, and perhaps it was. My opinion on the Twitter UDRP likelihood has nothing to do with them advertising. I would advise anyone to seek expert advice from an IP lawyer before allocating the money.

      Here’s my take on this from 2009: http://www.domaininvesting.com/will-twitter-buy-tweeter

      “In my opinion, Tweeter.com will likely sell for somewhere in the mid six figure range, based on the valuable electronics shoppers who type it in or find it via back link. I don’t think that there are many people navigating to Tweeter.com in error thinking it’s Twitter. A company like Flickr has more of a need for Flicker.com than Twitter has for Tweeter .”

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Domenclature.com

      Very well, I believe you, and consider you to be a sincere fella.

      I truly believe that anything is possible in the intellectual property realm, especially the UDRP processes pertaining to domain names. The deck is stacked. One must be very careful, and avoid complications when it’s possible. The Tweeter.com name comes with a risk, above ordinary names.

      May 19th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Elliot Silver

      That, I agree with totally. I just think if Twitter wanted that name and thought it had rights to the name, the UDRP would have been filed already.

      Not only would the domain owner bring up laches in a UDRP defense if it was filed, they would probably take Twitter to court to move it from the crapshoot that is the UDRP.

      Again, I think a new owner would have to use care with the domain name and not violate Twitter’s trademark rights, but I don’t think buying it is a nearly guaranteed ticket to UDRP.

      May 19th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Domenclature.com

      We agree.

      May 19th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Randall Cooper

    I can see twitter making a bid on it or taking it in a urdp. I would agree with Elliot and not use it anything related to Twitter. If someone does buy it and start to build something on it, what would they use it for? You can put anything on it but if they want to make it a success its going to have to be something unrelated to Twitter and even social media would be walking a fine line. They could use it as a music store like it was or even speakers for cars called tweeters but it will not be as popular.

    May 19th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I think if that was something they are/were considering, they would have done so already.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    RH

    I think it would depend on the usage, if someone is going to use Tweeter in the business of audio speakers then I don’t think Twitter will succeed. Twitter certainly has not gone after:
    .com
    .co
    .net
    .org
    .pw
    .us
    .info
    .tv
    .me
    .biz
    .mobi
    .in
    .co.uk
    .xxx
    .pl
    .eu
    .fr
    .co.in
    .name
    .be
    .asia
    .de
    .cz
    .vc
    .ws
    .com.mx
    .ch
    .at
    .nl
    .jp
    Those are all the extensions Name.com shows Tweeter registered in. The .net has been registered since 2002 but does show some ads for Twitter which may be a problem.

    I think if someone bought this name for a social media app or business that could be a problem but could be rectified working out a deal with Twitter, like TwitterFeed.com did.

    I am not an intellectualy property lawyer and am just giving an opinion that is my own.

    May 19th, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      Elliot Silver

      There are two issues:

      1) Would Twitter file a UDRP?
      – MG is 90% sure they will
      – I think they would have already if they wanted to do it, and since they haven’t they probably won’t, especially if a company uses it without violating Twitter’s rights.

      2) Can someone use Tweeter.com without risking a UDRP?
      – My opinion is that they certainly can as long as it doesn’t violate Twitter’s trademarks, just like anyone can own a descriptive domain name.

      I think these two issues are intertwined.

      May 19th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Mark Hershiser

    If I bought this name and sold speakers and music gear I wouldn’t even think about Twitter. OK I might think of them a little and put Ari, Howard, and John on retainer because I agree, I might have to defend it against Twitter if they tried to reverse hijack it, but if I really sold woofers and tweeters I believe each of these attorneys could successfully defend this name. Twitter can buy it if they want it.

    My problem is I would offer “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” downloads, which is probably not the best business plan, so I will not be bidding…

    May 19th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    todd

    If the Tweeter name is never used in anything similar to Twitter than you will never ever have a problem but if you do they will take the name. Twitter said that they originally came up with the word “Tweet” even though another company filed and secured the trademark for the term “Tweet” but even thought the other company had the trademark, Twitter sued them and ultimately got the name from them. So basically anything is possible but I believe since the word Tweeter is actually a real product which is a music/voice speaker than for Twitter to actually win a trademark or lawsuit on the name is highly unlikely unless of course the Tweeter name is used in a form that is similar to Twitter.
    Whoever does secure the “Tweeter” trademark and goodwill of the original owners has a hell of a business just waiting to happen. I would not be surprised if the original group are going to ultimately buy the name considering they had 100 stores and a great reputation for 40 years.

    May 19th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    M.G.

    @Elliot:

    In perfect world you would be right, but… Unfortunately, it does not matter how old domain name is, when it was registered >>

    http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp/policy

    Paragraph 4(b)(i): circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have ACQUIRED the domain name…

    There are so many bad panelists who find some circumstances indicating bad faith, that you better do NOT try to acquire such domain name.

    May 20th, 2013 at 1:51 am

      Elliot Silver

      I agree with you completely on this.

      My feeling is that if a UDRP was as much a certainty as you believe, it would have been filed by Twitter already.

      I also believe a winning bidder will be from the music space, capitalizing on the Tweeter brand that became popular over 40 years. I wouldn’t even be surprised if a company like Best Buy, Crutchfield, or Guitar Center acquired the domain name and perhaps the IP associated with the brand.

      May 20th, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Anon

    I’m going to give a domain tip, unrelated to any of the bickering going on above this post…

    From time to time, we do deals with known industry entities who can be trusted and don’t really demand a 3rd party intermediary. It’s always refreshing to save a few bucks on escrow and just push the domain or send a payment in good faith with little worry that the deal with go sour.

    Grandpa always used to say that you can gauge a mans integrity on how he deals with other people. People who insist everything be contractualized eight ways to Sunday do so because they’re projecting their own innate lack of integrity on others. While not naive to the need for good contracts when situations call for it, I much prefer to do business on a handshake and my word, presuming the counterparty is someone of known and good reputation.

    Here’s the tip.

    Clarify, in advance, when the person intends to perform on their end of the bargain. For example, if you’re selling a name and pushing it over in good faith, or you’re buying a name and paying in good faith, make sure that your trading partner is clear that the deal is expected to be fully consummated within (X) hours.

    I’m not going to name any names (although this person will read this and he knows precisely who I am) but a somewhat ‘known’ domainer and I just completed a transaction that, frankly speaking, was needlessly difficult. I performed instantly, he really dragged ass, to the point that I did begin to worry about the transaction itself. Sure, there were excuses, but I have little patience for those. Eventually, he did perform and the deal was sealed.

    When doing a good faith deal, be sure the performance terms are laid out clearly, in advance. From now on, if I’m sending payment in good faith, I expect the transfer to be effected in real time. Likewise, if I’m sending a name in good faith, I expect a clear cut timeframe when I will be paid. If you can’t pull it off in 24 hours, then Escrow it is…

    I will not make this same mistake again, regardless of how ‘known’ someone is.

    May 20th, 2013 at 3:49 am
      May 20th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Elliot Silver

      I would think mentioning my blog would hurt me in a negotiation. People could assume I am “just” a domain blogger rather than someone who is fully entrenched in the domain business.

      In any dealings, I can’t recall referencing my blog before someone asked if I have a blog. Even if I was trying to get a problem resolved, I wouldn’t mention it lest someone think I was aiming to use it as a “weapon.”

      I am not a prick, and I think I am modest.

      May 20th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      anon

      Todd, I fully agree with Shane there.
      Some people are moronically impatient… but there’s nothing more frustrating than sealing a deal with real time communication over the course of three days, performing instantly, then suddenly have the counter-party drop off the face of the earth ‘for a few days’ without any warning.

      As noted, from now on, performance terms will be clarified in advance. If you’re going to be busy for a few days, no worries. We can do it when you get back, or if some geniune emergency comes up, just let me know.

      Don’t text and message me every 2 minutes for a week, then suddenly get ‘too busy’ for a few days when it comes time to pay.

      Methinks certain ‘big talkers’ are a bit less liquid than they’d like people to believe.

      May 21st, 2013 at 2:26 am

      todd

      I agree with you 100%. When a name is sold finish the deal. In real time it takes minutes to complete a transfer so anyone no matter who they are should be able to do it the same day or at most the following day. No one should be pressured to do it within hours like the guy did to Shane but no one should drag their feet and make a simple process a pain in the ass. When I sell a name every step of the way I send a quick email to the buyer. I received the money, Waiting for authorization code, etc……. I think there are some that complete deals and transfer the name in good faith and then the other party takes their time and tries to do a quick flip so they don’t have to lay out any cash.

      May 21st, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Domenclature.com

    Score Update

    Elliot 4
    M.G 2

    May 20th, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Elliot Silver

      LOL… I think you’re the only one keeping score. At the end of the day, time will tell whether Twitter files a UDRP or lawsuit to try and get this descriptive domain name, regardless of what is said here.

      May 20th, 2013 at 11:26 am

      M.G.

      Do you mean 4:2 penalty minutes? LOL

      May 20th, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Elliot Silver

      Hockey fan? Been fun watching the Bruins this season. I actually liked the fact that it was a shorter season. Post season has been exciting.

      May 20th, 2013 at 11:43 am

      M.G.

      YES! Boston is my team. Chara is the best!

      May 20th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Elliot Silver

      He’s a beast.

      May 20th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    M.G.

    http://www.hilcobid.net/auction/listOffers.htm?auction_id=13906 shows no bid, even other auctions shows at least minimum bid, even auction has no bids. Looks like something is going on on this auction – maybe another cancellation..?!

    May 21st, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Elliot Silver

      Maybe there aren’t any bids yet.

      May 21st, 2013 at 10:58 am

      M.G.

      There was an opening bid listed – I am monitoring this auction – now there is no amount… Bug? Probably not!

      May 21st, 2013 at 11:03 am

    M.G.

    Compare with other auction that has no bids – e.g. http://www.hilcobid.net/auction/listOffers.htm?auction_id=13903

    May 21st, 2013 at 11:02 am

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