Is It Such a Good Name? And Price?

I got into my line of work slowly in 1997. I still remember the late-summer days when I grabbed an HTML tutorial; I immediately knew that, given my temperament, I would end up coding pages “commando” style, not with some WYSIWYG editor. When I found out that my ISP at the time provided space for a personal website, I figured it all out: FTP, HTML tags, and so on.

Least of my concerns at the time was the ugly URL for my site — something like “www.isprovider.com/~babylon”. However, by the following summer, I realized that I was definitely going to try to make a living from creating and managing websites; therefore, I had to get my own domain name. Of course, in 1998, the first top-level domain (TLD) that came to mind was .COM. Besides, then, it was difficult to qualify for a .CA domain name which, at any rate, was perceived as a bad spinoff of .COM and hadn’t earned the respect it enjoys now.

Unfortunately, I waffled. In July/August ’98, I didn’t feel quite ready to get textstyle.com. Worse, I didn’t think anyone would register the name while I waited a bit to give the new information I was gathering on domain names time to sink in. By October, though, having found my first Web host, I was ready to take the plunge …only to find that, on Aug. 20, 1998, someone did scoop up textstyle.com. However, the page you see if you follow the above link has not changed in about 4 years.

In April 2001, I wrote the British owners of the domain name and got this response:

Yes, we do have plans for the textstyle.com web site (and the textstyle email address is used extensively), but other areas of our business are taking precedence at the moment. However, go ahead and make me an offer — if the price is right.

Cheeky bugger, isn’t he?!

As a result, I looked for and found a tool to come up with an estimate for the domain name, and figured I should offer about $1600 (CAN) — $1315 (US) — £700. Today I got to thinking again about that domain name, which expires this coming August, and while I wasn’t able to find the tool I had used in ’01 to come up with an estimate, I did find this for textstyles.com (note the terminal S). Consequently, I wonder if it’s safe to assume that my ’01 estimate is still on target.

Moreover, I’m wondering what I should do at this point. I would love to hear what you think. I avoided getting into such a mess with textstylem.tld, having registered .com, .net, .org and .ca without hesitation. And while I never really cared about having textstyle.org, tonight I decided to register it after all. Now the questions are:

  • How much is textstyle.com really worth to me?
  • What would be a reasonable bid?
  • Should I be coughing up that much money for a domain name?
  • If so, should I start a Help Maurice Get His .COM fundraising drive? 😉

{4} Thoughts on “Is It Such a Good Name? And Price?

  1. http://www.whois.sc/rbl/?ip=212.87.82.24

    Seems they have used their account for all things naughty. Aside from that and the current registrants’ cavalier attitude, the idea of paying for a domain name leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I think you should embrace the .CA TLD, register any other available TLDs and simply wait out any currently unavailable TLDs.

  2. I guess the question is how much business are you losing by not having textstyle.com and/or how much more revenue would you generate if you did have it? If getting the domain is not going to increase revenue, it isn’t worth very much at all.

  3. Oh my! Thank you, David, for poiting that out! Although …I suppose one could argue that the current owners of the .com I want have effectively reduced its value by tarnishing the good name. 😉

    As for how much business I might be losing, I’d have to say little to none. Back in ’98, when I had to settle for the .net variation, many were those who wrongly assumed they could find my business online at the .com variation. But since I’ve been promoting only the .ca variation since I’ve had it (2001), and given the Canadian public’s general liking of the .ca TLD, I doubt I’ve lost any business due to not having the .com. Perhaps it will just be left to lapse one day and I’ll be able to pick it up “naturally,” thereby securing all the main TLDs I want for brand recognition purposes …just as I’m sure the owners of apache.org, despite their commitment to/as Open Source, wish they had a monopoly on apache TLDs…

  4. Exactly, just like how firefox.com was donated to the Mozilla Foundation after the overnight explosion of interest in the Firefox browser.

    You have the advantage of not being a giant corporate presence, where people are going to try to visit your website on a whim by memory (a la pepsi.com and the like). They will be visiting through a hyperlink, word-of-mouth or official advert. And those who are looking for your products and services should recognize the .com is incorrect and simply conduct a keyword search.

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