Here’s a fun, maybe crazy domain story. I almost wrote about it the last couple of posts, but I didn’t want to jinx myself and have it fall through. I should probably preface this story with a disclaimer that this might not work if you try, it might not have been the right thing to do either, I’m not really sure, but I did it and it worked so I’m sharing.
About 5 weeks ago I sold a domain on Afternic. For the last couple of years I’d get the sold email and have to check to see if I still owned the domain, I was really bad at updating my account. I figured I did own this one since I was attempting to update everything previous to this sale.
Well I went looking for the domain that was sold and paid for at about $5k, I can’t find the thing in any of my accounts. I check the whois and it was at a registrar that I don’t currently have any inventory and under privacy. Shit I think to myself, probably said it out loud, maybe even a couple of times. I did noticed that the domain was in redemption.
So now I’m thinking “can I stall the transfer somehow, maybe wait till it drops and pick it back up?” There was nothing special about the name, just a short brandable, with a whois creation date of last year. It’s the kind of name that probably wouldn’t trigger anyone’s radar without deep digging.
I searched for the name to try and find out any more information, and when it might drop. That’s when I found some interesting information. The same name that I used to own and sold through Afternic was also for sale through SEDO. This is where it gets interesting, the for sale price was about $1k.
My first thought at seeing the listing was that someone is trying to scam me. Maybe they created a fake Afternic account and had a way to cancel the sale. If that was possible, I’d buy the domain for $1k and be stuck with it after they withdrew or somehow cancelled the order. But that seemed like a big risk on their part. I mean putting $5k on the line just to get me to pay $1k doesn’t seem like a solid plan, plus I didn’t know if that was even possible.
After weighing my options I figured I’d roll the dice just to see what happened. I went to the holding registrar to buy the domain through the SEDO network, my reasoning was that it would be easier for them to get the domain out of redemption and hopefully there would not be an ICANN 60 day transfer lock of the domain after they pushed it into my account.
I paid the money and waited, a few days later the name was in my account. I wasn’t able to transfer it out immediately as there’s a transfer hold to ensure I didn’t reverse the charge or something. I told Afternic there was a lock on the domain, but I could push the name into their holding account. They told me the buyer would wait until the lock was up, as they wanted it to go to a particular registrar. So once the lock expired I transferred the domain and got paid.
I count it as a win for everyone, the owner got a thousand bucks for a name that was in redemption, I managed to make money without pissing off Afternic and the buyer. It’s a good reminder that the average retail domain buyer knows very little about aftermarket domains, they don’t look around for different prices, they probably don’t know it’s a possibility.
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