I have a quick little story for you. For the last few months, I have been aggressively nagged by two different companies about a domain name similar to mine. This website is TheWhineSeller.com but they wanted me to know that WhineSeller.com was going to be available soon.

Now, at first, I thought it might be nice to have the similar domain as there was another blog living on WhineSeller.com back when I started this blog so it wasn’t an option. It was shorter. It was my brand name.

But on the flip side, all it would really be is a redirect, I wasn’t about to change every single link on the site to the other domain and mess up all the back links and whatnot. From an English language standpoint, I like The Whine Seller better for a variety of reasons I’m not sure I can explain. So it was one of those things where, if someone wanted to give me the domain, I’d take it, but I sure wasn’t getting into a bidding war over it.

So, out of curiosity, I took a look at their emails. They told me it was a domain with a lot of interest that would sell for a lot. Now, I suspected that was BS but there was a blog living there before and I have no idea how popular that was so maybe it was true, what do I know.

I’m taking out the links and company names but here is a sample of the first email I got:

Priority Domain Availability Notice for whineseller.com:

In the next few days, whineseller.com will be listed for sale. Since you have a similar domain name, I thought you might be interested in acquiring whineseller.com.

You can confirm your interest in the domain whineseller.com by filling out the form here: [removed]

After I receive a confirmation that you are interested in the domain whineseller.com, I will be in touch with you promptly to make arrangements.

I look forward to hearing back from you.
[contact info removed]

I got variations on this email for since early May from two different companies. I click through to one of the pages, it says:

WHINESELLER.COM will be listed for sale in the next 24 hours. This domain has been flagged as a premium domain and we expect it to sell quickly. Since you received a priority notice from us, you will be given first chance to acquire this domain.

(Oddly, enough, it *still* says this today which is funny for reasons that will become clear in a moment.) But, boy, a premium domain? It will sell in the next 24 hours? They expect it to sell quickly? Maybe I should panic and try to grab this domain, right? But I decide I still don’t care.

So then on June 4th, I get this email (again, taking out the contact info and links):

Last Call For Domain whineseller.com:

We will be offering whineseller.com for sale today. We see that you previously respond to an email about this domain, but did not submit an offer. This is your last chance to submit an offer on whineseller.com, or we will make other arrangements.

To submit an offer of at least $97 now, click [link]

But I don’t know how much to offer!
Often people do not submit offers, because they don’t know how much to offer. Our minimum offer price is $97. If you submit an offer of at least $97, then you will reserve your position for this domain. In almost all cases, this is enough to win the domain.

My previous response was of the “Stop emailing me you freaking spammers!!!” variety, in case you were curious. It goes on like this for longer but you get the idea. I have two reactions to this email:

  1. $97 is too rich for my blood for a domain I don’t really want
  2. You say it’ll be for sale in 24 hours which is funny since you’ve been saying that since May

So I delete the email and totally forgot about it. Then, while looking up .co domains on GoDaddy today I decided, just for fun, to look for whineseller.com. Lo and behold, it’s available as a new domain. All that BS about it being in demand, premium and selling for $97 was lies and marketing, it just became available to the public again like any other domain. So I bought it for GoDaddy for less than $10 because, why not?

Of course, I went back to the original email and clicked on their link again. Oddly enough, my domain is still marked as selling in the next 24 hours which is kinda funny since I now own it. (It’s set to redirect to this site but that may take a full day or so if you are trying to play with it.)

The lesson here? I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to get a domain similar to your business or brand name but I am saying there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there, scams and otherwise. Do your research and while it may turn out that your domain is in demand enough to require you to have to bid for it in auction, do it through a legitimate, well known domain provider instead of the first thing you find. 

Anyone have a similar experience with getting the domain name they wanted, please share with us below.