While most great domain names are already taken, hundreds – if not thousands – expire daily. Some of these domains belong to the old batch of registrations, particularly with Network Solutions or Register.com
Aged domains have one extra benefit: a lot of them were businesses once, some more successful than others.
When researching domains that miraculously become available via auction, for example on NameJet, it’s important to research the former owners of these lapsed domains.
You might discover some gems.
Some domains turn up as former assets of Fortune 500 companies. Others were involved in IPOs that preceded the burst of the dot com Bubble in the late 90′s.
One of my domains once belonged to a start-up that was bought by Microsoft, ten years ago. Once they absorbed the company, they eliminated the service and they dropped the domain.
That used to be the Bill Gates way.
I don’t have any delusions of grandeur. That domain is now worth a tiny fraction of the $65 million in stock and cash that Microsoft spent on the business in 2000. But still, I had to make a point.
Is this the only way one can become a millionaire with expired domains?
A couple of years ago, I landed a real gem on NameJet – a domain that belonged to a pioneer movie production company. Currently, it’s just a landing page with a logo and a contact email. I get lots of spam to its single “info” mailbox.
I also get lots of movie scripts, for free.
It’s shocking to realize that several dozen aspiring writers every month, contact that former company email thinking that someone is giving them a chance to hit it big in Hollywood!
The truth is, that I do read those scripts, and if I were a malicious jerk I’d probably try to benefit from them. Instead, I’m responding to those poor souls, explaining that the movie company does not exist anymore. Of course, I make sure I include my constructive criticism about their script; some are great, some are good – some suck worse than most of Sylvester Stallone’s flicks from the 80′s.
The bottom line: you might be sitting on a pile of cash and you aren’t aware of it. Scrutinize your domains, research who owned them years ago. Enable the DNS, set up some email addresses and listen to the digital waves as they pour in.
You might have a gem in your hands.
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