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A Domain Name Search Can Save You Hundreds

October 1, 2011

If you receive an unsolicited email offering to sell you a domain name that grabs your interest, this tip could save you hundreds of dollars.

Reports are popping up around the web about a domain registration "scam" of sorts. It's not really a scam, but appears to works on the premise the target will overlook carrying out a simple check.

The email starts off by asking if the recipient would be interested in X domain name. Sometimes the name will be in a sector related to the recipient's own domain name or line of business in order to make the offer more appealing.

The note then mentions acquiring the name could help with search engine optimisation and states the number of searches carried out on keywords in the name.

The person then goes on to say he/she will be offering the name to a number of related sites for $500 (or another amount) and the domain will go to the first company that registers its interest.

While $500 isn't all that much to pay for a good domain name, the catch is the name isn't even registered. If you do express an interest in the name, the person/parties behind this campaign register the name for a fraction of that amount; then sell it to you at the greatly inflated price. 

Some people wouldn't think to run a domain name search first to check out the domain's registration status and no doubt some will fall for the ploy; paying hundreds more for a domain name they could have registered themselves in just a couple of minutes. 

While the person making the approach doesn't mention they are the registrant, or make false claims made about their association with the name, nor states others want to register the domain, so "get in quick".... they certainly don't mention the domain isn't registered.

It's unlikely you'll be offered a domain name in this way due to various .au eligibility criteria and the fact registering a .au name for the sole purpose of resale is forbidden - the strategy is being used in connection with other extensions.

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