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Building on a Bad Domain

by Mike Sullivan

My web design company is sort of morphing into the domain arena as I move more and more  into domain investment and development.  I’m not taking on new clients at the moment, so this post isn’t a self promotion piece, I promise.  The name of my company is Infinite Designs, Inc. and I have been using the domain, InfiniteD.com for years.  I chose that domain back in the 90’s because InfiniteDesigns.com wasn’t available when I started the business.  I’ve since purchase the domain InfiniteDesigns.com for $300.  The person I bought it from had an interior decorating company by the same name and is no longer operating it.  She had paid $1,000 to acquire it from the prior owner.

Recently, I began receiving typo emails for a domain similar to InfiniteD.com, but missing a vowel.  I don’t want to mention the exact domain because I’m not looking to embarrass anyone.  As I looked into it, I found the company that the emails were intended for.  It’s a new company starting up and their website was under construction at the time.  I emailed them and let them know I was receiving email intended for their employees at my address.  I explained the business I was in (similar to theirs in that they also offer web design services) and that I would be willing to sell the domain to them.  They didn’t bite on the idea.

Instead, they built their business on a similar domain that could be considered a typo of mine.  Oddly, the domain ultimately points to the dot biz version.  It’s not a pretty domain by any means.  In fact, for a web designer to be basing their work on this bad domain name should trigger questions in potential customers minds.  If they had taken my offer, they would likely inherit any advertising and word of mouth publicity that I had already produced.  I expect that instead, I will be reaping the benefits of any advertising and promotion they do.  The funniest part is that some of the misguided emails I have received actually came from within the company.  If the employees of the company are making that error, don’t you think the customers will too?

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Leonard Britt August 1, 2010 - 7:26 pm

I had a somewhat similar thing happen once. A short .COM domain of mine received very little type-in traffic until last summer a company launched a website on the plural version of my domain. The singular version makes more sense logically so I started getting a bit of typo traffic. Several months later I receive an email inquiring if I would be interested in selling the domain. At that point I had never sold a Spanish domain for more than $1000 so I assumed they wouldn’t be interested in buying the domain at a price which would compensate for the loss of parking earnings. I referred them to other domains in the same category I held which would perhaps be of interest. They never inquired about traffic but several weeks later I received notice from Godaddy that the domain had sold via their Premium Listings at a price which is still a tie for my largest domain sale ever.

Sully August 1, 2010 - 8:24 pm

@Leonard, that’s a great story and my guess is that it happens often. Maybe not the happy ending with a sale like you had, but the increase in traffic due to similar domain names.

Dean August 1, 2010 - 9:09 pm

Once I had a bad domain, but after much coaxing and cajoling it saw the error of it’s ways. It’s never been bad since.

Jeff August 2, 2010 - 12:19 am

Clueless 101 lol. Congratulations and I say take there customers with you and take on new customers prospects.

I’m seeing somewhat of a similar issue with me but the .net developed sites are coming to my com parked pages and growing my passive income. Both .net owners are clueless as well and that’s why .com is king

Imagine this for you. Say you grab 10k of there business. They will then realize and finally wake up and smell the coffee. You then sell the domain name based on a high multiple say 10 years. If a ppc domain can sell for 7 years out why not open the doors and take on new customers. Just my 2 cents

If they still don’t get do a udrp and grab there traffic lol.

Love stories like this. Your in a good position. Now open those doors and grab new business.


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